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Travel

Here’s How to Take Over 20 of the Best Disney World Rides Virtually


If you’re a die-hard Disney fan looking for some good news, look no further. For the first time ever in Disney’s history, all Disney parks around the world have been closed indefinitely since March 16. Luckily, we can still have some fun on the best Disney World rides virtually.  

a sign on the side of a road

How can you take the virtual rides?

Have you ever wished you could take your favorite Disney World rides without having to wait in long lines? Thanks to the YouTube account Virtual Disney World, you can do it now. The channel has been offering virtual reality rides through 360-degree videos since 2016. All you need to do is click on the page and you can take as many rides as you want for free. If you want to make things even more fun, you’ll be happy to know that the rides are compatible with a virtual reality headset or a smartphone with a headset. You’ll have fun learning these 23 mindblowing facts about Disneyland.

The channel has over 62,000 subscribers to date and includes rides from Disney World’s Epcot and the Magic Kingdom, Disneyland, Disney’s California Adventure, Universal and more. Each video takes you through one ride from start to finish—no waiting in long lines or travel necessary! If you’re looking for more fun Disney-related activities you can do at home, try to see if you can spot all the hidden Mickeys in Disney World’s new ride.

What are some of the rides that you can take?

Thanks to Virtual Disney World, you can take rides from all of the four theme parks in Disney World, as well as Disneyland rides, and rides that no longer exist. For those who may wonder: Here’s the difference between Disneyland and Disney World.

These are the most popular attractions for viewers:

The Slinky Dog Dash from Disney’s Hollywood Studios features a two-minute roller coaster ride.

The Frozen Ever After from Disney’s Epcot theme park is a song-filled journey in a slow-moving boat ride through short waterfalls.

Expedition Everest—Legend of the Forbidden Mountain from Disney’s Animal Kingdom theme park is a race through the Himalayas on a speeding train.

Under the Sea Journey of the Little Mermaid, which is at Disney’s Magic Kingdom theme park, recreates scenes from the classic film.

Are there other virtual Disney offerings?

While the YouTube channel offering these rides is not officially affiliated with Disney, there are other virtual attractions that Disney is offering until the parks open again. If you’re looking to add some creativity into your day, you can watch a complete series of how-to tutorials on drawing Disney characters. Need some magic in your life? You can view Disney’s Magic Happens Parade online, and experience the magic without having to stake out the “perfect spot” to see the parade. You can also take a virtual, behind-the-scenes tour of Walt Disney’s Imagineering, which is a very rare treat. Or, you can join in this magical moment as the Dapper Dans, an iconic part of the Main Street, U.S.A. experience at Disneyland Resort, give a video-performance to bring some joy into people’s lives.

The post Here’s How to Take Over 20 of the Best Disney World Rides Virtually appeared first on Reader’s Digest.

WATCH: Disney safari cast member ‘works from home’ with stuffed animals (provided by USA TODAY)


  • a small boat in a body of water with a mountain in the background

    2021 cruise bookings are on the rise despite coronavirus chaos
    The cruise line industry has taken a major beating due to covid-19, still analysts say the number of bookings for 2021 cruises have increased since this time last year.

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    Veuer

  • a large ship in the water

    Coronavirus-hit cruise ships able to dock in Florida
    Two Holland America cruise ships with coronavirus patients aboard were finally allowed to dock at a port near Fort Lauderdale, resolving a days-long impasse that drew the attention of President Donald Trump. Jillian Kitchener has more.

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    Reuters – US Video Online

  • a group of people swimming in a body of water

    A 60-second virtual vacation in the Bahamas
    Find out why this stunning archipelago is a diver's paradise.

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    CNN


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Travel

The Armchair Traveller: How to explore the world from home

The Armchair Traveller: Seeing great cities through the eyes of a blind man and discovering the Amalfi coast with Pierce Brosnan – how to explore the world from home

  • BBC’s Peter White charts his travels in the podcast Blind Man Roams The Globe 
  • The movie Love Is All You Need is set in both Copenhagen and the Amalfi Coast 
  • A webcam live streams footage of Yellowstone National Park and Old Faithful  

Prepare to be swept around the world on a tide of pure joy in a series of glorious, half-hour podcasts from BBC reporter Peter White. 

Blind since birth, 73-year-old White’s travelogues have him walking the streets of great cities including San Francisco, Washington DC, Budapest and Marrakesh.

Along the way White chats to bus drivers, barmaids and barbers, bringing cities to life through casual conversations with their quirkiest residents. Join the laughter and share White’s infectious enthusiasm in Blind Man Roams The Globe on the BBC Sounds app and other podcast sites.

Fun in the sun: Pierce Brosnan, who stars in the offbeat romcom Love Is All You Need. The movie is set on the Amalfi coast 

Actor Sam Devereaux also takes us round the world as he plays flying doctor Ben MacFarlane and narrates the medical memoir Holiday SOS: Lifesaving Adventures Of A Travelling Doctor. The newly released audiobook follows the young doctor as he tries to save lives in holiday hotspots from Morocco to Monte Carlo and from Cairo to the Canary Islands.

A different medical drama awaits Pierce Brosnan in an otherwise very sunny film: Love Is All You Need. The offbeat romcom from 2016 starts in achingly cool Copenhagen but is mostly set in a picture-perfect Italian farmhouse near Sorrento on the Amalfi Coast.

The plot centres on a wedding (just as in Brosnan’s Mamma Mia! outing) so there’s plenty of dancing in ancient town squares, romantic walks through lemon groves and riotous family dinners under the stars.

Closer to home, our own beautiful National Trust properties may be closed for now, but you can get a flavour of them in the fabulously funny National Trust Book Of Scones, by Sarah Clelland.

In hardback or e-book, it promises ‘50 delicious recipes with odd crumbs of history’ as Clelland taste-tests afternoon teas in Trust cafes and reveals the best recipes.

Rudyard Kipling is mostly associated with his birthplace of India, but he travelled the world and spent time in America in 1889 on his way from Rangoon to London. He wrote that a highlight of the trip was seeing Old Faithful erupt in the newly created Yellowstone National Park.

A livestream webcam allows people to watch eruptions from the Old Faithful geyser in Yellowstone National Park from anywhere

These days, the Livestream Webcam at NPS.gov (search Yellowstone Webcam) lets us see Old Faithful’s eruptions from anywhere – there are normally about a dozen a day. Click on other webcams on the site and you may see elk, bison or other animals strolling by.

If you want to relive your travels at home, make some space for the poster-sized Scratch The World Map Print from notonthehighstreet.com. 

Every country on the map is covered in golden paint and you use a coin to scratch off the places you’ve visited. The £17.95 map is made in Britain and looks fantastic in a frame.

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Travel

Nasa holds contest to find the best picture of Earth taken from space

Which is YOUR favourite? Nasa is running an out-of-this-world knock-out photography competition – featuring amazing pictures of Earth taken from space

  • The contest, which has been set up by Nasa’s Earth Observatory, is called Tournament Earth 
  • A total of 32 pictures were chosen to be entered into the knock-out style photography competition
  • Photos date back to 1968 and show volcanic eruptions, fierce hurricanes and the dazzling Southern Lights 

The competition is fierce in this public-vote photography contest – because all the entries are out of this world.

Nasa’s Earth Observatory has opened up an archive of pictures of Earth taken from space and is asking the public to vote for the winner in a knock-out-style competition.

The contest is called Tournament Earth and has been set up to mark the 20th anniversary of the Earth Observatory, as well as the 50th anniversary of Earth Day.

An initial set of 32 incredible images were chosen for the contest and the first round of voting has already taken place. Voting in the second round is currently underway with the polls closing on April 6 (Monday).

The photos date back to 1968 and show volcanic eruptions, fierce hurricanes, the sparkling lights of Paris and the spell-binding Southern Lights. 

Scroll down to see a selection of the photos that Nasa put up for a public reckoning. 

A Nasa camera aboard the Deep Space Climate Observatory captured this unique view of the moon as it passed between the spacecraft and Earth in August 2015

This awe-inspiring image was captured by an astronaut onboard the International Space Station in December 2013. It shows the eruption of the Klyuchevskoy volcano – one of a chain of volcanoes on Russia’s Kamchatka Peninsula

This shot, captured in February 2012, shows the site of an underwater volcanic eruption near the fishing village of La Restinga on El Hierro in the Canary Islands. The scene was captured by the Advanced Land Imager (ALI) aboard the Earth Observing-1 (EO-1) satellite

Captured in January 2001, this satellite image shows sand and seaweed beds in the Bahamas, which have been sculpted by tides and currents

This satellite image taken in July 2013 shows a remarkable series of ridges that dominate the landscape in the Tien Shan mountains in northwestern Xinjiang province, China. The highest mountain is 3,900ft









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An astronaut on the International Space Station snapped this image showing flashes of lightning above Kuwait and Saudi Arabia in December 2013. Nasa says that across the atmosphere of Earth, lightning flashes about 50 times per second

The Operational Land Imager (OLI) on the on Landsat 8 satellite captured this mesmerising image of what appears to be a swirl of marine bacteria in the Baltic Sea in August 2015

A jaw-dropping image of planet Earth’s Western Hemisphere, which was created using a composite of several pictures captured by satellites between 1994 and 2004

In July 2012, an infra-red camera on the Suomi NPP satellite snapped this view of the Aurora Australis, or the Southern Lights, across Antarctica’s Queen Maud Land and the Princess Ragnhild Coast

This image dates back to September 1977 and shows the Earth from directly above Mount Everest. It was taken by the Voyager 1 space probe, which was launched from Cape Canaveral in Florida the same month

Astronauts aboard the International Space Station took this spectacular aerial image of Paris in April 2015, around midnight local time. Street lights mark out the road grid system and the River Seine can be seen snaking around the city

This incredible black-and-white photo taken by the crew of Apollo 8 shows a view of the Earth from the moon on Christmas Eve 1968

Taken by the Deep Space Climate Observatory in March 2016, this fascinating image was one of a series taken during a solar eclipse

This image, which was captured in 2016, has had all natural light removed from it so that Nasa scientists can chart the pattern of human settlement across the planet

Astronauts on the International Space Station shot this dramatic image of the Southern Lights while passing over the Indian Ocean in September 2011

A view above the Glen Canyon, which covers Utah and Arizona, in 2016. An astronaut onboard the International Space Station took a series of images of it to create this mosaic

This fascinating image shows the abrupt transition of sand dunes giving way to land in Africa’s Namib Desert. It was taken in November 2019 by the Operational Land Imager on the Landsat 8 satellite 

In September 2014, the Operational Land Imager on the Landsat 8 satellite captured this dramatic image of an eruption at the Holuhraun lava field in Iceland

This image, created in 2012 using sensors, shows vegetation growing across the arid Wadi As-Sirhan Basin in Saudi Arabia. The green dots indicate new vegetation while the dry fields are rust-coloured

This image, taken in June 2016, shows the New Siberian Islands, which are bisected by the Sannikov Strait in Siberia. The picture was captured by the Operational Land Imager on the Landsat 8 satellite and shows the seawater melting as summer approaches

Taken in July 2014, this false colour image, which was taken by the Operational Land Imager on a satellite, shows the retreat of the Columbia Glacier in Alaska

The North Caspian Sea is pictured in this image from April 2016. Scientists believe that the crisscrossing lines may have been created by trawlers

Taken in February, this satellite image shows the view across the melting ice cap of Eagle Island in Antarctica, when the region was experiencing record-breaking temperatures of 18 degrees 

Dissolved organic matter from the forest and wetlands can be seen flowing into Rupert Bay in Quebec, Canada, in this image taken by a satellite in July 2016

An astronaut on the International Space Station snapped this image of the Atafu Atoll in the South Pacific in January 2009

The so-called ‘Meeting of the Waters’ in Brazil can be seen in this aerial image captured by a satellite in June 2012. It shows the confluence of the Rio Negro and Rio Solimões

This satellite image from November 2019 shows the Andaman Sea near Burma and its internal waves, which are caused by tides, currents, gravity, and Earth’s rotation

This incredible image taken by Nasa’s Terra satellite shows Hurricane Florence 400 miles off the coast of North Carolina in September 2018. The hurricane brought with it winds of up to 125 miles per hour 

This image, captured on the morning of June 22, 2019, shows a rare eruption of the Raikoke Volcano on the Kuril Islands in the Pacific Ocean. The picture was taken by an astronaut on the International Space Station 

This model image, created using data from sensors, shows the tiny particles that were floating around the Earth’s atmosphere on August 23, 2018. Causes of these particles included tropical cyclones, dust storms, and fires

Taken by astronauts on the International Space Station, this image shows what tropical cyclone Bansi looked like from space in January 2015. The photo was taken when the ISS was east of Madagascar

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Transport

Great time to buy airline tickets

Now is a great time to purchase airline tickets for travel
in the second half of 2020. 

Domestic budget fares through September averaged just $139
roundtrip on March 31, said Hayley Berg, an economist for booking platform
Hopper. That’s a drop of 47% since the Covid-19 crisis caused prices to begin
plummeting in early March. Hopper defines budget fares as the lowest 10% of the
fare quotes it tracks.

“Our expectation is that prices will stay low for probably a
few months at least,” Berg said. “It will probably take until well after this
year for prices to recover to where they were, if they ever recover.”

The sharp economic decline — along with uncertainty about
how long social-distancing measures, stay-at-home orders and travel
restrictions will continue — looms over booking decisions even for the second
half of this year. But right now, airlines are offering an antidote to
uncertainty in the form of change-fee waivers. United and American, for
example, are waiving change fees for 12 months from the time of booking for all
flights purchased by April 30. Delta has the same offer in place for bookings
through April 15. Southwest never charges change fees. 

A March 20 Hopper analysis found that the destinations with
the best domestic deals for June through August were Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Daytona
Beach, Chicago and Flagstaff, Ariz. Budget tickets to Miami were down 45% from
a year earlier. 

For domestic travel in September, October and the first half
of November, flights to Chicago, Miami, Phoenix, Philadelphia, Denver and
Charlotte were down the most compared with a year earlier. Budget ticket prices
to Chicago were off the most at 29%. 

Outside the U.S., budget ticket prices for the summer are
down the most to Santiago and Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic; Barcelona;
Athens; and Paris.

For the fall, budget airfares are down the most by percentage
on flights to Medellin, Colombia; Lima, Peru; Bogota, Colombia; and Santo Domingo
and Santiago, D.R.

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Transport

Germany Prepares to Nationalize Condor Airlines

The German government is reportedly preparing to take over Frankfurt-based Condor Airlines, since a previous plan for Polish Aviation Group (PGL)—parent company of LOT Polish Airlines—to purchase the carrier appears likely to fall through.

Condor was formerly part of the Thomas Cook Group, prior to that company’s collapse in September 2019, and was rescued at that time by a €380 million (USD $415 million) state bridging loan.

In January 2020, LOT agreed to buy Condor for about €300 million (USD $328 million), combining the leading carriers to create a European aviation group capable of flying over 20 million passengers per year.

However, the unanticipated, unprecedented effects of the current COVID-19 pandemic on the global aviation industry may make the planned takeover impossible. Inside sources told Reuters that PGL has made the completion of this transaction contingent upon certain guarantees to which the German government will not agree.

With most fleets grounded, yoked by strict travel restrictions aimed at containing the coronavirus’ spread, and consumer fears fueling a steep decline in demand, airlines around the world are struggling to stay afloat unless they receive financial aid from their respective governments.

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) lately released a report, which estimates that airlines will lose $252 billion in overall revenue this year as a result of the global health crisis. IATA Director General and CEO Alexandre de Juniac posited that most air carriers will soon go bankrupt without swift government bailouts and has urged the provision of state-funded assistance to prevent the total collapse of the air travel industry.

Just last week, Condor reportedly applied for an extra €200 million (USD $220 million) in state aid in order to maintain operations. At present, no final determination has been reached regarding the imperiled carrier’s immediate future, although sources said that the government’s decision could come sometime this week.

Should Germany end up nationalizing Condor, sources said that its ownership of the airline would only last for a limited time and that Germany would want to restart the sales process as soon as the travel industry rebounds from the coronavirus crisis.

For more information, visit condor.com.

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Transport

Airlines Expected to Burn $61 Billion in Cash During Second Quarter 2020

A new report from the International Air Transport Association (IATA)—which represents some 290 airlines or 82 percent of the world’s total air traffic—forecasts that major airlines will burn through $61 billion of their cash reserves by the close of 2020’s second quarter.

IATA is urging global governments to slacken rules which require currently airlines to provide cash refunds to customers for canceled trips, which look to total $35 billion during this period.

The results of an impact assessment, based on a scenario in which severe today’s COVID-19-related travel restrictions lasted for three months, show the airlines’ overall revenue plummeting by 68 percent during the anticipated height of the coronavirus pandemic.

IATA is predicting the global aviation industry to post net losses of up to $39 billion in the second quarter and as much as $252 billion in overall revenue this year.

While the COVID-19 crisis continues to make travel almost impossible, airlines are making cuts where they can—canceling routes, grounding fleets and laying off employees. But, as IATA’s Director General and CEO, Alexandre de Juniac, said during a March 31 media briefing, “When 70 percent of your business vanishes overnight, there is no amount of cost-cutting that can adequately fill the gap.”

The IATA estimated that airlines typically had cash balances at the start of this year sufficient to support two months’ worth of operations. Based upon information from the CAPA Centre for Aviation, Bloomberg reported that most carriers will be bankrupted by May if they can’t secure support.

Several world governments have stepped up so far, providing financial aid or relief measures in answer to the airline industry’s pleas, including Australia, China, Colombia, New Zealand, Norway, Singapore and the U.S.

#Airlines are facing rapid cash burn despite severe capacity cuts – latest IATA estimates shows to what extent, in Q2 alone. #COVID19

See more: https://t.co/zXL4CtaOKf pic.twitter.com/6bttcnhdWx

While consumers are expressing frustration with airlines’ reluctance to issue cash refunds for tickets, de Juniac argued that aviation needs to retain this capital in order to survive the current volatility. He’s in favor of governments allowing airlines to issue vouchers in lieu of refunds, as Canada, Colombia and the Netherlands have recently done.

This would serve as a vital buffer, said de Juniac, “so that the sector can continue to function. In turn, that will help preserve the sector’s ability to deliver the cargo shipments that are vital today and the long-term connectivity that travelers and economies will depend on in the recovery phase.”

For more information, visit iata.org.

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Cruises

Ensemble to Reduce Workforce During COVID-19 Crisis

Ensemble Travel Group said it will reduce its workforce temporarily by approximately 50 percent in the U.S. and Canada, as a result of “the complete disruption to the travel industry due to the COVID-19 pandemic.”

“This is perhaps one of the most difficult decisions a CEO has to make,” said David Harris, CEO of Ensemble Travel Group.

“While Ensemble is a solid company, there is just no way to minimize the devastating impact that COVID-19 has had on our industry in such a short period of time. Our employees are an integral part of our business, but the reality of the moment is that life as we knew it is on pause, with travel being one of the hardest-hit economic sectors. Our hope and intention are that this is a temporary situation while the world stays home to flatten the curve and that as life returns to normal in the next few months, our company will be able to quickly resume regular operations.”

“We know this is an incredibly stressful time for everyone,” Harris added. “Of course, we hope that everyone heeds the advice of the professionals and stays safe and healthy. At the same time, I know we all look towards brighter days for our industry and our company and hope that these difficult but necessary measures will help position us to recover as quickly and efficiently as possible.”

Ensemble Travel Group is a member-owned organization of about 850 independent travel agencies in the U.S. and Canada; it expanded into Australia and New Zealand in 2014. The organization’s U.S. office is in New York City; Canadian offices are in Toronto and Montréal; the Australia/New Zealand office is in Sydney.

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Holiday

Something to look forward to? Iceland in the Summertime – A Luxury Travel Blog

With much of the world in lockdown right now, there is still no reason why we can’t use the time spent indoors to look forward to happier times. And there is little doubt that there will be a lot of pent-up desire to travel just waiting to be fulfilled once this unfortunate situation passes. So where will you be heading when it is safe to do so? And have you ever thought about visiting Iceland in the Summer?

Maybe you have heard that Iceland is a must-see location – a land full of lagoons, waterfalls, mountains and lakes. If so, what you have heard is absolutely right! Iceland is truly a dream location to visit in the Summer; it’s a time when the country presents the visitor with adventurous opportunities and long days.

So what kinds of adventures can you actually enjoy in Iceland? Read on to learn just some of the undeniable reasons for visiting this beautiful country and soon you’ll hopefully be convinced to choose Iceland as your next holiday destination.

24-hour daylight

One of the many amazing things to experience on your visit to Iceland is almost 24-hours of daylight. No, this isn’t a joke. It will not get dark at night from May 21 until July 30, as the sun barely sets in summer. Pretty exciting, right? But that doesn’t mean that summers in Iceland are too hot. Typical temperatures in Iceland in the Summertime are 10–15°C (50-60°F), so you can actually enjoy every minute of your stay without having to worry about it being too hot. Additionally, the midnight sun phenomenon allows you to maximize your outdoor activities and have fun without the usual “daytime” restrictions.

Natural environment

Do you love nature? With Iceland’s incredible natural environment, we’re confident that the more mundane tourist attractions that you might be used to, will not compare. In many parts of the world, the excessive influx of tourists and their interaction with the environment, actually leads to its deterioration, but this could not be further from the case in Iceland. Instead, in Iceland you will discover the true color of nature that will leave you tempted to visit each and every Summer. Start packing and get ready to delve into the wonders of Icelandic nature. Let the cool breeze brush by your face and breathe in the fresh air. Feel the sparkling fresh water and marvel at the magnificent sky. This is a place which takes you far away from the hustle and bustle of city life, and lets you breathe in peace and enjoy being outdoors.

Relax in luxury

When visiting Iceland, you don’t have to forego luxury at the expense of amazing adventures and activities. You can enjoy the best of both worlds and definitely the best that Iceland has to offer. Since the opening of the first luxurious five-star hotel at the Blue Lagoon, Iceland has really made a name for itself in luxury travel. The best way to experience this remarkable country is in pure luxury. With first class accommodation and a choice of activities at your fingertips.

One of the best ways to relax in luxury is to soak in Iceland’s famous geothermal pools and natural hot springs. These heated pools are so therapeutic: all you need to do is just dip, relax and look at the sky. It makes you forget all your worries and refreshes your body and mind.

Adventure in style

Get set for adventures through a unique landscape and indulge your inner explorer. When it comes to adventures and activities the options are endless! Whether you head up the infamous Eyjafjallajökull Glacier that erupted in 2010 for a snowmobiling adventure or go horseback riding on the Icelandic Horse that is known for its five gaits and ability to cross rough terrain you will leave with unforgettable memories.

In the Summer you can really see the wildlife come to life, as Iceland gets many different bird species that migrate during that season. You will see many whales around the coast lines and you are likely to spot a puffin. The Atlantic puffin is somewhat considered the Icelandic mascot since we get estimated 8 to 10 million puffins here every Summer.

A variety of beautiful landscapes

On your trip to Iceland, you can expect a variety of terrain, from mountains and green valleys to lakes and lagoons, to waterfalls and ice. Whether you wish to delve into nature or seek more thrilling adventures, make sure you also leave time to truly discover the many incredible places that you will visit so you can learn about our culture, literature and history.

The days are long enough; there are many unique adventures, places to relax and activities to choose from, so you may want to take advantage of visiting places you may not otherwise have considered or want to plan a holiday to look forward to later on this year or in 2021.

Sigurður Sindri Magnússon is Owner of Deluxe Iceland. Deluxe Iceland is an authorised luxury travel agency and tour operator based in Iceland.

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Transport

Boeing Wants to Restart 737 MAX Production By May

Boeing Co. is planning to restart production of its troubled 737 MAX aircraft by May, according to a new report from Reuters News Service.

That doesn’t necessarily mean it will be back in the air. The 737 MAX still must go through a recertification process with the Federal Aviation Administration after having the plane grounded since March of 2019, following two separate crashes that killed 346 passengers and crew.

But Boeing is hoping to jump-start the process and, according to Reuters, has asked some suppliers to be ready to ship 737 parts in April, although its timetable will be dictated by the spread of the coronavirus.

“It’ll be a very slow, methodical, systematic approach to warming the line-up, and getting crews back in place,” Boeing Chief Financial Officer Greg Smith told Reuters on Tuesday when asked about the May restart goal. “Priority No. 1 is getting customers’ fleets back up. We don’t want to add to inventory.”

Boeing ceased production of the jet in January as it struggled to win regulatory approvals and accrued a backlog of 400 undelivered jets.

Boeing is also seeking $60 billion in U.S. government aid to prop up its finances and the embattled American aerospace supply chain.

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Travel

The best UK farms to stay at during the joyous lambing season

Family breaks that come woolly loaded: The best farms to stay on during the joyous lambing season

  • Here is how to enjoy one of the most joyous parts of the farming year
  • Visit places such as Mudchute Park in London to see newborn lambs in the fields
  • Stay Lambing Live, in Cumbria, is a popular place to stay in lambing season 

Every week our Holiday Hero Neil Simpson takes an in-depth look at a brilliant holiday topic, doing all the legwork so you don’t have to. This week, he looks at visits to family-friendly farms.

Spring is finally in the air and this year’s main lambing season is set to coincide with the school Easter holidays. Soon, flocks of photogenic gambolling lambs will be seen across the country. Here is how to enjoy one of the most joyous parts of the farming year.

Lambtastic cottages

Adorable: Children and lambs enjoy feeding time (stock image)

Farm stays can be magical in lambing season and are often booked a year in advance. You can stay in a cottage, converted barn or farmhouse – and hardier souls may consider a springtime stay in a yurt or on a glamping site as well.

The most popular places to book include the Cumbrian cottage that hosted presenters Kate Humble and Adam Henson for the BBC’s Lambing Live in 2011 – a three-bed property called Stay Lambing Live. Four-night midweek breaks start at £845 in lambing season.

In Cornwall, the lambing shed opens its doors to guests staying at The Olde House cottages on the 550-acre Penpont Farm.

Other well-recommended farm stays include Hare Farm in Sussex, Millmoor Farm in Cheshire and Hicks Farm in Powys. The BBC’s Countryfile magazine has a guide to the best farm stays in the different seasons.

Cuddles and feeds

Day trips to National Trust sites, where most gardens are still open, are another way to see lambs up close. Last spring the 13,000-acre country estate at Wallington in Northumberland even offered Lambing Shed Live events, where visitors took a tractor ride before helping cuddle and feed the babies. 

The estate also offered Lambing Apprentice days, with a full shift volunteering in the lambing shed to get a feel for life as a farmer. Down in Devon, there are plenty of lambs gambolling around the Trust’s elegant Arlington Court estate on the edge of Exmoor, and free talks by farmers planned for April evenings will hopefully be rescheduled for later in the year. Details will be on the National Trust website.

Country in the city

Visit places such as Mudchute Park, above, in London to see newborn lambs in the fields 

City farms can share the magic for those who can’t manage to get out to the countryside. The newly reopened Gorgie Farm in Edinburgh is one of many urban farm projects to offer a little taste of the country. London has nearly a dozen city farms, including Mudchute Park, across the River Thames from the gleaming skyscrapers of Canary Wharf.

Owners say a lack of funds for promotion and advertising means many locals have no idea what’s on their doorstep. Visit places such as Mudchute and you can have the extraordinary experience of seeing newborn lambs in the fields, even as you walk down neighbouring city streets. You can buy locally produced wool and fleece from the flock on the farm’s online shop. 

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