Tuesday, November 30, 2010

South Africa to benefit from new hotels

Two new major hotels are planned for South Africa in response to strong demand.

The Rezidor Hotel Group has confirmed that it will open new developments one in Cape Town and one in the country's Kruger National Park.

It is expected that the Radisson Blu Safari Resort Kruger Park will be open for business in 2013 and will be in the southern area of the Kruger National Park and close to the Crocodile River.

"This hotel will be the first internationally branded hotel within Kruger, and will clearly strengthen the Radisson Blu brand in South Africa", explained Rezidor's president and chief executive officer Kurt Ritter.

He added that the Park Inn Cape Town Foreshore will be fully operational by the end of 2011 and it could be ideal for those taking flights to South Africa as it is located in the centre of the Cape Town's popular business district.

Last month, Rezidor announced plans to open the Radisson Blu Hotel in Dubai Downtown in May 2011.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Dubai airport sees traffic growth

Dubai International Airport handled more than four million passengers during October as it continues to see an increase in people taking flights to Dubai.

Traffic data show a total of 4,013,127 passengers passed through the airport last month - 14.8 per cent more than in October 2009 and is the second time in its history that more than four million travellers have been handled in one month.

Paul Griffiths, chief executive officer of Dubai Airports, said: "Over the past 50 years Dubai International has seen passenger numbers increase by an average 15.5 per cent annually.

"Before the end of the decade passenger numbers will approach 90 million making Dubai International the busiest airport in the world in terms of international passenger traffic."

Figures show the largest increase in passenger numbers was on flights to and from Western Europe and the Indian subcontinent.

Dubai International Airport has two departure terminals and offers e-check-in options to help reduce passenger waiting times.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Indian airline plans new flight agreement

Indian airline Kingfisher Airlines is to form a new code-share agreement with American Airlines in 2011.

The deal means that American Airlines will be able to put its code on Kingfisher Airlines domestic flights within India as well as on flights to Delhi and Mumbai from London Heathrow.

In return, Kingfisher Airlines will be able to code-share on American Airline flights to Delhi from Chicago and some services between the US and London.

"We are very pleased to announce our code-share partnership with Kingfisher, an airline that offers our customers the choice of flying to more cities throughout India and a more convenient travel experience," said Virasb Vahidi, American Airlines' chief commercial officer.

Kingfisher Airlines launched its international services in 2008 and now flies to Dubai, London, Hong Kong, Singapore, Bangkok, Colombo, Dhaka and Kathmandu. The carrier also has a number of domestic services from cities such as Delhi, Mumbai and Chennai.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Qantas Grounds Airbus A380 Fleet

The Qantas A380 that made a lucky escape and made an emergency landing in Singapore could have ended up exploding in the skies revealed media reports. The A380 was flying from Singapore to Sydney. Qantas has 6 Airbus A380s in its fleet and these planes use the Trent 900 engines of the London-based Rolls Royce fame. Investigators revealed that there was an oil leakage and the leaking oil caught fire. The burning oil heated up the metal parts and resulted in an explosion. Some of the flying metal debris tore through hydraulics and an engine control line of the aircraft’s wing. As a result, the pilots were no longer able to control the second wing and about fifty percent of the damaged wing’s brake flaps forcing them to make an emergency landing at Singapore aircraft, stated sources.

The situation could have had a much grimmer outcome. Taking no chances, Qantas has grounded its A380 fleet and updated its schedule for international flights. It was revealed that the airline can take as many as 7 weeks before it gives the nod to A380s to fly again. According to sources, the 6 A380s serve 50 departures every week out of a total of 613. The grounding of the flights has come as a major disappointment for travellers who had managed to land cheap flight tickets to travel aboard A380s by booking well in advance.

Passengers can take it Easy

Qantas operates a massive fleet. Besides A380s, it has 14 A330s, 26 B747s, and some 30 other aircrafts. All these will be pressed into service to ensure that there is least possible disruption of scheduled international services and passengers face the least possible inconvenience. As per the Telegraph reports, the operations of most of the international flights would be as per schedule and the domestic flights are already flying according to schedule. Qantas has stated that as long as the A380s do not resume services, passengers would be accommodated on the other flights of its vast international network.

Rolls Royce to Face the Music

According to the constant trickle of media reports, Rolls Royce, the manufacturer of the Trent 900 engines, will have to pay an astronomical amount to Airbus for the engine failure. Mr Stefan Schaffrath, the spokesman of Airbus was quoted by the Mail Online as saying ‘We will seek full financial compensation from Rolls-Royce for any costs we have to bear. We are making extra efforts to keep our production flow going and to help our customers maintain their operations. For that, we will seek full compensation’. However, Airbus also clarified that it will claim extra compensation to the extent it spends on ensuring that its customer airlines face the least possible disruption of services.

Friday, November 5, 2010

India Travel Menu

The exotic land of India with deep jungles, meandering rivers, looming mountains, time forgotten villages, haunting historical buildings, colonial architecture, countless vernaculars and excellent cuisines offers a bewildering array of exciting vacationing activities. If you are addicted to skiing and other winter sports, visit Gulmarg during December to April and at a fraction of the cost that one would incur at the Swiss Alps. Gulmarg also boasts world’s highest golf course. If beaches are your idea of fun, head to laidback Goa with its delightful Portuguese ambience or scenic Kerala. Definitely not to be missed is the world famous adrenaline pumping white water rafting on the raging currents of the Ganges at Rishikesh. This activity has seduced quite a few celebrities – Sir Edmund Hillary and Brad Pitt to name just two. With most airlines operating flights to India from Heathrow, visiting this destination is a breeze.

Step back into time at the Mathoor village of Karnataka. Here Sanskrit (supposed to be the world’s oldest language) is the language of choice. One can revisit shades of quaint colonial life at the sleepy hamlet of Jharkhand’s McCluskieganj. Watch Kamasutra coming alive in stone sculptures at Khajuraho, Madhya Pradesh. The famous golden triangle tour of Delhi, Agra and Jaipur is a wonderful lesson in history. Here, one gets the opportunity to behold the architectural wonders of the awe inspiring Red Fort and the magnificent Taj Mahal. Jaipur, known as the Pink City, is jam packed with havelis, forts, and other grand remnants of India’s rich royal past.

Hill lovers may have a tough time selecting a hill destination as there are so many of them. Every hill station outdoes the other – be it Kashmir, known as the Switzerland of India, or Darjeeling with its dazzling view of KanchanJunga, supposedly the world’s second highest mountain peak. Another rare treat is the Valley of Flowers in Uttarakhand, a riot of colourful flowers and butterflies during the summer months of June to September.

India, with scores of wildlife sanctuaries and national parks, is also a boon for wildlife enthusiasts. Just some of the most famous ones are The Corbett National Park, the Sunderbans Delta with its notorious man eating tigers, the Kaziranga Rhino Sanctuary, the Kanha National Park, and the Gir Forests, home to the Asiatic Lion, which is on the verge of extinction.

With innumerable temples and pilgrimages, India also acts as panacea to the soul who seeks solace in Eastern mysticism. Every Indian city will leave you with fond memories, be it the ‘City of Joy’ (Kolkata) or ‘City of Pearls’ (Hyderabad). In fact, India may well be your best bet if you want quality but cheap holidays.