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The French Connection
Delta Air Lines will reroute its present New York (JFK)-Frankfurt-Mumbai flight to New York (JFK)-Paris-Mumbai beginning March 30, 2002. “Rerouting this flight via Paris will improve service in the India-US market by connecting Delta and Air France’s 12 US gateways to India via Air France’s hub at Paris’ Charles de Gaulle International Airport,” said Subodh Karnik, Delta’s senior vice-president - Network and Revenue Management. This flight will feature the Boeing 767-300ER aircraft, which offers Delta’s award-winning BusinessElite service, with seats in a 2x2x2 configuration and 60 inches of pitch. At Paris, Delta offers codeshare service on 383 Air France flights to 61 destinations in Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia. Delta and Air France operate and codeshare on each others’ flights from Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Cincinnati, Los Angeles, Miami, New York-JFK, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Washington DC (Dulles) to Paris.

Swiss qualities and a Swiss name: the new inter-continental airline will fly under the trade mark SWISS. The name reflects the multicultural, cosmopolitan character and the typical Swiss characteristics of quality. With the introduction of the summer timetable on March 31, 2002, SWISS will take flight and take over the operations of Swissair. Andre Dose, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Crossair and of the new airline, said that there were two decisive factors in the choice of name. “The new airline is a unique instance in Swiss post-war history, of a collective alliance of politics, industry and the people of Switzerland. It will be the qualities that have made our country great, on which we are banking in building our new airline.” The airline has planned new designs and qualitative improvements for Economy, Business and First Class.

Get Ready...
Formula One makes its way to Malaysia’s Sepang International Circuit. Don’t miss this chance to witness the world’s top racing drivers thrill crowds on the world’s newest F-1 track. The most spectacular Formula One race coupled with the unpredictable tropical weather in Malaysia dramatises every moment on the circuit between March 15-17, 2002. The Petronas Malaysian Grand Prix 2002 promises patrons three full days of fun and excitement. A line of events are planned to pump up your adrenaline. For keen shoppers, the Formula One coincides with Malaysia’s Mega Sale Carnival. From international designer labels to high quality Malaysian-made products, return with gifts aplenty for your loved ones all at astounding prices.

Elegant Lounges
British Airways has recently opened two new lounges for premium passengers and frequent travellers at Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport. Based on a new design concept called ‘Terraces’, the lounges will offer customers an open, airy and refreshing environment in which to work or relax before their flight. Passengers travelling First Class on British Airways will enjoy access to an exclusive First Lounge. Lounges in Mumbai offer a home-away-from-home environment with comfortable and elegantly designed furniture. Fresh colours and bright interiors provide an air of relaxed informality for customers to unwind. The Combiz, a dedicated area for the active business person, is equipped with static desks and power facilities for laptops and offers privacy and space to work in. Courtesy telephone lines are available for free local calls. Guests can choose from a selection of international and local newspapers. Fresh tea and coffee and a choice of fruit juices and soft drinks will be available from a fully-stocked bar. A new menu will include an array of carefully selected hot and cold refreshments prepared by Oberoi Flight Services.

Double Miles Blitz From Summit
Luxury international hotel collection, Summit Hotels & Resorts, announced the launch of a ‘2002’ miles offer to British Airways Executive Club members, and in support of the British Airways ‘It is better to be there’ promotion. The group is also offering a ‘Double Miles’ blitz with a further five international carriers - JAL, Virgin Atlantic, KLM, Air France and Alitalia - to take place between February 1 and June 30 this year. More details will be released at a later date and featured on the Summit website.

From February 1 to March 31, 2002, British Airways Executive Club members can claim 2002 miles, four times their usual entitlement, when staying at any of 59 participating Summit hotels in 48 destinations worldwide. The Summit hotels participating in this offer are located in major business cities such as Paris, Rome, London, New York and Tokyo, and exclusive leisure spots such as Rio, St Bart’s and Cape Town. A full list of participating hotels is featured online at www.summithotels.com under Specials & Promotions.

Summit Hotels & Resorts, managing director, Geoff Andrew, said: “This is an opportunity for travellers to discover the many brand benefits Summit offers, and enjoy the difference Summit represents of staying in a luxury hotel with its own personality and style, whichever part of the world you happen to be visiting.” Double miles may be claimed on standard, corporate and Summit Club rates during the individual promotional periods, when a guest stays with any participating Summit Hotels & Resorts member.

Whet Your Appetite At Taj
The next time you’re in Goa, look forward to a great new experience as Taj’s Fort Aguada Beach Resort has undergone a sea change. From its new lobby and redesigned sea-facing rooms to two new eateries that complete its gourmet ensemble. While Morisco, an eclectic eatery, serves up international seafood delicacies, Il Camino, the Italian outlet, takes you on a tour of Italy with entertainment in the evenings. Check out the live pasta station, walk-in wine cellar and sample a delectable variety of speciality coffees.

At South Goa’s finest destination, Taj Exotica, there’s a culinary celebration, twice over too. Two new restaurants, in addition to Miguel Arcanjo - the Mediterranean eatery and Eugenia - the coffee shop, are all set to add a frisson of excitement to fine dining. Li Bai, named after one of the best-loved poets in Chinese literature, brings you cuisine from Sichuan, Canton and Hunan. Specialities include Peking Duck and Beggars Chicken. At Alegria, the Goan ethos comes deliciously alive. Designed like a traditional, aristocratic Goan home, complete with chandeliers and precious artefacts, Alegria serves both Saraswat and Catholic dishes, carefully prepared keeping with age-old recipes.

Emirates Tempts Shoppers
Emirates’ focal point is, undoubtedly, the upcoming Dubai Shopping Festival (DSF) as the airline is aggressively promoting it through a host of major promotions. To highlight Dubai’s holiday appeal, the airline has created a special range of travel bargains to make it still easier for shoppers to ‘Fly And Buy’. As an extra incentive, Emirates is offering customers who buy the hotel packages an extra 10-kilo baggage allowance to carry home their booty. The DSF packages offer a choice of 14 hotels, approved by Emirates Holidays, from as little as USD 27.00 per person per night on a twin sharing basis. Rates are exclusive to Emirates passengers, regardless of travel class, and available from March 1-31, 2002. The minimum stay is three nights - but naturally those still keen to carry on shopping may stay longer. Prices include breakfast, chauffeur-driven car transfer between Dubai International Airport and the hotel, personalised meet-and-assist on arrival, plus discount vouchers for outlets across Dubai offering savings on entertainment, restaurants - and even shopping.

Strike 10
Singapore Airlines (SIA) and the Australian Tourist Commission (ATC) have announced the launch of ‘The Great Aussie Strike It Lucky Promotion’. The promotion, designed in the style of a lucky-draw, is aimed at boosting visitor arrivals to Australia. The contest will run for a 100-day period from January 14, 2002, to April 23, 2002, and all visitors travelling to Australia on SIA flights during the promotional period will stand a chance at the daily draws, to win a pair of economy class return tickets from any SIA destination to any one of the five SIA Australian destinations.

At the end of the promotion, all entries will be snowballed for the Grand Draw, for the top two prizes of a pair of First or Raffles Class return tickets on the above route. The first and second prizes also come with five nights accommodation in a five-star hotel, and cash prizes of USD 5,000 and USD 3,000 respectively. The promotion’s entry forms will be distributed upon departure from Singapore and passengers will have to return the completed forms to the cabin crew on board before disembarkation in Australia.

KLM Upgrades Self-Service Check-In
KLM has upgraded self-service check-in facilities at Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport. The six kiosks have been replaced with 10 newly designed e.service centres offering improved service. The enhanced self-service check-in facility, e.check-in, allows passengers travelling with carry-on baggage only, to check themselves in electronically. The kiosk then delivers a printed boarding pass. The new e.service centres are more user-friendly than their predecessors, offering additional service options, and necessitating fewer actions to complete the check-in procedure. They also allow passengers who have already checked in via www.klm.com, telephone, fax or WAP to print out a boarding pass. The enhanced e.check-in service meets the need among KLM’s frequent fliers for fast, flexible and hassle-free travel.

KLM has also launched a new choice of travel for its transfer passengers. Passengers originating from or travelling to the Belgian city of Antwerp will be offered the option of fast rail travel on the Thalys train service. In addition to the three round-trip flights, travellers can board Thalys trains three times daily from Antwerp to Schiphol on working days and six-times daily from Schiphol to Antwerp on working days. The train journey lasts one hour and 41 minutes.

Best Western Enters Goa
Best Western International Inc has recently announced a new property in Goa. The Resorte Marinha Dourada situated at Baga beach now joins the chain as the Best Western Resorte Marinha Dourada. Just minutes away from Baga, one of the most popular beaches in North Goa, the property is the largest resort at Goa offering 185 rooms, a multicuisine restaurant, bar, conference hall, live music, swimming pool, steam, Jacuzzi, Swiss massage, mini golf, tennis, gymnasium, fishing, boating and bird watching. The Best Western Resorte Marinha Dourada marks the entry of the Best Western hotel chain in Goa and with this new addition, the chain’s presence in the region moves up to 23 properties.

Become A Miles Millionaire
While others try desperately to become a millionaire every day on television, you can easily earn your million as a Miles & More member. When you book the Business Options programme in one of the European Inter-Continental and Crowne Plaza Hotels between February 1 and April 30, 2002, you will have two ways of becoming richer. First of all, you can choose to receive double miles for your overnight stay and secondly, you will take part in a monthly raffle for one million miles. For further information or reservations for this unique worldwide offer, please call +31-20 60 60 203 where charges apply. You can also contact your local Inter-Continental and Crowne Plaza Hotel. Addresses can be found at www.interconti.com or www.crowneplaza.com. When you make your reservation, please quote the promotional code ‘Business Options’, the reservation code CP or IC as well as your Miles & More card number.

Additional CX Flight
Cathay Pacific Airways announced the introduction of a same-day arrival service from Hong Kong to London starting on July 2, 2002. The non-stop daytime flight will further strengthen the airline’s ability to offer passengers convenient network connections, more choices of departure times and sharpen its edge in what is one of the most competitive long-haul markets. The outbound service will depart on Tuesday, Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday.
Visa On Arrival
Keeping the growing demand and interest in Sri Lanka in mind, tourism to Sri Lanka has achieved yet another milestone. Visas will now be available on arrival for all Indians. Every Indian citizen shall be exempt from the requirement of a visa for entry into, and stay in Sri Lanka for a period not exceeding one month. Visas are now granted on arrival for bonafide tourists who come from SAARC countries except Bhutan. Travellers should possess a valid passport.
Unlimited Entertainment
Travellers and airport users with mobile phones can now compete in an interactive quiz with other mobile phone users while waiting at Singapore Changi Airport. This, and other entertainment features, are possible with the introduction of the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore’s (CAAS) newest facility, the Mobile Entertainment Corner. A first-of-its-kind in an airport, the facility uses the short message service (SMS) available in mobile phones to play the entertainment selections available on the screens. Besides the quiz, the Mobile Entertainment Corner also allows users to watch the latest movie trailers and download ringtones and logos/ icons onto their mobile phones. The CAAS is introducing a Passenger Security Service Charge of S$ 6 for departing passengers at Singapore Changi Airport and Seletar Airport. The introduction of the Passenger Security Service Charge is necessary as security costs at the airports have risen significantly following the September 11 terrorist attacks in the United States. The Passenger Security Service Charge, which will be collected along with the Passenger Service Charge as a single item on the air ticket, will be applicable to passengers travelling on and after March 1, 2002.