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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JET EDGE EXPANDS FLEET | gorilla safari cost


Jet Edge International announced today the addition of two long-range business aircraft, which include a Falcon 900EX EASy II and Gulfstream GIV, as well as a 2015 ultra-long range Gulfstream G550, to its growing fleet of private jets. These aircraft expand the Jet Edge fleet to 48 large-cabin charter jets throughout North America and Asia.

In 2015, Jet Edge grew from just over 30 charter aircraft to nearly 50 and secured more than 13,000 hours of revenue flights for charter aircraft.

Jet Edge’s newly added GIV operates from Palm Beach, Florida (KPBI) and provides non-stop luxury charter service to locations throughout North and South America and Europe. The aircraft is equipped with dual DVD/CD players and two 20” cabin monitors for inflight entertainment, as well as accommodations for USB charging for mobile devices throughout the cabin. Passengers also benefit from complimentary domestic wireless Internet while traveling in the spacious 14-passenger cabin.

A Dassault Falcon 900EX EASy II was added to the Jet Edge fleet in December. The Falcon 900 series of business jets offers long-range travel while delivering unrivaled fuel economy and cabin accommodations. The newly added Falcon 900EX comes equipped with Wi-Fi internet access, a fully-appointed galley, a breathtaking, spacious interior, and a cabin configuration that provides ultimate comfort for both business and leisure travelers. This is the first Jet Edge charter jet based in Canada, at Toronto’s Pearson International Airport (CYYZ).

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ACS MINISTERIAL COUNCIL MEETING | gorilla trekking company


The 21st Ordinary Meeting of the Ministerial Council of the Association of Caribbean States (ACS) will convene on 19th January, 2016 in Pétion- Ville, Republic of Haiti.

Minister of Foreign Affairs and Worship of Haiti, H.E. Lener Renauld, in his capacity as Chairman of the Ministerial Council is expected to deliver opening remarks followed by H.E. Alfonso Múnera, Secretary General of the ACS who will report on the activities of the organisation for the period.

Key activities outlined in the agenda include extensive dialogue on the Sustainability of the Caribbean Sea and the outcomes of the I Symposium of the Caribbean Sea Commission which was held on the 23rd- 24th November, 2015 in Port of Spain, Republic of Trinidad and Tobago. Ministers and Heads of Delegations will discuss in depth the conclusions and recommendations resulting from the Symposium and will take joint decisions for the continued strengthening of the protection and preservation of the Caribbean Sea.

Of significant importance on the agenda will be the election of the sixth Secretary General of the ACS. Delegates will also consider the recommendations for the term extension of the Directors of Sustainable Tourism and Trade Development and External Economic Relations of the ACS.

Delegations will also examine recommendations put forward regarding the possible acceptance of the request of Belarus to become an Observer Country of the ACS, as well as that of the International Organisation for Migration as an Observer Organisation of the ACS. Additionally the Secretariat will inform the Meeting of Saint Martin’s request to become an Associate Member in its own right.

Participants of the 21st Ordinary Meeting of the Ministerial Council will include representatives of the Member States, Associate Members, Founding Observers, Observer Countries and Social Actors. This Meeting will be preceded by a Preparatory session which will take place on the previous day.

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More is going to be heard in India of the Ras al-Khaimah in the days to come. This was the message that Haitham Mattar, CEO of the Ras al-Khamah Tourism Development Authority, sent in Delhi on January 12, when he met with the media after interacting with agents a day before that.

Ras al-Khaimah is one of the seven emirates that make up the United Arab Emirates. Mattar emphasized the unique nature of the emirate, pointing out at its mountain, beaches, culture, and history, plus the many activities like camping which were possible in the destination, was very near to Dubai.

The CEO hinted that they may soon have a representative office in India. Road shows with other partners, more connectivity, and partnerships with agents were some of the ways being planned to increase arrivals from the present 16,000 to about 30,000 in 2016.

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