Icelandic government passes Icesave deal; €12,000 debt per citizen

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Icelandic government passes Icesave deal; €12,000 debt per citizen
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Thursday, December 31, 2009

The Icelandic Prime Minister Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir and her coalition government narrowly escaped a commitment to resign as a €3.8 billion bill to repay British and Dutch savers following the collapse of Icesave online banking passed. The vote margin was only three votes.

Only a matter of hours before the anticipated final vote, Wikileaks announced the disclosure of one of 23 documents suppressed by the Icelandic Minister of Finance: an apparent legal summary of meetings between Icelandic and EU representatives held in Brussels in November 2008. The leaked document discusses the then-assessed liabilities of Iceland at 60% of GDP, considerably higher than the reported 40% which repaying Icesave deposit holders entails.

Amongst the other details in the report is emphasis of the deep-seated anger of the Icelandic people at the situation around the financial collapse, particularly the UK’s use of anti-terrorism legislation in its approach to the country’s banks. Iceland’s interpretation of the situation, and its financial treaty obligations with the EU, considered foreign deposits lost through force majeure. All 27 EU members disagreed with Iceland’s interpretation and Peter Mandelson, although he resigned from the Barroso Commission in October, presented the legal position that Iceland could not pass legislation that did not ensure treaty-mandated minimum balance returns from failed Icelandic banks.

Leaked private communication from Ingibjörg Sólrún Gísladóttir, Iceland’s then-foreign minister, compared the potential liabilities the country faced with the reparations imposed on Germany by the Treaty of Versailles in the wake of World War I.

Three banks failed in the financial crisis: Kaupthing, Glitnir, and Landsbanki. As the list of creditors emerged it was found that, among others, UK councils had around £900 million with the banks. Landsbanki agreed to repay the majority of funds held, giving council depositors priority status. Approximately £200 million on deposit with Glitnir is at-risk; the bank has stated the councils will be treated equally with all other creditors seeing them likely to only recover 30% of the amount Glitnir held.

Kaupthing faces other difficulties. The UK’s Serious Fraud Office began an investigation earlier this month into the bank’s UK activities. At issue are allegations savers were misled into selecting one particular account type, plus suspicious financial activity suggesting substantial amounts were moved out of the bank in the days prior to its collapse.

At present, UK councils have received little more than ten percent of their over £900 million deposits. They are among over 8,500 creditors claiming a staggering total of £20 billion. The largest single claimant is the British Depositors’ and Investors’ Guarantee Fund seeking €5 billion, and, of some note, Formula One racing team Williams claiming around £10 million in unpaid sponsorship from Glitnir who took on the liability from the Icelandic buyers of Hamleys.

This article is a featured article. It is considered one of the best works of the Wikinews community. See Wikinews:Featured articles for more information.

Debt to 84% government-owned Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) by Glitnir stands at around £500 million; much of the actual debt written off in 2008 as RBS posted £24 billion losses. Further write-offs by the bank are expected to total less than £50 million.

Icelanders resented the discovery that fifteen senior ex-employees of Landsbanki claim €14 million between them, including a single claim of €2.7 million. Suspicion exists that the banks arranged substantial interest-free loans for various of their shareholders and executives.

Today’s announcement of the Icelandic government’s agreement to pay out €3.8 billion keeps their application for EU membership on-track, although each one of the country’s 320,000 citizens effectively faces a €12,000 debt.

Posted on December 17th 2018 in Uncategorized

Looted, possibly contaminated body parts transplanted into USA, Canadian patients

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Looted, possibly contaminated body parts transplanted into USA, Canadian patients
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Monday, March 20, 2006

Fears of contaminated bone and skin grafts are being felt by unsuspecting patients following the revelation that funeral homes may have been looting corpses.

Janet Evans of Marion Ohio was told by her surgeon, “The bone grafts you got might have been contaminated”. She reacted with shock, “I was flabbergasted because I didn’t even know what he was talking about. I didn’t know I got a bone graft until I got this call. I just thought they put in screws and rods.”

The body of Alistair Cooke, the former host of “Masterpiece Theatre,” was supposedly looted along with more than 1,000 others, according to two law enforcement officials close to the case. The tissue taken was typically skin, bone and tendon, which was then sold for use in procedures such as dental implants and hip replacements. According to authorities, millions of dollars were made by selling the body parts to companies for use in operations done at hospitals and clinics in the United States and Canada.

A New Jersey company, Biomedical Tissue Services, has reportedly been taking body parts from funeral homes across Brooklyn, New York. According to ABC News, they set up rooms like a “surgical suite.” After they took the bones, they replaced them with PVC pipe. This was purportedly done by stealth, without approval of the deceased person or the next of kin. 1,077 bodies were involved, say prosecuters.

Investagators say a former dentist, Michael Mastromarino, is behind the operation. Biomedical was considered one of the “hottest procurement companies in the country,” raking in close to $5 million. Eventually, people became worried: “Can the donors be trusted?” A tissue processing company called LifeCell answered no, and issued a recall on all their tissue.

Cooke’s daughter, Susan Cooke Kittredge, said, “To know his bones were sold was one thing, but to see him standing truncated before me is another entirely.” Now thousands of people around the country are receiving letters warning that they should be tested for infectious diseases like HIV or hepatitis. On February 23, the Brooklyn District Attorney indicted Mastromarino and three others. They are charged with 122 felony counts, including forgery and bodysnatching.

Posted on December 16th 2018 in Uncategorized

Category:April 28, 2005

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Category:April 28, 2005
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? April 27, 2005
April 29, 2005 ?
April 28

Pages in category “April 28, 2005”

Posted on December 16th 2018 in Uncategorized

Reflections, Lichtenstein, two new exhibitions at Edinburgh’s Modern One

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Reflections, Lichtenstein, two new exhibitions at Edinburgh’s Modern One
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Saturday, March 14, 2015

This weekend saw the opening of two new exhibitions at Edinburgh’s National Gallery of Modern Art. Wikinews attended Thursday’s press preview for the event where a full contingent of the capital’s press turned out to see the striking collection of paintings, photographs, and other works. Presented below are a selection of images captured at the preview.

REFLECTIONS: A Series of Changing Displays of Contemporary Art, billed as a showcase of a “diverse range of internationally-renowned contemporary and modern artists” is to display major works from the Gallery’s permanent collection, alongside important loans. Alongside this broad range of works, a three-room display of pieces on-loan from the Roy Lichtenstein Foundation — with a dramatic painted steel relief, ‘borrowed’ from the Tate in London — runs from March 14 through to January 10 next year.

Admission to both exhibitions is free; being located in Dean, to the north-west of Edinburgh’s city centre, a free Gallery bus service is available.

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Posted on December 16th 2018 in Uncategorized

News briefs:August 17, 2006

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News briefs:August 17, 2006
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The time is 18:00 (UTC) on August 17th, 2006, and this is Audio Wikinews News Briefs.

Contents

  • 1 Headlines
    • 1.1 Indonesian health officials investigating possible human to human transmission of H5N1 Bird Flu virus
    • 1.2 Overnight battle for Sri Lanka’s Jaffna peninsula
    • 1.3 House fire in Buffalo, N.Y. leaves two families homeless
    • 1.4 Federal judge rules warrantless wiretaps illegal
    • 1.5 Liverpool’s elected officials call in the Police
    • 1.6 New Zealand army Unimog crash leaves one solider dead
    • 1.7 Man confesses to 1996 murder of JonBenet Ramsey
    • 1.8 Body of missing New Zealand student found
  • 2 Closing statements
Posted on December 15th 2018 in Uncategorized

Looking For Experts In Air Conditioning Service

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byalex

During summer months, all of us love to stay in the comfort of our home, with our air conditioner (AC) maintaining a suitable temperature indoors. You cannot sleep well at night, thanks to the excessive humidity in your rooms. However, this can be fixed easily by installing an AC. Installation of air conditioning systems demands special skills. Hiring professionals in air conditioning service, will definitely serve your purpose. These skilled technicians are masters when it comes to installation or maintenance of your heating and cooling systems.

Here are some steps which you must follow to find reputed professionals providing air conditioning services, at affordable rates, of course:

1.Browsing the Web will help you find leading companies offering air conditioning services at reasonable rates. Visit online directories and select a few companies which can provide quality services whenever they are contacted.

2.Shortlist names of AC repair companies and start contacting them, either by visiting their offices or via telephone. However, to know more about these companies, you need to visit their websites, go through a few client testimonials, and so on. This will help you select a company which provides a wide variety of air conditioning services.

3.You can also check whether your chosen service providers employ trained and qualified professionals. Expert technicians will never give their clients an opportunity to complain.

4.After narrowing your list, compare the rates charged by each of your selected companies. Contact the organization which charges the least.

5.Ask the professionals about their previous projects. This will help you know about the type of work they do and how long they take to complete one assignment.

6.Recommendations are also an essential factor in evaluating a company’s performance. You must use your social connections to the fullest, asking for references from your close acquaintances. This way, it will be a lot easier for you to make a choice.The best part of hiring skilled mechanics is that they are licensed and know how to use latest machineries to look after your ACs. While searching for companies providing air conditioning services, Largo, FL, residents must contact those enterprises which offer certain free services such as annual maintenance and free-of-cost repairing of your air conditioner. Moreover, when hiring air conditioning professionals, you must ensure your chosen technicians are fully insured. This is crucial. This will help you stay away from any problem, in case there’s an accident.

Posted on December 15th 2018 in Equipment

Cleveland, Ohio clinic performs US’s first face transplant

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Cleveland, Ohio clinic performs US’s first face transplant
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Thursday, December 18, 2008

A team of eight transplant surgeons in Cleveland Clinic in Ohio, USA, led by reconstructive surgeon Dr. Maria Siemionow, age 58, have successfully performed the first almost total face transplant in the US, and the fourth globally, on a woman so horribly disfigured due to trauma, that cost her an eye. Two weeks ago Dr. Siemionow, in a 23-hour marathon surgery, replaced 80 percent of her face, by transplanting or grafting bone, nerve, blood vessels, muscles and skin harvested from a female donor’s cadaver.

The Clinic surgeons, in Wednesday’s news conference, described the details of the transplant but upon request, the team did not publish her name, age and cause of injury nor the donor’s identity. The patient’s family desired the reason for her transplant to remain confidential. The Los Angeles Times reported that the patient “had no upper jaw, nose, cheeks or lower eyelids and was unable to eat, talk, smile, smell or breathe on her own.” The clinic’s dermatology and plastic surgery chair, Francis Papay, described the nine hours phase of the procedure: “We transferred the skin, all the facial muscles in the upper face and mid-face, the upper lip, all of the nose, most of the sinuses around the nose, the upper jaw including the teeth, the facial nerve.” Thereafter, another team spent three hours sewing the woman’s blood vessels to that of the donor’s face to restore blood circulation, making the graft a success.

The New York Times reported that “three partial face transplants have been performed since 2005, two in France and one in China, all using facial tissue from a dead donor with permission from their families.” “Only the forehead, upper eyelids, lower lip, lower teeth and jaw are hers, the rest of her face comes from a cadaver; she could not eat on her own or breathe without a hole in her windpipe. About 77 square inches of tissue were transplanted from the donor,” it further described the details of the medical marvel. The patient, however, must take lifetime immunosuppressive drugs, also called antirejection drugs, which do not guarantee success. The transplant team said that in case of failure, it would replace the part with a skin graft taken from her own body.

Dr. Bohdan Pomahac, a Brigham and Women’s Hospital surgeon praised the recent medical development. “There are patients who can benefit tremendously from this. It’s great that it happened,” he said.

Leading bioethicist Arthur Caplan of the University of Pennsylvania withheld judgment on the Cleveland transplant amid grave concerns on the post-operation results. “The biggest ethical problem is dealing with failure — if your face rejects. It would be a living hell. If your face is falling off and you can’t eat and you can’t breathe and you’re suffering in a terrible manner that can’t be reversed, you need to put on the table assistance in dying. There are patients who can benefit tremendously from this. It’s great that it happened,” he said.

Dr Alex Clarke, of the Royal Free Hospital had praised the Clinic for its contribution to medicine. “It is a real step forward for people who have severe disfigurement and this operation has been done by a team who have really prepared and worked towards this for a number of years. These transplants have proven that the technical difficulties can be overcome and psychologically the patients are doing well. They have all have reacted positively and have begun to do things they were not able to before. All the things people thought were barriers to this kind of operations have been overcome,” she said.

The first partial face transplant surgery on a living human was performed on Isabelle Dinoire on November 27 2005, when she was 38, by Professor Bernard Devauchelle, assisted by Professor Jean-Michel Dubernard in Amiens, France. Her Labrador dog mauled her in May 2005. A triangle of face tissue including the nose and mouth was taken from a brain-dead female donor and grafted onto the patient. Scientists elsewhere have performed scalp and ear transplants. However, the claim is the first for a mouth and nose transplant. Experts say the mouth and nose are the most difficult parts of the face to transplant.

In 2004, the same Cleveland Clinic, became the first institution to approve this surgery and test it on cadavers. In October 2006, surgeon Peter Butler at London‘s Royal Free Hospital in the UK was given permission by the NHS ethics board to carry out a full face transplant. His team will select four adult patients (children cannot be selected due to concerns over consent), with operations being carried out at six month intervals. In March 2008, the treatment of 30-year-old neurofibromatosis victim Pascal Coler of France ended after having received what his doctors call the worlds first successful full face transplant.

Ethical concerns, psychological impact, problems relating to immunosuppression and consequences of technical failure have prevented teams from performing face transplant operations in the past, even though it has been technically possible to carry out such procedures for years.

Mr Iain Hutchison, of Barts and the London Hospital, warned of several problems with face transplants, such as blood vessels in the donated tissue clotting and immunosuppressants failing or increasing the patient’s risk of cancer. He also pointed out ethical issues with the fact that the procedure requires a “beating heart donor”. The transplant is carried out while the donor is brain dead, but still alive by use of a ventilator.

According to Stephen Wigmore, chair of British Transplantation Society’s ethics committee, it is unknown to what extent facial expressions will function in the long term. He said that it is not certain whether a patient could be left worse off in the case of a face transplant failing.

Mr Michael Earley, a member of the Royal College of Surgeon‘s facial transplantation working party, commented that if successful, the transplant would be “a major breakthrough in facial reconstruction” and “a major step forward for the facially disfigured.”

In Wednesday’s conference, Siemionow said “we know that there are so many patients there in their homes where they are hiding from society because they are afraid to walk to the grocery stores, they are afraid to go the the street.” “Our patient was called names and was humiliated. We very much hope that for this very special group of patients there is a hope that someday they will be able to go comfortably from their houses and enjoy the things we take for granted,” she added.

In response to the medical breakthrough, a British medical group led by Royal Free Hospital’s lead surgeon Dr Peter Butler, said they will finish the world’s first full face transplant within a year. “We hope to make an announcement about a full-face operation in the next 12 months. This latest operation shows how facial transplantation can help a particular group of the most severely facially injured people. These are people who would otherwise live a terrible twilight life, shut away from public gaze,” he said.

Posted on December 14th 2018 in Uncategorized

FEMA official in New Orleans blasts agency’s response

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FEMA official in New Orleans blasts agency’s response
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Sunday, October 23, 2005

Marty Bahamonde, the only FEMA emplyee in New Orleans during hurricane Katrina, testifying before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, contradicts former FEMA director Michael Brown’s testimony and says Brown ignored his pleas for help.

In an August 31 Blackberry email:

“Sir, I know you know that this situation is past critical. Here are some things you might not know. Hotels are kicking people out, thousands gathering in the streets with no food or water. Hundreds still being rescued from homes” and “medical staff at the Dome expect to run out of oxygen in about 2 hours”

In an email from one of Brown’s aids:”Please schedule Joe Scarborough this evening… Also, it is very important that time is allowed for Mr. Brown to eat dinner. Gievn[sic] that Baton Rouge is back to normal, restaurants are getting busy”

Posted on December 14th 2018 in Uncategorized

Acting teacher and director Milton Katselas dies at age 75

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Acting teacher and director Milton Katselas dies at age 75
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Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Acting teacher and director Milton Katselas died Friday at age 75, after suffering from heart failure at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, California. He began the Beverly Hills Playhouse in 1978 and taught acting classes there to noted actors including George Clooney and Gene Hackman. Katselas is survived by a sister and two brothers.

Katselas directed an off-Broadway production of Edward Albee‘s The Zoo Story, and received a Tony Award nomination for his 1969 direction of Butterflies are Free. Actress Blythe Danner won a Tony Award for her role in Butterflies are Free under Katselas’ direction. He moved to California to direct the film version of that play, and went on to direct films and television movies. Actress Eileen Heckart received an Academy Award for her role in the film version of Butterflies are Free.

Katselas directed the San Francisco and Los Angeles productions of the play P.S. Your Cat Is Dead! by playwright James Kirkwood, Jr. In his author’s notes in the publication of the script, Kirkwood acknowledged Katselas, and wrote that the plays were “directed with incredible energy and enthusiasm by Milton Katselas, to whom I am extremely indebted”.

Katselas directed the television movie Strangers: Story of a Mother and Daughter, and actress Bette Davis received an Emmy Award for her role in the movie. Katselas taught many famous actors including Michelle Pfeiffer, Richard Gere, Robert Duvall, Jack Lemmon, Al Pacino, Goldie Hawn, Christopher Walken, Burt Reynolds, George C. Scott, Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, Alec Baldwin, and Patrick Swayze. Katselas was credited with being able to nurture actors with raw talent so that they could develop strong Hollywood careers. He utilized innovative techniques in his courses – one course called “Terrorist Theatre” had a simple premise: successfully get an acting role within six weeks or leave the course.

He grew up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to parents who had immigrated from Greece, and graduated from Carnegie Mellon. He studied acting with Lee Strasberg in New York at the Actors Studio, and received advice from directors Joshua Logan and Elia Kazan.

Katselas was a prominent Scientologist, and a July 2007 profile on Katselas in The New York Times Magazine observed that some of his students stopped taking courses at the Beverly Hills Playhouse because they felt they had been pressured to join the Church of Scientology. According to the article, Katselas credited Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard “for much of his success in life”, and one of his students works at Scientology’s Celebrity Centre. The article commented that some in Los Angeles view the Beverly Hills Playhouse as “a recruitment center for Scientology”.

Katselas met L. Ron Hubbard after moving to California, and began studying Scientology in 1965. The New York Times Magazine reported that he had reached the level of “Operating Thetan, Level 5, or O.T. V.” in 2007. According to The New York Times Magazine when Scientologists proceed up the “The Bridge to Total Freedom” they learn the story of Xenu, and that: “75 million years ago the evil alien Xenu solved galactic overpopulation by dumping 13.5 trillion beings in volcanoes on Earth, where they were vaporized, scattering their souls.” A Church of Scientology publication, Source, lists Katselas as reaching O.T. V. in 1989.

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He is brilliant, and knows me so well as a person and an actress that he gets the most out of me.

Though some actors felt pressured to join the Church of Scientology after taking courses at the Beverly Hills Playhouse, at least one individual felt Katselas was not active enough with the organization. Actress Jenna Elfman left the Beverly Hills Playhouse because she felt Katselas was not committed enough to Scientology. Katselas had previously directed Elfman in half of Visions and Lovers: Variations on a Theme, two one-act plays about relationships that he had written himself. In 1999 Katselas had planned to adapt the script of Visions and Lovers to a film version, and Elfman was set to reprise her role from the play. In an article in Variety about the project, Elfman commented on her experience working with Katselas: “He is brilliant, and knows me so well as a person and an actress that he gets the most out of me.”

Other prominent Scientologist actors who have studied under Katselas include Giovanni Ribisi, Jason Lee, and Leah Remini. According to Rolling Stone, Katselas also recruited actress Kelly Preston to Scientology. Actress Nancy Cartwright (the voice of Bart Simpson), told Scientology publication Celebrity that Katselas motivated her to get more active in Scientology, and she stated she took the organization’s “Purification Rundown” and her life “took off completely”.

Life is an endless unspooling of art, of acting, of painting, of architecture. And where did I learn that? From Milton.

Anne Archer was introduced to Scientology while studying at the Beverly Hills Playhouse, as was former Scientologist and now outspoken critic actor Jason Beghe. Beghe told Roger Friedman of FOX News in April 2008 that “He [Katselas] gets kickbacks”, and that he was brought to a Scientology center by fellow Beverly Hills Playhouse classmate Bodhi Elfman, Jenna Elfman’s husband. In a 1998 article for Buzz Magazine, Randye Hoder wrote “In his class, Katselas is careful not to label anything as a tenet of Scientology, but there is no question that the church’s influence seeps into the playhouse.”

Anne Archer’s husband and fellow Scientologist, producer Terry Jastrow, commented to The New York Times Magazine that Katselas changed the way he experiences life on a day-to-day basis: “I go out in the world and look at human behavior now. I see a woman or man interacting with a saleslady, and I see the artistry in it. Life is an endless unspooling of art, of acting, of painting, of architecture. And where did I learn that? From Milton.”

Actor Anthony Head of Buffy the Vampire Slayer spoke highly of Katselas in a 2002 interview with San Francisco Chronicle: “He’s this wonderfully intuitive teacher and his premise is basically: The only real barriers are the ones we put in front of ourselves. If you say, ‘My character wouldn’t do that’ — bollocks! Ultimately it’s you who wouldn’t say that. Who knows what your character might do.” In the acknowledgements of her 2004 autobiography Are You Hungry, Dear?: Life, Laughs, and Lasagna, actress Doris Roberts wrote: “I thank my friend and acting teacher, the incredible Milton Katselas, for his insights, wisdom, and inspiration, which have helped make me the actress that I am.”

I really care about the craft of acting. It’s absolutely necessary to take the time and patience to really develop an actor.

Katselas authored two books: Dreams Into Action: Getting What You Want, first published in 1996 by Dove Books, and Acting Class: Take a Seat, which came out earlier this month. Dreams Into Action, a New York Times Bestseller, sought to modify motivational acting exercises to the field of business.

In an interview in the 2007 book Acting Teachers of America, Katselas commented on his experiences as an acting teacher over the years: “I have very special teachers here at the Beverly Hills Playhouse—some have been with me for over twenty-five years. I believe that to make a difference over the long haul, we need to train teachers. I really care about the craft of acting. It’s absolutely necessary to take the time and patience to really develop an actor.”

Posted on December 14th 2018 in Uncategorized

Air Moldova completes airpark with a Brazilian Embraer aircraft

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Air Moldova completes airpark with a Brazilian Embraer aircraft
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Monday, February 11, 2008

Brazilian aircraft maker Embraer on Friday announced it has signed a firm order with Air Moldova for one Embraer 190 jet, to be delivered in March 2010. The contract includes an option on another plane of the same model, Embraer said in a statement. The value of the deal was not disclosed.

At present, renowned companies such as Air France, Lufthansa group and Spanish Iberia Airlines own Embraer 190 jets, specified the representative of Air Moldova. The same source specified that Embraer 190 jet is one of the most economic and optimal aircrafts for operation, and it will be configured in a single-class cabin with 114 seats.

Air Moldova, which links the Moldovan capital, Chi?in?u, to cities in Europe and the Middle East, intends to use the new plane to open new markets.

The Embraer 190 is one of the four members of the E-Jets family. On December 31, the Embraer 170/190 E-Jets had logged 764 firm orders and 786 options.

Embraer is the world’s fourth-largest commercial plane maker. It finished 2007 with a firm order backlog of US$18.8 billion.

Posted on December 12th 2018 in Uncategorized