Kenya Airways has taken further steps to reduce its redundant fleet, after recently selling two Boeing B777-200s to Omni Air in the United States. It was reliably confirmed earlier today that the airline’s three Boeing B777-300ERs have been dry-leased to Turkish Airlines although no handover date or duration of the lease could be confirmed at this stage.

However, such leases are normally longer term, and Turkish is an airline on a rapid-expansion path with an acute shortage of aircraft. This situation has prevented a further roll-out of new destinations and added frequencies, and the lease of three relatively young long-haul planes will no doubt help Turkish Airlines to solve some of these problems.

Now remaining are two Boeing B777-200s which are up for sale, and it is understood that negotiations are ongoing to dispose of them. That would leave Kenya Airways to operate their long-haul services with the state-of-the-art Boeing B787 Dreamliner, of which nine aircraft are presently in service.

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PATA AND ROUTES ASIA EXPLORE | gorilla safari cost


The Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) and Routes Asia are bringing together industry leaders from Boeing, Amadeus IT Pacific and Digital Jungle to discuss how Asia Pacific tourism will benefit from a thriving aviation industry over the next 20 years.

The aviation industry is crucial to the economic development of Asia Pacific. Currently worth around US$500 billion, it is set to expand rapidly over the next twenty years. International Air Transport Association (IATA) figures show that Asia Pacific will have overtaken North America and Europe in terms of passenger numbers by 2030 and that nearly half of all air travel (2.9 billion journeys) will touch the Asia Pacific region by 2034.

Routes Asia will explore how the tourist industry can benefit from Asia Pacific’s aviation growth through the ‘Global Insights Impacting Tourism and Aviation’ panel discussion. News presenter Rico Hizon from BBC World News will chair the debate which will feature high profile speakers from a mix of relevant backgrounds.

Boeing’s Managing Director of Marketing Asia Pacific and India, John Schubert, will talk about how the demand for increased air travel in Asia Pacific will be met, including the need to build 13,460 new aircraft by 2033.

Albert Villadolid, General Manager of Amadeus Philippines, will imagine the world in 2030 when travellers are defined by their behaviour rather than their demographic location, asking how we can create bespoke ‘purchasing experiences’ that cater to an individual’s needs.

Dr Mathew McDougall, CEO of Digital Jungle – an agency in Beijing that markets Western products and services to Chinese consumers – will explain how social media can be used to create data sets for marketing purposes.

Mario Hardy, CEO of PATA, said: “We have already seen how low cost carriers have greatly impacted travel and tourism within the Asia Pacific region and the continuing growth of aviation will only add to the rapid growth in the region. The insights provided from this session will be valuable for all stakeholders wishing to benefit from this growing trend.”

upon tour operators, lack of economies of scale, financial constraints, human resource management, lack of quality standards, policy rules and regulations, and environmental sustainability. Sotiriadis also commented upon global competition and the changes in tourism behavior, the lack of managerial skills among Greek tourism entrepreneurs and the absence of a development plan by the public sector…. and these are but a few of the many trials facing this economic sector.

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Indonesia expects a big boost in arrivals from India, because of a variety of factors, like visa-free entry, close historical links, and active government policies.

But the lack of a direct flight remains a constraint, which Ambassador Rizali W. Indrakesuma said on January 27 in Delhi will be rectified soon.

A vibrant sales mission was in India to help raise the arrival figures from 262,000 in 2015 to 350,000 in 2016. Rizali told this correspondent that he was confident that the long-awaited direct service will become a reality soon.

Puneet Malhotra of the Queen’s Group, known for Indian cuisine, promoted, along with his wife, the popular Nawabi cuisine, while sitting in style on the floor. Nisha Shrivastava of Asia World Indonesia, met agents with package offerings from different products.

Girish Sadhnani, Director of Girnar Tour, highlighted the tours for the elderly, complete with wheelchairs and helpers.

Vivek Kumar of Sunlake Hotels, told the Indian agents of the four hotels of the group, with an 870-room inventory.

Chandra Shekhar, Sales Manager of U&I holidays, spoke of meeting guests at the airport facility and of different packages.

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BAHRAIN’S NATIONAL CARRIER | gorilla trekking company


As part of its fleet renewal strategy, Gulf Air has announced a firm order of 29 A320neo Family. The new order includes 17 A321neo and 12 A320neo of which 10 A320neo have been confirmed in 2012. The contract was signed today at the Bahrain International Airshow between Mr. Maher Salman Al Musallam, A/Chief Executive Officer, Gulf Air and Fabrice Brégier, Airbus President and Chief Executive Officer, in the presence of H.E. Kamal bin Ahmed Mohammed, Minister of Transportation and Telecommunications, Kingdom of Bahrain and Mr Matthias Fekl, Minister of State for Foreign Trade, the Promotion of Tourism and French Nationals Abroad.

Gulf Air currently operates 28 Airbus aircraft; and the new aircraft will fit seamlessly into the airline’s current fleet, thanks to Airbus’ overall fleet commonality, its low operating costs, optimum fuel efficiency and best-in-class passenger comfort of any single aisle aircraft.

Commenting on the agreement, Gulf Air A/Chief Executive Officer Mr. Maher Salman Al Musallam, said, “I am delighted that we will enhance and simplify our fleet structure building on Airbus aircraft. This restructured order meets Gulf Air’s future fleet requirement and our network expansion plans. As a result, I now look forward to furthering Gulf Air’s fleet modernization process while supporting our network and overall passenger experience enhancement strategies.”

The A320neo Family incorporates latest technologies including new generation engines and Sharklet wing tip devices, which together deliver more than 15 percent in fuel savings from day one and 20 percent by 2020 with further cabin innovations. With nearly 4,500 orders received from some 80 customers since its launch in 2010, the A320neo Family has captured a 60 percent share of the market.

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A year older but not a shred wiser and – who knows, perhaps still tipsy from the New Year’s champagne intake – the Kenya Airline Pilots Association, in short KALPA, has once again shown that they are utterly incapable of dealing with reality. News from Nairobi suggests that the rabid union leadership has now stooped to new lows when they demanded that the management of national airline, Kenya Airways, be dissolved within seven days, or, as usual, “else,” suggesting they are spoiling for another round of slow goes and strikes by making demands way beyond their brief.

What business of a pilots’ union it is to demand such things is of course beyond most to comprehend, as they in turn, should for instance the airline demand that the pilots union leadership step down, be met with howls of hyped-up outrage. It has often been said in the past that the union’s behavior and demands are in part responsible for the substantially higher operational cost incurred by Kenya Airways, compared for instance with rival, Ethiopian, which has no such issues with troublesome militants as found in the offices of KALPA.

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FIRST HOTEL OPENING IN CHAD | gorilla safari cost


Hilton Hotels & Resorts today officially announced its first hotel in Chad, Hilton N’Djamena which takes Hilton Worldwide’s overall presence to 100 countries and territories. The 194-room property, offering breathtaking panoramic views of Chari River, is located in the new and upmarket district of Sabangali in N’Djamena. The latest addition joins Hilton Worldwide’s growing portfolio of 37 hotels in Africa.

Rob Palleschi, global head, full service brands, Hilton Worldwide, said: “Hilton Hotels & Resorts has had a presence in Africa for more than 50 years and Hilton N’Djamena is a magnificent achievement that showcases how far the brand has come in its commitment to this market.”

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EGYPT: 5 KILLED, 3 INJURED IN SINAI ATTACK | gorilla trekking company


Suspected militants have attacked a checkpoint in Egypt’s volatile Sinai Peninsula, killing five policemen.

The Interior Ministry’s media office says the attack took place at midnight on Wednesday in the city of Al-Arish and that three policemen were also wounded.

No group has so far claimed responsibility for the attack.

Egypt has been hit with a wave of suicide bombings and militants’ attacks that only intensified after the military’s ouster of President Mohammed Morsi in 2013.

Daesh affiliate has claimed responsibility for most of the attacks.

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THAI TO SELL PROPERTIES | gorilla safari cost


Thai Airways International Public Company Limited (THAI) announced the intention to sell properties in Thailand and overseas which are unused or not fully utilized, based on property management principles for the Company’s benefit.

Mr. Charamporn Jotikasthira, THAI President, said that property management is part of the Company’s transformation plan in order to reduce repair and maintenance expenses. The intention is to optimize property management since it is not part of core aviation business. THAI’s Board of Directors approved the initiative on 19 October and 28 December 2015.

The Company’s properties that are up for sale are land, office buildings, and residences for staff in Thailand and overseas that are no longer necessary or are not fully utilized. There are nine properties in Thailand that have been unused for several years, which the Company has no plans to utilize them, including: Mae Hong Son, Phitsanulok, Udon Thani, Nan, Trang, Surat Thani, Phuket, and two properties in Hat Yai.

There are 10 overseas properties including staff residences in London, Jakarta, Copenhagen, and two properties in Singapore, sales offices in Sydney, Rome, Madrid, Hong Kong, and Penang. Even though THAI continues to serve these destinations, these buildings are no longer suitable for current business operations as they are either too large or not necessary and need repair that incur expense and administration.

The management of THAI’s properties will proceed transparently based on the Company’s policy, which will begin by hiring a property assessor and realtor. Those interested in purchasing these properties will be given the opportunity to deal directly with the Company, which will take consideration to value, suitability based on market value, and the property management viewpoint.

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Measures by the German government to limit the numbers of refugees entering the country are “extremely likely” to be introduced, announced Joachim Gauck, President of the Federal Republic of Germany, in an address to participants at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos.

Such a limitation strategy is “morally and politically necessary to preserve the state’s ability to function,” he added. In German cities, recent events that challenge fundamental values such as tolerance, respect and the equality of women have made it clear that “migration is only politically viable to the extent that citizens are willing to accept it.” While Gauck highlighted Germany’s humanitarian responsibility to take in victims of persecution, he cautioned that if democrats in the centre of politics do not talk about limitations

The migration crisis has presented the European Union with its “biggest-ever test,” said Gauck. Member states must do more to support refugees in countries bordering Syria and Iraq. According to Gauck, a recent visit to a Syrian refugee camp in Jordan confirmed his belief that most Syrians would rather secure shelter and income nearer home than travel to Europe. He encouraged countries to look at innovative solutions, such as creating a free trade zone in Jordan where refugees and Jordanians could work side-by-side to export products and services to Europe.

Commenting on policies adopted by some Central European countries, Gauck said: “I find it difficult to understand when countries whose citizens once experienced solidarity as the victims of political persecution now deny solidarity to those fleeing persecution.” The president concluded his address by calling on European states to resist a retreat into national solutions, but rather to show solidarity in sharing Germany’s burden and renew efforts to shape a Europe in which everyone feels included.

Over 2,500 leaders from business, government, international organizations, civil society, academia, media and the arts are participating in the 46th World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos-Klosters, Switzerland, on 20-23 January.

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BUTLER COUNTY UNVEILS DONUT TRAIL | where to stay on a gorilla tour


Ohio’s first and only Donut Trail was unveiled today by the Butler County Visitors Bureau. Creating a Donut Trail was a natural fit for Butler County, Ohio, which boasts one of the highest numbers of donut shops per capita in the Midwest.

The Butler County Donut Trail highlights small, family-run donut shops and invites visitors to explore Butler County through donuts.

With one donut shop for every 20,000 residents, visiting a neighborhood donut shop is a favorite morning tradition across Butler County. Sharing this donut passion with visitors is a tasty way to bring Butler County cuisine to a new audience.

Tapping into the enthusiasm for these sugary donut confections was an easy choice for the Butler County Visitors Bureau.

“The Donut Trail is a great way to explore Butler County. With a tremendous number of independently run donut shops, creating the Donut Trail was a fun way to highlight some of the unique and off-the-beaten path businesses that make Butler County a great place to live and visit,” said Mark Hecquet, Executive Director of the Butler County Visitors Bureau.

“Kelly’s Bakery is thrilled to be part of the Butler County Donut Trail. We can’t wait to welcome people to our store, our city and our corner of the Midwest,” said Kelly’s Bakery owner, Diana Ramsey.
The Butler County Donut Trail is now open for travel. A Donut Trail passport is available for donut fans to log their journey. Each participating donut shop displays a coded decal. Visitors who fill in the passport with all correct codes earn a complimentary Donut Trail t-shirt.

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