LCC Breeze Adds United’s Doxey as President

Low-cost carrier Breeze Airways has appointed United Airlines’ Tom Doxey to the new role of president, the carrier announced Thursday. He will report to Breeze founder and CEO David Neeleman, starting June 8.

Doxey most recently served as SVP of technical operations at United, where he oversaw global technical operation functions and a team of more than 13,000 employees, according to Breeze. He previously was CFO of United’s operations, and also oversaw fleet planning and transactions. Prior to joining United in 2016, Doxey was VP of fleet and corporate finance at Allegiant.

Breeze also announced Natalie Atwood will join the carrier on May 2 as EVP of people. She will report to Doxey when he begins his role. Atwood most recently was EVP of people at HealthEquity, and previously worked for American Express, according to the company. John Varley, who has been both chief people officer and general counsel, will continue as general counsel.

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President Biden to travel to Minneapolis on Sunday

President Joe Biden is expected to travel to Minneapolis on Sunday, May 1, according to an announcement from The White House. 

The White House provided no further details Monday afternoon, but a memorial service honoring former Vice President Walter Mondale is planned at the University of Minnesota on the day of Biden’s scheduled visit. 

Biden last visited Minnesota in November, when he spoke about his infrastructure package at Dakota County Technical College. 

The White House says more details of the president’s visit will follow.

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Emirates president Tim Clark assesses the industry

Cathay Pacific and the future of long-haul travel: Emirates president Tim Clark assesses the industry

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KLM appoints Rintel to be new president and CEO

Marjan Rintel
Marjan Rintel

The board of Air France-KLM has unanimously approved the nomination of Marjan Rintel as the new president and CEO of Dutch airline KLM. 

She is expected to assume the new role at KLM on July 1 after current president and CEO Pieter Elbers steps down.

Rintel is currently president and CEO of Dutch Railways, where she has worked since November 2014. 

Previously she worked for KLM for 15 years in various positions including operations, sales and marketing, according to the carrier.

Cees ‘t Hart, chairman of the airline group’s supervisory board, said: “With her broad managerial, commercial and operational experience, we are bringing in someone who is close to the staff and who, together with her team, will continue to shape the future of KLM as a customer-focused, sustainable and financially healthy company. 

“We are convinced that her knowledge of the sector, her network and her experience in the political arena will contribute to this.”

Although approved by the board, shareholders will still need to vote on Rintel’s nomination.

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Ukrainian president agrees to talks as Putin puts his nuclear forces on alert

President Vladimir Putin on Sunday ordered Russia’s nuclear deterrent forces to be on high alert, ratcheting up tensions as Ukraine agreed to talks with Russian officials and the European Union moved to close its airspace to all Russian flights.

In a statement, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said he spoke with Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko and agreed to meet with the Russians on the border of the neighboring country “without preconditions.” Zelenskyy had said earlier that his government would not attend negotiations in Belarus, a close ally of Moscow’s where thousands of Russian troops massed in the lead-up to the invasion last week.

Zelenskyy’s office said Lukashenko, a Putin ally, “has taken responsibility for ensuring that all planes, helicopters and missiles stationed on Belarusian territory will remain on the ground during the Ukrainian delegation’s travel, talks and return.”

Latest updates on Ukraine:

  • The European Union announced it is closing its airspace to all Russian aircraft.
  • Putin puts his military’s nuclear deterrent forces on high alert after what he calls “aggressive statements” from the West.
  • Ukraine agrees to negotiations with Russia on the border with neighboring Belarus.
  • Kyiv remains in Ukrainian hands after fierce fighting; Ukraine says it took back control of Kharkiv, the country’s second-largest city.
  • Russian forces block southern Ukrainian cities, with apparent aim of seizing the coastline.
  • At least 368,000 Ukrainians are fleeing westward, becoming refugees near the border and in neighboring countries.

The Ukrainian president said in a later statement that he doubted the meeting, which was to take place near the Pripyat River, would produce results, but he went ahead with it “so that no citizen of Ukraine would have any doubt that I, as president, did not try to stop the war when there was a small chance.” He added that he would remain in Kyiv while the talks proceeded.

Russia, like NATO and the United States, has thousands of nuclear warheads in its arsenal. By putting nuclear deterrence forces on higher alert, Putin for the first time explicitly raised the global stakes of the conflict to a far deadlier level.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki said in an interview on MSNBC that Putin’s move was “exactly the kind of manufactured threats” that the Russian president has been using since the invasion started “to justify further aggressive action.”

Speaking on CBS’s “Face the Nation,” the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, said Putin “is continuing to escalate this war in a manner that is totally unacceptable.” The U.N. Security Council planned to vote Sunday to call for a rare emergency special session of the General Assembly to address the Russian invasion.

EU, U.S. sanctions

As the fighting continued into its fourth day, the president of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, announced that the European Union was closing its airspace to all Russian planes — something that some European countries previously had done individually. Von der Leyen also said the EU was banning Russian state media and sanctioning Belarus for its involvement in the invasion.

European leaders are in step with the U.S. in efforts to target assets of Russian oligarchs and sanctioned companies, a senior White House official said, adding that the Biden administration is launching a transatlantic task force to identify any “ill-gotten gains” from elites close to Putin and the Russian government. This is in addition to severe sanctions placed on Putin’s personal assets and the limitations on Russian banks.

The U.S. and EU’s actions came after Washington and allies escalated sanctions on Russia over the weekend, including blocking certain Russian banks from accessing SWIFT, a service that facilitates global transactions among thousands of financial institutions.

Von der Leyen also said the EU would deliver military equipment to Ukraine in what she called “a watershed moment,” a move that followed a decision by Germany and other countries to provide the country with weapons and supplies.

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba put out a fresh call Sunday for more weapons, including “more air-to-air and ground-to-air missiles to counter invaders. We need more drones, more vehicles, aircraft artillery, guns, machine guns, ammunition.”

Fierce fighting

Earlier Sunday, Ukraine said it had taken back control of its second-largest city, Kharkiv, after fighting pitched street battles with the Russian forces, and Kyiv residents awoke to find that the capital was still in Ukrainian hands.

“Anyone who wants to join the defense of Ukraine, Europe and the world can come and fight side by side with the Ukrainians,” Zelenskyy’s office said in a statement. “There is no greater contribution which you can make for the sake of peace.”

His foreign minister, Dmytro Kuleba, echoed the call, inviting foreigners to contact Ukraine’s foreign diplomatic missions in their respective countries. 

Russian vehicles broke into Kharkiv, a city of 1.4 million people some 12 miles to the south of the border with Russia, and engaged in intense street fights with the Ukrainian forces. The head of the Kharkiv regional administration, Oleh Sinegubov, later said that Ukrainians had regained control of the city. “Control over Kharkiv is completely ours!” Sinegubov said in a message on the Telegram messaging app.

A senior U.S. defense official said Sunday that the U.S. continues to see Russian momentum slowed by the stiff Ukrainian resistance and logistical challenges, including fuel shortages. While the Russian military has committed about two-thirds of the forces that were amassed around Ukraine into the country, it has not been able to take control of any cities, the official said.

The resistance, the official said, is “heroic, it’s inspiring,” but Russia still has an operational advantage, with “an awful lot of combat power” arrayed in and outside of Ukraine.

Speaking in a video message posted on his Instagram account Sunday, Zelenskyy called the night “brutal” around the country. Russian forces were targeting residential buildings, kindergartens and even ambulances, he said. Russia has denied it has been targeting civilians.

Kyiv will remain under strict curfew until 8 a.m. local time on Monday, complicating the task of assessing the intensity of the fighting, as residents were told to avoid venturing out onto the streets and seek shelter.

The city’s mayor, Vitali Klitschko, said there were clashes with Russian “sabotage groups” overnight, but they had been “destroyed” and there were no Russian troops in the capital. He later said the city of nearly 3 million people was “encircled” by Russian forces and residents could no longer be evacuated.

Russian munitions struck a radioactive waste site in the city overnight, but the extent of the damage wasn’t known because of ongoing shelling and missile fire, the State Inspectorate for Nuclear Regulation of Ukraine said in a statement.

NBC News teams in the country witnessed Ukrainians rallying to repel the invaders. Chief foreign correspondent Richard Engel has seen people in every town and village he has passed filling sandbags, manning checkpoints and standing armed at crossroads.

Russian forces on Sunday blocked the southern Ukrainian cities of Kherson, a port and gateway into the Black Sea, and the port of Berdyansk on the Sea of Azov, Russian state-run Interfax news agency quoted Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov as saying. The pressure on strategic cities in the south of Ukraine, including ports, appeared aimed at seizing control of Ukraine’s coastline.

But while the Russian offensive appeared to have been stymied by stiffer-than-expected resistance from highly motivated Ukrainian armed forces, thousands of Ukrainians have fled to the country’s Western borders to escape the fighting.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees said Sunday the number of Ukrainian refugees fleeing the country has reached 368,000 and continues to rise.

Meanwhile, Ukrainian government human rights ombudsman Lyudmyla Denysova said Sunday that more than 210 Ukrainian civilians have been killed and more than 1,100 wounded. Moscow has not released casualty numbers for Russian forces.

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Extended Stay America Appoints Juceam as President and CEO

Mid-priced extended stay hotel brand Extended
Stay America
and its affiliated entities have appointed Greg Juceam as president and CEO, effective
immediately. He succeeds previous president and CEO Bruce Haase, who has
stepped down to pursue other opportunities.

The ESA brand, which includes Extended Stay
America Suites and Extended Stay America Premier Suites, comprises more than
650 hotels in the U.S. ESA went private on June 16, 2021, when it was acquired
by Blackstone Real Estate Partners and Starwood Capital Group for about $6

Prior to joining ESA four months ago as chief commercial
officer, Mr. Juceam was president and COO for G6 Hospitality LLC, which owns, operates,
or franchises 1,400 economy lodging locations under the Motel 6 and Studio 6
brands. He was also CEO of BRE Hotels and Resorts, a hospitality real estate
platform that represented more than 250 hotels in the upscale and luxury hotel segments.

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President Biden Traveling to Northeast Ohio Next Week | Ohio News

CLEVELAND (AP) — President Joe Biden will visit Ohio next week to discuss the $1 trillion infrastructure law he signed last November.

The White House announced Saturday that Biden plans to make stops in Cleveland and Lorain on Thursday, but further details on the trip were not disclosed.

The infrastructure package will provide $10 billion in highway funding for Ohio, plus more than $33 billion in competitive grant funding for highway and multi-modal projects. It also provides $60 billion for state and local governments to fund major projects, as well as $1 billion for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative.

This will be Biden’s second trip to northeast Ohio in less than a year. He was in Cleveland last May, when he toured Cuyahoga Community College’s Manufacturing Technology Center.

Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Biden to Visit Pittsburgh as President Plans More Travel | Pennsylvania News

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — President Joe Biden will make his second visit of 2022 to Pennsylvania to visit Pittsburgh on Friday, the White House said, as the Democrat confronts a persistent COVID-19 pandemic, rising inflation and congressional gridlock stalling some of his top priorities.

The White House said Biden will discuss “strengthening the nation’s supply chains, revitalizing American manufacturing, creating good-paying, union jobs, and building a better America.”

Biden is expected to tout last year’s bipartisan infrastructure law he signed, as Democrats from around the state play up its benefits, including $1.6 billion to improve bridges across Pennsylvania and $858 million to help rebuild the Montgomery Lock and Dam on the Ohio River south of Pittsburgh.

Last week, Biden and first lady Jill Biden packed food boxes at a Philadelphia food bank as part of a day of service for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.

The fast-spreading Omicron variant of the coronavirus, inflation and other challenges have pummeled Biden’s approval rating and threaten a midterm rout for his party.

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The presidential battleground state of Pennsylvania is of great political importance in 2022, with the governor’s office and a U.S. Senate seat both on the ballot.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters last week that Biden wants to spend more time traveling the country to speak directly to Americans and less time in Washington behind closed doors negotiating legislation with Congress.

This story has been corrected to show that Biden is making his second visit to Pennsylvania this year, not his first.

Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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President Biden to travel to Pittsburgh this week – WPXI

PITTSBURGH — President Joe Biden will be coming to Pittsburgh this Friday.

Here’s what the White House said about his visit:

“On Friday, January 28, the President will travel to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to discuss strengthening the nation’s supply chains, revitalizing American manufacturing, creating good-paying, union jobs, and building a better America, including through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.”

It’s not clear yet where Biden will be visiting or when on Friday he’ll arrive.

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