Friday, 6 December 2019

Fisher Island Commemorates 100-Year History

It was a century ago, back in 1919 when toasters began popping up across the nation and a moonwalk was not even on the radar of possibilities. Americans were starting to fall in love with their Model T cars.

Indeed, this was the moment when automobile entrepreneur and real estate impresario Carl Fisher purchased the 21-acre island off the coast of Miami Beach from banker and philanthropist Dana A. Dorsey, Miami’s first African American millionaire. Fisher was among the many automobile magnates, like Harvey Firestone, and John Hertz, who wintered in Miami Beach at the time. Fisher not only co-invented Prest-O-Lite, making night driving possible, he also pioneered major US thoroughfares like the Lincoln and Dixie Highways.

The island, originating from the creation of government cut which allowed greater access to the seaport, also served as an oil tanker refuelling station. It soon became the winter estate of William and Rosamund Vanderbilt after Carl Fisher — in what might have been one of the worst real estate deals ever — traded the island for Vanderbilt’s 250 ft. yacht, The Eagle. As fate will have it, the island today has been recognized by Bloomberg as the wealthiest zip code in the United States.

Six ways to experience Mumbai via Delta

Bustling Mumbai is the perfect starting point to any India vacation, with its mix of ancient tradition, culture, rich architecture and towering skyscrapers offering visitors a heady mix of unforgettable sights and sounds. As Delta returns with nonstop service from New York-JFK on Dec. 22, here are a few tips to help you discover the City of Dreams:

Mumbai attractionExplore
Grab a guidebook, set Google Maps and let the current of people carry you across the city as you discover its many famous landmarks such as the towering colonial-era Gateway of India and the magnificent neo-gothic Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus. One of the best ways to explore Mumbai is to get happily lost in its jumbled maze of lanes and bazaars, where you’ll find stalls selling handicrafts and street food vendors hawking delicious snacks and sugar cane juice. If you need help, there’s no shortage of friendly locals to point you in the right direction.

Thursday, 5 December 2019

Norwegian offers customers CO2-offsetting and becomes first airline to sign UN climate action initiative Norwegian - Dec 05, 2019 12:41 GMT

Norwegian has partnered with climate company CHOOOSE to make it easy for customers to offset their carbon footprint when buying a ticket with the airline. The initiative has been welcomed by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

As of today, Norwegian is pleased to offer its customers climate compensation as a simple, integrated part of the booking process.

Geir Karlsen, Acting CEO of Norwegian said: “Norwegian has been named one of the world's most environmentally friendly airlines and we are continuously working to reduce our emissions through new initiatives. We’re now putting a price on actual carbon emissions from flying, making it easy for all our customers to take climate action,”

“Even if commercial aviation technology continues to develop and Norwegian keeps reducing its environmental impact, emission-free flying is not possible today. Carbon offsetting is an important tool in managing today's emissions, and we know that many of our customers would like to compensate for emissions associated with their journey,” he continued.

Hyatt Plans to Expand Global Luxury Portfolio with more than 20 New Hotels and Resorts by the End of 2020

                            Hyatt Hotels Corporation announced earlier this week that more than 20 new luxury hotels and resorts are expected to open worldwide by the end of 2020, boosting Hyatt’s luxury portfolio. The additions include new properties under the Park Hyatt, Andaz, Alila, Grand Hyatt, Miraval and The Unbound Collection by Hyatt brands.

As part of this global expansion, The Unbound Collection by Hyatt brand is seeing its strongest growth to date in Europe. The brand is known for an exceptional portfolio of true historic gems as well as contemporary properties with a fascinating past. Each hotel within the collection provides one-of-a-kind experiences attracting independently minded travelers looking for the extraordinary. Upcoming hotels include distinctive properties like Great Scotland Yard, the location of London’s former metropolitan police headquarters, expected to open December 9; and the majestic Hôtel du Palais Biarritz, the former imperial residence of Napoleon III, which is due to reopen in June 2020 after an extensive renovation.

Manchester Airport reveals progress made on £1bn transformation programme

Manchester Airport reveals progress made on £1bn transformation programme

Manchester Airport has revealed the progress made on its £1bn transformation, with several months to go until it opens its new “super terminal.”
The UK’s third largest airport also released new images and a video to showcase what passengers using the new facilities can expect, when they start using the new terminal from next summer.
New features unveiled include a honeycomb light installation that proudly illuminates the departure lounge. With 16 million settings, it will change colours depending on the time of day.
A new 83 square metre digital screen will take centre stage in the new extension to provide entertainment and information to passengers. There will also be a new children’s play area to help families pass the time before heading on their travels.

Qantas opens new lounge at Singapore’s Changi Airport.

Qantas has officially opened its newest First Lounge today, a luxury space spread over 1,000 square metres at Singapore’s Changi Airport.
The new First Lounge will operate in tandem alongside the airline’s existing International Business Lounge, providing capacity for 240 customers and a bespoke offering for Qantas’ First Class passengers and top tier frequent flyers.
The new build was designed by Australian designer David Caon in collaboration with Kelvin Ho of architecture and design firm Akin Atelie and features a number of Singaporean influences across the look and feel of the lounge as well as the food and beverage offering.
Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce said the opening of the new lounge is a reflection of the airline’s extensive premium investment in the region.
“Since our A380 flights have returned to Singapore, we’ve seen an increase in demand for premium travel which has also translated to an increase in the number of travellers enjoying our lounge hospitality.
“This is our fourth Qantas First Lounge, and each time we build an entire new lounge facility from scratch, we speak to our frequent flyers to get a better understanding of how customers like to spend their time in the lounge and tailor it accordingly. Our customers told us their key priorities when travelling through or from Singapore is space to relax and do some last-minute work, a quick shower, and a meal before departure so they can maximise their sleep onboard.”

Hyatt Ziva and Hyatt Zilara Brands Debut in the Dominican Republic

Hyatt Hotels and Playa Hotels & Resorts announced on Wednesday 4th December the opening of the combined 750-room all-inclusive Hyatt Ziva Cap Cana and Hyatt Zilara Cap Cana resorts, marking Hyatt’s entry into the Dominican Republic. The family-friendly Hyatt Ziva Cap Cana and adults-only Hyatt Zilara Cap Cana are the latest resorts to join the award-winning Hyatt Ziva and Hyatt Zilara portfolios, which are designed for travellers seeking an effortless, all-inclusive experience. Under the ownership and operation of Playa Hotels & Resorts, the Cap Cana debut brings the total number of Hyatt Ziva and Hyatt Zilara resorts to eight across Mexico and the Caribbean. Considered an expert in this space, Playa Hotels & Resorts owns and operates the two resorts, delivering a new level of sophistication and service to the island’s all-inclusive market.

Wizz Air Partners With Sabre to Leverage Intelligent Planning and Scheduling Technology

Wizz Air, Europe's greenest airline and leading low-cost carrier in Central Eastern Europe, has selected Sabre Corporation the leading technology provider to the global travel industry, as a strategic partner to enhance its network planning and scheduling technology. With this new agreement, Wizz Air joins a portfolio of more than 80 airlines that have implemented Sabre's leading technology to optimize complex schedule and slot management processes. 

Sabre has a strong reputation in driving results through its intelligent planning and scheduling solutions. Empowering collaborative and intelligent decision-making, Sabre AirVision Schedule Manager helps airlines build and deliver robust, accurate and operationally feasible schedules across their networks. This proven solution has helped airlines achieve up to 9% incremental operating profit and up to 12% increase in productivity.

Holiday Inn Johannesburg Sunnyside Park Hotel opens

IHG Hotels & Resorts®, one of the world’s leading hotel companies, opens the newly refurbished Holiday Inn Johannesburg Sunnyside Park Hotel situated in the leafy suburb of Parktown, Johannesburg. Offering authentic experiences designed to bring friends, family and business partners together for genuine and joyful memories, the hotel is the first Holiday Inn property in South Africa recognised as a Heritage site, with national monument status. The surrounding residential areas are filled with Heritage homes and include numerous Herbert Baker designed homes.

The hotel was built in 1895 and has many features complimenting the picturesque property; a fitness centre, outdoor pool and business centre. Lord Milner who was a British statesman and colonial administrator brought out a horticulturist to design the landscape of the exquisite terraced gardens that guests still enjoy to this day. The gardens cover four acres and include tranquil Koi ponds that cascade through flowing fountains beside 150-year old trees, reminding guests of the very history that charms those who stay at The Holiday Inn Johannesburg Sunnyside Park Hotel.

2019 Air France Foundation prize awarded to Father Pedro

Every two years, the Air France Foundation prize rewards associations whose initiatives support children who are sick, disabled or highly vulnerable. This year, to mark the 10th anniversary of the Air France Foundation prize, Anne Rigail, Chairwoman of the Foundation, awarded this prize to Father Pedro, for his many years of commitment to the most underprivileged. The ceremony took place at the Quai Branly Museum in Paris.

With his Akamasoa association, Father Pedro has been campaigning for the past 30 years to promote the social and economic reintegration of the most disadvantaged families in Madagascar. The association has built over 3,500 houses, which currently accommodate close to 30,000 people. It also builds social housing, schools, crèches, dispensaries and gymnasiums. With over 14,000 children attending school, there are many projects underway and the Air France Foundation works alongside Akamasoa to complete the projects. Since 2014, the Air France Foundation has financed the construction of a crèche, a gymnasium, furniture for schools and a canteen. This year, the Foundation provided funding for the construction of two sports grounds that children in Madagascar can now enjoy.  

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Radisson Hotel Group to launch joint venture for expansion in Germany and Austria

Radisson Hotel Group, one of the largest and most dynamic hotel groups in the world, is delighted to announce the establishment of a strategic joint venture for operating hotels in Germany and Austria. This fantastic new partnership with local partners will open opportunities for Radisson Hotel Group to accelerate their growth ambitions. The group is looking forward to boosting their roll-out of the Radisson and Radisson RED brands in the German-speaking region (D-A-CH). The exciting venture will kick off with the signing of the Radisson Hotel Leipzig, which will be developed by Fay projects GmbH and operated by the newly founded Fast Lane Hospitality GmbH.

Elie Younes, Executive Vice President & Chief Development Officer, Radisson Hotel Group, said: “We aim to remain relevant to owners and investors and this new venture is a testament of our commitment. The German market is becoming increasingly versatile and requires an unconventional approach to accelerate growth. We look forward to a successful journey with our partners and to unlock value to various stakeholders through this venture.”

Air France plans flights from San Francisco fueled with sustainable aviation fuel

Air France (1) and Shell (2) have signed a memorandum of understanding signalling their intent to fuel flights from San Francisco International Airport using a blend of conventional and sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) with effect from 1 June 2020.

This collaboration between Air France, World Energy, and Shell exemplifies what the industry needs; a supply of SAF that is mature enough to be integrated into airlines’ daily operations.

The SAF is notably made from inedible waste fats and oils. This RSB (4)-certified alternative fuel meets strict sustainability standards and can be delivered via the airport’s hydrant system. The airline anticipates that this initiative will help save approximately 6,000 tons (3) of CO2  (5) over a period of 16 months.

World’s finest travel brands revealed at World Travel Awards Grand Final 2019 in Muscat, Oman

The finest travel brands in the world have been unveiled at a star-studded gala ceremony in Muscat, Oman. The elite of the travel industry gathered for the World Travel Awards (WTA) Grand Final Gala Ceremony 2019 at the landmark Royal Opera House Muscat to find out who amongst them had been crowned the finest in the world.

Winners at the red carpet reception included Etihad Airways, named ‘World’s Leading Airline’, Armani Hotel Dubai voted ‘World’s Leading Hotel’, whilst Dubai collected ‘World’s Leading Business Travel Destination’. The paradise island of St. Lucia was the recipient of ‘World’s Leading Honeymoon Destination’, Kenya scooped ‘World’s Leading Safari Destination’, whilst Moscow fended off stiff competition to emerge as ‘World’s Leading City Destination’.

The evening marked the climax of the WTA 26th anniversary Grand Tour 2019 – an annual search for the finest travel and tourism organisations in the world, with the winners of WTA’s six regional ceremonies going head-to-head for the coveted World titles.

Marty St. George appointed interim Chief Commercial Officer at Norwegian

Marty St. George appointed interim Chief Commercial Officer at Norwegian

In a shrewd move that's been tipped as a crucial one for the European low-cost carrier Norwegian as it announced that Marty St. George, formally of JetBlue,  has been appointed interim Chief Commercial Officer (CCO) following changes in the company’s top management team. 

CCO of Norwegian, Helga Bollmann Leknes, has decided to leave the company after two years, following changes in Norwegian’s top management team. Bollmann Leknes was offered another position in the Group management team but has decided to pursue other opportunities outside of Norwegian. Bollmann Leknes joined Norwegian in 2017 as Chief Human Resources Officer and took on the additional responsibility as Chief Commercial Officer in November 2018.

"I am grateful for Helga Bollmann Leknes’ contributions to Norwegian, both as Chief Commercial Officer and Chief Human Resources Officer. I regret that she has decided to pursue other opportunities outside of Norwegian,” said Acting CEO of Norwegian, Geir Karlsen.

American Airlines launches mobile app passport scanning

 Checking in for an international flight just got easier as American Airlines launches passport scanning in its mobile app. American is the first airline to offer passport chip scanning that securely transmits passport information directly from the Near Field Communication (NFC) chip embedded in the passport. This allows customers to head directly to the gate for international flights without having their passports rechecked by a customer service agent.

“We are continuously adding features to our app to make travel easier and worry-free for our customers,” said Maya Leibman, American’s Chief Information Officer. “Mobile passport scanning removes a time-consuming step, providing our customers with a smoother check-in experience for international flights.”