The Monocle Minute

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Today’s top stories, opinion and opportunities
Wednesday 8 November 2017

Media

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National success?

While some are celebrating the revival of a Canadian TV institution, others are wishing it had been left alone.

The Canadian Broadcasting Company’s flagship current-affairs show, The National, relaunched on Monday following the retirement of its longstanding host – and something of a national institution – Peter Mansbridge. The refreshed show is attempting what many other traditional news broadcasts have tried to do in recent years: maintain its core audience while luring in a younger and more diverse viewership. For a programme that has been on the air since 1954, tweaking the format is no small undertaking and the response to Monday’s premiere has been unsurprisingly mixed. Some decry the apparent move away from the longform television journalism that the show was renowned for under Mansbridge, while others hail the more collegiate atmosphere of its four new hosts, who present the show from studios dotted around the country.

Defence

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Up in arms

Military moguls descended on Bangkok this week. With war on their minds, what’s on their shopping lists?

Bangkok welcomed the world’s military decision-makers this week for Defense & Security 2017, a biennial exhibition of land, air and sea-defence technology, which ends tomorrow. Arms manufacturers have lined up their best wares, from intruder alarms to tanks, to be perused by officials from defence ministries from more than 35 countries. A keynote of the conversation has been the changing nature of terror, clearly outlined by the New York truck attack last week and the cyber vulnerabilities exploited during Malaysia’s recent telco hack. But with US president Donald Trump on his first visit to Asia this week and the possibility of war with North Korea at the front of visitors’ minds, there’s much to prepare for – and shop for – at the exhibition.

Transport

Clear skies ahead

Is the airline industry in freefall? Not according to two high-flying executives that we bumped into this week.

With the recent collapse of Monarch, Air Berlin and Alitalia, it was refreshing to hear some optimistic voices at the World Travel Market in London this week. Skúli Mogensen – founder of Icelandic airline Wow – and Alex Cruz, CEO of British Airways, were both confident about the future of their respective airlines, come what may. “The insolvencies of Air Berlin and Monarch have underlined the hostility of the marketplace and showed us that if you don’t change your habits, you ultimately risk irrelevance,” says Cruz, who announced the investment of £4.5bn (€5.1bn) into improving the flagship carrier’s customer experience. The money will be used for 72 new aircraft, revamped cabins with at-seat power points and wi-fi, and better catering across all classes. Icelandic entrepreneur Mogensen sounded equally bullish, aiming to transport six million passengers by 2020.

Hospitality

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Handing over the keys

Horst Schulze has sold the Capella hotel group, which will mean more focus on the east. But what’s on the German hotelier’s horizon?

High-end rooms in Shanghai are in demand this week as wealthy collectors arrive for the city’s art week. But one of the most prestigious new openings has already been snapped up: Famed German hotelier Horst Schulze – co-founder of Ritz-Carlton – has sold the Capella hotel group, which opened its latest ultra-luxury property in the Xuhui district in September. Singaporean buyers the Kwee family have previously partnered Schulze on several hotels in their home city and are now expanding into new markets overseas. The sale will see Atlanta-based Capella, set up in 2002, shift its centre of operations eastward where a suite of new developments are underway around the region: Hotels in Bali and Bangkok are due to open next year, while sister brand Solís will open in Bali and Guangzhou, China. Schulze will maintain an honorary board position but the big question is whether the 78-year-old hospitality veteran is planning a third act.

From Monocle 24

Image: Shutterstock

Section D

Ferrari’s design legacy

A new exhibition at London’s Design Museum turns the spotlight on Ferrari’s success and the obsessive attention to the details of automotive design that has fuelled it. We speak to Andrew Nahum, co-curator of ‘Ferrari: Under the Skin’.

From Monocle Films

Boat builders of Bodrum

Monocle takes a trip to Turkey's Bodrum shipyards to watch the century-old skills that are still right at the heart of the peninsula's revered boat-making businesses.

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