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Thursday, January 31, 2013

Qantas Network Now Open for Emirates Passengers

 Emirates and Qantas partnership
 Emirates' customers can now begin enjoying the benefits of what the Emirates and Qantas partnership has to offer, following the opening up of bookings to a number of Qantas domestic destinations, with travel from 31st March 2013.

The partnership gained interim authorisation from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) on 17th January for the proposed Emirates and Qantas partnership. The partnership remains subject to final regulatory approval in relevant jurisdictions.

Emirates customers can now choose from 32 Australian destinations that Qantas operates to including Canberra, Port Lincoln, Cairns and Hobart, opening up Australia to passengers from all over the ever expanding Emirates network.

From 31st March, Emirates' Skywards members will also be able to earn Skywards Miles on Qantas international flights and domestic flights that are part of a continuous international journey with Emirates or Qantas.

Qantas Frequent Flyers will be able to earn points on all Emirates flights.

"With 12 daily flights between Dubai and five Australian cities, Australia is a very strong market for Emirates and our customers are looking forward to taking advantage of the benefits the Emirates and Qantas partnership has to offer. When we first began the planning of this partnership it was always driven by what extra we are able to offer our customers," said Thierry Antinori, Emirates' Executive Vice President, Passenger Sales Worldwide.

"We are also looking forward to welcoming Qantas passengers on board our aircraft after opening up our ever expanding network in Europe, Middle East and Africa for sale to Qantas customers," added Mr Antinori.

Following the grant of interim approval, Emirates and Qantas are finalising other details of their partnership, including joint pricing, schedules and additional frequent flyer benefits.

Emirates customers can book their flights for travel from 31st March 2013 to the wider Qantas network on emirates.com or through their travel agents.


Photo Captions:
EKQF01: Emirates customers can now choose from 32 Australian destinations that Qantas operate to including Canberra, Alice Springs, Darwin and Hobart, opening up the whole of Australia to passengers from all over the ever expanding Emirates network. (Image of the Great Barrier Reef off Cairns).

EKQF02: Emirates' customers can now begin enjoying the benefits of what the Emirates and Qantas partnership has to offer, following the opening up of bookings to a number of Qantas domestic destinations, with travel from 31st March 2013.

Emirates is a full-service international airline that prides itself on inflight service delivered by an international crew drawn from over 130 nationalities; menus designed by leading chefs and complemented by the finest wines; an award-winning inflight entertainment system with up to 1,400 channels; and generous luggage allowances in all Classes. Emirates Airline has received more than 500 international awards for excellence.

Its fleet of 195 wide-bodied aircraft includes eight freighters and is among the youngest in the skies, with an average age of less than 80 months. The airline continuously replaces old aircraft with newer ones and has frequently been the first to sign up for new developments in aviation design and technology. Emirates has orders for an additional 209 aircraft, worth more than USD$84 billion.

Emirates' global network now features services to 128 destinations in 74 countries in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, the Indian subcontinent, North America, South America, and the Asia-Pacific.

In 2012, Emirates increased its European network to 31 destinations, with new services operating to Dublin (January 2012), Barcelona (3rd July 2012) and Lisbon (9th July 2012). Lyon joined the network in December and Warsaw will bring the European network to 33 destinations from 6th February 2013.

Emirates currently operates 74 flights per week to Dubai from Australia – from Brisbane, Perth, Melbourne, Adelaide and Sydney. One service daily from Sydney operates via Bangkok. One service daily from Brisbane operates via Singapore. One Melbourne service daily operates via Singapore, with another daily service operating via Kuala Lumpur. Four weekly flights service Adelaide, rising to a daily service from 1st February 2013.

Emirates operates 28 flights per week to New Zealand – daily to Christchurch from Sydney, and daily to Auckland from Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.

Emirates has one of the world's most generous baggage policies. Economy Class customers can check in 30 kg, Business Class travellers 40 kg and First Class passengers can travel with 50 kg of checked baggage.

For flight information and bookings contact Emirates on 1300 303 777, visit your local travel agent or go to www.emirates.com/au.





Iconic Reef House Resort joins Accor's MGallery Collection

 

 
After undergoing an impressive refurbishment, Reef House Resort & Spa in Palm Cove, a favoured hideaway of Australia's elite is set to join the Accor network on 22 February and become part of its exclusive MGallery Collection of hotels.

Originally built as a family residence in 1958, the 69-room resort which boasts beach frontage overlooking the Coral Sea will be Australia's sixth MGallery hotel, heralding an exciting time for the boutique brand as it expands its presence in the South Pacific and makes its foray into Queensland.

In becoming part of the MGallery Collection, Reef House Resort & Spa Palm Cove joins The Como Melbourne, The Grand Hotel Melbourne, Hotel Lindrum (Melbourne), Harbour Rocks Hotel in Sydney and the Fairmont Resort in the Blue Mountains in MGallery's Australian Collection. The boutique network comprises hotels with unique personalities, premier locations and highly distinctive architecture, interior design and services.

Simon McGrath, Chief Operating Officer Accor Pacific said the addition of Reef House Resort & Spa meant Accor will now have three luxury resorts in Palm Cove and more than ten hotels in the region.

"Reef House Resort & Spa has long been one of the standout properties in Palm Cove and indeed in Tropical North Queensland. It has such a great history and we're thrilled to be taking on the management rights to the resort and look forward to seeing Reef House benefit considerably by being part of the Accor network.

"The MGallery Collection which is all about boutique, high end hotels with unique stories, resonates particularly well with Reef House Resort & Spa and we are excited to see the hotel flourish under its new, internationally recognised name."

Brett Skinner, who has worked for Accor for nine-years has been appointed General Manager of Reef House Resort & Spa Palm Cove as effective 22 February 2013.

In joining the MGallery Collection, Reef House Resort & Spa Palm Cove becomes part of a highly distinctive set of upscale hotels which posses an exceptional personality through one or more of three principal categories: Heritage, Serenity and Signature. The peaceful and historic surrounds of this tropical resort make it a perfect addition to the MGallery Collection.

Set amongst lush tropical gardens, fragrant frangipanis, three sprawling swimming pools and 300-year-old Melaleucas, Reef House Resort & Spa Palm Cove is located 25 minutes north of Cairns and directly opposite the main swimming beach of Palm Cove.

Housed in a romantic, colonial style building with white washed walls, Reef House Resort & Spa truly captures the romance of a bygone era as each of the guestrooms boast plush, king size beds draped with light muslin netting and come with private balconies or patios either overlooking the ocean, garden or pool.

The "our house" beach house feel of the property is what has given Reef House that certain "je ne sais quoi" which keeps guests coming back for more.

In addition, every room features a kitchenette, individually controlled air-conditioning, rain showers, a swinging 'love seat' and complimentary WiFi.

While Palm Cove is well-known as a fine dining destination, The Reef House Restaurant has earned its reputation as one of Palm Cove's finest and was most recently recognised in the 2011 Australian Good Food and Travel Guides Chef's Hats Awards.

Overlooking the palm lined esplanade, the restaurant is revered for its fresh, innovative cuisine, and Executive Chef Ashe Lewis uses local produce and the freshest seafood to create an eclectic menu of Australian, Asian and French inspired dishes.

For a more casual dining experience, the Poolside Restaurant is the ideal place to enjoy a laid back lunch, light snack or cool drink beside the cascading waters of the hotel's main swimming pool. Surrounded by tropical gardens, it can also be used for private functions with themeing options available.

The resort's Brigadier's Bar is renowned in the area, with a reputation that dates back to its early days under the helm of namesake, Brigadier, The Hon. David Thompson, who served cocktails to guests at sunset. Even today, the bar is not officially open until all the candles in the resort have been lit and complimentary Brigadier's Punch has been offered exclusively to guests. For those that want to have a drink before the bar has opened, a time honoured honestly system applies.

Operated by the internationally renowned Exclusive Spas of Australia (E'Spa), the resort's recently renovated and awarded Reef House Spa consists of three treatment rooms, two Vichy showers, two dual treatment rooms, a 'Serenity Verandah' and offers a range of indulgent treatments which meld ancient therapies from the 'Dreamtime' using a uniquely Australian Li'TYA Spa Care range.

Adding to the resort's standout leisure facilities, Reef House Resort & Spa makes a unique venue for small meetings for up to 40 people or cocktail parties, intimate weddings and celebrations with plenty of outdoor areas for themed events and informal gatherings

By joining the MGallery Collection, a world-renowned network of distinctive hotels, Reef House Resort & Spa Palm Cove joins five Australian hotels as well as the four-time "New Zealand Hotel of the Year" St Moritz in Queenstown and such distinctive properties as the Baltimore in Paris, St-Ermin's in London, The Convent Hotel Amsterdam and Vie Hotel Bangkok.

For further information on Reef House Resort & Spa Palm Cove, please head to www.mgallery.com

 

Sofitel announces Karl Lagerfeld as designer for new Sofitel So Singapore

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Sofitel Luxury Hotels has announced Karl Lagerfeld as the 'Signature Designer' for Sofitel So Singapore, the new luxury 'designer hotel' set to open in 2013. Lagerfeld will create a signature emblem that will symbolise the hotel's creative style and will appear on a range of exclusive objects throughout the property. In keeping with the involvement of Christian Lacroix as signature designer for Sofitel So Bangkok and Kenzo Takada who provided design direction at Sofitel So Mauritius, Sofitel's partnership with Lagerfeld makes a bold statement on the direction of the So label.

Karl Lagerfeld, the Icon of Luxury

Fashion designer, photographer, publisher, illustrator, film director and visionary, Karl Lagerfeld has created a universe in which every line is perfectly under control, each detail of absolute importance. His passion for the world around him and ultramodern design ethic will become the trademark of Sofitel So.

"I am very proud to announce this inspirational collaboration, which is a perfect illustration of Sofitel Luxury Hotels' ambitions with regard to excellence and elegance. His exceptional creativity and talent will confer the ultimate touch of refinement and enhance our concept," said Robert Gaymer-Jones, CEO of Sofitel Luxury on the partnership.

The Sofitel So Label

Building on the time-honored establishment of Sofitel Luxury Hotels and their unique brand blueprint that combines French luxury with the essence of local tradition, Sofitel So is the 'designer hotel' label featuring trendy hotels in contemporary locations, with a focus on the destination. Reflecting a strong flare for design, each Sofitel So hotel combines the iconic Sofitel "art de vivre" with the signature of an international designer from the worlds of fashion or art to present the best of the location.  Sofitel So Singapore is the third addition globally to Sofitel So's expanding portfolio, while other hotels are currently under way in key cities including Mumbai and Rio.

Introducing Sofitel So Singapore

Located at 35 Robinson Road, Sofitel So Singapore's iconic building was first built in 1927 where it remained a telecommunications and postal building till 1992. The five-star hotel property retains its neo-classical facade and some of the existing building structures, while a newer five-storey wing is currently being constructed at the back. With one of Singapore's most prestigious addresses at the heart of the destination's bustling city centre, Sofitel So Singapore is minutes from iconic landmarks.

The luxury hotel will feature 134 guestrooms including 23 suites, each uniquely designed to preserve the building's heritage while representing modern Singapore. The property, which is owned by Royal Group Holdings since 2011, is currently under construction and is scheduled to open mid-2013.

"Having Karl Lagerfeld as the "Signature Designer" for the distinctive Sofitel So Singapore was an obvious choice to us, allowing us to pay homage to the country's symbolic heritage building with an iconic design collaboration," commented Bobby Hiranandani, Managing Director of Royal Group Holdings. "We are confident that this unprecedented partnership will galvanize the success of the boutique luxury hotel and offer guests a remarkable hospitality experience in true Sofitel style."

Sofitel, World Class Hotels & French Elegance
Sofitel is the only French luxury hotel brand with a presence on five continents with 120 addresses, in almost 40 countries (more than 30,000 rooms). Sofitel offers contemporary hotels and resorts adapted to today's more demanding and more versatile consumers who expect and appreciate beauty, quality and excellence. Whether situated in the heart of a major city like Paris, London, New York, Shanghai or Beijing, or nestled away in a country landscape in Morocco, Egypt, French Polynesia or Thailand, each Sofitel property offers a genuine experience of the French "art de vivre".

Sofitel Legend and & Sofitel So are two labels that come to enrich Sofitel Luxury hotels.

Sofitel Legend hotels are iconic and mythical; they are often centuries-old listed heritage buildings: Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi, Sofitel Legend The Grand Amsterdam and Sofitel Legend Old Cataract Aswan.

Sofitel So hotels are new « boutique hotels » characterised by a stylish focus on contemporary design by famous architects and/or embellished by international celebrities from the world of fashion, design or art: Sofitel So Mauritius Bel Ombre, Sofitel So Bangkok and Sofitel So Singapore (2013).

Discover Sofitel on www.sofitel.com

 

Friday, January 25, 2013

Air Canada becomes the only international four-star airline in North America


Industry quality ranking recognises carrier's airport and onboard product and service improvements

Air Canada has become the only international network carrier in North America to receive a  Four-Star ranking according to independent U.K. research firm Skytrax.  The much-coveted rating is considered an airline industry benchmark and is based on detailed, independently conducted quality analysis by Skytrax across more than 800 different areas of airport and onboard product and service delivery.

"I am very pleased that Air Canada has become the only international network carrier to have achieved this significant industry benchmark," said Calin Rovinescu, President and Chief Executive Officer.  "This coveted Four-Star ranking reflects the professionalism and skill of Air Canada's employees in taking care of our customers and delivering an award winning product that continues to set industry standards. This is a proud achievement for Air Canada's airport and onboard product and service delivery teams that we will strive to improve upon as we continue to build one of the world's best airlines."

In 2012, Air Canada was ranked for a third consecutive year "Best International Airline in North America" in a worldwide survey of more than 18 million airline passengers conducted by independent research firm Skytrax.  According to the 2012 Canadian Business Travel Survey conducted by Ipsos Reid, Air Canada was the preferred airline for more than 79 percent of frequent business travellers in Canada.  In 2012, readers of Global Traveler magazine voted Air Canada "Best Airline in North America," the readers of Business Traveler voted Air Canada "Best North American Airline for International Travel" and "Best In-Flight Services in North America," and the readers of Premier Traveler voted Air Canada "Best North American Airline for Business Class Service," "Best North American Airline for International Travel" and "Best Flight Attendants in North America."

Air Canada is Canada's largest domestic and international airline serving more than 175 destinations on five continents.  Canada's flag carrier is the 15th largest commercial airline in the world and in 2012 served close to 35 million customers.  Air Canada provides scheduled passenger service directly to 59 Canadian cities, 56 destinations in the United States and 63 cities in Europe, the Middle East, Asia, Australia, the Caribbean, Mexico and South America. Air Canada is a founding member of Star Alliance, the world's most comprehensive air transportation network serving 1,329 destinations in 194 countries.  Air Canada customers can collect Aeroplan miles for future rewards through Canada's leading loyalty program, and Top Tier members enjoy reciprocal frequent flyer benefits including lounge and priority services.  For more information on Air Canada visit aircanada.com. Follow @AirCanada on Twitter and join Air Canada on Facebook.







Monday, January 21, 2013

Early bird meeting offer at Pullman Brisbane King George Square



The recently rebranded Pullman Brisbane King George Square which boasts the city's largest hotel conferencing facilities is in the final stages of completing its multi-million dollar transformation which will see it sitting at the top of Brisbane's upscale hotel offerings.

To celebrate the imminent unveiling of what will set a benchmark in premier hotel conference venues, Pullman Brisbane King George Square is offering an Early Bird special to the MICE market set to kick start 2013.

For residential conferences booked by 31 March 2013 with a minimum of 30 room nights conference organisers will receive an Apple iPad Mini and a 30 minute complimentary cocktail reception which includes a selection of canapés and a signature Pullman beverage package. Plus, for every 20 rooms booked organisers receive 1 complimentary room.

Day delegate rates are $74 per person which includes lunch, refreshments, room hire and meeting essentials, while Pullman accommodation rates which include breakfast and internet are from $235 per room per night. At the adjoining Mercure tower of accommodation, room rates including breakfast and internet start from $195 per room per night.

Located in the heart of Brisbane CBD and opposite City Hall, Pullman Brisbane King George Square is the ideal venue for holding memorable meetings and events. Proud of its long heritage as Brisbane's first international hotel and with an impressive list of enhancements as part of its makeover, Pullman Brisbane King George Square is set to be the best 5-star hotel in the city.

For further information on the Early Bird special and terms and conditions, please call (07) 3222 1146 or head to www.pullmanbrisbanekgs.com.au

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Azamara Journey Exits Sembawang Shipyard

Azamara Journey, the second of Azamara Club Cruises’ twin boutique ships to undergo refurbishment, emerged today from an eight-day drydock in Singapore’s Sembawang Shipyard. Azamara Journey, now complete with a refresh of all public spaces and staterooms and an elegant new “Azamara Blue” exterior hull, continues its Asia season with a 13-night Indonesia voyage round-trip from Singapore.


With its newly refreshed ships, the cruise line that sails to exciting destinations around the world that larger ships are unable to reach is poised to break away from its category. Azamara features longer stays and more overnights in port to present up-market travelers the opportunity for night touring. Paired with the new complimentary AzAmazing Evening event on every voyage, starting with each ship’s Europe 2013 season, Azamara is delivering to guests the most authentic, intimate and bespoke travel experiences that showcases the nightlife of some of the world’s most intriguing destinations.

Shipwide renovations included new carpets, upholstery, and a new color palette in public spaces reflecting the cruise line’s inviting atmosphere; new mattresses and upgraded veranda furniture for suites and staterooms; and a resurfaced pool, and new sun loungers and pool towels on the outer decks. The Casino Bar also was expanded and enhanced with new furniture, while the Spa and fitness center was refreshed with a new steam room, showers, and state-of-the-art Life Fitness cardio equipment. Furthermore, a range of enhancements were made behind the scenes in the staff and crew areas to add to the comfort of the cruise line’s most valuable asset.

On the culinary front, guests can now enjoy a new caviar and champagne bar within Aqualina, one of the ships’ two specialty dining venues, as well as a new Chef’s Table concept featuring three wine degustation menus – Italian, French and Californian. At Mosaic Café, the ships’ central gathering spot, guests can purchase a freshly brewed cup of bespoke coffee or tea.

Guests aboard Azamara Journey enjoy more inclusive amenities, such as included gratuities for housekeeping, dining and bar staff; complimentary bottled water, sodas, specialty coffee, and teas, as well as complimentary red and white boutique wines to accompany lunch and dinner; complimentary self-service laundry; English Butler service for suite guests; and shuttle transportation to city centers in ports, where available.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Miranda Kerr Tests Qantas Limousine Service

Miranda Kerr stepping out of a chauffeur driven car at Los Angeles' Mr C hotel.

Qantas ambassador Miranda Kerr has stepped out in Los Angeles to help promote the airline's upcoming Chauffeur Drive service.

Chauffeur Drive will be offered to Qantas travellers as part of its global airline partnership with Emirates from April 2013, and to other Qantas long-haul destinations from mid-2013.

Passengers will be collected in a luxury vehicle and driven to the airport to meet their flight. On arrival at their destination, they will be met by another chauffeur service and driven to their hotel, office or home.

Miranda said she was looking forward to using the new service.

"I'm sure many regular travellers like myself will appreciate not having to worry about organising transport to and from the airport," said Miranda.

"This is a fantastic new benefit, providing an extra level of convenience at the beginning and end of your journey."

Chauffeur Drive will be offered to Qantas passengers travelling in First and Business on flights between Australia to Dubai and London from April 2013.

Elsewhere on the Qantas network, Chauffeur Drive will be available on flights greater than 12 hours long from July 2013 - namely, flights between Australian and Los Angeles, Dallas, New York,Santiago and Johannesburg.

Subject to regulatory approval, Qantas and Emirates will form a global partnership and provide customers in Australia access to more than 70 one-stop destinations in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. The partnership will give customers a seamless Australian and international network, exclusive frequent flyer benefits and world-class travel experiences.

The shoot with Miranda tops a week of activity by Qantas in the United States that has included its Sprit of Australia cocktail event, involvement in the 10th annual G'Day USA function and the announcement of the Ellen DeGeneres Show coming to Australia in March.


New CEO for Tourism Fiji

                                                            


Tourism Fiji is pleased to announce the appointment of Rick Hamilton as its new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) commencing today, Monday 14th January, 2013. Mr Hamilton's appointment is the result of an extensive global search that attracted a number of high-calibre candidates.

Mr Hamilton has more than 17 years of experience in the travel industry and he is joining Tourism Fiji after five years as Managing Director of Flight Centre New Zealand.

Bringing a wealth of industry knowledge and experience, Rick has also held roles as Retail Leader for Flight Centre South Africa and as Retail Leader for Student Flights Australia.

"I am truly thrilled to be joining the team at Tourism Fiji and I am excited to work with our many business partners, Fiji's tourism operators and Tourism Fiji's new global partners.  Fiji is one of the most unique and beautiful countries on earth and I look forward to enhancing world-wide awareness about Fiji, its people and its many amazing attributes," Mr Hamilton said.

"Tourism is a vital part of the Fijian economy and I am delighted to have the opportunity to bring more people to visit and experience the amazing beauty of Fiji and the warmth and hospitality of the Fijian people."

Tourism Fiji's Chairman, Dave Pflieger, said Mr Hamilton's appointment coincided with the roll-out of an exciting rebranding and repositioning of Tourism Fiji to implement a fresh and comprehensive new strategy to enhance Fiji's reputation as an ideal vacation destination for all demographics and global markets.

"Rick's extensive expertise and experience as a results-focused leader is expected to significantly assist us in our goal to increase tourism to Fiji and further grow the economic impact in 2013 by increasing visitor arrivals, spend and average length of stay," Mr Pflieger said.

In late 2012, Tourism Fiji revealed the design of its new brand identity to Fiji tourism operators, appointed new marketing and public relations partners, selected a new global social media partner and created a new destination website.

In welcoming Mr Hamilton to his new position, Fiji's Attorney-General and Minister for Tourism, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, said: "Tourism Fiji is ready to escalate the benefits of the marketing partnerships and creative initiatives it has diligently and effectively developed.

"We look forward to Mr Hamilton's contribution to the new direction of the organisation and his strengthening of the competencies of Tourism Fiji by ensuring the right team is in place. Tourism Fiji must deliver on the investment that the Bainimarama Government has made," Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said.


 

AU visitation to Taiwan passes 55,000 mark as destination welcomes visitor number seven million



Australian visitor numbers to Taiwan have increased again with more than 55,000 visiting the destination for the 11-month period January-November 2012 according to the latest statistics figures released by the Taiwan Tourism Bureau.
 
The 55,466 total represents a 5.08 per cent increase over the 52,783 number recorded for the same period in 2011.

The 11-month figure was boosted by the 5,424 Australian recorded arrivals in November.

The new figures follow hot on the heels of news that Taiwan has welcomed its seven millionth visitor, Malaysian tourist Lim Swee Chin who arrived at Taiwan's Taoyuan International Airport on 18 December.

Ms Lim's reward for becoming tourist number seven million - two business class round trip tickets from Taiwan's China Airlines and EVA Airways Corporation, three nights at Howard Hotels, Resorts and Suites facilities in Taipei, Kaohsiung and Kenting, two tickets to New Taipei City-based Juming Museum and a Taipei metro ticket from EasyCard Corporation.

Recently addressing  students at the National Kaohsiung University of Hospitality and Tourism Taiwan's President, Ma Ying-jeou said given the exponential growth of the country's tourism visitation it was highly possible Taiwan would be welcoming more than 10 million visitor within the next three years.

"The speed of that growth is unprecedented and is evidence that Taiwan is a potential tourist hot spot," President Ma said.


Sunday, January 13, 2013

World's Safest Airlines


Finnair is the safest airline in the world and Air New Zealand comes second. Both airlines are understandably delighted at the rankings, released yesterday by Europe’s Jet Airliner Crash Data Evaluation Centre (JACDEC).

The annual JACDEC Safety Index, which recognises safety in the aviation industry, is compiled through the collection and analysis of safety occurrences from airlines around the world. JACDEC, based in Germany, calculates its Safety Index ratings, which rank 60 airlines, by taking hull loss accidents (major accidents in which the aircraft is destroyed and written off) and serious incidents suffered by airlines over the past 30 years and comparing them to the revenue passenger kilometres the same airlines have performed over the same period. Airlines are also measured against international safety benchmarks, with near misses and other factors counting.

Other carriers to make the top 10 safest carriers list included Virgin Australia, Cathay Pacific, Emirates, Etihad and British Airways. The British carrier narrowly beat Lufthansa.

Qantas, which has never suffered a fatal jet airliner accident and is often considered a byword for safety, came 13th. Its low-cost subsidiary Jetstar, counted as a separate entity, came 20th.

This is the first time Finland’s national carrier has topped the rankings.

“We are ecstatic to be called the world’s safest airline,” Geoff Stone, Finnair Country Sales Manager Australia and New Zealand declared.

“As the fifth oldest airline in the world, Finnair has the experience, the investment and most importantly, the drive to continually improve our passenger experiences.

“Safety can never be compromised. We look forward to continuing our great history of pioneering and welcoming new Finnair customers to the fastest (and safest) route to Europe from Australia.”

Finnair is the only European airline in the top five. In last year’s JACDEC rankings Finnair was ranked second.

Air New Zealand’s Chief Flight Operations and Safety Officer, David Morgan, said the JACDEC Safety Index recognition testified to Air New Zealand’s dedication to maintaining a strong safety culture.

“Safety is paramount and non-negotiable at Air New Zealand. We have worked hard as an airline to create a safety culture which has been embraced by more than 10,000 employees and it’s very pleasing to have been recognised by an external agency,” Morgan said.

The JACDEC Safety Index ranking:

1 Finnair
2 Air New Zealand
3 Cathay Pacific
4 Emirates
5 Etihad Airways
6 EVA Air
7 TAP Portugal
8 Hainan Airlines China
9 Virgin Australia
10 British Airways
11 Lufthansa
12 All Nippon Airways
13 Qantas
14 JetBlue Airways
15 Virgin Atlantic Airways
16 Transaero Airlines
17 EasyJet
18 Thomas Cook Airlines
19 WestJet
20 Jetstar Airways
21 Southwest Airlines
22 Qatar Airways
23 Air Berlin
24 EL AL Israel
25 Air Canada
26 Thomsonfly
27 KLM
28 Delta Air Lines
29 AirAsia
30 Singapore Airlines
31 United Airlines
32 Ryanair
33 Swiss
34 Condor
35 Malaysia Airlines
36 China Eastern Airlines
37 Jet Airways
38 Alitalia
39 Aeroflot – Russian Airlines
40 LAN Airlines
41 Air France
42 American Airlines
43 Air China
44 US Airways
45 Alaska Airlines
46 Asiana
47 Japan Airlines
48 China Southern Airlines
49 Iberia
50 SAS Scandinavian Airlines
51 SkyWest Airlines
52 South African Airways
53 Thai Airways International
54 Turkish Airlines
55 Saudia
56 Korean Air
57 GOL
58 Air India
59 TAM Airlines
60 China Airlines

Friday, January 11, 2013

Ellen DeGeneres Show for Australia

The Ellen DeGeneres Show coming downunder in March
Top-rating The Ellen DeGeneres Show will visit Australia in March in what is expected to deliver a major boost for local tourism.

The visit was announced by Ellen DeGeneres and Swisse Wellness Global Ambassador Nicole Kidman in an episode filmed today that will be watched by a global audience of more than 16 million people.

The Ellen DeGeneres Show, sponsored by Swisse Wellness for its global product launch, will film numerous segments around Melbourne and Sydney in March that will air in April to around 60 countries around the world.

Qantas has partnered with Swisse Wellness to support the initiative as part of the airline’s ongoing commitment to promoting Australia to the world.

During the in-studio announcement in Los Angeles, The Ellen DeGeneres Show audience each received a free return flight on Qantas between the United States and Australia. These trips can be taken any time before the end of the year from New York, Dallas Fort Worth or Los Angeles to Sydney or Melbourne.

CEO of the Qantas Group, Alan Joyce, said helping to bring The Ellen DeGeneres Show to Australia was a fantastic opportunity to market the country to a massive worldwide audience.

“This is a great coup for Australian tourism,” said Mr Joyce.

“The Ellen De Generes Show is one of the top-rating shows in the United States and screens in several key source tourism markets, making it a great platform to profile what Australia has to offer as a holiday destination.

“Ellen is a household name and her unique brand of fun and optimism is a perfect match for the relaxed Australian culture.

“Qantas is thrilled to be able to provide its support to make this happen in partnership with another great Australian business, Swisse Wellness.

"We look forward to working with Swisse Wellness and the tourism sector in Victoria and New South Wales to help maximise worldwide exposure,” added Mr Joyce.

The United States is a key source market for visitors to Australia. The Ellen DeGeneres Show also screens in other key source markets including the United Kingdom, New Zealand and Japan.

Today’s announcement tops off a week of promoting Australia to the United States. On Wednesday, Qantas, with the support of Swisse Wellness, hosted its annual Spirit of Australia party in Los Angeles, which profiles Australian talent on the world stage.

Sasso - latest dining sensation open in Queenstown NZ


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Queenstown, New Zealand has enthusiastically embraced the true art of Italian dining. Since new Italian bistro Sasso opened its doors in late December, it has enjoyed over – capacity booking numbers.

Sasso, meaning stone in Italian, is centrally located in historic McNeill's cottage, just a few steps from the picturesque shores of Lake Wakatipu.

Executive Chef Sal Grant

Executive Chef Sal Grant heads a team of eight chefs and offers Italian-inspired cuisine that is both traditional and innovative - think rustic Italian with fresh local ingredients.  Having worked alongside prominent hospitality figures like Antonia Crisci at Poderi Crisci and his nephew Sergio Maglione at Toto, Grant was inspired by their classic yet modern approach to Italian food.

An award-winning chef, Grant is keen to expose locals to some new taste experiences like fresh Burrata, an Italian cheese made from mozzarella and cream, which he chargrills with pumpkin, thyme and balsamic vinegar to create one of eight delicious starters.

Grant has carefully crafted the extensive menu and is sure the Timpano pasta – made famous in the Italian movie 'Big Night' - will become an overnight sensation. It's an elaborate, labour-intensive baked pasta dish that contains mozzarella, aromatic vegetables, meatballs, salami and other sumptuous morsels. Bellissimo!

Sasso is the creation of two local businessmen, The Rees Queenstown CEO Mark Rose and David Matthews, also a UK Property developer, who felt Queenstown was missing a chic modern Italian dining option.

The historic stone cottage has undergone a stunning $500,000 refurbishment revealing a clean crisp interior with a solid wood bar and marble counters sourced in Italy. Crystal light fittings form a lavish centrepiece while the state of the art kitchen offers an open servery that, along with the Mediterranean outdoor courtyard and open fire, creates a warm and relaxing ambiance.

The familiar face of General Manager Candice Chow, previously of the Rees Hotel Queenstown, will greet guests. Ms Chow has worked at the prestigious Michelin three-star Caprice Restaurant in the Four Seasons Hotel & Resort, Hong Kong, and is a professionally trained sommelier.  She has an excellent knowledge of the fine local pinots to be featured at Sasso along with the impressive wine collection directly sourced from Italy.







www.sasso.co.nz || Phone +64 3 409 0994 || Email gm@sasso.co.nz

Thursday, January 10, 2013

The Sukhothai Bangkok Accomplishes in T+L 500 The World's Best Hotels Award and Chinese New Year Celebrations at Colonnade

The Sukhothai Bangkok was honoured in the eleventh annual "T+L 500 Best Hotels in the World 2013" in Travel + Leisure magazine, a compendium of the highest-ranking hotels and resorts worldwide as voted by readers in the Travel + Leisure World's Best Awards survey.

A resort-style sanctuary, the hotel is set amidst six acres of greenery and lotus ponds in the heart of Bangkok, with the combination of traditional Thai refinement, immaculate contemporary style and personalized service. The Sukhothai Bangkok achieved an outstanding score of 90.35 among the top 12 hotels in Thailand and has received this prestigious award for four consecutive years.

In addition, The Sukhothai Bangkok was also named as one of the "Top City Hotels in Asia" last August 2012 in the Travel + Leisure World' Best Awards.

About The Sukhothai Bangkok

The 210-room The Sukhothai Bangkok is a multi-award winning member of the exclusive Leading Hotels of the World network. As one of Thailand's most luxurious accommodation experiences, its ancillary facilities including the Spa Botanica, limousine fleet, gym and swimming pool, modern meeting space and superb culinary encounters combine to produce one of the finest hospitality brands in the Kingdom. www.sukhothai.com

 

Air New Zealand Highly Ranked Amongst World's Safest Airlines

Air New Zealand Arwyn

Air New Zealand has been named in the top three airlines in the world from a safety perspective.

Europe’s Jet Airliner Crash Data Evaluation Centre (JACDEC) has ranked Air New Zealand second behind Finnair in the annual JACDEC Safety Index which recognises safety in the aviation industry. Other carriers to make the top ten included Virgin Australia, Cathay Pacific, and Etihad.

David Morgan, Air New Zealand Chief Flight Operations and Safety Officer, says this recognition is testament to the airline’s dedication to maintaining a strong safety culture.

“Safety is paramount and non-negotiable at Air New Zealand. We have worked hard as an airline to create a safety culture which has been embraced by more than 10,000 employees and it’s very pleasing to have been recognised by an external agency,” says Morgan.

JACDEC collects and analyses safety occurrences from airlines around the world. The Safety Index ratings are calculated by comparing hull loss accidents and serious incidents suffered by airlines over the past 30 years to the revenue passenger kilometres they have performed over the same period. Airlines are also measured against other international safety benchmarks.

Visit the JACDEC website to view the full list: http://www.jacdec.de/jacdec_safety_ranking_2012.htm

Bushfire nearly destroys Kings Canyon Resort


Kings Canyon Resort in Central Australia has narrowly escaped being destroyed by a major bushfire on Tuesday afternoon (Jan 8).

King's Canyon Resort


While the focus was firmly been on the hundreds of fires destroying hectares of land in New South Wales, Tasmania and Victoria earlier this week, the same day a one-kilometre wide fire in the Watarrka National Park forced the evacuation of 110 staff and guests at Kings Canyon Resort – located around 300 kilometres south-west of Alice Springs – to the nearby Mereenie Oil Fields.

According to a report by the ABC, flames were seen surrounding the resort by aerial spotters as the fire approached and as a result, a number of buildings are reportedly blackened but still standing.

Read full story at Spice News

Azamara Quest emerges from dry dock




Azamara Quest, the first of Azamara Club Cruises’ twin boutique ships to undergo refurbishment, emerged today from an eight-day drydock – complete with a refresh of all public spaces and staterooms and a new “Azamara Blue” hull. Named for the cruise line by Navantia Shipyard, the unique navy-blue colour tone of Azamara Quest’s hull adds to the elegance of the ship’s silhouette.

The cruise line known for distinctively featuring longer stays and more overnights in port to present up-market travellers the opportunity for night touring is poised to break away from its category with its newly refreshed ships that sail to exciting destinations around the world that larger ships are unable to reach. Paired with the new complimentary AzAmazing Evening shore events on every voyage starting with each ship’s Europe 2013 season, Azamara is providing guests one of the most unique travel experiences that spotlights the nightlife of some of the world’s most intriguing destinations.

Ship-wide renovations included new carpets, upholstery, and a new colour palette in public spaces reflecting the cruise line’s inviting atmosphere; new mattresses and upgraded veranda furniture for suites and staterooms; and a resurfaced pool, and new sun loungers and pool towels on the outer decks. The Casino Bar also was expanded and enhanced with new furniture, while the Spa and fitness centre was refreshed with a new steam room, showers, and state-of-the-art Life Fitness cardio equipment. Furthermore, a range of enhancements were made behind the scenes in the staff and crew area to add to the comfort of the cruise line’s most valuable asset.

On the culinary front, guests can now enjoy a new caviar and champagne bar within Aqualina, one of the ships’ two specialty dining venues, as well as a new Chef’s Table concept featuring three wine degustation menus – Italian, French and Californian. At Mosaic Café, the ships’ central gathering spot, guests can purchase a freshly brewed cup of bespoke coffee.

Upon departing from Navantia Shipyard in Cadiz, Spain, Azamara Quest will sail a 13-night Madeira and Canary Islands voyage, beginning November 16, followed by a four-night Spanish and Northern Africa voyage on November 28. The ship then departs on December 2, to embark on a 16-night, trans-Atlantic voyage to Rio De Janeiro for its South America season.

Azamara Club Cruises is a destination-immersive cruise line for up-market travellers who not only want to see the places and cultures they visit, but to live them. Azamara’s two intimate, 694-guest ships, Azamara Journey and Azamara Quest, with a combination of 347 suites and staterooms, offer a European-boutique hotel ambience with extraordinary service, fine cuisine and wines from around the world, and wellness and vitality programs, all while sailing to a host of destinations larger ships cannot reach. Azamara Club Cruises sails European destinations, including the Baltic and Scandinavia, British Isles, Western Europe, French and Italian Rivieras, Greek Isles, Croatia, Holy Land and Black Sea, as well as Asia, South America and lesser-travelled islands of the West Indies, with more overnight and late-night stays in every region. Travellers also can choose even more immersive experiences with Azamara cruisetours in eight of the world’s most exciting destinations, including Rome, Athens, Buenos Aires, Cairo, Istanbul, Jordan and Israel, India, and China For more information, contact your travel agent, visit www.azamaraclubcruises.com or call 1800 754 500. Travel professionals can call 1300 754 500 or visit www.cruisingpower.com

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Best Western Adds Luxury Island Resort in Vietnam


Best Western International – the World's Largest Hotel Chain® – has announced the launch of a new luxury island resort off the coast of Vietnam.

Set on the golden shores of Hon Tam Island, close to the resort town of Nha Trang, the new BEST WESTERN PREMIER Hon Tam Resort & Residences offers an idyllic private island sanctuary, lapped by the azure waters of the South China Sea.

Accessible only by boat, the resort feels a world away from the hustle and bustle of Nha Trang. Designed as an eco-resort, the BEST WESTERN PREMIER Hon Tam Resort & Residences offers just 49 low-rise bungalows, all designed in a traditional Vietnamese architectural style. Each features its own private balcony overlooking the sea, mountains or gardens.

Accommodation units range from the 52m² Deluxe Bungalows to the 64m² Family Suite Bungalows, and include the latest luxury amenities such as flat screen televisions, complimentary Wi-Fi, large bathrooms with bathtubs and separate showers. Other resort facilities include a swimming pool, spa, fitness center, sauna, steam room, game room, karaoke room, two meeting rooms and outdoor venue capable of holding up to 900 guests.

Guests can also indulge at the resort's four food and beverage outlets. The Garden Restaurant offers breakfast and all-day international dishes, while the Ocean Restaurant offers local Vietnamese delicacies overlooking the South China Sea. The Hon Viet coffee shop meanwhile, offers local and international coffees and snacks, while the Pool Bar offers daytime refreshments for bathers soaking up the tropical sun.

"Vietnam is one of Asia's hottest new destinations and the Nha Trang coast is now drawing large numbers of domestic and international visitors," said Glenn de Souza, Best Western International's Vice President International Operations – Asia & the Middle East.

"To be able to add this stunning, exclusive island resort to our portfolio is indeed an honor, and we are confident it will become a new jewel in the Best Western crown. BEST WESTERN PREMIER Hon Tam Resort & Residences will add a new dimension this exciting region," Mr. de Souza added.

BEST WESTERN PREMIER Hon Tam Resort & Residences becomes the company's fifth property in Vietnam, and the second for its luxury BEST WESTERN PREMIER brand. The company's Vietnamese development will gather pace in coming months and years, with a further three hotels expected to launch in the country by the end of 2014.


TASMANIA: Island Still Open to Visitors


The Australian Tourism Export Council (ATEC) reiterates yesterday's announcement by Tourism Tasmania and the Tourism Industry Council of Tasmania (TICT) that unaffected areas of the island are still open for business as usual.

ATEC's Manager Director, Felicia Mariani, welcomed the news and encouraged continued support of Australia's Island State during this all-important peak holiday season.

"It's vital that national and international visitors continue with their travel plans to those areas not affected by the Tasmanian bushfires," said Ms Mariani.

"Accommodation providers, attractions, tours and restaurants in the unaffected regions are still welcoming visitors and look forward to offering the same level of service and unique Tasmanian experience to all who visit the State.

The support and expenditure by visitors to the island will be imperative to the Tasmanian economy as they work toward the recovery of areas ravaged by the bushfires.

"Tourism remains one of the leading drivers of the State's economy and this is the most critical time for tourism operators across the State. These operators and private citizens have supported their visitors in a time of need…now it's our turn to return the favour."

Ms Mariani also applauded those involved in the tourism industry and the broader community who have responded to calls of aid to help those in evacuation shelters, ferried stranded groups to safety and assisted the tireless work of the Emergency Services.

"It's in these times of crisis that the true Australian sprit comes to the fore; and nowhere has this been more evident than in the towns and villages of Tasmania who have put aside their own welfare and interests to assist those in need – both locals and visitors alike."

ATEC encourages all visitors or travel trade who may be concerned about their arrangements to firstly contact their accommodation or tour provider to confirm the status of their trip. They can also contact the Tasmanian Visitor Centres for further information and can keep abreast of the situation through the Tasmanian Government website or the Tasmanian Fire Service.


Burke's Backyard magazine to close

March 2013 will be this famous magazine's last issue
Burke's Backyard Publishing, a partnership between ACP Magazines (now Bauer Media: The Australian Women's Weekly, and Harper's Bazaar among others) and CTC Productions, announced that, after nearly 15 years (first issue July, 1998), the final issue of Burke's Backyard magazine would be the March 2013 issue.

Don Burke, Director of CTC Productions said: "I'd like to thank the people of Australia for 30 years of generous support of Burke's Backyard radio, TV and magazine.

"Burke's Backyard began in 1982 as a radio program on 2UE in Sydney, in 1987 the TV program went to air and in July 1998 the magazine began.

"The way Australians took Burke's Backyard to their hearts and families is something I will never forget and I would like to thank them for it.

"30 years is an amazing time for support for these activities to exist but in recent times the circulation and advertising for the magazine were underachieving and it ceased to be profitable. The partnership therefore was forced to close the magazine.

The Burke's Backyard YouTube Channel, website and books will continue."

Source: www.publicitas.com

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Noosa Dreamboats Classic Boat Cruises win award


The business that has made dreams come true for many experienced it for themselves recently, when Sunshine Coast based Noosa Dreamboats Classic Boat Cruises won the 2012 Tourism Award for best tourism experience at the Sunshine Coast Business Awards. The business was also recently recognised as a Finalist in the 2012 Queensland Tourism Awards, continuing their journey from strength to strength.

Owners Michael and Sandy Guthrie established Noosa Dreamboats only 3 short years ago after deciding a change of pace was on the cards, relocating to Noosa from Sydney. In that short period of time, they've made quite an impact on tourism in the area, as well as the many couples who have chosen to celebrate special occasions with Noosa Dreamboats – often traveling from interstate to do so.

Said Michael and Sandy of the win, "We want to say a very big "thank you" to all our wonderful customers and also to our colleagues in the tourism industry for supporting our tour experience with such enthusiasm. When we launched this business nearly 3 years ago we hoped that our vision for a glamorous, unique and exciting way to experience the beauty of Noosa would be embraced and it is so rewarding to receive such wonderful feedback and affirmation".

On private guided tours of the Noosa River and Lakes, guests experience the glamour, style and excitement of a bygone era on board a gorgeous 1940's style speedboat. In addition to tours that showcase the area's natural beauty, Noosa Dreamboats also provide wedding cruises, romantic private sandbar picnics and unique special occasion packages with leading Noosa restaurants and spas.

Says Michael, "One of the most rewarding aspects of what we do is helping people to celebrate the special occasions in their lives, such as birthdays, anniversaries, weddings and marriage proposals. It's an absolute privilege to be involved in these occasions and to help create memories that can last a lifetime."

Bookings: 0414 990 708  info@noosadreamboats.com.au   www.noosadreamboats.com.au

Hawaiian to Add Fleet of Long-Range, Single-Aisle Aircraft

 

Hawaiian Airlines today announced the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding with airframe manufacturer Airbus to acquire 16 new A321neo aircraft between 2017 and 2020, with rights to purchase an additional nine aircraft.

 

The long-range, single-aisle aircraft will complement Hawaiian's existing fleet of wide-body, twin-aisle aircraft used for long-haul flying between Hawai'i and the U.S. West Coast.

 


Monday, January 7, 2013

Virgin Atlantic crew uniform in magazine cover shoot



The Virgin Atlantic crew look every bit the part as they're groomed to perfection on the cover shoot for their in-house magazine, Runway.

Why not check out the crew in action, by having a look at the amazing new advert which features the very special talents of the airline’s staff.

If you’d like to experience their service in person, head over to the Virgin Atlantic site and book yourself a flight.

In 2011, Virgin Atlantic crew were voted the world's most attractive


The Final Ride for Blue Mountains' Iconic Scenic Railway

Inline images 1

The world's steepest passenger railway incline at 52 degrees on a journey that has thrilled 25 million people on almost 700,000 journeys to the pristine rainforest floor.

The Katoomba-based train, fondly known as the 'Mountain Devil' will be replaced by a $30 million train, tracks and new visitor experiences in April.

Scenic Railway Facts

• The historic railway was built in 1878 to service mining activities in the valley;

• Harry Hammon purchased the lease in 1945 turning the Scenic Railway into a major tourist attraction;

• The railway track spans 310m through a cliff side tunnel and through a rainforest corridor;

• The top station is 604 metres above sea level;

• The current carriage takes 84 passengers and operates every 10 minutes;

• In 1945 the Scenic Railway cost 1 shilling to ride and sixpence for children;

• Each train has been named “Mountain Devil’ after the native plant;

• The term ‘Scenic Railway’ dates back to late 19th Century England amusement rides;

• The new Scenic Railway train will be the sixth and will operate at the same speed of 16km an hour.



Thursday, January 3, 2013

Ferry scam leaves Sydney NYE revellers high and dry


source: Travelmole




Police and fair trading officials are expected to probe a phantom New Year's Eve cruise on Sydney Harbour which left people stranded on the dock.

Up to 150 people found themselves stranded on a Darling Harbour ferry wharf and AUD450 out of pocket when the boat they had bought tickets for, the MV Eve, failed to show, the Sydney Morning Herald reported.

Many of those who bought tickets for a champagne cruise that offered a New Year's Eve experience "like never before" have made formal complaints to the New South Wales Police and NSW Fair Trading.

Ticket holders were told to meet at King Street Wharf by 6.30pm for a six-hour cruise that was supposed to include views of the Sydney fireworks, DJ and unlimited food and drink.

By 8.30pm the group realised their planned evening had sunk without a trace.

Repeated calls were made to the mobile phone and office numbers that Eve Harbour Cruises had supplied, but no one answered.

When TravelMole called the mobile phone number on the Eve's website - which is still advertising Sydney Harbour cruises - it went through to an automatic answering service.

The operators of the vessel describe the MV Eve as a "three level boat that has been fully renovated".

"The under ground level is the spacious men's and ladies toilets and powder room. The middle level is the dance floor, DJ box and laser lights, plasma and a very classy bar. The 3rd Level is an open deck area for perfect viewing of Sydney Harbour and relaxation."

But not, clearly, on New Years Eve.

TD breaking news - Air New Zealand Holidays to return

AOT announces Australian return of Air NZ Holidays

AOT Group ceo Andrew Burnes has just announced the return of Air New Zealand Holidays to the Australian market.

The move follows the joint venture signed just over a year ago between AOT and Air NZ (TD 24 Oct 2011), which has seen AOT operate and market the Air NZ Holidays brand across the Tasman.

Burnes said this had "proved to be an extremely successful partnership, with the brand going from strength to strength in New Zealand.

"As a result, we believe the time is right for the brand to re-enter the Australian market," he said.

Air NZ Holidays was withdrawn from Australia in 2007, but Burnes said the brand is still well recognised and respected, and will provide a "particularly strong product offering for New Zealand and the South Pacific, as well as other key global destinations".

The reintroduction into the Australian market has been timed in conjunction with the Boxing Day release of The Hobbit movie which Burnes said was expected to stimulate enquiry to New Zealand.

A flyer promoting several packages will be released next week, and will be followed by a range of brochures specifically for the Australian market.

"This is a very exciting phase of the Air New Zealand Holidays journey and we are very much looking forward to working with the industry to ensure its success," Burnes said.

More information in today's TravelDaily.


Wednesday, January 2, 2013

KLM announces new route to Scandinavia, with flights between Amsterdam and Alesund, Norway


Gateway to spectacular natural attractions
Faster, more convenient access to Norway


KLM Royal Dutch Airlines will commence flights from Amsterdam to Alesund, Norway, from 04 April, 2013, providing a new gateway to some of the most extraordinary natural attractions of Scandinavia.

Alesund is the seventh KLM destination in Norway and the 15th in Scandinavia, providing easy access to the spectacular Norwegian fjords, including Geirangerfjord, which has UNESCO world heritage status.

The town also is the base for hiking in the Sunnmore Alps, as well as cross-country skiing, fishing, diving and even bird watching on the neighbouring island of Runde, which is home to the widest variety of sea bird species in Scandinavia.

KLM will fly between Amsterdam and Alesund twice daily, except for Saturdays when there will be a single service.

Flight KL 1327 will depart Amsterdam at 8:40pm daily, arriving in Alesund at 10:45pm, while the return service, KL 1322 will leave Alesund at 6:30am, arriving back in Amsterdam at 8:45am. Journey time is two hours and five minutes.

In addition, every day except Saturday, flight KL 1325 will depart Amsterdam at 2:25pm and arrive in Alesund at 4:30pm, then return as flight KL 1326, departing at 5:05pm and arriving at 7:15pm.

KLM's flights between Amsterdam and Alesund will be operated with single class Fokker 70 twinjets, each seating 76 passengers.

As well as providing a new entry point into Norway, KLM's flights to Alesund will provide an easier way for travellers to reach the region, which currently requires many passengers to fly from continental Europe via major Scandinavian hubs.

KLM offers over 100 flights per week from Australia to Europe, with code share services from Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth to Asia on partner carriers Malaysia Airlines, China Southern Airlines and Etihad Airways, and onward service to Amsterdam

The AIR FRANCE KLM group serves a combined total of more than 125 destinations throughout Europe.

For more information or to make a booking contact your preferred travel agent, or contact KLM Reservations in Australia on 1300 392 192.  For more information about KLM, visit www.klm.com.au

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The Expeditionist
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