Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Turkish Airlines To Open New London – Istanbul Route in December

Turkish Airlines are starting a new 7 day service from London Gatwick to Istanbul Ataturk Airport (on the European side).
The flights leave London Gatwick at 13:50 daily arriving Istanbul at 19:45. The return flights leave from Istanbul at 10:50 arriving London at 12:50.
The new service begins on 20th December just in time for the lucrative Christmas and New Year travel rush. However, prices do not begin to drop until January when £150 returns (all in including taxes) start to pop up on the booking system.
Unfortunately the new flight times do not tie in with the Turkish Airline flights from Istanbul to Dalaman.
Annoyingly that flight leaves some 25 minutes earlier at 19:20 meaning those wanting to get down to Dalaman would need an overnight stay and fly the following morning.
So the new flights offer a budget alternative for those wishing to take a flight to Istanbul either for a break or as a stop over on the way down south, but they don’t offer an easy and cheap alternative when trying to get to Dalaman out of the season.

Etihad Airways announced daily Johannesburg service

Etihad Airways today announced significant changes to its daily Johannesburg service from January 24, 2012.
Improvements to the Johannesburg flight timings will provide new morning and evening departure options from both Abu Dhabi and Johannesburg.
The new flight timings have been designed to offer business and leisure passengers maximum flexibility when formulating their travel plans, and to better connect Johannesburg to Etihad Airways’ global network.
Importantly, the new flight timings will establish seamless connection opportunities to Etihad Airways destinations on the Indian Subcontinent, and across North and South Asia.
Mr James Hogan, Etihad Airways Chief Executive Officer, said: “We believe this new schedule will open up a number of opportunities for our Johannesburg service and could eventually enable us to introduce a second daily flight.”
Under the new schedule, all Etihad Airways flights to South Africa will terminate in Johannesburg, and no longer operate through to Cape Town. The airline is examining other means of serving the Cape Town market, and already has in place arrangements to offer passengers fast and seamless connections in partnership with local carriers.
The airline began flying to Johannesburg in December 2005 and in the last six years has carried more than half a million passengers to and from South Africa.
Etihad Airways’ guests with existing bookings affected by the new schedule will be contacted shortly to discuss these changes and to make alternative bookings where necessary.
New Johannesburg schedule, effective Tuesday, January 24, 2012:
Flight #
Departure Time
Arrival Time
Abu Dhabi (AUH)
Johannesburg (JNB)
04:45 +1
Three per week: Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday
Johannesburg (JNB)
Abu Dhabi (AUH)
Three per week: Wednesday, Friday, Sunday
Abu Dhabi (AUH)
Johannesburg (JNB)
Four per week: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday
Johannesburg (JNB)
Abu Dhabi (AUH)
06:45 +1
Four per week: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday

SAA launches China service

South African Airways will start flying from Johannesburg to Beijing, China, on January 31, 2012.
“Introducing direct flights to Beijing is in line with our strategy to expand our network to Asia, the fastest-growing market in the world," said Thevan Krishna, South African Airways' head of Australasia.
South African Airways will fly thrice weekly, every Tuesday, Friday and Sunday, to Beijing using Airbus A340-600. The Johannesburg-Beijing flight takes about 15 hours.
"South Africa and Africa is seen as an expanding investment opportunity by China and our new direct service will help support this renewed interest in our region by the Chinese,” Thevan said.
South African Airways is expecting a robust investment opportunity in the city as new international destination.

Zambia Tourism Board unveil new tourism brand in London

Zambia: The Zambia Tourism Board has unveiled the new “Let’s Explore” Tourism Brand at the World Travel Market (WTM) in London, United Kingdom.
Speaking at the launch event held at Excel-London, last evening, Zambia’s High Commissioner to Zambia Professor Royson Mukwena called upon the international community to embrace the new brand and spread the good news about Zambia’s unique tourism products.
Professor Mukwena said that Zambia is fast becoming a preferred destination for investment and holidays because of the peace and democracy that the country has continued to enjoy.
The High Commissioner said the recent peaceful elections in Zambia were a demonstration of Zambia’s maturing democracy and a model for Africa.
Professor Mukwena has also thanked the international community for choosing Zambia and Zimbabwe as Joint Hosts of the 2013 UNWTO General Assembly. He said the win was a sign of confidence in the two neighbouring nations’ capacity to host big events.
At the same event, Zimbabwe Minister of Tourism and Hospitality Industry engineer Walter Mzembi revealed that the Governments of Zimbabwe and Zambia, through their respective Presidents, had already endorsed the General Assembly.
Mr. Mzembi said the event, among other things will give Zambia and Zimbabwe who he described as twins, a chance to re-claim ownership of the Victoria Falls which he said was being hijacked by other countries.
The new brand unveiling which included a video presentation on Zambia’s major national Parks as well as Victoria Falls was conducted by ZTB Managing Director Mr. Felix Chaila and Director of Marketing, Mr. Evans Muhanga.
Among those who attended the launch were Zimbabwe Ambassador to the United Kingdom H.E. Gabriel Machinga, Sun International Marketing Director Ian Anderson, Meridian Club members, Africa Travel and Tourism Association members, RETOSA Representatives, Zambian WTM delegates, Zambian Embassy staff, the Zambian Community in the UK and Miss Zimbabwe 2011 Malaika Mashandu
Staged annually in London, the World Travel Market is the leading global event for the travel industry and attracts almost 48,000 senior travel industry professionals, Government Ministers and International Press.
The 2011 version runs from the 7th to the 11 of November at Excel Exhibition Center in London.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Christmas in Australia: Book Cheap Christmas Flights to Australia

Christmas is synonymous to the winters, cold, snowfall, fur overcoats, roasted turkey and hot cakes in most parts of the world.  However if you wish to witness a stark a difference to the above scenario then head straight to savor Christmas in Australia. It is just the beginning of summers in December and the sun is up dazzling and bright. While the rest of the world is sipping piping hot tea to fight the chill after the Midnight Mass is over, the Australians generally plan an outdoor lunch or a picnic in the beach on Christmas day.
Christmas in Australia is celebrated with the same amount of spirit and enthusiasm as in the rest of the world. Although the total population of this country is very small considering the size of the landmass, it nevertheless is an amalgamating point of various cultures and ethnic groups from all over the world. Each group has contributed towards making Australia a very multi hued nation with different Customs and different ways of observing the same customs.
Christmas in Australia has been celebrated for a very long time. Though the traditions are similar to those in the European nations, a slight variation here and there is seen. The concept of Santa Claus and his giving away gifts are believed here too and people especially little children await his arrival. Exchanging of gifts and greeting cards is very common and people see this day as an occasion to be with family and friends.
Preparations for Christmas in Australia begin many days in advance cleaning the house, decorating and also practicing Christmas Carols. Ever since it was first begun in 1937, the tradition of Christmas Eve Carol in candlelight is being followed with great zeal. Thousands of people gather in Melbourne to witness this event and take part in the singing. The native plant for Christmas is called Christmas Bush with red flowered leaves and this is an essential part of the decorations in every household.
On 25th of December people throng to the beaches for picnic and generally serve cold turkey, ham, salads and seafood among other delicious cuisines.
Getting to Australia
There are frequent direct and indirect flights by major airlines from destinations throughout Europe, North America, the East and Australasia to South Africa.
From the United Kingdom, South African Airways and British Airways offer the most direct flights but there are numerous European Airlines offering the same flight. London to Johannesburg is an eleven and a half hour direct flight and London to Cape Town direct is twelve hours flying time.
For more details regarding Christmas in Australia or booking cheap flights to Australia please call our reservation experts on 02079936219 or visit our website Alternatively you can also send us travel inquiry at

Air Malawi resume Flights to South Africa after eight days on the ground

Air Malawi resume Flights to South Africa on Thursday after being grounded for eight days due to the unavailability of its Boeing 737-200 and ATR 42.
Air Malawi ceased flying on November 16. In a statement the airline said its lease agreement with Bravo Capital Limited for its Boeing 737-200 had expired and that it was in the process of sourcing a better, more reliable and efficient aircraft. The Boeing’s main route was to Johannesburg.
“As such all flights to Johannesburg have temporarily been suspended for a period of two weeks. It is estimated that these flights will resume on 1st December 2011,” Air Malawi said.
The flag carrier’s only other aircraft, an ATR 42, had been undergoing maintenance, and Air Malawi said it would resume operations on November 21 for flights to Lilongwe, Blantyre, Harare, Lusaka and Dar-es-Salaam. However, that day came and went due to what Air Malawi head of marketing Tony Chimpukuso described as prolonged maintenance. The ATR 42 only resumed flights last Thursday.
“The aircraft will resume its operations today because everything is now fixed as it went through C-check maintenance for a week,” Chimpukuso said on Thursday.
“The ATR 42 did not resume its operations on Monday because there were some other prescribed jobs that were not evaluated that was why we shifted the date to Thursday because we needed more time to fix the problems,” Chimpukuso added.
Although the ATR 42 is now flying, Air Malawi’s flights to Johannesburg remain suspended “until arrangements to lease a better and more reliable aircraft have been finalised.”
Air Malawi had two Boeing 737s but these are stuck in South Africa as the airline has no money to pay the maintenance company that has taken possession of them.
Air Malawi is in dire financial straights, with some inside sources reporting its debt level at around K10 billion (US$59.8 million), according to the Nyasa Times.
Air Malawi’s chief executive officer Patrick Chilambe said that the government is restructuring the airline after it posted an after-tax loss of K1.1 billion (US$6.6 million) last year and a K1.3 billion (US$7.7 million) loss in 2009, according to the Malawi government’s Annual Economic Report for this year. Chilambe said the restructuring is being carried out by consultant Ernst & Young and will take two months.
“As you are aware, we have been going through hard times in recent years. The whole idea of the restructuring exercise is to take stock of what has happened in the past and shape a better future for the company,” Chilambe said.
Since 2000, the Malawian government has attempted on two occasions to privatise the airline. The first attempt in 2003 failed because of the successful bidder, in partnership with South African Airways, being unable to post a security bond. The second attempt in 2007 failed after disagreements over the terms with the bidder, Comair of South Africa.

South African Airways expands African routes

South African Airways has announced an expansion of its African routes into the Congo as well as a new international route to China. The SAA will launch services to Pointe Noire in the Congo from Jan. 26 and Beijing from Jan. 31.
Pointe Noire is the fourth new African destination this financial year. It joins Ndola, in Zambia; Kigali, in Rwanda; and Bujumbura, in Burundi.

Air France-KLM, BA To Operate UK Flights Normally Wednesday

Air France-KLM (AF.FR) and British Airways Tuesday said they plan to operate normal services to and from the U.K. on Wednesday despite planned strikes at airports.
Public-sector workers in the U.K., including border-control officers, are striking over pension changes, likely causing disruptions to passenger flow at airports.
The three airlines are offering passengers the option of switching their bookings to Tuesday or after Wednesday with no penalties for those with non-switchable bookings. However, they aren't offering cancellations because flights schedules are being maintained.
The strike action by immigration officials will actually start on Tuesday evening because of the workers' staggered shift system.
"But we're not expecting any particular issues tonight," a BA spokesman said.

Emirates Airline Cancels Two Flights Due To UK Strike

Emirates Airline said Monday it had canceled two flights on its Dubai-London route ahead of a planned public sector strike in the U.K on Wednesday.
"Due to the announced strike of the U.K. Border Control Authority at all U.K. airports on the 30th November, Emirates has unfortunately had to cancel EK029, Dubai to London Heathrow, and the returning EK030," said a spokesman for Dubai-based Emirates.
Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airways earlier Monday said it had canceled three flights on its London-Abu Dhabi route ahead of the nationwide public sector strike in the U.K., which is likely to cause chaos at the world's busiest international airport.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Emirates to launch Rio de Janeiro flights

Dubai-based Emirates airline will launch daily services to the 2014 Fifa World Cup host city of Rio de Janeiro from January 3, 2012.
The new direct service to Rio de Janeiro, with an onward extension to Buenos Aires, will provide seamless connections to Emirates’ network of more than 100 destinations worldwide, a statement from the airline said.
Over 800 guests from the government, travel industry and wider business community attended a gala celebration at Pier Maua where they were given the opportunity to see the Fifa World Cup Trophy, which was on display at the event.
“As Emirates’ second Brazilian gateway, our new Rio de Janeiro service will add extra impetus to the vibrant Brazilian economy, boosting tourism and underpinning the city’s status as a leading hub for business and trade, particularly within the oil and gas industries,” said Thierry Antinori, executive vice president, passenger sales worldwide.
“Emirates anticipates strong demand for both leisure and business travel to Rio de Janeiro, especially as Brazil will host a series of world-class events over the next few years, including the 2013 Confederations Cup, the 2014 Fifa World Cup and the 2016 Olympic Games, said Antinori. “As a partner of the 2014 World Cup, Emirates is proud that we have a role to play in making the tournament a success, and we look forward to bringing football fans from across our global network to this not-to-be-missed event.”
“This new Emirates flight to Rio de Janeiro is a big win as it will feed global traffic into the city, boosting tourism and creating new opportunities for trade between this market and numerous emerging economies,” said Rodrigo Solano, manager of markets and business, Arab Brazilian Chamber of Commerce.
Rio de Janeiro, also known as the ‘Marvellous City,’ is renowned for its spectacular natural setting. The city, which is home to Sugar Loaf Mountain, Copacabana and Ipanema beaches as well as the famous Maracana Football Stadium, receives more visitors than any other city in South America, welcoming an estimated 2.8 million international tourists each year.
The new service will be operated by a Boeing 777-300ER aircraft, arranged in a three-class configuration, offering eight first class private suites, 42 lie-flat beds in business class, and a spacious cabin in economy class with 304 seats.
Passengers can enjoy the latest version of Emirates’ multi award-winning ice entertainment system, which offers over 1,200 channels of movies, TV shows and music, including Portuguese language versions and Brazilian and Latin American music.

Kenya Airways profit jumps 41%

Kenya Airways after-tax profits rose to KShs 2.034 billion (D82 million) in the first half of this year as compared to KShs 1.436 billion (Dh58 million) for the corresponding period last year, registering an increase of 41.3 per cent.
Earnings per share increased to KShs 4.40 from KShs 3.11 realised in the prior year.
Half year turnover reached KShs 54.9 billion (Dh2.23 billion) which is a 33.3 per cent increase on the previous year figure of KShs 41.2 billion (Dh1.67 billion) despite the challenging economic and geopolitical environment that continues to impact the aviation industry.
Management continued to invest time and resources towards maintaining high levels of safety in all its operations during the period.
High Passenger traffic growth was achieved in all regions over the period as follows: Middle East passenger numbers grew by 24 per cent and European traffic was up 13.3 per cent due to improved demand out of London, Paris and Rome that was launched in late 2010 thus, was not part of first half of prior year.
Africa grew by 15.7 per cent largely due to launch of operations into Ouagadougou and N’Djamena during the period.  There was also improved performance on routes launched last year to Southern Africa and increased frequencies to Juba.  Far East traffic to Bangkok, Hong Kong and Guangzhou increased by 24.8 per cent largely the result of increased capacity in the region.
“This is an exceptional performance,” said Abraham Joseph, Area Manager - Gulf, Middle East & Pakistan, Kenya Airways.
“The response of our newly launched Jeddah route has been very positive which adds to our success. Our half year financial results are due to the hard-work and dedication of all our staff around the world. We have relentlessly pushed to reach new markets despite of the increasing competitive environment”.
The airline’s board has taken cognisance of the cyclical traffic demand and has approved a ten year plan that will enable Kenya Airways remain competitive by positioning itself to capture the traffic flows in the future.
The ten year plan starts from this financial year to 2020/21. The plan includes new destinations roll out covering the six continents and a fleet acquisition plan. The immediate items in implementation of the plan starts with earnest within the next six months with a Rights Issue as already communicated to potential investors. The Rights Issue proceeds will form part of the initial fleet pre-delivery payments for the years 2013/14 and 2014/15 aircraft acquisitions.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

BA offers more holiday time in Mauritius

British Airways has adjusted the timings of its flights to Mauritius to give passengers more time in the luxury holiday destination this winter.
Return journeys from the island nation in the Indian Ocean will depart 12 hours later than at present, meaning travellers will have a bit of extra time to relax or see the sights.
The schedule change coincides with the transfer of BA's Mauritius route from London Heathrow to Gatwick airport, as part of a drive to strengthen the airline's premium leisure offering at the latter.
A new terminal extension was recently opened at Gatwick with the aim of giving travellers more control over their journey and introducing a new approach to customer service.
The extension will be home to all BA services at the airport and will allow customers to complete certain processes themselves, such as checking in, choosing seats and printing their luggage tags.
Silla Maizey, the airline's director at Gatwick, said: "We have a strong premium leisure strategy for Gatwick - we want it to be a hub for great high-end holiday destinations.
"Moving the Mauritius flights here helps us to strengthen this position as it will now sit alongside destinations such as the Maldives and the Caribbean."
BA also offers rooms at a range of hotels in Mauritius, such as the three-star Emeraude Beach Hotel on the east coast and Le Touessrok, a luxury spa resort spread across a number of offshore islands.

Troubled Air Malawi resumes operations

Malawi: National flag carrier, Air Malawi, on Thursday recovered from its eight-day coma when its ATR 42 bounced back into operation.
Air Malawi last week suspended all its flights due to lack of planes after the expiry of a lease agreement on its Boeing737 200 which was leased from Bravo Capital Limited of America.
The situation was worsened by a C-check maintenance the ATR 42 was undergoing.
Air Malawi chief executive officer Patrick Chilambe told The Nation last week that the ATR 42 would bounce back on Monday to service the domestic routes as well as fly to Harare in Zimbabwe, Lusaka in Zambia and Dar es Salaam in Tanzania.
But the ATR failed to take off on Monday due to what Air Malawi head of marketing Tony Chimpukuso described as prolonged maintenance.
“The aircraft will resume its operations today [Thursday] because everything is now fixed as it went through C-check maintenance for a week.”
“The ATR 42 did not resume its operations on Monday because there were some other prescribed jobs that were not evaluated that was why we shifted the date to Thursday because we needed more time to fix the problems,” said Chimpukuso.
He said Air Malawi wanted to rectify all the problems before the ATR 42 could resume flying to avoid suspending it again for the same problems in the future.
Chimpukuso said the aeroplane is now better and reliable and assured the public that they will travel well as everything is under control.
Despite the resurrection of the ATR 42, Air Malawi’s flights to Johannesburg remain suspended “until arrangements to lease a better and more reliable aircraft have been finalised.”

Ethiopian Airlines Receives AFRAA Award for Best Financial Performance

Addis Ababa- Ethiopian Airlines has earned another accolade from The African Airlines Association (AFRAA) for being consistently profitable over the years and recording the best financial results in 2010.
Ethiopian was honored with the prestigious award at the 43rd AFRAA Annual General Assembly held in Marrakesh, Morocco on November 21, 2011.
Mr. Yissehak Zewoldi, Vice President Alliances and Corporate Strategic Planning received the award at the event. Upon receiving the award Mr. Yissehak said, “It is indeed an honor for Ethiopian Airlines to receive such an award especially from fellow African carriers. This is a testimony in recognition of the persistent effort exerted by the airline to move the African Aviation to new heights.”
Ethiopian has received three prestigious awards in a row in 2011 for its outstanding service and achievements in the aviation industry.
About Ethiopian
Ethiopian Airlines, one of the largest and fastest growing airlines in Africa, made its maiden flight to Cairo in 1946. With the addition of new flight services to Milan, Ethiopian provides dependable services to 62 international destinations spanning four continents.
Recently, Ethiopian received the 2011 “AFRICAN CARGO AIRLINE OF THE YEAR” Award for its excellence in air cargo. Ethiopian won the NEPAD Transport Infrastructure Excellence Awards 2009 and the 2009 “Airline of the Year” award from the African Airlines Association (AFRAA). In August 2008, Ethiopian won “the 2008 Corporate Achievement Award” of Aviation & Allied Business for setting the pace towards the development and growth of the African aviation industry. Ethiopian is also the first African carrier to win the 2008 Brussels Airport Company Award in recognition of its distinguished long haul operations witnessed through the introduction of new routes, new products, and close cooperation with Brussels Airport in marketing activities.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Mango Airline at the forefront of low-cost flying in South Africa

SAA’s low-cost division, Mango, is five years old this week. And, in spite of the predictions when it was started – that the South African market was too small to support three low-cost and two full-service airlines – now has average passenger loads of more than 80 percent and has carried more than 7 million people.
With a fleet of only five aircraft it has a smaller route network than rivals and 1Time, but chief executive Nico Bezuidenhout says it has a 30 percent market share of the routes that it does fly. These, at present, are limited to the Golden Triangle between Cape Town, Johannesburg and Durban, with the addition of flights between Cape Town and Bloemfontein and Cape Town and Lanseria.
But Bezuidenhout says he is planning to extend the network when the airline has more aircraft and to expand beyond South Africa’s borders.
From the beginning Mango set out to attract people who had never flown before, and it succeeded. But since the economic downturn caused many companies to cut their travel budgets, Mango, like kulula and 1Time, has attracted an increasing number of business travellers. However, not all business travellers are willing to fly with a low-cost airline, even for a comparatively short distance.
So when SAA withdrew its coastal service between Cape Town and Durban, leaving it to Mango, Comair stepped in to fill the gap and reports that it, too, is doing well on the route.
Part of Mango’s success is due to innovative thinking. It encouraged first-time flyers by enabling them to book at the Money Market counters in Shoprite and Checkers while doing their shopping and later in Edcon stores, where they can pay the fares with their monthly store charge cards.
More recently, they have been able to book and pay by cellphone through FNB’s Cell Pay Point secure payment facility and Nedbank’s NPay remote payment facility. Its next innovation, according to Bezuidenhout, is to have wi-fi on board next year.
Pointing out that aviation serves as an economic multiplier, he says this has been shown by Mango’s Cape Town to Bloemfontein route in particular, which has led to increased demand for car rentals, employment of more airport staff and even increased retail spending.
He believes that there is scope for further growth in South Africa’s airline market – provided that air travel continues to be affordable. But, he warns, with a slow economic recovery on the cards, increases in airport taxes are hitting sector growth.
“In the current economy even a R50 increase could have a depressive effect on the market.”
SAA withdrew
In last week’s column I pointed out that German airline Lufthansa – which has returned for the summer after withdrawing its service between Cape Town and Frankfurt in winter – started this seasonal pattern of withdrawal at a time when SAA still flew from here to Frankfurt in winter and Qatar Airways had introduced more competition by offering indirect flights to Frankfurt by way of its home airport in Doha. Qatar, of course, is still here and so are Emirates and Etihad.
But SAA no longer flies to Germany from here and there are many local people who would like to have the option of direct, nonstop flights all year round.
This point was made this week by think tank Accelerate Cape Town in a meeting with the president’s review commission for state-owned enterprises. Guy Lundy, the chief executive of Accelerate Cape Town, told the commission that SAA withdrawing its direct flights from Cape Town to Frankfurt and other foreign destinations was “highly detrimental to our ability to do international business from here”.
SAA may not have a large enough fleet to serve Frankfurt and other important destinations from Cape Town and also follow the national policy of building Joburg up as the main hub for airlines flying into sub-Saharan Africa. But since it is no longer flying to Germany from Cape Town and there is certainly a demand for non-stop flights to Frankfurt, one can hope that Lufthansa may be persuaded to remain for the winter months.
Virgin Atlantic, which also withdraws from Cape Town in winter but has codeshare arrangements for SAA to carry its passengers to London then, is launching a new service between London/ Heathrow and Vancouver in May. Bookings will start on December 1. - Weekend Argus

SAA introduces services to Pointe Noire, Congo and Beijing, China

In line with its strategy of expanding its presence in Central Africa, South African Airways (SAA) will introduce a service to Pointe Noire in the Congo, effective 26 January 2012. This welcome addition to the airline’s ever-expanding route network on the continent offers customers further access into Central Africa. SAA will operate to 21 cities on the continent with the commencement of this service.
Pointe Noire will be served twice a week, with a narrow body aircraft, the Airbus A319. These aircraft offer 120 seats - 95 Economy and 25 in Business Class.
For the first time in the history of the airline, SAA will introduce direct flights to Beijing, China; from January next year. These flights are available from now on for reservations in the global distribution system (GDS) and via SAA’s website
Introducing direct flights to Beijing is in line with SAA’s strategy to expand its network to Asia, the fastest growing market in the world. SAA will operate the route three times a week. The route will be served by the Airbus A340-600 aircraft. Flying time between Johannesburg and Beijing takes on average 15 hours.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Cape Town Jazz Festival set to thrill

Cape Town: Multi Grammy award-winning artist James Ingram has been included in the line-up of artists who will headline the Cape Town International Jazz Festival (CTIJF) next year.
The event, which will be a two-day jazz extravaganza, will be held at the Cape Town International Convention Centre from March 30 to 31 and the line-up will provide a sensational mix of world icons and rising stars.
Ingram will be on the CTIJF stage for the first time, but there will also be returning artists who have become household names, like award-winning, internationally renowned jazz saxophonist Dave Koz (US) with special guest Patti Austin (US), six-time Grammy nominee and premier jazz and jazz-fusion guitarist Mike Stern (US) performing with drummer Dave Weckl (US), as well as South Africa’s own Virtual Jazz Reality.
Ingram, who is a back-to-back platinum gold-selling vocalist with hits such as “Just Once” and “I Don’t Have the Heart”, and is best known for his hit collaborations such as “Yah Mo be There”, “Baby Come To Me” and “How Do You Keep the Music Playing?”
Minister of cultural affairs and sport in the Western Cape Ivan Meyer said: “By combining top international jazz performers with the finest local talent, the Cape Town International Jazz Festival has established itself as one of South Africa’s annual mega-musical highlights.
“Musical talent is vital to the success of these events, and music development programmes for the youth, such as those funded by the Western Cape government, are the perfect platform to grow and nurture talent.”
The CTIJF, managed by Esp-Afrika last year, contributed about R498m to the Western Cape economy and with an astounding line-up for next year, organisers are confident that more money will be generated.
EspAfrika’s Billy Domingo said: “Not only has the Cape Town International Jazz Festival become an iconic live music experience, it is also a significant contributor to the SA economy, tourism and entertainment industries, as it created 2700 jobs during that period.”
Jazz lovers can look forward to international jazz veterans the Brubeck Brothers, Darius (piano), Chris (bass) and Dan (drums) with special guest Mike Rossi (sax) who will also play.
For more details and booking cheap flights to Cape Town for Jazz festival please call our reservation experts on 02079936219 or visit our website

Qatar Airways offers more seats to Kolkata

Less than four months after Qatar Airways introduced daily flights between Kolkata and Doha, it is considering the viability of introducing a bigger aircraft to augment seat capacity by 40%. Apart from seven passenger flights, Qatar Airways also operates two freighters to Kolkata every week.
"With passenger load in excess of 90% on the Kolkata-Doha sector, we are considering replacing the narrow-bodied Airbus A-320 aircraft with wide-bodied A-330 or Boeing 787 Dreamliner," Qatar Airways chief executive officer Akbar Al Baker said on Wednesday.
Speaking to TOI, the airline official said consistent loads on the sector despite the economic turbulence worldwide had instilled enough confidence for the carrier to consider a capacity hike. "At Qatar, we are very careful while launching new sectors. We usually commence service with narrow bodied aircraft before switching the wide-bodied when the market grows. We don't believe in jeopardizing existing carriers in a market by dumping capacity or slashing fares beyond the promotional period," Baker said.
The Gulf state has 500,000 Indians, including a sizeable community from Bengal working in IT and construction sector. This generates a good market for visiting friends and relatives. Moreover, with the airline offering the shortest connection to Europe via the region, many passengers have opted for it in recent months. Incidentally, one in every four employee in the airline is an Indian.
"At present, we are receiving a new aircraft every 18 days. From next year, the frequency of delivery will increase to 15 days and will peak in 2013 when a new plane will arrive every 12 days. To match the pace, we induct 300 new pilots a year and recruit 250 flight attendants every month," the CEO said.
Sometime mid next year, the company will also go green with the introduction of gas to liquid (GTL) fuel being developed by Qatar Petroleum and Royal Dutch Shell Plc. The synthetic fuel that does not contain sulphur will be mixed with aviation fuel in equal measure to fly aircraft fitted with Rolls Royce engines. With GE, the other engine manufacturer, yet to ratify the fuel, flights to Kolkata will continue to run on ATF.
On the turbulence in the air over high fuel price, Baker said every time the price of oil went up by $1, Qatar Airways bottom-line took a $40-million hit. "Nearly 42% of the operational cost of a carrier is fuel, up from 35% two years ago," he said. On the proposed foreign direct investment in Indian aviation sector, Baker said the airline was in talks with some airlines but did not elaborate further. The airline had been similarly tightlipped when it acquired 35% stake in Luxembourg-based cargo airline Cargolux.
Providing an alternative in aircraft will not be a problem for the airline as it has ordered a huge number of aircraft to both augment its fleet and replace existing aircraft to keep the average age down to five years.

KLM to Launch Flights to Lusaka, Zambia

On 15 May 2012 KLM Royal Dutch Airlines will make its first flight to Lusaka, Zambia, the airline’s 72nd intercontinental destination.
KLM will serve Lusaka three times a week using an Airbus A330-200. The aircraft has space for 243 passengers, 30 in World Business Class and 213 in Economy Class.
Starting 15 May 2012, flight KL561 will depart from Schiphol on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays at 12:30, arriving in Lusaka the same day at 22:10.
 The return flight, KL562, will depart Lusaka at 23:55 on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday nights and arrive in Amsterdam at 09:55 the next morning.
Zambia is experiencing strong growth, thanks to its vigorous mining industry. Moreover, this new destination for KLM will create a direct link between Zambia’s flourishing flower industry and the Netherlands, which is the largest junction in the worldwide flower industry.
 Tourism in Zambia is centred around the city of Livingstone, located on the banks of the Zambezi river and close to the famed Victoria Falls.
Together with Kenya Airways, KLM offers another thirteen flights a week to Lusaka via Nairobi. Thanks to the partnership with Kenya Airways, KLM and Air France can offer an extensive network throughout Africa. The alliance flies to many destinations including Harare, Mombassa, Lilongwe, and Bujumbura.

Ethiopian airlines Receives Its First of 10 Boeing 737-800s aircraft

Ethiopian Airlines is pleased to announce that it has received its first next-generation Boeing 737-800 with the new Boeing Sky Interior on 22 November 2011. This is the first 737-800 with Boeing Sky Interior of ten to be delivered over the next four years.
"In line with our Vision 2025 strategic road map and our fleet modernization and expansion project, we are investing heavily in technologically advanced and modern airplanes,” said Mr. Tewolde Gebremariam, CEO of Ethiopian Airlines. “This new airplane will not only benefit Ethiopian because of its unmatched operating costs, but will also offer more comfort to our passengers. Moreover, these new aircraft generate far fewer carbon emissions than older aircraft, minimizing our carbon footprint. Our goal is to be the most environmentally friendly airline in Africa, and the new 737-800 is in line with this goal."
The new aircraft will be initially deployed on Ethiopian’s daily flight to Dar es Salaam during the day and Ethiopian’s daily flight to Riyadh at night.
The Boeing Sky Interior introduces new cove lighting and curving architecture that create a distinctive entry way. Passengers will enjoy a more open cabin and a soft blue sky overhead simulated by light-emitting diode (LED) lighting, which could easily be controlled on a touch screen control board.
The new interior also brings new, modern, sculpted sidewalls and window reveals to draw passengers’ eyes to the view outside the window. The aircraft has new features such as modern overhead bins, (the first for a Boeing narrow body aircraft), advanced aerodynamics and modern passenger service unit (PSU). Outfitted with Boeing Sky Interior, the new 737-800NG has maximum reliability, efficiency, passenger appeal and optimized engine design that adds up extra comfort and style to passengers.
"Ethiopian Airlines continues to prove its leadership and forward thinking in aviation throughout Africa," said Van Rex Gallard, vice president of Sales for Africa, Latin America and Caribbean for Boeing Commercial Airplanes."By making these investments in their fleet, Ethiopian Airlines is positioning itself to continue to lead aviation in Africa and becoming a leader across the globe."
Ethiopian Airlines currently operates five brand new 777-200LRs and it is the first African airline to order the Boeing 787 Dreamliner with an order for 10. Ethiopian Airlines operates an all-Boeing fleet of 737, 757, 767 and 777 airplanes in passenger service and a fleet of 757s, MD11s and 747s in cargo operations.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Top Tourist Destination in South Africa

South Africa Tourist Destinations would captivate the mind of travelers of all age groups, whether it is the historic city of Cape Town or the wealthy City of Johannesburg, South Africa is a favored destination for all. Explore all these and a lot more.

Cape Town
Cape Town is undoubtedly the most visited cities in South Africa. Tourist Destinations in South Africa include Table Mountain, the Table Mountain National Park, the Chapman's Peak Drive and others. Come for a wine tasting in the towns of Paarl, Stellenbosch and Franschhoek. The beaches of Cape Town are also favored places for tourists.

Johannesburg is one of the most favored Tourist Destinations in South Africa. Places of attraction include the Mandela Museum, the Apartheid Museum and the Hector Pieter son Museum, Johannesburg Zoo, the Lion Park, Soweto, the Sun City Tour, Lifestyle Garden Center, Lesedi Cultural Village, Rhino and Lion Nature Reserve and the South African Lipizzaners.

Durban is a major South Africa Tourist Destination. Visitors coming to Durban must the Maritime Museum, the African Art Centre, the local history museum, the KZNSA Gallery, the Tourist Junction, the Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre, the BAT centre and the Durban Art Gallery, Burman Bush Nature Reserve, the Shark's Board, the Red Eye Art.

Places of attraction in Pretoria include Voortrekker Monument, the Loftus Versveld Stadium, Union's Buildings, the Coin World, the Sammy Marks House, the Air Force Museum, the Mabula Game Lodge StampWise Stamp Museum, and the Tours of the Pioneer Museum, the Smuts House Museum and the Hatfield Galleries.

Sun City
A world renowned casino resort located in the North West of South Africa, Sun City is a popular tourist attraction in South Africa. Sun City is a favorite holiday destination and weekend getaways of the people of South Africa and is frequented by reputed musicians like Queen, Elton John, Linda Ronstadt, Julio Iglesias, The O'Jays, Ray Charles, Rod Stewart and Dionne Warwick. World famous singer Thomas Anders has also performed at the resort.

Best Time to visit
South Africa is a year round destination. Summers are a bit hot but the cities located on the higher altitudes can be visited during the hot season. However, the best time for a visit is the spring.

Getting to South Africa
South Africa is served by more than 70 international airlines and national carrier, South African Airways, flies to many destinations in Europe, North and South America, Asia, Australia and New Zealand.
Flights from Europe are generally overnight and are a dinner-bed-and-breakfast away. Direct flights between the US and Johannesburg or Cape Town take about 15 hours, and flights between London and Johannesburg about 12 hours.

For more details or booking cheap flights to South Africa please call our reservation experts on 02079936219 or visit our website Alternatively you can also send us travel inquiry at

Air France to launch daily A380 Paris-Dubai route in December

Air France (AF) will start operating Airbus A380 aircraft on a daily Paris Charles de Gaulle (CDG) to Dubai (DXB) route Dec. 5, and on a 2X-daily CDG to Los Angeles (LAX) route May 28, 2012.
The CDG-DXB service will be a seasonal A380 route, made possible by the aircraft’s redeployment from Tokyo Narita to DXB for the winter season, resulting from lower seasonal demand to Tokyo, AF said. The CDG-LAX route is part of the transatlantic joint venture operated by AF KLM, Alitalia and Delta Air Lines.
AF said it will operate six A380s in the current winter schedule on five routes (CDG to New York JFK, Johannesburg, Montreal, Washington Dulles and DXB) and eight A380s in the next summer schedule to six destinations (LAX, JFK, Johannesburg, Tokyo, Montreal and Washington).

Heathrow and London City flights cancelled due to fog

Air passengers have faced disruption after a number of flights to and from Heathrow and London City airports were cancelled due to fog.
At Heathrow, a total of 18 flights - nine arrivals and nine departures - were cancelled on Wednesday morning.
At London City, nine flights - four arrivals and five departures - were cancelled, while further flights were diverted or delayed.
At 11:00 GMT, a Heathrow spokesman said the fog was "clearing rapidly".
Flights to and from Heathrow and London City airports were also disrupted on Sunday and Monday due to fog.
A Heathrow Airport spokesman said Wednesday's cancellations were due to "reduced capacity on the runways caused by the thick fog".
"It is hoped that few, or no, further cancellations will be necessary as the fog is expected to clear," he added.
"Passengers should check with their airline that their flight is going ahead."
At London City Airport, nine flights - four arrivals and five departures - were cancelled, while further flights were diverted or delayed.
An airport spokeswoman said: "We are asking customers to contact their airlines and are constantly updating our website to keep customers informed."

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Cheap Flights to Australia: Tourist Destination and Travel Information

Australia is one of the exciting tourist destinations of the world, you can enjoy the most thrilling and adventurous tour of your life in the country of Australia. This travel article will provide you with the basic and general information on the country of Australia that will make your tour of Australia convenient.
Australia Tourist destinations are numerous; tourists from all over the world visit the country. The attractions in Australia are all inclusive ranging from spectacular natural wonders that includes beaches, vast landscapes, gardens and wildlife parks to modern architecture, historical landmarks and other entertainment options.
As far as natural wonders are concerned, there is no dearth of it in the country. The country is home to some of the most exquisite and pristine beaches. The long sandy beaches in the country will enable you to enjoy some splendid sceneries of natural beauty. Besides this, most of the beaches boast of avant-garde dining options and are sites of water sports. Apart from these there are also hilly areas and valleys in the country that have become major tourist destinations. Different states in the country feature wild life parks that feature a wide array of flora and fauna.
Besides natural wonders, there are numerous historical landmarks in the country. Sites like Australian War Memorial, National Gallery of Australia and countless museums in the country bear testimony to colonial past and heritage of the country. There are other landmarks in the country that have achieved iconic status and have become synonymous with the existence of the country. Sites like Sydney Opera House and Harbor Bridge in Sydney are much photographed and have become the most recognized sites of the country.
Geography of Australia comprises of a variety of biogeographic regions. Australia is the smallest continent and yet the sixth largest country in the world. Most of the population of Australia lies on the eastern and south eastern coasts.
It is always recommended that you try and keep your luggage to a minimum. Carry things which you are surely going to use. If you are not sure about certain things, you could leave them out since it will definitely be available in Australia if you need it.
Most restaurants, shopping malls, and hotels accept major credit cards. It is recommended that you travel with as much less cash as possible. Credit cards are always there to bail you out in case your run short on cash. A sizeable amount of foreign exchange could also be carried.
Medical facilities and services in Australia are good. There are a number of pharmacies, hospitals and medical shops from where one can get all sorts of medical assistance that one may require.
If you are traveling to Australia during winters, do not forget to carry a few warm jumpers. It gets very cold during the winters and sometimes it rains too.
The currency of Australia is Australian dollars. Some restaurants and hotels do accept US Dollars. There are numerous money changers located all over Australia.
Getting to Australia
There are frequent direct and indirect flights by major airlines from destinations throughout Europe, North America, the East and Australasia to South Africa.
From the United Kingdom, South African Airways and British Airways offer the most direct flights but there are numerous European Airlines offering the same flight. London to Johannesburg is an eleven and a half hour direct flight and London to Cape Town direct is twelve hours flying time.
Best Time to Visit Australia
The northern states are best visited during the winters, from July to September while the summer months are ideal for visiting the southern states. On the whole, September and October are the best, when it is neither too hot nor too cold.
For more details or booking cheap flights to Australia please call our reservation experts on 02079936219 or visit our website

Starbow Airlines promises affordable flights in Ghana

Aero Surveys Limited, an airline company trading under the commercial name, Starbow, which is the latest addition to Ghana’s aviation industry, say they are poised to offer affordable and reliable air service in Ghana and the West African Sub Region.
Starbow started domestic flights out of Kotoka International Airport on September 26 serving Kumasi, Tamale, and embarking on its first trip to Takoradi on Tuesday November 8.
The Airline plans to expand its operations to Abidjan, Monrovia, Abuja and other places in West Africa.
The Starbow fleet consists of two BAe 146-300 jets. Each aircraft has 94 passenger seats, of which 8 are in business class.
Speaking to Radio Maxx after the first inaugural flight to Takoradi, the Chief Executive of Starbow Airline, Dr. Brock Friesen, said the Airline has come to stay and would deliver to meet the demands of travellers as its gears up to provide a 7-day service to travellers in and out of various cities.
Dr. Friesen, who doubles as the Chief Operating Officer of Starbow Airlines says their affordable prices and reliable service is likely to whip up interest in domestic air travel.
In the first three weeks of its launch, Starbow gave a highly competitive promotional offer where flights from Accra to Kumasi cost only GHS 99, whilst that from Accra to Tamale cost GHS149.
“The primary thing is that we have made air travel much more affordable in Ghana. The cost of domestic travel in Ghana and in West Africa is very high by World standards. It’s much cheaper to fly anywhere in North America than it is to fly a similar route such as Accra to Tamale. The cost is 50 to a 100 percent higher than it will be in Europe or North America. So all we have done is to bring the prices closer to the world price levels so that more people can afford to fly” Dr. Friesen said.
Starbow’s motto “It’s all about You” embodies the philosophy of the Starbow brand, including the values and principles that we follow in our daily activities. Starbow adheres to the highest safety and operational standards.
Some passengers who were on the first Takoradi Trip described the flight as smooth, and lauded the air hostesses for their warmth gestures and unique services. They urged the management of Starbow to maintain the standards in order to win more clients.

Lufthansa is committed to increasing services in Ghana - Becker

Accra, Mr Claus Becker, the Managing Director of Lufthansa Airlines has reiterated the airline’s commitment to increasing its services in Ghana and West African sub region.
He said this in Accra on Saturday when the airline organised a press briefing to introduce him as the new Managing Director for West and Central Africa and to announce their newly introduced daily flights to Accra in Ghana.
Mr Becker said Africa was very important to Lufthansa as it was a major part of their business.
He said he has worked with the airline for about 30 years in various capacities including product management, marketing and sales saying his first in Ghana was in 2008 when he came to witness the eclipse of the sun.
Mr Becker said he would be based in Lagos where the airline has its headquarters but has pledged to work closely with the Ghana office. “I look forward to working here with you to develop the Lufthansa business.”
Mr Becker said the main challenges facing the airline were inadequate infrastructure including airports, air traffic control, security, transportation among others adding that as the airline industry grows and passenger numbers increase, infrastructure must be developed to handle them, especially as airport taxes are passed on to the passengers in ticket prices.
 Mr Yannick Aplogan, General Manager of Lufthansa in Ghana, said the airline had from November 1, 2011 increased its Accra/Frankfurt service from five weekly flights to a daily service with a brand new Boeing 737-800 intercontinental.
He said this was to satisfy customer demands and to provide greater flexibility and convenience for their customers.
Aplogan said Lufthansa was working closely with the Ghana Airports Company Limited to address challenges at the Kotoka International Airport such as inadequate parking bays for aircrafts.
“In spite of these challenges, we have been able to build a superior product for our customers, we have established a strong brand which stands for reliability and safety,” he said.

Monday, November 21, 2011

African aviation industry must improve safety - IATA

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has called for a renewed focus on aviation safety to help Africa reap the benefits of aviation connectivity, as it expressed concern over the continent’s accident rate.
In 2005 Africa recorded nearly 10 hull losses per million flights with Western built jets. By 2008 that had been reduced to two. “That was still 2.5 times worse than the global average, but it was a significant step forward. In 2009, the rate jumped back to 9.94 and in 2010 it was 7.41. Two hull losses so far in 2011 put the rate at 4.33 against a global average of 0.37. The trend is once again in the right direction. And there have been no hull losses this year with IATA carriers. But aviation must be safe for all airlines and in all regions. And that means we have much work to do in Africa,” said IATA CEO and Director-General Tony TylerTyler, who was addressing airline CEOs, government leaders, policy makers and industry stakeholders at the African Airlines Association (AFRAA) AGM in Marrakech, Morocco.
“It is time again to muster the political will that we found in 2005 to improve safety. I have high expectations for the African Safety Summit’s two ambitious goals for 2015: to reduce Africa’s accident rate to the global average and to remove African carriers from the European list of banned airlines. IATA does not believe that banning carriers improves safety. Implementing global standards and best practices—as we do with the IATA Operational Safety Audit (IOSA)—delivers results. None-the-less, the list of banned airlines is a political reality that is not going to disappear. And improving safety is incumbent on all in this industry. So we need to work together,” said Tyler.
In May the European Commission announced that airlines from 15 African countries were banned from flying to the European Union (EU) due to safety concerns.
Runway excursions are the biggest safety challenge for Africa, IATA said. Working with the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), a revised Runway Excursion Risk Reduction Toolkit was produced this year. “For the toolkit to improve safety, it needs to be used - by airlines, air navigation service providers (ANSPs) and airports,” said Tyler.
Tyler praised Nigerian Director General of Civil Aviation, Dr. Harold Demuren, who will complete his tenure in February 2012, for achievements in Nigeria. In 2005 it had the worst safety record on the continent with four of the eight hull losses in that year. Since 2007 Nigeria has had no hull losses. “Dr. Demuren’s leadership proved that world-class safety is possible in Africa. His work and many innovations should be an inspiration. Included among these, IOSA was made a requirement for long-haul operations from Nigeria. I urge other African governments to follow his example,” said Tyler.
IATA also called for a strong partnership to drive innovative solutions to the other challenges facing aviation in the region: security, environmental sustainability and infrastructure.
With COP-17 opening next week in Durban South Africa, Tyler repeated aviation’s commitment to environmental sustainability, through its targets of fuel efficiency improvements of 1.5% per year to 2020, carbon neutral growth from 2020, and a cut in net emissions of 50% by 2050 compared to 2005. He also noted the great opportunities for sustainable biofuels. “With the potential to reduce aviation’s carbon footprint by up to 80%, sustainable biofuels are an innovation that is a potential game changer. The challenge is commercialization. There is huge potential for Africa to develop local biofuels industries that could spread economic opportunities even in the most remote corner of the continent,” he said. Mozambique is already producing raw biofuel, which is being processed abroad and used by Lufthansa.
Regarding infrastructure, Tyler said the development of cost-effective infrastructure is crucial to the future health of African aviation. But infrastructure development fees are being imposed on airlines with little prior notification or consultation. The combined annual cost to airlines of three introduced since 2008 in Mali, Senegal and the DR Congo is over US$100 million, more than the African industry made in 2010. “Airlines and infrastructure providers share a common future. But we must safeguard and be guided by ICAO principles of non-discrimination, consultation, transparency, cost-relatedness and without pre-financing,” said Tyler.
African carriers posted a US$100 million profit in 2010. IATA expects the continent’s carriers to break even in 2011 and fall into losses of US$100 million in 2012. This is in line with a global trend of declining profitability in the face of global economic weakness.
“We must work together to ensure that every government in the continent understands aviation as an engine for sustainable development and a key pillar of economic strategy. Africa will benefit greatly by harnessing the power of a successful aviation industry. To ensure that aviation delivers on its potential, we must work together - industry and government - to ensure that aviation is safe secure, environmentally sustainable and well supported with efficient infrastructure,” said Tyler.

Qatar Airways to Add Seven New Routes in 2012

Qatar Airways will expand its network in Australia, Europe, Africa and Saudi Arabia. In 2012, the airline will offer flights to Perth, Helsinki, Zagreb, Zanzibar, Kigali, Mombasa and Gassim.
Qatar Airways has announced its 2012 route expansion program that focuses on Australia, Africa, Europe and the Middle East. A gamut of new destinations is set to join the airline's international flight network.
The five-star rated airline made this major announcement on Friday at the Dubai Air Show.
In 2012, Qatar Airways will offer flights to Perth in Western Australia, the Finnish capital Helsinki, Croatia's capital city of Zagreb, Gassim in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and three East African cities – Zanzibar (Tanzania), Kigali (Rwanda) and Mombasa (Kenya).
All these seven new routes will operate from the airline's hub in Doha and will be operational over the next few months. Other than these, flights to Baku and Tbilisi, the capital cities of Azerbaijan and Georgia, respectively will also be operational from February.
Qatar Airways' Chief Executive Officer Akbar Al Baker revealed the new destinations at the Dubai Air Show and spoke about the airline's aggressive expansion policy.
"We are continuing what we started back in 1997 when Qatar Airways was launched with new routes and new aircraft being introduced at an unprecedented rate to further strengthen what is truly a global network airline,” Al Baker was quoted in the company's press release published last week.
"Our mission has been to operate to key business and leisure destinations around the world, but also to underserved markets where others dare not venture into. We take bold decisions to serve certain markets because we believe it makes strong business sense.
"Today's announcement shows the confidence Qatar Airways has in such a diverse range of destinations. We look forward to offering even greater choice to the travelling public that they so deserve,” Al Baker added.
New Routes
Perth will be Qatar Airways' second route in Australia. Nearly two years ago, the airline launched its maiden flight to Australia - to Melbourne.
The addition of Helsinki and Zagreb in its European network will boost Qatar's presence in the continent. The carrier has already launched seven routes in Europe this year. After Stockholm, Copenhagen and Oslo, Helsinki will become the five-star airline's fourth Nordic route.
Qatar Airways will amplify its network in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia by adding fifth destination in the country, Gassim. Qatar Airways presently serves Riyadh, Jeddah, Dammam and Medina.
As far as the African continent is concerned, the launch of three new routes will strengthen the presence of the airline in the region. While Kenya's Mombasa and Zanzibar in the Indian Ocean are hot holiday destinations, Kigali, Rwanda's capital city, is a prominent commercial hub of the region.
The launch of all these flights on significant international routes will surely lure travellers to book tickets with Qatar Airways, one of the fastest growing airlines in the world. Qatar may not be renowned for operating cheap flights but the airline is exceedingly popular as a full-service quality airline with top of the line in-flight services. Moreover, with the increase in the competition, budget travellers will have better chances of lapping up cheap flight tickets on the routes.
In 2011, the airline's aggressive expansion program witnessed launch of flights to 14 destinations - Bucharest (Romania), Budapest (Hungary), Brussels (Belgium), Stuttgart (Germany), Aleppo (Syria), Shiraz (Iran), Venice (Italy), Montreal (Canada), Medina (Saudi Arabia), Kolkata (India), Sofia (Bulgaria), Oslo (Norway), Benghazi (Libya) and Entebbe (Uganda).