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ISSUE OF FEB 2002-
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Luxury Jungle Resort Opens In Ranthambhore

Adventure and romance are in the air at Vanyavilas, the Oberoi Group’s newest luxury resort adjoining the world famous Ranthambhore Tiger Reserve. Ranthambhore is situated between the Aravali and the Vindhya mountain ranges in south-eastern Rajasthan.

Trained guides accompany visitors to the reserve where frequent tiger sighting is an exciting and unforgettable experience. Visitors to the National Park can also view a variety of other animals such as leopards, jungle cats, sloth bears, crocodiles and several species of deer. The resort organises guided expeditions to the reserve in custom-built four-wheel drive vehicles. Situated in a grove of fruit and flowering trees, Vanyavilas with its beautifully landscaped grounds presents a serene ambience.

The accommodation consists of spacious and elegantly appointed luxury tents. Each air-conditioned tent has a private deck for sunbathing. A walled garden surrounds each tent, thus, ensuring complete privacy. Large bathrooms have freestanding bathtubs and shower stalls. The restaurant serves fine Indian and Continental cuisine with al fresco dining adjoining the restaurant. In the inner courtyard of the main building, a log fire provides welcoming warmth in winter and is an ideal place for aperitifs or a relaxed after-dinner drink. The bar offers a fine selection of wines, spirits and cigars. Fateh Singh, a well-known conservationist, will give lectures and show films on wildlife if the region. The resort offers state-of-the-art meeting facilities and has a heated outdoor swimming pool also. A special feature of the resort are the private therapy suites. Guests can pamper themselves with a relaxing massage by trained Thai therapists in a soothing and serene atmosphere.


CX Expands Code-Share With British Airways
Cathay Pacific Airways and its oneworld alliance partner British Airways are expanding their code-sharing agreement to cover flights to both Kuala Lumpur and Auckland as well as 11 destinations in Europe. From January 7, 2002, Cathay Pacific’s ‘CX’ code will be placed on British Airways’ European flights linking London Heathrow with Newcastle, Aberdeen, Stockholm, Helsinki, Dusseldorf, Hamburg, Munich, Berlin, Cologne, Stuttgart and Prague. The code-share will provide smoother European connections for Cathay Pacific passengers arriving on the airline’s two daily flights from Hong Kong. At the same time the ‘BA’ code will also be added to daily Cathay Pacific flights between Hong Kong and both Kuala Lumpur and Auckland offering British Airways passengers the same benefits on their connections to Asia-Pacific destinations. The code-share is an important step for British Airways allowing the carrier to return Kuala Lumpur to its timetable having suspended direct flights from London earlier this year due to mounting losses on the route.

Chitty Cheung, Cathay Pacific’s general manager Alliance, said: “Today’s code-share is good news for passengers in both Europe and Asia. In addition to new destinations passengers will find connections much more convenient now thanks to oneworld.”

Michael Jackson, British Airways’ head of Alliance and Francises said: “We are delighted to announce this new code-sharing agreement with our oneworld partner. It reflects how the two airlines are constantly striving to find new opportunities to work together in the interests of all our customers.”

The new code-sharing arrangements are open for sale. Code-sharing between the two carriers first began in March 2000. Cathay Pacific already offered its CX code on British Airways flights between London and Edinburgh, Glasgow, and Manchester. The new destinations bring the number of code-share routes to 14.


Thai Introduces Service To Mumbai

Thai Airways International Public Company Limited has inaugurated a new destination in the Winter Schedule 2001/2002 on the route Bangkok-Mumbai. Thai will operate on the route Bangkok-Mumbai, utiliing Airbus 330 aircraft, capable of accommodating 317 passengers; with 50 passenger seats in business class and 267 passengers seats in economy class. THAI flights will operate three times per week on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday with flights departing Bangkok at 19.35 hours and arriving in Mumbai at 22.30 hours, the return flight departing Mumbai at 23.50 hours and arriving in Bangkok at 05.30 hours the following day.


Vacation With The Luxury Club

The promoters and developers of Le Royal Meridien, Mumbai, and Holiday Inn, Ahmedabad, have announced the launch of The Luxury Club, a premium global vacation product. The Luxury Club is the first vacation brand to be associated with the RCI Points rewards programme in India. The Luxury Club members will enjoy the comfort of a variety of suites at Le Royal Meridien, Mumbai, and Holiday Inn, Ahmedabad, shortly followed by Le Meridien Residence Juhu, Mumbai. Properties in Goa, Lonavala and Mahabaleshwar will be introduced in the short to medium term.

One time purchase of a week of vacation ownership from The Luxury Club translates into the versatile option of RCI Points. RCI Points equivalent to the value of the week purchased are credited to The Luxury Club member every year, for the following 25 years. These may be redeemed at his convenience and according to his preference in RCI affiliated resorts and/ or services offered by RCI’s Points programme partners.

The Luxury Club will tie up with premier financial institutions to offer loan facilities to make this an attractive proposition for purchases. Attractive and affordable Equated Monthly Installment (EMI) facilities will be extended. A marginal loan transaction fee will be levied and the customer can repay his loan over a comfortable period of as many as five years.

“The Luxury Club membership works best for individuals for whom lifestyle enhancement is a priority. It is designed to suit a variety of needs, catering to individuals, couples and families. The members will have access to a host of lifestyle-focussed products and services. Our members can get all this and more with the most economical and inflation proof investment validated for 25 years,” says Sanjay Bhaduri, chief executive officer of The Luxury Club.


Advantage Oberoi

The Oberoi Group recently announced the launch of ‘The Oberoi Advantage’, a special programme to reward frequent guests at select Oberoi Hotels and Resorts. Every stay at participating Oberoi Hotels between December 1, 2001, and May 31, 2002, contributes to a guest earning a complimentary stay at the group’s hotels and resorts. The participating Oberoi Hotels under this programme are: The Oberoi, Mumbai; Oberoi Towers, Mumbai; The Oberoi, New Delhi; The Oberoi, Bangalore and Oberoi Grand, Kolkata. ‘The Oberoi Advantage’ offers guests who stay eight times at any of the participating Oberoi Hotels, a complimentary stay for two nights at an Oberoi Resort. The Oberoi Resorts where the complimentary stay is offered are: Rajvilas, Jaipur; Amarvilas, Agra; Udaivilas, Udaipur; Wildflower Hall, Mashobra or at The Cecil, Shimla. Staying five times at any of the participating hotels entitles a guest to a complimentary stay for two nights at an Oberoi Hotel. The attractive offer includes accommodation for two adults and one child below eight years of age in the same room. In addition a complimentary room is offered for up to two children under 12 years, subject to availability. Sanjay Rai, vice-president, sales and marketing of The Oberoi Group, elucidates on ‘The Oberoi Advantage’, “The Oberoi Group believes in providing excellence in service and quality and is committed to its customers. We believe in exceeding guest expectations and enhancing their stay experience. The Oberoi Advantage is an initiative that benefits frequent guests at Oberoi Hotels and Resorts. By rewarding our guests through this initiative, we would like our guests to ‘think Oberoi’ at every step of their travel.”


Ramada Opens Hotel In Chennai

Ramada International Hotels and Resorts, a division of Marriott International, have announced the opening of the 87-room Ramada Hotel Raj Park Chennai. The hotel is owned by Hotel Raj Park Ltd. “We are delighted to bring the Ramanda International brand to Chennai. India is such a large country with an untapped business and leisure travel market,” said Reas Kondraschow, senior vice-president and managing director, Ramada International Hotels and Resorts.

The Ramada Hotel Raj Park Chennai maintains Ramada International’s five pillars, which are: a restful sleep, an invigorating shower, a well-trained staff, an exceptional level of cleanliness, and the ‘Ramada Mornings Breakfast’ - a selection that is hot, delicious and easy. The hotel may be booked on Ramada International’s website - www.ramadahotels.com. The Ramada Hotel Raj Park Chennai is the second Ramada hotel in India. There are currently 130 Ramada International hotels in 17 countries and territories.


Jet Launches Same Day Return Facility

The temple town of Madurai was recently linked with the state capital of Tamil Nadu, Chennai by two Jet Airways ATR 72-500 flights, one morning and the other in the evening. Besides providing the day-return facility between Chennai and Madauri, these new flights will offer a convenient and fast link to business travellers to the adjoining districts of Sivakasi, Tuticorin, Rajaplayam, Tinunelveli, Nanguneri and the picturesque hill resort of Kodaikanal on the western ghats. The one way fare would be Rs 2,990. Passengers on Chennai-Madurai Chennai sectors will have also the option of availing of a special excursion fare of Rs 5,480 to be valid till further notice.


BRIEFCASE

QBoutique In The Sky
Customers on Qantas’ international services can now earn frequent flier points when they make purchases from the airline’s new in-flight duty-free range. QBoutique features 117 highly desirable duty-free items, many of which are not available in any duty-free store on the ground or on any other airline. What’s more, each item is offered for sale at the most competitive duty-free price normally available for the product in Australia or, in most cases, internationally. If you are a Qantas Frequent Flyer, you can now earn Qantas Frequent Flyer points for every Australian dollar (or equivalent) spent on duty-free purchased in-flight from this new QBoutique duty-free shopping guide. Simply present your Frequent Flyer card, Qantas Club card or boarding pass to your flight attendant when you make a purchase.

You’ve Got The Cosmos Power!
Air Sahara has recently introduced a new revamped frequent flier programme called ‘Cosmos’. Members can start earning miles right from their first flights. All passengers travelling on economy earn 100 per cent of the miles flown and all executive class passengers earn 150 per cent of the miles flown. A dedicated service centre has also been set up to offer assistance to all Cosmos members, which takes care of all mileage inquiries, redemption request or other customer services.

Cosmos is a competitive frequent flier programme and is highlighted by a number of attractions:

  • Easy redemption of miles
  • Faster redemption of accruals
  • Members of other frequent flier programmes can transfer their current mileage on other domestic carriers to Cosmos.
  • As a member, double the number of miles flown on Air Sahara on any sector are credited to a customer’s account, on all return tickets members earn bonus miles along with the number of miles flown.

Cosmos is based on the globally accepted mileage system and is expected to help carve out alliance with international carriers. It also aims to address the needs of the corporate traveller and has already tied-up with Avis Rental Company for providing convenient transportation.

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Happy New Year - 2002


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