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Aeroflot took the second place in the annual study of the quality of on-board culinary offerings in the long-haul dining category made by Skyscanner.ru, a popular travel search site.
Over 550 European travellers and bloggers performed as food critics, analyzing on-board menus of leading European air carriers. As a result of 2012 Scyscanner European Airline Food Awards, Aeroflot was ranked second in the long-haul dining category and fifth in the short-haul one, being the only Russian company in European Top-5 for both flight categories. These Awards have recognized Aeroflot efforts in constant enhancing the quality of its on-board service. Ranking with the best European air carriers, Aeroflot quarterly renews the on-board menu in accordance with the latest culinary trends and results of food reviews made by its frequent flyers. At the air company's quarterly organized on-board menu tasting ceremony Aeroflot CEO Mr. Vitaly Saveliev together with airline's frequent flyers, top managers and key partners choose the best dishes among a vast variety of appetizers, soups, main courses and desserts to finally compose the new menu.
US to remove airport scanners that see through clothing.
Body scanners that reveal naked images of passengers are to be removed from US airports, the Transportation Security Administration has confirmed. The backscatter units that see through clothing caused controversy around the world, partly for fears about the amount of radiation they emit but also because of the potential invasion of privacy. Recently, an ex-TSA officer wrote on his blog, Taking Sense Away that security personnel regularly gather in the back rooms where scans are viewed to snigger and make lewd remarks about passengers-an allegation the TSA refuted. However, the manufacturer Rapsican was ordered to alter the scanners to produce a more generic image by June 1, and as it can't meet the deadline the TSA has ended its contract and ordered the machines to be removed.
Malaysia tops list of Muslim-friendly destinations.
In a study conducted by a local Muslim travel specialist, Malaysia emerged as the best destination for Muslim travellers, based on criteria such as safety, ease of access to halal food and prayer facilities, and Muslim-friendly hotels. According to news agency AFP, Malaysia beat Egypt by a wide margin, scoring 8.3 against the latter's 6.7 on a scale of 10. The United Arab Emirates and Turkey tied at 6.6, Saudi Arabia followed with 6.4 and Singapore was ranked a fifth with 6.3. Surprisingly, the world's largest Muslim nation Indonesia drew with Morocco and Jordan at 6.1, in sixth place. Fazal Bahardeen, chief executive, Crescentrating, told AFP that the survey represented a traveller's point of view. The annual study, which began in 2011, measures the ease of access to Muslim-friendly facilities by tourists rather than locals in 50 countries. "Malaysia is one of the few countries where you can find a prayer place in almost every location - be it a shopping mall or the airport," he said. He noted that Malaysian authorities have been focusing on the Muslim travel market for years. Meanwhile, he said of Indonesia: "The main problem...is that it's not as straightforward for a Muslim visitor to find halal food availability. For locals, it's probably not an issue." Shopping-wise, the same survey put Dubai ahead of Kuala Lumpur in terms of availability of halal food and prayer facilities. Singapore also came in among the top 10. For airports, Thailand's Suvarnabhumi Airport and the Kuala Lumpur International Airport were among the most Muslim-friendly.
Key Appointments in the Industry
Congratulations to these new appointments...
The Marcus Corporation today announced the appointment of Kirk A. Rose as president of Marcus® Hotels & Resorts, the company's full-service lodging division. Rose has a broad base of experience in hotels and hospitality. He held various positions with Global Hyatt Corporation for nine years, including serving as senior vice president and chief financial officer for six years. For the past three years, he was a partner in Salt Creek Hospitality, LLC, a private equity group focused on hospitality real estate that he co-founded with the former president of Global Hyatt. His experience also includes positions with Sears, Roebuck & Company, the Chicago-based law firm of McDermott,Will & Emery LLP, and Arthur Andersen LLP in Chicago.
Michael Schlueter has been appointed as General Manager of The Westin Langkawi Resort & Spa. Armed with more than 25 years of work experience in the industry, Michael has been General Manager for several years with hotels like Le Méridien Munich - Germany, Sheraton Palace Moscow - Russia, as well as holding an acting General Manager role at the Westin Grand Berlin - Germany. Prior to his appointment in Langkawi, Michael was the General Manager of Le Méridien Istanbul Etiler which he joined in March 2011. His career with Starwood Hotels & Resorts began in 1987 at the Sheraton Frankfurt Hotel, Germany as the Front Office Shift Leader, a hotel with more than 1000 rooms. Since then, Michael progressed to hold various management assignments in Germany, Poland, Russia and most recently, Turkey.
The Latest in Hotel Openings
Jin Jiang International Hotel Management Company will open a new hotel in Yancheng city, Jiangsu, in May 2013. The 5-star hotel is located in the prefecture-level, coastal city, Yancheng, also known as "Salt City", which plays host to a thriving automobile industry and the sprawling Yancheng National Nature Reserve. The hotel, standing at 21 stories, will offer 231 guestrooms, an Executive Club Lounge on the 19th floor, a range of meeting and ballrooms, on-site restaurants including private dining rooms, a swimming pool, tennis court, sauna, spa, yoga room and fitness centre.
Kempinski Hotels has opened its first property in Kenya: Olare Mara Kempinski, Masai Mara Tented Camp. The camp, which is located in the Olare Orok Conservancy Masai Mara on the banks of the Ntiakitiak River, has 12 tents furnished in the grand style of old-fashioned African safaris. The tents have four poster beds and oversized claw-foot bathtubs in the ensuite bathrooms. The honeymoon suite includes a private plunge pool.
Hilton Worldwide opened last week the DoubleTree by Hilton in Okinawa's capital Naha (Japan). The property is the first Doubletree to open and the tenth Hilton Worldwide hotel in Japan. The 12-story DoubleTree by Hilton, Naha will offer a 40 square-meter meeting room, a salon, a laundry and car parking facilities. Guests can also enjoy their meals at The Riverside Restaurant and Café, the hotel's all-day dining outlet serving an international cuisine. DoubleTree is already present in over 300 locations in 24 countries. In Japan, Hilton Worldwide currently operates the Conrad Tokyo, Hilton Tokyo, Hilton Tokyo Bay, Hilton Tokyo Narita Airport, Hilton Odawara Resort and Spa, Hilton Osaka, Hilton Niseko Village, Hilton Nagoya and Hilton Fukuoka Sea Hawk.
The latest hotel to join Worldhotels, Sir Albert in Amsterdam, with 90 rooms, exclusive suites and residences is opening its doors in January. The boutique hotel mixes luxury with a casual attitude and first class service with high tech conveniences - and rounds out Worldhotels' offering in Amsterdam. The hotel is located in the De Pijp area, home to many of Amsterdam's artists, writers and designers. Guests can easily walk to the Museumplein and the nightlife and shopping district Leidseplein. The actual building began life as a diamond factory in the 19th century - its heritage shines through in its high ceilings and large windows. All rooms and suites were designed by the international award-winning BK architects and boast vivid colours, exclusive design, Illy coffee machines, iPod docking stations, Sir Albert's signature bedding collection, complimentary Wi-Fi, views of downtown Amsterdam and for those who pursue a healthy lifestyle - Sir Albert's next door gym. The attentive and friendly service makes guests feel right at home.
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