Category Archives: Breaking Travel News

World Travel Market Cape Town 2014

World Travel Market is a leading travel industry exhibition which takes place annually, and is held in a different country each year. It takes place over a number of days, and features exhibitors from various travel companies, as well as seminars, conferences and other events. It has been announced that the event will be hosted in Africa for the first time next year, with World Travel Market Cape Town 2014 taking place from 2 May 2014 until 3 May 2014.

The exhibition will be held at Cape Town’s International Convention Centre, and given that Cape Town is the most popular and tourist-friendly city in South Africa (and probably in Africa), Cape Town is the ideal setting for the event which will attract thousands of international visitors and travel providers who operate on overseas travel markets.

There are likely to be numerous benefits that flow from the event, including the creation of synergies between South African travel industry players and their international counterparts, as well as an opportunity to market what South Africa has to offer to visitors as a tourist destination.

A number of exhibitors have already confirmed their attendance at the exhibition in order to secure their place at this popular event on the annual travel market calendar.

Next year’s event will be the 35th World Travel Market event, and given the number of years that it has been running and the sheer scale and popularity of the exhibition, the event is certainly one of the most well-established travel events in the world.

Interdict Granted Against FlySafair

The High Court interim interdict granted against FlySafair, South Africa’s latest entrant into the low cost flight market, means that the airline will not be allowed to fly for the moment.

Comair brought the application in the High Court on the basis that FlySafair has more than 25% foreign ownership, contrary to regulations that require under 25% foreign ownership for any domestic airline to operate in South Africa.

FlySafair had intended to launch its services between Johannesburg and Cape Town on 17 October 2013, and has been selling tickets for these flights on its website, priced from R800 upwards. The airline has also begun marketing itself, with numerous billboards along the M1 highway advertising the airline’s services.

The High Court, in an unprecedented and unexpected move, ordered Comair to assist passengers who bought FlySafair tickets, by honouring their ticket prices with FlySafair, and transporting them between Johannesburg and Cape Town.

This move suggests that while the court considered itself bound by the regulations to prevent FlySafair from flying in these circumstances, it did not wish for innocent members of the public to suffer. It may also be indicative that the court views Comair’s legal action as a means of excluding competition in the market, and therefor as a move that does not have entirely pure motives.

It should also be noted that the interim interdict will only be in place for a limited period, and there will be return date on which the parties go to court, for the court to decide whether to make the interim order final. The court may well decide not to make the order final, particularly if there are changed circumstances with regard to FlySafair’s ownership by the time the parties return to court.

Safair has been operating as an aircraft leasing and chartered flights company for a number of years, and once it is operational, will certainly pose a threat to other airlines as it is not a fly-by-night operation, so to speak.

Fastjet Flights Postponed

Fastjet was set to launch flights from Johannesburg to Dar es Salaam, the capital of Tanzania today, and has been selling tickets for the route for the past few months on its website. However, Fastjet flights on the route have had to be postponed as a result of regulatory and administrative challenges.

Passengers who bought tickets for the route will be given a full refund by the airline, but the delay will inconvenience many travellers who had planned their holidays or business trips around specific dates. In addition to receiving a refund, passengers will be given a free flight on Fastjet, as well as assistance with re-booking.

The delays were occasioned by the Department of Transport requesting additional documentation from the airline during the licensing and regulatory process, which have not yet been processed by the Department of Transport.

When the route is finally operational, Fastjet flights will operate between Johannesburg and Dar es Salaam three days per week, on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

Tourist Death in Venice Gondola Accident

A German tourist has died in a gondola accident in the Italian city of Venice, when the gondola that he was travelling in with his wife and three children collided with a water bus, crushing him and seriously injuring his three year old daughter, who sustained injuries to her head.

The man is reportedly a 50 year old law professor, and the accident occurred close to the popular Rialto Bridge on the city’s bustling waterways.

The waterbus was part of the city’s public transport system, and was reportedly stopping when the collision occurred.

Prosecutors in Venice have reportedly initiated an inquiry into the incident, and are looking into the possibility of taking criminal action against the gondolier or the driver of the water bus.

It is speculated that the cause of the collision was the fact that the canals of Venice are becoming increasingly congested with boats and gondola’s, making it difficult for vessels to effectively maneuver and traverse the canals without colliding with one another.