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Re-discovering India with SriLankan Holidays

The world wonder Taj Mahal

This month, SriLankan Holidays features the cities of Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad and Delhi - offering a blend of exotic sights and incredible bargains.

SriLankan Holidays’ General Manager Amith Sumanapala said, “No matter how many times you have been to India, it always has something new to offer. You just need to keep an open mind and have an adventurous spirit.”

“The four cities are very popular in our destination list and we want to give more Sri Lankans the opportunity to discover India and create their own world of memories and perhaps a wardrobe full of great bargains.”

While all four cities offer unique cultural and shopping experiences, retail therapy is best at Chennai giving the greatest selection for saris and stand out for their variety of other traditional Indian clothing and accessories.

Bangalore meanwhile, now famous as the Silicon Valley of India, is also home to many splendid gardens and parks - the cities earlier fame. It is now also called the Pub City with over 200 Pubs all over the town.

Hyderabad is an entirely new vista, offering more attractions for the sightseers including a wide array of heritage monuments, lakes, parks, gardens, resorts, museums and scrumptious cuisine that lures tourists. The city is also known for its pearls and diamond markets, glass embedded bangles and beautiful saris.

SriLankan Holidays final destination on the list - Delhi and the capital city of India is a myriad of attractions and is the seat of power in India. Topping the list of the city’s awesome sights is the world wonder Taj Mahal and the Golden Triangle.

SriLankan Holidays packages include economy class airfare, star class accommodation with breakfast and hotel transfers. A series of tours can also be added to the packages.

Air Freight Growth dips sharply

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) released international traffic data for May that showed a significant drop in cargo growth to 1.3% while passenger traffic grew 6.0%.

At 1.3%, cargo demand is considerably down from the 4.3% recorded for the full year 2007. For the first five months of 2008, air freight volumes were up 2.8%. The biggest cause of the slow growth came from a 0.5% contraction in Asian carrier traffic.

This resulted from the impact of the earthquake in China and weakness in the Japanese economy. Asian carriers also saw weakness in transpacific markets with increased competition from US carriers taking advantage of the weak US dollar.

International passenger demand grew 6% in May. This is slower than the 7.4% increase recorded for the full year 2007, but stronger than expected given the economic downturn.

The results were skewed by a shift in the US of 1.7 billion available seat miles (2.72 billion available seat kilometers) from domestic routes to international routes (a 7.9% rise in capacity in international markets).

North American carrier international traffic grew 8.2%, while domestic capacity fell 3.3%. Overall the underlying growth rate in global domestic and international traffic was 3 to 4% (down from an average of 6% for 2007).

International load factors rose slightly for the first time in three months to 74.3% on slower capacity growth of 5.4% during the month. “The high price of oil is re-shaping the industry. The major shifts in traffic flows experienced during May reflect this,” said Bisignani, IATA’s Director General and CEO.

During May jet fuel averaged US$160 per barrel - 87% higher than the same time in 2007. By comparison, crude prices averaged US$123 per barrel - an 81% increase. “Jet fuel margins are increasing the impact of skyrocketing oil prices for the aviation industry. Unit costs are up 20-30% and that is going to take its toll on the bottom line.

Efficiency everywhere is the imperative. That must be understood by governments, labour and our industry partners,” said Bisignani.

Cargo North American cargo traffic grew 4.6% as US carriers shifted capacity from domestic to international routes. In addition to expanded transpacific opportunities, the US-EU Open Skies agreement created new opportunities in Europe.

Europe recorded a sluggish 1.4% increase. The strong Euro is damaging competitiveness for both European exports and the European air cargo business.

Latin America freight volumes contracted 13.2%. Industry restructuring saw the replacement of retiring wide-body aircraft with narrow-bodies with limited cargo capacity.

Africa recorded its 11th month of air freight contraction out of the past 12 months with a fall of 6.5% during May as industry restructuring removes freight capacity.

The lone bright spot was the Middle East where volumes rose 10.7% on the back of oil-based economic growth.

Passenger Airlines in Latin America continued strong growth of 13.6% reflecting robust commodity-driven economic growth in the region.

Middle Eastern airlines expanded their traffic 12.8%, lower than the 18.1% increase achieved for the full year 2007 due to slower economic growth in origin-destination regions using Middle East airports as connecting points.

The further decline in traffic carried (-2.2%) and capacity provided (-5.1%) by African airlines reflects a loss of market share and the reduction of unprofitable capacity in the face of high and rising fuel prices.

Reversing the trend of the previous three months, load factors rose slightly in May to 74.3% as high fuel prices are forcing cuts in capacity and the retirement of older aircraft.

Emirates’ Hotel-For-Free offer

In line with Emirates’ continued efforts to promote Dubai as a world-class tourist destination, the airline is offering First and Business Class passengers flying to or via Dubai special super value packages till August 31.

A passenger enjoys the luxury of Emirates’ First Class service.

First Class Passengers receive two nights at The Palace - The Old Town or The Harbour Hotel and Residence. Business Class passengers receive one night’s stay at Jumeirah Emirates Towers Hotel or The Harbour Hotel and Residence. In addition, credit would be provided per person at the hotel to be used towards food and beverage and/or spa facilities and a 96-hour visa.

The offer is applicable to all Emirates adult fare paying passengers travelling to Dubai exclusively on flights operated by Emirates. Passengers who travel Business Class on routes that do not offer First Class but travel beyond Dubai on First Class are entitled to the First Class offer.

The offer includes a Deluxe Room at The Palace - The Old Town, two Bedroom Suite at The Harbour Hotel and Residence and a Deluxe Room at Jumeirah Emirates Towers on bed and breakfast basis inclusive of all applicable taxes and service charges.

The offer applies to First and Business Class passengers travelling exclusively on flights operated by Emirates to or via Dubai from various points on Emirates’ network. Travel must originate outside the UAE and turnaround passengers or those travelling on frequent flyer redemption tickets cannot apply. Accommodation has to be pre-booked and need not be used immediately on arrival in Dubai.

Speaking on the launch of the offer, Nabil Sultan, Emirates’ Senior Vice President Commercial Operations Gulf, Middle East and Iran, said, “This is a great opportunity for business and leisure travellers alike. We are offering our customers a hassle-free holiday as they do not have to worry about booking accommodation. Emirates is always looking for ways to reward our customers, and this offer fits perfectly into our objective of being number one in client satisfaction.”



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