Fast lane to the future: Entrepreneur Elon Musk announces plans for futuristic Chicago transit system

Entrepreneur Elon Musk has announced the launch of a futuristic new transit system between Chicago and O'Hare International Airport.

The underground electric vehicles, which will travel at speeds of up to 150km an hour, are expected to run in around three years' time, Nine News reports.

The transport time will take 12 minutes, compared to 40 minutes by train and around 80 minutes by car.

Mr Musk joined Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel to formally announce Mr Musk's insfrastructure and tunnel construction company, The Boring Company, will fully fund and build the project.

Mr Emanuel called the new transit system "the fast lane to Chicago's future".

"Chicago is always looking at what's possible and then making it achievable. There are doubters along the way all the time who sit on the sideline and then when the thing gets built and opportunities come and the job growth happens, you can't find them."

Mr Musk said the company will begin digging the dual tunnels for the project after receiving the necessary regulatory approvals, which is expected to take several months.

"I'd hope that you'd cheer us on, because if we succeed it's going to be a great thing for the city, and if we fail, well I guess me and others will lose a bunch of money," Mr Musk said.

Emirates launches daily flight from Auckland to Bali, then on to Dubai

A new daily, year-round flight service from Auckland to Dubai via Bali has been launched today.

Emirates said in a statement today that the new service reflects New Zealanders' growing interest in the Indonesian island as a holiday destination.

Tim Clark, President Emirates Airline, said, "We are very pleased to see the interest this new route has created since it was announced in mid-February, reflected in strong bookings from Auckland to Bali and beyond, as well as southbound from our global network."

The Auckland-Bali-Dubai service offers Kiwi travellers the only year-round, non-stop daily service between Auckland and Bali.

Travellers also have a choice of three daily flights between Bali and Dubai.

In 2016, Bali welcomed more than 4.5 million foreign tourist arrivals, including over 40,500 Kiwis.

An Emirates plane.
An Emirates plane. Source: Supplied


Chemical spill being cleaned up at Sydney Airport

Emergency crews have been called to Sydney Airport after a "low irritant" chemical was found when luggage was being unloaded from an American Airlines plane after it touched down.

American Airlines flight 73 from Los Angeles landed in Sydney 7.15am local time and all passengers were off the plane when the spill took place.

Five NSW Fire and Rescue trucks are going through security clearance at the international airport after receiving a call at 7.48am on Friday (9.48am NZT) that "a substance was found in the hold", a spokesman told AAP.

The crews will liaise with the airport's fire crews and the Australian Border Force.

A spokesman from the NSW Fire and Rescue told Nine that "firefighters in spillage gear have identified the substance as a low irritant chemical additive."

Aerial shots of Qantas aircraft at Sydney International Airport.
Aerial shots of Qantas aircraft at Sydney International Airport. Source: Getty