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- Travel Back In Time
- Summer Surprises
- Accolades For Banyan Tree
- Fare Bonus
- Special Cruises
- Travel With Care
- Wait In Comfort
- Convention Focus
- Masala Chic
- SkyTeam Partners To Codeshare

Briefcase
- New Services From SL
- Online Discounts
- Earn & Redeem

Travel Back In Time
In an effort to enhance the tourism potential of Maharashtra, the Maharashtra Tourism Development Corportation (MTDC) is all set to launch The Deccan Odyssey that promises to take tourists on a journey through a kaleidoscope land of fantastic and diverse images, offering an unforgettable experience. From pristine beaches, to defiant forts, from stories and Gods carved in black monolithic rock, to opulent palaces dedicated to kings, from north to south and one century to another, this luxury train offers to take its passengers on a journey through time, cultures and a changing land, the kingdom of the Marathas - Maharashtra. Characterised by luxury, The Deccan Odyssey will sport stately theme suites, two tastefully designed lounge and conference cars allowing passengers to mix business with pleasure. Other features comprise a speciality restaurant and an exceptionally well-stocked bar, to contribute to the entire experience of luxury. The eight day itinerary includes several exotic destinations.


Summer Surprises
Emirates is once again supporting the Dubai Summer Surprises (DSS) shopping and entertainment extravaganza as key sponsor and official airline with a range of unbeatable holiday packages which offer three nights from as little as US$25 per person per night sharing accommodation. Passengers buying the packages will enjoy the meet-and-assist facility at Dubai International Airport by Arabian Adventures, the airline’s wholly-owned destination management company; transfers between airport and hotel; all taxes and service charges; Emirates Holidays 24-hour emergency assistance; and a booklet of vouchers offering discounts at shops, dining and entertainment outlets. The packages are available for sale worldwide now; they can be combined with all fares; they are not restricted to any class of travel; they can be taken at any time between June 20 and August 30 inclusive; and the offer is also available with Emirates codeshare flights. This year passengers can choose from the Seashell Inn Hotel, Sea View Hotel, Marco Polo Hotel, the Pearl Residence, Metropolitan Deira Hotel, Towers Rotana Htel Dubai, Le Meridien Dubai, Hilton Dubai Jumeirah, Hyatt Regency Dubai, Taj Palace Hotel Dubai and the Jumeirah Beach Hotel.

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Accolades For Banyan Tree
Banyan Tree Hotels and Resorts, the internationally acclaimed upmarket luxury boutique resorts was recently conferred with ‘Asia’s Best Resort Hotel’ award for the third consecutive year in the annual Asiamoney Business Travel poll. Not ending here the flagship spa resort also retained its title of ‘Asia’s Best Health Spa’ for the second time since the category was introduced last year. For the best resort hotel in Asia, readers favoured Banyan Tree Phuket over Four Seasons Bali. They also voted Banyan Tree Spa Phuket as the best ‘Health Spa’ in the region over Chiva-Som and Oriental Bangkok.

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Fare Bonus
US Airways recently announced their latest product offering in India, an attractive package of fares to the US in partnership with Emirates. “US Airways has aggressive plans to become the number one American carrier of choice in the Indian market and our newest product with Emirates is a step in the right direction,” said Ravi Pikle, director-India for US Airways. Passengers availing of this product will fly Emirates via Dubai to London’s Gatwick Airport and board a US Airways flight on the Transatlantic sector to either of the three gateway points - Pittsburgh, Philadelphia or Charlotte. US Airways offers A330-300 aircraft on its Transatlantic sector and besides London also serves seven other European destinations ie Manchester, Frankfurt, Munich, Paris, Madrid, Amsterdam and Rome.

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Special Cruises
Star Cruises will be introducing for the first time for SuperStar Leo a special 6-day/5-night cruise from Hong Kong to Shanghai. The cruise is scheduled to commence from August 18-23, 2002, including an overnight stay in the city renowned as ‘The Paris of the East’. SuperStar Leo will then revert back to her regular Hong Kong-South China Sea cruises to Halong Bay (Vietnam) and Xiamen (China) for the remaining of her present cruise season until September 2002. “The special itinerary to Shanghai was offered owing to popular demand by our passengers for the SuperStar Leo to call at Shanghai,” said Chong Chee Tut, Star Cruises’ chief operating officer. The cruiseliner, at 76,800-grt is the first and largest megaship in Asia-Pacific with 1,000 cabins and a lower berth capacity of 2,000. SuperStar Leo offers world-class food and beverage, entertainment and recreation facilities including a swimming pool, bars and restaurants, library, cinema, beauty salon, meeting room and sports deck to name a few.

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Travel With Care
All travel comes with its share of unexpected surprises and not all of them are pleasant. Loss of baggage, misplaced passport, illness, and more. But now you can afford to relax. Keeping in mind the need for hassle-free risk coverage while travelling overseas, Thomas Cook Insurance Services (I) Ltd has launched ‘TravelCare’, an innovative and comprehensive overseas travel insurance plan. TravelCare currently offers three risk plans in the Single Trip category - Classic, Executive and Premium. While, in the Annual Multi-Trip category, Premium is the plan of choice. Besides, there is also a Family Care programme.

  • TravelCare Classic is a standard travel insurance plan with accident and medical reimbursement coverage of up to US$ 50,000.
  • TravelCare Executive offers basic coverage of US$ 200,000 and comes with additional benefits such as personal liability with additional cover of US$ 100,000. It also offers other benefits like cover for Hijack, Bail Bond and Home Burglary Insurance plan.
  • TravelCare Premium covers medical expenses up to US$ 500,000 and this top end of the range, is enhanced by additional benefits like In Hospital Indemnity and Trip Delay.
  • TravelCare, the Annual Multi trip plan is for frequent flyers and includes International Airlines Passenger Associations (IAPA) membership card, which gives members fabulous discounts of up to 50 per cent in 17,000 hotels and up to 30 per cent discount on car rentals worldwide.
  • The Family Care plan has been specially designed to be cost effective for families with more than two members travelling abroad together with time duration of 30 days.

Besides insurance for individuals, Thomas Cook is planning customised travel insurance product for corporates and for students going abroad for studies. This service comes to you from Thomas Cook Insurance Services (I) Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Thomas Cook (I) Ltd, is a licensed corporate agent for Tata AIG General Insurance Company Ltd.

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Wait In Comfort
Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation Limited (IRCTC) has recently commissioned the Indian Railway’s first ‘Multi-Cuisine Food Plaza’ at Pune Railway Station. This modern air-conditioned food plaza has been set up by the R K Group with prime focus on service, quality and ambience. The 24-hour round-the-clock functioning is a boon for train passengers. The cool and comfortable interiors, impeccable service and luxurious ambience all give a new meaning to passenger comfort. The food plaza incorporates modern hospitality comforts for the first time along with a cyber cafe, souvenir shop and take-away meals. The Food Plaza serves multicuisine food - an excellent and varied menu served at an affordable price. The open kitchen guarantees top of the grade hygiene and quality service. IRCTC has plans for establishing 50 food plazas at major stations on the railway network in the next one year to provide upgraded quality service for rail travellers.

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Convention Focus
Being the host of the 58th Annual General Meetings and board of directors meetings for the international Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank, in September 2003, the Dubai International Convention Centre will offer ideal setting for international conventions, congresses, corporate meetings, seminars, workshops, incentive travel plans and a variety of special presentations including entertainment options. The centre is conveniently located just 15 minutes from Dubai International Airport, 10 minutes from the city centre and 3,500 hotel rooms are within a two kilometre radius.

The centre’s auditorium will be divisible by operable walls and have the capacity to comfortably accommodate up to 6,000 delegates - versatility being one of its greatest assets - with 2,500 retractable seats in a tiered setting plus an additional 3,500 on the ‘flat’. The auditorium, to be housed in the multipurpose hall, will be complimented by four large meeting rooms. The convention centre’s multipurpose hall will be linked to the Exhibition Centre by a covered concourse featuring a range of amenities including shops and restaurants.

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Masala Chic
Masala Art, the new innovative restaurant at the Taj Palace Hotel, New Delhi, has made a fine art out of Indian food. Freshly ground spices; garam (hot) phulkas straight off a trolley; and the classic sugarcane juice of Delhi. A bartender that can do a Strawberry Masala Daiquiri as well as a Rum Curacao. The innovation goes further! A contemporary feel to the decor and great Indian cuisine. The tableware looks different too - forks and knives with a modern twist. The restaurant offers three kinds of seating: the traditional restaurant space; the bar counter, where you can have your drinks and order from the snack menu; and the interactive kitchen counter, where you get to chat with the chef while he cooks your meal as per your specifications.

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SkyTeam Partners To Codeshare
Sky Team partners Air France, Alitalia and Delta Air Lines said they will expand their codeshare relationship by offering services from Delhi and Mumbai between India and the US, Paris and Milan. Effective June 27, 2002, Air France will offer the Indian customer a choice of seven flights ex-Mumbai. Air France would operate three flights and codeshare on four of Delta’s seven flights between Paris and Mumbai. Ex-Delhi Air France will maintain its current schedule of seven flights and Delta will codeshare on all seven flights ex-Delhi. In addition, Delta will codeshare on six Alitalia flights between Mumbai and Milan effective July 01, 2002. Sky Team partners continue to expand their alliance using Charles de Gaulle Paris hub and Milan’s Malpensa Airport.

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Briefcase

New Services From SL
SriLankan Airlines has launched services to Bangalore from the Winter 2002 season, subject to the conclusion of a commercial agreement with Indian Airlines. After bilateral talks with Indian Aviation Authorities in New Delhi, SriLankan Aviation Authorities obtained rights for SriLankan Airlines to fly thrice a week to Bangalore, provided the airline also operates to Buddha Gaya, in Bihar. The airline will, therefore, operate an extra service to New Delhi in combination with Buddha Gaya from Winter 2002. The Colombo/New Delhi/ Buddha Gaya service will be a seasonal service operating during the winter season (ie between October and March). At present the airport at Buddha Gaya is not ready for handling international air travel.

Online Discounts
Virgin Atlantic Airways has launched an online booking discount of 10 pounds per passenger. This is twice the discount paid by British Airways and unlike other airlines who halve their online discount if a one-way flight is booked, Virgin is offering the same amount for passengers regardless of whether they book a one-way or return fare. The 10 pound booking discount applies to all fares and destinations booked online departing from the UK and is available to both adults and children aged two years and over. Steve Ridgway, chief executive of Virgin Atlantic, commented: “We want our customers to benefit from using our website and the 10 pound discount - twice that of BA’s - will offer them the opportunity to purchase an even more competitive fare. The new improved website which offers improved ease of use and speed has generated a massive increase in visitors to the site since its launch in March.” Internet users just need to log onto the Virgin Atlantic website www.virgin.com/atlantic to find out more details.

Earn & Redeem
Gulf Air Holidays in conjunction with the FALCON Frequent Flyer Programme announced their new Earn and Redeem scheme. For a minimum spend of US$ 500 on any Gulf Air Holiday package or accommodation arrangements, members of Gulf Air’s Falcon Frequent Flyer Programme, will earn 500 FALCON Miles, plus 1 FALCON Mile for each US$ spent thereafter. FALCON members can also redeem FALCON Miles for any Gulf Air Holiday package or accommodation. Prices fall in bands of 3,000 FALCON Miles. Gulf Air Holidays is offering its passengers total flexibility with a new range of holiday brochures. Make your choice from a variety of options on offer and call your nearest Gulf Air office.

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