Skill up on all you need to know with bite sized travel news designed specifically to help you, the Travel Agent, be your best today and tomorrow.

1. Which airlines are likely to get you to your destination on-time?


What’s more irritating in air travel than waiting in super long airport queues? How about delayed departures and late arrivals?

Hearing the sentences ‘this service is delayed by…’ or ‘we’ll be arriving roughly 30 minutes behind the scheduled arrival time’ will trigger plane-wide eye rolls and boil the blood of even the calmest of travellers.

Yes, late-running services are annoying, but luckily there are a fair few carriers out there that manage to keep that tardy behaviour to a minimum and almost (but not quite) guaranteed on-time departures and arrivals in 2016.

Read on


2. Intoxicated pilot passes out in the cockpit

Travel Agent cockpit

Investigations are underway in Canada to determine how an intoxicated pilot managed to pass through several airport security points before passing out in the cockpit.

The Captain was scheduled to operate a 99-passenger Sunwing Airlines plane from Calgary International Airport when he was discovered unfit to fly.

He arrived at the airport on-time and made his way through multiple security checkpoints, The New York Times reported. It wasn’t until he was at the gate that his odd behaviour was noticed and flagged by Sunwing staff.

Read on


3. New South Africa entry requirements for minors

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The South African Government has changed its entry requirements for people under 18 who are South African citizens and hold a valid passport, who will no longer require birth certificates which contain parental details to enter the country.

“This new arrangement, effective immediately, applies only to minors who have SA citizenship travelling from other countries (including Australia and New Zealand) to South Africa and who will not need the additional paperwork required until now,” South African Airways’ Country Manager for Australasia, Tim Clyde-Smith said.

“Those travelling and Travel Agents and partners should note that all other current arrangements for minors travelling remain in place and must be complied with in accordance with South African laws.”

For any further information Agents can either click here or contact the South African High Commission on (02) 6272 7300.


4. Abercrombie & Kent opens a new office in…


Abercrombie & Kent has expanded its business into Brazil, with the opening of a new office in downtown Rio de Janeiro.

The new addition is the company’s sixth office in South America and its 53rd worldwide.

Led by Country Manager, Mikael Castro, the team will be responsible for delivering one-of-a-kind experiences and unique Insider Access opportunities on a range of itineraries through Brazil.


5. Centara property takes home three awards

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The team over at Centara Ceysands Resort and Spa in Bentota, Sri Lanka have more to celebrate than the New Year, after taking home three awards at the South Asian Travel Awards.

The property was named ‘Leading Beach Resort Sri Lanka’, ‘Leading All Inclusive Resort Sri Lanka’ and ‘Leading Wellness & Spa Brand’.

Meanwhile, Centara Hotels and Resorts received two more accolades for its five-star property in the Maldives, Centara Grand Island Resort and Spa Maldives, which was named ‘Leading All Inclusive Resort Maldives Award’ along with ‘Leading All Inclusive Resort South Asia Award’.


6. News ships & new expeditions for Lindblad

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Lindblad Expeditions is celebrating 50 years of travel to the Galapagos Islands this year in a big way, with two new ships and the addition of new destinations and experiences.

The two new ships joining the fleet are the 96-guest National Geographic Endeavour II, which replaces her predecessor in Galapagos, and the company’s first ever new build, 100-passenger National Geographic Quest, which is currently under construction in the Seattle area.

The NG Quest’s first sailing will be on the Treasures of the Inside Passage: Alaska and British Colombia in June 2017. And in 2018, National Geographic Quest will head to Belize & Guatemala for the new Belize to Tikal: Reefs, Rivers and Ruins of the Maya World .

Other new destinations and experiences for 2017 include Hot Springs and Icebergs: Iceland to West Greenland, which sees guests experience Iceland and Greenland by land, air and sea over a nine-day adventure; whilst Exploring British Columbia and The San Juan Islands enables guests to discover the wilderness and charm of the Pacific Northwest.


7. Wollongong says ‘hey there Voyager

Travel Agent

Royal Caribbean’s Voyager of the Seas stunned locals in Wollongong with her enormous size when she cruised to the town for the first time late last year.

The 4,000 passenger ship docked for a day where guests were able to explore the city and surrounding regions.

She’ll head back to Wollongong later this month while Radiance of the Seas will return in January 2018 and Explorer of the Seas will make her maiden visit in March 2018.

Click here for more images.


8. InterContinental Fiji welcomes new Executive Chef


InterContinental Fiji Golf Resort & Spa has appointed culinary talent Leon Hatton-Jones to the position of Executive Chef, signalling an exciting journey of culinary experiences at Natadola Bay.

The award-winning joins the team with 20 years of culinary experience, having worked for a number of five-star establishments; and as an exceptional competitor and judge for culinary competitions including the Unilever Master of Time Chef (2013-2015) and 2015 African Culinary Cup.

Chef Leon will lead the culinary team and be responsible for specialty dining restaurant Navo, international restaurant Sanasana, relaxed dining at Toba Bar & Grill and the lighter fair at Kama Lounge. He will also be responsible for overseeing the onsite and offsite catering for the InterContinental Meetings, World of Weddings and personalised bespoke dining experiences at the resort.

What are your thoughts on today’s travel news?