ARCADIA, Calif. (Feb. 6, 2016)–With a modest Pick Six carryover from Friday of $40,671 stoking the pari-mutuel fires, $579,499 in “new money” was wagered Saturday at Santa Anita, creating a total Pick Six pool of $620,170.No doubt helped by four graded stakes that fell within the popular two dollar wager, many betters took the approach that with Songbird heavily favored (1-9 at post time) in the Grade II Las Virgenes Stakes and Mor Spirit heavily favored (3-5 at post time) in the Grade III Robert B. Lewis Stakes, the wager was reduced, for all intents and purposes, to a Pick Four, which encouraged the monetary deluge.With both Songbird and Mor Spirit winning their respective races, there were 200 winning Pick Six tickets, each worth $1,753.20. There were 3,457 “fives,” each worth $38.20.Special early first post time for an eight-race card on Big Game Sunday at Santa Anita is at 11 a.m. Admission gates will open at 9 a.m.
TIM SHERWOOD is fed up with mega-rich Premier League footballers “getting their arses wiped” for them – but says his old Tottenham prodigy Harry Kane is very much the exception to the rule.The former Spurs boss worked with the England captain and model pro during his short spell in charge at N17, as the striker rose through the ranks to become a first-team regular and one of the world’s greatest strikers.2 Tim Sherwood salutes a young Harry Kane when in charge of SpursCredit: Rex FeaturesIn an interview with his former Blackburn team-mate Chris Sutton in today’s Mail, Sherwood replied to the striker’s questioning of the way young players get handed everything on a plate in modern football.Sherwood said: “They get their a***s wiped for them. The opposite of this for me is Harry Kane.”He would play the same way for £1 a week. He would never waste one day on the training field.”I would take attitude over ability all day. If you can marry the two up, then you’ve got a serious footballer. I hate it when I hear pundits talking about ‘natural talent’. There’s no such thing.”Sherwood gave Kane his Tottenham debut after taking over as caretaker boss in December 2013 when Andre Villa Boas was fired.And Sherwood reckons Kane will take his time to decide whether to quit Spurs after indicating earlier this year he could move on despite Jose Mourinho’s appointment.The ex-Aston Villa chief said: “It’s like Alan Shearer. He finishes fourth with Blackburn (in 1992-93), then second (in 1993-94).Harry needs to assess this himself. I would wait to see what they do in the summer.”Manchester United are all over him. But he decides to stay, because he believes we have the quality to win it, and we did the next season.”Harry needs to assess this himself. I would wait to see what they do in the summer.”They’ve got a manager who has not gone there to only finish inside the top four.2″Harry will know very soon if the club are willing to spend that money to give themselves that opportunity of winning the league.”Kane had scored goals in loan spells at Leicester, Norwich and Leyton Orient.But his career really took off after Sherwood gave him his chance.He grabbed four goals in 19 appearances during that second half of the 2013/14 season.Kane is now closing in on 200 goals for Spurs in all competitions and has been linked with a move to Manchester United.Latest Spurs newsHARRY ALL FOUR ITKane admits Spurs must win EIGHT games to rise into Champions League spotGossipALL GONE PETE TONGVertonghen wanted by host of Italian clubs as long Spurs spell nears endBELOW PARRSpurs suffer blow with Parrott to miss Prem restart after appendix operationPicturedSHIRT STORMNew Spurs 2020/21 home top leaked but angry fans slam silver design as ‘awful”STEP BY STEP’Jose fears for players’ welfare during restart as stars begin ‘pre-season’KAN’T HAVE THATVictor Osimhen keen on Spurs move but only if they sell Kane this summerDespite a bright start at White Hart Lane, Sherwood admits he quickly realised he was not going to get the opportunity that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was given at Manchester United.The club had already set their sights on Mauricio Pochettino, who would spend five years at the club, taking them to the Champions League final last season.Sherwood added: “I knew the job. I knew the script. I knew he was ready to come in and they needed someone in the meantime.”It would’ve been different if I didn’t know. Perhaps I would’ve liked that opportunity, like Ole Gunnar Solskjaer at United. But I knew it wasn’t my job.”How Man United could line-up with ‘done deal’ Sancho as Shearer urges Solskjaer to make Kane and Grealish transfers
During the first fifteen days of July, the cancellation clause of Lautaro Martínez, striker of Inter Milan that Barcelona is seeking, is set at 111 million euros. As of today, this operation is the one marked as priority by the club’s technical secretariat Blaugrana who sees in Argentina the ideal replacement for Suarez. A money that Barça hopes can be reduced.The fundamental problem that arises in this situation is clearly the economic one because although his hiring is a cheaper operation than the one that could affect Neymar (which would be around 180 million) the financial moment of the club is not that it is especially good, much less after the crisis that is expected due to the Coronavirus that will force to reformulate the entity’s accounts. According to Barça technicians, this is a crisis that will affect The world of soccer, which until now lived in an inflation bubble that “obligatorily”, according to club sources, must be lowered.Therefore, in the Blaugrana club they trust that the price of those 111 million can be lowered although the club has already been studying formulas for lighten the cost of this hypothetical operation by trying to include players as would be the case of Arturo Vidal in it.Barça have been intensively following Lautaro Martínez in person for some time, both in the games he plays with Inter and in those he plays with the Argentine team. Now the problem is how to pay for the operation waiting for a discount.
Ginebra vs Rain or Shine. PBA IMAGESBarangay Ginebra had to trudge through three overtime periods to beat Rain or Shine, 100-92, and secure a spot in the quarterfinals of the 2018 PBA Philippine Cup Friday at Smart Araneta Coliseum. Despite both teams ending up with identical 6-5 cards, the victory propelled the Gin Kings to the fourth seed in the standings because of quotient advantage and set up a best-of-three series against, incidentally, the fifth place Elasto Painters starting on Monday.ADVERTISEMENT Ginebra had parts in the conference where they played without Joe Devance, Sol Mercado, and Greg Slaughter due to injuries and the victory symbolized a huge sigh of relief for Ginebra. “This is the first good thing that happened to us all conference long and it took us a triple overtime game to do it against a team that really didn’t have much to play for,” said Cone. “We lost Joe and Sol earlier and they’re struggling to come back from their injuries, and we lost Greg in some key games.”Japeth Aguilar led Ginebra with 30 points, 17 boards, and five assists while LA Tenorio added 20 points. Beau Belga had 17 points, six boards, and five assists to lead the Elasto Painters while Gabe Norwood finished with 13 points, 10 rebounds, and five assists. ADVERTISEMENT View comments UK plans Brexit celebrations but warns businesses may suffer Sea turtle trapped in net freed in Legazpi City The Ginebra win also eliminated Blackwater in the process and allowed TNT to get a crack at the final playoff berth against Phoenix on Sunday.With Ginebra leading 94-92, Rain or Shine had four chances to either force the tie or the lead but Maverick Ahanmisi and Raymond Almazan bricked their free throws with 55 seconds left in the game. FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSTim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crownSPORTSAfter winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folkJervy Cruz then promptly punished the Elasto Painters with a dagger of a baseline jumper that gave the Gin Kings a 96-92 buffer with 34 seconds left. After the grinding victory, Ginebra head coach Tim Cone said the victory was a Godsend for them. MOST READ Steam emission over Taal’s main crater ‘steady’ for past 24 hours It’s too early to present Duterte’s ‘legacy’ – Lacson Nueva Ecija warehouse making fake cigarettes raided, 29 Chinese workers nabbed Phivolcs records 2 ‘discrete weak ash explosions’ at Taal Volcano Phivolcs records 2 ‘discrete weak ash explosions’ at Taal Volcano Game 3 hero SJ Belangel takes inspiration from Mike Nieto Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next GALLERY: Barangay Ginebra back as PBA Governors’ Cup kings LATEST STORIES Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award
About 15 players are expected take part in a little Christmas carolling starting at 7 p.m. at the mall, with help from the Potluck in the Basement Singers, a choir of local women led by singer/guitarist Judi McGowan. Shamir Mangalji, marketing coordinator for the Rage, said the team came up with the idea as a way to reconnect with the community after a marathon road trip that saw the team gone for almost a full month.“They’ve been gone for a month, so it has been tough with that schedule to get out into the community, but when they are here, we like to get them into any possible community service or activity to let everyone know they are back in town,” said Mangalji.He added the players will also be giving out some tickets to the team’s two home games this weekend against the Fresno Monsters. The Rage will need the support of their fans as they look to rebound from that dismal road trip that saw them lose 10 out of 12 games, including two to the Monsters last week.- Advertisement -Fans are also needed to help the Rage make Christmas a little brighter for those in need in the community. The team will be collecting donations at the game on Dec. 17 for the Salvation Army, so fans are encouraged to bring in a non-perishable food item, gently used clothing, toys, or a gift in exchange for a souvenir Rage ornament. There will also be a Canadian Tire Teddy Bear Toss when the Rage score their first goal, so bring your own teddy bear, or purchase a teddy bear at the game for $2 and receive a Rage ornament, all in support of the Salvation Army.Patrons can also enjoy a turkey buffet at the game for $15, featuring roasted turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy, mashed yams, corn, and a drink.As for the carolling on Wednesday, McGowan said her group is very excited to be taking part.Advertisement “This something is really different for us,” said McGowan. “We’ve never doing anything like this before. I think it’s going to be a really cool thing to do.”She said she is not worried at all that some of the Rage players may not be able to sing with all of the harmony that people are used to hearing from the Potluck singers.“We’re going to strategically place my singers with the team members, and they will all support each other. I think it’s going to be a perfect fit, and a win-win situation,” she said.McGowan said the Christmas season is always very busy for the group as they receive a lot of requests to perform in different venues. She said the group will play at the Dawson Creek and District Hospital next Monday evening, for example.Advertisement “One of our favourite things, and something that I’ve been doing for over 20 years, is the candlelight service at Rotary Manor on Dec. 22,” she added. “It’s a very beautiful service for everyone, including the residents.”McGowan also wished to pass on “a very merry Christmas and a prosperous new year” to everyone in the community on behalf of the Potluck in the Basement Singers.
14 Gareth Bale, attacking midfield – 7 – It was the Ronaldo v Bale show, but the former stole the headlines. Bale looked dangerous, most notably in the first half, but he was also missing Ramsey to link up with in the final third. 14 SUB ONE: Sam Vokes, forward – 5 – Unfortunately he could not emulate Friday’s heroics v Belgium with a goal off the bench. Chris Gunter, right wing-back – 6 – The Reading man had more defensive duties than previous games, dealing with Portugal’s dangerous attack. Joe Ledley, centre midfield – 6 – Amazing the Crystal Palace man has been able to play in France. He was replaced just before the hour after a tough time in midfield, missing midfield partner Ramsey. James Chester, centre-back – 6 – One of Wales’ unsung heroes at Euro 2016, but he, along with Ashley Williams and James Collins, could not handle Cristiano Ronaldo and Portugal’s attack. Beaten in the air for the Madrid man’s opener. 14 14 14 14 14 Joe Allen, centre midfield – 7 – Nut-megged twice in seconds in stoppage time. One of the players of the tournament. 14 14 Ashley Williams, centre-back – 7 – Struggled against Portugal’s attack, namely Ronaldo, but he has been impeccable as captain for the Dragons throughout the tournament. SUB TWO: Simon Church, forward – 5 – He has just under half an hour to make an impact, but the game hit a lull for large parts of the closing stages. 14 14 Wayne Hennessey, goalkeeper – 6 – Nearly made a costly error to concede a third, scrambling to stop the ball on the line in the second half. Showed he is not a top class goalkeeper for both goals. Andy King, centre midfield – 6 – Replaced Aaron Ramsey in the line-up and could not be as effective as the Arsenal man. Hal Robson-Kanu, forward – 7 – Struggled to get in behind the Portuguese defence but overall solid tournament. Will no doubt get a good move off the back of it. 14 Neil Taylor, left wing-back – 6 – Like Gunter, Taylor had to perform his defensive duties more often compared to previous games. Wales’ Euro 2016 journey is over, after losing 2-0 to Portugal in the semi-final. Chris Coleman’s side were beaten 2-0 by Fernando Santos’ side, as Cristiano Ronaldo scored and assisted in Lyon as Wales conceded twice in four minutes. His Real Madrid team-mate Gareth Bale was less effective, however, and that was partly down to the absence of Aaron Ramsey, who was suspended along with Ben Davies. It was a disappointing outcome for the Dragons, but it is the end of a remarkable journey, where they exceeded expectation. How did the players’ performances rate in Stade des Lumieres? Click the arrow, above right, to see how talkSPORT scored them, including the substitutes. 14 14 James Collins, centre-back – 6 – An impressive first half but struggled early in the second period as Portugal scored twice in four minutes. He was soon substituted. SUB THREE: Jonny Williams, midfield – 6 – The Crystal Palace man has showed his danger coming off the bench, but he could not help his side back into the game.
The annual presentation night will take place on Thursday the 29th December at 8.30pm in Arena 7. More details soon on Club Facebook. Our Club AGM will be held on Sunday 8 January 2017 at 2pm in the Gaels Club Room. Club Members are invited to submit Nominations for the various Club Officer Positions and Motions to Jim McGlynn by 6pm on Friday, 30 December 2016. We are looking for singers, dancers, actors and musicians from the club to represent us in the Scór Sinsear competition which will be held in the New Year. We need a ballad group, traditional music group, ceilí or set dancers and anyone interested in putting a short play together. Please contact Bairbre on 089 4218215 if you are interested. The GAA National Draw was launched recently with some fantastic prizes to be won. This is an important fundraiser for the Club with my all the prizes sponsored by Croke Park and proceeds kept by the Club. Priced at only €10 the tickets are on sale from various Club contacts. Letterkenny Gaels Ladies are delighted to announce their Winter Ladies Football Training program. During the winter months the Circuit based training will take place indoors at the Gaels Clubroom on the Thorn Road. The training for 16’s to adult continues every Friday evening from 6.30-7.30pm. For the younger girls from 12-16 years football/Circuit training is on every Monday from 6.30pm – 7.30pm at the clubhouse. Training is open to all and new members are especially welcome. Letterkenny Gaels in association with AIB are delighted to announce a new and exciting customer offer that sees AIB build their partnership with the GAA and support the re-embedding of AIB back into the heart of local communities. With the purchase of every new AIB Home Insurance policy, they will reward customers with a payment of €50 to Letterkenny Gaels GAA club. And the good news for us is that there is no cap on how many reward payments can be made to our club.The Club is already registered for this offer so don’t forget to nominate Letterkenny Gaels if you take out your policy with them. AIB Home Insurance offer very competitive prices and club members are encouraged to seek a quotation from them when renewing your Home Insurance. Club Passes are available to purchase now through the Club. The Pass initiative was approved by County Committee in respect of Adult League and Championship Club Games only for 2017, including Under 21 but not including Under 18 and below.These Passes would be of benefit to Club members who regularly attend All County League and Championship matches. The cost of the Pass is €149 and can be purchased by contacting 086 2271435.In addition to the Club Pass the GAA Adult + Cards are also available to club members and can be purchased online. The purchasing of the card has benefits for both the holder and our Club. For more details on this please see Club Facebook page. As we count down the weeks until Christmas, club members are reminded that Letterkenny Gaels merchandise, which includes training tops, track-suits, jerseys, hats, scarfs etc. can be purchased in Michael Murphy Sports and Leisure. The indoor Camogie training will take a break for the Christmas period and will resume in the New Year. Please keep eye on Social Media for dates. The outdoor underage football training has also concluded for the season. Please see Facebook in the coming weeks for dates and venues for indoor training. The indoor underage hurling continues takes a break now and will resume again in the New Year. Bingo continues every Monday in Arena 7. The Jackpot this week is €3300. Lines are €40 and Houses are €130. If the jackpot doesn’t go next week the Full House on the Jackpot sheet pays €500 with extra spot prizes and book prizes on the night. Doors from 8pm. Eyes down 9pm. All welcome. Letterkenny Gaels: Singers, dancers, actors and musicians wanted was last modified: December 13th, 2016 by Chris McNultyShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)
Figures revealed from The Central Statistics Office (CSO) show that 31 men and 9 women are homeless in the North West.The latest report showed that on the night of the 24th of April 2016 (Census Night), 6,906 people were either sleeping rough or in accommodation for the homeless. 4,018 were male, and 2,888 were female.The average age of the homeless population was 31 years compared with 37 years for the general population. Of the 6,906 homeless persons counted in Census 2016, 1,846 persons were aged 0-17 years, with 1,594 being children in family units. A further 413 persons (6%) were aged 60 and over. Of the 5,212 homeless people aged 15 and over, 899 (31%) of them were employed.There were 607 persons who were unable to work due to permanent sickness or disability, representing 12% of the total, compared with 4.2% of the general population. Students accounted for 429 persons (8%), while 188 persons stated that they were retired.ChildrenLast month, figures released by children’s charity Barnardos revealed that 2,777 children are currently without a home – the highest number of homeless children ever recorded in Ireland.June Tinsley, Barnardos Head of Advocacy said; “The Government promised to provide homeless families with more suitable accommodation by mid-2017 and this has not yet happened, meanwhile children and families suffer in inappropriate and unsuitable accommodation. “The Government needs to ensure suitable alternative accommodation for these families immediately.“Barnardos recommends that the Government prioritise building more social housing units to increase supply and reduce the over reliance on the private rented sector, while also ensuring that Rent Supplement and HAP rates are in line with market rents, preventing more families from losing their homes.”“A more aggressive approach is required to tackle the ever deepening housing crisis. These figures also do not reflect the number of ‘hidden homeless’ families who do not appear on the official register.“Thousands of families in Ireland are living in overcrowded, substandard or unsafe accommodation because they have no other options.”Deirdre Cullen, Senior Statistician at the CSO says: “This report will help to further improve our understanding of this complex issue, by providing important new information on the social and economic circumstances of homeless persons. “The collection of data in this important area could not have been achieved without the input and assistance of a broad range of both government and non-government stakeholders, and the CSO would like to thank all concerned for their cooperation in this.”Census figures reveal there are 40 homeless people in the North West was last modified: August 13th, 2017 by Elaine McCalligShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:censusCSOhomelessNorth west
The textbook theory of the first migration to the Americas across a land bridge is “dead in the water.”Early people were smarter than anthropologists thought. They didn’t wait till the ice melted to cross the Bering Sea by a land bridge, as textbooks have taught for decades. They made canoes and boats and traveled along the coast. And why did they discover America? Because it was there. They had a spirit of exploration, just like many people do today.That’s the new story coming from Eske Willerslev and colleagues, publishing in Nature. Ewen Callaway, writing in the same issue of Nature, explains how new evidence from cores along the assumed land-bridge route show the area was uninhabitable when the first migrants were thought to avail themselves of a route to America. “It’s 1,500 kilometres,” says co-author David Meltzer. “You can’t pack a lunch and do it in a day.” Willerslev believes these people had some common sense, according to Live Science‘s coverage:The first Americans were clearly curious explorers, but they were also realists, Willerslev said.“We are talking [932 miles] 1,500 kilometers you have to pass with ice caps on each side. It’s not like, ‘Oh yeah, I’m just taking a three-day hike,’” Willerslev told Live Science. “Humans won’t take the trip unless you have resources to sustain yourself along the way.”Additional evidence comes from occupation sites in South America earlier than the time evolutionary anthropologists thought the land bridge was accessible, e.g.,. at pre-Clovis sites in Chile dated 14,000 years ago. PhysOrg calls the old theory “biologically unviable” in light of the new evidence. To get where they got, they would have had to be inventive, using boats or canoes to travel the coastline. Later migrants probably did use the land bridge after enough ice had melted to allow plants and mammals to arrive as food sources (dated 12,600 years ago).Something drove the early arrivals to get to North America by a coastal route, and it wasn’t just hunger. Callaway writes,The fact that early humans advanced to the Americas despite continent-sized glaciers standing in the way has also prompted him to rethink the conventional wisdom that early humans, like other animals, migrated solely in search of food.“Just like people today are trying to reach the top of Mount Everest or the South Pole, I’m sure these hunter-gatherers were also explorers and curious about what would be on the other side of these glacier caps,” he says. “When you first reach California, why would you go further? Why not just stay in the Bay Area?”A recent paper in PNAS came to the same conclusion, National Geographic points out. Studying fossil DNA, a team constrained the date of migration by showing that bison were not available as a food source till after the first arrivers had crossed over.European Farmer-GatherersAnother upset for anthropologists comes from the other side of the globe. Writing in The Conversation, Gaffney and Allaby present a conundrum that “Ancient Britons had wheat 2,000 years before they had farms.” If they were smart enough to trade, how could they enjoy the Breakfast of Champions for millennia without becoming curious about how to manufacture Wheaties themselves? The dates are 8,000 years after the curious explorers in Siberia had already reached Chile by boat.Wheat has been found in a settlement on England’s south coast dating back to 6000BC – 2000 years before farming reached Britain. This finding overturns many cherished archaeological beliefs – or myths – about the era. Though they were once patronised as simplistic hunter-gatherers, it turns out early Britons must have been active traders with the agricultural superpowers of their day in France and the Balkans. It’s time to reassess Mesolithic man.PhysOrg writes that “hunger-gatherers experimented with farming in Turkey before migrating to Europe.” An open-access paper in Current Biology admits that “the timing and process of this movement remain unclear.” Farming appeared in several areas “quasi-synchronously” in Anatolia (modern Turkey) in the late 10th and 9th centuries BC, they say, reaching Europe shortly after. This despite many tens of thousands of years of ancestors equal in stature and mental capacity never imagining how it would have made life easier to plant some seeds instead of looking all over for them.Chuck Klosterman has a new book out, But What If We’re Wrong? that posits everything we believe today will be wrong in 500 years. In an interview on Live Science, Jim McLauchlin has fun with the idea, demonstrated by so many cases through history. Neither, however, sees the premise to be self-refuting. Nor does Chuck see his suspicion that we’re living in a computer simulation to be self-defeating (i.e., the simulation made him say that). Indeed, comparing the early humans with thinkers today, one could argue we are devolving from common sense to insanity.Do you see why evolutionists are always surprised? They have a strong need to maintain a false view of human beings as primitive primates gradually emerging into the light of consciousness, self-awareness, cooperation and civilization over millions of years. But everywhere they look, they find people just as smart and curious as we are. They cannot account for the explosive appearance of farming in just a short time. Why didn’t Cro-magnons and Neanderthals ever think of it? Who could believe for a minute that early Britons spent 2,000 years trading with “agricultural superpowers” on the continent without learning how to grow wheat themselves? Something is vastly wrong with the secular view of history and human nature. You know just what it is: refusal to listen to the Eyewitness about what really happened.(Visited 26 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0
Fiji oneworld connect membership A devastating cyclone and increased competition didn’t stop Fiji Airways Group from boosting passenger numbers and recording a record pre-tax profit of $F84.5 ($US41m) million in 2016.The South Pacific Airline group — which includes Fiji Airways, regional subsidiary Fiji Link and a stake in the Sofitel Fiji resort — saw profit before tax come in 20.5 percent higher than 2015. Revenue rose from $F815.3m to $F825.3m. Passenger numbers rose 4.9 per cent to 1.4 million as the airline launched new routes from Fijian city Nadi to Singapore, Vava’u (Tonga) and San Francisco. It also increased flights to Hong Kong and boosted a range of seasonal services to a range of destinations.“Last year was full of milestones achieved, culminating in the largest profit the airline has ever recorded,’’ chief executive Andre Viljoen said. “To achieve these results is nothing short of outstanding – in a year when we had the most devastating cyclone in our nation’s history slow down tourism and the launch of three new international routes.’’The airline said yields were under pressure throughout the year from increased capacity from competitors and discounted airfares. Fiji Airways had led actions to re-invigorate travel demand after Cyclone Winston by discounting airfares, which cost it more than $F40m in lost revenue.However, it noted these actions by Fiji Airways were largely responsible for Fiji’s tourism growth of 5 per cent in 2016.Among these celebrating the result are Fiji Airways staff who will each receive a profit share payout of $F4000, up 20 per cent on 2015. This is in addition to bonuses of up to $F1200 per year for achieving key objectives. Managers will get a bonus of $F9000, also up 20 per cent.Officials said achievements during the year included a package deal for five new Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft arriving in 2018-19, operations using the new A330-300 aircraft on long-haul routes, a major onboard refresh and the design of new world class lounge due to open in Nadi in 2017.The airline had also hired an additional 27 pilots and 82 cabin crew to cater for increased operations and launched a state-of-the-art aviation academy in Nadi.Viljoen said 2017 would be another big year in which the airline had set bigger, more ambitious goals.“We are increasing our focus on Singapore with a dedicated new sales team in place and a codeshare partnership with Jet Airways to target more Indian travellers,’’ he said.“We will fly directly between Nadi and Adelaide from June, further extending Fiji’s reach into its biggest tourism source market. “San Francisco will be extended to a year-round service, providing increased tourism growth opportunities from mainland USA.’’