During the visit Etihad Airways also hosted workshops with 12 Irish aviation companies and suppliers and their counterparts in Etihad Airways. The frequency boost of 40 per cent will provide 8,988 seats each week between the capital cities of the UAE and Ireland. “The 40 per cent increase in flight frequency will benefit business and leisure travel not only between Ireland and the UAE but also right across the Etihad Airways network, especially countries which have a connection with Ireland like Australia, Thailand and Malaysia.” The schedule for the double daily flights will ensure connectivity both ways with 800 weekly connections to 45 Etihad Airways’ destinations in the Middle East, Africa, Asia and Australia, including Bangkok, Beijing, Brisbane, Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur, Manila, Melbourne, Perth, Singapore, Sydney and Tokyo. Etihad Airways will operate a Boeing 777-300 ER, configured to carry 380 passengers with 40 in Pearl Business Class and 340 in Coral Economy Class, and an Airbus A330-200, configured to carry 262 passengers, with 22 in Pearl Business Class and 240 in Coral Economy Class. Mr Kenny made a special visit to Etihad Airways’ headquarters in January in which he met Irish members of the Etihad Airways workforce. Currently 176 Irish nationals work for the airline in Dublin, Abu Dhabi and in stations around the world. “It’s more great news for tourism and for Irish aviation and represents another significant capacity boost at Dublin Airport this year. Overall, there is a huge increase in airline capacity into Ireland this year which will help us to continue growing visitor numbers.” The frequency increase by Etihad Airways supports the pledge made by James Hogan to the Irish Prime Minister, An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny, to continue to play a key role in enhancing UAE-Irish ties. Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, will increase its Abu Dhabi – Dublin service from ten flights per week, to double daily from 15 July 2014. “We are delighted that Etihad Airways has announced a 40 per cent increase in frequency for the service, which will operate double daily from 15 July, as it will offer additional choice and convenience to both business and leisure travellers.” Since launching flights to Dublin in 2007 Etihad Airways has flown nearly 1.2 million passengers on the route which regularly features on the airline’s top 10 most popular. 2013 was the busiest year to date with more than 240,000 passengers flying on the route. Etihad Airways’ Dublin flight schedule from 15 July 2014: Source = Etihad Airways Etihad Airways has a number of key investments in Ireland including a line maintenance facility and premium lounge at Dublin Airport, as well as cultural partnerships with the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) hurling and The Gathering Ireland 2013. Dublin Airport Authority (DAA) Chief Executive Kevin Toland welcomed the decision. He said: “The partnership between Dublin Airport and Etihad Airways has been hugely successful since the airline launched the Dublin-Abu Dhabi route in 2007. Dublin has long been one of Etihad Airways’ busiest routes and the airline has steadily expanded capacity on the service over the past six years.” Ireland’s Minister for Transport, Tourism, and Sport, Leo Varadkar TD said he was also delighted with Etihad Airways’ decision to further expand its Dublin route: “Etihad Airways is increasing frequency into Ireland by 40 per cent and thereby significantly increasing the number of potential visitors. Mr Hogan said: “From the moment we started flights to Dublin in July 2007 it has been one of our most successful routes and we’re delighted that from this July, seven years later, Etihad Airways will offer guests a double daily service to and from Abu Dhabi.
Amadeus launches new data intelligence tool for airlinesIn a competitive marketplace, it’s essential that airlines can benchmark their own performance against the comparable market and get an executive display of market data to make strategic decisions – quickly. When understood correctly, data is a powerful asset that helps airlines make faster, well-informed choices about their business. If airlines can compare market position and performance on a daily basis, understand which channels and locations sales are coming from, and compare past versus current performance, the benefits are clear.Amadeus’ new data intelligence tool Booking Analytics, which launches today, has been developed to help airlines achieve this competitive advantage – it benefits from the very latest in big data technologies, and allows airlines to extract new opportunities for growth from existing Market Information Data Tapes (MIDT) data from over 600 airlines.Whether a senior executive or a business analyst, users can visually monitor bookings – per route, per airline, per booking class, per agency point of sale, among other criteria, and act upon them. It also enables airlines to better manage inventory by adjusting their booking class offering, allows carriers to monitor passenger volumes right down to an Origin and Destination (O&D)* level and offers visibility to point of sale level where available. Booking Analytics can also inform decisions on network planning, such as the opening of new routes, schedule changes, and codeshare alliances.Pascal Clement, Head of Travel Intelligence, Amadeus, said: ¨Booking Analytics puts vital information about an airline’s performance against the market in the hands of decision-makers, on demand. Senior executives will be kept up-to-date, even on the move, with insights on key market metrics for their airline. This information is displayed on a user-friendly, customisable dashboard via an Amadeus-hosted web portal application, which is accessible from anywhere. It can be viewed easily on tablet devices, with all key metrics available at a glance. Put very simply – this will allow executives to make strategic decisions, such as adapting pricing and marketing strategies, quickly and effectively.”Mr. Jack Li, Director, International business division, Hainan Airlines explained: “Understanding our business’s performance in the context of the wider marketplace is essential as we develop and refine our business strategies. Amadeus Booking Analytics allows us to understand exactly where our bookings are coming from, both in terms of O&Ds and points of sale, and how this compares to others in the industry. Armed with this information, we can make strategic decisions more effectively to maintain our competitive edge.”Business analysts will not only benefit from the predefined dashboards, they’ll also be able to fully customise their display with an intuitive drag and drop capability, whilst being able to filter the information based on any criteria of their choice. The Booking Reports Composer module as part of Booking Analytics allows analysts to access and add any of the MIDT fields to their reporting requirements. They also have the added benefit of being able to save, export and share their reports internally with peers at the click of a button.Booking Analytics is a new solution within the Amadeus Airline Market Insight suite, which enables airlines to better understand broader market dynamics, gain industry intelligence and therefore be more competitive. The Airline Market Insight suite includes MIDT data, Global Booking Processing, Booking Analytics, Traffic Analytics, Schedule Analytics and Search Analytics. Each solution in the suite is designed so that it can be adapted to each airline business and technical context.Source = Amadeus
Frasers Hospitality Group Sweeps 13 Awards at World Travel AwardsFrasers Hospitality Group sweeps 13 awards at World Travel AwardsFrasers Hospitality Group, a division of Frasers Centrepoint Limited (“FCL”), was recently honoured with 13 coveted titles at the 2016 World Travel Awards for Asia & Australasia ceremony in Danang, Vietnam. In the highly contested Australasia region category, Frasers Hospitality clinched the prestigious Leading Serviced Apartment brand awards across Australasia, China, Japan, Philippines, Singapore and South Korea.Adding to this feat, Frasers Hospitality also took home Australasia’s Leading Serviced Apartments award for Fraser Suites Sydney for its fourth consecutive year as well as Asia’s Leading Serviced Apartments award for Fraser Suites Singapore for the third year running.Further anchoring Frasers Hospitality’s position as a leading global hospitality group, five property-specific awards were also received for the following countries:Singapore’s Leading Serviced Apartments for Fraser Suites SingaporeChina’s Leading Serviced Apartments for Fraser Suites ChengduJapan’s Leading Serviced Apartments for Fraser Residence Nankai OsakaSouth Korea’s Leading Serviced Apartments for Fraser Place Central SeoulMalaysia’s Leading Serviced Apartments for Fraser Residence Kuala LumpurMr Choe Peng Sum, Chief Executive Officer of Frasers Hospitality Group, said: “We are delighted to receive 13 accolades at the prestigious World Travel Awards ceremony for Asia & Australasia this year, and we are heartened by the strong show of support and validation from travellers and industry professionals in so many different markets.”“The awards demonstrate Frasers Hospitality’s commitment to meeting, and going beyond, the ever evolving needs of the international traveller. Moving forward, we will continue to enhance our offerings and raise service standards at every possible touch-point in order to remain the preferred choice for our valued guests and partners in an increasingly competitive marketplace.Now in its 23rd year, the World Travel Awards is acknowledged as the ultimate hallmark of quality, and the winners are voted by travel and tourism professionals, consumers and stakeholders across the globe.Frasers Hospitality Group’s global portfolio, including those in the pipeline, stands at 140 properties in more than 80 cities and 23,400 keys worldwide. Frasers Hospitality Group discover more hereSource = Frasers Hospitality Group
Munich Airport’s new “digital welcome mat”Contemporary design, comprehensive information, new features, and with functionality optimized for all devices: that sums up the new face of the redesigned Munich Airport website: www.munich-airport.com. The site is used by approximately 13 million visitors annually. The new website has more than 1,000 pages providing passengers, meeters and greeters and airport visitors with all they need to know about flights, check-in, directions, parking, things to do at the airport, and the wide range of services, shopping and dining options available there. Big images and video clips convey a realistic sense of the exciting world of the airport, enticing shop, visit restaurants, or experience the excitement at the popular events in the Munich Airport Center and the Visitors Park.To find their way around more easily, users can take an advance 3D tour of the terminals and see where shops and gates are located. A route planner function makes it easy for passengers to plan their trip to the airport or the parking facility of their choice. The website also has a functionality to conveniently book a parking space before leaving home.With the user-friendly interface and an excellent search function, users will find what they need with just a few clicks. The airport website is responsively programmed. That means that all pages are optimized for the user’s device and will load quickly. The page contents are tailored to online reading habits, with streamlined texts and an entirely new layout: The objective is for customers to find out what they need to know for their trip as quickly as possible. The latest technologies now make it possible to publish new content within seconds, ensuring more flexible and up-to-date user information than ever before.The site content also includes facts, figures and the latest news on the company, partnerships within the airport region, career opportunities at the airport, sustainability initiatives and airport development projects. Potential business partners can learn all they need to know about the services offered by the FMG Group, from ground handling and consulting to rentals of advertising media. They can also submit bids directly for current tendering processes.Summing up the benefits of Munich Airport‘s new “digital welcome mat”, Hans-Joachim Bues, the head of Corporate Communications at Munich Airport (FMG) says, “For everyone – from families traveling with excited children, business travelers on a tight schedule, or seniors looking forward to their journey – when it’s quicker and easier for passengers to get the exact information they need, the comfort factor before, during or after a flight is vastly improved.”Source = Munich Airport
Singapore is a city that will charm you and enthral your senses but if you’re ever thinking of getting away from the hustle and bustle of the city come down to the Bukit Timah Nature Reserve, a 400-acre reserve that is home to more than 1,000 species of plants and 200 species of animals.Source: BBC
Share in Data, Government, Origination, Secondary Market, Servicing Consumer Sentiment Weakens in Preliminary September Report The “”Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan Index of Consumer Sentiment””:http://www.sca.isr.umich.edu/ fell to a five-month low of 76.8 in September’s preliminary report, spelling a potentially weak third quarter in terms of consumption growth.[IMAGE]Out of a group of economists surveyed by _Bloomberg_, the median projection for September’s preliminary reading was 82. Estimates ranged from 77 to 85.The decline in overall sentiment was largely due to a drop in the Expectations Index, which measures consumer confidence for the next six months. That index fell to an eight-month low of 67.2.[COLUMN_BREAK]The expectation for inflation over the next year rose to a six-month high of 3.2 percent, “”giving the Fed more reason to begin the tapering of QE3 [quantitative easing] at the FOMC [Federal Open Market Committee] meeting next week,”” said Amna Asaf, economist at “”Capital Economics””:https://www.capitaleconomics.com/. The Federal Reserve’s loose monetary policy over the past year has been based largely on the currently low inflation and high unemployment rate.Meanwhile, the Current Conditions Index, which serves more as a measure of personal finances and the job market, fell to 91.8, another five-month low.””On the whole, based on the historical relationship, the expectations index now suggests that third-quarter consumption growth might slow down a bit, from the second quarter,”” Asaf said. “”However, near-term outlook has improved. The recent rally in stock markets along with the improving trend in actual retail sales data suggest that prospects for a pickup in fourth-quarter consumption growth are improving.””While the mid-September report may point to a weaker month for sentiment, the final numbers–to be released September 27–may play out differently. For example, while August’s index value of 82.1 represented a decline from July, it was still stronger than the mid-month report indicated. September 16, 2013 450 Views Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Confidence Consumer spending Federal Reserve Investors Jobs Lenders & Servicers Processing Service Providers Unemployment 2013-09-16 Tory Barringer
November 21, 2014 507 Views Movers & Shakers Solutionstar 2014-11-21 Tory Barringer Share In a recent company announcement, Nationstar subsidiary Solutionstar named Chad Neel as its EVP of servicing solutions.Neel joins Solutionstar from McCarthy and Holthus, LLP, where he was director of corporate strategy. Earlier in his career, he served as senior managing director and division president for more than a decade at Lender Processing Services, where he oversaw several different business units.”We’ve looking forward to leveraging Chad’s broad experience and successful operational track record by having him lead several of our business units,” said Solutionstar President Shawn Stone. “We believe he will immediately add value and expect we’ll soon see the development of new products and services.”In his role at Solutionstar, Neel is tasked with leading and growing the firm’s existing Servicing Solutions business, including its Homesearch.com auction and online marketing platform and its asset management, REO closing, short sale management, recovery, and field services businesses. He will also focus on launching new products, technologies, and services for the company’s customers.”Solutionstar is a rapidly growing organization providing exceptional products and services to the real estate and mortgage industries. I’m looking forward to helping the company expand into new areas,” he said. in Headlines, News Solutionstar Names EVP for Servicing Solutions
Spanish lemon crop estimated to be lower than bump … Production of the Verna variety is forecast at 380,000MT, which is almost double last year when production was 38% lower than the two-year average. This season’s forecast would be a 9% rise on the 2016-17 season.“Excellent flowering, new plantations coming into production and the impact of grafting orange trees with Verna lemon trees explain the strong growth of this native Spanish variety, which is marketed over the summer months, meaning Spanish supply will be available during most part of next 2019 summer,” AILIMPO said.The group said this campaign’s expected production will allow the sector to consolidate its export volume of fresh fruit to EU markets.It added that good volumes of both Fino and Verna varieties would allow it to boost exports to non-EU markets like the Middle East, Canada and Brazil.”With this harvest forecast, the lemon processing industry into juice, essential oils and dehydrated peel expects to return to normal lemon processing activity, where Spain ranks second in the world and which plays a key role in regulating supply and market balance,” it said.AILIMPO also expects the larger volumes to allow for “a proper balance of pricing and distribution of financial value along the chain”.Photo: Shutterstock Spain has forecast a rise in lemon volumes for the 2018-19 season, with “uneven” growth expected for the country’s two varieties.Industry association AILIMPO’s first estimate of the season pegged volumes at 1.3 million metric tons (MT). This figure will allow it to remain the main supplier of fresh lemons in the European market and the second processing country worldwide, it said.With harvests due to begin in September, the Fino variety is expected to see an increase of 14% due to good flowering conditions and new plantings coming online.A production of 920,000MT is forecast for the industry’s main variety, dependent on the amount of water available in summer and rainfall in autumn.“The Fino lemon crop forecasted will allow increasing exports to non-EU markets, more tonnage for processing and keeping similar volumes for the European markets,” the group said. You might also be interested in Argentine lemon export season delayed significantl … July 25 , 2018 Limoneira’s Q1 results hit by lower lemon pricing … Argentina’s citrus crop still “paralyzed”, light e …
“This year we’re not as bullish on the pre-Christmas market,” he says.”We know that retailers will make the switch quickly – as soon as they start seeing condition issues with California fruit, they will make the switch over and you’ll want to be there with fruit to satisfy their demand. “The problem is predicting when that’s going to happen.”Greenberg says the situation is unnerving for Peruvian growers because as an importer he isn’t prepared to make promises he can’t keep.”Today it’s almost impossible to predict what you can do with a container of imported fruit.”The situation is a bit different for Vanguard International as it has its own vineyards in Peru’s central Ica region through farms from Challapampa it acquired in 2016. Vanguard CEO Craig Stauffer says Peru is off to a great start, and the grape category overall is set to enjoy “unprecedented promotional activity” as global supply is “plentiful to fill the needs of every global market”.”The Northern growing areas – Piura and Lambayeque should finish harvest early January. The Southern growing region of Peru – Ica where Vanguard Challapampa vineyards are in brilliant production – will starts harvest in Week 46 (mid to late November),” he says.Winkelmann says the biggest increases in Peruvian volume are coming from the traditional varieties Red Globes, Crimsons and Sugraones, while Sweet Globes continue to be a “market darling”.”Shipments from Peru to the USA are also up on last year with Sweet Globes also getting a lot of the early action. No surprise here as Sweet Globes are leading early exports with a lot of equally spectacular varieties coming along,” he says.”With harvest dates delayed somewhat in Peru and “normal” harvest dates in Chile it is very likely that we will have California, Piura, Ica and III region from Chile all looking for their place in the market.”Stauffer is expecting Chile to be packing season volumes of Red Globes from Weeks 51 to Week 15, Green Seedless Week 47 to Week 12 and Red Seedless Week 47 to Week 18. Meanwhile, he claims South Africa is off to a good start as well after some great and “much needed” rainfall over the country’s winter.”No doubt we are going to see some “new” trade lanes carved out as Peru and Chile look to “ up their game “ into the EU and the U.K. which were “traditionally” South African-dominated markets,” says Stauffer.”There will be new partnerships formed this year and again, the ultimate winner will be, we hope, the grape category as a whole. These new varieties and new supply chains are perfect for enticing “new “ consumers into the category.”While Peru’s rise to prominence and its timing warrant attention, it is worth noting Chile is still the world’s leading grape exporter. In 2017 the value of its exports were almost double that of Peru, and a third higher than the world’s second-largest player – the USA, principally California. Chile has also historically been very reliant on the U.S. market, generally selling close to half its product there. But last year that percentage was down to around 44%.”The Chileans have been more reliant and have less traction in other markets than do the Peruvians,” says Greenberg.”The Chileans also have the added burden of they traditionally ship a lot of Flames early on in the piece, and those Flames are being met with increasing disfavor – people are more interested in the Peruvian Crimsons and in the new varieties than they are in Chilean Flames.”He says that as the earliest Chilean Flames have traditionally not sized well – even though quality has been fine – the variety as a whole has been “discredited”.”So a lot of Chilean Flames that used to come will not come, not because they’re going to go somewhere else but because they’ve been pulled out.”We’ll see a reduction of Chilean Flames coming out of Copiapó and Coquimbo this year, but there will be Chilean fruit shipped.”Chile’s table grapes have been affected by a recent hail event but the extent is as yet unclear. It is expected that the bad weather has cut the walnut crop in half and that the cherry sector could have up to US$100 million in losses. An export reshuffle from CaliforniaApart from having a large crop, the Californian table grape industry has also had the challenge of tariffs in China this year. But it appears a diversification strategy has helped soften the blow”Certainly, tariffs have had an impact in China and Hong Kong, but other export markets increased volume,” says Stauffer, citing Australia, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, South Korea and the Netherlands as examples.”Overall exports are reported to be down less than 8%.”Pandol’s comments are similar, highlighting that export numbers through to the end of September were “basically the same”.”California exports to about 50 countries; some are up, some are down,” he says.”Of the major markets that have increased versus last season, Australia and Mexico are way up. China and Hong Kong have seen a decline.”Photo: www.shutterstock.com While significant promotional activity has taken place in North America and globally to move a huge Californian table grape crop, large inventories presage what one importer describes as a “tricky early import season” ahead for South American fruit. At Freshfruitportal.com, we hear from a few key industry players about their views on what to expect for the coming months. Pandol Brothers special projects director John Pandol says pushing more product through the same channels in less time is a “Houdini-like trick”. And with Vanguard International chief business development officer Dirk Winkelmann highlighting Peru’s global grape shipments were up 40% year-on-year to 3.4 million boxes as of Oct. 31, it seems the industry will need more contortionists and magic than ever before.”The California Grape industry will continue to promote heavily through the fall and winter months. Weather and the efficacy of those promotions will determine how stocks will move for the remainder of the campaign,” says Winkelmann.Winkelmann says if the quality of Californian table grapes can hold, harvests could still go on for more than a month.”So it’s certainly possible that we will see some stock going into January,” he says.”California has had a great growing season-weather conditions made for almost “perfect” growing weather which resulted in an excellent crop,” adds his colleague at Vanguard, CEO Craig Stauffer.”The California Grape Commission announced that the California industry set a new 5-year record shipping 23 million boxes worldwide between Sept. 8 and Oct. 12,” says Stauffer.Pandol forecasts the total crop might even be 10 million more boxes than 2017, all harvested in one week less. “The amount remaining to harvest and the amount of grapes sent to processing are also higher,” he says.”There is an urgency to move grapes to market fresh. Fresh grapes drive demand at retail and that is helping. Storage is seldom a solution to big crops.”Prices both FOB and retail are lower. Retail promotions have been robust, including one week where half of the stores in the USA sample were on promotion with black grapes.”Pandol explains one of the biggest differences this year versus 2017 has been the awareness of the situation. Last year around the time of the Produce Marketing Association (PMA) Fresh Summit in October, many Californian shippers thought the late market would be stronger and slowed down.”That turned out to be a “Market Mirage” and there was no pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, only cold stores full of aging grapes. There is a sense of urgency but not panic,” he says.Capespan North America CEO Mark Greenberg says it is very clear that there’s a “substantial overhang” of Californian fruit.”Right now we’re looking at a total increase on paper anyway of close to six million boxes more table grapes available today than last year at this time,” says Greenberg.”And even those numbers can be a little misleading because there’s still fruit being added in the sense that one, picking has not actually finished, and two, it’s not clear if this captures everything that has been picked.”The numbers will reduce week to week because I think they’re still consuming more grapes than are coming into the system. But it’s a massive crop.”Southern Hemisphere supply outlookGreenberg prefaces that as an importer his company isn’t involved in the Californian table grape deal, but his general observation has been that movement over the summer was “sluggish” and prices were not especially high.”Nonetheless, retailers like the product. As an importer, we’re cognizant of the fact that unless we have a home for imported fruit in these circumstances we’re really loathe to bring in fruit to sell speculatively to retailers that may not be ready to transition over to imported sources until mid-to-late December, perhaps not until January,” he says.”We’re not alone in thinking that we’ve got to be really careful in how we move forward – the only fruit that we have coming in now is fruit that is programmed for a customer that is committed to that fruit.”We and our fellow importers are pushing back and saying right now to the Peruvians, who are producing a lot of fruit, ‘don’t ship’.”Greenberg says Peruvian exporters are finding other markets in response.”They’re more focused on Europe and the U.K., knowing though that when South Africa gets up to speed and really starts getting into its harvest which I presume will happen in the next couple of weeks, they’re going to need to find other markets,”It looks like it’s going to be a very tricky early import season for the South Americans in North America.”Pandol says most retailers are planning to transition to Peruvian grapes later this season.”Typically most transition in the second half of December but many are planning to transition in January this season,” he says.”California always has a few million boxes sold after January 1, and I speculate there will be more this year. The late season fruit increasingly is harvested into holding totes and fresh packed to customer specification immediately before dispatch. “Retailers also know the ports can be problematic around the Christmas and New Year holidays and the logistics from California are more reliable.”Greenberg echoes Pandol’s comments, emphasizing that as California has produced varieties that do well and can stay in the market for longer, Capespan North America has normally started its first imports a couple of weeks before Christmas, mainly with red seedless and some white seedless. You might also be interested in November 23 , 2018
“This facility will enhance the quality and reputation of Costa Group’s world leading blueberry genetics, which have been grown in Morocco for over a decade,” said McPherson.“The blueberry varieties that we grow give us a distinct competitive advantage in the United Kingdom, European Union and Russia as we are able to deliver a premium fresh product into those markets.”(L-R) African Blue general manager Avi Weizman, Government officials, Australian Ambassador to Morocco Berenice Owen-Jones, and Costa Berry International general manager Peter McPhersonAfrican Blue general manager Avi Wizman said around 200 people attended the opening, including Australia’s first Ambassador to Morocco, Berenice Owen-Jones, government officials, customers, clients and service providers.The opening coincided with a visit to Australia by Aziz Akhannouch, Morocco’s Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries, Rural Development, Water and Forests, who toured one of Costa’s berry farms in Corindi, New South Wales, to gain an insight into the Australian operations.Costa acquired a majority ownership stake in African Blue in late 2017. The Morocco production area is 294 hectares, with supply from an additional 108 hectares from licensed third-party growers. Further development is currently being undertaken to extend the length of the season including plantings at Agadir located on the Atlantic Ocean.In addition to the Moroccan operations, Costa operates three berry farms in China with more than 100 hectares. Brazil blocks market access for Argentine pome fru … Blueberry grower-exporter African Blue has opened a new packhouse in Morocco to serve markets including the European Union, the U.K., Russia and Asia, as it continues its expansion.The company, in which Australia’s leading produce company Costa Group holds a majority stake, recently inaugurated 10,000-square-meter facility in Larache, making it the largest berry packing facility servicing the European market. The plant has been designed to handle seasonal capacity of up to 12,000 metric tons of blueberries and is capable of processing 150MT per day.Costa Berry International general manager Peter McPherson, who is in Morocco for the opening, said this was another major investment by Costa Group in Morocco through its majority-owned companies African Blue and Sweet Berry. You might also be interested in Huge increase in Chilean D’Agen plum exports to Ch … February 20 , 2019 NZ: ‘Catapulting’ avocado prices affect local busi … U.S.: Procacci Brothers acquires family-owned prod …
– / 25 I find that I keep going back to a comment Cardinals Play-by-Play man Dave Pasch said on the pregame show before the Hall of Fame game vs. the Saints. It’s not a direct quote so apologies to Dave if I botch it, but I liked it so much I tweeted it out that afternoon:I want to see something out of Kolb and Skelton to make me feel better about both. Four preseason games and I’m still waiting. I’m starting to suspect I’ll write the same thing after four regular season games. D-backs president Derrick Hall: Franchise ‘still focused on Arizona’ But let’s be honest. He could have done so much more Thursday night. Enter Kevin Kolb, who had to know that as the new underdog in this competition he had a chance to win back the hearts and minds of the coaches, players and fans. Here it is, an hour (as I’m writing this) later, and I’m still not sure what to make of Kolb’s night that included:• 17-for-22, 156 yards, and a QB rating of 73.3• Two of the worst interceptions a QB fighting for his job could throw, sandwiched around….• A touchdown drive that went 86 yards and included a 53-yard bomb to Larry Fitzgerald• Authoring a three and out to start his night that one NFL writer coined “one of the worst possessions ever”I suspect a lot of stock is going to be put in that top line. A pitcher who gives up a pair of two-run homers can say, well, I only threw two bad pitches all night. Similarly, Kolb and the coaches can say that overall it was a good night for him; he just threw two really awful picks. And since we all know the tie goes to Kolb due to the salary and all they gave up to get him, my guess is he has now pulled back in front. None of which is actually designed to make you feel better. What an MLB source said about the D-backs’ trade haul for Greinke Cardinals expect improving Murphy to contribute right away The Cardinals quarterback competition is like getting lost in the woods. We’ve come all this way only to find we’ve been walking in a giant circle.John Skelton (not Jonathon Trent Dilfer) was the night’s biggest letdown. He completed 4-of-10 passes for 41 yards, tossed a pick on an overthrow and has a QB rating of 12.9. The drops were an issue (Heap, Floyd). His protection was a major issue (DJ Jazzy Jeff would have been more effective than DJ Young). It would be easy for me to rationalize Skelton’s performance as not his fault since I had already (in my mind anyway) given him the starter’s job. Maybe we’d look at his night differently if those balls were caught or a switch at left tackle happened sooner. Top Stories Comments Share Nevada officials reach out to D-backs on potential relocation
Quarterbacks:The Cardinals once again find themselves embroiled in a quarterback controversy. Although this time it is John Skelton’s right ankle sprain that’s re-opened the door for Kevin Kolb to prove himself. Kolb cashed in on a big pay day a year ago and now needs to find a way to earn that check.Kolb is expected to get the start for Ken Whisenhunt Sunday, and possibly for the foreseeable future, depending on how quickly Skelton heals and if Kolb is able to impress.Despite Kolb losing the starting job to Skelton, he led the team to an exhilarating victory after entering the game against the Seahawks in the fourth quarter and going 6-for-8 for 66 yards with a winning touchdown pass to Andre Roberts.While there’s never a dull moment on the quarterback front in the Valley of the Sun, the Patriots are rock solid at the position with one of the best in the game, Tom Brady, firmly entrenched at the helm. With three Super Bowl rings and multiple MVP awards, Brady is surely looking to avenge last season, which ended with a surprising Super Bowl loss. Brady has only faced the Cardinals once in his career, missing the most recent match-up between the two teams back in 2008. Nevada officials reach out to D-backs on potential relocation 0 Comments Share Rookies Dont’a Hightower and Chandler Jones played a pivotal role in the Pats season-opening win and have solidified the Patriots’ rush defense. Belichick has earned a reputation as a defensive guru, and most observers expect that he will soon restore luster to his team’s defensive corps.Outlook:It looks to be a cloudy forecast in Foxborough for the Cardinals. Despite bringing an impressive defense East, the Cardinals will be no match for a stacked Bill Belichick coached squad, which has been dubbed by many as legitimate Super Bowl contenders.Prediction: Patriots 31, Cardinals 14 In Week 1, Brady went 23-of-31 for 236 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions for the win in Memphis against the Titans. Offense:Brady is fortunate to be leading one of the NFL’s most feared offenses. The Cardinals defense faces the inevitable responsibility of defending two of the game’s elite tight ends in former University of Arizona alum Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez. Another battle that should be fascinating to watch is between two of the NFL’s best wide receivers — Arizona’sLarry Fitzgerald and New England’s Wes Walker. Both franchise receivers were in the top four in the league for receiving yards in 2011.Neither wideout had huge numbers in their respective team’s openers. Fitzgerald had four catches for 63 yards, while Welker had just three receptions for 14 yards. Both teams are expected to target their franchise receivers much more often in Sunday’s match-up. With Kolb leading the Cardinals offense in Week 2, expect Fitzgerald to see significant action. The Patriots are well aware of how dangerous Fitz can be, even in hostile territory. He caught a 78-yard touchdown pass for Arizona in New England in 2008. D-backs president Derrick Hall: Franchise ‘still focused on Arizona’ Cardinals expect improving Murphy to contribute right away What an MLB source said about the D-backs’ trade haul for Greinke The Arizona Cardinals have a tall task ahead of them Sunday when they face the potent Bill Belichick-led Patriots on the road for New England’s home opener at Foxborough.With the Patriots scary good offense and much-improved defense, the Cardinals are, not surprisingly, deemed big underdogs in what appears to be a lopsided match-up.The Patriots, favored by 13.5 points, are on a streak — having won the last five meetings against the Cardinals. Plus, Fitzgerald is expected to become the youngest player to reach 700 career receptions; he’s just three shy. Belichick was quoted this week heaping the praise on Fitz, saying he may end up being the best ever.As for Welker, Brady is likely to target him early and often against a potent Cardinals pass rush. In terms of the running game, the Cardinals backs failed to impress in Week 1, rushing for only 43 yards on 20 carries. The Patriots, on the other hand, watched Stevan Ridley rush for a career-best 125 yards and one touchdown last week. The Cardinals ability to contain the Patriots running game undoubtedly starts with Ridley.Defense:The Cardinals acclaimed defense is getting praise from their Week 2 nemesis in the press this week. The Patriots have expressed their concern with facing a physical and strong defensive line, led by Darnell Dockett and Calais Campbell.Ray Horton’s troops have shown they will play hard for the duration the game, can withstand poor officiating, and don’t get easily rattled by the competition. The defense will need to focus on getting sustained pressure on Brady and containing Ridley, Gronkowski and Welker.The Patriots 31st ranked defense took a lot of heat last season, but the team has bolstered that area in spades this offseason. Top Stories
0 Comments Share Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact The Cardinals took a flyer on Mathieu in the third round of April’s draft, and up to this point they’ve been handsomely rewarded.Mathieu, who is set to start for the Cardinals at free safety Saturday against the Dallas Cowboys, has done everything the team has asked of him.And, as Keim said, he wants to do more.“We talked about Tyrann, how he handled the big stage,” Keim said of a conversation he was having with head coach Bruce Arians following the team’s preseason opener last Friday in Green Bay. “We’re sitting there, and he’s telling me the fact that he played in the late first quarter, the second quarter, the third quarter…’T, time to get out of the game.’“He didn’t want to come out of the game.”Mathieu tallied four tackles, one sack and one pass defensed in his first taste of NFL action, but his reasoning for wanting to stay in the game had little to do with how well he was playing.After being out of football the last year, the last thing Mathieu wanted to do was leave the field. “From a football standpoint, that says a lot about the guy,” Keim said. “Talks about his passion, it talks about his love for the game. And you know what? He realizes he made a lot of mistakes.” “He is ready to turn the page.”Those words, said by Arizona Cardinals general manager Steve Keim on the Big Red Rage on Arizona Sports 620 Thursday, were in reference to rookie Tyrann Mathieu.Mathieu, of course, is one of the most high-profile rookies in the NFL, and easily the most talked about first-year player on the Cardinals.A defensive back out of LSU, his story is well documented, including being a Heisman Trophy finalist in 2011 before being dismissed from the Tigers by head coach Les Miles due to issues with substance abuse. Top Stories Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling The first-year general manager added that as a football player, Mathieu earned a very high draft grade from the team. But at the same time, he slipped to the third round (69th overall) for a reason, and those red flags were — and are — still present.“Off the field, we understand what we’re up against,” Keim said, adding that while Mathieu is receiving some much-deserved positive attention, they’re all approaching his life and career “one day at a time.”“Every day we’re trying to get better and we’re hoping to get to the next day, and that day we’re going to get better,” he said. “As long a we can do that and we find ourself into December and January, I think we have a chance with this young man because he has all the qualities you look for.“We just need to make sure that we have the right support system in place.” – / 31 Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo
I think he’s a very dynamic player. Probably the most difficult player to defend that we played against all year. We played against some really good players. I think, like, the Clemson quarterback is really, really a good player. But when you’re talking about a guy that is an effective passer and has the quickness and speed and versatility of Kyler Murray, it is really, really hard on your defense.It takes you out of almost everything that you want to do. We didn’t get a lot of pressure on the guy because we rushed three guys a lot, because you have somebody spy the guy all the time, and then the spy can’t get him on the ground. So it’s like, ‘Why are we even doing this?’ But when you don’t do it, he pulls it down and runs it for 25 yards. So it’s really, really difficult. This guy is a really dynamic player. A fine young man, too, really sharing some time with them in the playoff game and some of the things that we do, he’s a character quality leader on his team as well.The NFL Draft will begin on April 25. If you had to pick the three names that are most commonly linked to the Arizona Cardinals in mock drafts, those would probably be Nick Bosa, Kyler Murray and Quinnen Williams.It just so happens that Alabama head coach Nick Saban is very familiar with the latter two, and had positive things to say about each of them when he joined Bill Lekas and Charlie Weis on SiriusXM NFL Radio this week.Williams, a defensive lineman, was Saban’s own player at Alabama. He was a starter for two years there for the Clemson Tide, earning a unanimous All-America selection in 2018 as he made 71 tackles, 19.5 for loss, to go with eight sacks and a pass defensed. Several mock drafts have him going No. 1 overall to the Cardinals next month. (Getty Images) The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact “Q is just very, very instinctive,” Saban told SiriusXM NFL Radio. “Really good initial quickness. He’s also one of those guys that’s very bright and understands blocking schemes.Related LinksArizona Cardinals acquire OT Marcus Gilbert for 6th-round pickGambo’s 6 free agent LBs the Cardinals are expected to targetArizona Sports NFL Mock Draft Tracker: Who’s next for the Cards at No. 1?“He’s got a little bit of explosive power to go with his initial quickness. So even though some people would think that he’s a little undersized, he doesn’t play that way. And he’s really athletic and a really good pass-rusher. So a really good combination, I think, for what people are looking for.”At the combine, Williams measured 6-foot-3 at 303 pounds.But the latest buzz has been all about Murray, the quarterback who has suddenly found himself surrounded by rumors that the Cardinals might take him No. 1. That would be quite the pick for several reasons, not the least of which being that the Cardinals took Josh Rosen No. 10 overall in last year’s draft.Saban saw Murray last year when Alabama faced the Oklahoma Sooners in the college football playoff semifinal, winning 45-34. In that game, Murray threw 19-for-37 for 308 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions. He also rushed for 109 yards on 17 carries and scored a touchdown. 12 Comments Share Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Top Stories Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires
One of the most historic and distinctive hotels in Boston joins Curio – A Collection by Hilton offering independent-minded travellers and Hilton HHonors members another unique, upscale hotel option from the global set of more than 20 open properties. Ames Boston Hotel, Curio Collection by Hilton is the first Boston hotel to operate as part of the hand-picked collection of distinctive properties.Ames Boston Hotel opens in the iconic Ames Building, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is still widely referred to as Boston’s “original skyscraper.” Constructed in 1893, the 114-room boutique hotel – which has undergone a multimillion dollar renovation – is conveniently situated near Boston’s busy Financial District, the Hynes Convention Center in Back Bay, the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center in the innovative Seaport District, and many public transit access points, including “T” stations at Haymarket, State Street, and Government Center. Additionally, Ames Boston Hotel abuts many of the city’s beloved landmarks and old-world neighbourhoods, including the Old State House, Faneuil Hall and Beacon Hill.“Ames Boston Hotel is an iconic landmark in one of the world’s most dynamic cities, and perfectly represents Curio’s focus on offering travelers distinctive hotels that are imbued with local character and personality,” said Mark Nogal, Global Head, Curio – A Collection by Hilton. “With our first property in Boston, we look forward to providing leisure and business guests the unique experience they seek from Curio when visiting spectacular destinations around the globe.”The 15-story Ames Boston Hotel merges the past, present and future, offering a blend of modern style and old-world sophistication. The renovation preserved many original features, such as the lobby’s tiled mosaic arched ceiling and a marble staircase that runs from the first floor to the roof. Upon arrival, guests will enter into a renovated lobby space featuring sleek new check-in stations and a casual seating area accented by warmly-toned wood shelving and trim pieces. Adjacent to the revamped entryway is a brand new Library Room boasting the same eye-catching, mid-century design scheme that begins in the lobby, which serves as communal workspace for guests and features a variety of comfortable seating arrangements that are ideally suited for solo travellers looking to unwind and small groups seeking informal meeting space.“Ames Boston Hotel blends modern style and old-world sophistication, a unique style enhanced by joining Hilton’s Curio collection,” said Trish Berry, General Manager, Ames Boston Hotel, Curio Collection by Hilton. “We are delighted to offer guests this perfect combination of age-old Boston charm with globally-recognised service and amenities.”
The new range of Giorgio Armani Fragrances and Beauty amenity kits are available exclusively on overnight services on all First Class long-haul and ultra-long-haul flights on the airline’s Airbus A380. Qatar Airway’s Airbus A380 operates on select services to Paris, London, Bangkok, Guangzhou in China, and now on the daily A380 service to Sydney. Qatar Airways, in partnership with Giorgio Armani, has launched its newly designed range of luxurious Giorgio Armani Fragrances and Beauty amenity kits, available to First Class passengers on select A380 flights.Designed exclusively for Qatar Airways, the First Class amenity kits are designed in timeless black, the signature colour of Giorgio Armani, and feature golden accents reflecting the latest Giorgio Armani Fall-Winter 2016-2017 collection.Ladies travelling with Qatar Airways will receive a stylish Giorgio Armani Fragrances and Beauty amenity kit that doubles up as make up or jewellery bag post-flight, while gentlemen will receive a smart travel bag made with a ribbed fabric that reflects the latest trends in male style and luxury.Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, His Excellency, Mr. Akbar Al Baker, said: “Giorgio Armani has an illustrious history of providing the discerning passengers with an unrivalled level of style, comfort and luxury and it is this brand synergy that is also synonymous with Qatar Airways. When we go places together with our passengers they receive the highest levels of luxury, sophistication and comfort and I’m pleased to be able to provide our customer with refreshed Giorgio Armani Fragrances and Beauty amenity kits designed exclusively for our Qatar Airways’ First Class passengers.”The newly designed kits continue to provide the luxury products desired by Qatar Airways’ premium customers. The First Class Ladies Giorgio Armani Fragrances and Beauty amenity kit includes SÍ Lotion, SÍ EDT, Giorgio Armani Perfection Eye Makeup Remover, and Giorgio Armani Crema Nera Extrema. The First Class male amenity kits feature Armani Eau Pour Homme Shampoo, Armani Eau Pour Homme EDT, Armani Men Master Lotion and Armani Men Perfect Master Serum.Both amenity kits include a comfort bag consisting of lip balm, socks, eyeshades and ear plugs while the ladies kit also includes a hair brush.
Autograph Collection is launching the Independent Film Initiative in January 2017. This dynamic, experiential cultural programme will celebrate independent film – an art form that shares Autograph Collection Hotels’ goals of championing individuality and diversity. The initiative will be curated by respected names working at the forefront of independent cinema including Franklin Leonard, Founder & CEO of The Black List, and digital entertainment distributor, FilmBuff.Programme highlights will include film premieres, live performances, director talks, screenwriter residencies, a signature cocktail as well as Autograph Collection Hotels’ very own indie film channel for guests.The Independent Film Initiative will kick off during January 2017’s Sundance Film Festival with the launch of the Autograph Collection Hotels & The Black List Sundance Social Space (19 – 23 January 2017). This will take shape as a vibrant networking hub at Autograph Collection’s Hotel Park City, where filmmakers will gather with Leonard and The Black List team. One of the week’s focal points will be the bestowal of Autograph Collection Hotel Residencies to five screenwriters shortlisted on the 2016 Annual Black List.“We are thrilled to partner with The Black List and FilmBuff to shine a light on storytelling,” said Amanda Altree, Senior Director, Brand Marketing, Autograph Collection Hotels. “Our ‘exactly like nothing else’ hotels are products of passion that inspire stories with their unique design and unmatched guest experiences – and we look forward to sharing those stories with the independent film community.”Through January 2017, Autograph Collection Hotels will serve as settings for other Black List events. The 2017 Black List Screenwriter Labs – weeklong, intensive workshops where promising yet non-professional screenwriters gather and enjoy one-on-one sessions with established professionals – will be staged at select Autograph Collection properties. The brand will also co-sponsor the Black List Live staged script readings, productions that bring to life Black List scripts as talented actors animate them on stage.“When you find another organisation that shares your values, it only makes sense to work together to further them,” said Franklin Leonard, Founder & CEO, The Black List. “Both The Black List and Autograph Collection Hotels champion craftsmanship and specificity in order to leave lasting impressions, and working together, we’ll be empowered to do more of both.”Autograph Collection Hotels will also host The Black List Happy Hour. These global gatherings happen monthly so The Black List’s community of scriptwriters can meet and exchange ideas offline. To commemorate the first Happy Hour, The Black List, a signature cocktail, created by an Autograph Collection mixologist and Mr. Leonard, will debut and henceforth be featured on hotel bar menus.Meanwhile, FilmBuff will curate the Autograph Collection’s Independent Film Channel. This will be a guest entertainment channel that will broadcast a range of titles from FilmBuff’s critically acclaimed library of 1500 titles. The content will include feature films, award-winning documentaries, shorts, TV shows and webisodes. Tailored to guests’ interests, the programming will focus on art, design, food and music.Autograph Collection Hotels Premieres by FilmBuff – a series of three debuts of FilmBuff releases – will be showcased through 2017 in screening rooms and iconic spaces at Autograph Collection Hotels. Each premiere will be preceded by a pre-curtain cocktail reception and followed by a film-festival-style Q&A with the production’s director.
Oceania Cruises has announced the new 2018 Europe & The Americas Collection, an array of voyages across the Mediterranean, Baltic and Northern Europe, Alaska, Canada and New England and the Caribbean. Featuring the most alluring and sought-after destinations in these regions, guests will enjoy immersive destination experiences and overnight port stays, fine cuisine, sumptuous accommodations, and the warm and anticipatory service that Oceania Cruises is famous for.“The 2018 Europe & The Americas Collection is not only diverse, it offers an astounding depth and breadth of exploration and immersion opportunities. From peerless culinary experiences to being up close and personal with fabled cultures, these voyages offer discerning travellers new ways to explore the world,” stated Bob Binder, President & CEO of Oceania Cruises.“Offering more than 100 voyages and 85 unique itineraries, 71 of which are brand-new, each of the itineraries has been crafted to offer the perfect blend of culinary, historical and cultural immersion. Calling on 218 destinations across four continents, the Europe and Americas voyages spend close to 90 per cent of their time in port and more than 60 voyages feature overnight, or double-overnight port stays, with the opportunity to combine sailings and save,” said Senior Vice President and Managing Director for Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Asia Pacific, Steve Odell.Voyages for the travel connoisseurWith the introduction of 71 brand new itineraries, travellers will find a wide array of “trophy voyages” that visit new and unusual ports of call or focus on exploring a particular region or country. “In addition to the wide array of Mediterranean and Northern European voyages to the must-see metropolitan regions, intrepid travellers will find a wide variety of new voyages that go off the beaten path or explore entire regions,” added Binder.European Grand Tour aboard the Sirena during an epic 85-day exploration of Europe. Sailing roundtrip from Miami, guests can discover virtually all of Europe without flying across the Atlantic. Visiting 48 ports in 15 countries on four different continents, the voyage features overnights in Florence/Pisa, Jerusalem, Venice and St. George. Departs 23 June 2018.Vikings & Royals showcases the best of the British Isles with the pathways of the intrepid Vikings. Scotland, Wales, the emerald isle of Ireland and the fabled Faroe Islands are featured along with the exotic northern lands of Iceland and Greenland. An overnight in dazzling Reykjavik is the centrepiece of this 20-day voyage aboard Nautica. Sails from London on 30 July 2018.Glorious Greece awaits during one of the most in-depth explorations of this storied land but doesn’t reveal the true extent of the voyage. In addition to Athens, Rhodes, Santorini, Katakalon and Heraklion, this voyage features some of Greece’s best kept secrets: Patmos and Gythion. Venturing slightly farther afield than the norm, this voyage features the added allure of Valletta and Taormina, centrepieces of the Roman Empire. This 10-day voyage aboard Riviera sails from Athens on 14 October 2018New ports of call: Acajutla, El Salvador; Calvi (Corsica), France; Galway, Ireland; Glengarriff, Ireland; Huelva, Spain; Roses, Spain; Santiago de Compostela (Vilagarcia), Spain.2018 Europe & The Americas Collection HighlightsRegatta Regatta spends the summer season exploring the picturesque ports of Alaska with a series of quintessential seven to 11-day itineraries, featuring eight round-trip Seattle and two round-trip Vancouver journeys. She continues her season with an 11-day sailing from Vancouver to San Francisco exploring the Pacific Northwest that includes calls on Victoria, British Columbia and Astoria, Oregon. Regatta winds down her season with an 18-day Caribbean journey visiting the new port, Acajutla, El Salvador along with stops in Mexico, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama and Colombia and finally with a 16-day, Passage to Panama cruise from Miami through the Panama Canal ending in Los Angeles .New ports: Acajutla, El Salvador.Insignia Insignia begins the season in the sunshine of the Caribbean before discovering cosmopolitan and boutique ports of call throughout New England with a series of six 10-day round-trip New York voyages, featuring an overnight in St. George, Bermuda. She continues with an array of 10-day cruises that extend into Canada, journeying along the St. Lawrence River. Insignia closes the season exploring the Eastern Seaboard with a 16-day Montreal to Miami voyage.Nautica Nautica opens the season with two British Isles voyages including a 10-day round-trip Dublin sojourn featuring two new ports in Ireland, Galway and Glengarriff. Next she sails further north for a 20-day exploration of Norway and Russia, including calls on the North Cape and Solovetsky Islands. Her season continues with four 12- to 20-day voyages in the Baltic and northern Europe before returning to the British Isles for a 12-day roundtrip London sailing. Nautica then heads south to close the season with five Mediterranean voyages navigating the Adriatic, Aegean, Greek Isles and French Riviera.New ports: Galway, Ireland; Glengarriff, Ireland; Santiago de Compostela (Vilagarcia), Spain.Sirena Sirena opens and closes the season with a series of 10- to 11-day sailings focussing on Bermuda, and the Caribbean. Sirena spends the heart of the season in the Mediterranean with an epic 85-day voyage around Europe which may be segmented into five diverse 10- to 12-day sailings highlighting the Iberian Peninsula, the French and Italian Rivieras, the Adriatic and the Greek Isles. Sirena’s final voyage of the season is a 25-day exploration of the Amazon River and Southern Caribbean.Marina Marina begins the season travelling the Baltic, Scandinavia and northern Europe regions with a variety of voyages ranging from seven to 14 days, five of them featuring two overnights in beautiful St. Petersburg. The highlights of her journey include expeditions deep into Norway to see fjords and the awe-inspiring Northern Lights. After her northern season, the ship heads south exploring Spain, Portugal, France and Italy. The season concludes by traversing the Mediterranean to Lisbon before crossing the Atlantic.Riviera Riviera begins her summer season with a roundtrip 12-day Barcelona voyage visiting the Canary Islands. She continues with an array of seven- to 12-day voyages complementing her season throughout the Mediterranean and Greek Isles. A series of seven-day unique getaways visit an assortment of boutique ports and chic destinations throughout Italy, France and Spain before arriving in Athens for a journey highlighting the very best of Greece. In the heart of the summer, she heads west touching upon Spain and Portugal while visiting two new ports in Spain, Huelva and Roses. Riviera ends the season with a 14-day exploration of Spain and the Canary Islands.New ports: Calvi (Corsica) France; Huelva, Spain; Roses, Spain.Exclusive offers for Australian cruise passengers include:50 per cent off deposits (valid until 31 December 2016)$250 shipboard credit on select 2018 European voyages (valid until 31 March 2017)OLife Choice (valid until 31 March 2017 Free Internet per stateroom, plus your choice of one of the following:Free shore excursionsFree shipboard creditFree beverage package
Go back to the enewsletterOman Air has taken delivery of its first of three triple-class Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft it has on order. Inaugural flight WY102 will be deployed to London Heathrow Terminal 4, from Muscat International Airport, starting 1 July 2018.The new Dreamliner features Oman Air’s new First Class product which boasts eight private suites, plus 24 Business Class seats and 232 Economy seats. Guests travelling in First Class can enjoy unparalleled levels of comfort with one of the longest 180 degrees flat-bed seats available on any commercial airliner. Fully enclosed, the suite has 55-inch (139.7-centimetre) extra-tall doors to ensure complete privacy.Abdulaziz Al Raisi, Acting CEO of Oman Air, said, “The 787-9 will further enhance Oman Air network with its incredible range and capacity. Our investment in the latest technology aeroplanes is part of our Vision 2030 strategy and our commitment to our esteemed customers to offer complete onboard comfort.”A host of enhancements will be introduced across all cabins from dining, amenities and comfort.A new exclusive chinaware, cutlery, glassware, linens and bedding collections will be launched to provide Oman Air premium guests with a unique, bespoke experience.Oman Air’s 787-9 First Class suiteNot forgetting young flyers, a new set of children’s activity kits called Junior Sinbad will also be launched to keep children entertained.All classes will feature ‘Aria’, a new state-of-the-art Thales Integrated In-Flight Entertainment System designed exclusively for Oman Air featuring an immersive cinematic interface design, showcasing the latest in on-demand blockbuster movies, TV programs and audio selections.Oman Air expects to receive a further two 787-9 Dreamliners by the end of this calendar year.Go back to the enewsletter
Go back to the enewsletterKey points:TravelManagers achieved 12 consecutive months of record sales, a milestone of 550 personal travel managers and launched individual PTM websites during a successful 2018Company credits success with a focus on personal and professional development, including dedicated training days, webinars and one-on-one meetingsThe company’s annual National Conference in August 2018 included the announcement of several new initiatives, including a new partnership with Luxury Escapes as the sole home-based network and inaugural retail partnerTwelve consecutive months of record sales, reaching a milestone of 550 personal travel managers (PTMs) and launching individual PTM websites were just a few of the highlights from a year of success for TravelManagers in 2018. TravelManagers’ parent company, House of Travel, has forecast turnover of $1.8 billion.“These achievements, and many more, come as a direct result of the experience, expertise and passion to deliver excellence for which our people are renowned,” explains CEO Grant Campbell, who notes that the company’s PTMs have an average industry experience of more than 20 years, with more than half having chalked up at least five years with TravelManagers.Professional developmentRecognising that investing in their people reaps great rewards both for the individuals and for the company, TravelManagers said it focused considerable attention on personal and professional development throughout 2018.“Along with nine dedicated airline product and fares days and six dedicated cruise training days this year, our BPMs have organised and attended over 800 one-on-one meetings with PTMs and 479 cluster meeting in metropolitan suburbs and regional centres,” explains Campbell.In addition to these face-to-face meetings, Campbell says 258 webinars were run by the National Partnership Office (NPO), providing updates on a range of topics, both internal and partner supplier-related.“We also ran 26 specific corporate webinars that were supported by dedicated corporate classroom workshops in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Adelaide and at the annual National Conference in Hawaii.Professional development also included 248 opportunities for worldwide product and destination famils, with 132 PTMs taking part in 15 famils that were exclusive to TravelManagers.New initiativesCampbell says TravelManagers are constantly seeking ways to enhance the business. Accordingly, several new initiatives were announced at the company’s annual National Conference, which was held in Hawaii in August.“The conference brought together more than 200 PTMs, so it was an ideal venue in which to announce our new partnership with Luxury Escapes as their sole home-based network and inaugural retail partner,” Campbell said. “Our exclusive partner status means that we are the only retail travel network with direct access to Luxury Escapes’ prominently advertised and promoted holiday content.”Also announced at the conference, TravelManagers’ new Network Assistance Program (NAP) is an initiative aimed at supporting its members’ health and wellbeing.“Our PTMs can choose their own work hours and location, so it’s important they still have the support and camaraderie they would enjoy in a traditional office environment,” Campbell explains. “The retail travel environment is not without its stresses and challenges, but NAP is designed to provide PTMs with access to expertise across a wide range of professional services, covering everything from anxiety and anger management to mediation and conflict resolution.”Campbell says feedback from the conference regarding these two initiatives mirrored feedback on the conference overall, which was overwhelmingly positive.“Our 2019 annual national conference has been confirmed for 9–11 August in Perth,” adds Campbell, noting that although the 2018 conference was a great success, the company will be looking to deliver something even better this year.On breaking records“We started 2018 by being recognised as Scenic’s top performing national home-based agency network for the fourth year running, and concluded with PTM Jo Patton winning the 2018 Avis Scholarship of Excellence – the second consecutive year that a TravelManagers personal travel manager has won the award.”However, not being content to rest on their laurels, Campbell says TravelManagers are looking to continue breaking records in 2019, and adds that they are off to a strong start. Last weekend, TravelManagers was once again recognised by Scenic at its annual ‘Night of Stars’ event, collecting the Highest Sales Home-Based Australia-Wide Sales Award.“Our first full business week this year saw us welcoming six newly-signed PTMs for their induction training – a fantastic omen for the year ahead,” Campbell reports. “Despite the record-breaking achievements by many areas of our business in 2018, we have plenty more planned for 2019, and we are looking forward to seeing what successes this year will bring”.Lead image: TravelManagers first inductees for 2019 from left to right are PTMs: Dominic Bellissimo (NSW), Sally Tobing (Vic), Julie Marchese (WA), Lauren Oliver (Vic), Jade Marshall (Vic), Breeanna De Ruysscher (Qld), welcomed by Chief Operating Officer, Grant Campbell.Go back to the enewsletter