Unpopular new tax in Germany

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BA’s new Caribbean jet serve

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has said it disapproves of Germany’s new departure tax, as recently announced by the country’s government, which the government introduced because of environmental concerns.
Already branded a “black day” for aviation by Lufthansa chief executive Wolfgang Mayrhuber, the IATA has called the decision “short-sighted” and “irresponsible”.
IATA director general Giovanni Bisignani highlighted three major concerns with the German proposal, saying: “It is the wrong measure at the wrong time; and it ignores the lessons learned from the failure of a similar tax in the Netherlands.”
German chancellor Angela Merkel has confirmed the new departure tax would contribute €1 billion this year to proposed budget savings of €80 billion in the period to 2014.
The tax is expected to be repealed in 2012, when airlines will be forced to buy permits to offset their carbon emissions.

Cruising for a boozing

For holiday-makers who love food and wine, Celebrity Cruises is launching a brand new line of special interest cruises bringing top celebrity chefs on board for meet and greet sessions as well as cooking demonstrations, cook-offs and fine dining experiences.
Celebrity Cruises new “Savor Your Destination” themed cruises kicked off last month when Celebrity Cruises newest ship, Celebrity Eclipse, set sail with Australian chef Benjamin Christie onboard.
On every Celebrity Cruises sailing (with the exception of Celebrity Xpedition, the 90-guest mega-yacht that sails year-round in the Galapagos Islands), the Celebrity Life Savor series includes a “Star Chefs” competition in the ship’s theatre.
During the event, guests are selected from the audience and then guided by the ship’s own highest-ranking chefs to compete in a cook-off judged by a panel of selected guests. Guest chefs participating in Celebrity’s Savor Your Destination chef-focused cruises will take part in the Star Chefs competition. Most of the events are complimentary; the hands-on cooking class and food-and-wine-pairing dinner will require reservation fees, and space is limited. Guests who attend the class or dinner will receive a special recipe booklet featuring the chef’s own creations.
Each guest chef will design and present an exclusive food-and-wine-pairing dinner in Murano, Celebrity Cruises spectacular gourmet specialty restaurant, sharing insights into the inspiration behind the ingredients, the menu, and the specific pairings.