CD Traveller tells you what’s hot in the travel world
Super jumbo to Paris
Planning on popping over to Paris this summer? Paris bound travellers can now travel to the French capital on the world’s largest airliner, the Airbus A380, until August 30. The double deckers service will operate from London Heathrow to Paris-Charles De Gaulle with tickets costing from £80 return. See www.airfrance.com for more.
Cathay Pacific and Air France are introducing seatbelt-mounted airbags in their economy classed cabins as authorities tighten regulations aimed at reducing the risk of fatalities in plane crashes. AmSafe Inc., the manufacturer of the airbag, predicts they’ll become standard by 2020 amid heightened awareness of safety issues. The devices cost about £800 apiece.
Garamba National Park
Garamba National Park in the Democratic Republic of the Congo has reopened to tourists. The vast swathe of savannah, wetland and forest was off limits for years following the Congo’s occupation by Uganda’s vicious Lord’s Resistance Army rebel militia.
Blackpool has been hailed the nation’s favourite seaside resort thanks to its atmosphere, fairgrounds and annual festival of lights, according to research by Which? Holiday.
Brighton, with its promenade and pier, came a close second in the survey followed by Whitby, Bournemouth and Scarborough.
BA will introduce twice weekly flights from London Gatwick to Cancun, Mexico, on November 3. The flights will leave Gatwick at 12.45pm, arriving in Cancun at 5.45pm. Time then to join the party: 2010 marks both the bicentenary of Mexico’s independence from Spain as well as the centenary of its revolution – and year long celebrations have been planned.
Brits’ fashion sense
It seems Brits still haven’t shaken off the socks and sandals image and have been voted the worst-dressed on holiday, followed by German and American travellers in a poll conducted by TripAdvisor.
The new owner of Gatwick, investment fund Global Infrastructure Partners, has dropped London from its name for the first time in the airport’s 52 year history.
“We think everyone knows it’s a London airport. Why shouldn’t we be proud of the Gatwick name, it is a very well-known name,” said Stewart Wingate – the airport’s chief executive.
One in five people have put off flying this summer due to fear of disruption caused by Iceland’s volcanic ash cloud. Research by market intelligence group Mintel reveals that a total of 2.8 million people in the UK have decided not to travel by air as a direct result of the ash cloud – as well as the threat of air strikes and a desire to stay at home and watch the World Cup.
Hot on the heels of the ‘Ash Crash’, British airlines have been dealt another blow: theyhave been named and shamed as some of the worst carriers in the world, according to a customer survey from the consumer magazine, Which?
Thomas Cook, Jet2.com, Easyjet, BMI Baby, Thomson Airways and Monarch Airlines were all poorly rated.
Air Passenger Duty (APD)
APD will rise this year – despite the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats both saying that they would axe the unpopular APD in favour of a ‘per plane tax’ in the run up to the General Election. During his emergency budget speech last month, George Osborne –the Chancellor of the Exchequer – said that he would report back in the autumn on whether to scrap the tax and replace it with a per plane duty.