Category Archives: Travel

Emirates Expands Its A380 Global Network

Emirates, the award-winning airline, notches up yet another first as it begins operation of the world’s first A380 commercial service f r o m Dubai to Australia and New Zealand, as Sydney and Auckland join Emirates’ rapidly-expanding A380 network.

Taking off f r o m its new home – Emirates Terminal 3, Dubai International Airport – EK 412 operated by Emirates’ revolutionary A380 aircraft arrived in Sydney and flew onwards to Auckland, carrying over 400 passengers. Emirates will operate its A380, dubbed ‘a premium hotel in the sky’, f r o m Dubai to Sydney and across to Auckland every Wednesday, Friday and Sunday, becoming daily f r o m May 2009.

Advancing Emirates’ environmental programme, the A380 service also heralds a new era for flights Down Under, a green best-practice demonstration flight, and the use of the world’s most eco-efficient commercial airliner on the Indian Ocean for the first time.

The Emirates’ A380 sets a new milestone in environmental conservation, with measures being deployed to cut fuel burn and emissions on flights to/f r o m Australia and New Zealand as well as reduce journey time for passengers. The per seat fuel burn on the Emirates’ inaugural A380 flight is expected to be 20% less than normal flights, and offering better fuel economy per passenger mile than most hybrid passenger cars.

Richard Vaughan, Emirates’ Senior Vice President, Commercial Operations, East Asia and Australasia noted: “The start of A380 services on this route represents yet another initiative in Emirates’ partnership with Australia and New Zealand. Emirates is not only committing to offer a revolutionary in-flight experience to travellers f r o m these countries but is also enhancing capacity on the route – welcome news to tourism authorities of both countries as they seek to attract increasing number of visitors f r o m the Middle East.”

Despite a challenging global economic environment, visitors f r o m the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) visiting Australia are expected to grow by 8% this year and by 15% in 2010, according to a forecast by the Tourism Australia Aviation and Economics Team. Already, Emirates is carrying over 50% of all Gulf tourists visiting Australia. The airline’s robust network in the Middle East and North Africa comprises 194 flights per week to 16 key gateways.

“The growth in Emirates’ seat capacity by over 40 % is expected to encourage above-average growth of visitor arrivals and support both countries’ marketing efforts in the region,” added Vaughan.

The new service will also benefit Australians and New Zealanders travelling to their preferred cities in Europe and the Middle East, and will facilitate a seamless A380 experience on flights to Dubai f r o m Auckland/Sydney and onwards to London Heathrow – an important route for travellers f r o m both countries.

Post arrival in Sydney and Auckland, Emirates kicked off familiarization tours aboard its superjumbo. Emirates’ A380 has received glowing reviews f r o m passengers and the travel trade with its onboard Shower Spas, another industry first, that offers a whole new dimension of luxury air travel.

Set in a three-class configuration (14 First, 76 Business and 399 Economy Class seats) the Emirates A380 offers a level of comfort and space never seen before on a commercial airliner. The whole of the upper deck is dedicated to Premium Class passengers. First Class passengers can relax in flat-bed, massage-equipped Private Suites. Business Class passengers can enjoy a new generation of intelligent seating designed to ensure all 76 flat-bed seats have aisle access. Passengers in Economy can appreciate a more spacious ambience, enhanced further by generous seats and wider aisles.

Emirates bespoke and award-winning in-flight ICE system offers over 1000 channels of entertainment – the largest selection of programming in the skies.

About Emirates Airline:
Emirates, the Dubai-based international airline, is one of the world’s most successful and rapidly-expanding airlines. With a focus on high quality service and industry-leading products, Emirates has received over 400 international awards and accolades for excellence since its inception in 1985. Emirates is currently the only airline to operate non-stop flights to six continents f r o m one hub.

Via EPR Network
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Stena Line Has Won ‘Best Ferry Operator’ At The Scottish Passenger Association Awards

Stena Line, the leading ferry company, is celebrating another successful awards win after scooping the ‘Best Ferry Company’ title at the Scottish Passenger Awards, held at the Glasgow Hilton Hotel.

The win at the SPAA event, which was attended by 600 industry professionals from all over the UK, follows the company’s success at the at Northern Ireland Travel and Tourism Awards last month, where Stena Line walked away with the ‘Best Ferry/Shipping Company’ accolade for a record sixteenth time.

The continued success of the Belfast to Stranraer ferry route marks the end of a busy year for Stena Line, one which saw the opening of a new state of the art passenger terminal in Belfast and continued discussion with regards to the building of a new Scottish port at Old House Point near Cairnryan.

Stena Line’s Route Manager, Paul Grant, is delighted at the company’s double awards win.

“As always, it was very satisfying to take home the ‘Best Ferry/Shipping Company’ award from the recent NI Travel News event but to also come away with the equivalent accolade from the Scottish Passenger Association Awards is a real bonus after what has been an extremely busy year for Stena Line on the Belfast – Stranraer route,” Paul said.

“All our staff in every area of the business put in a tremendous effort to ensure that we have maintained the highest possible standards of customer care throughout a very a exciting year for Stena Line that has seen the opening of our fantastic new facility in Belfast and the refit of the Stena Line HSS,” continued Paul. “We are very proud of the quality of service we provide and it is wonderful to see our hard work recognised on both sides of the Irish Sea. I would like to thank all those who voted for Stena Line on both occasions,” he added.

Stena Line is the market leader on the Irish Sea, offering the biggest fleet and the widest choice of ferries from Ireland to Britain, including the Belfast to Stranraer, Dun Laoghaire and Dublin Port to Holyhead, Rosslare to Fishguard and Larne to Fleetwood ferry routes. The company carries over three million passengers on its Irish Sea routes each year, more than it’s rival ferry operators combined.

About Stena Line:
In the UK alone, Stena Line offers over 30 daily crossings on its five different routes to Ireland (Stranraer to Belfast, Fleetwood to Larne, Holyhead to Dublin, Holyhead to Dun Laoghaire and Fishguard to Rosslare) and two daily ferries to Holland on its Harwich Hook of Holland route, providing fast efficient crossings with excellent onboard services and facilities.

Stena Line‘s route network consists of 18 strategically located ferry routes throughout Europe. Stena Line has a modern fleet with a total of 34 vessels including fast ferries (HSS), traditional combi-ferries, RoPax ferries for freight and passengers, and pure cargo ships.

Via EPR Network
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Stena Line Has Been Voted The Top Ferry Company In Northern Ireland For A Record 16th Time

Stena Line was presented with the accolade of the ‘Best Ferry/Shipping Company’ at The Northern Ireland Travel and Tourism Awards.

Northern Ireland Travel News has been organising the awards for the past 17 years, and this year’s ceremony was held in the Slieve Donard Resort and Spa in Newcastle and presented by broadcaster Craig Doyle.

Paul Grant, Stena Line’s manager for the Belfast to Stranraer ferry route, collected the glittering Tyrone Crystal trophy.

“I am absolutely delighted that Stena Line has won the Best Ferry Company title for the 16th time and all of us at Stena Line feel honoured that the work we undertake to provide the best service for our customers has been recognised once again,” said Paul.

“To win this accolade is recognition that the high standards we set ourselves have impressed our customers and indeed the awards judges. We are particularly pleased to have won this title as it comes on the back of receiving the Star Ferry Company title for an amazing 12th consecutive year at the Travel Bulletin Awards in London,” he added.

Stena Line is the market leader for ferries on the Irish Sea, offering the biggest fleet and the widest choice of routes from Ireland to Britain, including Belfast to Stranraer, Dun Laoghaire and Dublin Port to Holyhead, Rosslare to Fishguard and Larne to Fleetwood ferry routes. The company carries over three million passengers on its Irish Sea routes each year, more than its rival ferry operators combined.

About Stena Line:
In the UK alone, Stena Line offers over 30 daily crossings on its five different routes to Ireland including ferries to Belfast, Larne, Dublin, Dun Laoghaire and Rosslare as well as two daily ferries to Holland on its Harwich to Hook of Holland route, providing fast and efficient crossings with excellent onboard services and facilities.

Stena Line’s route network consists of 18 strategically located ferry routes throughout Europe including ferries to Northern Ireland. Stena Line has a modern fleet with a total of 34 vessels including fast ferries (HSS), traditional combi-ferries, RoPax-ferries for freight and passengers, and pure cargo ships.

Stena Line’s rail and sail product to Ireland offers customers a seamless service from various train stations to destinations in Ireland including Dublin, Dun Laoghaire and Rosslare by joining forces with Arriva, Virgin Trains and First Great Western. Trains stop just a short walk away from the ferry check-in desks and are timed to connect to selected ferry services.

Via EPR Network
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Villaplus.com Has Helped Over 1000 Clients Who Were Affected By The Recent Collapse Of The Uks Third Largest Tour Operator XL Leisure Group

VillaPlus.com, the independent tour operator, has successfully helped over 1000 people affected by the collapse of the XL Leisure Group, which incorporated XL Airways UK Limited.

In an effort to ease disruption caused to travellers following the dissolution of XL, the VillaPlus.com overseas representatives were at the airport to assist clients being repatriated to the UK by the Civil Aviation Authority and also visited those clients already in the resorts who were due to fly home within the days and weeks preceding the collapse. In the UK, the VillaPlus.com reservations team manned the phones, helping hundreds of clients who were due to fly out with XL Airways to find alternative flight arrangements.

Many of the VillaPlus.com clients who were affected by the collapse of XL have praised the company’s professionalism and the high levels of customer service provided in helping them find alternative flight arrangements.

David McGeever, a VillaPlus.com client who was due to fly out to Corfu with XL Airways commented; “I would like to praise the staff of VillaPlus.com for their hard work and professionalism in trying to re-organise flights for our holiday to Corfu. From our first enquiries to booking our holiday until the unfortunate events of 12th September, I have been very impressed by the professionalism and excellent customer care shown by VillaPlus.com staff.”

VillaPlus.com‘s ATOL (Air Travel Organisers Licensing) Licence protects any clients who book a package holiday, which includes flights from a potential collapse or the insolvency of an airline such as XL.

The Director at VillaPlus.com commented: “It is the dedication of our staff as well as our commitment to the continual improvement of our villa facilities which makes VillaPlus.com different from other tour operators. We have a highly experienced UK based reservations team representing over 250 years of travel industry experience whilst our overseas team is dedicated to providing clients with the ultimate villa holiday experience by working closely with our villa owners to help ensure the expectations of our clients is met. This means that our clients can book their VillaPlus.com holiday in the utmost confidence knowing that we can be trusted to help even in a crisis.”

About VillaPlus.com
VillaPlus.com is an independent tour operator that has been providing villa holidays for over 21 years to the best locations in Europe, providing holiday villas to rent in Cyprus, the Algarve, Costa del Sol, Mallorca, Menorca, Corfu, Costa Blanca, Kefalonia and Lanzarote.

VillaPlus.com has extensive experience and the independent operation means that they can offer ATOL protected air inclusive holiday packages that are genuinely tailored to individual client requirements.

In the late 80s and early 90s VillaPlus.com were the first villa company to try to install into every villa, basic items such as washing machines, dishwashers, satellite TV, microwaves, safes and alarms. These items were later followed by further upgrades such as PlayStation 2, stair gates, pool tables, table tennis, brick barbecues and sun bed mattresses.

VillaPlus.com have a highly experienced and dedicated team based in the UK and overseas who work hard to provide clients with the high levels of professional service required to ensure that the VillaPlus.com holiday experience is enjoyable and hassle free.

Via EPR Network
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Stena Line Has Found That The Biggest Worry The British Public Have Is Not Having Enough Time To Do What They Want

Stena Line revealed that not having enough time to do what they want is the main concern of the British public. The new research from the UK ferry operator found that 49% of people cited lack of time as their biggest gripe while health concerns scored a low 9%.

Looking at antidotes to stress, Stena Line found that far from dreaming of fame and money, it is the simple things in life that we really yearn for. 28% of those surveyed said that a simple short haul holiday would reduce stress, whilst 25% wanted more time to listen to music and 21% wanted to read more.

The survey also revealed that a short haul holiday causes its own woes – with 39% citing the dread of completing their work before going on holiday as the most stressful. 39% also found air travel the most stressful with 1% citing ferries as a stressful mode of transport.

Lars Olsson, Stena Line’s general manager of travel for the UK, said, “With the increasing stress, crowds and queues involved in air travel we’re delighted that more people are turning to ferry travel to allay their stress.”

“Stena Line’s ‘dutchflyer‘ rail and sail product is becoming increasingly popular as it combines with overnight crossings, allowing workers to minimise time out of the office and finish assignments before heading to the port by train from London or East Anglia after work, sailing in one of our refitted cabins.

“With the credit crunch taking a real hold we expect that ‘dutchflyer’ will gain further popularity, as the cabins included in the fare eliminate the need to pay for an extra hotel night.”

Notes to Editors:
In the UK alone, Stena Line offers two daily ferries to Holland on its Harwich to Hook of Holland route as well as over 30 daily crossings on its five different routes to Ireland (Stranraer to Belfast, Fleetwood to Larne, Holyhead to Dublin, Holyhead to Dun Laoghaire and Fishguard to Rosslare) providing fast and efficient crossings with excellent onboard services and facilities.

Stena Line’s rail and sail dutchflyer product includes rail travel from any National Express East Anglia rail station including London Liverpool Street and onward travel to any NS Dutch rail station. Dutchflyer fares from any National Express East Anglia station start from just £29 per person one-way.

Via EPR Network
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With Escalating Fuel Prices, Global Businesses Have To Face The Reality Of Increasing Costs To Their Fleet Management

Masterlease reports global vehicle fleets have seen their fuel bills rise by as much as a third in the last year, making fuel management a boardroom issue

Global vehicle fleets have seen their fuel bills rise by as much as a third in the last year according to research by international leasing company Masterlease.

With vehicle manufacturers’ continuous improvements in fuel efficiency now being swamped by escalating fuel prices, global businesses have to face the reality of increasing costs to their fleet management.

While average diesel prices have soared by a third in the last year, the story is not quite as grim for unleaded petrol – although globally it has still increased on average by 18% since 2007.

Despite the overall increase in fuel prices, the latest research by Masterlease shows some interesting differences between the countries. The most expensive countries to purchase fuel from are the UK, Norway and Sweden, although the price increases over the last year have not been as dramatic as in others.

At the other end of the spectrum, Australia remains the cheapest place to purchase fuel – although over the last twelve months the price of diesel has increased by 33%. However, the country that has endured the biggest price hike is Austria, with diesel prices rising a staggering 42%.

Masterlease carried out the survey in all 17 countries in which it operates to get a true picture of how much fuel is really costing global customers. The research was conducted in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, The Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and the UK.

As well as the global price hikes on fuel, one factor that has a big impact on global fleet fuel bills is the provision of free private fuel to company car drivers. In nine out of the 17 countries, this is a taxed benefit, while in five of the countries surveyed (Spain, Portugal, Italy, Greece and Australia), free private fuel is not taxed.

Nowhere is this more apparent than in Australia, where as one of the highest emitters of carbon in the world, contributing on average 27.54 tonnes to the atmosphere every year per person, many businesses are looking at measures to compensate by investing in formal carbon offsetting activities.

Nick Brownrigg, CEO of Masterlease Group, commented: “While the fuel issue may not be particularly new, the relative cost of fuel has been the biggest recent talking point in fleet management and it would come top, or close to the top, with every fleet decision maker, wherever they are in the world. As a result, the continuing volatility in fuel prices has emphasised the importance to the fleet industry of effective fuel management and accessibility of information to help control costs at every stage.

“It is important for global businesses to understand exactly how much they are spending on fuel across all of their country operations, so that they can look for cost saving opportunities.

Once there is an understanding about the total fuel bill, businesses should then consult an independent expert to advise them on how to reduce these costs. There are enormous benefits to businesses that can demonstrate efficiency in terms of meeting these challenges. It simply means more effective measurement of MPG, fuel and fleet costs, and to achieve this, businesses need to make fuel management a boardroom issue.”

About Masterlease Group
Masterlease is one of the fastest growing funding and vehicle fleet managementcompanies in Europe, offering business to business all makes full service car leasing.

With 15 operations in Europe and plans to expand into other countries, its strong geographic presence and consistent branding enables Masterlease to offer a cohesive service across the Continent. The company manages around 210,000 vehicles.

Via EPR Network
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Ferry operator Stena Line offers business travellers a smarter way to travel with the Harwich to Hook of Holland ferry service

Leading ferry operator Stena Line has launched plans to attract the international business traveler by offering business travellers a smarter way to travel to Holland with Stena Line’s Harwich to Hook of Holland ferry service.

Stena Line Ferries have announced they are looking to fill what they see as a previously overlooked gap in the international travel market and believe they have the answer. To this end Stena are offering what they feel is the ideal travel solution for both business travellers from East Anglia and busy city workers travelling to Holland, with the Dutchflyer ticket which allows them to take the regular train service from a variety of locations such as London Liverpool Street to Harwich Port, in just over ninety minutes, where passengers can transfer over to the ferry.

Travelling with Stena Line offers business travellers the chance to quickly and easily set off after a day in the office, and still be able to do their work on the ship in the comfort and quiet of the WiFi enabled Stena Plus lounge. Business travellers will also be able to get a good night’s sleep before waking up in Holland feeling refreshed and relaxed, having avoided the stress of busy airport terminals and long check-in queues.

The Dutchflyer ticket provides travellers with transport to many major Dutch cities including Amsterdam, Rotterdam and The Hague making it ideal for business meeting arrangements.

The newly refurbished Stena Hollandica and Stena Britannica boast onboard facilities that provide business travellers to Holland with useful amenities such as WiFi – so that it is easy to check e-mails and access the Internet.

The Stena Plus lounge allows passengers to work in a quiet and calm environment with the added bonus of complimentary hot and cold beverages and light snacks. Or travellers can put business to one side for a while and take some time to relax with the newspapers and magazines on offer.

Those looking for ultimate privacy can book one of the newly-refurbished cabins. In the Captain Class Cabins there is a high quality Dux Mattress with a comfortable Quadro bedspread as well as the free WiFi internet access and a bureau with a writing case for additional notemaking. Plus the rooms boast a flat screen television for passenger use in order to take time out and relax. The complimentary mini bar also comprises a quarter Piper Heidsieck Champagne, bottles of mineral water, soft drinks, wine, beer and snacks.

Peckish passengers needn’t go hungry as they can eat at one of several onboard eateries and those travelling on the overnight service can enjoy a complimentary breakfast enabling them to arrive fresh and ready to get on with business upon arrival in Holland.

In the UK alone, Stena Line offers two daily crossings on its Harwich to Hook of Holland route and over 30 daily crossings on its five different routes to Ireland (Stranraer to Belfast, Fleetwood to Larne, Holyhead to Dublin, Holyhead to Dun Laoghaire and Fishguard to Rosslare) as well as providing fast and efficient crossings with excellent onboard services and facilities.

Via EPR Network
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