Archive for October, 2015

And the Fly Africa saga continues with passenger reactions being entirely selfexplanatory

FLY AFRICA FACEBOOK PAGE OVERFLOWING WITH COMMENTS FROM ANGRY PASSENGERS(Posted 30th October 2015)

The following comments sourced from the Fly Africa Facebook page just moments ago speak for itself and call into question the various statements made by the airline and its executives about resuming services either yesterday or today.
Judge for yourself and ask and answer your own questions what that really means for Fly Africa’s continued doing business in Zimbabwe and the public perception about the airline and its reputation, which can only be described as being in absolute tatters:

flyafrica.com

5 hrs ·

We regret to inform our loyal passengers that we have had to cancel all our flights from and to Zimbabwe today. Passengers booked to travel on our HRE-JNB-HRE route today will be accommodated on our flight tomorrow. Passengers booked to travel on our VFA-JNB-VFA route today, or our BUQ-JNB-BUQ route today will be accommodated on our flight on Sunday. For more information, or if you do not wish to travel on these alternative dates, please contact our call centre or email feedback for a refund in the same form of payment as used in your original reservation.

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Heather Savory

Heather Savory Please can you advise whether we can come and get a refund? There is absolutely no way I am going to chance our flights with you next week! We have an expensive connection and I am pretty sure you won’t help with those costs if we miss that flight. Ridiculous customer service.

Like · Reply · 2 · 51 mins

Kimberly Daniels

Kimberly Daniels you really need to pull up your socks guys… and the tendency of inconveniencing us is just so unacceptable. we get notified late!!! at this rate you’ll lose customers. some of us had urgent matters to attend to and have missed them, an alternative flight won’t compensate….need refund!

Like · Reply · 19 mins

Peter John Griffiths

Peter John Griffiths Enough of your lies. You told pax booked on this morning’s flight to Hre that they would reschedule on this afternoons flight,which in turn was cancelled. We were booked on 132 departing 1600. We loaded up and went to the airport.nly in the departure hall did we discover that,yet again,the flight was cancelled. We have booked to fly Air Zimbabwe,departing at 20 00 tonight. Their fare is very little different to yours. Your service is non existent,your lies pathetic.

Like · Reply · 5 · 2 hrs

Kirsten Marx

Kirsten Marx PLEASE could somebody tell me whether sundays flights are still going ahead or whether I need to re-book with another airline

Like · Reply · 2 hrs

Nyarr Kurmz

Nyarr Kurmz You better off finding other alternative on time otherwise you will be disappointed, was at Hre international airport whole day they where tossing up

Like · Reply · 1 hr

Zvenyika Kamwana

Zvenyika Kamwana Fly africa please pull up your socks.You only turned one recently but that does not tally with your service delivery.Booking someone on a flight a day later after his booked date is not good coz we have plans;we do not just travel.ALSO IMPROVE ON COMMUNICATION PLEASE

Like · Reply · 3 · 4 hrs

Edward Murambwa

Edward Murambwa These people must be serious. One minute they say they are back in full force and the next minute they are cancelling flights. What about those people who have no where to sleep, are they going to offer them a place to sleep? I dont know what is going to happen on the date that l am booked.

Like · Reply · 1 · 2 hrs

Nomvula Novie Mwase

Nomvula Novie Mwase This is terrible terrible service fly africa, you just cancel bookings without plan b? No answers on your call center and no replies on email

Like · Reply · 3 hrs

Tony Gibson

Tony Gibson Is the 4 November flight to VFA going to fly??

Like · Reply · 1 · 5 hrs

Christo Burger

Christo Burger They start of with a whole bag full of wonderful promises to their customers and passenger to be. Low air fares, on time schedules bla bla bla!!! What a joke!!!! They will be grounded very soon by a lack of passengers should they carry on in this manner!!! What a circus they are!!!

Like · Reply · 1 · 2 hrs

Tapiwa Munyawiri

Tapiwa Munyawiri No one is answering when we call all their centres

Like · Reply · 2 hrs

Jackie Audrey

Jackie Audrey I have no words for you… clearly you don’t care about passangers- came at 4am, told to hang around 1pm, no explanation.. no breakfast or lunch offered- flight cancelled no solution no what … it’s all about money to you and you really don’t care about passangers

Like · Reply · 4 · 4 hrs

3 Replies · 4 hrs

Mandi Mitchell

Mandi Mitchell It’s all very well and good saying that the cancelled tickets will be refunded. I’ve been waiting for an answer re my full refund following my flight Byo – JHB being cancelled on Wednesday. Don’t bother emailing the feedback address as NO ONE bothers to answer you and your queries.

Like · Reply · 1 · 5 hrs

3 Replies · 3 hrs

Emile Van Zyl

Emile Van Zyl Nobody answers the calls made to the call centre while no replies on emails. Why bother trying to call?

Like · Reply · 1 · 4 hrs

1 Reply

Brenda Wadzie Kasipo

Brenda Wadzie Kasipo Hi, you still havent responded to y question. I had booked for DEC/JAN return JNB/HRE . What should i do? Do i get a refund and is this going to be sorted? Also why are calls on 010 100 3540 NOT BEING ANSWERED?

Like · Reply · 2 · 5 hrs

12 Replies · 1 hr

Adrie Potgieter

Adrie Potgieter no answer on your landline????

Like · Reply · 4 hrs

Edwin Van Urk

Edwin Van Urk Just cancel Flyafrica completely

Like · Reply · 2 · 5 hrs

Roche Pretorius

Roche Pretorius The dates are in the future, so hopefully; they will get it sorted smile emoticon

Like · Reply · 2 · 5 hrs

Patson Boaner'ges Moyo

Patson Boaner’ges Moyo By the time I fly u guys better have yo wings ready, neh?? Dec, alright?

Like · Reply · 1 hr

World Tourism Arrivals are up by 4 percent

International tourist arrivals up 4% driven by strong results in Europe

(Posted 30th October 2015)

International tourist arrivals grew by 4.3% in the first eight months of 2015 according to the latest UNWTO World Tourism Barometer, fuelled by strong results in Europe and consolidating the trend of recent years. International tourists (overnight visitors) travelling the world between January and August 2015 reached 810 million, 33 million more than in the same period of 2014.

Europe, the world’s most visited regional destination, recorded a robust 5% increase in international tourist arrivals, the highest across all regions and a notable result for a rather mature region. Asia and the Pacific, the Americas and the Middle East all enjoyed 4% growth, while limited data available for Africa points to an estimated 5% decrease in the number of international tourists.

Sustained growth in international tourism is very positive news for all as the sector increasingly contributes to creating jobs, promoting trade and investment, developing infrastructure and fostering inclusive economic growth. This is particularly true in recent years, when tourism has been instrumental in supporting the economic recovery of many countries and in generating new jobs‘ said UNWTO Secretary-General, Taleb Rifai.

Yet, we should not be complacent. We need to continue advancing fundamental issues such as travel facilitation and connectivity while placing sustainability at the core of our action. As world leaders prepare to meet in Paris next December for the 21st Session of the Conference of Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP21/CMP11) and following the approval of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development by the UN General Assembly in September 2015, sustainability must be at the forefront of the tourism agenda‘ he added.

Regional Results

A very busy summer season contributed to the remarkable results of Europe where international arrivals increased by 5% between January and August 2015. The euro area continues to benefit from a weaker currency and a sustained economic recovery. Central and Eastern Europe (+7%) rebounded from last year’s decline. Northern Europe (+6%), Southern Mediterranean Europe (+5%) and Western Europe (+4%) all recorded sound results for subregions with many mature destinations. The 28 countries of the European Union (EU-28) boasted 6% more arrivals this period, exceeding the regional average.

Asia and the Pacific recorded a 4% increase in international arrivals through August. Oceania (+7%) led growth, followed by South-East Asia (+6%), with Thailand showing a strong rebound after weaker results last year. Arrivals grew by 4% in South Asia and by 3% in North-East Asia, where Japan continues to show extraordinary growth.

International arrivals in the Americas grew by 4% between January and August 2015, consolidating last year’s strong results. The appreciation of the US dollar has stimulated outbound travel from the United States. The Caribbean and Central America (both +7%) saw the highest growth in the region fuelled largely by the US and European markets. Results in South America (+4%) were in line with the regional average, while in North America (+3%) growth was weighed down by weaker arrivals in the United States.

Limited available data for Africa points to a 5% decline in arrivals, with North Africa decreasing by 10% and Sub-Saharan Africa by 3%. International tourist arrivals in the Middle East grew by an estimated 4%, consolidating the recovery that started in 2014. (Data for both Africa and Middle East should be read with caution as it is based on limited available data.)

Currency fluctuations impact tourism demand

Although demand has been positive overall, tourism flows have been determined to some extent by the comparatively strong currency fluctuations. Many destinations are benefitting from more favourable exchange rates, while others have become more expensive, but seen their purchasing power abroad increase.

Among the world’s top source markets, China continues to report double-digit growth in outbound travel, benefiting Japan, Thailand, the United States and various European destinations. Among the other emerging markets, India, South Africa and Egypt reported double-digit growth in tourism expenditure. Meanwhile expenditure from the Russian Federation and Brazil was significantly down, reflecting the economic constrains in both markets and the depreciation of the Ruble and the Real against virtually all other currencies.

As for the traditional advanced economy outbound markets, data on international tourism expenditure reveal robust demand from the United States (+9%) and the United Kingdom (+5%), reflecting the strength of their economies and their currencies. Expenditure from both Germany and Italy grew by 3%, while demand from France, Canada and Australia was rather weak, partly as a result of the depreciation of their currencies against the US dollar.

The results for Africa point to a weakness in processing and interpreting data from land, sea and air borders across much of the continent with the notable exception of the Seychelles which consistently updates their arrival figures from week to week with a high degree of accuracy. Kudos therefore go to them while many other key tourism countries in Africa need to take this lesson to heart and improve their statistics services in order to provide timely updates, crucially important for planning and marketing purposes

More questions but no answers as passengers of this low cost airline get angrier by the moment

NO ANSWERS FROM FLY AFRICA BUT THREATS OF BRINGING A LEGAL CASE

(Posted 30th October 2015)

It was always my understanding that a key role for the media, print, electronic or new media on the web, was to investigate, ask questions and find answers, especially when, like in the case of an airline, public interest is at stake.

Therefore, when initially innocent questions are asked and the response immediately termed those questions ‘accusations’ then I, throughout my academic and professional career either got the meaning of a question wrong, or more likely did those who were asked react in panic and shot off their mouths, or in this case fingers without thinking much of the consequences, nor the availability of screenshots.

Communication from the airline, while claiming it was off the record, on the other side threatened a legal case against my first article published on the 29th not long after midnight, again letting contradictions rule as was already amply demonstrated in the initial post.

One of the greatest expressions of freedom in the United States, where eTurboNews is based, is the freedom of the media and unless it can be proven beyond a reasonable doubt, that one has acted maliciously, for instance with the intent to defame, no case brought against a media house was ever won by a plaintiff. It is called the freedom of speech and my speech, going by the comments received from readers, appears to have been remarkable restrained.

What the airline’s response however did accomplish was a close up monitoring of their Facebook page and the collection of various clients’ postings, expressing their indignation, disappointment and worse.

The question must be asked, as hardly any of those posts received any response, leave alone a substantive one, what is going on at Fly Africa in Zimbabwe, and for that matter also in Namibia where clients seem to have been stranded.

It is for readers to make up their own mind when they have studied the following collection and conclude how wisely, or unwisely, Fly Africa has acted when ignoring those posts and claiming that they were operating again as of the 29th, when to the best knowledge of this correspondent no flight took off from Zimbabwe on that day or since:

Elaine Tapson Rich Can I ask why you do this CONSTANTLY?! Cancel or change flights willy nilly as if people haven’t got important appointments, meetings, connection flights etc. already booked to tie in with the flights they have booked with you? I recently booked a flight with you, took out insurance on the understanding that if you cancelled the flight you would get me onto the next flight out of Harare (at your expense) because I had a vital oncology appointment with treatment later that day, and what happened? You cancelled, your staff told us to book the next available flight and we were guaranteed reimbursement. The change of flight cost us $485 one way but did we get reimbursed? No way! We were told that the goal posts had changed and the insurance didn’t really mean what we were lead to believe. We were treated with contempt by all your staff with no apology or empathy. I ignored, at my peril, everybody’s warning about your unreliable and non-existent service! DON’T Fly Africa is what I say! You pretend to have your passengers welfare at heart – sadly you are not going to have any passengers left to “care” about soon. Wake up and start providing some sort of service because at this point, nobody is really very impressed.

Marietjie Coetzee

Today at 8:11am

So while you are fighting with Zimbabwe, a group of passengers were stranded in Windhoek yesterday without explanation. Only put on the next flight out to Lanseria on Friday. One lady had to get to Jhb urgently due to a death in the family. A young man had job interviews lined up. What did you do? Nothing!!! Most of us had to fork out thousands to purchase tickets on Air Namibia or BA. We need answers, please..

Mandi Mitchellto flyafrica.com

15 mins ·

The letter sent out to clients to the cancellation and subsequent refund to let down customers clearly stated we must be patient for 24 hours. This period has come and gone and not one of my emails has been answered, and the Byo Flyafrica office is not giving us any answers either! Can someone please give out an updated statement, or better yet, answer the emails sent on your feedback call center

Cee Cee Capwellto flyafrica.com

1 hr ·

So what about this siphoning and externalisation of funds? Any comment on that by any chance?

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Peter Dorganto flyafrica.com

1 hr ·

will fly Africa fly today ?

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Duwayne Goddardto flyafrica.com

2 hrs ·

Good Morning flyafrica.com Please may we kindly have a status on flights.
Many Thanks.

Tony Gibsonto flyafrica.com

2 hrs · Boksburg, South Africa ·

I think a public statement confirming the resumption of flight schedules would answer a lot of questions right now. Are you flying from today or not??

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Melisa Mel Gambara They are not even answering phones!!!! May you please tell us what is going on.

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Michael Taylorto flyafrica.com

2 hrs ·

Rumours start when you stop communicating to you pax, what the …. is going on, conflicting info here, please reply., I’m meant to fly, do I book saa or BA now? Let me know before it’s too late !

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Fungie Pfachi i JUST BOOKED SAA. NO ANSWERS AND THE PEOPLE AT OR TAMBO WER POLITE BUT HAD NO ANSWERS.

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Michael Taylor Thanks, big problems there………

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Melisa Mel Gambarato flyafrica.com

2 hrs ·

Have flights resumed or not?? I’ve noticed that you guys have stopped responding to this question and you deleted your post about things being back to normal. We want answers you guys, you have our money.

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Jens La Barréto flyafrica.com

2 hrs ·

It is very sad to see so many complaints from many people on all social media platforms. Just a heads up – your venture will fail unless you start being on time with your flights. I certainly won’t use your services until customer feedback improves.

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Judy Breedt Micilloto flyafrica.com

3 hrs ·

Is the flights on for JHB today and what time as we believe the times has been changed

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Kashan Krawitz-Irmak Sitting at Whk airport the lady at fly Africa office not very assuring

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Kashan Krawitz-Irmak I don’t believe the flight will ever fly

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Fungie Pfachito flyafrica.com

5 hrs ·

Yet again a cancellation after all those confirmations that your schedules are back to normal… what a fraud… so disappointed..

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Carolyn Soleto flyafrica.com

12 hrs ·

Hi there – can you confirm if normal flights have resumed as of this afternoon as promised? We await your confirmation before booking with other carriers to replace existing Fly Africa flights – Thanks

What does one call such an operation if I may ask the question, emphasis on question, not making a statement? Shambolic? Unprofessional? Deceptive perhaps even? The client posts above seem to give plenty of answers towards that end and it would only be appropriate if the airline could at last respond to each and every one of them with a substantive answer, not one which is aimed to pacify them or fob them off.

Notably have local Zimbabwean media also now taken up the story and the Zimbabwe Chronicle has under the following link just shed more light on to the sad affair, notably exposing that promises that operations would resume on the 29th were clearly premature at best and willfully misleading at worst, quoting the Minister for Transport and Infrastructure Hon. Joram Gumbo. http://www.chronicle.co.zw/aviation-authority-grounds-fly-africa/

NewsDay, another Zimbabwean publication, equally came out strongly and their take on the affair is available via https://www.newsday.co.zw/2015/10/29/low-cost-airline-fly-africa-hits-the-skids/

What is one to make of a corporate entity, which is confronted with the question of owing money to their local Civial Aviation Authority and spits venom by talking of accusations when the Minister responsible for the sector two days later in public confirms that indeed CAAZ is owed money. Again, that question most readers will be able to answer themselves, as none has been forthcoming from the airline directly.

Another Zimbabwean publication, www.zimeye.com uses language this correspondent has deliberated avoided, as their article shows: http://www.zimeye.com/fly-africa-crashes-down-grounded/

Affairs of this nature, especially when involving airlines, naturally have an impact on the credibility of the entire industry with the one causing such issues to spill over into the public domain of course most affected. Time will no doubt tell how this will pan out, how the purported legal case of Fly Africa against their local Zimbabwean shareholders goes, but for now, it is wait and see and keeping an eye on this site for updates as and when available. Should the airline respond will that response, needless to say, of course also be published here.

And in closing did another media report just come in, showing that not all is well, not in the boardroom of Fly Africa Zimbabwe and not beyond it either:

Fly Africa suspension opens can of worms (NewsDay, Friday October 30, Pg 2)
The cancellation of Fly Africa’s operating licence could just be a tip of the iceberg in financial impropriety and fraud, as rival board members trade accusations that money was being siphoned out of the country. The airline’s former chief executive, Chakanyuka Karase, claimed Fly Africa failed to remit $1 126 234 to the Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe (CAAZ), saying the arrears arose as a result of externalisation of funds by the company’s foreign partners. An affidavit signed by Karase on October 22 indicated initial investigations showed that partners from Fly Africa Limited of Mauritius made arrangements through Stanbic Bank Samora Machel Avenue Branch for Internet transactions.

Uganda and East Africa in top tier of Lonely Planet travel recommendations

UGANDA RETURNS AS LONELY PLANET FAVOURITE


(Posted 30th October 2015)

The East African countries, including Uganda, have been singled out by Lonely Planet as best value destinations for next year, following an earlier recommendations which had made Uganda their choice destination.

East Africa, rich in wildlife, scenery, history and culture has much to offer and the launch last year of the common tourist Visa for Uganda, Kenya and Rwanda has made travel across the region easier than ever before.

The three countries will have a joint stand at the upcoming World Travel Market in London in early November and the recommendation by Lonely Planet is seen as a shot in the arm of their promotional activities, in particular for Kenya where a hugely successful Magical Kenya Travel Expo concluded two weeks ago at the seaside resort of Diani.
It was there that Uganda in fact won the award as best exhibitor overall and also as best tourism board exhibitor as visitors to the expo flocked to the stand to get information about adventure activities, gorilla tracking and in particular about birding. With over 1.000 species of birds found in Uganda alone is the country and the entire East Africa a treasure trove for ornithologists.

The upcoming Papal visit to both Kenya and Uganda is seen as an added boost for pilgrimage tourism, where the Martyrs Shine in Namugongo outside Kampala and the Rwandan shrine in Kibeho have attracted a lot of interest in the wake of the forthcoming visit of the Pope.

The lifting of the travel bans by the United States and the United Kingdom for the resort town of Malindi at the Kenyan coast too is seen as removing the last obstacles against travel to East Africa where tourism is, across the region, the number one economic sector.
For more information about the destinations look up www.visituganda.com, www.magicalkenya.com and www.rwandatourism.com

Fresh hope for conservation in Tanzania as poaching king pin arrested

ARREST OF ANOTHER POACHING KINGPIN SIGNALS CHANGE IN TANZANIA

(Posted 30th October 2015)

After the declaration of results from Tanzania’s presidential and parliamentary elections is East Africa’s largest country now counting down to the swearing in of their new president, Dr. John Magufuli. With the tainted Kikwete regime on the way out has the arrest yesterday of another ivory smuggling and poaching kingpin, one Boniface Matthew Mariango, aka as ‘Shetani’, the Kiswahili word for devil given conservationists in the country hope for a fresh start and a more sustained campaign against poaching under the incoming government.

His arrest is the second high profile apprehension by the relatively independent National and Transnational Serious Crime Unit Task Force, which has suddenly – with the Kikwete days numbered – sprung into serious action when they arrested a Chinese national a few weeks ago who allegedly masterminded one of the largest financing and smuggling syndicates for blood ivory.

According to sources in Tanzania was Mariango one of the most wanted poaching suspects, allegedly involved in running at least 15 rings across the country and was apprehended after a sustained manhunt for him. It is suspected that the arrest of the Chinese ‘Queen of Ivory’ may have led to her beginning to confess and provide clues about her conspirators and fellow criminals involved in what has turned Tanzania into an elephant killing field over the past years of the Kikwete presidency.

The outgoing president rose to notoriety when he presided over the slaughter of elephant with no action taken for years and instead of acting on former Minister Amb. Khamis Kagesheki’s list of 300 to suspects in government and the ruling party CCM prompting his removal from cabinet. Incoming President Elect Dr. Magufuli however is expected to have no such allegiances nor outstanding IOU’s towards that clique and will no doubt give the task force a free run to bring those involved in the poaching menace a free hand to arrest and prosecute them.

One particular source mentioned that more arrests are now imminent and the campaign against smugglers, financiers and poachers may gain added momentum just as soon as Dr. Magufuli is sworn in as Tanzania’s fifth president since independence.

Etihad scoops ‘SimpliFlying’s Middle East Social Media Award

ETIHAD AIRWAYS NAMED ‘BEST OVERALL IN MIDDLE EAST’ AT SIMPLIFLYING AWARDS 2015

(Posted 29th October 2015)

Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, has been named ‘Best Overall in Middle East’ at the SimpliFlying Awards 2015.

The awards recognize excellence and innovation in social media and marketing campaigns in the aviation industry. Winners were announced last week at a glittering ceremony during the Travel Distribution Summit North America in Las Vegas, which was attended by more than 350 travel and hospitality executives.

An expert panel of industry experts selected Etihad Airways as winner of the Best Overall in Middle East Award, in recognition of the airline’s innovativeness, engagement and business impact in the social space over the past 24 months.

Shane O’Hare, Etihad Airways’ Senior Vice President Marketing, said: ‘We are delighted to win this important award, which is a great reflection on our commitment to delivering powerful, effective social media strategies and campaigns.Social media is an integral part of our communications mix. We will continue to raise the bar in the global travel industry by creatively integrating digital and social media into our overall marketing and business strategy to enhance guest experience‘.

Shashank Nigam, SimpliFlying’s CEO, said: ‘Etihad Airways has made tremendous progress in the last year in how it uses social media, especially for customer service initiatives like the Twitter channel for elite flyers. It is a trailblazer in the Middle East, an innovative way to engage passengers‘.

Etihad Airways implemented various initiatives on its social media channels including a best-in-class customer service strategy, with a 90 per cent response rate and with 80 per cent of all enquiries answered within 10 minutes. Guests can communicate 24-hours a day in multiple languages including English, Arabic, Mandarin, German and Italian.

Earlier this year, the airline launched @EtihadPremium, a first-of-its-kind Twitter account, providing its Gold and Platinum frequent flyer program members with exclusive prioritized service.

In 2014, Etihad Airways rolled out an innovative social media initiative, offering travel tips to Facebook and Twitter users through the #EtihadSuggests hashtag. In the past 12 months, the hashtag earned 713 million impressions, which equates to US$ 1.2 million in earned media value.

As part of its social first strategy, Etihad Airways used its social media channels as the first medium to break news, allowing it to benefit from maximum engagement and reach. In the past year, the airline launched its new A380 and B787 product and services, livery, and cabin crew and ground staff uniform with a social first approach. This earned the airline 224 million impressions, US$ 400,000 in earned media value and nearly 4,000 mentions.

The Etihad Airways ‘Flying Reimagined’ global TVC, which launched earlier this year, featuring Nicole Kidman, was also creatively leveraged on social media to inspire and engage guests. YouTube was the hosting channel for the TVC, supported by a paid-media campaign in key markets, as well as active community engagement using the #Reimagined hashtag. The TVC garnered 5.1 million video views on YouTube, with an impressive retention rate of 89 per cent.

Driving revenue and delivering commercial value through social media promotions and advanced targeting techniques has been a key goal for Etihad Airways in 2014 and 2015. These activations helped the airline realize more than US$ 20 million in revenue from social media, including over 8,000 conversions resulting in a 17 times return on investment.

This year, the airline launched its always-on paid media strategy to target quality-focused leisure and business travelers in Etihad Airways’ top 15 markets. This is complemented by tactical activities to target a price-sensitive leisure audience with promotional fares.

Etihad Airways was the first brand in the world to utilize Facebook’s expat targeting feature, and combine it with its own data to create a highly-targeted Diwali campaign to drive bookings in the UAE to bring friends and family over from India. Etihad Airways has more than 2.8 million followers across all of its social media channels, including over 1.6 million Facebook fans. Fans can stay connected with the airline by visiting any of its social media channels on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest, WeChat, Youku and Sina Weibo.

The airline was also a highly commended finalist in the categories of ‘Best Airline in Customer Service’ and ‘Best Airline in Driving Revenue’.

No 549 Wildlife Trade News: 29th October 2015

More about the ongoing environmental catastrophe in Indonesia and so much more …

For newsletter subscription and circulation details see message at the end of this newsletter.

in the spotlight today……………

WALL STREET JOURNAL: Environmental Disaster Strikes Indonesia

http://www.wsj.com/articles/environmental-disaster-strikes-indonesia-1445939629

WATCH: Workers rescue orangutans trapped by wildfires in Indonesia before releasing them into safer regions: "If this goes on, this could have a serious impact in extinction and bring it closer http://abcnews.go.com/US/thousands-orangutans-threatened-indonesia-wildfires/story?id=34765173

Indonesia’s environmental destruction apocalyptic in scale If you want to blame someone for the devastating forest fires raging there now, it has to be the President.

http://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/opinion/2015/10/28/indonesias-environmental-destruction-apocalyptic-in-scale/

RECOMMENDED: Save Me, Please http://jakartaglobe.beritasatu.com/eyewitness/save-please/

NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC: Borneo Is Burning, and Humans and Orangutans Are in Danger http://voices.nationalgeographic.com/2015/10/28/borneo-is-burning-and-humans-and-orangutans-are-in-danger/

WWF Indonesian urges govt to focus on disaster prevention – See more at: http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2015/10/28/wwf-indonesian-urges-govt-focus-disaster-prevention.html#sthash.3V7b8ubU.dpuf

Indonesia hesitates on emergency status for haze; Islamic council sees ‘warning from God’ http://news.mongabay.com/2015/10/indonesia-hesitates-on-emergency-status-for-haze-islamic-council-sees-warning-from-god/

No 549 Wildlife Trade News: 29th October 2015

INDONESIA’S SHAME: OPENLY ON SALE THIS WEEK IN JAKARTA’S JATINEGARA MARKET. BKSDA (FORESTRY POLICE) EITHER DON’T CARE OR TAKE BRIBES – POSSIBLY BOTH.

adults have to be shot before the babies can be taken.

photos: SCORPION

Another bird smuggling operation thwarted in Bali-Java crossinghttp://bali.coconuts.co/2015/10/27/another-bird-smuggling-operation-thwarted-bali-java-crossing

NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC: Hong Kong ‘Open-Minded’ to Banning its Ivory Trade (NA COMMENT: Is it more likely HK are simply trying to diffuse the current pressure? Either they will or they won’t ban the sale of ivory. Which is it to be? i.e. HK is like China – ‘maybe we will, maybe we won’t’….and that is not good enough. Don’t be fooled by them. In the meantime, literally every day, elephants continue to be slaughtered to feed HK and China’s merciless greed.) http://news.nationalgeographic.com/2015/10/151028-hong-kong-ivory-trade-china-elephants-trafficking/

Report: 90 Percent of Timber From Laos to China and Vietnam is Illegal http://www.hardwoodfloorsmag.com/news/report-90-percent-of-timber-from-laos-to-china-and-vietnam-is-illegal.html

CITES ISN’T WORKING. IS IT?

São Paolo Trafficking: Smuggling Brazil’s Wildlife. Over 38 million animals are pulled from the Brazilian wilds every year for the illegal wildlife trade — 75 to 90% of those smuggled animals don’t survive capture and transport. http://news.mongabay.com/2015/10/sao-paolo-trafficking-smuggling-brazils-wildlife/

USA/Swaziland elephant export ignores alternatives http://www.news24.com/Green/News/Swaziland-elephant-export-ignores-alternatives-20151028

Africa: "Tusk Wars" – New Information On the Blood Ivory Trade of Kony’s Lord’s Resistance Army http://allafrica.com/stories/201510281025.html

UK: Police release CCTV images after peregrine falcon theft http://www.itv.com/news/calendar/2015-10-28/police-release-cctv-images-after-peregrine-falcon-theft/

INDIA: Police recover 123 smuggled Indian softshell turtles http://www.ptinews.com/news/6669618_Police-recover-123-smuggled-Indian-softshell-turtles.html

The Threats Humans Present to Wildlife Through Infectious Diseases http://allafrica.com/stories/201510281466.html

Malawi: K2.7 Billion to Unmask and Restore KK Wildlife Reserve http://allafrica.com/stories/201510281426.html

Amazon – illegal loggers set Indigenous forest ablaze http://www.theecologist.org/News/news_round_up/2986052/amazon_illegal_loggers_set_indigenous_forest_ablaze.html

Is RSPO certification becoming irrelevant? By Niamh Michail, 28-Oct-2015. Companies are increasingly demanding certified palm oil using criteria that are stricter than current RSPO standards – does the mean the RSPO certification is in danger of becoming irrelevant? http://www.foodnavigator.com/Policy/Is-RSPO-certification-becoming-irrelevant

If the palm oil industry waited for consumers to care, sustainability would get nowhere. There is a disconnect between sustainability and consumer understanding and action. How much is this harming progress towards better practice? http://www.theguardian.com/sustainable-business/2015/oct/26/palm-oil-industry-consumer-understanding-sustainability-cspo-packaging-marks-spencer-boots-ecover?CMP=share_btn_link

Asia’s live markets are western slaughterhouses with glass walls https://www.animalsasia.org/intl/media/news/news-archive/asias-live-markets-are-western-slaughterhouses-with-glass-walls.html#.VjC6rhZ_GUs.facebook

Elephant death due to electrocution: Odisha to act tough against illegal power users

See more at: http://www.prameyanews7.com/en/oct2015/odisha/5423/Elephant-death-due-to-electrocution-Odisha-to-act-tough-against-illegal-power-users-Elephant-deathOdisha-Odisha.htm#sthash.CL4Pzgam.dpuf

CAMBODIA: Elephants ‘underfed’ at Kampot zoo: expert http://www.phnompenhpost.com/national/elephants-underfed-kampot-zoo-expert

PepsiCo’s palm oil pledge should not exempt Indofood, NGOs say http://www.eco-business.com/news/pepsicos-palm-oil-pledge-should-not-exempt-indofood-ngos-say/

Botswana: Crime Symposium to Assist Botswana http://allafrica.com/stories/201510290144.html

USA: Repeat sea turtle egg poacher gets 21 months in prison http://jacksonville.com/news/crime/2015-10-28/story/repeat-sea-turtle-egg-poacher-gets-21-months-prison

Star Tortoise trade, ivory surveys and much more: latest TRAFFIC Bulletin available http://www.traffic.org/home/2015/10/28/star-tortoise-trade-ivory-surveys-and-much-more-latest-traff.html

INDIA: Suspected tiger bones, claws seized http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/suspected-tiger-bones-claws-seized/article7816172.ece

China to recognise ‘animal welfare’ for the first time in milestone law change http://www.scmp.com/news/china/article/1663199/china-write-animal-welfare-law-first-time

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