Best Western opens serviced apartments property in Africa

living and dining area, Executive Residency by Best Western Nairobi


Amenities include a fitness centre, heated indoor swimming pool and a meeting room for up to 60 guests. The Grove rooftop restaurant serves local and international cuisine and cocktails with city views.

Commenting on the opening, Best Western’s senior vice president of international operations Suzi Yoder said:

“Executive Residency by Best Western is a new introduction to our brand, which provides exceptional longer-term accommodations to satisfy the needs of the business and leisure traveler. The Executive Residency by Best Western Nairobi will further solidify our presence in Kenya, specifically in Nairobi, one of the fastest growing cities in Africa.”

This is Best Western’s third Nairobi property, joining the Best Western Premier Nairobi and the Best Western Plus Meridien Hotel.

Rates start at US$126 per night.

Air France and KLM standardise economy fares

Air France Economy

Air France and KLM standardise economy fares

New European fares now in three categories – Light, Standard and Flex.

Air France and KLM are introducing new fare classes in the economy cabin. The new fares which were phased in across the Air France site last week but will not be available on until January 2017 will be on all international flights within Europe, and to North Africa and Israel.

The new products are:


The lowest fare – hand-baggage-only (no checked luggage, though there is the possibility to take hand baggage: 1 baggage item + 1 accessory (total weight: 12 kg / 26 lb) at any time before the flight on or for 21GBP.


For an additional fee of €40-50, this offers the option of one item of baggage and the ability to change the ticket for a fee.


For an additional fee of €70-150 this offers no change fees and a refund at no extra charge), as well as the possibility to take advantage of the SkyPriority service at the airport and an inflight meal.

In all classes, passengers will receive

A refreshment, snack or meal (depending on your flight’s duration) and beverage will be served;

Self-service newspapers available in the boarding hall. Free digital media selection available via smartphone, tablet or laptop starting 30 hours before your flight with AF Press or KLM media app;


“Transparency and enrichment for our customers, is our basis for building these new fare products on Air France and KLM medium-haul network. By introducing these new products we will make it easier for our customers to choose the services and the flexibility that they need.” stated Pieter Bootsma, Executive Vice President Commercial Strategy Air France-KLM.


Swiss economy passengers can now buy lounge access

Swiss B777-300ER

Swiss is now selling Business Lounge access to  economy class passengers.

The offer is being made available to all economy passengers flying Swiss and other members of the Lufthansa group.

It covers the Business Lounges in Zurich and Geneva airports.  And, as one might expect in Switzerland, lounge admission (for one person) will set you back CHF39 (Euros 36).

Full details of lounge amenities, how to locate and book access and so on can be found on

It would appear that lounge access is being made available to passengers taking either long- or short-haul flights.

The publicity blurb states that Business Lounge access is available to passengers who have “booked a valid ticket for a Swiss, Lufthansa, Austrian or Edelweiss flight.”

Aeromexico launches Early Bird sale


Aeromexico has launched an Early Bird sale, offering discounted fares from the UK to Mexico, the Caribbean and Central America.

Flights from the UK to Cancun, Cozumel, Los Cabos and Havana start from £150 for a round trip in economy and £1,000 in business class, excluding fees and taxes.

Round-trip flights to Mexico City start from £300 in economy and £1,600 in business class, while flights to Central America and the Caribbean start from £160 for an economy return and £1,630 in business class – also excluding fees and taxes.

Sale tickets can be booked until January 31, 2017 for travel between January 9, 2017 and December 15, 2017. UK flights include Aeromexico’s codeshare with KLM and interline with Airfrance departing from Manchester and Glasgow.

Aeromexico currently flies from Heathrow T4 to Mexico City six times a week with a new fleet of B787 Dreamliners. It plans to boost its frequency to a daily service from summer 2017.

The airline serves 44 destinations in Mexico, 18 in the US and a further 15 cities across Latin and South America.

Flybe signs codeshare agreement with Singapore Airlines

Flybe Embraer E175

Flybe and Singapore Airlines have announced a codeshare agreement.

The deal means passengers using Flybe’s services from five UK airports can book onward flights to more than 100 Singapore Airlines destinations.

The codeshare also opens up additional connections via Paris Charles de Gaulle and Dusseldorf.

Cities and routes currently included in the new Flybe-Singapore Airlines’ codeshare partnership are:

Route Connection(s)
Aberdeen Via Manchester
Belfast City Via Manchester
Southampton Via Manchester
Birmingham Via Paris CDG
Manchester Via Paris CDG
Birmingham Via Dusseldorf
Manchester Via Dusseldorf


Additional cities such as Edinburgh, Glasgow, Inverness, Isle of Man, Exeter and London City are also available through an interline agreement between the two carriers.

Vincent Hodder, Flybe’s chief revenue officer said: “Our new codeshare agreement with Singapore Airlines is another exciting development for Flybe. It further strengthens our ability to connect our regional customers to long-haul destinations with our ‘One Stop to the World’ proposition and also serves to boost local economies by encouraging inbound business and leisure travel.”

Firmdale to open the Whitby hotel in New York in February

The Whitby hotel, New York

Luxury boutique group Firmdale Hotels will open its second New York property in February.

The Whitby hotel is located on West 56th Street at Fifth Avenue, three blocks south of Central Park. The new-build will be architecturally similar to its existing Manhattan property, Crosby Street, and will have 86 rooms and suites across 16 floors.

Rooms will start from 39 sqm. As with the UK-based group’s other properties, which include London’s Ham Yard, Charlotte Street and Soho hotels, each has been individually designed by owner Kit Kemp. They will have floor-to-ceiling windows, marble or granite bathrooms, and free wifi, with 14 also featuring private terraces.

The all-day Whitby bar will serve breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea and dinner, and the property will also have an outdoor terrace, orangery, library, gym, event space and a 130-seat cinema.

Flydubai launches double daily Bangkok service

flydubai aircraft at Dubai International with Emirates aircraft in the background

Flydubai has launched a double daily service between Dubai and Bangkok.

Served by the airline’s single B737-800 fleet type, this is the first Flydubai route to operate twice a day outside of the Gulf region.

The first flight of the day departs at 0140 from Dubai International airport, arriving at Bangkoks Suvarnabhumi International airport at 1050, while the second departs Dubai at 1620, landing in Bangkok at 0125 the following day. The first return flight of the day departs from Bangkok at 0235 and arrives in Dubai at 0655. The second flight leaves Bangkok at 1210, landing in Dubai at 1630.

Commenting on the new service, Ghaith Al Ghaith, chief executive officer at Flydubai, said:

“Today’s inaugural flight to Bangkok is a significant milestone for our airline and represents the increasing maturity of flydubai’s network. We look forward to offering business and leisure travellers from both Dubai and Bangkok increased choice and flexibility across our network.”

Serving more than 90 destinations worldwide, the airline plans to deliver another 100 aircraft by the end of 2023.

Promotional rates are currently being offered for the launch with business class return fares to Bangkok priced at AED3,240 (£706) and economy class returns priced AED 1,240 (£270), including taxes.

The airline has recently launched its Open rewards programme, which offers one reward point for every US dollar spent and pre-paid extras such as legroom, checked baggage and preordered meals.

Qatar Airways offering group discounts

Qatar Airways' travel together, save together promotion

Qatar Airways has launched a new “travel together, save together” campaign that gives customers discounts of up to 55 per cent when travelling in groups.

The promotion is applicable to first, business and economy class fares when travelling groups of between three and nine people, and members of the airline’s loyalty programme Privilege Club can earn double Qmiles on flight purchases.

A sample of the discounted prices includes flights from Hong Kong to: Stockholm starting at HK$3,050 (US$393.3); London starting at HK$3,380 (US$435.8); and Sao Paolo starting at HK$10,810 (US$1,393.8).

Announcing the offer, Qatar Airways’ chief commercial officer, Hugh Dunleavy, said: “With this offer travellers can treat loved ones to a holiday in Paris, grab a group of friends and take on New York, or seek adventure off the beaten track. Wherever our guests explore, we’re sure they will create memories together that they will cherish forever.”

For the duration of the promotion, children up to age 12 are also able to travel for free when each is accompanied by an adult, up to a maximum of two children per booking.

Passengers who book online can also receive Qatar Duty Free shopping vouchers offering discounts of up to 25 per cent on purchases made at the airline’s duty free outlets at Hamad International Airport.

Qatar Airways’ promotion runs until December 5, 2016 for travel before June 15, 2017, with blackout dates from December 15, 2016 to January 10, 2017.

Earlier this month, the Qatar carrier introduced a new Apply Pay service along with rolling out digital membership cards for Privilege Club members.

Emirates offers special air fares

Emirates A380 double-decker

This year (on December 2) the UAE will celebrate its 45th National Day since the unification of its seven emirates and its consequent birth in 1971. Commemorating this, Dubai’s flagship carrier, Emirates has special ongoing fares. 

Booking period for the discounted fares ends on December 10, for travel between December 3, 2016 and June 19, 2017. 

Below are the lowest fares (subject to availability) for a return economy ticket between Mumbai and 

Dubai — ₹14,699 

Nairobi — ₹33,850 

Istanbul — ₹34,593 

London — ₹37,252 

New York — ₹56,357 

Jamavar launches in London

Jamavar, London

November marks the opening of Jamavar, the signature restaurant of The Leela Palaces, Hotels and Resorts, in London. The fine-dining Indian restaurant opens on Mount Street in Mayfair, making its debut outside the country.

The sixth outpost of the restaurant, Jamavar London will be spearheaded by Rohit Ghai, who has previously led Benares and Gymkhana, noted fine-dining Indian restaurants of the British-capital.

Inspired by the viceroy’s house in New Delhi, the restaurant is designed by Fabled Studio and spread across two floors. There is also a private dining room for 8 diners that comes along with its own wine vitrine.

The restaurant named after the shawls of 16th century-Kashmir first opened at The Leela Palace Bengaluru in 2001. It went on to open in four other hotels of The Leela Palaces, Hotels and Resorts in New Delhi, Chennai, Goa and Mumbai. Jamavar is also a partner with Lufhtansa Airlines, which offers its culinary offerings to its business and first passenger on Germany-India routes.