Something to Declare: The Column That Saves You Money
Saturday 31 July 1999
A 'new' airline, and a new, fast, cheap route to Australia
Forget Air Lanka: as from this month, the national carrier for the island formerly known as Ceylon has been renamed SriLankan Airlines. The change follows the acquisition of a large slice of the company by the Dubai-based airline Emirates.
The new airline is emulating Emirates with a programme of low-cost, high- speed flights to Australia. A four-times-a-week non-stop service to Sydney is scheduled to begin on 12 November. Through discount agents there are some excellent introductory fares: about pounds 600 return for November. For those who have not yet booked a millennium flight to Australia, there is plenty of availability at around the pounds 1,200 mark, even at the height of the Christmas/ New Year season.
Currency of the week
The Spanish peseta
Demand can scarcely have been stronger for the Spanish currency than this month. Travelex reports that it sold more than twice as many pesetas last week as it did a year in the same period a year ago, while Lunn Poly said 42 per cent of package holidays sold this summer are to Spain.
Perhaps the reason we are converging on the Costas is that Spanish banknotes are thinly disguised tourism advertisements. The 1,000-peseta note (worth pounds 4, and enough to buy you a set meal in most Spanish cities and resorts) promotes the Canary Islands. A pair of happy holiday-makers are shown descending the lunar slopes of Mount Teide, while directly below them is a map of the archipelago, showing that there is much more to the Canaries than Tenerife and Gran Canaria.
Some travellers still bemoan the cessation of the 100-peseta note, which portrayed an exquisite courtyard at the Alhambra Palace in Granada. Perhaps it will make a brief reappearance before the peseta is subsumed into the euro. What more do you want from a currency than a tempting picture and a map to help you get around? Perhaps an even better rate of exchange than the present 241 pesetas to the pound.
Warning of the week
Overland life ends at 40
That the average age of the population is increasing is beyond dispute.
Many travel companies are targeting older travellers. But the south-London- based adventure operator Exodus has explicitly banned over-40s from its Africa Overland tours. "Overland expeditions last many weeks or months and conditions can be strenuous and primitive," says the new Overland Expeditions brochure. Oldies hoping to visit Asia or South America will have to look elsewhere once they have hit 40. The young (and that means properly youthful, not just "young at heart") can call Exodus on 0181- 673 0859.
Destination of the week
If you search through the Official Airline Guide between Dubrovnik (Croatia) and Dundo (Angola), you will find a new arrival: Dundee, whence Captain Scott sailed for the Antarctic. The saying "I am just going outside; I may be some time" could acquire currency with the new four-times-a-day flight to and from London City Airport. Suckling Airways (0870 606 0707) has instituted the 80-minute route using Dornier aircraft. The airline has launched a price blitz with a lowest return fare of pounds 79, healthily competitive with its rivals at Aberdeen and Edinburgh. London City prides itself on being the capital's closest-in airport, but its six-mile distance from the capital is a marathon compared with the OAG's details of Dundee. The airport is described as being just one mile and two minutes from the city centre.
Life & Style blogs
City traders pay £200 for a quick hangover cure
Stephen Hawking: NHS is Britain's finest public service and must be preserved from commercial interests
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
The Pirate Bay is back — but key staff have left to start a rival site
Eight-year-old girl Camilla Lisant suggests possible cancer treatment to her scientist father over the dinner table
Stephen Fry explains what he would say if he was 'confronted by God'
The open loathing between Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu just got worse
9 reasons Greece's experiment with the radical left is doomed to failure
President Putin is a dangerous psychopath - reason is not going to work with him
Have we reached 'peak food'? Shortages loom as global production rates slow
Britain's widening poverty gap should be causing outrage at the start of the election campaign
- 1 Three-year-old boy shoots pregnant mother and father in New Mexico
- 2 Stephen Fry explains what he would say if he was 'confronted by God'
- 3 Jewish community urged to boycott Cornwall village after residents vote for 'Hitlers Walk' sign to be reinstated
- 4 Benedict Cumberbatch's Alan Turing gay-rights campaign snubbed by Prince William and Kate Middleton
- 5 Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
Negotiable: Tradewind Recruitment: PMLD Teacher A specialist primary school i...
£15000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Now our rapidly expanding and A...
£15000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you passionate about great ...
£20000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This fast growing reinforcing s...