AOB – June 2016

24 June 2014

Brexit – confirmed, Madness. Have not slept.

gbp and uk stocks in freefall. Some immediate questions that David Cameron has to answer: (from the Guardian)

1 – What will be done to calm the markets? With the pound in freefall, will the Bank of England intervene? There has even been talk of closing the stock market to stop panic selling of share. Cameron will have to say something to steady nerves.

2 – Will he remain as prime minister? No one expects him to leave Number 10 this morning, but does he really think he will be able to oversee the EU withdrawal process over the next few year? Perhaps he does. More likely, he will recognise that is unrealistic. In that case it is possible that he may announce his intention to stand down later this year, possibly before the Tory conference.

3 – Will he invoke article 50 of the Lisbon treaty immediately? This is the process that starts the two-year countdown to Brexit. Before the referendum Cameron said he would trigger article 50 straight away, but there is no reason why he should and every reason to delay. It makes no sense to start the two-year clock running until the UK knows what it wants. He would be wise to clarify his intentions.

4 – Will parliament be recalled? There is a strong case for saying it should sit on Saturday, to allow the government to assure MPs that it has a plan before markets open again on Monday.

5 – Who will be in charge of the withdrawal negotiations? This begs the huge question as to what mandate will apply to those doing the negotiating. Will Cameron seek cross-party agreement? Will he take the Vote Leave programme as a manifesto he is bound to honour? For example, will the UK definitely withdraw from the single market?

6 – Will there be an emergency budget? George Osborne said an emergency budget would be necessary this summer. Does that still apply, or will Cameron write that off as campaign scaremongering?

7 – Will there be an election? There is a case for saying a new prime minister may need a mandate for the withdrawal negotiations – although there are probably very few people in Westminster with the appetite for another election now?

8 – Does Cameron accept that the Scots have the right to have a second independence referendum? During the campaign he said the 2014 referendum was supposed to last for a generation, but there were some moments during the campaign when he accepted that the Scots would have a case for demanding a second referendum if they voted to stay in the EU while the UK as a whole voted out. And that is what has happened.

23 June 2016

As EU referendum results start to filter in this thought from the Guardian:

“The EU Referendum campaign may not have clarified all the issues in voters’ minds, but it has shone a light on a growing chasm in the country. People divided by geography, social class, age, education and income are even more sharply divided by outlook. Whether to remain in the EU or leave is just one of many of those differences. Whatever the outcome on Thursday, it is unlikely to heal our fractured nation.”

Indeed.

20 June 2016

As if today being Monday wasn’t bad enough, it’s also the longest day of the year.

It is also the first time since 1948 when the first day of summer occurs with a full “strawberry” moon. Why is it called a strawberry moon? I’m so glad you asked. According to NASA, it’s because it’s a full moon that signals the start of strawberry-picking season. The next time the strawberry moon and summer will align will be 21 June 2062.

Just so you know.

19 June 2016

Emirates will end its Kuala Lumpur to Melbourne flight on 30 October 2016 when EK408/9 flies non-stop from Dubai to and from Melbourne.

15 June 2016

Routes Online has updated the final dates for EK’s last A340s and A330s. These dates could of course change at any time.

The last A340-300 scheduled operation remains unchanged on 01DEC16, although further changes remain possible.

As of 09JUN16, planned Emirates A340-300 operation for Nov 2016, including last operational date for individual route, as follow.

Dubai – Ahmedabad 1 weekly, last (A340-300) flight 27NOV16
Dubai – Baghdad 1 weekly, last flight 24NOV16
Dubai – Basra 1 weekly, last flight 27NOV16
Dubai – Beirut 1 daily, last flight from DXB 30NOV16, BEY 01DEC16
Dubai – Doha 1 weekly, last flight 26NOV16
Dubai – Kabul 1 daily, last flight 30NOV16
Dubai – Muscat 2 weekly, last flight 30NOV16

Additionally, A330-200 operation sees further adjustment for winter season. Planned A330-200 operation for November 2016 as follow.

Dubai – Baghdad 1 weekly, last (A330-200) flight 28NOV16
Dubai – Muscat 1 weekly, last flight 29NOV16
Dubai – Peshawar 5 weekly
Dubai – Thiruvananthapuram 1 weekly, last flight 30NOV16

By 01DEC16, the remaining scheduled A330-200 route for the moment is 5 weekly Dubai – Peshawar route, although it may occasionally operate on other routes when required.

7 June 2016

Another self-serving article in Arabian Business today trying to reassure readers that Dubai property prices have reached a low and in some cases are starting to recover – I love how the headline writer uses plateau suggesting a high – rather than a trough – which is what they really mean.

Dubai sees ‘clear trend’ of plateau in real estate prices in May

This is the comment of one bold respondent –

“Where do you dig up this stuff and who do you think actually believes it? Almost weekly we see a concerted effort to shield economic reality through obscure, factually incorrect or poorly researched articles that purport to be evidence of stability in commerce, in housing and even in happiness.

Walk around the residential areas, talk to people who own businesses, speak to parents. I guarantee you will see hundreds of empty properties ( the price will not reflect economic reality because the owners have the time honoured constraint of “face” to consider), hear factual accounts that cashflow is dreadful, liquidity ghastly and business down in nearly all sectors. Finally you may then realise that many people are leaving due to loss of employment in many sectors, not just oil and gas, which, coupled with sharp rises yet again in school fees makes the place untenable.

This is not doom mongering – just the facts – which seem to be in remarkably short supply in the media these days.’

Unusually the comment is still there. There is a reason why news reports and commentaries follow the all is well, be happy script.

6 June 2016

This is journalism at its rawest – the work of a photo-journalist/reporter from Mogadishu in Somalia. It is a necessary and hugely depressing read.

‘Our turn to die’

“I’ve covered so many attacks like this, I’ve seen so many people dying, I can’t even count. Death is a daily part of life here. You wake up every day knowing that you, or a friend or a member of your family may not live to see the end of the day. But scenes like that, they still get to me.”

“We know that someday it’s going to be our day. Our turn to die.”

But it does make you think. The amount of money being spent on the US election is obscene. The amount of money being spent on an unnecessary EU in/out referendum in the UK is silly.

What if that money was invested into Somalia? That would surely make the world a better place and might save this reporter’s life.

5 June 2016

Apparently the next new European destination for the Emirates A380 will be Nice, France.

The 777 crews are quickly losing some of their more fun destinations.

The non stop to Auckland will also move from the 772 to an A380 by December. To do so the A380 will presumably have to be payload restricted.

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Friends round for dinner last night. Wigs and balcony pictures at midnight. But though I say it myself the star of the night was my baked cheesecake!

Fun evening. Late night.

2 June 2016

A couple of days away from the start of Ramadan which this year includes the longest days of the year. Huge respect for everyone who fasts through this period and who remembers that the month is a holy month – not a month of excess.

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Wrote up my notes on South Africa – see the home page.

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Emirates started double daily to Geneva yesterday – after operating their first flight to the city five years ago. It was a great service for Tai and I as it meant we could easily visit Alex at school and he could fly GVA-DXB-HKG and vv and stop and see us en route. But thank you for that one, Emirates!

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Got stuck in a shouting match at the entrance to our building yesterday. As I left this guy tried to get into the building through the opened door – I said I cannot let you in without an access card – he swore at me – complained that he had lived here for six years – and eventually pulled out his access card.

Just use your access card. You should be grateful that there are people in the building who take security seriously and in doing so help protect your property and family.

Some people are just so arrogant.