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After a challenging year for some of the founding members of the Oneworld alliance, 2012 will surely be brighter. In 2011, the alliance saw American Airlines file for bankruptcy and Qantas' chief grounding the entire network to challenge labor disputes, plus Iberia closing out the year with rounds of employee strikes.
There were some shining stars, however, with the finalization of International Airline Group (the conglomerate that combines British Airways and Iberia), Cathay Pacific offering overhauled cabins and in-flight amenities, and Japan Airlines emerging from bankruptcy stronger and more stable.
As we get going with 2012, we can't help but notice the huge changes happening amongst these airline buddies. Oneworld is the world's smallest of the major airline alliances, yet consistently hits the high marks in passenger ratings. With the addition of 3 new carriers, Oneworld will gain a fighting chance to excel in years to come. Here's what's happening meanwhile:
There probably isn't much dancing in the streets of Mumbai over the city's stalled public-private WiFi project. The resultant cloud of connectivity wouldn't have been free to local residents, but it would have cost just Rs 50 ($1) to get hooked up -- a bargain compared to the cost of installing an Internet connection in a business or private residence.
Sadly, the dream of cheap Internet access exploded with the terrorist attacks last November, and now police are actively working to shut down open WiFi networks in case people who bear the city ill will try to use them. At least at Mumbai's Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport, you can buy access through Tata Indicom at the price of Rs 57 ($1.11) for 50 minutes -- slightly cheaper than it would have cost on the city network that now will never be.
Found a signal so clear it makes you say "Jai Ho"? Let us know.
· BMC's Rs 50 plan to make Mumbai WiFi-enabled [Times of India]
· After Mumbai, Will India Ban Google Earth? [Jaunted]
· Police in India sweep for unsecured Wi-Fi networks [Network World]
· Airport WiFi Map [Jaunted]