In the News this Week...

brought to you by News Editor, Roger Bray
  • My cloud  1

    My Cloud Transit Hotel

    Frankfurt Airport gets transit hotel

    about 12 hours ago

    A hotel for passengers changing planes has opened at Frankfurt Airport. The My Cloud Transit hotel is airside in Terminal One. It is open round the clock and can be booked by the hour. There are 59 rooms – some overlooking the airport apron – with desks, WiFi, information and entertainment systems and bathrooms with showers.

  • Istock 000015708618xsmall

    Insurer will cover checked devices

    about 12 hours ago

    Major travel insurer Allianz Global UK has confirmed it will cover electronic devices in checked bags. This follows the announcement that Government would ban laptops, tablets e-readers and large mobile phones from cabin bags on flights to Britain from six countries. The company urges customers to check the terms of their policies and says it will need a property irregularity report from the airline in support if a claim.

  • Flybe3


    Flybe launches 'seamless' sunshine transfers

    1 day ago

    Flybe has launched a new timetable claimed to create “seamless” transfers to a wide range of summer sun destinations from other UK regional airports via its Southampton hub. The airline says its new schedule, which will operate between 27 May and 3 September, opens up 76 weekend connections to France and Italy. The timetable is tailored to ensure that no matter what part of the UK passengers are flying from, the connecting time at Southampton is kept to an absolute minimum and, from wheels up to touchdown, passengers will reach such attractive locations such Biarritz, Bordeaux or Verona in just a few hours. Travellers from Aberdeen, Belfast, East Midlands, Edinburgh, Exeter, Glasgow, Manchester and Newcastle will benefit, says the airline.

  • South african beach

    South African beach

    South Africa – sea danger warning

    3 days ago

    The Foreign and Commonwealth Office has updated its advice on travel to South Africa with a fresh warning about swimming off beaches. It urges visitors to familiarise themselves with the signs of a rip current or tide. “Every year significant numbers of people drown due to the strong sea currents. Speak to local people who are familiar with the conditions, and check whether there are any flags and/or lifeguards before entering the water. Most beaches don’t have warning signs, flags or life-saving equipment.”

  • British biometric passport

    British biometric passport

    Ten minute online passport renewals launched

    3 days ago

    The Government has launched a new service enabling most people to renew their passports online. Photographs can be uploaded from smart phones or other devices. The Passport Office claims the process takes an average of ten minutes. The move follows a pilot scheme introduced last year, during which over 240,000 Britons used the system. For the time being the service is open to UK residents aged 26 or over, who do not hold dual nationality, who aren’t changing their names and whose passports expired no longer ago than 2012. It will be extended gradually to all passport holders.

  • Alitalia boeing 777 200er wiki


    Alitalia to go low cost on short flights

    4 days ago

    A new wave of bargain flights to Italy looks to be on the horizon following a decision by Alitalia to adopt a low cost model for it short to medium haul network. The airline is reported to be planning to cut the size of its fleet, add more seats to and get more use out of its remaining aircraft – and charge for extras such as checked baggage seat selection and on board food. The changes will apply on flights of up to four hours. Alitalia has been caught by a swelling tide of cheap air travel in Europe, with almost half the Italian market flying low cost.

  • Eurostar to bordeux

    High speed Bordeaux trains – tickets go on sale

    5 days ago

    Eurostar has put tickets on sale for trips incorporating the new high speed TGV train link between Paris and Bordeaux – scheduled to open on 2 July. An extension to the line between the capital and Tours will cut the fastest journey time from 3hrs 14mins to 2hrs 4min. Travellers from London will need to change in Paris from the Gare du Nord to Gare Montparnasse for the onward journey. Double deck carriages will have free WiFi and seats that rotate to face the direction of travel. Just over half of all daily trains will be non stop. The others will make one or two intermediate stops in Poitiers, Angouleme, Libourne or Tours.

  • Tamburlaine

    Tamburlaine Hotel

    Cambridge gets new hotel

    8 days ago

    A new hotel is set to open in Cambridge next week. The four star Tamburlaine is a one minute or ten minute walk from the railway station and city centre respectively. It has 155 rooms, including some promising views of the city and countryside and suites with private terraces. The hotel is the first UK venture by the Dublin based O’Callaghan group, which has four hotels in the Irish capital and others in Gibraltar and Annapolis in the US. It doesn’t have its own parking but says there’s a wide range of nearby pay and display options and some disability spaces on site.

  • Ethiopa cycling

    Ethiopia cycling

    Ethiopia - cycle tours take off

    9 days ago

    Cycling doesn’t get much further off the beaten track than this. Ethiopia specialist Tadele Travel is to operate what it claims are the first ever organised road cycling holidays to the country from the UK. The Brighton based firm is offering three eight day itineraries of varying toughness in the northern Tigray province, where Chistianity took root. The least demanding (though the firm says you will still need to heat and altitude to enjoy it in comfort) involves four days in the saddle over some 200kms, with excursions to some of the region’s many ancient rock hewn churches. Departures are on 29 September and 29 November. Prices start at £2,175 per person. International flights are not included. Further details of this – and the other tours available – are at

  • Rv african dream

    RV African Dream

    African river cruises launched

    10 days ago

    River cruise line CroisiEurope is to offer itineraries in Africa for the first time. Starting in December the French operator will operate four day cruises on the Chobe and Zambezi rivers, respectively in Botswana and along the border between Zambia and Namibia. Customers will travel on the newly built RV African Dream, which carries 16 passengers in eight suites – two with balconies – and has a bar with views and an observation deck. The cruises are part of packages including four night stays at one of two lodges owned by the company – with safaris and a day at Victoria Falls.

  • Blue air

    Blue Air

    New Cyprus flights from Liverpool

    11 days ago

    Blue Air is to fly from Liverpool to Cyprus this summer. Starting on 17 June, the Romanian airline will operate two round trips a week between John Lennon Airport and Larnaca, with departures on Tuesdays and Saturdays. The new route will be its eighth launched from Liverpool airport since it started flying from the city to Bucharest just over two years ago. It announced in October that it would establish a base at the airport, with services to Rome, Hamburg, Alicante and Milan starting at the end of this month.

  • London wiki


    Book London hotels early, report suggests

    12 days ago

    With the weak £ attracting more tourists to London this year it looks increasingly advisable to book hotel rooms as far in advance as possible, a new forecast suggests. Inbound holiday tourism to the UK soared towards the end of 2016, says PwC, and is expected to continue rising. ‘Staycations’ by Britons may also put pressure on capacity, with an already high overall room occupancy rate increasing by another percentage point to 82% this year. That would be the highest level among 17 major European cities surveyed in the forecast, save for that in Dublin. The average price of a room in London will rise by 2.4% to £149, which will do little of nothing to offset the impact of the post Brexit vote slump in the value of sterling. London will still be one of Europe’s priciest cities, ranking fourth most expensive behind Geneva, Zurich and Paris.

  • Edward thomas wiki

    Edward Thomas (1878 - 1917) by from the Hutton/Stringer Archive, circa 1905, via Wikimedia Commons

    Adlestrop poet remembered

    15 days ago

    For lovers of Edward Thomas’s Adlestrop, voted one of Britain’s favourite poems, the Hampshire town of Petersfield is mounting a series of events to mark the 100th anniversary of his death. Thomas, described by poet laureate Ted Hughes as “the father of us all”, lived in the nearby village of Steep. He was killed in France during the Battle of Arras after a long period of indecision over whether or not he should enlist. Events will include an exhibitions of books and documents at Petersfield Museum – plus items from the national Edward Thomas archive. On 17 March there will be a memorial concert at the Petersfield Music Festival with choral setting of poems by Thomas and his friend – including Robert Frost.

  • Tallinn old town wikipedia

    Tallinn Old Town - by maigi (CC BY-SA 3.0) via Wikimdeia Commons

    BA set to launch Estonian flights

    16 days ago

    Tallinn is among seven new short haul destinations from Heathrow set to be launched by British Airways this month. On 28 March the airline will start flying twice a week to the Estonian capital twice a week. n the same day it will also start operating two round trips a week to Murcia in Spain. The following days it will launch services to the French city of Nantes, gateway to Britanny. 3 May will see the start of services to Montpellier in southern France. Flights to Brindisi and the Greek island of Zakynthos will take of on 3 June and those to Pula (Croatia) on 4 July.

  • Harriett tubman

    1895 portrait of Harriett Tubman - courtesy of

    Harriet Tubman park to open

    17 days ago

    The likely birthplace of Harriet Tubman, who organized the ‘Underground Railway’ for escaped slaves, will be opened to the public as a State Park and visitor centre in Maryland on 11 March. The park includes the plantation where she worked as a young girl, from which she made her own escape. Tubman, who was beaten and whipped as a child by various masters, then repeatedly risked her life on some 13 missions to guide almost 70 slaves to freedom, with the help of a secret network of sympathisers. Under the nickname Moses she helped the abolitionist John Brown recruit men for his raid on Harpers Ferry and served as a scout and spy for the US Army during the Civil War.

  • Den gamle by courtesy visitaarhus

    Den Gamle By - courtesy of

    Aarhus to get new museum

    18 days ago

    An underground museum charting the history of the Aarhus from the Viking period will open in the Danish city this spring. It’s one of the developments celebrating Aarhus – along with Hull – as a European City of Culture and will be part of existing attraction Den Gamle By – the open air town museum. Visitors will pass through a ‘cathedral’, where the huge impact of religion on the city between 1200 and 1500 will be explained. Using models, film, sound and smells and other aids it will explore the city’s growth as a market town and its more recent industrialisation.

  • Amari galle sri lamka beach

    Amari Galle Sri Lanka Beach - courtesy of

    Luxury hotel to open near Sri Lanka UN heritage site

    19 days ago

    The Bangkok based Onyx Hospitality Group is scheduled to open its first Amari hotel in Sri Lanka this spring. The luxury property has been built on the beach at the Galle, on the south west coast around 1hr 30mins drive from the capital, Colombo. It will have 172 rooms, all with ocean views, an ‘ulti-tiered’ pool deck with direct access to the shore, a spa, fitness centre and two restaurants. The nearby old town of Galle, founded by the Portuguese at the end of the 16th century and later fortified by he Dutch, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

  • Renoirs studio

    Renoir's studio

    New Renoir centre to open

    22 days ago

    Renoir’s studio has been renovated as part of a project too open a new visitor centre dedicated to the painter in the French village of Essoyes, near the border between Champagne and Burgundy. The centre is scheduled to open on 3 June. In 1880 Renoir, a key figure in the Impressionist movement, met Aline Charigot, a girl from the village who became his model and then his wife. They spent their summers in Essoyes. The couple, their sons and grandsons chose to be buried there. Besides reproductions, it is expected there will be at least one original Renoir painting and sculpture in the studio, which will be reached via a flower garden inspired by his work. The artist’s house will also be open to visitors.

  • Flybe3


    New Mallorca flights from Yorkshire planned

    23 days ago

    Flybe is to launch a summer service between Doncaster Sheffield Airport and Palma, Mallorca. From 7 July until 2 October the regional airline will operate two round trios a week with departures on Mondays and Fridays.

  • Apples and plums john william hill collection of theodore e

    Apples and Plums by John William Hill - courtesy of Philadelphia Museum of Art

    Major watercolour exhibition set to open

    24 days ago

    Philadelphia’s Museum of Art is mounting what it claims is “the most comprehensive loan exhibition in over 40 years” devoted to the American watercolour. Opening on 1 March and running until 14 May it will examine the late 19th and early 20th century burgeoning of a form that had not been taken seriously before the Civil War. Including paintings and designs by a wide range of artists, it will centre on the on the work of Winslow Homer and John Singer Sargent. The exhibition runs from 1 March until 14 May.