The column that gives the global picture

Destination of the week: Budapest

The Hungarian capital is a notable absentee from the map of destinations available from Britain on no-frills airlines, but there are still bargains to be had - especially if you book well in advance. The lowest price I have found is on British Airways (0870 850 9 850,, which has a base fare of £108. This is available on off-peak services, booked in advance, but if you buy far enough ahead then even peak weekend departures are available (I tested the last weekend in November, travelling out on the Friday, back on the Monday). In the shorter term, prices are higher. A test booking for the last weekend of this month found a fare of £211; for the last weekend in October, BA's price had fallen to £129.

You can save cash on short-notice bookings by changing planes en route. For the last weekend of September, Austrian Airlines has a fare from London of £179 via Vienna, booked through the website

Warning of the week: Kenya

The Foreign Office has removed its ban on British airlines flying to the leading Kenyan resort of Mombasa, but says that travellers "should continue to maintain a high level of vigilance, particularly in public places frequented by foreigners such as hotels, restaurants, nightclubs and shopping malls"che FO also recommends visitors "minimise in-country travel"; in particular, "landmines have been used in attacks around Moyale". The US State Department warns travellers that car-jacking is prevalent, particularly in the Kenyan capital: "Armed robbers in Nairobi steal approximately ten vehicles every day", and adds that, "although these attacks are often violent, victims are generally injured only if they resist."

Bargain of the week: fly down to Rio

As the nights get shorter here, spring is well under way in Brazil's most beautiful city. You can get there from Heathrow for £478 return with Journey Latin America (020-8747 8315, - subject to a few conditions. You must book before the end of September, and fly there and back before 4 December.

At this price, you cannot travel on Fridays and Saturdays in either direction, nor fly inbound on a Thursday. Travel is on a direct service on the leading Brazilian airline, Varig.

The trip to Rio includes a stop at Sao Paulo; this destination is available at the same price.

Failure of the week: another airline bites the dust?

Two years after the terrorist attacks on America, it appears that another airline is in trouble. This week's flight between London and Sarajevo was cancelled by Air Bosna (020-7592 0222,, the national airline of Bosnia-Herzegovina. Last night the board of the airline was meeting to discuss its future. Reports suggest that staff have not been paid for six months, and the airline owes a large amount in unpaid air navigation charges.