Something to declare: Bargain of the week - India
The column that gives the global picture
Saturday 26 October 2002
Destination of the week: Angola
From tomorrow, Charlotte, the city in North Carolina, disappears from British Airways' flight schedules. So does Baltimore in Maryland. In place of these bustling destinations comes LAD – code for Luanda. The city is the capital of Angola, a country that was wracked by civil war until recently. But British Airways plans to start flying there on Friday.
What's the big attraction? Oil and diamonds. Angola has plenty of each, which means plenty of business travellers. With business-class fares of £4,356 return, the airline need not worry unduly about filling up the cheap seats – which is just as well, because at £1,536 return in economy, they're not that cheap.
Warning of the week: mind the doors on West Country trains
First Great Western, the train operator involved in the Southall and the Ladbroke Grove crashes, encountered another problem this week on its line between London Paddington, the West of England and South Wales. On Wednesday, a train from Bristol shuddered to a halt outside Maidenhead. The train had left Reading with a door open, and made an emergency stop when it was discovered. After 15 minutes, the train manager placed the blame on passengers: "If people could make sure that doors are closed when getting on and off trains that would greatly help our service." The train type is supposed to have a central locking system, and should only move off when all doors are secured.
Bargain of the week: India for £330
Here's some encouraging news for those of you wishing to follow in our own John Walsh's footsteps and discover India's many contrasts (see Traveller front and page 3). The leading private Indian airline, Jet Airways, has cut the prices of its unlimited travel air passes, in a bid to win back passengers after the downturn in tourism to India. The passes entitle you to confirmed seats on its network, which covers much of the country and is strong in the south and west. You may visit each city only once, unless you're making an immediate change of planes.
A 15-day pass is $500 (£325); three weeks is $750 (£490). Book through the agency that sells your ticket, or Jet Airways' London office on 020-8970 1525; visit www.jetairways.com for information. A one-week pass costs $300 (£195) in only one region of India – North, East, West or South.
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