HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]: 

Cathay Pacific to fly three times daily to London

City night tours organized to welcome high-class tourists

44 million passengers flew Lufthansa in 2002

Airlines offer fare cuts to tempt customers

Local Skål Club rabbits around at the January meeting

Emirates seeks top qualified Thai cabin crew

Cathay Pacific to fly three times daily to London

Cathay Pacific Airways announced that it will operate three non-stop flights each day between Hong Kong and London Heathrow starting in June, which they say is more than any other airline.

Three flights every day will provide customers with more choice of afternoon and evening departure times to and from London and easier connections in Hong Kong to more Cathay Pacific destinations in Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Southeast Asia, New Zealand and Australia.

Cathay Pacific already operates 18 non-stop flights to London each week. June’s three additional departures to London Heathrow will depart Hong Kong in the afternoon.

Cathay Pacific director of Corporate Planning Augustus Tang said, “Cathay Pacific’s upgrade to three flights every day demonstrates our commitment to better serving our customers. More flights will provide easier access to Hong Kong and our network beyond. The completion in 2003 of our program to install our new Business Class in all long-haul aircraft also means that more people will be able to enjoy our award-winning service in even greater comfort.”

City night tours organized to welcome high-class tourists

Bangkok will organize city night tours to attract upper class tourists, particularly those from foreign countries, according to Deputy Prime Minister Korn Dabbarangsi.

Korn, who oversees tourism in metropolitan areas, announced on January 8th that the city night tours will begin in front of the Ananta Samakom Throne Hall and will end at the Saranrom Palace.

The initiative, aimed mainly to attract high-class tourist arrivals interested in history and culture in order to generate more tourism revenue, and will focus on historic, archaeological and cultural sites and buildings in the city.

Korn said, “The new project will help generate more revenue to the country with reasonable investment - just only VIP double-decked tourist coaches, decorated light bulbs at the targeted sites and buildings, and quality Thai restaurants in the Saranrom Palace.”

The project is expected to boost the number of foreign tourist arrivals in the country to over 11 million this year which is the target already set by the government. (TNA)

44 million passengers flew Lufthansa in 2002

The weak global economy and the aftermath of the terrorist attacks continued to have an adverse effect on the traffic results of the Lufthansa Group in 2002. However, by optimizing its route network, the company succeeded in improving the capacity utilization of its aircraft compared to the previous year.

From January to December the Lufthansa Group airlines carried 44 million passengers, 3.8 percent fewer than in 2001. In the first nine months of 2002 the passenger count declined by 7.7 percent. While available capacity was 5.2 per cent below the prior-year level, sales were only 2.0 per cent down.

As a result, the passenger load factor rose by 2.4 percent to a gratifying 73.9 percent, only marginally behind the seat occupancy rate of 74.4 per cent achieved two years earlier, in 2000.

The weak economic climate hit Lufthansa’s cargo business hardest in the fourth quarter. Last year Lufthansa Cargo transported 1.9 percent less freight and mail, but at 66.6 percent the cargo load factor outstripped the prior-year figure by 3.8 percentage points.

In 2002 the Lufthansa Group raised its overall load factor (passenger and freight business) to 70.7 percent, which represents an increase of 3.1 percentage points.

Airlines offer fare cuts to tempt customers

U.S. airlines, desperate for travelers and their money, have launched 2003 with fare sales, leaving many to wonder just how an industry begging for financial help can afford to sell tickets at a discount.

United Airlines, wrestling with Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization, United Airlines announced on January 2nd that it was extending its winter sale of 40 percent off leisure fares through May 18, matching the end date of the latest American Airlines discount program.

Southwest Airlines also is offering discounted fares, and industry watchers said it appears to be only a matter of time before other airlines bite the bullet and join the promotional parade.

Analysts say it is not unusual to see fare discounts this early in the year in an industry desperate for passengers. Business travelers once represented 40 percent of revenue for United Airlines. Now that figure has dropped to 20 percent, said Darryl Jenkins, director of the Aviation Institute at George Washington University in Washington, D.C.

“The first quarter is typically the lowest travel season,” Jenkins said. “The airlines need to stimulate traffic.”

But it can be a precarious strategy. If airlines cut prices, they sacrifice badly needed revenue. Sometimes price cutting only tempts the summer traveler to take a trip earlier in the season.

Despite the new lower fares, consumers looking for a travel bargain may still have to search hard. Discounts are rarely offered on all plane seats. An airline, for example, could discount only a couple of seats on one particular flight, and that number can change frequently.

Local Skål Club rabbits around at the January meeting

The monthly meeting of the international tourism and hospitality organization, Skål, was held at the Rabbit Resort overlooking Dongtan Beach.

Hosts Deborah and Paisan Bundityanond presented Skål members (shown here gathered for a group photo) with a traditional Thai buffet lunch in the genuine antique Thai teakwood house and explained the evolution of the Rabbit Resort.

In the absence of President Murray Hertz, Vice President Peter Malhotra chaired the first meeting for the year, keeping the mood light hearted and full of cordiality. The happiest Skalleagues were the majority of the hoteliers in the group who were pleased to report good occupancy figures for the Xmas-New Year period.

With Pattaya having won the right to host the World Congress in 2006, this topic was one of the many discussed over lunch.

Hosts Paisan and Deborah Bundityanond, themselves Skål members, presented the members with a traditional Thai buffet lunch in the genuine antique Thai teakwood house in the grounds of the resort. Paisan reminisced about how this resort came to be. “ More than 30 years ago, our father purchased the 10 Rai (4 Acres) of ocean front land near Pattaya, Thailand, Where Rabbit Resort now sits. As owners, we had a choice to build a high-rise structure or charming Thai-style beach holiday homes where our guests could stay and relax in style and comfort.

We chose to build a quaint Thai Village Resort with only 26 resort suites; after all, Bangkok is little more than an hour away! Extensive emphasis was placed upon the lush flowering gardens incorporating two stunning, free form Rabbit Pools. No expense was spared throughout the resort in order to offer the best environmentally conscious development. We are proud to offer you our unique and distinctive luxury accommodation in Pattaya, several paces off Dongtan Beach in Jomtien. Whether you are looking for a honeymoon or hideaway resort, plan to have a wedding or conference, or want to stay forever, this is the place” Everyone nodded their heads in agreement.

New ventures amongst members were also highlighted, and with Jo Stetten’s Art Cafe in Naklua being the host for next month’s regular lunch meeting, many members were interested to hear of the future plans for this venue.

Skål is a professional organisation of tourism leaders around the world, promoting global tourism and friendship. It is the only international group uniting all branches of the travel and tourism industry. Its members, the industry’s managers and executives, meet at local, national, regional and international levels to discuss and pursue topics of common interest. In Pattaya the regular meetings are held on the third Thursday of each month. Interested in joining Skål? Information can be obtained by contacting the secretary, Andrew Wood, email [email protected]

Emirates seeks top qualified Thai cabin crew

Emirates, a major international carrier, is looking for 30 Thai cabin crew who are pleasant, confident and service oriented to join its rapidly expanding network. The airline offers a competitive package of benefits with Emirates’ excellent working conditions.

With its rapid growth in both fleet size and network, Emirates is now on the lookout for exceptional people to build their careers with the airline. Emirates’ manager for Thailand, Soonthorn Suree, said, “Emirates’ in-flight service is renowned all over the world. Many passengers prefer Thai cabin crew, as they posses a uniquely pleasant style together with excellent service skills. Emirates currently has 70 Thai cabin crew staff. We are now looking for another 30 to join our team to serve the increasing demand.”

“We offer a competitive US$1,000 per month tax free salary, shared furnished accommodations, 30 days annual leave, medical care, duty transport, industry personnel travel facilities and end of service gratuity,” Soonthorn added.

All new cabin crew will be provided with comprehensive training at the state-of-the-art training college in Dubai.

To qualify for this great opportunity, applicants need to be single, 21-30 years old, hold an undergraduate degree, have a good complexion, weight in proportion to height, have good eyesight without glasses (contact lenses are acceptable), and have fluency in written and spoken English and Thai (another language is an asset). The height requirement for females is between 157.5 and 178 cm and for males is between 168 and 188 cm. Applicants will also need to have the natural ability to provide excellent service within a team environment.

Applications in English, with full details of experience and qualifications, should include recent full-length, and passport sized photographs in color, contact numbers, and a complete address. They should be sent to Emirates Airline, 2nd floor, B.B. Building, 54 Asoke Road, Sukhumvit 21, Bangkok 10110 or Overseas Placement Service Section, Department of Employment, Mitmaitree Road, Dindaeng, Bangkok 10400.

Applications can also be submitted through Emirates’ website at www.emirates In this case, scanned photos will be needed. All applications must be needed by January 31st 2003, quoting the reference code ‘CC/’.

Emirates is an employee-focused company committed to providing staff with competitive salaries, attractive benefits and excellent working conditions. The airline’s cabin crew is acknowledged to be among the best, as voted by 40,000 readers of the UK-based Executive Travel Magazine. The airline takes top applicants from all over the globe and gives them first-rate training, backed by leading facilities and equipment.

The airline currently employs people of over 85 nationalities to cater for its truly multicultural clientele on its network of over 62 destinations. With its belief that people are the heart and soul of the Emirates Group, the airline gives ongoing training to build a professional spirit and continually raise levels of performance. Recruiting and training high-caliber people is one of the core values of its business.

Since its inception in 1985, Emirates has won over 200 international awards for excellence and become the world’s fastest growing major airline. The carrier possesses the youngest ultra modern fleet of Boeing and Airbus aircraft with an average age of less than three years to 64 cities in 45 countries across Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Indian Sub Continent and Asia-Pacific Rim.

Currently, Emirates flies 10 regular flights a week on its Dubai-Bangkok route and plans to increase to 14 by April this year for a total of 28 incoming and outgoing flights a week. It also operates daily flights on its Bangkok-Hong Kong route.

The airline also has ambitious plans for continued growth by expanding its routes to North America early this year and will start services to Lagos on March 31st, Moscow on July 1st and Shanghai on August 2nd.