Etihad Airways will this week begin connecting the Middle East to the Scottish capital with the launch of daily flights between Abu Dhabi and Edinburgh. Edinburgh is Etihad Airways’ first Scottish destination, and its third point in the UK, alongside a triple-daily operation to London Heathrow and double-daily flights to Manchester.The new service is operated with a two-class Airbus A330-200 aircraft, offering a total of 22 seats in Business Class and 240 seats in Economy. It will provide connections through the Abu Dhabi hub to the world’s most attractive holiday destinations and trade centres for the Scottish economy in the Middle East, Indian sub-continent, Asia and Australia.Peter Baumgartner, Chief Commercial Officer for Etihad Airways, said, “Scotland is the natural next step on our growth trajectory in the UK, with strong tourism and business traffic in both directions. We have been impressed by the welcome we have received from Edinburgh Airport and from the Scottish tourism industry. Many local stakeholders have played a part in attracting us to the city and welcoming us here, and we’re confident this service will be a great success. From a business and trade perspective, the UAE is already a primary trade partner for Scotland in the Middle East region. According to figures released at the end of 2014 by the UK’s Office for National Statistics, bilateral trade between the UAE and UK reached more than £12.36 billion in 2013.For leisure customers, Edinburgh is a significant tourist draw. The city is the UK’s largest tourist market outside London, with more than a million arrivals from overseas each year. Significantly, Edinburgh is the second most popular British city for Australians, 8 per cent of whom have Scottish ancestry. Etihad Airways currently connects directly to Brisbane, Sydney, Perth and Melbourne and onward to around 40 further destinations across Australia, through the partnership with Virgin Australia.
Zenefits was reportedly one of the fastest-growing companies in Silicon Valley, a region famous for giving birth to companies that undergo tremendous growth spurts. The startup, which distributes free administrative software to businesses and works as a health insurance broker, was dealt a serious blow last fall when a BuzzFeed News investigation revealed that the company had not been obtaining licenses necessary to sell insurance in individual states. … Zenefits is just the latest example of a high-flying startup trying to revolutionize the health-care space, only to discover along the way that Silicon Valley’s philosophy of disruptive innovation can be more difficult to apply to health care than in the digital world. (Johnson, 2/9) The New York Times: Taming Drug Prices By Pulling Back The Curtain Online Americans have come to rely on their smartphones to help them do seemingly everything, like hailing a taxi and comparing prices of dog food. But when it comes to buying prescription drugs, consumers still find the process maddeningly antiquated. Now, a few entrepreneurs say they are aiming to fundamentally change the way people buy drugs, bringing the industry into the digital age by disclosing the lowest prices for generic prescriptions to allow comparison-shopping. (Thomas, 2/9) The Washington Post’s Wonkblog: What The Turmoil At Zenefits Reveals About Silicon Valley’s Big Problem With Health Care This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription. Grail, a healthcare firm developing a blood test for early cancer detection, named former Google X Senior Vice President Jeff Huber as its CEO Wednesday. Huber said he wants to apply his experience building large-scale data systems to improve the gene sequencing technology used by Grail to detect cancerous material in patients who show no symptoms of the disease. (Todd, 2/10) New Digital Ventures Let Consumers Comparison Shop To Find Lowest Drug Prices GoodRx and Blink Health want to utilize technology to let patients find the cheapest generic options available. In other health IT news, The Washington Post examines how the problems at Zenefits reflect the larger disconnect when Silicon Valley startups try to revolutionize the health care industry, and a former Google executive is tapped to lead a cancer diagnostics firm. Reuters: Former Google Executive To Lead Cancer Diagnostics Firm