13 October 2016
New V&A Waterfront restaurant
A new restaurant called MAReSOL will be opening in the old Hildebrand building at the V&A Waterfront at the end of November. The restaurant, which will have both harbour and mountain views, will accommodate 200 guests. Serving a combination of Portuguese and Mozambican cuisine, the restaurant will be open between 08h00 - 22h00 daily. WiFi is available on the premises and it is accessible to wheelchairs.
Visas for Spain
South Africans requiring visas for Spain will no longer be able to submit applications via VFS Global but instead must apply through either the Spanish Consulate General in Cape Town or the Embassy of Spain in Pretoria, effective 11 October 2016.
New international airport for Rwanda
The Rwandan government will start construction of a new international airport in June 2017. The government is aiming to boost tourism in the country and position it as a conference destination. The new Bugesera International Airport will be 5km south-east of the city centre. According to the Rwandan Minister for Infrastructure, construction will be completed by December 2018. This new airport will complement Kigali International Airport to create more room for international flights and passengers visiting the country.
Premier Hotel Sani Pass reopens in February 2017
The Premier Hotel Sani Pass in the Drakensberg will reopen its doors on 1 February 2017 following an extensive R75 million refurbishment. The hotel is in the process of adding a new 300-seat conference room, a wellness centre, gym, spa and cinema. All 120 rooms have been revamped and are equipped with air-conditioning. WiFi will be available throughout the property. Activities will include mountain biking, horseback riding, guided river fishing and bowls. The property’s nine-hole golf course has also been upgraded. The renovations will see Sani Pass advance from a three-star to four-star grading.
Emirates Loyalty Programme
Emirates has revamped its corporate loyalty programme, Emirates Business Rewards, to provide greater value and added features for customers. The new programme has been simplified and made more competitive to allow for easier redemptions and upgrades even on last minute bookings. One of the main features in the newly improved programme is the ability to use Business Rewards Points to book any commercially available seat at any time giving members cash-like convenience. Emirates is the first and only airline in the region to offer such flexibility as part of its corporate loyalty programme - improving cost-effectiveness for business travel. According to a recent Emirates business traveller survey, the top three factors considered for airline selection are fare (30%), flight timings (26%), and value for money (23%).
Maldives Intercontinental Hotel planned
InterContinental Hotels Group, in partnership with Hotel Properties Limited, will open its first property in the Maldives in the next three to five years. The 83-room InterContinental Maldives Maamunagau Resort will be located on the southern point of Raa Atoll. Travellers will be able to take a seaplane directly to the resort from Malé’s Ibrahim Nasir International Airport. Among its food and beverage offerings, the resort will have an all-day-dining restaurant as well as a bar. Guests will be able to relax at the Club Lounge, pool or spa. A range of water activities will be available at the nearby sea sports centre, including snorkelling, canoeing and jet skiing.
EgyptAir launches Home Printing Bag Tag Project
EgyptAir has launched the first phase of its Home Printing Bag Tag Project which enables customers to print their bag tag from home or from anywhere else. The first phase of the project will be applied on EGYPTAIR flights from Cairo to Milan, Milan to Cairo and to London Heathrow only. Customers who wish to use this service will need to visit www.egyptair.com, select Check-in, then select Print My Bag Tag. Customers must have a printer to print their bag tag in A4 size, fold the paper and place it in the plastic holder to be obtained from the Airport or EGYPTAIR.
Changes to New Zealand visitor visas
From 21 November 2016 all South African nationals will need to obtain a visitor visa before travelling to New Zealand. At the moment, South Africans do not need to apply for a visa before travelling to New Zealand and have been granted a visa on arrival. The New Zealand Government is introducing these changes as a result of an increase in the number of ineligible passengers who do not meet the country’s entry criteria.
Mauritian and Seychelles passport holders, on the other hand, no longer require a visa to travel to New Zealand for three months at a time. Health and character requirements still apply to all non-New Zealand visitors.
SA Express temporarily suspends certain services
SA Express has announced the temporary suspension of its services from Johannesburg to Port Elizabeth, Johannesburg to East London and Durban to Cape Town flights, effective 15 October 2016. SA Express’ management team has taken the decision to suspend these routes in order to optimise the airline’s operations. All passengers affected by the cancellation during this period will be accommodated on SAA and Mango Airlines flights. SA Express will fly those passengers who are not accommodated on SAA and Mango. For any additional information pertaining to these changes or refunds, please contact SA Express’s customer care office on 011 978 2355 or 0861 72 9227 or email email@example.com.
SA Express announces new Mthatha route
SA Express will be offering a new route from Cape Town to Mthatha effective from 1 December 2016.
Skyteam introduces frequent flyer retro-crediting
Global airline alliance, Syteam has introduced an online, retroactive credit tool to make it easier for frequent flyers to keep their account balances up to date. The tool eliminates the need for manual processing of post travel claims. Customers can log into their Frequent Flyer Programme accounts, enter their flight details and their requests can be validated in a few seconds.
Qatar introduces free transit visa
Passengers passing through Qatar’s Hamad International Airport can now get a free four-day transit visa. The new visa is available on arrival at Hamad International Airport to passengers of all nationalities with a layover exceeding five hours. All passengers need to do to get the free transit visa is present the confirmation of their onward journey and complete passport control procedures.
Etihad has renewed the Etihad - XL private fares loaded for the XL Group. These flights are bookable for travel until 30 November 2016.