Tuesday, 26 January 2010

[Aviation] Air New Zealand to launch innovative flight seat options... in Economy!

Seating in Economy class on airplanes haven't changed for decades. Over time many airlines have introduced much improved solutions on First and Business class, Singapore airlines offers private suites with a bed on First class on their latest Airbus A380 fleet and Emirates offers showers(!) to First class passengers on their A380s (though limited to about 2 minutes). Now I've flown on an Emirates A380 (in Economy class, naturally) and let me tell you, as far as the seating goes it was just as cramped as any 30 year old airplane configuration.

So I was pleasantly surprised to read an article which stated that Air New Zealand plans to launch 'couples beds' in economy class. About time an innovation or two filtered down to Economy class, and hats off to Air New Zealand for initiating it. See for yourself in the clip below, the economy seating is towards the end. It'll be awesome for off peak flights, a bed for the price of a basic Economy seat.

Content obtained from futuretakingflight.com/

Thursday, 21 January 2010

[Sport - Cricket] Why is Pakistan upset with the recent IPL auctions???

Cricketing media have released articles recently with titles like "PCB 'highly disappointed' by IPL snub" and "Pak players to avoid IPL, outrage continues" due to the fact that none of the Pakistani players were bid for in the recent IPL player auction. Do they have a point??? No they don't, and this is why...

May it be said that the Pakistani cricketing officials missed the original deadline to issue their players with clearance documentation for the IPL and only managed to provide this after special measures were taken afterwards.

This naturally would not instill confidence into the various IPL teams who are naturally looking to obtain players with the ability to strengthen their squads and crucially players who will be available for participation as many matches of the tournament as possible.

It doesn't take a rocket scientist/stock broker to realise that there are risks with availability of Pakistani players which are outside the players' and teams control. Indeed last year the PCB/Pakistani government decided to prevent their players from partaking in the IPL due to 'security concerns' (note it wasn't terrorists from India who had attacked Pakistan, so this was rather ridiculous!) and so the IPL franchises had to suffer due to unavailability.

In my opinion this was most evident with the Kolkota Knight Riders (who finished bottom in season 2 of the IPL) whose owner Sharukh Khan, was initially very keen on the Pakistani players and had the most number in his squad of any of the IPL teams. Do you blame him for not bidding for any of them this time round!!!

And the other complaint from the Pakistan corner is that they find it hard to fathom how the IPL franchises could decide that not one of the Pakistanis were good enough to partake in the IPL. This is also ludicrous as once again it can be shown that player availability in the tournament where the number of international players in a squad is capped is key. KKR bought out (effectively released) Ricky Ponting so as to be able to obtain another player (they ended up getting Shane Bond), was it because Ponting is not good enough, or could it have due to his unavailability for the majority of the past two seasons? You decide.

I agree it is a pity about Pakistan who have a strong cricketing heritage, however, one must note that the IPL was not the cause of their troubles. The damn terrorist plot to assassinate the Sri Lankan cricketers was the cause! If only the politicians and PCB would realise that stop complaining about India and resolve their domestic security issues which would allow international cricket tours to go ahead in Pakistan.

As far as the IPL goes, it may not occur to the Pakistani authorities but the IPL had to be moved out of India last year due to security concerns (admittedly the concurrent national elections impacted as sufficient security personnel were not available to safely manage both events), but the whole reason of insecurity was sparked because of, yup you guessed it, terrorist attacks emanating from Pakistan.

Why then is there such disbelief to find out that, all things considered, the IPL and/or IPL franchises are not keen to have Pakistani players partaking just yet?