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Welcome to 2014 from us all at Sean Simmons Travel

Looking ahead, it’s going to be a year where Qantas will either rise or fall, Etihad will continue its incredible growth pattern, and every other airline will sit back and wonder how they got left behind! We look forward to both Etihad and Qatar launching A380 services from Melbourne, and Royal Brunei being the first airline to operate the 787 from Australia to London. So interesting times ahead Wishing you a productive and rewarding 2014, and many happy travels!

THAILAND NEW YEAR SALE 7 Nights and airfares from just $845pp

From Perth

From Brisbane

7 nights Phuket with Virgin Australia from $845pp

7 nights Phuket with Singapore Airlines from $1219pp

Phuket accommodation PATONG RESORT (Standard/Deluxe with American breakfast)

Phuket accommodation SUNSET BEACH RESORT (Superior Room with American Breakfast)

7 nights Koh Samui with Thai Airways from $1409pp Koh Samui accommodation BAAN SAMUI RESORT (Deluxe room with American Breakfast)

From Melbourne 7 nights Phuket with Singapore Airlines from $1199pp Phuket accommodation SUNSET BEACH RESORT (Superior Room with American Breakfast) 7 nights Koh Samui with Thai Airways from $1549pp Koh Samui accommodation BAAN SAMUI RESORT (Deluxe room with American Breakfast)

From Sydney 7 nights Phuket with Singapore Airlines from $1209pp

7 nights Koh Samui with Thai Airways from $1559pp Koh Samui accommodation BAAN SAMUI RESORT (Deluxe room with American Breakfast)

From Adelaide 7 nights Phuket with Singapore Airlines from $1210pp Phuket accommodation PATONG RESORT (Standard/ Deluxe with American breakfast) (BOOK & PAY BY 29 JANUARY 2014) Terms & Conditions: Prices are per person based on twinshare accommodation, return airfares ex Perth to Phuket with Virgin Australia, for travel 01 Aug - 10 Sep 14, on sale until 29 Jan 14. Airfare is based on dynamic pricing and is not able on all days and flights. All prices are subject to availability & can change without prior notice. Bookings may be subject to credit card fees..

Phuket accommodation SUNSET BEACH RESORT (Superior Room with American Breakfast)

J a n u a ry 2 0 1 4

FIJI WARWICK

RESORT & SPA

7 Nights from $749pp (Land only) Perfectly positioned amidst sensational sandy beaches and lush tropical foliage on Fiji’s fabled Coral Coast, the awardwinning Warwick Fiji Resort & Spa offers a superb combination of luxurious lodging, premium facilities, genuine warmth and exotic island pleasures. The resort is within easy reach of many of the island’s most popular attractions. Enjoy rich cultural experiences at indigenous Fijian villages, take in the natural splendour of the Biausevu Waterfall or Kula Eco Park Fiji, and go diving at Beqa Lagoon for an unforgettable adventure. Alternatively you may simply choose to relax on the beach at the resort. Package includes:

• 7 nights at the Warwick Fiji Resort & Spa in a Garden View room • Daily breakfast • Transfers to/from Nadi airport by coach Price from $749*pp twin share land only

Family option:

Your kids stay & eat FREE*! Take your family on a holiday staying in a Garden view room and save. Price from $749*per adult twin share and $46* (transfers) per child share land only *Terms & Conditions: Prices are land only and are based on per adult twin share OR for family pricing, based on a family of two adults & two children U/13yrs and are per adult twin share & per child share. Note that the child cost is for the transfers. Children’s Free Meal Policy: Up to 2 children U/13yrs sharing room with parents eat all meals free from Kids menu at Bula Brasserie and Lagoon & Bar Grill for Lunch from 11.00am-2.30pm & 5.30pm-7.00pm. A minimum 6 night stay is required to receive the early-bird special rates. Not combinable with any other offer or year round specials. Subject to availability. Further conditions apply. Package for sale until 31 Mar 14. For travel 01 Apr 14 - 31 Mar 15. Prices correct as at 07 Jan 14 and are subject to change and availability. Price may be subject to credit card / booking fee.

7 nights Koh Samui with Thai Airways from $1559pp Koh Samui accommodation BAAN SAMUI RESORT (Deluxe room with American Breakfast)

CONTACT The Sean Simmons Travel TRAVEL TEAM ON: Phone: +61 3 9429 3294 (local) Fax: +61 3 9429 3293 Suite 6, 53 Coppin Street, Richmond VIC 3121 ABN 48153795129

Toll Free: 1300 391 590 (interstate) Email: enquiries@seanstravel.com.au seansimmons travel.com.au

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MSC CRUISES

Pick your new year GIFT on 2014 Mediterranean and Northern European cruises Mediterranean

From March 2014 to November 2014

7 NIGHTS FROM

$709 pp

Grand Mediterranean

Northern Europe

Allegro Drinks Package

Bon Voyage Package

Mediterranean

From March 2014 to November 2014

7 NIGHTS FROM

$709 pp

UP TO $100 PER CABIN

GIFT #2

Allegro Drinks Package

Bon Voyage Package

Departs May 2014 - August 2014

14 NIGHTS FROM

14 NIGHTS FROM

$1,438pp

$2,468 pp

*

GIFT #3

On Board Credit

Rose Petal Package

Grand Northern Europe

FREE transfer between Venice & Genoa

7 NIGHTS FROM

GIFT #5

Romantic Sunset Package

Grand Mediterranean

Northern Europe

From May 2014 - September 2014

*

GIFT #1

*

GIFT #4

On Board Credit

$1,259 pp

*

$2,468 pp

*

GIFT #3

GIFT #2

14 NIGHTS FROM

$1,438pp

*

GIFT #1

Departs May 2014 - August 2014

14 NIGHTS FROM

7 NIGHTS FROM

$1,259 pp

*

Grand Northern Europe

FREE transfer between Venice & Genoa

From May 2014 - September 2014

*

GIFT #4

UP TO $100 PER CABIN

Romantic Sunset Package

GIFT #5

Rose Petal Package

Caribbean upgrade MSC cruises all year round in the Carribbean, so enjoy this upgrade gift on us! Upgrade valid only on departures between April to October 2014

Upgrade to an Ocean View Cabin> OR When you book an Inside Cabin

Caribbean Cruising PAY FOR 7 NIGHTS Inside from

$799 pp *

Ocean-View from

CRUISE IN

$979 pp *

Upgrade to a Balcony Cabin >

When you book an Ocean View Cabin

Grand Caribbean Cruising PAY FOR 14 NIGHTS

CRUISE IN

Ocean-View Cabin

$1,439 pp *

Ocean-View Cabin

Inside from

Balcony Cabin

Ocean-View from

$1,709 pp *

Balcony Cabin

MSC cruises all year round in the Carribbean, so enjoy this upgrade gift on us! Upgrade valid only on departures between April to October 2014

*Conditions apply.Valid new bookings only, subject to availability at time of booking. Pick Your Gift on sale until 31 Jan 2014 or until sold out. Prices are per person $AU twin share for lead in low season travel. Pick your gift details valid on Mediterranean and Northern Europe cruising only. Gift 1:Onboard credit (OBC) is valid to a maximum of $100 per cabin per cruise. Single passengers receive $50 OBC if paying single surcharge prices only not valid on SOLO cabin offer. Gift 2 to 5 : Maximum 1 gift per cabin to value of $100 (AU) No refund for gifts that are below value price. Gift 2: Allegro Drinks package choose from wine package, beer package or soft drink package, valid main restaurant, buffet or bars only. Gift3: Bon Voyage Package provided in cabin on embarkation 1 bottle of wine, tray of canapĂŠs and invite to VIP cocktail party, provided daily in cabin fresh fruit basket. Gift4: Romantic Package 1 bottle of champagne, 2 flutes to keep as gift, tray of chocolate covered strawberries in cabin. Gift5: Rose Petal 1 bottle Moscato wine, 2 flutes to keep as gift, tray petit fours in cabin. Not valid with any other offers excluding Loyalty Club unless otherwise stated. Cruises as part of Fly, Land, Cruise packages are only entitle to 1 Gift of choice for the whole package.

Upgrade to an Ocean View Cabin> OR

Upgrade to a Balcony Cabin >

>Caribbean upgrade offer on sale until 31 Jan 14. Free upgrade Caribbean offer is inside cat 1 to OV1, Inside cat 2 to OV2, OV1 to BC1, OV2 to BC2. It is not available on suite or Yacht Club categories. All pricing, itineraries, gift and/or other inclusions and maps are correct as at 30Dec13 and are subject to change or withdrawal at any time without prior notice. For full details visit www.msccruises.com.au. E & OE. MSC Cruises (Australia) Pty Limited ABN 55 003 526 725 Licence Number 2TA003126 as General sales Agent for MSC Crociere S.A.V1

When you book an Inside Cabin

Caribbean Cruising

CONTACT The Sean Simmons Travel TRAVEL TEAM ON:

When you book an Ocean View Cabin

Grand Caribbean Cruising

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Phone: +61 3 9429 3294 (local) Toll Free: 1300 391 590PAY (interstate) FOR 14 NIGHTS IN PAY FOR 7 NIGHTS CRUISE IN as a member toCRUISE get access to Fax: +61 3 9429 3293 Email: enquiries@seanstravel.com.au exclusive travel deals and Suite 6, 53 Coppin Street, Richmond VIC 3121 seansimmons travel.com.au Inside from $1,439 pp * Ocean-View Cabin Inside from $799 pp * Ocean-View Cabin ABN 48153795129

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discounts on branded luggage *


SALE BRITISH AIRWAYS

MICADOR & SEAN SIMMONS TRAVEL

Thank you to our wonderful friends at Micador who have offered all of our readers 20% off the total order when you spend $50 or more on their website. www.micador.com.au Just enter the following code at check out to receive your discount on a fantastic range of stationery products to brighten your world – friendsofseanstravel

SALE BRITISH AIRWAYS

LONDON (From Melbourne)

Industry news

Economy class from $1,741 Sale period: 7th Jan 14 – 4th Feb 14 Travel dates: 01 FEB 14 – 06 JUN 14 Premium economy class from $3,373 Sale period: 7th Jan 14 – Until further notice Travel dates: 17 JAN 14 – 24 MAR 14 Business class from $7,404** Sale period: 7th Jan 14 – 4th Feb 14 Travel dates: all year Prices inclusive of all taxes and correct as of 15 January 2014. ** 30 day advance purchase applies on business class fares. Prices subject to availability and can change without notice. Price may be subject to credit card / booking fee.

IN OUR NEIGHBOURHOOD

AIRBUS TO FOCUS ON SPACE NOT SPEED! After a record year for sales, plane maker Airbus aims to keep business going by focusing on space - as in more legroom, not outer. Woolly ambitions once bandied about in the aviation industry for supersonic or stratospheric flight have taken a back seat to more mundane market demands at the European manufacturer. For good reason: Business is booming, and 2013 was a record year in many ways. Airbus said it received a record 1619 orders, and delivered a company-best 626 planes - right behind the 648 delivered by US archrival Boeing & Co. The companies, which split the global market for commercial planes, saw airlines gobble up their offerings to renew or build fleets, cut fuel costs and plan for continued growth in travel.

ZaZas Cucina Italiana, neighbour to Sean Simmons Travel’s new offices on Coppin Street, Richmond, is celebrating its first year in operation this January. The past 12 months has seen the casual and energetic neighbourhood eatery in Richmond serve soul-satisfying Italian food day after day, building itself an outstanding reputation whilst attracting a loyal customer base. The locals have embraced this Trattoria where the pizzas are made with love by master pizzaioli from Italy using the best locally sourced produce on top of their beautifully cooked base. House-made Pasta, Fish & Meat have a permanent place on the menu too and are not to be missed! Za-Za’s is airy, bustling and easy-going: a comfortable, light-flooded environment open from early morning to late night; the food and service are as easy-going and as well-conceived as the space. During its first year Za-Za’s has been included in ‘Melbourne’s Top 25 Best New Italian Restaurants’ – Good Weekend Herald/Sun Dec 2013, it has won a People’s Choice Award for its ‘Shoot the Chef’ – Good Food month 2013, The Age photographic entry and its kitchen has been highlighted as one of the best in Melbourne.

Airbus’ order backlog - jets to be delivered in coming years - sits at a record 5559, or nearly nine years of work, at current output levels. That figure eclipsed Boeing, whose unfulfilled order book stood at 5080 - a record for the Chicago-based company as well. Airbus is pumping out 42 single-aisle A320s each month, billed as the highest rate ever for a commercial aircraft. We have 100 loyalty cards for the first 100 readers to email us, and tell us who they would take to dinner at Za-Za’s, and why! Send your entry to: Za-Za@seanstravel.com.au for your chance to win The loyalty card entitles you to: • 10% off the bill • E-Newsletter • Discounted Price for tastings and events • Provodore Discount • Exclusive Recipe

In addition to the locals, Za-Za’s is seeing people travel across Melbourne to sample its delights and has also attracted some of Australia’s culinary specialists such as Adriano Zumbo and Matt Preston, who have both had the pleasure of dining at the bustling establishment in recent months. Tina Arena has been a local fixture too!

In 2014 Za-Za’s will continue to inspire its customers and create food and experiences that will have them begging for more! February 14th - Valentine’s Day - Za-Za’s will be transformed into an intimate and romantic Secret Garden with extra special treats and gifts for dining lovers! February 25th - Black Truffle Night - Za-Za’s will host an evening where diners will experience a six course degustation!! February - Italian Language classes - every Saturday, participants will not only be able to eat their way through the class but also learn how to speak the Latin language whilst immersing themselves in the seductive Italian culture. Za-Za’s is located at – 53 Coppin Street, Richmond, VIC, 3121. TEL – 03 9421 6221 www.zazas.com.au

CONTACT The Sean Simmons Travel TRAVEL TEAM ON: Phone: +61 3 9429 3294 (local) Fax: +61 3 9429 3293 Suite 6, 53 Coppin Street, Richmond VIC 3121 ABN 48153795129

Toll Free: 1300 391 590 (interstate) Email: enquiries@seanstravel.com.au seansimmons travel.com.au

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The plane maker, which is shucking its military business to focus on commercial aircraft, is admittedly facing a high bar this year. “The market was extremely bullish,” said Airbus’ top executive, Fabrice Bregier, as he met with journalists alongside commercial director John Leahy. “More bullish than John or me would have thought, and probably Boeing.” Some of the biggest demand came from oncestruggling US airlines as well as from emerging markets, particularly in Asia. “The real story for some of you is, where does it go from here?” said Leahy. “The fact is, we cannot as an industry continue at this level. But what we are doing is we’re continuing to increase production.” Airbus, based in Toulouse, France, says the global airplane market doubles in size about every 15 years, despite troubles caused by events like the 2001 terror attacks in the United States or the international financial crisis in 2008. Amid last year’s boom in demand, Airbus will raise the average list prices of its aircraft by 2.6 per cent this year - though airlines often wrest discounts on their orders. Single-aisle aircraft, which are easier to contour to the demands of airline customers than are wide-body jets, make up the bulk of orders these days. The backlog for A320s - including the more fuel-efficient A320 neo in coming years - sits at nearly 4300 planes, making it the best-selling aircraft in history, Airbus said. But Airbus says its superjumbo, the A380, is also answering a key demand for air travellers: More space and wider seats

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Industry news (Continued) for those long-haul flights where passenger comfort is more prized. Squeezed seats might be tolerable for a two- or threehour flight, but “do it for 15 hours - then you do end up with black eyes,” said Leahy, pulling in his elbows to mimic his own experience with economy-class travel. Brevier said supersonic flight would not viable anytime soon - suggesting comfort trumps speed for now. When it comes to seat size, an inch can matter a lot, Leahy said, and Airbus is pushing 18-inch seats on the A380. “Study after study shows that at 18-inch, you can have the ability to move around in the seat. At 17 inches, if you fit in the seat, you aren’t going to move,” he said. It’s not just about seats, but also increasing the size of the aisles, so passengers can move around more easily and stretch their legs. Last year, Airbus recorded its biggest single order for the A380: 50, from Emirates. Among other highlights to 2013 was its biggest single order, for 234 A320s from Lion Air, and an order for 31 A350XWBs from Japan Airlines - a customer that has long favoured Boeing. The focus on the flying passenger is set to grow at Airbus this year as the company sheds its military aircraft business to another segment of the new Airbus Group - its parent, formerly known as aerospace and defence giant EADS.

VIRGIN AUSTRALIA TO TRIAL FREE MEALS AND DRINKS FROM FEBRUARY Virgin Australia will begin serving free meals and drinks in economy class on selected flights in February 2014. The free dining will be offered to passengers on selected Sydney-Melbourne and Sydney-Brisbane flights as part of a trial to help shape the airline’s new inflight menu, a spokesman for Virgin Australia told Australian Business Traveller, ahead of the introduction of free meals and drinks on all domestic Virgin Australia flights later in the year. Virgin will be serving light meals, snacks and vegetarian options across a number of different flights on the two routes and seeking customer feedback on each meal. The move will further close the gap between Virgin Australia and Qantas. The Flying Kangaroo currently offers free food and drink to all passengers on all domestic flights and has held this up as a differentiator against Virgin, along with the inclusion of free checked baggage on all tickets. Virgin already offers free meals for all passengers on its transcontinental ‘Coast to Coast’ routes between Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth, but travellers on other flights within Australia have to pay for meals and most drinks. This ‘food fight at 40,000 feet’ is another volley in the ongoing dogfight between Qantas and Virgin Australia, which has escalated in recent months with Qantas challenging extensive investment in Virgin from its partners Air New Zealand, Etihad and Singapore Airlines.

MELBOURNE CBD TO AIRPORT HELIEXPRESS SERVICE LAUNCHED Provided by Air Melbourne, a new Heli-Express service between Melbourne Airport and the CBD is now available, taking less than 6 minutes to travel between the Airport and the CBD. It will operate between the Melbourne Airport Heliport, located at the Mercedes-Benz Airport Express dealership, and the South Wharf Heliport on the Yarra River, at 60 Siddeley St, Melbourne.

Once touching down at the Mercedes-Benz Melbourne Express Heliport, clients will be greeted by a MercedesBenz valet driver and driven to the airport departure terminals. Similarly, aa valet pick up service is also offered for clients arriving into Melbourne Airport and then taking the Heli-Express service into the CBD. Private charter options between Melbourne Airport and the CBD are also provided. The one way shuttle fare is $274 per person. Sean Simmons Travel is proudly supporting the Heli-Express service. Contact us today for bookings.

AA & US AIRWAYS MERGE LOYALTY PROGRAMS, LOUNGE ACCESS & MORE American Airlines and US Airways are wasting little time when it comes to coordinating their operations for customers. While the entire merger integration process, set to fall under the American Airlines name, will be a long one, the first benefits are rolling out less than a month after the merger formally closed. As of January 7, passengers from each airline will see reciprocity with the other half of the company in many areas. For frequent flyers looking to earn and redeem points, it’s now possible to do so across both airlines, regardless of which loyalty account they’re enrolled in. Members of the US Airways Dividend Miles program can earn and redeem on flights operated by American Airlines and American Eagle, while American’s AAdvantage members can do the same for flights operated by US Airways and US Airways Express. For frequent flyers that hold elite status in the programs, the benefits are even greater. Priority check-in, special security screening, and baggage handling services will now be offered to all elite members for both airlines. Some priority seating benefits will also be available, including access to the better seats in the economyclass cabin; upgrades to first class, however, will not be available for elites from the “other” program just yet. The two airlines handle such upgrades very differently and coordinating that integration will take more time. Finally, for travelers who have paid memberships in the US Airways Club or the Admirals Club lounges, access to the other’s facilities is now available. With 35 Admirals Club locations and 19 US Airways Club locations, the combined 54 lounges at 45 airports worldwide gives the merged operation the largest lounge footprint of any U.S.-based carrier in terms of unique airports served. These initial changes are arguably the easiest for the new American Airlines to implement. They are also some of the most important changes in terms of keeping their frequent flyers, the travellers who make the most money for the company, happy as the merger progresses. There are more changes to come in the weeks and month to follow, but, at least for now, the new American is moving smoothly in the right direction.

BERLIN’S BRANDENBURG AIRPORT WILL NOT OPEN IN 2014 Berlin’s much-delayed Brandenburg International Airport will remain closed for another year, increasing the strain on Berlin’s existing airports as the high-profile project continues to fall behind schedule. ‘Sometime in 2015’ is now the sixth proposed opening date for the new airport, which was originally slated for a ribbon-cutting ceremony in October 2011 but now sits idle, despite appearing complete from the outside. The cost of the Brandenburg hub has soared from its initial €2.5 billion (A$3.8bn) budget to exceed €4.3 billion (A$6.6bn), with a sub-standard fire safety system

CONTACT The Sean Simmons Travel TRAVEL TEAM ON: Phone: +61 3 9429 3294 (local) Fax: +61 3 9429 3293 Suite 6, 53 Coppin Street, Richmond VIC 3121 ABN 48153795129

Toll Free: 1300 391 590 (interstate) Email: enquiries@seanstravel.com.au seansimmons travel.com.au

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leading the host of problems held responsible for the setbacks. Airport CEO Hartmut Mehdorn last year proposed that the first commercial services could begin in”March or April” of this year, although there would be a ceiling of ten flights per day. This would see the airport handling a mere 1,500 passengers per day instead of the 82,000 per day for which it was designed. But any hopes of an opening this year was swept off the calendar overnight when Klaus Wowereit, chairman of Brandenburg Airport’s supervisory board and also mayor of Berlin, confirmed that “the airport cannot be opened in 2014.” Wowereit said that while technical solutions to the airport‘s many problems have been found, now it will come down to implementing those solutions. Brandenburg has been built to replace three airports serving the German capital – including the existing Berlin Schönefeld Airport on which the new facility is based, which sees Berlin Brandenburg Airport handily located just 18 kilometres south of central Berlin. When it does eventually open, Brandenburg will be the new hub for Virgin Australia partner and oneworld member airberlin, which intends to use the airport’s capacity to expand its network (Instead, airberlin has been forced to remain at the vastly overcrowded Tegal Airport, which cannot accommodate any additional flights.)One of the three piers surrounding the terminal will be set aside for airberlin and other oneworld airlines. The main pier is 715 meters long (that’s almost five Aussie rules football fields (or six if you’re a rugby fan) with 16 glass-walled gates. The approach to the new airport is impressive on a monumental scale especially at night, with a soaring brightly-lit roof reaching over the access road. The transparent walkway for passengers in transit is an especially cool touch. Berlin Airport should cater for up to 30 million passengers per year, and will grow to 50 million when further terminals are added. An underground railway station will link the airport to Berlin’s S-Bahn metro, with a separate Airport Express running to Berlin Hauptbahnhof (Berlin central station) in 30 minutes as well as high-speed rail services to Hannover, Hamburg, Amsterdam and Prague. Adjacent to the airport itself will be the Airport City Park for shops, offices and restaurants and a four-star hotel connected directly to the terminal.

RUSSIAN AIRPORTS BAN ALL LIQUIDS IN CARRY-ON BAGGAGE AHEAD OF WINTER OLYMPICS All liquids, regardless of volume, will be banned in carry-on luggage in Russian airports from January 11 as Russia increases security for the Winter Olympics in Sochi, the Ministry of Transport said. Russia’s Federal Air Transport Agency, Rosaviatsia, released the new rules January 8, although they recommended passengers carry all liquids in their checkin baggage, but did not ban them in hand luggage. Two Moscow airports, Sheremetyevo and Vnukovo, banned liquids after Rosaviatsia’s recommendations, but later Krasnoyarsk’s Yemelyanovo Airport also joined them. After the Ministry of Transport announced the new ruling, other airports followed suit. Passengers were not told in advance and found out about the new restrictions when they arrived at the airports.

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Industry news (Continued) Exceptions are possible for medicine and baby food, but airport security services have permission to check them. Also, passengers will have to prove they really need the medication during the flight. The ban is in response to continuing terrorist threats and is supposed to last until the end of Winter Olympics in Sochi. Last year, the European airports community expected the liquids rules to be partly relaxed; permitting passengers to buy duty-free items over 100 ml outside Europe and transfer through a European airport without having the item confiscated.

QANTAS AND EMIRATES PRICE HIKES – WE TOLD YOU SO! Qantas has increased its fuel surcharges to bring them in line with alliance partner Emirates, which has also lifted its levy. Qantas said the move in part of an ongoing alignment with Emirates on the joint network, but also reflects continued high fuel costs and a lower Australian dollar. Emirates blamed exchange rates, which has impacted fuel costs, for the increase. “The surcharge gives us the ability to respond faster to market conditions, rather than a lengthier process of incorporating them into fares,” Emirates said in a statement. “All existing bookings will be issued at the current fuel surcharge level, as long as they are ticketed on/before January 22.” Qantas’s increase will take effect on the same day, January 23. Economy surcharges will rise $15 to $270 on one way trips to Europe, UK and North Africa, by $10 to $165 to Singapore, Thailand and Malaysia and by $15 to $155 on flights to the Middle East. Premium economy class passengers will pay an extra $30, $15 and $30, taking the surcharge to $355, $195 and $195. The surcharge for business and first class passengers on flights to the UK, Europe and North Africa will increase $50 to $495 with a similar rise on services to the Middle East, taking the levy to $270. Flights to Asia will incur a surcharge of $240, a rise of $25. Qantas said surcharges on other parts of its network will remain unchanged. (NOTE FROM THE EDITOR – don’t you pay for fuel in the cost of a ticket already? WHY do airlines continue these “fees” – its abut time the ACCC stepped in to stop this joke!)

ETIHAD, AIRBERLIN TO ENHANCE STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIP The strengthening relationship between Airberlin and Etihad Airways has seen the carriers unveil an Airbus A320 aircraft in specially designed joint livery as they revealed plans for 2014. The livery was revealed at the launch of a new German media campaign in Berlin attended by Airberlin chief executive Wolfgang Prock-Schauer and Etihad president and chief executive James Hogan who is also vicechairman of Airberlin. They revealed enhancements to the existing codeshare partnership between the two airlines in 2014 with the expansion of both joint sales operations and the combined route network. “The comprehensive commercial partnership with Etihad Airways has brought many benefits to airberlin, including our shares of joint revenues of EUR 200 million, which is an integral part of our turnaround program,” ProckSchauer said.

Meanwhile, Hogan underlined the successes of the partnership over the two year period since Etihad acquired a 29.21% stake in the German carrier, including an increase in the number of destinations and flight options for passengers of both airlines which have carrier almost 900,000 guests across the two networks. “During this time airberlin’s new business strategy has made great progress and Etihad Airways continues to place its full support behind the airline and its management,” he said. “We are confident that airberlin is on the right path back to profitability and the next phase in the airline’s proud history.” Airberlin and Etihad operate 42 weekly flights between destinations in Germany and Abu Dhabi, with the number to rise to 49 weekly flights in February 2014 when a second daily Munich flight begins. In 2013, 563,000 codeshare passengers flew across the two networks representing a 74% increase on the previous year. Currently, 66 Airberlin routes carry Etihad Airways’ EY code and 33 Etihad Airways’ routes carry airberlin’s AB flight code

AUSTRALASIAN AIRLINES AWARDED ACCOLADES Qantas, Jetstar and rival Air New Zealand have been recognised as world leaders in aviation, all receiving acknowledgement and a variety of accolades at the 2014 Airline Excellence Awards. Aviation industry website AirlineRatings.com revealed the highest-achievers across a range of different categories, bestowing the esteemed ‘Airline of the Year’ award to Air New Zealand.

Qantas Airways will shift its Tasmanian operations to regional subsidiary QantasLink, in turn, making thirty five of its ground-handling staff in Hobart redundant. Qantas will cease operating services to Hobart from mid-April this year, placing QantasLink’s smaller 125seat Boeing 717s on the route and increasing the frequency of services, the Sydney Morning Herald reported. QantasLink will run an additional daily return flight between Hobart and Melbourne. The 35 ground staff made redundant will pave the way for new contracted workers. Qantas said the changes were about “making sure we have the right aircraft on the right routes in support of leisure and business travel opportunities between Tasmania and the mainland”. QantasLink will also recruit 30 flight attendants and 15 pilots, to be based in Hobart. Tasmanian MP Andrew Wilkie said the move equated to an “alarming downgrade of Tasmania”. “No wonder Qantas is in trouble financially… it’s effectively abandoning destinations, axing staff and patching it up with subcontractors,” Mr Wilkie said. Qantas recently revealed plans to slash 1000 jobs over the next 12 months, given the airline’s poor financial performance, domestic consolidation and outlook downgradings.

Qantas Airways was awarded ‘Best Economy’ and ‘Best Lounges’, while budget subsidiary Jetstar took home the title of ‘Best Low-Cost Airline Asia Pacific’. “We found that there is absolutely no doubt that it is world’s best [domestic economy class offering] – and by a wide margin,” AirlineRatings.com editor Geoffrey Thomas said. “Importantly the Qantas lounges have robust broadband internet access that can handle demand – something lacking in many other airline’s lounges.” While Jetstar was heralded best low-cost airline in Asia Pacific, jetBlue took out the Americas title, flydubai won in the Middle East and Africa, while Norwegian bested the competition in Europe. “These airlines may not always offer the lowest fare but what they almost always do is deliver by far the best value.” The full list of award recipients are Airline of the Year: Air New Zealand Regional Airline of the Year: Silk Air (Singapore) Best First Class:

Emirates

Best Business Class:

Cathay Pacific

Best Premium Economy: Air New Zealand Best Economy:

Qantas Airways

Best Lounges:

Qantas Airways

Best In-Flight Entertainment: Emirates Best Low-Cost Airline

jetBlue (Americas),

flydubai (Middle East and Africa)

Jetstar (Asia Pacific)

Norwegian (Europe). Best Long-Haul Airline: Air Canada (Americas) Emirates (Middle East and Africa)

Singapore Airlines (Asia)

Swiss (Europe)

CONTACT The Sean Simmons Travel TRAVEL TEAM ON: Phone: +61 3 9429 3294 (local) Fax: +61 3 9429 3293 Suite 6, 53 Coppin Street, Richmond VIC 3121 ABN 48153795129

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Turbulence January 2014