An over­view of lat­est in­dus­try de­vel­op­ments

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Dusit signs multi-prop­erty deal in Africa

Thai­land’s Dusit In­ter­na­tional has en­tered into an exclusive agree­ment with South Africabased eLan Prop­erty Group to man­age sev­eral hotels and re­sorts in south­ern Africa and the In­dian Ocean. Un­der the agree­ment, Dusit will ini­tially man­age five hotels and re­sorts - two in South Africa, two in Mozam­bique and one in Mau­ri­tius – but this will rise to nine prop­er­ties with a to­tal in­ven­tory of around 1,400 rooms in fu­ture. Dusit will also work with the eLan on a re­gional hos­pi­tal­ity ed­u­ca­tion project, de­tails of which are cur­rently be­ing fi­nalised.

SAA launches Ghana-Wash­ing­ton DC flights

South African Air­ways (SAA) has cel­e­brated its in­au­gu­ral flights be­tween Ac­cra, the cap­i­tal of Ghana, and Wash­ing­ton DC. The new ser­vice landed at the US cap­i­tal’s Dulles In­ter­na­tional for the first time on 3 Au­gust, where it was greeted with a wa­ter can­non salute. SAA will now op­er­ate the route four times a week (Mon­days, Tues­days, Thurs­days and Satur­days) us­ing a 317-seat, two-class Air­bus A340-600 air­craft. The flight will con­tinue on­wards from Ac­cra to Jo­han­nes­burg. SAA also op­er­ates three weekly Jo­han­nes­burg-Dakar-Wash­ing­ton DC flights.

Mar­rakech hotels suf­fer from tourism

down­turn

Hotels in Mar­rakech have been im­pacted by a slow­down in vis­i­tor ar­rivals re­cently, due to at­tacks on tourists in North Africa. Ho­tel con­sul­tancy firm HVS re­ports that fol­low­ing an 11% in­crease in revPAR in 2013, to EUR135 (US$148), the coun­try started see­ing a de­cline to­wards the end of last year. And in Q1 2015, room nights at the Moroc­can city's hotels de­clined 12% year-on-year. HVS also notes that "a num­ber of large cor­po­rate con­gresses" have been can­celled or re­lo­cated from the city, de­spite the fact that Morocco re­mains a largely safe des­ti­na­tion.

Ethiopian adds flat-bed seats to all Boe­ing 777s

Ethiopian Air­lines has com­pleted a project to up­grade the in­te­ri­ors of its en­tire fleet of Boe­ing 777 air­craft. The car­rier has now retro­fit­ted all 10 of its twin-aisle B777s, in­clud­ing six B777-200LRs and four new B777-300ERs, with flat-bed busi­ness class seats that re­cline the full 180 de­grees. Other mod­i­fi­ca­tions in­cluded re­ar­rang­ing the lay­out of the cab­ins and re­work­ing the air­craft's in-flight en­ter­tain­ment sys­tems. The project was un­der­taken by Ethiopian's in-house Main­te­nance, Re­pair and Over­haul (MRO) team in Ad­dis Ababa.

fly­dubai adds Eritrea to route map

fly­dubai has an­nounced plans to launch flights to Eritrea. Di­rect ser­vices be­tween Dubai and the east African coun­try's cap­i­tal city, As­mara, will com­mence on 25 Oc­to­ber 2015. The route will be op­er­ated four times a week (Mon­days, Thurs­days, Fri­days and Sun­days) us­ing a Boe­ing 737 air­craft. The move marks the lat­est step in fly­dubai's African ex­pan­sion; the low-cost car­rier has re­cently com­menced flights to Bu­rundi, Tan­za­nia, Uganda, Rwanda and So­ma­liland. As­mara be­comes the 18th des­ti­na­tion to join fly­dubai's net­work this year.

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