In brief: An oil spill in New Zealand’s Bay of Plenty
US tour company offers chance to sail through rubbish, oil spills onto shore of Bay of Plenty, Air Canada flight attendants plan strike, and more. Here are the stories travellers are buzzing about:
Oil reaches shore of popular New Zealand destination
Five days after a ship ran aground on a reef in the Bay of Plenty, fist-sized balls of oil have begun washing up on the shore of one of the tourist destination's main beaches, BBC News reports. A public health warning has been issued and warning signs about the toxic water are being put on Tauranga city's beaches. About 10 tonnes of oil have been pumped into safe storage thus far, which leaves 1,690 tonnes left on board the stranded ship, the Guardian reports.
Qantas averts strike, Air Canada might have less luck
Air Canada passengers could be facing delays this week as the airline’s flight attendants prepare for a strike, the Wall Street Journal reports. The airline will start operating a partial schedule if the two sides cannot come to terms by Thursday, but it will allow passengers who have travel booked for this week to change dates without penalty. Meanwhile, Qantas engineers called off a planned four-hour strike Monday, at least temporarily. Qantas had cancelled 40 flights and was expecting to delay up to 27 because of the strike, but the union workers decided to seek legal advice while they reassess the situation, the Sydney Morning Herald reports.
Adventures get chance to sail through Japan tsunami debris field
A US tour company is offering travellers the opportunity to set sail aboard a yacht to see floating accumulations of rubbish and debris, the Telegraph reports. Targeted to "eco-adventurers" — the tour will start in Hawaii and head towards through tsunami-generated piles of debris floating off the coast of Japan. The floating islands — the largest of which covers an expanse of more than 2.2 million square feet — have been heading east across the Pacific since the tsunami in March. Two nonprofits focused on raising awareness about sea pollution are starting the tour, but some people seem to have doubts as to the sincerity of this new effort.
“We have to understand that the demand for biofuels will have an impact on resources such as fresh water — that the shift to biofuels may be stretching the planet’s capacity elsewhere."
- Eric Bohm, chief executive of the World Wildlife Fund, the conservation organisation, in Hong Kong.
With perpetually increasing air passengers and demand for airlines to lower their carbon emissions, airlines have begun to seriously consider biofuel as an alternative to traditional fuels, the New York Times reports. At least six airlines have already flown commercial flights partially powered by biofuel, but critics haven't been impressed with the effort, saying biofuel could be more detrimental to the environment than fossil fuels.