We’ve done all the hard work, so you don’t have to! Read on for our top ten travel industry news stories of the day we think you need to know.
1.Agents enjoy one Legend-ary Carnival
Over 1200 travel professionals from all over Australia yesterday got to experience the ‘Carnival Legend’ first hand on its inaugural visit into Sydney Harbour.
With Carnival’s newest ship arrriving officially kicking off the 2013/14 cruise season, the ‘Legend-ary’ event gave agents the exclusive opportunity to see, do, taste and try everything onboard the twelve deck, 293m long ship for themselves. And better still, mostly for free. Clearly they were impressed, with the event taking on a party atmosphere from the minute guests arrived at the Overseas Passenger Terminal where a DJ and Carnival staff entertained the swift moving lines checking in. Read more…
2. Singapore Airlines and Air NewZealand unite
Singapore Airlines and Air New Zealand have confirmed 6 January 2015 as the launch date for their alliance, with codeshare flights going on sale on both airlines’ services between Singapore and New Zealand on 25 September.
The alliance will see the Star Alliance carriers operating one return service each per day on the Singapore-Auckland route and Singapore Airlines operating a daily return service between Singapore and Christchurch.
Under the alliance Singapore Airlines and Air New Zealand’s goal is to increase their existing capacity between New Zealand and Singapore by 30 percent year-round over time, while delivering enhanced benefits to their customers.
“This alliance is a clear example of how our two airlines can do more by working together than we could do individually,” Singapore Airlines CEO, Goh Choon Phong said.
Read on for more.
3. Qantas and Jetstar lead the pack on timeliness
New data from the Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics (BITRE) shows Qantas and Jetstar have delivered the best on-time departures and arrivals for the month of August.
Taking out both first and second position on the major domestic airline leader board, Qantas Group management put the impressive month’s work down to their team’s dedication to serving customers.
“When you’re travelling as often as some of our customers, we know your time is precious,” Qantas Domestic Chief Executive Officer, Lyell Strambi said.
Jetstar Australia and New Zealand CEO, David Hall said he was pleased that more than 80 per cent of its flights took off as scheduled in every month of 2014.
“We’ve worked hard to improve punctuality this year while still operating the tight schedule that is key to lower fares,” he said.
“It’s fantastic to see more and more of our customers reaching their destination right on time.”
4. WHO warns trade/travel bans can impact on Ebola-stricken countries
U.N Agency, the World Health Organization (WHO), have assessed that there should be no general ban on travel or trade with countries stricken by Ebola which has, to date, killed over 2800 people in the West African Region.
Their statement comes in the wake of several airlines stopping flights to affected areas. WHO and other agencies have said this has hampered aid efforts and the ability of experts to reach victims of the world’s worst ever outbreak of the hemorrhagic fever.
“Flight cancelations and other travel restrictions continue to isolate affected countries, resulting in detrimental economic consequences, and hinder relief and response efforts risking further international spread,” the statement said.
5. Spain tops tourism stakes
Spain attracted just over nine million foreign visitors in August, the highest ever figure for a single month, setting the country up for its best-ever year for tourism and giving a boost to the country’s economy.
The number of foreign tourists rose 8.8 per cent in August over the same time last year to an unprecedented 9.07 million.
The economic recovery experienced by Britain and Germany, the origin of most visitors to Spain, is said to have fuelled the tourism boom.
Tourism is crucial to the slowly recovering yet jobs-scarce Spanish economy, accounting for about 11 per cent of all economic activity.
6. LANTAM Airlines Group plans new international flights for 2015
In line with its fleet planning, the LANTAM Airlines Group plans to launch new international flights in 2015. It is hoped that the initiative will strengthen the connectivity offered by the group in Latin America, North America and Europe.
By the end of 2015, LAN will operate daily flights from Santiago to Milan.
TAM plans to create direct flights between São Paulo and Cancun before the end of this year, along with flights from São Paulo to Barcelona by mid-2015. The carrier also expects to launch, by mid-2015, a new flight to Toronto from São Paulo, with a layover in New York.
Routes between Brazil and the United States are also expected to be strengthened with the creation of a Brasília-Orlando flight planned for the third quarter of next year, as well as more frequencies on its Brasília-Miami and São Paulo-Miami service.
The airline will also increase its use of Boeing B767 aircraft, which feature full-flat seats in Business Class.
By the end of 2015, LAN Airlines will also become the first airline in the Americas to receive delivery of the newly launched Airbus A350.
7. The princess gets a parade
Princess Cruises will ring in the new year, along with the cruise ship company’s 50th anniversary, with its first ever float in the world-famous Rose Parade on January 1 in Pasadena, California.
As a special feature, the six original cast members of The Love Boat television show will ride on the ship’s bow and “cruise” down the five-and-a-half mile parade route.
In addition to paying tribute to the television show that made Princess Cruises one of the most famous names in cruising, the Rose Parade float will depict the Regal Princess symbolically sailing through the world’s fascinating destinations and iconic landmarks that guests have experienced with Princess for the past 50 years.
The Princess Cruises float, being designed and built by Phoenix Decorating Company, will be 60 feet long and 24 feet high, and will be covered by more than 24,000 thousand flowers and natural materials.
8. Air France strike rolls into second week
Air France’s pilots have extended their strike into a second week, with the walkout now expected to last through September 26. A tentative truce fell through when pilots rejected the airline’s offer to put the brakes on its planned expansion of its low-fare subsidiary, which pilots fear will ultimately be used to cut their pay and benefits.
The job action has crippled the airline, which said today it was only going to operate 41 percent of its normal schedule. Estimates of the losses range from $19 million to $25 million per day.
The airline is advising those holding tickets on Air France, or on Delta code-share flights to France or beyond, to consider postponing their trip. They will waive change fees for those who switch to another flight within the next three weeks, or until the 12 October. For those wanting to travel later on, change the routing, or simply cancel, Air France will issue a non-refundable voucher good for redemption for up to one year.
9. Key note reveals strategy for China-ASEAN tourism
In a key note speech by Tourism Malaysia Tan Sri Dato’ Seri Dr. Ng Yen Yen at the 9th Conference on ASEAN-China People to People Friendship in Chengdu, China, it was revealed that ASEAN-China tourism is poised to flourish due to service upgrades. The upgrades will include the addition of attractive tourism products, facilitation of travel, proper education and training of tour guides and managers as well as the utilisation of social media for tourism promotions. Tan Sri Ng also announced that the working visit had successfully initiated charter flight operations between Chengdu and Penang that would begin on 30 September. The charter flight operations, organised by Chengdu Overseas Travel Co. Ltd., will operate six weekly flights via China Eastern Airlines with an expected capacity of 154 passengers per flight.
In 2013, China outbound tourists numbered 98 million, with projections it will reach the 100 million mark this year. By 2020, it is estimated that there will be over 200 million Chinese outbound travellers.
10. GHE green initiatives make locals sing
Global Himalayan Expedition (GHE), have decided to utilise their trekking ability to make major hiking destinations green. The group, made famous by their impact tourism initiatives, have set up three Solar Micro grids at Sumda Chenmo, an 11th century village nestled at 14000ft in the Zanskar valley, in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir.
The sight of the micro grid’s LED lights illuminating the village for the first time was cause for locals to break out in song and distribute locally brewed barley beer.
Sumda Chenmo is but one of the many areas the group hopes to illuminate, most of which do not fall under State or Central Government responsibility to set up electrical infrastructure.
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