Thursday, 31 March 2016

KENYA: Uber Taxis Take Streets Of Mombasa

Uber has launched its services in Mombasa, Kenya.

According to Uber Mombasa’s natural beauty has made it a popular tourist destination attracting local and international visitors making it a logical move for Uber to operate its services in the “a city of beauty with a vibrant local spirit”.

“Locals and visitors in Mombasa are given an affordable, easy and flexible choice to move around the city safely and reliably,” says Nate Anderson, acting General Manager for Uber Kenya.

Uber’s arrival in the African city brings Uber’s growing global network to 399 cities.

Uber is a mobile application which aims to connect drivers directly with passengers instead of through a centralised booking services or hailing them off the street. It has been severely criticised by the traditional taxi industries for reasons varying from safety concerns to legal compliancy.


The United Republic of Tanzania is a unitary republic composed of 30 regions and bordered by Kenya and Uganda to the north, Rwanda, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the west, and Zambia, Malawi and Mozambique to the south. The country’s eastern border lie on the Indian Ocean.

The Capital City is Dodoma and the major commercial centre is the harbour city of Dar es Salaam.

The name Tanzania is a combination of Tanganyika and Zanzibar. The two states united in 1964 to form the United Republic of Tanganyika and Zanzibar, which later the same year was renamed the United Republic of Tanzania.

With 49.3 million people – according to a 2013 census – Tanzania has the 26th largest population in the world and was last year the country with the eight fastest population growth in the world. Like many other African countries, Tanzania has a large diversity of cultures and almost 100 tribes, including the colourful Maasai peoples. There are more than 158 local languages with Swahili the national language but English the official language of education, administration and business.

Tanzania takes conservation of its wildlife extremely seriously and boasts the largest concentration of wildlife animals per square kilometre, with more than 4 million wild animals representing 430 species and subspecies.


The Tanzanian Shilling (currency code TZS) stands at around 2190 to the US dollar.


Tanzania ranks 6th in Africa for beer consumption. While 90% of the consumption is home made or bought from the informal sector, the commercial market leader is Kilimanjaro Premium Lager from Tanzania Breweries.

Tanzania has its very own ‘7 Natural Wonders’. They are:

Mount Kilimanjaro – The tallest mountain in Africa and the tallest free-standing mountain in the world. Mount Kilimanjaro is 19,340 feet (5,895 m) high at Uhuru Peak, only one of Kilimanjaro’s seven peaks.

Selous Game Reserve – This is the largest game reserve in the world and extends across Tanzania’s borders. The reserve expands 21,100 square miles (54,600 sq km). With no permanent human residents, it is one of the most natural places on Earth.

Ngorongoro Crater – This is the world’s largest unbroken caldera. Referred to as “Africa’s Garden of Eden,” the crater is home to over 30,000 animals including elephants, lions, cheetahs, wildebeests, buffaloes, and rare black rhinos.

Gombe Stream National Park – This is the smallest of Tanzania’s national parks but one of the most famous because of the chimpanzee conservation work done by the late Jane Goodall. The park covers only 20 square miles (52 sq km).

Ruaha National Park – This is the largest national park within Tanzania’s borders. The park extends across 5,000 square miles (13,000 sq km) and sits in the heart of Tanzania. It is famous for the large 10,000 plus herd of roaming elephants and over 430 species of birds.

Kitulo National Park – This park is unique because of the flora. It covers 159 square miles (413, sq km) and is known as the the “Serengeti of Flowers.”

The Serengeti migration – This is the longest and largest overland migration of animals in the world. The Serengeti plains account for over 18,641 square miles and the migration itself see animals ravel 500 miles on the path from Tanzania to the Masai Mara Reserve in Kenya.

Visa Worries For Africans Eased Some How

Africa is a huge, and often friendly, continent where most countries will welcome visitors with a broad smile – knowing that the tourist spend will be great for the economy.

But Africans, funnily enough, find it hard getting about their own continent. However, Ghana’s new visa-on-arrival policy for citizens of African Union (AU) member states, to be introduced from July, could mark a change in pan-African policy.

To this end, Ghana is taking a lead in implementing an AU directive but it will be interesting to see how many other African countries will be allowing Ghanaians to enter their countries on a visa-on arrival policy.

Anyone who has tried to cross borders on the African continent will have experienced the difficulties with travelling in Africa. For starters, air fares cost more than anywhere else and few roads or railways connect even adjoining countries to each other.

Then there are the dreaded immigration and police check points which can turn the simplest of journeys into massive obstacle courses.

Getting visas for travel is often the greatest hurdle to travel and any country that makes it easier for Africans to visit will, as a result, become very attractive as a holiday destination.

According to the African Development Bank (AfDB) to travel to other countries in Africa, Africans need visas to enter 55% of states on the continent and only 20% of nations allow Africans to enter without visas, with a further 25% offering visas on arrival.

How does this break down for Africans? Well, Seychelles is the only African nation to offer open access to all Africans. Regionally, West African and East African states do well, making up 75% of the top 20 most open countries. Only one North African country managed to make the top 20 and none from Central Africa.

The AfDB suggests visa-free regional blocs, multi-year visas, promoting positive reciprocity and opening up on visas unilaterally. Beyond that, Many African countries can simplify visa processes and improve online access to information.

Quite simply, Africa needs to find ways to increase intra-African travel with the aim of fostering unity and understanding and increasing trade and investment.

North Americans have an easier time travelling to and within the continent than do Africans, needing a visa to travel to just 45% of African countries. They can get a visa on arrival in 35% of countries and no visa is required for another 20%.

ZAMBIA: Bushcamp Company Zambia Wins Nat Geo Award In Berlin

The Bushcamp Company in Zambia has won the prestigious National Geographic World Legacy Award in the category ’Engaging Communities’.

An international committee of 23 experts led by Costas Christ, editor-at-large of the National Geographic Traveler Magazine and chairman of the World Legacy Awards picked 15 finalists from over 100 entries representing more than 50 countries. The awards went to travel and tourism companies as well as organisations and destinations that have made a commitment to sustainable tourism. They include big resorts, small eco-lodges, wildlife reserves and geoparks.

The Bushcamp Company operates six bush camps in the remote south of Zambia’s South Luangwa National Park as well as the Mfuwe Lodge just inside the main park gate. The park is the place where the African walking safari was pioneered.

Judges said The Bushcamp Company won because of their close cooperation with local groups and their supports for community projects in the Luangwa region. Initiatives include protecting resources for wildlife and promoting education and healthcare. The video above gives some insight into the work being done among communities by The Buschcamp Company.

This was the second time the National Geographic World Legacy Awards were presented at ITB Berlin, the global travel industry’s leading – and largest – tourism trade show. Several African countries are represented at the show.

George Stone, National Geographic Travel editor-in-chief said the winning entries of the World Legacy Awards show how best practices in tourism can help to enduringly protect the best destinations around the world for future generations.

The Bushcamp Company was one of five winners representing five categories at ITB Berlin.

In the category ’Earth Changers’ – ecologically responsible companies featuring green technology such as renewable energies and zero-waste systems – the winner was Mission Hills from China.

The ‘Sense of Place’ category – which recognises tourism companies pledging to protect historical monuments, archaeological sites and local cultural heritage – was won by TIME Unlimited Tours, a New Zealand company run by Maoris that operates eco-tourism and environmentally friendly tours of the country.

The category ’Conserving the Natural World’ recognises companies that conserve nature, restore natural habitats and protect rare and endangered land and marine species. The winner was Grupo Ecológico Sierra Gorda from Mexico. This NGO was involved in creating and maintaining the Sierra Gorda Biosphere Reserve, an area in the heart of Mexico that is rich in bio-diversity.

In the category ’Destination Leadership’ the winner was Burren and Cliffs of Moher Geopark in Ireland. This project was conceived by a group of local companies, villagers and municipal authorities. Their aim is to protect Ireland’s most beautiful natural landscapes and ensure a quality experience for visitors.

ANGOLA: World Environmental Day 2016 For Angola

Angola, which is seeking to conserve its biodiversity-rich wildlife and rebuild its elephant population, will this year host the 2016 World Environment Day (WED).

WED is the largest single day event aimed at positive action on the environment worldwide. It takes place on 5 June each year. This year’s theme is fighting the illegal wildlife trade, an issue of large importance in Angola, where poaching is threatening efforts to rebuild an elephant population decimated by decades-long civil war.

According to Angolan Environment Minister Maria de Fatima Jardim Angola is delighted to host WED because the illegal wildlife trade and particularly the trade in ivory and rhino horn is a major problem across the African continent. “By hosting this day of celebration and awareness-raising, we aim to send a clear message that such practices will soon be eradicated.”

The United Nations Environmental Programme says very little is known about the size of Angola’s remaining elephant population, which historically lived in the southeast of the country, also crossing the borders to neighbouring countries.

The Great Elephant Census, the first aerial survey of known elephant ranges in Angola, started last year in attempt to build a clearer picture of the population in Africa, and with regards to Angola, in the Kaza Area. The information collected will be used in the Angolan government’s elephant inventory programme and for the conservation of wild habitats in the Okavango-Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area and the Cuando-Cubango province.

Angola is also currently revising its Penal Code to ensure tougher punishments for poachers in its efforts to reverse the damage to its wildlife populations.

The Great Elephant Census is designed to provide accurate and up-to-date data about the number and distribution of African elephants by using standardised aerial surveys of tens of hundreds of thousands of square miles. Conceptualised by Elephants Without Borders, it is supported by African Parks, the Frankfurt Zoological Society, Wildlife Conservation Society, The Nature Conservancy, IUCN African Elephant Specialist Group and several influential individuals.

RWANDA: Rwanda Reintroduces Black Rhino

The endeavour to reintroduce black rhino to the Akagera National Park in Rwanda received a massive boost with the announcement that the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs committed €200,000 to the Rwandan Development Board (RDB) in support of the project.

African Parks announced the sponsorship will go towards the sourcing, translocation, reintroduction and protection of black rhinos into Akagera National Park as soon as later this year (2016). This critical support was announced at the Save Wildlife Conference in The Hague. Since 2010, African Parks has managed Akagera through a public private partnership with its government partner, the RDB.

The rhino project in Akagera is a visionary conservation initiative that will see black rhinos restored not just to a park, but to an entire country. The species was nearly eradicated in the 1980’s due to wide-scale poaching, The last rhino was seen in the park in 2007. The reintroduction of rhinos will also cement Akagera’s Big Five status, a classification that will further stimulate tourism and generate additional employment opportunities for local communities who live outside the park.

“Restoring and protecting wildlife populations are cornerstones of the African Parks model” said Peter Fearnhead, CEO African Parks. “In a time where the main news coming out of Africa is about poaching and large-scale destruction of wildlife and wild places, this rhino reintroduction is a story of hope and of homecomings. We thank the Dutch Government for their generous contribution and congratulate our government partner, the RDB on receiving this support and the role they have played in the ongoing success of Akagera”.

The oldest of Rwanda’s three national parks, Akagera is 1,120km² in size. The only protected savannah region in Rwanda, the park also consists of rolling hills of acacia, woodlands and a labyrinth of lakes and papyrus swamps. It is home to more than 8,000 large mammals and more than 500 bird species. In July 2015, African Parks successfully reintroduced seven lions into the park, bringing the species back to Rwanda after almost 20 years.

Travellers Favour African countries,Ethiopia And Botswana Voted In Second Place

The news that travellers are favouring African countries, with Ethiopia and Botswana voted in joint second place – after New Zealand – as top destinations in the 2016 Wanderlust Magazine Travel Awards is proof that Africa is well on it’s way to offer destinations of choice to adventure hungry travellers.

Ethiopia and Botswana’s inclusion in the Wanderlust list is not that surprising. Last year the landlocked Republic of Botswana made it onto ABTA’s Top Ten Destinations To Watch list? Various reasons can be mentioned, such as the superb wildlife viewing options in the Okavango Delta, rhino conservation programmes and the allure of the Kalahari Desert.

Good storytelling also played a large role. Botswana can thank part of its tourism appeal to the success of Scottish author Alexander McCall Smith who created a fictional sleuth “Mma Precious Ramotswe” in his No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency stories, which he chose to set in Botswana’s capital Gaborone. The books have put Botswana “on the map” so to speak, and the success of his stories has been well documented. Read “A lady detective and a swamp: good story telling spurs tourism“.

This year’s Wanderlust winners were voted for by 2,900 of the publication’s readers, with a total of 168 countries, 618 cities, 440 airports and 484 tour operators being nominated; demonstrating the ‘well-travelled’ status of the magazine’s reach.

New Zealand achieved a satisfaction rating of 97.33% – with Ethiopia and Botswana tying for second with 96.52%. Peru’s Inca allure shone through in third place, with the country very much in the headlines as it awaits the start of its first British Airways direct service this Spring.

“Although New Zealand remains on top, it is particularly interesting to see Ethiopia and Botswana sharing second place; Botswana hasn’t even made the top ten in the last few years,” commented Wanderlust’s founder and editor-in-chief, Lyn Hughes.

Ethiopia, with its rock-hewn churches, rare wolves and mighty mountains proved that 2015’s third-place finish was no fluke.

BOTSWANA: Botswana In Berlin Gets Up Southern Africa Tourism

Southern Africa’s tourism industry is expected to receive a large boost with the news that South African neighbouring country Botswana has pulled “a fast one on other African tourist destinations” by becoming the first country on the continent to become a partner of the largest travel trade show in the world, ITB Berlin 2017.

The breakthrough follows an exclusive agreement between the world’s leading travel trade show and Botswana. The agreement was signed by Botswana Tourism Minister H E Tshekedi Khama II and Dr Christian Göke, CEO of Messe Berlin GmbH.

According to Tshekedi Khama, the Botswana Tourism Organisation has taken the opportunity to become the partner country of ITB Berlin 2017 to be able to share Botswana and Southern Africa’s nature conservation achievements with the rest of the world. The gateway to Botswana is South Africa as most international airlines fly via OR Tambo International Airport in Gauging, with many western tourists expected to spend some time in South Africa as well.

“Botswana’s role as the partner country of the world’s largest travel trade show will ensure the long-term attention of the global tourism industry.”

Pan-African website quotes David Ruetz, head of ITB Berlin, who said Botswana is Africa’s best-kept secret. Two contrasting natural features characterise this country: the Kalahari Desert and the Okavango Basin with its many animal species, large forests, and innumerable streams that empty into small lakes.”

He said the partnership will not only place the spotlight on Botswana’s tourism successes but will also focus attention worldwide on the ITB’s potential for economic development.

“In the past Botswana has achieved great success that has remained largely unnoticed around the world. Botswana will also benefit from this year’s 50th anniversary of ITB Berlin,” said Tshekedi Khama. “Numerous activities and events will give us the opportunity to market and promote our country as a tourism destination and to improve our returns on investment.”

In 2016 Botswana celebrated 50 years of independence. Often referred to as one of the last remaining gems of Africa, the country was quick to realise its potential as a tourism destination. The Republic of Botswana has been exhibiting at ITB Berlin every year since 1984, in an aim to make people around the world aware of its special attractions.

At ITB Berlin 2017 Botswana, as the partner country of the show, will be organising the opening event on 7 March 2017, and from 8 to 12 March 2017 will be entertaining visitors to ITB Berlin with a wide-ranging programme of events.

UNITED KINGDOM: Woman Banned From British Airways Planes

A fashion stylist (originally from Zimbabwe) has been banned for life from all British Airways flights after a ‘minor argument’ with another passenger over stretching her legs on a Dubai plane.

Bridget Nhire, 33, was handcuffed and escorted off the flight after a man sitting behind her complained that she kept getting up from her seat.

She claimed the man in his 40s began arguing with her at 30,000ft on a Heathrow to Dubai flight – and was baffled as to why she was restrained.

However other passengers claimed she was drunk during the flight, hurled racist remarks at staff and passengers and tried to get into the pilot’s cockpit.

Ms Nhire, from Uxbridge, Middlesex, said: ‘I was treated like a terrorist. It was humiliating.

‘I was sat down and they put tight handcuffs on my wrists and strapped me to the chair. I had bruises for weeks.’

The fashion consultant added: ‘I only got up three times, but the guy behind me was complaining and asked me why I kept getting up.

‘I said I have a right to get up and walk around, but it escalated into a heated debate.

‘The crew asked me to move to the front and said I was being aggressive.’

She hit back at claims from the crew that she may have been drinking.

She said: ‘They thought I was drunk. I’d had two glasses of white wine with a chicken meal on the plane.

‘I was definitely not drunk.’

However a passenger on the plane, who wished to remain anonymous, said: ‘She went to the toilet at least 20 times and had what looked like little bottles of alcohol in her hand.

‘She was screaming at people for about an hour and the staff went over to calm her down, at which point she started shouting “This is because I’m black. This is racist”.

‘She started shouting at a man a few seats behind her who was telling her to shut up and she was trying to reach across to him. She was really aggressive.’

‘Then she ran to the front of the plane to the cockpit and said “I’m going to talk to the pilot”, at which point the air stewards had to restrain her.

‘At least four people were trying to handcuff her, and one put a blanket over her head. It was genuinely traumatising.

‘There were small children on the plane. People were terrified. I just couldn’t believe what was happening, it was absolutely disgraceful.

‘There was talk of doing an emergency landing in Iran which we were flying over at the time. I have the utmost respect for the staff for dealing with it so well.’

A second passenger, who also wished to remain anonymous, claimed: ‘When they strapped her in the seat she was shouting, “This is slavery! This is slavery!”‘

Ms Nhire was forced to sit, accompanied by a security guard, for 90 minutes until the plane landed.

When other passengers had left the plane, Dubai police escorted her to a station but freed her without charge five hours later and gave her the life ban – which Ms Nhire has branded an over-reaction.

She said: ‘When the police released me from the handcuffs I just broke down.’
She added: ‘I was in tears, they didn’t know what to do with a crying woman.

‘Nobody wanted to listen to anything I had to say. I was a long term customer with BA. I used to think they were the best, but now I would warn anybody never to fly with them.’

Ten days later Ms Nhire discovered British Airways had cancelled her seat and refused to let her on a plane to fly back home when she turned up for her return flight.

She was left stranded at Dubai International for eleven hours and called her mother to organize a different flight.

She is demanding £350 compensation from the airline as a result.

Her mother said that BA needed to be held ‘accountable’ for leaving her daughter stranded.

Speaking from her mum’s semi-detached home in Ickenham, west London, Ms Nhire insisted that BA over-reacted and vowed never to use the airline again.

She said: ‘I can’t believe they didn’t tell me in advance that they had cancelled my flight.

‘I want people to be careful, they need to be aware that this is how BA treat its customers.

‘I was a long term customer of BA and think they were the best.

‘But I am appalled and disappointed. I just wanted to go home.’

BA said it undertook a full investigation analysing statements from crew and passengers before taking the ‘rare’ decision to ban her.

The airline stated that it does not comment on individual cases, but says lifetime bans can be appealed.

A spokeswoman added: ‘Our customers and crew deserve to enjoy their flights, and not suffer from any form of disruption.

‘This sort of behaviour will not be tolerated, and the appropriate action will always be taken. ​

‘We would never issue a lifetime ban without first carrying out a thorough investigation into an incident – which includes taking witness statements from other customers and reports from crew.

‘If a customer has any future bookings with the airline at the time the ban is imposed, we will issue a refund.

‘As detailed in the letter issuing the ban, customers can appeal the decision.’

The second passenger on the flight said: ‘She was waving her iPad around at the staff as they tried to restrain her screaming “I’m recording you”.

‘It was clear she had been drinking. It was ludicrous and really distressing.

‘The staff were not racist in any way, shape or form towards her, they were just trying to calm her down.’

Ms Nhire denied claims that she been drinking or making racist remarks.

British Airways were contacted in regards to all the claims but were unavailable to provide a comment on claims about Ms Nhire alleged drunken and racist behaviour.

ZIMBABWE: Woman Beats Husband For Refusing To Have Sex With Her

Zimbabwe magistrate ordered a couple to go for marriage counseling before she rules on the matter of Priviledge Chingwa beating her husband Agreement Magaviri up for failing to perform in the bedroom.

Agreement took Priviledge to court to seek a protection order against her because he was tired of the abuse and did not want to retaliate against her.

"She doesn't respect me, she sometimes beats me in front of our children and neighbours or even relatives. When I'm having conversations with my uncles she comes in and starts belittling me. I applied for a protection order against my wife because I don't want to retaliate but I just want to have peace," he said.

In her defense, Priviledge told the magistrate that she is sex starved and that her husband is not a 'responsible' provider in their household.

"He does not buy food and he does not give me money to use on anything," Priviledge said.

The latest attack was on March, 2, when Agreement refused to sleep with Priviledge.

SOUTH AFRICA: South African Tourists To Register With Government Amid Terror Attacks

South African travellers planning to visit any of the world’s hot spots‚ including Turkey‚ are encouraged to put their names on a register so that the Department of International Relations and Cooperation are aware of their whereabouts in case of emergency.

This follows Sunday’s car bomb blasts in Ankara‚ Turkey‚ which killed at least 37 people.

“In light of the increasing terror attacks that we are witnessing‚ we would advise South Africans to register on the Registration of South Africans Abroad website‚ which will allow the Department of International Relations and Cooperation to assist South Africans in the event of an emergency‚” said Sharmila Ragunanan‚ Flight Centre’s Strategic Marketing Specialist.

She also urged South Africans visiting Turkey to exercise extreme caution.

Turkey is a growing tourism market for South Africans‚ with approximately 40‚000 outbound trips undertaken to the country in 2015‚ according to Flight Centre’s statistics.

Ragunanan said Flight Centre had not been contacted by any customers wanting to change or cancel their bookings.

“South Africans are very resilient travellers and so are unlikely to change their travel plans as a result of the bomb blast. However‚ they should remain extremely vigilant and follow any instructions given by police‚ tour operators and hotel staff‚” she said.

Tourists in need of advice could contact their travel agent‚ South Africa’s representative office or visit the British government’s Foreign Travel Advice service at for more information.

BELARUS: Belarusian Catholics Celebrate Easter

The Belarusian Catholics marked Easter Sunday on 27 March. The Resurrection of Christ is one of the most important dates celebrated in the Christian world. It brings people the news about their rescue from the works of the devil and a hope for the eternal life.

The Christian celebration is called Pascha, a word derived from Ancient Hebrew “Pesach”. The word originally denoted the Jewish festival known in English as Passover, commemorating the Jewish Exodus from slavery in Egypt.

The festive service begins early on Saturday. Fire and water are blessed in churches. Following the blessing of the Easter fire, the Easter candle is blessed and the readings from the Old Testament are read. The wax of the Easter candle is believed to be magic protecting from malign forces.

Blessed paschal water is also believed to possess supernatural features. It is added to food, sprinkled across the home and used to wash the face.

All churches held midnight masses on Holy Saturday. In the morning, upon returning home from church, the believers break their fast, usually they start their meals with eggs. Boiled eggs, scrambled eggs, and omelets are the most important ritual Easter meal. Other dishes are pork, lamb and a cake.

On the morning of Easter Sunday, after the divine service children and young people go from home to home singing songs and greeting people. Family members and friends exchange painted eggs in exchange for palm branches.

Throughout Easter Week believers attend divine services in churches. Street performances on religious topics continue throughout the week too.

BELARUS: Belarus Targets Riga And Tbilisi New Tourism Campaign

Billboards promoting Minsk as a tourism destination will be installed in Riga and Tbilisi, BelTA learned from the Minsk information and tourism center.

According to the center, the billboards in Latvia and Georgia will feature Minsk Arena, The Trinity Suburb, the so-called Minsk Gate and other iconic places of the Belarusian capital.

This will help advertise Minsk as a destination of choice for Latvians and Georgians. Posters advertising Riga and Tbilisi will be installed in Minsk streets. Minsk has exchanged billboards with St. Petersburg. With the support of the St.

Petersburg Tourism Committee and the Committee on Print Media and Liaison with the Media, ten billboards with Minsk landmarks have been installed in St. Petersburg to increase awareness of the Belarusian capital as a tourist destination.

Minsk is Waiting for You billboards have been designed by the Minskreklama company.

TURKEY: Latest Terrorist Attack In Turkey Strikes At Tourism Hub

Last weekend, a suicide bomber attacked a major thoroughfare in Istanbul that is normally teaming with foreign tourists. The Turkish government says the bomber has ties to ISIS.

Another suicide attack linked to Islamic state killed ten people in January and last October, a bombing in Ankara killed more than 100 people at a Kurdish rally.

The string of terror attacks are having an impact on Turkey’s tourism industry, with bookings down 40 percent from last year.

We talk about what’s been happening in Turkey with Khalil Demir, executive director of the Zakat Foundation of America.

USA: $200,000 In Grants For Somerset Tourism Organizations

Brainstorming with fellow tourism entrepreneurs, Judy Pletcher, who operates Rockwood Mill Shoppes and Opera House, came up with a wild-sounding idea for a performance: a garlic-themed cabaret.

Apparently, the idea had legs.

Faranda Farm, a 50-acre agritourism farm in Hollsopple that organizes an annual Garlic Festival, now is working with county bed and breakfasts to make the garlic event a weekend lodging package that includes the show at the Opera House – and on Thursday, the farm operators landed $4,725 to market it.

“I was just talking to the Farandas about their ‘stinking good time,’” Pletcher said. “We want to have a ‘stinking good time’ at our place, too.”

Those are the types of marketing partnerships that won funding in some of the $197,489 in Somerset County Tourism Grants awarded to 39 tourism-related businesses and organizations Thursday at the Somerset Historical Center.

The grants are funded by one-third of the revenue generated by the county’s hotel room tax, a 3 percent lodging tax paid by guests.

Those were also the type of connections that Reneé Seifert, Laurel Highlands Visitors Bureau CEO and a member of a grant review committee, encouraged during the event to announce grant winners.

The idea of working with other attractions to create a package is more than just a creative twist on doing business, Pletcher said. Small businesses need to support one another, she said.

“Without one another, we don’t exist,” she said.

The most recent figures show tourism continues to be a major economic driver for the county – the No. 2 industry, behind manufacturing, according to Somerset County Chamber Executive Director Ron Aldom.

According to the most recent economic studies conducted by Pennsylvania State Tourism Office, travelers spent more than $379 million in Somerset County in 2013 and $1.8 billion in the entire Laurel Highlands region. The county’s tourism industry also provided 2,395 jobs, according to the studies.

Seifert said the numbers are encouraging, and she praised local officials for working to support tourism efforts through the county.

“Those statistics indicate that what we all know, that the Laurel Highlands is a vibrant and diverse four-season destination with significant economic impact,” she said.

County commissioners were on hand to congratulate grant winners.

Commissioner James T. Yoder, who was part of the grant review committee, said 70 businesses applied – and he saw a lot of “innovation and creativity.”

The largest grant award went to Meyersdale Area Historical Society, which landed $18,337 for staffing a visitors center in the renovated Western Maryland Train Station, a popular stop for Great Allegheny Passage trail users.

2016 Somerset County Tourism Grant Awards

The following grants were awarded Thursday to 39 tourism-related businesses and organizations:

Marketing grants

• Benscreek Canoe Club, $5,730

• Chickentown Gas and Steam Association, $875

• Comfort Inn of Somerset, $3,670

• Confluence Cyclery, $746

• Confluence Tourism Association, $315

• Faranda Farm, $4,725

• Friends for the Yough Lake, $293.55

• Friends of Flight 93, $11,250

• Great Allegheny Passage/Allegheny Trail Alliance, $8,044

• Hanna House Bed and Breakfast, $600

• Haunted Hayloft, $7,500

• Hostel on Main, $3,487

• Husky Haven Campground, $765

• Huston’s Haunted Hollow, $5,225

• Jennerstown Speedway, $13,533

• Laurel Arts, $3,450

• Laurel Highlands Heritage Festivals/Hurst Media Works, $3,750

• Laurel Highlands Model Railroad Club, $563

• Meyersdale Area Historical Society, $2,100

• Meyersdale Area Merchants Association, $1,000

• Mountain Playhouse/Gristmill Productions, $10,000

• Mountain Ridge Trails Resort, $3,372

• National Road Chainsaw Carving Festival/Confluence Lions Club, $1,056

• New Centerville & Rural Volunteer Fire Company/Farmers and Threshermans Jubilee, $2,838

• Pennsylvania Maple Festival, $7,318

• Quecreek Mine Rescue Site, $1,406

• Rockwood Mill Shoppes and Opera House, $13,889

• Rockwood Trail House Bed and Breakfast, $393.75

• Somerset County Chamber of Commerce, $9,868

• Somerset County Farmers’ Market, $5,000

• Somerset County Maple Producers Association, $1,857

• Somerset County Rails to Trails Association, $4,304

• Somerset Historical Center, $6,238

• Somerset Inc., $3,993

• Somerset Interchange Lodging Association, $6,000

• Springs Historical Society, $6,075

• Sugar Grove Antiques, $2,393

• The Georgian Place Merchants and Marketing Association, $1,250

• Trail Town Program/The Progress Fund, d/b/a Trail Town Program, $213

Visitors center grants

• Confluence Tourism Association, $6,176

• Meyersdale Area Historical Society, $18,337

• Somerset County Rails to Trails Association/Rockwood Visitors Center, $7,891

EGYPT: EgyptAir Plane Hijacked in Blow to Struggling Egypt Tourism

A passenger falsely claiming he was armed with explosives hijacked an EgyptAir plane carrying 71 other people and forced it to land in Cyprus, casting new doubts on Egypt’s ability to revive desperately needed tourism.

The hijacker, an Egyptian national, released most of the other passengers and crew before surrendering to authorities at the airport in Larnaca. None of the people aboard the plane was harmed during the seven-hour ordeal, Cypriot authorities said.

“It’s over,” the Foreign Ministry said on its Twitter account. Cypriot Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides said the hijacker wore a belt with telephone covers that looked like explosive devices but wasn’t carrying actual explosives. President Nicos Anastasiades ruled out terrorism as a motive.

Cyprus’s Rik TV said the hijacker had asked that a letter be delivered to his ex-wife, who lives in Cyprus. She was taken to the airport to speak with him, Kasoulides said.

The hijacking dealt a new blow to Egypt’s efforts to project an image of stability to tourists and investors five months after a Russian passenger crashed in the Sinai peninsula in a suspected bombing claimed by Islamic State. Militant attacks have surged since 2013, though most have been centered in north Sinai.

“Even if recent developments confirm that this is not a terrorist attack, but rather an asylum-seeker who wants to join his ex-wife, this raises further concerns about security” at Egyptian airports, Kinda Chebib, lead analyst at Euromonitor International, said in e-mailed comments.

Egyptian authorities hired consultancy Control Risks Group to review airport security after the downing of the Russian plane.

The hijacker reportedly asked for a translator and sought political asylum shortly before giving himself up. Kasoulides said the man requested fuel to fly to Turkey and that he asked to speak to a European Union representative.

Egypt’s economy has struggled since the 2011 uprising that toppled former President Hosni Mubarak. The pound has slumped in the black market and capital outflows have left businesses starved of dollars to import raw materials. A slight recovery in its crucial tourism industry was cut short by the Russian plane crash.

EgyptAir, one of the oldest airlines in the Middle East and a member of Star Alliance, has incurred cumulative losses of about $1 billion since the Egyptian revolution began in 2011. The carrier has a fleet of about 80 aircraft with a target to expand to 125 planes.

USA: LGBT Law Causing Potential Conventions To Look Elsewhere

North Carolina’s new law limiting LGBT protections has already dissuaded some outside businesses and groups from planning events in Charlotte, the city’s tourism authority says.

Tom Murray, president and CEO of the Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority, said Monday the group is “extremely concerned” about the controversial new legislation, and it continues to hear “negative feedback and potential event cancellations” from customers.

Some would-be customers have withdrawn their interest in Charlotte as a host destination, the CRVA said, though the group declined to say how many or which customers. No existing conventions have canceled yet, Murray said.

“On behalf of the visitor economy that represents one in nine jobs across the Charlotte region, we strongly urge that state and local leaders find a resolution that represents the best interests of our city and state,” Murray said.

Apprehension among convention planners is the latest reaction to a new LGBT bill signed Wednesday by Gov. Pat McCrory. The bill was a response to a clause in Charlotte’s expanded nondiscrimination ordinance that would have allowed transgender people to use the bathroom that corresponds to the gender with which they identify.

Other major corporations, such as Lowe’s and Google, as well as sports organizations including the NBA, have voiced their disapproval of the measure.

Edwin Lee, mayor of San Francisco, over the weekend banned publicly funded employee travel to North Carolina because of the new LGBT law.

Supporters of the measure say it addresses privacy concerns brought up by the Charlotte ordinance. They say the bill establishes a statewide anti-discrimination policy rather than varying city to city.

The CRVA has helped bring major events and conventions to Charlotte over the years, such as the 2010 convention of the National Rifle Association, and is helping to plan future ones like the 2017 NBA All-Star Game, which the city expects draw more visitors than any event since the 2012 Democratic National Convention.

“This issue is in danger of setting us back from the progress we’ve made in positioning Charlotte as an attractive, inclusive destination,” Murray said.

Tourism and hospitality serves as the Charlotte region’s fourth largest industry, generating more than $6.3 billion a year, according to the CRVA, a public organization supported by taxes on hotel and motel rooms and restaurant and bar tabs. Those tax dollars can be used only to promote the city or for tourism projects and research.

In 2015, there were more than 520 conventions and events booked through the CRVA that drew more than 350,000 room nights for the Charlotte area, spokeswoman Laura White said.

Tuesday, 29 March 2016

African Airlines Association

The African Airlines Association (French: Association Aérienne Africaine), also known as the Association of African Airline Companies (French: Association des Compagnies Aériennes Africaines) and by its abbreviation AFRAA, is a trade association of airlines which hail from the nations of the African Union. Founded in Accra, Ghana in 1968, and today headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya, the primary purpose of AFRAA is to establish and facilitate co-operation between African airlines.

The formation of the African Airlines Association was the result of historic developments and economic imperatives.In the early 1960s, a great number of African States acceded to independence and created their own national airlines. Most of these airlines became members of the International Air Transport Association.

AFRAA has its conceptual beginning in 1963, when a number of African airlines, taking the opportunity provided by the IATA Annual General Meeting (AGM) began holding consultation meetings prior to the IATA AGMs to discuss matters of interest to African airlines and to adopt common positions. This was the first step towards the creation of AFRAA.From that first step in Rome in 1963, the establishment in 1968 in Accra, of a regional organisation for the articulation of regional views and promotion of co-operation was undertaken by 14 founding members.

AFRAA's current management include Dr. Elijah Chingosho (Secretary General), Dr. Koussai Mrabet (Director, Commercial, Corporate and Industry Affairs) and Mrs. Juliet Indetie (Deputy Head, Corporate Finance and Administration)

The General Assembly

The highest policy making body of the Association is the Annual General Assembly composed of Chief Executives of member airlines. The Annual General Assembly is presided over by the President of the Association. Mrs. Siza Mzimela, Chief Executive Officer of South African Airways, is the President of the Association for 2012. In this capacity, Mrs. Mzimela and South African Airways will host the 44th AGA in Johannesburg, South Africa in November 2012.

The Executive Committee

The Executive Committee, composed of 9 members elected on a sub-regional basis among Chief Executives and ex officio members with voting rights who are members of the IATA Board of Governors, exercises executive authority. The current Chairman of the Executive Committee is Captain Hossam Kamal, Chairman & Group CEO of EgyptAir. Its function is to ensure supervision of the affairs, funds and property of the Association and formulation and determination of policies within the framework of Articles of Association, By-Laws and Resolutions adopted by the General Assembly.

The Secretariat

The Secretariat serves as the administrative, co-ordination and research centre for the Association. It is headed by a Secretary General who is responsible for managing the day-to-day activities of the Association.

- To facilitate the establishment of industry best practices in safety and security
- To be the repository of data and its analysis focusing on key issues in the aviation sector.
- To provide a platform for consensus building among member carriers.
- To facilitate joint projects between member airlines aimed at reducing their costs and increasing their revenues.
- To actively contribute in human capital development.
- To interact with the regulatory bodies to support and protect the common interests of all African airlines.
- To provide forums for members and industry partners to enhance their knowledge base and enhance mutual cooperation.
- To facilitate the development of environmental policies in keeping with industry best practices
- To reflect the positive image of the African airlines worldwide.
- In over 4 decades, AFRAA has been instrumental in developing and articulating air transport policies in Africa. Towards this end, it has been in the fore-front of major initiatives in the air transport field in Africa in sensitizing African airlines to take concrete actions for cooperation in Operational, Legal Commercial, Technical, Information Communication Technology (ICT) and Training fields.

It has also been instrumental in sensitizing African Governments, the African Civil Aviation Commission and other regional and sub-regional organizations on actions to be taken for the development of an efficient air transport system. AFRAA has been a catalyst for all major aviation policy decisions in the continent.

In fulfilling its role as an effective trade Association, AFRAA ensures that its member airlines are kept abreast on the latest developments and trends in the industry. Currently, the following areas are drawing a lot of interest:

- Safety, security, technical and operational issues
- Airline finance, economics and cost reduction
- Skills/Management Training and Human Resource Development
- Environmental issues
- IT, E-Commerce and StB
- Market Intelligence and statistics
- Liberalization, privatization, cooperation and alliances
- Regulatory and aero-political developments

Steering Committees & Task Forces
AFRAA provides a forum through which member airlines meet to develop and consolidate common approach to key issues in the aviation industry.

To accomplish the objectives stated earlier, the Association has the following Steering Committees:

- Joint Fuel Steering Committee
- Training Steering Committee

The Task Forces through which the Association seeks projects of economic value to members are as follows:

- Route Network Coordination Task Force
- Airline Taxes and Charges Task Force
- Environmental Task Force
- IOSA Audit Task Force
- MRO Task Force

AFRAA Partners
Besides Membership contributions to the Association, AFRAA has Partners who also support the activities of the Association through financial contributions and sponsorship of specific projects and programmes. Currently there are a number of companies including aircraft and engine manufacturers and other airlines service providers registered under the Partnership programme. The aim of the Partnership programme is to pool together the much needed additional support from industry-related organizations whilst enabling the Partners to benefit from a relationship with an efficient, knowledgeable and influential air transport trade association in Africa.

The AFRAA Partnership programme is open to all industry related organisations that are interested in participating in the development of air transport in Africa. The programme aims to pool together resources and support from industry service providers while enabling partners to benefit from a relationship with a continental air transport trade organisation. Interested companies may apply for either Full Partnership of Associate Partnership of AFRAA.

- Aero Industrial Sales
- Air Transportation Support Group
- Airbus
- Amadaeus
- American General Supplies
- Atlantic FuelEx
- Boeing
- Bombardier
- Embraer
- GE Aviation
- HADID International Services
- Hahn Air
- Ilyushin Finance
- Linkham Services
- Lufthansa Consulting
- Lufthansa Systems
- Marsh Limited
- mercator
- Mitsubishi Aircraft
- MTU Maintenance
- Nahco Aiance
- OAG Aviation
- Pratt & Whitney
- Rockwell Collins
- Rolls Royce
- Sabre Airline Solutions
- Seabury
- Servair
- TAV Tunisie
- Travelport
- UAS International Trip Support
- Wirecard

AMBERGRIS CAYE: Is Traffic Driving Away Tourists?

The natural beauty of Belize attracts thousands of tourists to Ambergris Caye annually. Their experiences led to choosing Ambergris Caye as a top vacation destination. For San Pedro, tourism is the largest, fastest growing industry, and contributes significantly to Belize’s economy. In 2013 and 2014, Ambergris Caye was consecutively selected as the number one island destination by TripAdvisor. However, in 2015, ratings dropped drastically, leading many to believe that the complaints about traffic and an increase in local crime has led to the island’s drop from the celebrated list.

Over the past several months, The San Pedro Sun has accumulated numerous ‘letters to the editor’ regarding the traffic situation on the island. With so many unsatisfied tourists expressing their feelings and concerns, the tourism industry in San Pedro might be at risk if improvements are not made.

Many of the letters reflect the same issue: visitors spend a lot of money to travel to Ambergris Caye, but their experience has been dampened by many factors, including terrible traffic conditions. The San Pedro Sun met with San Pedro Town Council Mayor Daniel Guerrero to address these concerns, and hear the status of town council’s plans to improve the situation.
“We are very concerned when it comes to tourism,” said Guerrero. “Tourism is truly our bread and butter. It is increasing, but as it increases, the complaints increase. The more people, the more complaints. It is a living process. We just have to polish here and there until we finally get it fine-tuned,” he said.

Many of the complaints revolve around the seemingly overwhelming amount of traffic. Simple tasks as driving golf-carts, parking and walking across the streets becomes a hassle. Reckless drivers, speedy taxis and exhaust take away from what was once a charming town, and visitors are expressing their concern.

“We want to alleviate some of the congestion. Parking is an issue but it is due to the lack of planning of the town. I’m working on opening the street behind the field by SP Jet Express. At the end of the day, that is what the people are asking for, because the current traffic flow is hectic and bumper to bumper. It takes 20 minutes to go the bank,” said Guerrero, acknowledging that traffic is indeed at an all-time high. “The streets are being painted at the moment and we are putting new signs before Easter…We are working on it.”

As to the larger vehicles and their impact on daily commutes, the Mayor along with the SPTC will be enforcing a new system on Monday, April 4th. “We will be instilling a plan for delivery trucks. Companies like: Bowen & Bowen, Butane gas, the lumberyard, Caribbean Depot and Krystal Shipping have to start delivering at 2am until 7am. Children need to get to school safely. We want people to get used to it and after a two-week trail, we will work with our attorneys to make it into legislation,” explained Mayor Guerrero.

As a part of their development plan, the town council has been putting in infrastructure north of the Sir Barry Bowen Bridge and are now working in the south areas as well. The Mayor acknowledged that many projects within their master plan will begin soon, including the opening of a new concrete bridge, and computerizing a toll-bridge.

The town council does take people’s suggestions into account and has developed ideas to help improve the conditions in San Pedro. However, due to lack of sufficient funding, the town council can only do one project at a time. “Everything costs money. This town generates money, but we try to help as much as we can. We have to work with what we have. I think San Pedro as a destination island has done really good and with all the infrastructure going in place, it can only get better,” ended Guerrero.

The SPTC also reminds residents and visitors that the new parking lot across from the Honorable Louis Sylvester Sports Complex is available for long-term parking.

Police Brutality Suspected In Death Of iIsland Bartender

Edwin Ixpatac
30-year old San Pedro bartender, Edwin Ixpatac died on Monday, March 7th after being on life support at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH) in Belize City. It was reported that Ixpatac had sustained injuries when he was detained by police on Thursday, March 3rd. As a result, three San Pedro Police officers, PC Jahisir Cob, PC Rommel Logan, and PC Reydel Teck have been officially charged with murder, while Sergeant Raymond Berry has been put on interdiction.

The initial reports are that around 2AM on Thursday, March 3rd, San Pedro police responded to a call about a person struggling in the water near a resort just south of San Pedro Town. According to reports, police recovered Ixpatac from the water, who was intoxicated and had sustained injuries from washing against a sea wall. The report continues to say that Ixpatac was combative, and apparently kicked and struck at the officers who were assisting him. He was then taken to the San Pedro police station where he was detained overnight.

The following day he was taken to the Dr. Otto Rodriguez San Pedro Polyclinic II in a critical condition. Due to this grave state, he was later transported to KHMH in Belize City, where a three days later he succumbed to his injuries.

According to police, the sergeant in charge that night made a poor decision in not immediately taking Ixpatac to the polyclinic. Reports also indicate that Ixpatac had been abused while in custody.

San Pedro police officers recently participated in a class called, “Care and Custody of Prisoners” where they were encouraged to treat detainees as if they were their brothers. “It is so disturbing that after all attempts to educate our officers, something like this can still happen. We absolutely will not tolerate abuse,” stated a police source. The San Pedro Police Department will not entertain such behaviours from its officers and thus, have prosecuted the responsible individuals for the death of Ixpatac.

The police assure the general public that they will continue working together with the community, and even though this incident has created concerns, island residents can rest assured that local law enforcers can be trusted.

Who was Edwin Ixpatac?

Edwin was born in the Guatemalan community of Ixlu, located in the department of Peten. At the age of eight, he and his family moved to Belize and settled in the community of Seven Miles/El Progresso in the Cayo District. Edwin was the oldest child of the family. Bartending was always his passion, and after mastering the trade he ventured out of his home town and worked in several recognized establishments of the tourism industry. His career in the mixology area did not just take him just across the country, but to La Isla Bonita which was one of his favourite places to work.

He spent the last five months of his life on Ambergris Caye, where he moved after separating from his common –law wife with whom he had a four year old daughter. He began working as a bartender at the Caprice bar of the well- known Holiday Hotel, where he charmed everyone with his professional, friendly service.

“He was always very helpful and hard- working,” said Patricia Romero, a waitress at Caprice bar. “Anytime we needed an extra hand, he never hesitated to come in and help.”

According to Romero, Ixpatac had make plans to be off the island at the end of the month (March) to go and celebrate his daughter’s birthday.
Back at his Seven Miles home, Fernando Ixpatac, Edwin’s younger brother says that the family will greatly miss him. They cannot get over the idea that he is gone. “He would always come visit us since he left home to pursue his career in the hospitality industry. Edwin was always there for us, he was the brother you always wanted to be around with,” said Fernando.

Funeral services for Edwin’s burial will take place on Wednesday, March 9th in his hometown of Seven Miles in Cayo. A solidarity walk in his memory is to take place in San Pedro Town this week, and his family members are planning to attend. The date is yet to be announced.
Our deepest condolences to his family and friends. Here at The San Pedro Sun, we will miss his warm smile and soft-spoken ways.

BELIZE: Four Officers Placed On Interdiction As San Pedro Police Investigate Abuse Of local Bar Tender;

It is with a very heavy heart that we report that Edwin Ixpatac has succumbed to the injuries he sustained on Thursday, March 3rd. Four San Pedro police officers are currently in custody pending charges of brutality and now possibly manslaughter. Our deepest condolences to his family and friends, we will miss his warm smile and soft-spoken ways.

Around 2AM on Thursday morning, March 3rd, San Pedro police responded to a call about a person struggling in the water near a resort just south of San Pedro Town. According to reports, police recovered 30-year-old Edwin Ixpatac, a local bartender, from the water. Ixpatac was intoxicated and had sustained injuries from washing against a sea wall. According to police Ixpatac was combative, and apparently kicked and struck at the officers who were assisting him. Ixpatac was taken to the San Pedro police department where he was detained overnight.

Later that day police carried an injured Ixpatac to the Dr. Otto Rodriguez San Pedro Polyclinic II. In grave condition, he was transported to Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital where he is reportedly on life support.

According to police the sergeant in charge that night made a poor decision in not immediately taking Ixpatac to the polyclinic. Reports are that Ixpatac may have been abused while in custody as well. As such four San Pedro officers were immediately put on interdiction and are now in police custody in Belize City awaiting charges.

An eight-person team of investigators from Belize City traveled to San Pedro on Friday the 4th to record witness statements and investigate the matter. Four are still on the island, continuing the investigation.

San Pedro police officers recently participated in a class called, “Care and Custody of Prisoners” where they are encouraged to treat detainees as if they were their brother. “It is so disturbing that after all attempts to educate our officers something like this can still happen. We absolutely will not tolerate abuse,” stated a police source.

The investigation will continue, and hopes are that Edwin Ixpatac will survive his injuries.

BELIZE: San Pedro Police Officer Dean Perez Charged For Theft

Police Constable (PC) Dean Perez
A police officer attached to the San Pedro Police Formation has been criminally charged and is expected to face a police tribunal for the crime of “theft.” 26-year-old Police Constable (PC) Dean Perez, originally from Belize City, has been accused of stealing cash and a cell phone from a San Pedro Town resident while carrying out an investigation.

According to the Deputy Officer in Charge of the San Pedro Police Formation Inspector Henry Jemott, the charge on Perez stems from an incident that occurred on October 5th. According to San Pedro Police, Perez visited the residence of San Pedro Town resident Jose Hernandez, who was investigating and inquiring about his identity.

Inspector Jemott said that when Hernandez was in the process of providing his documents, Perez allegedly took his identification cards which had $600 between them. In addition, Hernandez also claims that PC Perez also took away his cell phone valued at $400.

According to San Pedro Police, following an intensive investigation, an Identification Parade was conducted where PC Perez was positively identified. On Tuesday October 28th, Perez was formally arrested and charged for the crime of “theft”

Perez has since been arranged before the San Pedro Magistrate Court where he was offered and met bail in the sum of $2000. He has been ordered to keep away from the complainant and is scheduled to reappear in court on December 5th.

Inspector Jemott said beside the criminal investigation, PC Perez will also face an internal investigation and will be taken before a police tribunal on similar charges.

PC Perez, who has recently been transferred to San Pedro Town, has been placed on interdiction on half salary.

CYPRUS: Larnaca International Airport

Larnaca International Airport is an international airport located 4 km (2.5 mi) southwest of Larnaca, Cyprus. Larnaca International Airport is Cyprus' main international gateway and the largest of the country's two commercial airports, the other being Paphos International Airport on the island's southwestern coast.

Larnaca Airport was hastily developed towards the end of 1974 after the invasion of Cyprus by Turkey on 20 July of the same year, which forced the closure of Nicosia International Airport. The site on which it was built (near the Larnaca Salt Lake), had been previously used as an airfield in the 1930s and, subsequently, as a military installation by the British forces.

Larnaca International opened on 8 February 1975, with only limited infrastructure facilities and a prefabricated set of buildings comprising separate halls for departures and arrivals. The first airlines to use the new airport were Cyprus Airways using Viscount 800s leased from British Midland and Olympic Airways using NAMC YS-11s. Initially, the runway at Larnaca International was too short for jet aircraft.

Nowadays, Larnaca Airport is used as a hub by passengers travelling between Europe and the Middle East, though between 1994-1996 a twice-weekly Gulf Air flight provided non-stop service to New York JFK airport. The status of Cyprus as a major tourist destination means that air traffic has steadily risen to over 5 million passengers a year. This is double the capacity the airport was first designed for.

For this reason, a tender was put out in 1998 to develop the airport further and increase its capacity. Already completed elements of the expansion include a new control tower, fire station, runway extension, and additional administrative offices. The surrounding road network was improved by upgrading the B4 road and by completing the A3 Motorway.

A new junction has been constructed near the new terminal. The new terminal was built some 500–700 m (1,600–2,300 ft) west of the old terminal, adjacent to the new control tower, with new aprons and jetways. The old terminal building is slated to be partially demolished and refurbished as a cargo centre, and is currently used as a private terminal for visiting heads of state, VIPs, and private aircraft operators.

The concept architectural design of the passenger terminal was developed by French architects at Aéroports de Paris (ADP) with Sofréavia in France. Detail and Tender design was completed in Cyprus by 1998, with local architectural office Forum Architects and a large engineering team under the coordination of ADP.

The design was later used as a base for the BOT projects of both Larnaca and Pafos International Airports though significant changes were made mainly on "value engineering" grounds. A large amount of controversy spurred by the local media surrounded the granting of the contract when it was put out to tender.

A consortium led by BAA and Joannou & Paraskevaides (J&P) construction quickly pulled out when it did not receive assurances from the government of Cyprus that it would receive financial compensation in the event that direct flights were allowed between Northern Cyprus and the rest of the world. The contract was eventually hastily granted to the next best bidder, the French led 'Hermes' Consortium. This too, was not free of controversy, causing legal challenges by BAA and J&P, and adding further delays to a much needed project.

The airport has one primary passenger terminal. Departures are accommodated on the upper level, while arrivals at the ground level. A second "VIP terminal" also exists, which is used for visiting Heads of State, some private aviation, and for cargo. The airport utilises a single large apron for all passenger aircraft.

A €650m upgrade of the Larnaca and Paphos airports has been completed. The international tender was won by Hermes Airports, a French-led group. The consortium is made up of Bouygues Batiment International (22%) Egis Projects (20%), the Cyprus Trading Corporation (a local retail group-10%), Iacovou Brothers (a local contractor-10%), Hellenic Mining (10%), Vancouver Airport Services (10%), Ireland's Dublin Airport Authority (Aer Rianta International) (10%), Charilaos Apostolides (a local construction company-5%) and Nice Côte d'Azur Airport (3%). Hermes Airports built new passenger terminals and plans to extend the runways at both airports under a 25-year concession.

A new terminal building opened on 7 November 2009. It has 16 jetways (boarding bridges), 67 check in counters, 8 self check-in kiosks, 48 departure gates, 2,450 parking spots. The new terminal can handle 7.5 million passengers per year. Infrastructure also features a large engineering hangar, a cargo terminal, and separate facilities for fuelling and provisioning light aircraft.

There is a second, smaller apron where cargo aircraft and private aircraft are often parked. There are also spaces for smaller aircraft for flying schools and privately owned aircraft separate from the main two aprons.

The second phase, to be completed in 2013, provides for the expansion of the new terminal to handle 9 million passengers a year, and for a 500 m (1,600 ft) runway extension. The design of the new 98,000 m2 (1,050,000 sq ft) terminal includes 16 boarding bridges.

Airlines And Destinations

Aegean Airlines: Athens, Beirut, London-Heathrow, Paris-Charles de Gaulle, Tel Aviv-Ben Gurion, Thessaloniki
Seasonal: Heraklion, Kiev-Boryspil (begins 3 May 2016), Mykonos, Rhodes, Santorini
Aeroflot: Moscow-Sheremetyevo
operated by Rossiya Airlines Seasonal: Saint Petersburg
Air Berlin: Zürich
Air Moldova: Chişinău
Air Serbia: Seasonal: Belgrade
airBaltic: Riga
Arkia: Tel Aviv-Ben Gurion
Austrian Airlines: Vienna
Azur Air: Seasonal charter: Moscow-Domodedovo (begins 17 April 2016)
Belavia: Minsk
Blue Air: Athens, Bucharest, London-Luton (begins 25 April 2016), Tel Aviv-Ben Gurion (begins 19 May 2016), Thessaloniki
Seasonal charter: Chania, Corfu, Kavala, Milan-Linate (begins 13 July 2016), Preveza/Lefkada, Rhodes, Santorini, Skiathos, Zakynthos
Bravo Airways: Seasonal charter: Lviv (begins 30 April 2016)
British Airways: London-Heathrow
Bulgaria Air: Sofia
easyJet: Berlin-Schönefeld, Liverpool, London-Gatwick, Milan-Malpensa
easyJet: Switzerland Basel/Mulhouse
Edelweiss Air: Zürich
operated by EgyptAir Express Cairo
Ellinair: Thessaloniki (begins 21 April 2016)
Emirates: Athens, Dubai-International, Malta
Etihad Airways: Abu Dhabi
Georgian Airways: Seasonal charter: Yerevan
Germania: Munich, Stuttgart (begins 3 May 2016)
Germania Flug: Zürich (begins 29 April 2016)
Germanwings: Cologne/Bonn
Gulf Air: Bahrain
Helvetic Airways: Seasonal charter: Bern (begins 13 May 2016), Zürich
Israir Airlines: Seasonal charter: Tel Aviv-Ben Gurion (resumes 14 April 2016)
Jet Time: Seasonal charter: Billund (begins 18 April 2016), Norrköping, Örebro Seasonal: East Midlands, Edinburgh (begins 25 May 2016), Glasgow-International, Leeds/Bradford, Manchester, Newcastle upon Tyne
LOT Polish Airlines: Warsaw-Chopin
Lufthansa: Munich
Seasonal: Frankfurt
Mahan Air: Seasonal charter: Tehran-Imam Khomeini
Middle East Airlines Beirut
Monarch Airlines Birmingham, London-Gatwick, London-Luton
Seasonal: Leeds Bradford
Niki: Vienna
Nordwind Airlines: Seasonal charter: Kazan, Krasnodar (begins 1 May 2016), Mineralnye Vody (begins 29 April 2016), Moscow-Sheremetyevo, Rostov-on-Don (begins 30 April 2016), Saint Petersburg (begins 28 April 2016), Samara, Ufa, Volgograd (begins 2 May 2016), Voronezh
Norwegian Air Shuttle: London-Gatwick, Oslo–Gardermoen, Stockholm-Arlanda
Seasonal: Copenhagen, Helsinki
Seasonal charter: Bergen, Stavanger
Novair:operated by Scandinavian Airlines Seasonal: Gothenburg-Landvetter, Oslo–Gardermoen (begins 14 May 2016), Stockholm-Arlanda
Pegas Fly: Seasonal charter: Krasnoyarsk (begins 6 May 2016), Moscow-Sheremetyevo, Yekaterinburg (begins 28 April 2016)
Pobeda Seasonal: Moscow-Vnukovo (begins 30 April 2016)
Qatar Airways: Doha
Qeshm Airlines: Seasonal charter: Tehran-Imam Khomeini
Rossiya Airlines: Charter: Moscow-Vnukovo, Saint Petersburg
Seasonal charter: Chelyabinsk (begins 2 May 2016), Kaliningrad (begins 23 May 2016), Kazan (begins 30 April 2016), Nizhny Novgorod (begins 24 April 2016), Novosibirsk (begins 24 April 2016), Omsk (begins 29 April 2016), Perm (begins 30 April 2016), Rostov-on-Don (begins 27 May 2016), Samara (begins 30 April 2016), Tyumen (begins 29 April 2016), Ufa (begins 29 April 2016), Yekaterinburg (begins 24 April 2016)
Royal Jordanian: Amman-Queen Alia
Ryanair: Brussels
S7 Airlines: Moscow-Domodedovo
Scandinavian Airlines: Seasonal charter: Bergen, Kristiansand, Luleå, Oslo-Gardermoen, Stockholm-Arlanda, Trondheim, Umeå (begins 9 May 2016)
Small Planet Airlines: Seasonal charter: London-Gatwick, Manchester
SmartWings operated by Travel Service: Seasonal: Prague
TAROM: Bucharest
Thomas Cook Airlines: Seasonal: Belfast-International, Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, East Midlands, Glasgow-International, London-Gatwick, London-Stansted (begins 26 May 2016), Manchester, Newcastle upon Tyne
Thomas Cook Airlines Scandinavia: Seasonal charter: Billund, Copenhagen, Gothenburg-Landvetter, Helsinki, Malmö, Oslo-Gardermoen, Stockholm-Arlanda, Växjö
Thomson Airways: Seasonal: Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Doncaster (resumes 1 June 2016), East Midlands, Edinburgh (begins 4 May 2016), Exeter, Glasgow-International, London-Gatwick, London-Luton, Manchester, Newcastle upon Tyne
Transavia: Seasonal: Amsterdam
Travel Service: Seasonal charter: Bratislava
TUIfly Nordic: Seasonal charter: Copenhagen, Gothenburg-Landvetter, Helsinki, Malmö, Oslo-Gardermoen, Stockholm-Arlanda
Tus Airways: Haifa (begins 31 March 2016), Tel Aviv-Ben Gurion
Seasonal: Heraklion (begins 18 April 2016)
Ukraine International Airlines: Kiev-Boryspil
Up operated by El Al: Tel Aviv-Ben Gurion
Ural Airlines: Krasnodar, Moscow-Domodedovo, Saint Petersburg (begins 27 April 2016)
Seasonal: Yekaterinburg
VIM Airlines: Seasonal charter: Moscow-Domodedovo (begins 28 April 2016)
Vueling: Seasonal: Barcelona, Rome-Fiumicino
Windrose Airlines: Seasonal: Kiev-Boryspil (begins 30 April 2016), Odessa (begins 30 April 2016)
Wizz Air: Belgrade, Bucharest, Budapest, Iași (begins 1 July 2016), Katowice, Kiev-Zhulyany, Kutaisi (begins 24 September 2016),Sofia, Vilnius, Warsaw-Chopin
Yamal Airlines: Seasonal charter: Moscow-Domodedovo

BELIZE: Tropic Air Receives Prestigious ISSA Certification

Tropic Air is now the first country in Latin America to receive International Air Transport Association’s (IATA) Standard Safety Assessment (ISSA) certification. This prestigious certification came after IATA conducted a rigorous audit on Tropic Air aimed at promoting safeness in air travel.

Tropic Air was honored during the Forum of Leaders of the Latin American and Caribbean Air Transport Association (ALTA) ceremony held in Puerto Rico.

At the ceremony, it was explained that the ISSA Certification was designed in order to assist smaller airlines who do not qualify for the World Safety Record of the IATA Operational Safety Audit (IOSA).

The World Safety Record of the IOSA is given to larger aircraft with more than 5,700 kilograms of weight and business model adapted to the IOSA requirements. The ISSA standard provides the same benefit for safety and operational efficiency as IOSA.

Proof of the certification was handed over Steven Schulte, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Tropic Air by Tony Tyler, director general and CEO of IATA. “Earlier this year we launched the ISSA. While ISSA is not a substitute for IOSA, it is a valuable operational benchmark.

Tropic Air was among the first airlines to express interest in ISSA and they helped us to beta-test the standard, so congratulations to Tropic Air,” said Tyler. Also present at the ceremony was Lindsay Garbutt, Director of the Civil Aviation Administration of Belize.

Tropic Air was founded in 1979 as had since become the leading local airline of Belize.

BELIZE: Tropic Air

Tropic Air is an airline operating scheduled services. Founded in 1979 by John Greif III with a single airplane and two employees, Tropic has steadily grown to become the largest airline in Belize. It now employs over 340 staff and offers over 210 daily scheduled flights throughout Belize, Guatemala, Honduras and Mexico.

Belize City Municipal (TZA) Belize City International (BZE) Corozal, Belize (CZH) San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize (SPR) Caye Caulker, Belize (CUK) San Ignacio, Belize (CYD) Belmopan, Belize (BCV) Placencia, Belize (PLJ) Punta Gorda, Belize (PND) Dangriga, Belize (DGA) Orange Walk, Belize (ORZ) Cancun, Mexico (CUN) San Pedro Sula, Honduras (SAP) Roatan, Honduras (RTB) Flores, Guatemala (FRS) Mérida, Mexico (MID) Guatemala City, Guatemala (GUA) Tegucigalpa, Honduras (TGU)

Tropic Air fleet includes:

- 10 Cessna Caravans (G1000 equipped)
- 2 Gippsland GA8 Airvans
- 1 Cessna 172
- 1 Twin Otter (Leased Seasonally)

Tropic Air Launches Codeshare To Tegucigalpa

Effective, February 17, 2015, Tropic Air has entered into a partnership with CM Airlines of Honduras to offer same day travel between Belize City and Tegucigalpa, Honduras via both airlines’ flights to San Pedro Sula, Honduras.

This service will eliminate costly overnights when travelling between Belize City and Tegucigalpa, and will serve to stimulate tourism and trade between the two countries. “Today, in partnership with CM Airlines, we are pleased to add Tegucigalpa, Honduras to our route network” says John Greif III, President of Tropic Air. “Our passengers have been asking for this service for some time, and today we are pleased to make it happen”.
Tropic’s schedule between Belize City International and Tegucigalpa:

The service now available for sale and seats can be reserved via our website at, via, by calling (+501) 226-2012, by contacting any Tropic Air office, or through your friendly travel professional.
Tropic Air currently operates a fleet of 15 aircraft to destinations in Belize, Guatemala, Honduras and Mexico. With over 300 employees, Tropic Air carried over 300,000 passengers in 2014.

BELIZE: Copa Airlines Launches Airline Service To Belize

Belize Tourism Board (BTB), in collaboration with the Minister of Tourism and Civil Aviation Hon. Manuel Heredia Jr. held a press conference, which officially announced the launch of Copa Airline services to Belize’s Phillip S.W Goldson International Airport.

BTB’s Director of Tourism Karen Bevans opened the conference which was held at the Best Western Biltmore Plaza Hotel. Among those present were Minister of Tourism and Civil Aviation Hon. Manuel Heredia, official Copa representatives, a host of tourism industry stakeholders and invited press.

With the official launch of services commencing in Belize in December 2015, Copa will now be operating in 75 cities and 31 countries in North, Central and South America and the Caribbean.

The airline will be offering two direct flights per week from Hub de las Americas (Panama City) to Belize’s Phillip S.W Goldson International Airport. Passengers departing Belize to Panama will be able to do so via Flight CM 281, which will leave Belize City Tuesdays and Fridays at 2:17 P.M. and arrive at ‘Hub de las Americas’ at the Tocumen International Airport (Panama City) at 5:34 P.M. Return flights will be leaving Panama on Tuesdays and Fridays at 11:29 A.M. via Flight CM 280 which will arrive in Belize at 12:52P.M. Copa will be operating Embraer 190 aircrafts with a capacity of 94 passengers.

Following the monumental announcement, Hon. Manuel Heredia expressed to the media his pride in the tremendous growth in Belize’s tourism industry via airline passengers throughout the last ten years.

According to Heredia, “Belize is very fortunate in that we receive far more tourists than Belizeans that travel abroad, so this particular market will give us connectivity to the European market; likewise for those travelling from the Caribbean to Belize they have to go through Miami- that will no longer be the case because they can go from Panama directly to Belize and arrive to their destination on the same day.” “We [Belize] have only been capturing five percent of the Central American market, with Copa now operating here, I believe that will be more than double.”

The BTB along with the Ministry of Tourism are confident that this service launch will continue to grow Belize’s service industry and will provide compensation for the loss of tourism traffic during the annual “Slow Seasons.”

As Copa has long been offering connecting flights to and from many of the worlds’ major air terminals, Belizean passengers will now be able to do the same while enjoying the benefits. Such rewards include: no need for a visa, no need to go through customs/immigration, permission to carry two additional bags at no additional fee, more air miles through Copa’s new loyalty program Connect Miles, and all the advantages of the Copa VIP Lounge to name a few.

BELIZE: Copa Airlines Inaugural Flight To Belize

Copa Airlines, Panama’s leading airline, had its inaugural flight touch down in Belize December 8th and now offering flights to Belize for its passengers as part of its expansion efforts.

Lloyd Alvarez, Cahal Pech Village Resort Reservations Manager, who has been working in the tourism industry for over a decade said Copa Airlines will definitely increase overnight tourism arrivals from South America.

Copa Airlines will be offering two weekly flights to Belize City from Hub de la Americas, Panama City. With this new addition, Copa Airlines will now expand its route to 75 cities and 31 countries in North, Central and South America and the Caribbean with Belize being the seventh in Central America.

The addition of Belize to Copa’s route now means that the airline covers all of Central America and strengthens their regional leadership.

“The connectivity will open enormous opportunities for tourism and commercial development for this interesting Caribbean country, as well as allowing for tourists from the same region to have the opportunity to enjoy all the tourism and commercial strengths Belize has to offer,” Copa Airlines Executive President Pedro Heilbron said.

Flight CM 281 will leave Belize City on Tuesdays and Fridays at 2:17 p.m., arriving at ‘Hub de las Americas’ at the Tocumen International Airport in Panama City at 5:34 p.m. The return flight, will leave Panama Tuesdays and Fridays at 11:29 a.m. arriving in Belize at 12:52 midday. All flights are local time and the flight time is approximately 2 hours and 20 minutes.

For its direct flight to Belize, Copa will be operating a modern Embraer 190 aircraft with capacity for 94 passengers, 10 in Executive Class and 84 in the main cabin. This aircraft is characterized for having two seats in each side of the isle without a center seat, which makes it more attractive and comfortable for passengers.

From Hub de las Americas in Panama, Copa airlines offers more international flights than any other airline with a center of operations in this continent. The flight from Belize to Panama was programmed to provide convenient connection to Sao Paulo, Brazil; San Jose, Costa Rica; Bogota, Cartagena and Medellin in Colombia; Santiago de Chile, Chile; Quito and Guayaquil in Ecuador; Managua, Nicaragua; Port of Spain, Trinidad & Tobago; Havana, Cuba; Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic and Lima, Peru.

The passengers in transit will not need to pass through immigration or wait in a customs line, and their luggage will be checked at their final destination. In addition, Belizeans will have access to the top five biggest shopping malls in Latin America, a “Stop Over” two nights free of charge in Panama, and easier access to the Caribbean and Latin America for business and vacation.

Alvarez said he is proud of Belize’s tourism industry for remaining vibrant and partnering with Southwest Airlines, who also recently added a new route to Belize. Airfare to Belize has gone down by 20 percent this year compared to last year with Southwest’s introduction and low prices causing other airlines flying to Belize to lower their prices.

2016 looks to be an even better year for airfare as additional airlines, including Westjet, look to partner with Belize and increase air traffic to and from the country.

Alvarez said Cahal Pech looks forward to the increase in overnight arrivals as it will boost the local economy and help to strengthen the tourism industry, which accounts for 18 percent of the country’s GDP.

Cahal Pech Village Resort, located in the Cayo District is comprised of 23 palm thatched cabanas, 14 standard rooms, 5 spacious suites, 9 deluxe suites, 3 fresh water swimming pools, a restaurant that serves an assortment of gourmet flair, a fully stocked bar, a gift shop, a fleet of tour vehicles and a cadre of professional staff.

Families, honeymooners and adventure travelers use the resort as an ideal base to explore the amazing and wonderful ecotourism activities in San Ignacio Town. The resort is owned by Dan and Miriam Silva and has been in operation since 1995.

ALGERIA: Helicopter Crash Kills 12 Soldiers

A military helicopter has crashed in southern Algeria, killing 12 soldiers, the defence ministry has said.

The Russian-made Mi-171 came down while on a reconnaissance mission in Tamanrasset region, some 2,000km (1,200 miles) from the capital, Algiers.

The helicopter apparently experienced technical failure, but the exact cause of the crash is yet to be established, the ministry added.

Critics say Algeria has a poor aircraft safety record.

In 2014, 77 people were killed in a military plane crash.

Two military aircrafts collided during a training exercise in 2012, killing both pilots.

The reason for the helicopter's mission is not clear but militant Islamists are active in Algeria.

In 2014, Vietnam grounded its entire fleet of Mi-171 helicopters after a crash near the capital, Hanoi, killed 18 soldiers.

Copa Airlines Review

I am very disappointed with copa airlines. I originally bought 4 tickets from them to go to Ecuador, right after the purchase we had a family emergency and thought we would be unable to travel so we call to cancel the tickets. The situation changed that 3 of us would be able to travel and would only need a refund for one ticket. We called again and they told us there would be no problem with this. Now 4 months later we still have not received any refund or are unable to talk to someone that can help us. We have written the refund department several times with no response. When we go on their website to request our refund it says that it in process but we haven't received anything!!! Now everyone time I call the airlines they direct to write the refund department but I explained that I have done this numerous times with no response and they tell can not help me. I am fusterated that I can not speak to anyone that is able to help me. I feel like they are giving me the run around and find this to be horrible service.

I flew copa from US (IAD) to Argentina (EZE) twice now. Both times they did not post my mileage credit to my united account even though my frequent flyer details were on the boarding pass. Since the ticket number does not show on the receipt I spent hours calling them and reconstructing my itinerary to have UNITED process my mileage credit. Also, COPA as of last year no longer will allow UNITED premier customers to upgrade unless they PAY! And if you are sitting in an exit isle and cannot speak Spanish you could be moved to another seat, at the request of the purser. Tip: If you want to fly from IAD to EZE using United then perhaps book your flight on UNITED and fly through Houston, last time I checked flights were much cheaper than Copa which flies through Panama. Good luck.

Dear. Due to the late arrival of my flight fr om Tumaco (Colombia) with Santena Airline, I missed my flight from Cali to Panama with Copa Airlines. Although the Copa check in counter was already closed, I met an employee who helped me to re-book my flight on 13/11, was useful in advising me wh ere to stay for the night and in every other way. Her name: Claryssa Bermudez. Herewith I would like to thank her for all her help and assistance. Bothe flights on this 13//, from Calito to Panama and then to Buenos Aires were a very nice experience for me!!! Clean modern planes, helpfull and friendly crew!!! And of course they were all smiling at any time. Thanks Copa Airlines, thanks flight crew and above all THANKS CLARYSSA!!!

Always On time!!! Good ticket prices. No complaciera about the airline. New aircrafts, verte clean.

Booking my ticket to Havana with @CopaAirlines, made a mistake in my lastname, 2hrs later: they are charging me $200 to reimburse in 3 months!
25 September 2015 Guest
Very reliable!

I had no complain from Toronto to Panama flight, however from Panama to Ecuador (Guayaquil) the flight attendants were not so professional on the service, I must comment though in all flights going and back the restrooms were apparently clean but with the horrible smell of urine, which is very unpleasant despite the fact that after every flight should be a cleaning process, and it wasn't too long after taking off when I used the restroom, as well as a passenger sitting besides me made the same comment. Before the arrival to final destination the crew cabin forgot to deliver the paper for immigration purposes, which is basic in every airline. The lady sitting next to me asked to the flight attendant if she can bring a glass of water or soda, and she responded her there is no more, is unbelievable to hear that, the answer to make it look nicer should be let me check please, they really need to work on customer service skills. On a side note the Panama airport maybe an old section, there is not SOAP!!!, THAT IS NOT A LUXURY IS AN ESSENTIAL IN ANY PLACE THAT HAVE RESTROOMS.

If i were to rate this it would be a 0 because this is the most disorganozed airline company I have ever traveled with. I had a connection in panama city to Medellin, Colombia. I am only in colombia for 4 days due to my grandmothers declining health. My bag never made it to Medellin and nkw they cant find my bag. I originally flew fron Newark with united airlines and they said it woulf arrive in panama

AeroSvit Reviews

AeroSvit despite all the bad complaints, I can say my experience on this airline as been one of the best in service and quality, It was on flights from Toronto to Kiev and also flights from Lisbon to kiev and in all case it was an excellent service, In fact my last flight I arrived late from another flight which arrived at the time of departure and ran directly to the gate were I was suppose to go to the check in when I arrived at the gate the AeroSvit attendant had already a blank pass just in case I arrived late totally bypassing the check in as my luggage went directly to airplane as I was booked originally with connecting flights. I did not miss my flight despite being late. In my comparison with other airlines I can say service was excellent unlike American airlines which offer poor quality service and often the attendants are rude and do not respond to customer needs. I rate AeroSVit as to be a top quality service airline as it as always provided me excellent service.

AeroSvit is a worst airline I ever bought tickets for. It cancelled my flight from JFK to Borispol. No help of any kind from AeroSvit or from Travelocity was provided to place me on another carrier. I had to buy tickets to another carrier for twice regular rate because I had to fly the next day. I will never again use Travelocity. They send me a positive flight confirmation the day before the canceled flight.

Aerosvit is very bad airline. I always try to avoid Aerosvit. I buy ticket from Aerosvit only if I don't have another choice. Would not recommend to anybody this airline. And Borispol airport is a mess. Customer service,Passport control is horrible. Every time when I go to Ukraine I see group gatherings here and there doing nothing. Look like nobody wants to work.

Worst customer service ever. The Aerosvit representative in Pearson's International Airport (Toronto, Canada) is really rude and impolite. I'll never fly Aerosvit again.

Hello. I didn't received any money back too. And I have got all the chats with them, and they have the calls recorded. Maybe we shall open open something like #Aerosvitmoneyrefund and try to make it trending in facebook, and in all social networks... what do you think? If more people will know about I'm not afraid to say this robbery, we shall have more chances to get money back

Guest : I hate Aerosvit Airline. I need to get my money back. I 've waited for 2 years to refund my ticket back but there is no any response. Airline owner is very bad. They intend to cheat my money. As me waited for 3 years ,AEROSVIT is now change to UKLAIN INTERNATIONAL AIRLINE. It is the new vary bad airline.

I hate Aerosvit Airline. I need to get my money back. I 've waited for 2 years to refund my ticket back but there is no any response. Airline owner is very bad. They intend to cheat my money.

Yooo spoiled pricks , first of all its your fall not travelocity that flight is canceled and you still going to airport , the socond one is yo man how rude was canada representive ? what you talk on phone and you deside his rude , he didn't hit you ? well he should ones in a while good wooping needed . and with food , yooo dude you flight is 9 hours overnite no normal human been is staffing his face at 1 am , you feel hungry go to buffey before you hit a flight A-HOLE . ALL IM SAYING THAT PEOPLE BECOME SPOILED AND THEY WANT EVERYBODY WIPE THEIR A-HOLES JUST BECOUSE THEY BUY TICKET . well guess what ? not gonna happen . I fly few times on luftgansa , british airlines ,Delta all *