World Business Quick Take


Sat, Apr 14, 2007 - Page 10


Japan warns Skymark

Japan's transport ministry yesterday issued a warning to the Japanese budget air carrier Skymark Airlines, which admitted it operated three planes without routine maintenance inspections. The airline said it failed to inspect the wing flaps or check air filters for equipment used to cool beverages on board the planes. The company said the items were in good shape and passed later inspections, but expressed regret for its failure to meet the inspection deadlines. The transport ministry issued a written warning to the company, which said it would submit measures to prevent the same mistakes from recurring.


Yahoo, publishers team up

With newspaper publishers scrambling to assemble lucrative online advertising alliances, McClatchy Co has abandoned its nascent partnership with Tribune Co and Gannett Co to defect to another team of publishers negotiating a wide-ranging deal with Internet powerhouse Yahoo Inc, a published report said. An agreement between Yahoo and the consortium -- which already includes 12 publishers led by Hearst Corp and MediaNews Group Inc that represent more than 250 newspapers -- could be announced as early as next week, the Wall Street Journal reported on its Web site on Thursday night, citing unnamed people familiar with the discussions.


Nissan, NEC in joint venture

Nissan is tying up with electronics maker NEC in producing batteries for ecological vehicles, the companies said yesterday, signaling efforts by the Japanese automaker to catch up with rivals that have a head start in green technology. Nissan Motor Co, Japan's No. 3 automaker, and NEC Corp are investing ?490 million (US$4.1 million) to set up a joint venture, by the end of this month, to produce lithium-ion batteries for environmental vehicles including electric cars and hybrids by 2009, they said in a statement. Nissan plans to introduce its hybrid vehicle by 2010, executive vice president Carlos Tavares said.


GM mulls US Opel launch

General Motors (GM) is considering marketing other models made by its German arm Opel in the US, on top of the flagship Astra which is scheduled to be launched in North America at the end of the year, a source close to the company said yesterday. GM, the world's No. 1 car maker, "is considering exporting small fuel-efficient models to the US" under the Saturn brand, the source said. Opel's small Corsa and Vectra models were being looked at in particular for possible US launch, the source said, confirming corresponding press reports.


US, China discuss pact

The US is discussing a deal with China to liberalize air travel and hopes for a framework "open skies" agreement by next month, US Transportation Secretary Mary Peters said yesterday. Washington hopes to produce a formal agreement by the end of this year, said Peters, who was in Beijing to discuss the possible agreement with Chinese officials. Despite strong demand, there are an average of only 11 daily nonstop flights between China and the US, Peters said. By comparison, she said, there are 55 daily flights between the US and Germany.