IN THIS ISSUE Airline news in brief
Airports readying for the World Cup
Cathay plans to fly to Moscow Emirates adding another A380 to London Airlink increases frequency to Ndola New First Class seats for BA Jet Airways to fly to Joburg from Mumbai Comair to fly to Nelspruit BA opens ultra modern lounge at Lagos Airport Mango offer in-flight internet
Hotel news in brief
NEW: City Lodge at OR Tambo Deluxe rooms for Hilton Sandton Self check-in for Garden Court Sandton City Protea Hotel Fire & Ice Cape Town expands
Avis Nigeria launches fleet management service Useful visa tips for travelling in Africa
Country at a glance
Travel Feature How to reduce your travel costs
Airports Company South Africa (ACSA) has announced its plans for the facilitation of the additional passengers and aircraft expected during the prestigious 2010 FIFA World Cup. To summarise the development status to date, at O.R. Tambo International Airport, which will be the key entry point, all the major projects have been completed. At the time of going to print, for Cape Town International Airport the departures level is 80% complete, with the reconfigured and upgraded access roads, multi-storey parkade and central terminal building still to be completed, whilst the new, King Shaka International Airport is said to be operational from May 1. A runway revamp and terminal expansion at Bloemfontein International Airport are complete, the terminal upgrade and expansion at East London Airport is almost complete, as are the terminal upgrades and expansions at Kimberley and Upington airports, whilst a runway refurbishment at Port Elizabeth International Airport is complete.
Airline News in brief
Kingfisher Airlines is lining up to join one world after signing a memorandum of understanding as its first step towards full membership of the world’s leading quality airline alliance, subject to Indian regulatory approval. A target date for Kingfisher Airlines to join the alliance will be confirmed once this approval is gained. The process to bring any airline on board normally takes around 18 months to complete, so Kingfisher Airlines could be expected to start flying as part of one world during 2011. Cathay Pacific Airways has announced its plans to fl y to Moscow, capital of the Russian Federation. The airline is in the process of applying to the relevant authorities and looks forward to finalising flight details as soon as the regulatory approvals are in place. Cathay Pacific Chief Executive, Tony Tyler, said: “We expect Moscow will develop quickly as a prime destination for business and leisure travellers from this part of the world.” Emirates is adding another A380 to its London Heathrow route from July 1. This aircraft will be used on flight EK003, which departs Dubai at 14h15 and arrives at London Heathrow at 18h40. Egypt air recently took delivery of its first Boeing 777-300ER. The airline is leasing the aircraft from GECAS and will take an additional five 777300ERs on lease through the second quarter for 2011 to keep upgrading its long-haul service. The aircraft will be used on routes to London, Tokyo and North America. Hellenic Imperial Airways, based in Athens, is expanding its activities and fleet. It is planning to launch flights to a number of new destinations from May. The airline is currently looking to appoint GSAs in these countries. South Africa is on its list as a potential new destination, with the only other African destination being Morocco.
More Aviation Headlines Airlink has increased the frequency on its daily service between Johannesburg and Ndola to twice daily. “The afternoon service has proved to be very popular with international travellers arriving in South Africa on the late morning inbound flights, too late to make the morning connection, as well as for those connecting out of Johannesburg on the late evening flights to Europe and the UK. Our service saves them a wasted day in Johannesburg as well as saving on hotel costs” said Airlink CEO, Rodger Foster. Airlink has also increased the frequency on its service operating between Durban and Maputo, to six flights per week with the introduction of a new Tuesday service. British Airways has unveiled its new First seating and cabin, which will be rolled out across the carrier’s long-haul fleet over the next two years. The new seat (pictured right) features 55-60 per cent more personal space (the bed length remains the same at 79 inches/201cm), and a dial allowing passengers to control the recline of the seat. There is a side table, which stores the main table, an ottoman (with seat belt) to allow for companion dining, and storage options including a personal wardrobe. The in-flight entertainment system is the Rockwell Collins AVOD (audio video on-demand) currently in use on the majority of BA’s long-haul fleet. Amenities include soft cotton pyjamas, a single-piece quilted mattress, and an Anya Hindmarch washbag with DR Harris products, which also features the “To fly, to serve” royal crest previously used by BA. Other new cabin features include electronic blinds, navy blue décor, LED lighting with six pre-sets, and a steam oven and espresso machine. BA has fitted its first B777 with the new seat and plans to retrofit 73 Boeing 777 and 747 aircraft over the next two years.
Airline News in brief
RwandAir has re-launched its direct flights between Johannesburg and Kigali. The resumption of these flights comes hardly two months after the airline took delivery of its new aircraft. The four weekly flights (Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday) maintain daylight operation with departures from Joburg to Kigali at 19h00, while the return flight from Kigali departs at 14h30. According to the airline, prior to the temporary suspension last year, RwandAir’s Joburg-Kigali direct flights had gained popularity as being an affordable and direct way of accessing east and central Africa. The airline is also keen on deploying more capacity and increasing its frequencies on the Johannesburg – Kigali route with the expected acquisition of Boeing 737-800 in May 2010. Jet Airways will commence daily non-stop flights between Mumbai and Johannesburg from April 14. An A330-200, offering 30 seats in Première (business class) and 190 seats in Economy, will be used on this route. The flight departs Mumbai at 02h05 and arrives in Johannesburg at 07h35. The return flights depart Johannesburg at 11h00, arriving in Mumbai at 23h30. Première will offer 180° flat beds with lumbar support and massage systems, oversized tables, laptop power outlets, telephony, SMS, email and live text news to provide a “flying office”. Mango has announced that it aims to be the first South African airline to offer Internet connectivity on board all its aircraft later this year, subject to CAA approval. The airline, whose partnership with G-Connect has already delivered more affordable bandwidth to South Africans, has extended this association with the provider to include the in-flight service. Using the G-Connect Internet on board Mango’s aircraft will cost less than R1 per megabyte.
More Aviation Headlines British Airways has opened an ultra modern lounge at the Muritala Mohammed International Airport in Lagos, Nigeria. The new state-of-the-art lounge, which incorporates elements of the luxurious Galleries Lounge at Heathrow Terminal 5 in London, can comfortably accommodate over 100 passengers, and has been described as a home away from home. Passengers are treated to a cosy environment with an array of facilities, including a fully enclosed kitchen with dedicated staff in attendance and responsible for presentation and replenishment of food and beverages. Speaking on the development, Regional Customer Service Manager West Africa, Paul Mooney, said that the lounge was in keeping with the airline’s tradition of making air travel as comfortable as possible for its customers. Mooney further disclosed that the lounge, which will be open to customers between 18h00 and 22h30 daily, hosts a bar area offering a range of international and local beverages as well as tea and coffee. It also has a business centre with nine internet-enabled desktops, printers, Wi-Fi for laptop users, an array of local and international newspapers, and toilets for passengers with restricted mobility. Mooney further stated that the variety of food offered at the lounge was carefully selected to cater for both its vegetarian and nonvegetarian passengers. Comair is expanding its domestic route network to include Nelspruit (Mbombela), as of May 4. The airline will commence with six flights per week between Kruger Mpumalanga international Airport and OR Tambo International. The flight operated by a Boeing 737-300 is 40 minutes long. It will depart from OR Tambo at 10h40. The return flight will depart from Kruger Mpumalanga International at 12h00
Hotel News in brief
Urban Hip Hotels has increased the number of rooms it is offering during the World Cup. It now offers additional rooms in Cape Town and Johannesburg from R550 per night as part of the low budget university campus accommodation. The Royal Hotel’s 70-year acclaimed Royal Grill Restaurant, has been transformed to expose opulent textures, luxurious finishes and lavish decor. This attractive classic venue has had a complete face lift, yet it still retains the essence of grand days and yore charm with original high ceilings, dark wood balustrades and stained glass effects mixed with new crisp white linen, silver and crystal chandeliers, all redone with a modern take to create a magically light atmosphere. City Lodge at OR Tambo Airport has opened its first 78 rooms, becoming the 46th hotel in the City Lodge Hotels group. The 303 room hotel, situated on three levels above a new car park at the airport, will be fully open by the end of May. Apart from having the usual City Lodge facilities – such as wireless internet in all rooms, breakfast, coffee shop, gym, swimming pool and bar. Preferred Hotel Group has become the largest international hotel brand in South Africa due to the new strategic partnership with boutique hotel company Mantis Group. This brings the total number of members on the continent to 30. The latest 14 additions to the preferred family range from luxury properties in bustling Cape Town, to unique game reserves in Port Elizabeth and the Kruger National Park – as well as the renowned Draycott Hotel in London.
Hotel News in Brief Durban Point Waterfront, situated at the entrance to the biggest port in Africa, will soon welcome two new world-class hotels to its mixed-use development. The new additions will be primed to host both local and international guests in a secure and energetic environment during the World Cup hospitality boom and beyond. The Docklands Hotel and The Anchorage Hotel simultaneously began construction last year, with The Docklands Hotel opening in May 2010 and The Anchorage Hotel in the latter part of 2010. Hilton Sandton is set to introduce a new level of deluxe guest rooms for both the leisure and corporate traveller. The deluxe suites, king and twin rooms on the hotel’s second and third floors will be completed by the end of May this year. Hilton Sandton is also making substantial headway towards achieving its goal of reducing energy consumption by 20%. The refurbished rooms will consume 50% less energy than previously. The Protea Hotel Fire & Ice! Cape Town has doubled in size with the refurbishments that have been completed on the hotel. The refurbishments include additional conference facilities, 59 rooms and 12 one- and two-bedroom lofts catering for long-staying guests. Southern Sun Garden Court Sandton City have launched Africa’s very first hotel self check-in and check-out kiosks. The kiosk allows guests to checkin and out and to perform certain in-house functions within the hotel environment. The touch screen application facilitates easy interaction. To use the self check-in service, guests simply identify themselves at the kiosk with a reservation number or credit card, for example.
Avis Nigeria launches fleet management service Avis Nigeria has launched its Fleet Management Service (AFMS) aimed at corporate organisations across the country. Avis Nigeria’s Managing Director, Kolawole Ogunbajo, disclosed at a press conference that the service mainly focuses on organisations outsourcing their transport department to Avis with their existing fleet and/ or new fleet and maintenance provided by Avis. He described the service as a complete and perfect solution to corporate organisations’ transport logistics management problem which is designed to reduce and control the operational costs of clients and equally help clients deploy more resources to productive parts of the organisation. According to Ogunbajo, “Avis Fleet Management Services is being introduced to organisations that are in the process of re-engineering their logistics department especially in areas that relate to purchasing vehicles, recruiting drivers and maintaining the vehicles. By outsourcing these services to Avis, organisations can focus on their core business and less time on managing functions that don’t form part of their business and equally gaining access to resources that are not readily available internally.”
USEFUL VISA TIPS FOR TRAVELLING IN AFRICA Erica Walters, Operations Manager for Tourvest Travel Services’ Corporate Travel division offers some points to keep in mind when applying for a visa: • Always make sure you have every requirement completed before submitting a visa. • Allocate extra processing time as African embassies are notorious for changing processes • Ensure your health requirements are up to date (e.g. yellow fever vaccinations) as required. • Even if a visa can be issued on arrival it is advisable to rather process the visa beforehand, as lines at the airport can be extremely long, and business travellers may miss a meeting because of the delay at airport visa processing. • Cost of the visa may also vary on arrival, subject to the person processing the visa, so be prepared to pay more. • If you are left with no choice but to obtain a visa on arrival then be sure you have cash in the correct currency and in small denominations.
Country at a glance: Togo
Togo, formally the Togolese Republic, is a small, narrow, West African nation, bordering the Bight of Benin in the south, Ghana to the west, Benin to the east, and to the north Togo is bound by Burkina Faso. Togo’s small sub-Saharan economy is heavily dependent on both commercial and subsistence agriculture, which provides employment for 65% of the labour force. Cotton, coffee and cocoa generate about 40% of export earnings. In the industrial sector, phosphate mining is no longer the most important activity, as cement and clinker, exported to neighbouring countries, have taken over. CURRENCY: West African CFA franc (XOF) CAPITAL CITY: Lomé VISAS: South African passport holders require a valid passport and a visa. Visas will cost approximately R631 (dependent on the current exchange rate), and are available through the French Consulate of Cape Town, as Togo does not have a consulate in South Africa . BUSINESS HOTELS: There are two hotels in Lomé that are suitable for the business traveller’s needs. These are the Mercure Lomé Sarakawa and the Ibis Lomé Centre. The Mercure Lomé Sarakawa is a three-star hotel with 211 rooms. The Ibis Lomé Centre in comparison is smaller, with 108 rooms. BUSINESS RESTAURANTS: In terms of hygiene and diversity, the hotels are the most likely places to enjoy a business lunch or dinner. La Kora restaurant, at the Radisson Blu, offers a tempting fusion menu combining French and African influences. At the Laico El Farouk, Le Bélvèdere is open from breakfast to dinner, offering an international cuisine in a smart atmosphere, or one can enjoy refined French cuisine with the latest in fusion dishes from around the world at the Laico l’Amitie
GETTING AROUND: Cars can be rented from Avis in Lomé, and you will need an International Driving Permit. The local transport available consists of the bush-taxis, minibuses, taxis and taxi-motos. Travel in the bush-taxis and minibuses are slow, and there will most likely be fee negotiations. Taxis are abundant in Lomé and have set fares. The taximotos or zemi-johns are available everywhere, and are a handy way to get to remote locations. AIRLINES: Togo does not have its own local airline, but a number of airlines fly to Lomé. Only Air France and Ethiopian Airways fly out of Johannesburg, via Paris and Addis Ababa respectively. The other airlines that fly to Togo are Royal Air Maroc, Air Ivoire, and Air Burkina. AIRPORTS: There are 7 main airports in Togo, but only the Lomé-Tokoin Airport is used for commercial flights. Niamtougou International Airport is the second-largest in the country and currently the only other paved runway. LANGUAGE: French is the official language CONNECTIVITY: International roaming is available through MTN, with Togo Cellulaire & Telecel Togo. HEALTH: It is recommended that travellers be upto-date on all routine immunisations. A yellow fever vaccination certificate is required for all visitors to Togo over the age of one year. Malaria is prevalent countrywide and protection against mosquitoes, including a prophylactic that has not shown signs of being resistant in the area, are essential. Tap water is to be avoided, unless boiled, filtered or disinfected with chemicals, and it is safest to drink bottled water. Food must be well cooked, and all fruit and vegetables should be peeled or cooked. Medical facilities are poor, and health insurance is recommended, as is a supply of basic medication. Emergency facilities are extremely limited. For serious medical treatment, medical evacuation would be necessary.
FEATURE: How to reduce travel costs
Budget cuts have required some smart ways to cut down on travel expenses. Here are some tips to reduce your travel costs. * FIND A WORKING MODEL Gerhard Esterhuyse, General Manager – Management Consulting of Tourvest Travel Services, says that what many companies don’t realise is that TMC fees only account for between seven and nine percent of their total travel expenditure. But, he says there are ways to reduce this cost. Esterhuyse says Tourvest Travel Services will find a model that best suits the needs and references of the client, be it an in-house agency, business travel centre solution, a full online solution or a combination of these. A substantial saving can be achieved by companies using an online solution for domestic bookings, as this reduces the transaction cost. Using a call centre environment rather than an in-house can also reduce costs, but Esterhuyse emphasises that ultimately the client has to decide which platform they are comfortable with, although Tourvest Travel Services will present the client with recommended options. Corporate Clients have the choice of various service platforms which, if tailored to their needs, can realise significant savings. One could choose to consolidate the spending by channelling through one hub or various locations throughout sub-Saharan Africa. This hub concept could be a cheaper option if real estate were at a premium.
** HAVE A COMPREHENSIVE TRAVEL POLICY Esterhuyse says the remaining 91% of travel costs offer a number of opportunities for savings. He says the travel policy is vitally important for this. Tourvest Travel Services, he explains, offers travel policy analysis to find areas for cost reduction. Some of the changes that could be implemented in the policy include making bookings four days in advance instead of 48 hours, shifting from all staff flying business class to executives only, moving to low cost carriers, etc. Mandy Diggle, Group Travel Manager for Group Five Supply Chain, adds that it is also important to update the travel policy regularly. Diggle says any non-compliance to this policy should be reported. *** LOOK FOR CHEAPER OPTIONS For domestic travel, Diggle suggests introducing a best logical fare of the day policy. This, she explains would involve looking at all airlines, and at both published and corporate fares. Diggle adds that restrictions should also be taken into consideration. “If your traveller is likely to change, the most logical option may be to use a slightly higher corporate fare that is flexible, rather than a cheaper fare with huge penalties to change the booking.” “By booking two weeks in advance you can save as much as 50% on the cost of a ticket,” claims Diggle. She says that on some contracts, bookings have already been made for the entire year. “With 100 flight bookings we have managed to save in the region of R250 000,” she adds. It may seem minimal, but Diggle also suggests comparing the cost of parking at the airport versus using an airport shuttle company. “This can result in savings particularly when you have a few travellers departing on the same flight.”
FEATURE: Corporate Travellers cry ‘foul’ over World Cup
**** WORK WITH THE TMC Rogan Taylor, Commodity Manager – Non Production Spend at South African Breweries, says effective reporting to senior management gives the board insight into travel spend and progress. “This reporting would involve savings progress, as well as identifying those areas of the business that are lagging in policy compliance. It is up to senior management to decide what to do with the information, so their buy-in and sponsorship remains important,” he adds. Further, Taylor says the effective management and support of your TMC is essential. He explains: “You have to manage their performance against very clear milestones and savings objectives, as well as clear cut KPIs and servicelevel indicators.” He says that the old days of simply booking tickets and processing travel queries are over. “TMCs have to add the value of their collective experience and insight into corporate deals and subsequent adherence to those corporate contracts.” According to Taylor, enforcement of the travel policy must be a key KPI for the TMC, but at the same time the business must empower and support the TMC in the enforcement of the policy. “Without this support control is lost very quickly, as agents very often buckle under pressure from corporate travellers,” he adds. Another important strategy for savings is constant benchmarking against the industry and market peers, says Taylor. This, he adds, allows one to gauge the efficacy of existing agreements. Esterhuyse says: “By harvesting all the relevant data available through Tourvest Travel Services’ MIS we are able to offer a holistic peer group review to our client(s) in order for them to have a clear understanding of how they are positioned against their industry peers in relation to travel management, and puts TTS in a position to recommend process and best practices that will lead to effective travel savings.”
Esterhuyse adds that this peer group analysis is done in the highest confidentiality and with data protection principals. Diggle says that together with the TMC, a bi-annual review is produced and road shows at all business units up to the Directors are organised. These reviews include aspects like savings, traveller behaviour, average fare per top route and lost opportunities, and they are compared to previous reviews. “This will encourage more buy-in from senior management,” she adds.