EUROPE: The recovery in U.S.
arrivals in Europe continued albeit more slowly in November.
According to New York research firm Donald N. Martin & Co.,
American travel to the Continent was up an estimated 4% last month,
compared to the stronger 10.8% growth recorded by the Dept. of
Commerce in September. Airwise, the top nine transatlantic carriers
reported a 8.4% jump in traffic; however, Europeans empowered by an
ever-stronger euro currency accounted for most of the passenger
volume growth. But overall, total U.S. arrivals could hit 12.6
million for all of 2004, higher than the 12.14 million seen in 2001
but still short of the record 13.12 million recorded back in 2000.
FRATERNITé: Air France
Holidays, the Stateside tour division of Air France, tapped U.S.
tour operator Europe Express, of Bothell, Wash., to operate many of
its Europe-wide, customizable air-land vacation packages. In
conjunction with the new partnership, Air France Holidays revamped
and expanded its www.airfranceholidays.com Web site. For more, visit
the site or call (800) 237-2623.
" The new low-fare
carrier wars in central Europe have claimed their first victim. Air
Polonia, Polands first low-cost carrier, ceased all flights Dec. 5.
The airline founded by former LOT
Polish Airlines chief executive Jan Litwinski just over one year
ago flew to Londons Stansted Airport from Warsaw, Gdansk and four
other Polish cities, as well as from Warsaw to both Paris and Rome.
Similar services from Poland are offered by Hungarian competitor
WizzAir and Slovak airline SkyEurope. SkyEurope reportedly is
honoring most Air Polonia tickets; passengers can rebook at www.skyeurope.com, and more information is available
at (011) 48-22 846-7427.
" Virgin Atlantic
Airways voted best international airline in the recent Travel
Weekly Readers Choice Awards debuted a specialist cocktail service
for Upper Class Suite passengers. Uniformed mixologists from gin
purveyor Bombay Sapphire will fly aboard select flights, offering a
choice of five cocktails, including the RedHead