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April 2007 issue

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Tourism boost in Australia

A recent web poll conducted by the Australian Tourism Export Council revealed that international visitors are staying longer and spending more in Australia. More than 60 per cent of tourism operators responded to the poll, which revealed that 5.5 million overseas visitors went to Australia last year; the highest figure ever recorded.

The web poll results have boosted the council’s confidence, according to ATEC Managing Director, Matthew Hingerty, who said that these statistics only strengthened the December 2006 Overseas Arrivals and Departures report. He revealed, “Visitor nights and expenditure increased by 12 per cent on the previous year [and we now need to] focus on developing new products and experiences to appeal to new markets.”

Both the UK and the USA posted a marginal rise in visitor numbers to Australia last year, but two of Australia’s key markets, New Zealand and Japan, saw a decrease. Consequently, Hingerty said that he is keen to “encourage those from our traditional markets to come back [and] stay longer”.

Long-term, the predictions are positive. Australia’s Tourism Forecasting Committee forecasts that more than eightmillion international visitors will travel to Australia in 2015. The committee also indicated that China and India could emerge as significant markets.


Tiger Airways' bold expansion plans

Singapore-based budget airline, Tiger Airways, is to add another Australian destination to its list of services, following the launch of scheduled flights from Singapore to Udon Thani, in northeast Thailand, earlier this year. The new Singapore to Perth route will fly four times a week, with daily flights planned to commence in November.

The airline has also revealed it wants to launch a domestic Australian airline to compete with local low-cost carriers Jetstar, operated by Qantas, and Virgin Blue. Meetings with the Australian government were underway at the time of going to press.

“There will be significantly lower fares,” said Tiger Airways Chief Executive, Tony Davis. “I think people in Australia are fed up. They can’t get the same kind of deals domestically that they get when they fly with Tiger Airways internationally.” He added, “Asia has [already] embraced the concept of genuine low fare travel.”


Airbus A380 wins over media despite delay

The launch of the new Airbus A380 has hit delays and Juergen Thomas, the man who designed the world’s largest commercial aircraft carrier, has said the Airbus underestimated the problems that surrounded its development.

Faulty software and installation hiccups led to a delay in the aircraft’s global launch and millions of dollars were lost as a consequence. At a recent media launch, Thomas said, “It [was] a big disaster to me that we have had all these problems.”

Nevertheless, in a bid to reaffirm the Airbus A380’s reputation as a manufacturing triumph, the aircraft manufacturer invited the media to sample its inflight services first-hand. Over 200 journalists took to the skies to sample the flying environment offered by the A380. One reporter said, “What strikes me is the relative silence, the spaciousness and the amount of light, even in economy class.”

Five development-model A380s had flown at the time of going to press and Airbus has orders for 176 of the 555-seater aircraft from 16 customers.


Ryanair profits through rising prices

Low-cost Irish operator, Ryanair, saw a 28 per cent increase in revenue in the third quarter of 2006, owing to a 19 per cent growth in passenger traffic and the carrier’s decision to increase ticket prices.

The airline’s Chief Financial Officer, Howard Millar, said the seven per cent increase in ticket prices had been introduced because fuel surcharges were being added to fares charged by competitors.

He said passengers were also being asked to contribute towards charges for wheelchairs and luggage handling, dubbed the “hidden extras”. Millar commented, “If fuel prices stay low, other airlines may start to drop surcharges and [this may mean] average fares come down a bit.”


Travel Update

Singapore’s Changi Airport (CAI) is looking to acquire a 29 per cent strategic stake in the largest airport in China’s Jiangsu Province. RMB 1.08 billion (US$139 million) will be pumped into Nanjing Lakou International, helping to modernise and improve the 10-year-old airport. Having already invested in several major airport deals in Abu Dhabi and Russia, CAI has also set its sights on India.

The USA and Europe are to resume talks about transatlantic aviation and the open sky policy. Previous negotiations failed after neither side could reach a decision regarding the restrictions that currently prevent transatlantic flights from flying point-to-point within the USA. Jacques Barrot, Transport Commissioner from the European Union, stressed that, “Some difficult issues are on the table, but failure is not an option”.

Flights between Canada and the USA are said to have been a major factor in Air Canada and WestJet’s record passenger loads for January. Cross-border traffic rose by 6.5 per cent and Canada’s two largest airlines reported that higher demand for air travel had improved their network growth at the beginning of the year.

BMI flights from London to Paris face the axe as Eurostar and no-frills competitors pile on the pressure. BMI Chief Executive, Nigel Turner, said demand simply wasn’t high enough to warrant a continuation of the service. He reported passenger numbers had fallen by as much as 37 per cent over the past four years. Competition looks set to increase even further with the introduction of a high-speed rail link in November.

Brazilian airline TAM intends to double its flight frequency to the UK following pressure to meet passenger demand. As of October last year, TAM offered a daily flight from Heathrow to Sao Paulo, but after fellow Brazilian airline, Varig, withdrew its services earlier this year, TAM has had to pick up the slack. British Airways is the only other airline that offers a direct passage to South America, serving Brazil and Argentina.

New York will soon offer travellers another entry point into the USA. The Port Authority of New York, which controls JFK, Newark and La Guardia, has taken over Stewart Airport, 60 miles north of Manhattan. The airport currently deals with domestic flights and receives just 300,000 passengers a year. However an airport spokesperson said, “The idea is that Stewart [will] become a relief valve [for New York].”

Middle Eastern airline, Etihad, is looking to offer several alternative flight connections on its Abu Dhabi to Australia passage; flying via Heathrow, Gatwick and Manchester. A non-stop service from Abu Dhabi to Australia has also been earmarked. Like the Far East, the Middle East is fast becoming responsible for handling a sizeable chunk of passenger traffic via the UK.

Contact any advertiser in the this issue now

The following language schools, associations and accommodation providers advertised in the latest edition of Language Travel Magazine. If you would like more information on any of these advertisers, tick the relevant boxes, fill out your details and send.

Name

Company
Country

Telephone

Email


ACCOMMODATION
Britannia Student
       Services

ASSOCIATIONS/
GROUPS
English Australia
Perth Education City
Quality English

INSURANCE
Student Guard
       Insurance

WORKSHOPS / EXPOS
Alphe Conferences
CEC Network
ICEF Online
Language Travel
       Magazine Star
       Awards

SERVICES
Language Travel
       Phonecard

TOURIST BOARDS
Malta Tourism
       Authority

AUSTRALIA
English Australia
Perth Education City

CANADA
Bodwell College
College of New
       Caledonia
Immersion Baie-des-
       Chaleurs
National School of
       Languages

CHINA
Mandarin House

CZECH REPUBLIC
Global Study
       (Karlov College)

ENGLAND
Aspect
Basil Paterson
       College
Bell International
Bloomsbury
       International
Britannia Student
       Services
English Studio
Frances King
       School of English
IH London
ILS Nottingham
LAL Language
       and Leisure
       (England, Malta,
       South Africa, USA)
Living Learning
       English
Malvern House
       College London
Oxford Intensive
       School of English
       (Australia, England,
       France, Germany,
       Spain, USA)
Quality English
Queen Ethelburga's
       College
St Giles Colleges
       (Canada, UK, USA)
Study Group
       (Australia, Canada,
       England, France,
       Germany, Ireland,
       Italy, New Zealand,
       South Africa,
       Spain, USA)
SUL Language
       Schools
West Devon English
       Language School

FRANCE
Eurolingua Institute
       (Argentina, Austria,
       Australia, Belgium,
       Brazil, Canada,
       Chile, China,
       Colombia, France,
       Greece, Ireland,
       Italy, Japan,
       Malta, New
       Zealand, Spain,
       South Africa,
       Sweden,
       Switzerland,
       Portugal, UK, USA)
SILC - Séjours
       Linguistiques
       (England, France,
       Spain)
Home Language
       International
       (Argentina,
       Australia, Austria,
       Brazil, Canada,
       Chile, China,
       Czech Republic,
       Denmark, Egypt,
       Finland, France,
       Germany, Holland,
       Hungary, Ireland,
       Italy, Japan, Malta,
       NZ, Norway,
       Poland, Portugal,
       Russia, Spain,
       Sweden,
       Switzerland, UK,
       USA, Venezuela)

GERMANY
Prolog- International
       House Berlin

IRELAND
Atlantic Language
       Galway
Dublin City University
       Language
       Services
Dublin School of
       English
Galway Cultural
       Institute
High Schools
       International
       (Australia, Canada,
       England)
Swan Training
       Institute

ITALY
ALCE

MALTA
EC - English
       Language Centres
       (England, Malta)
Malta Tourism
       Authority

RUSSIA
AMBergh
       Management AB
       (Russia, Ukraine)

SCOTLAND
University of
       Glasgow

SPAIN
Comunicación
       Language School
Malaca Instituto -
       Club Hispánico SL

SWITZERLAND
EF Language
       Colleges Ltd
       (Australia,
       Canada, China,
       Ecuador, England,
       France, Germany,
       Ireland, Italy,
       Malta, New
       Zealand, Russia,
       Scotland, Spain,
       USA)

USA
ALCC - American
       Language
       Communication
       Center
ELS Language
       Centers
Hun School of
       Princeton, The
inlingua School of
       Languages
Kaplan Educational
       Centers (Canada,
       England, USA)
University of Illinois
       at Urbana-
       Champaign
Zoni Language
       Centers
       (Canada, USA)

WISE WISE

CANADA
Global Lifestyles
IH Vancouver
National School of
       Languages

ENGLAND
LAF
Tellus Group
Training Partnership
       Ltd. (The)
Twin Group

SPAIN
International House
       Sevilla - CLIC