Tag Archive for: Tours

Cox & Kings USA goes down

COX & Kings has apparently ceased trading in the USA, just two months after assuring the industry it was completely isolated from the financial troubles of its beleaguered Indian parent company.

The full situation in the US is unclear, but according to local trade media, operations have been suspended and suppliers are not being paid for trips that have already been booked.

Phones in the American operation are not being answered but further information on the status of the business has not been forthcoming at this stage.

In early Aug Cox & Kings USA had issued a statement reassuring its stakeholders that there was “no disruption in our US operations whatsoever.

“Neither have there been any cancellations nor interruptions, either to current business or that booked for future travel,” the company claimed.

Cox & Kings USA also noted that it was an active member of the US Tour Operators Association where “significant consumer protection is required & carried”.

The US situation is an echo of that in Australia and New Zealand, where empty assurances about the health of the business preceded the collapse of the company, leaving employees, customers and industry suppliers millions of dollars out of pocket.

In the USA, an email to stakeholders claims the company is in talks with an investor interested in taking over the business, but has advised customers to either cancel and apply for a refund, or pay the local suppliers directly.

MEANWHILE Cox & Kings India has confirmed the resignation of its Chief Financial Officer, Anil Khandelwahl “due to personal reasons”.

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Jetstar pulls regional NZ

JETSTAR has confirmed it will cease its regional Q300 Bombardier services in New Zealand at the end of Nov, after changes in the domestic market were said to be “loss-making” for the carrier (TD 25 Sep).

“As we explained when we announced our proposal in Sep, this decision is based on our regional operations continuing to be loss-making, combined with higher costs and a softening of the regional travel market,” said Jetstar CEO Gareth Evans.

“We gave this network a real go over the past four years, but the commercial numbers just don’t stack up to keep operating.”

The airline has offered alternative re-employment options to all of the affected employees and nearly all have indicated they would like to take up the opportunity to remain with the Qantas Group.

Customers booked on regional flights beyond 30 Nov are being offered options including a full refund for their cancelled flight or the option to transfer their booking.

Affected customers also have the chance to rebook their flights under a special fare with Air New Zealand – email HERE.

Jetstar services will continue to operate between Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch, Dunedin and Queenstown, along with more than 100 international flights per week across the Tasman and to Rarotonga.

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A Perfect Day in Vanuatu

ROYAL Caribbean Int’l (RCI) has reached a deal to create a private island destination on the Vanuatu Island of Lelepa, to be called Perfect Day at Lelepa, Vanuatu.

The destination will be the second in what will be a series of “Perfect Day” private island offerings around the world, Royal Caribbean Cruises Chairman and CEO Richard Fain revealed to TD.

Perfect Day at Lelepa follows the company’s Perfect Day at CocoCay in the Bahamas – which sports the tallest waterslide in North America – but Fain said it would be different in that it would be tailored to Australians’ preferences, with plenty of nature-based activities.

He explained while CocoCay started as an essentially flat island that the company built infrastructure upon, Lelepa already features interesting culture, heritage, traditions and architecture, which the company would work to convey.

It would also be sustainably designed as the first carbon neutral private cruise destination in the world, he said.

Local cruisers will have the opportunity to explore the private island on “a lot” of the line’s itineraries once the experience is up and running, with Fain emphasising the huge investment of the project.

He said the private island offering played into a growing desire for experiential travelling.

“People really want memories.

“They are buying ‘Instagrammable moments’, they’re buying experiences and…I think giving this experience at the destination complements the experience we offer on the ship.”

Fain confirmed RCI was working on other “Perfect Day” experiences in other parts of the world, which would be announced at a later date.

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Source: traveldaily

NZ Economy Stretch

AIR New Zealand has announced the launch of Economy Stretch, which will allow Economy class passengers flying on long-haul routes the opportunity to stretch out from late 2020.

It will provide extra legroom and other perks, including a 35-inch pitch seat and amenities such as premium headsets and plush pillows, on its Boeing 777-200, 777-300 and 787-9 aircraft.

Economy Stretch passengers will have access to free on-board wi-fi on enabled services.

The product will go on sale early in 2020, with a date for the first flights offering it yet to be confirmed.

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TIME NZ expansion

THE Travel Industry Mentor Experience (TIME) has expanded across the ditch and launched in Auckland, with the first program set to kick off in Nov with prominent local travel industry figure Margo Spiro acting as Program Manager.

This will mark TIME’s first international expansion, with founder Penny Spencer saying it won’t be long before the not-for-profit program is established in Christchurch “and beyond”.

Mentees can now apply to participate in the NZ program.

CLICK HERE for more info.

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NZ ups SC service

AIR New Zealand will up its seasonal service of direct flights between Auckland & the Sunshine Coast to six months a year.

This will increase the existing seasonal service by two months, which will begin in Apr and end in Oct, resulting in a 25% increase in the number of seats operating on the route compared to the previous season.

The expansion is expected to bring an extra 3,000 visitors per year to the Sunshine Coast, with the service proving particularly popular with Kiwis.

“Our latest record international visitor figures highlight how strong the demand is for the Sunshine Coast, and with the launch of the new runway next year there are outstanding opportunities for growing the market,” said Simon Latchford, CEO of Visit Sunshine Coast.

The move was also flagged as a chance to grow the US market.

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T@60 independent

TRAVEL at 60 is parting ways with travel agency group Travel Partners.

Heading into its second year of retail, the senior-focused travel brand is now a fully functioning travel retailer.

The company is informing the trade the contact details for its team are as follows: Product & Contracting Managers Lynda Growcott (email HERE) and Hannah Carniel (HERE), or by phone on 07 3139 0760.

Email Call Centre Team Leader Kellie Banditt (HERE) or call on 07 3186 6421; and contact Commercial Coordinator Alastair Craig (HERE) or on 07 3139 0760.

Travel at 60 said for most of its preferred partners, the move means no change to their contracts.

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PER Biome deal

PERTH Airport has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Australian Biome Project.

Designed to showcase Western Australia’s biodiversity and Aboriginal culture to international tourists, the pact will see a 15-acre site in the Airport West precinct subdivided while the scheme is developed.

The Project is similar to the Eden Project in England and Gardens by the Bay in Singapore, with Perth Airport Chief Executive Officer Kevin Brown saying it would complement the development of Airport West.

“This agreement will allow the Biome Project team time to do the detailed work to determine the viability of the project,” he said.

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Vistara Australia codeshare

INDIAN carrier Vistara has wasted no time in expanding its presence in Australia after appointing local representation (TD 26 Aug), this month rolling out an expanded codeshare partnership with Singapore Airlines Group, including some routes to Australia and NZ.

The Walshe Group is looking after Vistara locally, with the airline’s Chief Commercial Officer, Sanjiv Kapoor, saying expanding the airline’s sales operations “will further facilitate business and leisure travel between India and Australia, a route that continues to record significant demand”.

GDS screens indicate that Vistara’s code (UK) is being applied to both Singapore Airlines & SilkAir services, including flights from Singapore to Cairns, Darwin, Auckland and Christchurch.

The expanded cooperation also covers SilkAir flights to Balikpapan, Bandung, Hyderabad, Koh Samui, Kochi, Medan, Manado, Phuket, Phomh Penh and Yogyarkarta.

However, at this stage Vistara is not codesharing on SQ flights to major Australian gateways such as Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth.

Vistara flights operated by Singapore Airlines include services to Bangkok, Denpasar, Hanoi, Ho Chi MInh City, Jakarta, Surabaya and Kuala Lumpur – along with a range of Indian destinations such as Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Chennai and Kolkata.

Vistara currently operates flights to 30 destinations in its own right with a fleet of 23 Airbus A320 and nine Boeing 737-800s – more info at vistara@walshegroup.com.

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