Saturday, April 4, 2009

27,000 aircraft to be flying around the world by 2018

Releasing its 10-year industry forecast, the Official Airline Guide (OAG) predicts that by the end of 2018, the world will see some 27,000 commercial aircraft providing services for passengers.

In terms of types of aircraft in utilisation, OAG predicts that by 2018, long-range, twin-aisle fleet will grow over twice the market average, while engines will continue to shift to the two engine aircraft.

“Airbus will outpace Boeing in single aisle aircraft deliveries, but Boeing will outpace Airbus in twin aisle aircraft deliveries,” it adds.

Pacific Blue now offers 17 one-stop flights to Bali

Pacific Blue has just announced that it is increasing the number of weekly flights to Bali, with one stop in Sydney or Melbourne, for Kiwis travelling from Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch.

With fares beginning from NZ$499 one way, Auckland will now receive daily return flights to Denpasar, Bali, while Christchurch and Wellington will each receive five weekly return flights.

“We’ve been offering a few connecting services a week from New Zealand since last year but these new direct flights from Melbourne and Sydney allow us to offer even more choice to the New Zealand market,” said Adrian Hamilton-Manns, Pacific Blue GM Commercial.

“Kiwis enjoy relaxed holidays in the sun and are also avid travellers to Asia so Bali offers the best of both. We’re very pleased to be bringing low fares and a strong schedule to what has previously been an underserved market for New Zealanders.”

Virgin Group has just added two new weekly services from Sydney to Denpasar, and three new weekly services from Melbourne to Denpasar.

These are added to the existing Denpasar services from Adelaide, Brisbane and Perth.

Record month for air traffic

International passenger traffic to and from Australia rose 1.2 per cent in January to 2.234 million, the best month ever recorded, according to government statistics.

The figure appears to fly in the face of the current economic situation and the struggle facing many airlines. Observers countered that January is a peak period for
travel and many bookings would have been made before the collapse of the financial

Queenstown Winter Festival Gets The Party Started With Fantastic Ticket Deals

Queenstown is gearing up for the Southern Hemisphere’s biggest winter party from June 26 to July 5 and is celebrating 35 years of winter fun with fantastic early bird ticket deals.

The American Express Queenstown Winter Festival tickets officially go on sale April 2 through 0800FESTIVAL and Ticket Direct and those quick off the mark can enjoy more fun for less with discounts available on tickets purchased before May 2.

Festival Director Sally Feinerman says the Early Bird deals equate to some big savings, with the majority of ticket prices lower than in 2008 for four weeks only.

“It makes great sense to buy early, particularly for those who attend several events over the 10-day period.

“It’s the perfect opportunity to get in and make the most of this ‘Festival Faves’ offer for events like the Mountain Scene Jazz Night, the American Express Comedy Debate, Millbrook and Brown or the Lindauer Diamond Masquerade Ball where tickets are always at a premium.”

This year, New Zealand’s most well respected and internationally renowned jazz musician Nathan Haines will headline at the ever popular Jazz Night to be held on Saturday July 4 at the Skyline complex. Sponsored for the first time by Queenstown newspaper Mountain Scene, Jazz Night will feature Nathan Haines’ unique jazz, soul and dance music upstairs, along with jazz icon Frank Gibson fresh off a tour with Anika Moa, while downstairs the evening will hot up with three of New Zealand’s funkiest acts.

The dance floor will pulse with energy as the boys from Six6O who are currently ripping up the New Zealand music scene take to the stage. Also on the bill is hypnotic fusion band The Little Bushmen headed up by ex-Trinity roots member Warren Maxstage. The Little Bushmen are quickly gaining a hot reputation with their unrivalled mix of New Zealand roots and psychedelia. Capping off the line-up is the seven piece reggae/roots band Cornerstone Roots who are notorious for their rhythmic and infectious bass driven grooves.

Equally as impressive is the line-up for the American Express Great Comedy Debate Monday June 29. Be prepared for low blows as MC Jeremy Corbett attempts to ensure that the rules or lack of are enforced as Dai Henwood, Te Radar, Oliver Driver and Paul Ego just to name a few, take on each other on in an evening of pure hilarity.

Back by popular demand is Al Brown, one of New Zealand’s most celebrated chefs, who will bring his skills experience and dry wit to a live cooking demonstration in the beautiful surroundings of Millbrook Resort on Wednesday July 1. Expect top kitchen secrets, delicious aromas, a four-course tasting session and a whole string of anecdotes and patter from this leading chef.

Festival’s glamour event The Lindauer Diamond Masquerade Ball will be the perfect night for people to dress up, don a mask slip on some dancing shoes and to celebrate the Festival’s 35th birthday, Queenstown style.

Ms Feinerman encourages everyone to make the most of this offer valid until May 2, “Get in quick, save yourself some dollars and make sure that you don’t miss out on any of the ‘Festival Faves,’ she says.

For more Early Bird Ticket Information visit

New survey reveals Kiwis’ Easter travel plans not hurt by economy.

When it comes to the current economic recession, it appears Kiwis are less inclined to reign in their spend when looking at their upcoming Easter holiday plans.

A recent survey by Jasons Travel Media ( revealed that over 80% of Kiwis intend spending the same or more on their travel this Easter than last year, and a whopping 41% intend spending more than last year. “While people are clearly tightening their belts in the current financial climate which is evident in the retail sector, it appears everyone still wants a holiday at Easter and a good one at that.” says Matthew Mayne, CEO of Jasons Travel Media.

“While people flocked to camping grounds over Waitangi weekend, it seems for the Easter weekend many Kiwis are looking at going to a different market due to the colder weather and paying for a motel.” Matthew says. After staying with family and friends, motels were easily the most popular intended accommodation for respondents, followed by camping grounds and baches.

Interestingly, the majority of the survey respondents were women, emphasising yet again that females tend to manage the holiday planning process in many New Zealand families, which is great news for the tourism industry.

Over 1,200 Kiwis participated in the online survey on the Jasons website which asked about their Easter holiday plans.

High speed jet boat ride puts dance star in a spin

Olympian and ‘Dancing With The Stars’ competitor Barbara Kendall was in a spin after taking a ride on the world’s most exciting jet boat ride yesterday (Thursday April 2).

Barbara, visiting Queenstown to attend the Oceania National Olympic Committee General Assembly, decided the time was right to take dance partner Jonny Williams for his first-ever jet boat ride.

Sitting back and enjoying the ride was a breeze for the three-time medalist boardsailer, who is New Zealand’s most successful female Olympian, while for Jonny it was a highlight of his first visit to the South Island.

The duo has also spent time in Queenstown practicing hard for next week’s dances.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Tee-Off In Tallinn

Just two-and-a-half flying hours away from the UK is one of Europe’s few remaining ‘undiscovered’ golf destinations.

Estonia may be the smallest of the Baltic countries but it has plenty to offer visitors, as many people from these shores have discovered in the last few years.

The cobbled streets and the Renaissance, baroque and classical buildings of the capital, Tallinn, belie a 21st century offering. And that incongruity is never more apparent than at the Estonian Golf & Country Club, just 25 minutes from the mediaeval capital.

One of just eight official PGA European Tour courses in Europe – alongside the likes of Quinta do Lago, in Portugal, and the PGA Golf de Catalunya, Spain - the Estonian Golf & Country Club offers 27 holes of golf located within a beautiful natural setting: the 18-hole Sea Course and the nine-hole Stone Course.

Both layouts have been constructed in full compliance with United States Golf Association (USGA) requirements and were designed by the respected Finnish course designer Lassi Pekka Tilander.

On the doorstep of one of Europe’s most attractive cities, on the banks of the Gulf of Finland, the Estonian Golf & Country Club is ideally situated for a getaway for UK golfers and the club is offering some outstanding spring and summer savings, with packages from €371 per person including three nights’ city-centre accommodation, three rounds of golf and transfers.

For full information about packages to Estonia and the Estonia Golf & Country Club, visit

Monday, March 30, 2009

Luxury Cruising, Phuket, Thailand

This is your own private cruise ship to share with family and friends, in complete privacy and luxury, sailing from Phuket, in one of the most beautiful cruising areas in the world.