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The start-up airline making noise in the aviation industry

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2020 was a tumultuous year for the aviation industry, with the COVID-19 pandemic impacting every airline in the world.

Thousands of aircraft from right around the world have, at least at some stage, been parked and left to sit idle on runways and in storage facilities.

In addition to this, over 40 airlines from all parts of the globe have ceased operation since 2020.

Intoducing: Bamboo Airways

However, the pandemic has seen one particular start-up airline find its wings.

Vietnam-born and raised Bamboo Airways is rapidly expanding at a time where the aviation industry remains unstable.

The airline currently serves Vietnam, flying between each capital city including Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, and Da Nang – just to name a few.

It also operates an international network that continues to grow; currently servicing Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and Macau.

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The history of Bamboo

The airline was founded in 2017 and commenced operations in January 2019.

By the time the pandemic hit, it meant that Bamboo Airways was less than one year into its operations.

One might have thought that this would have left the carrier in a precarious position, but the reality was far from that.

From the beginning, Bamboo has had strong success. The airline had strong and positive goals from the get-go, aiming to hire up to 600 employees, with recruitment beginning in April 2018.[

Bamboo’s Air Operator’s Certificate (AOC) was granted on 9 July 2018 and they subsequently passed the five required stages for certification by Vietnam’s Civil Aviation Authority.

After reviewing the airline’s financial structure and business plan, the Ministry of Transport issued an aviation license in November 2018 and the first flight took off in January of 2019.

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Remaining strong during COVID-19

A key factor that has helped the airline to survive and continue to strive throughout COVID-19 comes down to the fact that Vietnam represents a very strong market for airlines.

Vietnam has a steadily expanding airline market, according to Simple Flying. The expansion of the market saw 20% growth in the five years before coronavirus.

This reflects Vietnam’s economic growth as a whole, with its GDP rising by 225% in 10 years.

Looking to the future

Alongside its diverse route network of both domestic routes and international routes within Asia, the airline has built up a solid fleet.

Bamboo is looking at expanding its international operations throughout 2021 and into 2022, with Australia on the list.

The company has eyed off the possibility of regular flights to Melbourne, Australia – a destination that is already served through the airline’s COVID repatriation flights.

“We look forward to strengthening our relationship with the airline and enhancing our non-stop service to Vietnam on the Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner in 2021, including to Hanoi for the first time, which opens up critical trade, leisure and business opportunities for Victoria.”

Melbourne Airport’s chief of aviation, Shane O’Hare

The market between Australia and Vietnam, even prior to the pandemic, was relatively limited.

There were almost 1,000,000 passenger movements between the two countries in 2018, and nearly 60% of those passengers had to transit, through countries such as Singapore.

Most recently, the airline has made some noise within the industry by offering to ‘status match’ frequent flyer memberships to other airlines.

In any case, it’s pretty clear that Bamboo Air has found its wings and is here to stay.

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Why Sony has fired Australia’s most powerful man in Aussie pop music

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Sony Music USA has booted out the most powerful man in Australian pop music from company’s Australian arm

Sony Music Australia’s CEO Denis Handlin reportedly handed in his resignation after 37 years at the helm.

Staff were alerted of Handlin’s sudden departure this morning by a company-wide email from the Chairman and CEO of Sony Music Group USA, Rob Stringer.

The news comes as the record label continues its investigations into allegations of harassment and bullying.

In the email, Stringer says “Denis Handlin will be leaving Sony Music Entertainment after more than 50 years with the Company, effective immediately”.

Stringer continues by noting “it is time for a change in leadership and I will be making further announcements in terms of the new direction of the business in Australia and New Zealand in due course.”

An Australian news outlet reportedly reached out to Sony’s head office last week with multiple complaints from former employees.

The complaints, which are aimed broadly at the workplace culture rather than specific individuals, include allegations of sexual harassment at work events, intimidating behaviour, alcohol abuse and the unfair treatment of women in the workplace.

Those complaints span more than twenty years, according to reports.

None of the former Sony employees the source spoke to made any allegations of sexual harassment against Handlin himself, however, each had been critical of the company workplace culture.

Following months of investigating claims, the media source sent a letter detailing the allegations to the head office in New York on 14 June.

On Monday a statement was issued by the chairman of Sony Music Entertainment, Rob Stringer, saying Handlin would be leaving “effective immediately”.

Handlin has been the chief executive of Australia’s most successful record label for 37 years and its chairman since 1996.

He played a central role in the careers of some of Australia’s most celebrated artists, including John Farnham, Midnight Oil, Silverchair, Men at Work and Human Nature.

He is the Australian Recording Industry Association’s longest serving board member.

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How China’s crackdown will be a game-changer for bitcoin mining

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China’s crackdown on mining has been an ongoing story since around 2013. But this time might be different.

According to bitcoin aficionado Stephan Livera this latest crackdown, on one of the main regions for bitcoin mining, is the real deal.

This time seems like a more serious time. The largest mining pool operators have come out…so for example the leader of F2Pool (has said) from our numbers we’re seeing a very large drop in the amount of hash rate that’s coming to our pool out of China.” 

STEPHAN LIVERA, MINISTRY OF NODES

Bitcoin has many complex layers, it’s important to remember we’re talking specifically about bitcoin mining.

Mining is simply the process that sees new bitcoins entered into circulation. It’s also a critical component of the maintenance and development of the blockchain ledger. Mining is performed using very sophisticated computers that solve extremely complex computational math problems.

Chinese authorities are clamping down on the local mining operations that accounted for over 65% of Bitcoin’s global hash rate in 2020.

You might want to Google ‘bitcoin hash rate’, essentially it’s how often computers verify bitcoin transactions to secure the network.

The total hash rate has hit a new six-month low as China continues its clampdown on operations within the country.

What does this change mean for the future of bitcoin mining?

Livera says “it might be a turning point, an actual change in the industry. In terms of the composition in terms of where does the mining hash-rate come from. Because bitcoin is a decentralised project, what we ideally want to see is the hash-rate distributed around the world.”

So where to next?

Miners in China say their firms will pack up shop and move to North America with some predicting that China will lose crypto computing power to foreign markets.

Livera predicts short-term pain for long-term gain.

“Yes there is a short-term drop in the hash rate in the here and now. It’s unfortunately bad for Chinese miners. But it is good for anybody outside of China who is able to set up a mining operation, and be more profitable on the margin.”

A sell-off across the crypto markets took hold over the weekend. The world’s two dominant tokens bitcoin and ethereum both declined following China’s continuing crackdown particularly on the southwest province of Sichuan.

How these changes in bitcoin mining affect the long term price is a wait and see.

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‘Emergency situation’ shuts down Iranian Power Plant

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Iran’s sole nuclear power plant has undergone an unexplained temporary emergency shutdown.

An official from the state electric company Tavanir, that the Bushehr plant shutdown began on Saturday and would last “for three to four days.”

The company has warned that the nation now faces power outages.

This is the first time Iran has reported an emergency shutdown of the plant in the southern port city of Bushehr.

The plant went online in 2011 with help from Russia.

Iran is required to send spent fuel rods from the reactor back to Russia as a nuclear nonproliferation measure.

Tavanir released a statement stating that the nuclear plant was being repaired. The company did not offer any further details but confirmed the repair work would take until Friday.

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