Delta flights resume after power outage strands passengers

2016-08-08 20:42:48

Delta Air Lines Inc's (DAL.N) flights gradually resumed on Monday after an outage hit its computer systems, grounding planes and stranding passengers of one of the world's largest carriers at airports around the globe.Atlanta-based Delta, the second-largest U.S. carrier by passenger traffic, said it had canceled about 300 flights after a power outage that began around 2:30 a.m. EDT (0630 GMT) in Atlanta. The power interruption caused a "system-wide outage," Delta said. At about 10:30 a.m. EDT, it said about 800 of its nearly 6,000 scheduled flights had taken off.Georgia Power said a piece of Delta equipment failed and caused the airline's computer systems to lose power. The problem at Delta did not affect other Georgia Power customers, and there was no area-wide outage, utility spokesman John Kraft said. Kraft said he did not know the type of equipment that failed or why it did.Like many large airlines, Delta uses its proprietary computer system for its bookings and operations, and the fact that other airlines appeared unaffected by the outage also pointed to the company's equipment, said independent industry analyst Robert Mann. Critical computer systems have backups and are tested to ensure high reliability, he said. It was not clear why those systems had not worked to prevent Delta's problems, he said. "That suggest a communications component or network component could have failed," he said.A Delta spokeswoman declined to comment when asked about backup systems. Delta's flight information was not showing correctly on Delta's website or on airport information boards, and this could also take time to resolve, the carrier said in the latest update. Mann said monitors typically display cached data until the computer system updates with new information. According to website Flightradar24, some of the first flights to take off were from Amsterdam to the United States, while a flight from Phoenix to Atlanta was among the first to depart from a U.S. airport. Delta is a member of the SkyTeam alliance alongside airlines including Air France-KLM (AIRF.PA). It also partners for transatlantic flights with Virgin Atlantic [VA.UL], which said its flights were operating normally but cautioned that passengers should check tickets in case their flight was due to be operated by Delta as part of a code-share agreement.Delta said passengers booked for travel Aug. 8-12 would be entitled to a refund if their flight is canceled or significantly delayed. Delta shares were up 0.2 percent at $37.74 in midday trading. In airports around the world, passengers stuck in check-in queues or on planes waiting to depart took to Twitter to share photos and frustration at the delays, as well as to ask how a major airline could be grounded by a power cut. Delta's outage follows several high-profile computer problems faced by U.S. airlines in the past year.Budget carrier Southwest Airlines Co (LUV.N) halted departures last month after a technical problem, while American Airlines (AAL.O) suspended flights from three of its hubs last September after technical problems.Industry consultants say airlines face an increasing risk from computer disruptions as they automate more of their operations, distribute boarding passes on smartphones and fit their planes with Wi-Fi. (Reporting by Alwyn Scott in New York, Victoria Bryan in Berlin and Abinaya Vijayaraghavan in Bengaluru; Additional reporting by Sarah Young in London; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn)

BRIEF-MGM Growth says MGP Lessor, unit of co enter first amendment to master lease agreement

2016-08-02 00:58:13

Aug 1 Mgm Growth Properties Llc* Says amendment provides that the initial rent under the master lease will be increased by $100 million - sec filing * Mgp lessor, llc, delaware limited liability co ,unit of co entered first amendment to master lease agreement, dated april 25 * Mgm growth properties llc says as a result, the base rent under the master lease will be $585 million and the percentage rent will be $65 million Source text for Eikon: Further company coverage: (Bengaluru Newsroom: +1-646-223-8780)

Up to 1.65 million women of childbearing age at risk for Zika

2016-07-25 18:33:21

CHICAGO As many as 1.65 million women of childbearing age in Central and Latin America are at risk of being infected with Zika, resulting in tens of thousands of pregnancies that could be affected by the mosquito-borne virus that is linked with severe birth defects.The projections, published on Monday in Nature Microbiology, are based on an enhanced model of the Zika outbreak. Prior modeling efforts that focus on the number of cases have been challenging because people infected with Zika often don't have symptoms.The new research takes into account prior outbreaks of similar viruses, mosquito transmission patterns, climate conditions, virus incubation periods, and the impact of herd immunity - which occurs when a high percentage of a population becomes immune to an infection.Herd immunity can extinguish an outbreak when so many people become immune - either naturally or through vaccination - that the virus no longer spreads efficiently.The researchers also calculated the potential impact of economic factors. According to study co-author Alex Perkins of University of Notre Dame, women in poorer areas are at greater risk for Zika because they are less likely to have screens on their windows and air conditioners - two factors that have a major influence on reducing exposure to mosquitoes that carry Zika.Given all these parameters, they estimate that up to 1.65 million women of childbearing age in Latin America and the Caribbean are at risk of contracting Zika in the first wave of the outbreak. "That is a cumulative number over the course of roughly the first two to three years of the outbreak," Perkins said. "We consider that to be an upper limit of what might be possible."Perkins said the estimate puts tens of thousands of babies at risk of developing the birth defect microcephaly or other issues related to being exposed to Zika in the womb.The model also predicts that Brazil will have three times more infections than any other affected country, due to its size and suitability for transmission. U.S. health officials have concluded that Zika infections in pregnant women can cause microcephaly, a birth defect marked by small head size that can lead to severe developmental problems in babies. The connection between Zika and microcephaly first came to light last fall in Brazil, which has now confirmed more than 1,600 cases of microcephaly that it considers to be related to Zika infections in the mothers. (Reporting by Julie Steenhuysen; Editing by Alan Crosby)

Novartis, world's top drugmaker, plays down Brexit threat

2016-07-19 10:39:03

ZURICH, July 19 Switzerland's Novartis, the world's biggest maker of prescription drugs, will continue to invest in Britain, despite the country's decision to leave the European Union, its chief executive said on Tuesday.Joe Jimenez also told reporters he expected the European Medicines Agency (EMA), currently based in London, to continue its work on approving new medicines in an "orderly" fashion, even though it is likely to have to move to a new location."The UK is an important market for us. There are many countries in Europe, namely Switzerland, which are not in the EU, and we continue to invest in those countries as well as in the EU," he said in a post-results call."We will continue to invest strongly in the UK despite the decision to exit the EU as we see very large areas of unmet medical need and the innovation Novartis brings can help patients in the UK." The sanguine comments from Jimenez, who is also president of the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations trade body, contrast with concerns expressed by some other pharmaceutical industry executives.The CEO of Spain's Almirall, for example, said earlier this month the relocation of the EMA threatened to disrupt the approval of new drugs and represented a medium and long-term concern. The UK pharmaceuticals trade association has also warned that having Britain outside the EU could undermine future investment, research and jobs in the country.Depending on the exact EU exit terms, Britain may have to develop its own domestic regulatory system, adding an extra layer of regulation and bureaucracy. The EMA, Europe's equivalent the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, currently approves medicines for all European Union countries from its headquarters in London's Canary Wharf financial district. Other European cities are already vying to be its new home.Drugmakers also face challenges and uncertainties across the Atlantic, with the U.S. market - the biggest and most profitable for the industry - facing increased pressure on prices.Jimenez said he was planning for a "more difficult" U.S. pricing environment going forward."We all have to plan for new pricing models in the U.S that could help us ensure sustainability of the system as the U.S. population ages. We are planning for a environment where there are not increases in price in the U.S.," he said. (Writing by Ben Hirschler; Editing by Mark Potter)

BRIEF-Transaction Co Ltd unit enters into basic agreement with ImageWorks Corporation for Baidu Map promotion in JP

2016-07-12 09:14:19

July 12 Transaction Co Ltd :* Says its unit TRANS. entered into basic agreement with ImageWorks Corporation, the Japan-based agency of Baidu Map* Says Baidu Map is a map service operated by Baidu Inc. * Says the unit will co-promote the Baidu Map in Japan Source text in company coverage: (Beijing Headline News)

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