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Maui beaches closed after ‘shark attack’

WA sharksApril 30 (TravelAndy): Authorities have cleared and closed the waters in south Maui after a 65-year-old woman was found dead off the shore, said reports.

The woman had wounds on her torso implying she was attacked by a shark. But, other than that, there was no other evidence or witness.

“The victim reportedly was snorkelling with two other friends and at some point separated from the others,” the fire department reportedly said. “She was alone when she was found.”

Waters from Big Beach to La Perouse Bay in south Maui have been closed.

SpiceJet offers fares from INR999

rp_plane-for-insurance-300x200.jpgApril 28 (Travelandy): India-based airline SpiceJet is offering fares from INR999 for passengers travelling without check-in luggage.

According to a statement by the airline, 150,000 seats are on sale.

This offer is applicable to bookings made till April 29 and travel dates between July 1 and October 15.

Spicejet allows 7kg of cabin luggage per person, apart from a standard size laptop bag or women’s purse.

“Those who travel light no longer have to wonder why they must pay for luggage that they do not carry,” SpiceJet CEO Sanjiv Kapoor said.

Passengers carrying additional baggage at these fares will be required to pay a flat INR750 for up to 15kg during check-in at the airport.

Japan: Land emerges from sea

Rausu on Hokkaido island of Japan

Rausu in northern Japan

April 28 (TravelAndy): At a time when the world is losing land to the advancing the seas because of the Greenhouse effect and other reasons, Japan has surprisingly gained at least 300 metres of land that has emerged from the sea in the course of a day.

The incident took place in Rausu on Hokkaido island and the stretch is as high as 10 metres or more in some parts, said reports.

“The local residents said they didn’t hear any sounds and there were no tremors (when the land appeared),” The Asahi Shimbum quoted Katsuhiro Tanaka, president of the Rausu Fisheries Cooperative Association, as saying.

Tanaka saw the expanded coastline the day it was discovered.

Geologists are of the opinion that this occurred probably due to a landslide nearby where melting ice and snow caused a part of land to drop, pivoting this particular stretch, which was under water, upwards, said The Straits Times.

Elvis Presley planes to stay at Graceland

A poster of the Presley-starrer Jailhouse Rock

A poster of the Presley-starrer Jailhouse Rock

April 27 (TravelAndy): Rock and roll icon Elvis Presley’s two airplanes — Lisa Marie and Hound Dog II — will remain at Graceland in Memphis permanently.

Graceland, which was the home of Elvis, is now among the most-visited private houses in the US with hundreds of thousands of visitors every year.

Lisa Marie, Elvis’ daughter after whom one of the planes was named, said on Twitter: “The planes will remain at Graceland 4 ever!”

“The planes are ours…they will remain at Graceland,” Tweeted Elvis’ former wife Priscilla Presley.

The two custom-designed planes, which have been in Graceland since 1984, are popular with visitors to the museum.

The fate of the two planes had become uncertain last year with Elvis Presley Enterprises deciding to remove them from the site. The decision had angered fans.

Quake hits Nepal tourism

The Times of India, Delhi edition, April 26, 2015

Sunday Times, Delhi edition, April 26, 2015

April 26 (TravelAndy): The tourism industry is already beginning to feel the impact of Saturday’s earthquake in the Himalayas that devastated large parts of Nepal, including capital Kathmandu.

Hundreds of tourists from all over India and abroad, who were scheduled to visit Nepal over the next few months, are cancelling their trips for obvious reasons.

“While customers are demanding a refund, hoteliers and agents in Nepal will not be able to return the money that tour operators here have blocked for accommodation and transport. Additionally, airlines won’t offer a full refund either. Tour operators will suffer huge financial losses,” The Hindu quoted Imtiaz Qureshi, managing committee member (national), Travel Agents’ Associations of India, as saying.

Airlines, which had suspended flights after the calamity struck on Saturday, are resuming operations now.

Nepal’s economy is largely dependent on tourism and the current scenario is expected to have an adverse effect on it.

Travel concierge app raises $1.8m

b (1)April 25 (TravelAndy): Mobile application Headout has raised USD1.8 million in seed funding to work out its expansion plans, said Tech Crunch.

Headout is a travel app that acts as a mobile concierge and helps you find activities, tour and tickets to events in select cities in the US.

It aims to connect consumers with experiences ranging from theatre tickets to dinner cruises and helicopter rides with just a few clicks. Continue Reading →

MakeMyTrip acquires Mygola

Makemytrip logoApril 23 (TravelAndy): Online travel agency MakeMyTrip has acquired “certain assets” of travel start-up Mygola.com.

A statement released by the acquiring company said the entire team of Mygola will now work with MakeMyTrip.

Mygola logo“The Mygola team’s deep understanding of travellers’ planning and in-destination experience preferences will be very valuable in strengthening our proposition in these and related areas of customer engagement,” said MakeMyTrip India co-founder and CEO Rajesh Magow, Co-Founder & CEO – MakeMyTrip India.

Mygola.com covers more than 20,000 destinations worldwide and sees around five lakh organic visitors every month.

Mygola CEO Anshuman Bapna, who founded the company with Prateek Sharma in 2009, said, “MakeMyTrip is the leader in one of the world’s most exciting travel markets, and the (Mygola) team is super-excited to bring all this knowledge to the millions of MakeMyTrip travellers.”

Summer opening for Heathrow T5 lounge

rp_plane-for-insurance-300x200-300x2001-300x200.jpgApril 21 (TravelAndy): The first independent lounge at Heathrow’s Terminal 5 will open this summer and will be available to all passengers regardless of their travel class, the airport said in a statement.

Heathrow authorities expect a good response to this venture considering the high volume of passengers in the terminal taking connecting flights. Located near Gate 18, the lounge intends to cater to the independent traveler who wants to relax.

“We’re incredibly proud to welcome the Aspire lounge and spa to Terminal 5,” said Heathrow property director Stephen Wilkinson.

The lounge is a joint venture of Collinson Group and Swissport.

EUR100 awaits 5 ‘Wingsie’ contest winners

rp_plane-for-insurance-300x200-300x200.jpgApril 20 (TravelAndy): European budget airline Ryanair is giving away EUR100 vouchers to five lucky winners to mark its debut on Instagram.

The airline, which joined Instagram on April 15, is operating through the account @Ryanair.

“Customers should simply perform their best airplane impersonation and post their ‘Wingsie’ photo on Instagram, tagging @Ryanair and including the hashtags #wingsie and #Ryanair30,” the airline said in a statement.

“To celebrate our Instagram launch, we’re giving away five EUR100 flight vouchers,” the airline’s head of communications Robin Kiely said.

Qantas to fly Perth-Singapore from June 26

plane for insuranceApril 19 (Travelandy): Qantas is set to resume operations on the Perth-Singapore route from June 26.

The airline will operate five return flights a week, totalling nearly 1,700 seats.

“We’re delighted to be able to offer the Perth-Singapore route with a schedule and aircraft type that will make it commercially viable,” Mr Evans said, adding that Boeing 737 will be used for this sector.

“The service from Perth will arrive into Singapore at 5.20pm providing excellent connections with our airline partners into key regional Asia destinations including Tokyo, Shanghai and Delhi subject to regulatory approval,” Evans said.

Launch fares will start from AUD199 one way, the company said.

NewLeaf eyes Hamilton hub

rp_plane-for-insurance-300x200.jpgApril 17 (TravelAndy): Proposed Canada-based ultra low-cost airline NewLeaf Travel intends to make Hamilton a hub, said CBC.

“The idea is that we are trying to lower the airfares,” said former Frontier vice-president and chief marketing officer of NewLeaf Jim Young. “We don’t like high-cost airports like Vancouver, Calgary, (Toronto) Pearson.”

Young said they had partnered with the existing Flair Airlines Ltd, which is based in Kelownam BC, to supply aircraft and crew.

NewLeaf is looking to start operations this summer.

With NewLeaf, three new players are now attempting to enter the ultra low-cost flying segment in Canada.

3.56 million to visit Thailand for Songkran

ThailandApril 13 (TravelAndy): A record 3.56 million passengers are expected to go through major airports in Thailand during the Songkran holidays, Bangkok Post reported.

Over the 10-day Thai New Year period till April 19, the number of aircraft movements will increase proportionately. During this period, 22,224 flights will operate out of the six main airports operated by Airports of Thailand Plc, an increase of 13.3 per cent as compared to the same period last year.

The report attributed the relatively calm political atmosphere at this time and the country’s attraction as a major international holiday destination as the reasons for the surge in air passengers during this period.