KENYAN TRAVELERS GET SPECIAL VISA DEAL FROM EMIRATES
Dubais award winning national airline, Emirates, leaves apparently no stone unturned when it comes to capturing more traffic and travelers from Kenya will be given a special deal for Visa in coming weeks.
The airline is arranging for a 30 day free Visa for passengers in all classes or on any fares, for tickets booked between August 13 and 20 and for travel anytime between September 05 and October 04, from Nairobi to Dubai and back, NOT for transit passengers though it was pointed out.
Given for free over this period, and literally granted unless previous infringements would in a rare case prevent an application to be rejected, the offer will undoubtedly draw in the extra numbers of Kenyans wishing to visit the city that never sleeps and which has become the home of some of the worlds greatest tourist attractions, such as the Burj Khalifa, around which an entirely new part of Dubai has grown in recent years.
(Picture courtesy of HK Strategies Nairobi on behalf of Emirates)
A similar deal is also being extended to passengers from Tanzania, though it could not be confirmed immediately that Ugandans too would be able to take advantage of this very special deal. Watch this space for regular aviation news from the Eastern African region.
DIRECTOR OF WILDLIFE SACKED OVER ILLEGAL EXPORT OF WILDLIFE
Tanzanias no nonsense minister for natural resources and tourism, Ambassador Khamis Kagesheki, announced today the sacking of several top officials in his ministry for their involvement in the illegal export of wildlife to Qatar in November 2010, as was reported here soon afterwards when the scandal broke. This was following information leaked into the public domain by a number of aviation personnel, who watched in person how a Qatari airforce aircraft was being loaded with the animals before taking off, following the presentation of forged and falsified documents clearing the cargo and the flight.
The biggest casualty of the affair for now is Mr. Obeid Mbangwa, until now Director of Wildlife in the ministry, alongside two other personnel based in Arusha. The Deputy Director for Wildlife was reportedly demoted to a lower rank while other officials alleged to have been involved in the scandal, to a lesser extent, were given warning letters, a career stopper for all purposes.
Other government personnel are still said to be under investigation however, together with the facilitators from the private sector, after a parliamentary report raised the alarm and, amongst several other reasons then claimed the scalp of Kageshekis hapless predecessor Ezekiel Maige, who was sacked earlier in the year by President Kikwete.
According to a regular and reliable source, the sacking of the three will pave the way now to start the process of prosecuting them and others for the role they played in the illegal export of game and birds, and although Qatar has been reportedly reluctant to cooperate with investigations initiated via the CITES Secretariat in Lusaka, Tanzanian personnel is expected to travel to Qatar in due course to collect further evidence to be used during the anticipated trial of the culprits.
The development comes hot on the heels of a new report submitted in parliament over massive commercial style poaching of as many as 30 elephant a day and both reports were picked up internationally by the media and conservation organizations, bringing Tanzania into some serious disrepute and denting the legacy left by founding father Nyerere as a conservation minded nation. Watch this space.
QATAR AIRWAYS ADDS THE WINDY CITY AS US DESTINATION NUMBER FOUR
The Worlds Five Star Airline has just announced their plans to commence daily flights between Doha and Chicago from April 10th next year onwards, bringing to four the number of US destinations served nonstop, following New York, Washington DC and Houston. The airline, already flying a cargo service twice a week to the Windy City will be using a B777-300ER with 335 seats for the 15 hour flight, offering the award winning business and economy class service for which QR has bagged award after award. The aircraft offers a configuration of 2x2x2 in business class and 3x3x3 in the economy class cabin, 1 seat less per row than most of their competitors, giving the passengers added comfort and space. Qatar Airways flies daily into the East African region using state of the art Airbus A320 equipment, connecting Entebbe and Kigali, Dar es Salaam and Kilimanjaro and Nairobi to their global network. Notably though have flights initially planned for mid August to Mombasa been shelved for the time being, suspected to be a result of a row over verbally assured traffic rights between Nairobi and Kilimanjaro, which the Kenyan government then at the last moment withheld just days prior to the inaugural flight, which was to route from Doha via Nairobi to JRO. The launch flight then had to be hastily re-routed via Dar es Salaam, prompting this sharpish reaction by the airline at a time when Mombasa is in great need of extra flights and travelers, having suffered a more than 20 percent decline of arrivals this year over 2011.
Qatar Airways Chief Executive Akbar Al Baker, said on the occasion of announcing the new destination: As Qatar Airways continues its aggressive expansion, we are pleased to finally offer another gateway in the United States, this time to the The Windy City of Chicago, five years after we began operations to North America. Chicago is a key route for business and leisure travellers alike, connecting them from destinations across India, Africa, Middle East and Asia Pacific with a one-stop service via Doha to the Midwest. For the people of Chicago and the Midwest, we look forward to offering a great travel experience on the worlds best airline to cities across our network with one-stop convenience through our Doha hub. Our onboard experience is distinct and provides an unparalleled commitment to service quality, reinforced by the recent accolade from Skytrax, naming Qatar Airways the worlds best airline for the second consecutive year.
Flying to now 118 destinations around the world with a fleet of 110 aircraft, Qatar Airways continues to take delivery of a new aircraft in average every two weeks and has already announced more destinations to be served in the coming months, including Yangon / Myanmar, Maputo / Mozambique and Belgrade / Serbia. The airline was only recently pronounced the worlds best airline by Skytrax for the second consecutive year and the premium class ground handling in Doha too was awarded the same accolade, expected to get better still when the new international airport will be opened in either late 2012 or early 2013, the exact date still to be announced.
Watch this space for aviation news from the Eastern African region