Saturday snippets: 13th February 2016

By | Category: Travel news

Yesterday saw t473760_num1061046he launch in the UK of the Robert Redford narrated film called America Wild – National Parks Adventure. In 3-D, the film will be running for a year at the BFI Odeon in London. As you might guess, the 45 minute film is about America’s national parks, this being the 100th anniversary of the setting up of the National Parks Service. As an introduction to some of the hundreds of parks in the US and not just the famous ones, it is a useful introduction for visitors.

Sometimes an advert just clicks with the public. Such a one is called Fuelled by Love made by British Airways. The ad was aimed at the Indian market and was in response to the mess the airline found itself in over Sachin Tendulkar, one of the world’s greatest ever cricketer and a man who borders on being a god in the country. This ad says that British Airways (or its predecessors) have been loving India since 1924 which is when it first flew there. So far this ad has been seen nearly 1.4 million people on You Tube with lots of praise for its style and approach and lots of people saying it would attract them to travel to India on holiday. It’s done its job then and didn’t even make the mainstream media!

Kyoto, Japan’s cultural capital is to have a new museum. Opening on April 29th will be a new railway museum which will tell the story of Japan’s rail history from the likes of steam locomotives to the current Shinkansen bullet trains.

the new Kyoto Railway Museum

the new Kyoto Railway Museum

Kyoto Railway Museum will open just a 20-minute walk away from Kyoto Station and will showcase over 50 trains including everything from traditional steam trains to modern day bullet trains. It will also boast a 30 metre-wide model railway track with miniature trains about 1/80th of their true size.

If credit card transactions are an indication of shopping habits then analysis by Barclaycard shows that – at least in the travel sector – online transactions are outpacing spending in high street travel agencies. For the first time, travel agents online now accounts for just over half of the spend share (50.8%) against high street spend.

After Disney raised its admission prices, we said that others would follow. Now Universal Orlando has increased ticket prices by $3 to $105 for a single-day ticket. A multi park ticket has gone up from $147 to $155 which is what you’ll need to buy if you want to see the two theme parks plus the Harry Potter one.

Prepare for some disruption at Aberdeen Airport as t starts on a major building programme. A total of £20 million will be spent in order to increase the terminal size so that two new passenger lounges can be built. There will also be an expanded baggage reclaim area, a new security search area, new immigration facilities and new retail and catering facilities in the main departures lounge. Building work starts in May and will last three years.

Jamaica more UK and Irish visitors and more cruise ships have docked as well

Jamaica more UK and Irish visitors and more cruise ships have docked as well

Jamaica says that visitors from the UK and Ireland have exceeded 200,000 for the first time following a 12% rise in 2015. In total, there were 201,364 arrivals from the UK and Ireland, not including cruise passengers. Dubai also says that visitor numbers from the UK are up. It says that 1.188 million UK visitors travelled to Dubai in 2015, an 11% increase on the previous year. All but 250,000 come outside the summer months making his one of the most popular winter destinations for us.

The UN backed International Civil Aviation Organization has set a timetable for airlines to cut carbon dioxide emissions. It has proposed design standards for newly built aircraft beginning in 2020, and for existing aircraft designs already in production by 2023. Any planes that don’t meet new standards by 2028 would be grounded indefinitely, an ICAO statement said. The organisation claims that the new standards will be particularly severe on aircraft over 60 tonnes which are the ones that account for more than 90% of international aviation emissions

Different Italian authorities have been quite aggressive in their attempts to remove even more money from visitors. ETOA – the European Tour Operators Association – says that last month the Italians announced that they were increasing their air passenger tax by between 33% and 38%. It sounds a lot when you write it as a percentage but it amounts to an extra €2.50 per passenger. Taking immediate effect, it means that passengers pay €10 in tax each time they fly from airports in the Rome area, and €9 for flights from other airports, still cheaper than our APD. Ryanair almost immediately announced that it will cut routes and jobs in Italy as a result of the tax increase.

airline seats - we aren't all the same size and the average person is bulkier than they were fifty years ago

airline seats – we aren’t all the same size and the average person is bulkier than they were fifty years ago

In the US, Congressman Steve Cohen has been attempting to pass a bill in Congress to make aircraft seats a minimum size. It was defeated in a committee hearing so it won’t even make it to the floor of the House of Representatives. Cohen says that average seat width on US aircraft has shrunk 16.5 inches today. Obviously this is so airlines can make more money by cramming as many seats in as possible. He hasn’t said if he will try again to introduce the suggested law. There seems no sign of any UK, Irish or MEP politician trying something similar over here.

Finally there is a lot of news about airline routes this week. easyJet, has announced it will fly to the Greek island of Zakynthos from Stansted starting 28th May. Ryanair will launch a new service between Stansted and Hamburg and between Manchester and Berlin as from November 1st. Flybe will operate a summer-only flight between Southampton and Lyon, which will launch in May. Eurowings will fly from Düsseldorf to East Midlands Airport from 27 March. British Airways is launching flights from Stansted to Faro, Malaga, Palma and Ibiza from May 28th. Adria Airways will add a new route from Luton to Pristina in Kosovo from June. Jet 2 began flights to Tenerife from Edinburgh last Thursday and will inaugurate flights to Lanzarote on Sunday and Gran Canaria on Monday.


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