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30 MARCH 2015
Bahrain improves visa option
for visitors
Dubai inspires design for
world’s tallest hotel
Latest news and views
from the region
Wake of Germanwings tragedy prompts rethink
Monday 30th March 2015
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Introducing the How to Sell
Thailand Guide
Bahrain visa
relaxation ahead
of Grand Prix
ahrain has relaxed its visa
rules ahead of the Formula
One Grand Prix, according
to officials. As of Wednesday,
visitors to Bahrain from the GCC
will be eligible for a one-month
multiple-entry visa.
While they will only be able
to stay for two weeks at a time,
the new rules also allow GCC
residents to obtain three-month
multiple-entry visas.
The cost of the visa is
unchanged at BD25 (US $66) and it
is hoped the move will attract more
investors and tourists.
Sheikh Ahmed bin Isa Al
Khalifa, nationality, passport
and residence affairs’ assistant
under-secretary, said “our goal
is to support the businesses and
tourism sector in Bahrain and
Indian airline chief lambasts T1 at
Dubai international
ir India’s regional chief
has complained about the
congestion at Dubai International
Airport’s Terminal 1.
Melwin D’Silva, Air India’s
regional manager for the Gulf,
Middle East and Africa, told 7Days,
that officials should introduce better
crowd management to increase
passenger processing time.
“With Dubai growing at the rate it
is, they need to have more counters
and staff to regulate the flow of
passengers,” he told the paper.
He added that traveller could
start picking Emirates over Air India
because “passengers have begun
caring more and more about their
[airport] experience”.
Air India Express operates out
of Terminal 2 and D’Silva said there
had been no issues with that facility.
“We have already seen a rise in
preference for our Air India Express
flights, which land at Terminal 2
and they are able to get out much
faster,” he stated. “So the overall
experience does matter.”
A spokesperson for Dubai
Airports told 7Days that congestion
issues will improve once construction
at the terminal had finished.
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the new visa policy will attract
more visitors once it goes into
effect from April, and mean GCC
residents and businessmen can
visit Bahrain more frequently”.
Extensions will be possible
through application and those who
overstay will be given assistance
before being punished.
“We need to be competitive in the
region,” Sheikh Ahmed asserted.
Oil price slump could slow hotel
Yous ef Wahbah, M EN A head of
t rans act ion real es tate at Erns t & Young
he region’s hotel sector could
slow in the wake of tumbling
oil prices, according to a report by
Ernst & Young (EY).
The report found that the next six
to nine months will be “critical” for
tourism in terms of establishing the
impact of falling prices.
Yousef Wahbah, MENA head of
transaction real estate at Ernst &
Young, said if occupancy rates are
to remain the same or decrease,
“the extra supply that is slated to
enter the MENA hospitality market
in 2015, coupled with unstable oil
price, may have an effect on the
industry's growth rates over the
coming year”. "Conditions may not
be as vibrant as they were in 2014.
There were over 4,000 keys
expected to be delivered to the
Dubai market in 2015, however
we see the hotel developments
construction pace slowing with
delays in the scheduled opening
dates of the hotels.”
Wahbah added that in terms of
transactions, the hospitality sector
“could see a drop in the number
of deals given the uncertainty in
the market”.
The UAE remained the top
performer in the MENA region
in terms of occupancy in 2014,
according to the report.
"Overall the MENA hospitality
Daily Middle East
market continued to see stable rates
tourism Season’s
which lasts until March.
Greetings and a very
We expect the UAE, Saudi
and Qatar
Year 2014
to maintain high occupancy and
RevPAR levels," added Wahbah.
Editor: Charmaine Fernz Associate Publisher: James Air | Editor-in-Chief: Mark Elliott TRAVEL DAILY ASIA
Monday 30th March 2015
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Germanwings crash prompts
UAE airlines review
he Germanwings tragedy
has brought about a
review of cockpit policy
by UAE airlines.
In keeping with carriers
across Europe, the regions
airlines have reacted to news
that the co-pilot brought down
the plane deliberately.
“Although there is no
international industry regulation
that mandates this as a
compulsory practice, Emirates
has implemented a new
operating policy where there
would always be two crew
members in the cockpit.
This is effective immediately.
We are in the process of
communicating this new policy to
our flight and cabin crew teams,”
asserted an Emirates spokesman.
Etihad Airways also told
Fiji Travel
Guide to Happiness
reporters that the company had
“reviewed our operating procedures
and will continue to do so in the
light of this disturbing and tragic
news from France”.
“Safety is and always will
be Etihad Airways’ number one
priority,” the spokesperson added.
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find out more
Gulf Air launches Jeddah opens first integrated
tourist centre
Jeddah is look ing to m ake tour is m m ore acces s ible as a career choice
ulf Air is giving its premium
passengers travelling from
Frankfurt, London or Paris to
Bahrain special airfares for travel
between now and the latter half of
2015 when booking flights this April.
For sale until 24 April only, Gulf Air’s
return Falcon Gold (Premium) Class
Frankfurt-based passengers can
visit Dubai for EUR1,209 while the
airline’s London-based passengers
can visit Mumbai for £1,205.
Paris-based travellers can book
Gulf Air Falcon Gold (Premium)
Class flights until 16 April 2015 from
EUR1,489 to Dubai and Abu Dhabi.
All prices quoted are return,
including taxes and surcharges.
Qatar Airways
to increase
capacity to
eddah has opened its first
integrated tourist centre,
according to Arab News. Inaugurated
under the patronage of Jeddah Gov.
Prince Mishaal bin Majed,
the director general of the Saudi
Commission for Tourism and
Philippine Airlines takes over
Dubai-Manila route
Amount for new
Bahrain visa
Metres that will make the
world’s tallest hotel in
The terminal at Dubai
airport that is annoying an
Air India chief
Antiquities in Makkah, Abdullah AlOmari said the centre helps provide
visitors with a better understanding
of the country's heritage.
One of the goals of the centre
is to provide opportunities in the
tourism industry for young Saudis.
s of yesterday, Philippine Airlines
has taken over the operation of
the daily service between Dubai and
Manila from PAL Express.
All flight departure and arrival
times in both Dubai and Manila are
unchanged and PAL will continue
to operate the Airbus A330-300
aircraft to Dubai.
The all-economy class variant of
the A330-300 will be retained, but
PAL said it continually reviews its
fleet plan and is aiming to eventually
deploy its two-class A330-300 with
business class cabin on the route.
The company is currently
restructuring so PAL flies all
international routes and PAL
Express operates domestic services.
Frequency from and to Dubai will
temporarily decrease by a day to
six times weekly, with the Tuesday
flight not operating from April 15 to
November 30, as part of PAL’s flight
operation optimisation.
Abu Dhab’s daily service will
drop to five times weekly from
April 8 to November 29 (except on
April 29), with the Wednesday and
Sunday frequencies suspended
during this period.
atar Airways is increasing
the capacity on its flights
from Doha to Bengaluru from
August 1, to meet the increasing
Travel Daily Middle East
passenger demand.
its readers
The Boeing
787 with Season’s
its 254
seats will be replaced by a Boeing
Greetings and a very
777, with a capacity of 335 seats,
will connect
New toYear
140 destinations worldwide via the
airline’s hub in Doha.
As of August QR572 will
depart Doha at 8pm and arrive in
Bengaluru at 2.45am.
Flight QR573 will leave
Bengaluru at 4.15am and arrive in
Doha at 5.40am.
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Editor: Charmaine Fernz Associate Publisher: James Air | Editor-in-Chief: Mark Elliott TRAVEL DAILY ASIA
Monday 30th March 2015
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to read complete
Agents’ guide
Oman Air notes 4% rise in revenues
for 2014
man Air has seen a
4% rise in its revenue
for 2014, according to a
report in Muscat Daily.
The carrier noted 5.1
million passengers for
the year, an increase of
200,000. Capacity also
rose for the period, to
15.2bn available seat
kilometres, with an average
seat factor of 74.4%.
India finally ready for in-flight Wi-Fi
QTA tells hotels not to hike prices
The Indian government appears to be
finally warming to the idea of in-flight Wi-Fi.
Several years after other airlines started
rolling out the service, India’s Ministry
of Civil Aviation is reported to have
approached the country’s Department
of Telecommunications (DoT) to discuss
in-flight Wi-Fi. The Economic Times
cited an unnamed “senior official” from the ministry as saying that a
formal announcement is expected soon.“The DoT has already said the
proposal is possible to implement,” the official told the newspaper. Both
Vistara and SpiceJet have expressed an interest in providing in-flight
Wi-Fi services. At present, only international airlines like Emirates offer
in-flight Wi-Fi in India.
Air India denies hijacking reports
Air India has denied reports of a hijacking
attempt on a flight from London. Flight AI
112 departed the UK capital’s Heathrow
Airport for a flight to New Delhi on 17 March
2015, and media reports suggested that
crew members became suspicious about
the actions of a group of passengers. One
man is said to have “feigned illness”, at
which point another group of passengers – all reported to be Pakistani
nationals – volunteered to help the man, and insisted on meeting the
captain.But Air India has issued a statement saying the reports are “totally
false”.“According to the report these doctors and the sick passengers
were Pakistani national and were trying to get access to the cockpit.
Air India would like to clarify that the above reports are totally false,” the
national carrier said. “The passenger required medical assistance on
aboard a London-Delhi flight and he was assisted by a lady passenger
who came forward to help him.“There were no Pakistani nationals,” it
added.Airports in India enhanced their security measures in January this
year following a warning from intelligence agencies.
P hoto by C hr is Pary pa
P hotography
n an effort to protect tourists
visiting Qatar, Qatar Tourism
Authority (QTA) has told hotels not
to hike rates dramatically, according
to The Peninsula.
The authority noted that
certain hotels had increased rates
by as much as 1200% beween
March 10 and 23.
QTA said it had created a special
panel to investigate the issue and
legal action will be taken against the
erring facilities.
"This illegal price increase has
given a negative reputation about
the tourism sector in Qatar and
the national economy, especially
when more tourists from other GCC
countries are coming to the country,"
QTA said on Twitter.
"This irresponsible act is
damaging efforts being made by
QTA to promote tourism and attract
families during weekends and
holidays," it added.
The authority had issued a
circular to all hotels asking them
to comply with the approved
prices and correct if any changes
were made.
Qatar has 20,000 hotel rooms
and another 3,700 will be added
this year, with the opening of 20
new hotels.
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airberlin gets trade sales boost in India
airberlin will be able to increase its
travel trade sales in India, having
joined IATA’s Billing & Settlement Plan
(BSP) in the country. Participation in
BSP India enables all IATA-accredited
travel agents to issue e-tickets for GDS
bookings. Aviareps India, airberlin’s GSA for India, will manage the
e-ticketing.“BSP is key to a strong distribution especially in a large
country like India,” said Stella Warmuth, airberlin’s area manager for
the Middle East, Asia Pacific & Africa.“By being present on this system
we are positive that we will generate wider demand through greater
service offerings to our trade partners.“We have recently added Calcutta
(Kolkata) to our list of codeshare destinations. This means we are now
offering daily connections in codeshare with our partner Etihad Airways
to and from seven cities in India: Delhi, Bombay (Mumbai), Chennai,
Hyderabad, Kochi, Bangalore (Bengaluru) and Calcutta. Via Abu Dhabi,
India is very well connected to airberlin’s worldwide route network,
especially within Europe,” she added. airberlin already has interline
agreements with Etihad for flights to India, which are connected to Berlin
with double-daily flights via Abu Dhabi.
Indian wedding plannersTravel
fam trip
wishes its readers Season’s
Thirty major Indian wedding planners are
Greetings and a very
visiting Thailand on a fam trip to learn
more about the
the Year
has to offer. Organised by the Tourism
Authority of Thailand (TAT), the fam trip
is running from 24-29 March 2015 and
will offer the wedding planners the chance to experience a series of
destinations, including Bangkok, Pattaya, Koh Chang, Rayong and Hua
Hin. The event will also include the ‘Wedding Industry Symposium’,
where Thai companies will be briefed about the latest trends in the
Indian wedding market and best ways to organise events that meet the
demands of Indian guests. Sessions will also be organised that allow
wedding planners and suppliers to meet face to face. “What makes
Thailand unique for weddings is the warm hospitality, proximity to India,
world-class hotels, choice of cuisines and value for money and ‘can do’
mind set. Thailand has a wide range of destinations to offer for the entire
wedding party, although we have noticed there is a distinct preference for
the beach resorts,” said Runjuan Tongrut, director of TAT New Delhi.
India is the one of Thailand’s biggest visitor source market, with a
projected 1.05 million Indian visitors expected to visit the country in 2015.
Editor: Charmaine Fernz Associate Publisher: James Air | Editor-in-Chief: Mark Elliott TRAVEL DAILY ASIA
Monday 30th March 2015
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Dubai inspires world’s tallest hotel for Switzerland
witzerland is set to boast the
world’s tallest hotel, thanks to
inspiration from Dubai.
Swiss entrepreneur Remo
Stoffel along with US-based
architect Morphosis, has unveiled
the design of the structure to be
situated in Vals, in the Swiss Alps,
which is designed to reach a height
of 381 metres.
Once completed in 2019, it will
eclipse the JW Marriott Marquis
Hotel in Dubai, which currently holds
the record at 355 metres tall.
According to Stoffel, who is
Chairman of Dubai-based Farnek,
the inspiration for the hotel came
from Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid
the Vice President of the UAE and
Ruler of Dubai.
“Due to my involvement with
Farnek, I travel to Dubai on a regular
basis and I am always amazed at
how quickly the city grows and what
it has achieved,” he asserted.
“It is now home to the busiest
airport in the world, tallest tower,
tallest hotel, the largest shopping
mall, largest man-made island,
the list goes on.”
Stoffel cited people’s initial
uncertainty over whether
Sheikh Mohammed’s vision for
Dubai would ever be realised.
“Undeterred, Dubai stuck
steadfastly to its strategy
and last year it welcomed
around 12 million overnight
visitors and is now planning
to accommodate 20
million visitors by 2020,” he
“That inspired me to realise
my own vision, by forming
7132 Ltd, commissioning this
stunning design, which will be
built in my home town of Vals
within four years.”
The new hotel and arrival
is defined by three forms: a
podium linking the building
with neighboring structures; a
cantilever containing a restaurant,
café, spa, and bar – public
amenities shared with the town;
and a tower holding a sky bar,
restaurant, and 107 guest rooms
with panoramic views.
“With a year-long
special calendar
of events planned
as part of the Visit
Philippines Year
2015 celebrations,
there is absolutely
no better time to
visit than now.”
Verna Buensuceso,
officer-in-charge, market
development group,
Philippines Department
of Tourism
Four new outlets for Qatar Duty Free
Emirates rolls out Wi-Fi to 100 aircraft
atar Duty Free (QDF) has
opened four new retail outlets
at Hamad International Airport (HIA).
Bazaar, Blush, PSG and Bein
Sports are the latest additions
to Qatar Duty Free’s premium
portfolio of brands located within
the airport’s 25,000m² duty free
mirates has now rolled out
in-flight Wi-Fi to more than 100
of its aircraft.
The Dubai-based carrier reached
the milestone recently, as part of a
US$20 million annual investment in
its in-flight connectivity systems.
A total of 106 aircraft now offer
shopping area, which incorporates
more than 70 retail outlets.
Bazaar is based on the style
of a traditional souk where guests
can buy last-minute Middle Eastern
and Qatari souvenirs and gifts
before they leave Doha.
onboard Wi-Fi, including 59 Airbus
A380s and 47 Boeing 777s.
In addition, mobile phone
services are available on 75% of its
fleet, while all aircraft are equipped
with in-seat email, telephone and
SMS services.
Philippines returning to Riyadh
Travel Fair
he Philippines Department of
Tourism (PDOT) has confirmed
its participation at the Riyadh Travel
Fair 2015 edition, to be held from
14t to 19 April at the Four Seasons
Hotel Riyadh.
Verna Buensuceso, officerin-charge, market development
group, Philippines Department of
Tourism said the fair “proves an
excellent platform for Philippine
tourism leaders to meet with Saudi
travel industry professionals and
the general public to highlight the
attractions, fun, special
events and value-added
campaigns designed
exclusively for Middle
Eastern visitors”.
“With a year-long
special calendar of
events planned as part
of the Visit Philippines
Year 2015 celebrations,
there is absolutely no
better time to visit than now,”
she added.
In addition to its participation
at the Riyadh Travel Fair the
Philippines Tourism delegation
will also be visiting Dammam to
conduct a series of presentations
and meetings with leading travel
agencies from the kingdom’s
Eastern Provinces.
A total of 76,163 visitors from
the G.C.C. visited the Philippines in
2014, resulting in a 10% increase
compared to 2013 figures.
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Travel Daily Middle East
wishes its readers Season’s
Greetings and a very
Happy New Year 2014
Editor: Charmaine Fernz Associate Publisher: James Air | Editor-in-Chief: Mark Elliott TRAVEL DAILY ASIA
Monday 30th March 2015
▶ P5
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VIPs on Oman Air’s inaugural Singapore flight
IP guests joined Oman Air’s
inaugural flight from Muscat to
Singapore yesterday on board an
Airbus A330. His Highness Sayyid
Taimur bin Asad Al Said, a member
of the Royal Family of Oman, joined
the flight as Oman Air’s chief guest.
As a celebration of the new
service, Oman Air is offering
promotional rates for flights between
Muscat and Singapore.
Economy Class returns are
currently priced from OR 234.8 per
person, with Business Class returns
starting from OR 814.8.
Carnival to add nine new cruise ships Sabre, SkyTeam
arnival Corporation
automate roundC
has signed two new
agreements that will add a
the-world fares
total of nine new cruise
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ships to its fleet.
The shipbuilding deals
with Italy's Fincantieri and
Germany's Meyer Werft
will lead to the new vessels
joining Carnival's multibrand fleet over a four-year
period from 2019 to 2022.
“We’re excited to take this next
step in our fleet enhancement plan
with these two new agreements
that are consistent with our longterm strategy of measured capacity
growth over time,” said Arnold
Donald, president & CEO
of Carnival.
“Our goal as a company is to
exceed the expectations of every
guest on every ship every day, and
these new ships will further enable
us to do just that.
“These will be the most efficient
ships we have ever built and the
great guest experience will create
even more excitement around
cruising – helping new cruisers
realise the superior vacation
experience and value that cruising
offers versus land-based vacations,”
he added.
While details of the new ships are
yet to be announced, Carnival said
all nine would be "based on Carnival
Corporation’s next-generation
ship designs, which will produce
the most efficient ships in the
company’s history".
Once launched, the new ships
will be deployed in North America,
Europe and Asia, including China.
The new vessels mark the
continuation of Carnival’s fleet
expansion strategy, which will see
the launch of two new ships in
2015. P&O Cruises UK has already
launched Britannia, while AIDA
Cruises will welcome AIDAprima in
the coming months.
Carnival Corporation is the
largest cruise company in the
world, with a portfolio of cruise
brands including Carnival, Holland
America, Princess Cruises,
Seabourn, AIDA Cruises, Costa
Cruises, Cunard, P&O Australia
and P&O UK.
abre has teamed up with
SkyTeam to launch the first
automated round-the-world
(RTW) airfares. Until now, travel
agents had to manually calculate
the prices of each segment of a
passenger’s journey. But the new
Sabre technology automates this
process, providing a complete
fare price to the agent for the
passenger’s entire journey.
The tool is designed for
itineraries that start and end in the
same destination, but include more
than one stop-over.
“Booking RTW tickets has been a
pain point for airlines and agencies
for some time, and a challenge we
have been eager to help solve,” said
Jeremy van de Klundert, managing
director of Sabre Pacific.
“Using our latest technology…
Sabre has established a new industry
standard for purchasing RTW
itineraries that makes it easier and
more efficient for everyone involved.”
The new solution will be
immediately available for
SkyTeam’s Go Round the World
(RTW) and Go Round Asia &
Southwest Pacific fares.
Click here for full story Pilot union chief slams media for Germanwings coverage
Travel Daily UK
Editorial: Amanda Greenwood
[email protected]
Sales: James Air
[email protected]
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Editorial: Charmaine Fernz
[email protected]
Sales: James Air
[email protected]
Travel Daily India
Editorial: Krupa Vora
[email protected]
Sales: Jay Shah
[email protected]
Cruise News UK
Editorial: Amanda Greenwood
[email protected]
Sales: James Air
[email protected]
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he head of a
pilots' union
has slammed
the media for its
coverage of the
Jay Heppner,
chairman of the
United Master
Council Air
Line Pilots
issued a
statement urging
the press to
allow the crash
to be concluded before making
Travel Daily Middle East
assumptions about the cause of
its readers Season’s
"The tragedy of Germanwings
Greetings and a very
Flight 9525 has touched all of us
in the
Capt. Heppner.
"Compounding this tragedy
is the sensationalised media
coverage and rampant speculation
regarding the cause of the tragedy
of Germanwings flight 9525.
"We call on the worldwide
media, the general public, and
all interested parties to display
patience while allowing the
investigation of Germanwings flight
9525 to proceed without distraction
or hindrance to a thorough and
proper conclusion."
Click here for full story Editor: Charmaine Fernz | Editor-in-Chief: Mark Elliott Associate Publisher: James Air Travel Daily ME is a publication of Travel Daily Media Limited (UK). All content is fully protected by copyright law. Written permission from the Editor-in-Chief Mark Elliott ([email protected]) is required to reproduce any material.
While every care has been taken in the preparation of Travel Daily Asia no liability can be accepted for errors or omissions. Content is published in good faith. Responsibility for editorial comment is taken by Charmaine Fernz.
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