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Smoking: The United States, Canada and Australia signed an agreement this week to ban smoking on flights operated by their airlines among the three countries.

The U.S. Transportation Department, which announced the accord at a meeting of the International Civil Aviation Organization, said the ban applies to nonstop flights and takes effect in February.

Transportation Secretary Federico Pena said that "this significant agreement will reduce a health hazard to passengers and enhance safety on many international flights."

He added: "We expect this action to encourage other countries to ban smoking on international flights."

Pena said the accord is an important first step toward the organization's goal of banning smoking on international flights by July 1, 1996.

The new agreement does not apply to flights operated via an intermediate point in a country not a signatory to the pact or to flights chartered by a person, company or organization that are not operated for paying passengers.


KLM fares: KLM Royal Dutch Airlines said this week that it will offer reduced business-class fares on most of its intercontinental routes.

The offer, which expires April 1, features a 20% to 35% discount on the normal business fare and is available only through travel agencies in the Netherlands.

The reduced fares do not apply to existing travel agreements between the airline and its corporate clients, which account for about 80% of KLM's business-class travel.

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