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Monthly Archives: July 2012

Car Hire Kenya – Kenya’s annual Camel Derby next month


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This year’s Maralal Camel Derby is set for August 24-26, 2012 with more countries expected to participate in the event following aggressive marketing and publicity campaigns the Kenya Tourist Board (KTB) has rolled out.

Last year, the annual event attracted participants from some seven countries from across the globe, which included the US, UK, Germany, Netherlands, India, Ghana, France, and several participants across the country.

KTB Managing Director Muriithi Ndegwa said KTB has partnered with the community with a view to boosting the profile of the sporting event dubbed, “Magical Kenya Samburu Maralal Camel Derby.”

“This event is meant to drive sports enthusiasts to the northern part of the country, which apart from this event, has the unexplored tourism attractions, which we are aggressively marketing in line with our diversification strategy,” said Ndegwa.

Ndegwa said that the annual event has gained international recognition over the years and disclosed that it has registered participants from 16 different countries in the past years.

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Car Hire UAE: Etihad Airways and Aer Lingus boost cooperation


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Etihad Airways and Aer Lingus have signed an interline and codeshare agreement which follows the UAE national airline’s recent 2.987 per cent equity purchase in the Irish air carrier.

Within the agreement Etihad Airways will place its “EY” code on Aer Lingus flights between Dublin, Manchester and London Heathrow, and destinations in Ireland, the UK, the Channel Islands, Portugal, the Netherlands and the US.

In return, Aer Lingus will place its “EI” code on Etihad Airways flights between Abu Dhabi and Dublin, and have full access to flights across the network beyond Abu Dhabi, to points including Australia, Asia-Pacific, the Indian Subcontinent and the Middle East. In addition to the codeshare with Aer Lingus, Etihad Airways has 35 other codeshare agreements in place with airlines across the world.

Codeshare partnerships, along with equity acquisitions and organic growth, form the three pillars of Etihad Airways expansion plans.

James Hogan, Etihad Airways’ chief executive, said: “We are delighted to announce this new codeshare agreement with Aer Lingus which will provide Etihad Airways’ customers with new travel options and flight connections to Ireland, the UK, continental Europe, and across the Atlantic to Boston and New York.

“The codeshare agreement is an early indication of the success of Etihad Airways’ strategic plan to acquire equity in Aer Lingus and other airlines and the instant benefit it brings to both airlines’ customers around the world.”

Christoph Mueller, Aer Lingus’ chief Executive, said: “Today’s announcement supports Aer Lingus’ strategy to provide greater access and choice to our customers. We are delighted to welcome Etihad Airways on board as a codeshare partner.”

Etihad Airways – considered the World’s Leading Airline by the World Travel Awards and Aer Lingus continue to discuss additional commercial and cost opportunities to develop a closer working relationship in areas such as joint procurement.

Initially, members of the Etihad Guest loyalty programme will be able to earn miles on Aer Lingus codeshare flights and further integration of frequent flyer programmes is under discussion.

Etihad Airways operates ten flights a week from Abu Dhabi to Dublin and has carried more than 817,000 passengers between the two capitals since it began flying the route in July, 2007.

 
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Posted by on 30/07/2012 in Airlines

 

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Avis expands Asia network with launch of Taiwan operations


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Avis Car Rental has officially entered the Taiwan market with the opening of three rental locations in Taiwan, making Avis the first international car rental company currently operating on the island. The new Avis facilities, located at Tao Yuan International Airport, downtown Chu-Pei City and downtown HsinChu City serve the Taiwan community and visitors with a “one-stop” mobility solution. Taiwan residents and visitors benefit from Avis’ world-class products and services, including a wide range of well-maintained, late-model vehicles, short- and long-term rentals, personal and corporate car leasing programs, premium chauffeur and transfer services, all backed by Avis’ world-renowned ‘We try harder’ service.

“Taiwan’s fast-growing economy and increasing car rental demand make this the perfect time to launch our Avis brand here,” said Patric Siniscalchi, president, Latin America/Asia-Pacific, Avis Budget Group. “We’re excited to further expand our global footprint and, in doing so, deliver against one of our strategic objectives. Now, more business and leisure travelers can enjoy our world-class products and services.”

In Asia, Avis is a leading provider of vehicle rental services, vehicle leasing and limousine/premium chauffeur services with operations in more than 300 locations through a network of wholly owned subsidiaries, joint ventures and licensee agreements. Avis’ legacy in Asia can be traced back to 1970, when the Company opened its first location in Hong Kong. Operations in Singapore, the Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia, Brunei, Pakistan and Sri Lanka followed in 1972. Operations have grown steadily throughout the region ever since and Avis now has locations in 18 markets including India, Mainland China and Vietnam.

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Millennium & Copthorne storms Saudi Arabian market


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Millennium & Copthorne announced that it has signed 10 hotels in Saudi Arabia, further fuelling the company’s growth projections.  Together, these 10 hotels will account for more than 4,000 rooms across key locations in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, with the largest hotel contributing 1,500 rooms to the group’s room inventory in Mecca in 2015. The other cities on the hotel group’s agenda include two hotels in Medina, Riyadh, Baha, Hail City, Jazan, and Tabouk. The hotel in Riyadh will offer 650 rooms, making it a significant new hotel in the capital city.

The properties are all at different stages of development and the first Millennium & Copthorne hotels in Saudi Arabia will open in 2012, with further openings in the coming three years. The expansion in Saudi Arabia is matched by the group’s ambitions elsewhere in the region and more than 34 hotels and hotel apartment properties are in the pipeline across the UAE, Qatar, Jordan, and South Africa.

Exhibiting at Arabian Travel Market, Millennium & Copthorne is showcasing its portfolio of brands and its dynamic growth to owners and industry peers on stand HC4030.

Ali Hamad Lakhraim Alzaabi, President and CEO of Millennium & Copthorne Middle East, Africa and Indian Subcontinent commented: “We are very excited about the Saudi market where we see huge potential for our brands. It is clear our investors agree with us too as six of our hotels are signed with the same owner. There is really no better endorsement than that. “Exhibiting at ATM again is a great opportunity to meet our peers, our investors and our partners, and share our experiences. The industry landscape is getting more competitive but we are all in the same boat. It is up to us as hoteliers to make sure our products deliver and meet our customers expectations.”

 
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Posted by on 28/07/2012 in Hotels

 

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Qatar Airways expands African network to Kilimanjaro


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Qatar Airways has further expanded operations in Africa with today’s launch of daily scheduled flights to Kilimanjaro – its 18th gateway on the diverse Continent and second destination in Tanzania.

Operating via the Tanzanian capital of Dar es Salaam, Kilimanjaro takes Qatar Airways’ global network up to 118 destinations and also marks yet another move by the Doha based airline into underserved markets.

Flight QR546 arrived at Kilimanjaro International Airport to an impressive water salute performed by the local fire service. The arrival was followed by a colourful welcome by traditional Tanzanian dancers and an airport ceremony attended by over 80 people, including local dignitaries, airport officials, local and international media.

Qatar Airways Chief Commercial Officer Marwan Koleilat officiated at the ceremony on behalf of the airline, travelling on the inaugural flight from Doha. Guest of honour in Kilimanjaro was Tanzania’s Honourable Minister of Transport, Dr. Harrison Mwakyembe. Other distinguished guests included, Tanzania’s Honourable Minister of Natural Resources and Tourism, Mr. Hamisi Kagasheki and Tanzania’s Civil Aviation Authority Director General Mr. Fadhili Manongi.

Qatar Airways Chief Executive Officer Akbar Al Baker said that Africa had been long under the radar of the company’s planning team as the region was highly underserved with a lack of international air services.
“Kilimanjaro signifies the importance Qatar Airways places in looking at airports around the world where capacity is limited, yet passenger demand is strong,” he said.
“We are pleased to be reinforcing our presence in Africa with the addition of scheduled flights to Tanzania’s tourism centre of Kilimanjaro, home to the infamous Mount Kilimanjaro, allowing us to further develop our business on the African continent.

“Kilimanjaro is an established tourist centre and is also fast emerging as a growing economic centre, thanks to its abundant wildlife, natural scenic beauty and natural resources. We have great confidence in the Tanzanian travel market ever since we launched flights to Dar es Salaam in 2007.”

Addressing guests at the airport ceremony in Kilimanjaro, Qatar Airways Chief Commercial Officer Marwan Koleilat said: “I would like to thank the Tanzanian government and officials at Kilimanjaro International Airport for the warm welcome and supporting our newest route launch.

“The exposure of Kilimanjaro to the world through Qatar Airways’ global network will enable Tanzania to attract even more tourists and businesses alike.”

The dynamic region of East Africa has long been the focus of Qatar Airways. The airline already has a successful operation to Dar es Salaam and Nairobi with double daily flights to both capital cities, as well as daily services to Entebbe in Uganda and the Rwandan capital Kigali.

Qatar Airways now operates 49 flights each week across four East African countries. The Doha – Kilimanjaro route is operated with an Airbus A320 aircraft in a two-class configuration of 12 seats in Business Class and 132 in Economy.

The airline’s African expansion will go a step further on October 31 with the launch of scheduled flights to Maputo in Mozambique, operating thrice-weekly from Doha via Johannesburg.

The airline has seen rapid growth in just 15 years of operation, currently operating a modern fleet of 110 aircraft to 118 key business and leisure destinations across Europe, Middle East, Africa, Asia Pacific, North America and South America.

Since the beginning of the year, Qatar Airways has launched flights to Baku (Azerbaijan);Tbilisi (Georgia); Kigali (Rwanda); Zagreb (Croatia), Erbil (Iraq), Baghdad, and most recently,Perth (Australia) with many more destinations planned during 2012.

Over the next few months, Qatar Airways launches services to a diverse portfolio of new routes, including Yangon in Myanmar (October 3); Maputo in Mozambique (October 31) and a date yet-to-be-announced to the Serbian capital Belgrade.

 
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Posted by on 27/07/2012 in Airlines

 

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Excess Insurance From Car Hire Companies a “Rip Off” Say Consumers


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Hiring a car and taking out car hire excess insurance from the rental company is a rip off say over one in five (22%)  consumers who have hired a car in the UK or abroad .

 New research conducted by YouGov, on behalf of iCarhireinsurance.com, a leading provider of stand-alone excess car hire insurance, has revealed the extent of dissatisfaction among travellers with many saying excess insurance is expensivea hidden cost and is sprung on them at the car rental desk.

If excess insurance is not purchased by a hire car customer they could be liable for up to £1500 if the car gets damaged or stolen, even if it’s not their fault.   Even a small chip on a windscreen can cost hundreds to fix.

Excess insurance can add over 40% again (see Table 1) to a traveller’s car hire cost, so it is not surprising that almost a fifth of respondents (17%) felt it was a hidden cost “sprung” on them when they were  picking up their hire car.

The YouGov survey* also found that:

  • 22% would have bought if from another provider if they had known before travelling that they could save over 70%;
  • 14% were shocked at how expensive it was at the rental desk;
  • And over one in ten people (11%) had not budgeted for this cost

“The ‘excess’ in rental company excess insurance should really be referring to its cost,” says Ernesto Suarez, founder and chief executive of iCarhireinsurance.com.  “A traveller could be looking at up to £20 (see Table 1) a day for excess insurance, which is a massive chunk from peoples’ holiday spending money”.

Almost one in five people (19%) polled did not know that they could shop around for excess insurance believing they had to buy it direct from the rental company.

Research by iCarhireinsurance.com found that the five leading car hire companies surveyed charged an average of £15 a day for excess waiver car hire insurance, with the highest being an eye watering £20.50p a day with Hertz (see Table 1).

However, policies from iCarhireinsurance.com can be bought online for only £2.99 a day or £39.99 for an annual policy.  They also include cover for vulnerable parts of the vehicle, which are frequently excluded by the rental companies’ policies.

“The car hire companies make good commission selling excess insurance to tired, disgruntled travellers who just want to be on their way,” said Ernesto Suarez, founder and chief executive of iCarhireinsurance.com.

“We want travellers to know that they can buy an excess policy from a third party provider which not only costs a lot less, but is often more comprehensive than those offered by the car rental companies.   We urge all consumers to ‘buy before you fly’ to give you absolute peace of mind on your trip.  It’s a no brainer really!”

 

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Swiss Air Lines boost Miami flight capacity – Car Hire Comparison Site


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Swiss International Air Lines has announced it is adding another flight to its current Miami-Zurichroute this fall offering passengers more choices to Switzerland and beyond.

Starting November 29th, the new flight will offer service to Zurich an additional four times a week beyond the current daily schedule.  An Airbus 330-300 will service the route complete with First, Business and Economy classes of service. The new flight will operate until May 5th, 2013.

As the airline of Switzerland, SWISS stands for excellent service and traditional values. SWISS is fully dedicated to providing the highest possible quality in all its products and services.

“With the addition of this flight, we are responding to the needs of our customers and are pleased to be able to offer more options to South Florida travellers,” said SWISS director USA sales Annette Reantragoon.

According to Miami international Airport, an estimated 38.3 million passengers travel through the airport with 18.4 million international passengers leading the way.

“We can attest to the fact that it is a popular destination for our westbound customers as well,” said Reantragoon adding that current seat load factors on the existing flight are in the low 90s.

Premium passengers on the Airbus 330-300 will experience a calm and relaxing atmosphere beginning with SWISS flight attendants who offer welcome drinks of orange juice, water or champagne prior to departure.

 
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Posted by on 25/07/2012 in Airlines

 

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