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Regional News - Latin America / Caribbean.

New York, Delray Beach (AirGuide - Regional News Latin America / Caribbean) Mar 4, 2012

Chinese firms embrace CSR in Latin America Chinese companies are investing in Latin America and even embracing CSR after some companies got off to a bumpy start. After initially angering locals by ignoring environmental standards and using Chinese laborers, Chinese-backed mineral-extraction projects changed tack and now have some of the best community relations and CSR reporting standards in the region, observers say. Feb 27, 2012

Aerolineas Argentinas Argentina Wants Aerolineas To Fly To Falklands. Argentina's president said on Thursday she wants her country's flag carrier, Aerolineas Argentinas, to fly to the disputed Falkland Islands and she will seek to renegotiate an accord with Britain that allows flights from Chile. Diplomatic tensions have surged in recent months ahead of the 30th anniversary of the brief war the two countries fought over the remote islands in 1982, fuelling speculation about the future of the Falklands' only regular commercial air link. According to an agreement between Argentina and Britain signed in 1999, Chilean airline LAN has offered a weekly flight between Chile and the British-controlled South Atlantic archipelago. "We're going to ask for negotiations in order to have... flights leaving from mainland Argentina - Buenos Aires - to the islands in our flag carrier, Aerolineas Argentinas," President Cristina Fernandez said in a speech to Congress. Fernandez, who started her political career in Patagonia, where nationalist feeling about the nearby islands is especially strong, said she had asked had Aerolineas Argentinas to make plans to fly to the Falklands. "What we want to demonstrate clearly is that our interest is in UN resolutions being met and that we're not out to harm any community, neither the islands... nor the British, Latin Americans or anyone else," she said. Britain's Foreign Office said any discussion of the flights was a matter for the Falkland Islands government to consider. "If Argentina is keen to promote air links between the continent and the islands, it should reconsider its ban on charter flights through its airspace. "(Argentina's) current policy of seeking to isolate and dictate to the Falkland Islanders, from the harassment of fishing vessels to the closure of shipping ports is indefensible and will not succeed," a spokeswoman said in a statement. "It would be deeply disappointing and utterly unjustifiable if Argentina put pressure on this flight to be suspended." SOVEREIGNTY Fernandez, who nationalised Aerolineas Argentinas in 2008, has previously threatened to consider withdrawing permission for the LAN flight to pass through Argentine airspace because of Britain's refusal to negotiate the sovereignty of the islands. Thursday's announcement appears to mark a change in her government's strategy. London has refused to start talks demanded by Buenos Aires on the islands' sovereignty unless the roughly 3,000 Falklands residents call for them, which they show no signs of doing. The LAN flights currently stop once a month in Rio Gallegos, a town in southern Argentina, a measure that was agreed upon to allow Argentine war veterans and families of servicemen killed in the conflict to visit the islands. Diplomatic tensions over the Falklands, which Argentines call the Malvinas, have increased in recent years over offshore oil exploration by British companies off the islands' coast. In recent months, officials in London and Buenos Aires have engaged in an increasingly testy war of words. Britain summoned Argentina's envoy on Wednesday to explain a minister's proposed boycott of British goods and a decision to stop two cruise ships from docking in the country earlier this week. Argentina complained to the United Nations this month over what it called Britain's "militarisation" of the South Atlantic and both countries have traded accusations of "colonialism" over their sovereignty claim on the Falklands. Nearly 30 years after the war, the islands remain a potent national symbol in Argentina, although the decision to land in the territory on April 2, 1982, is widely seen as a mistake by the discredited military dictatorship ruling at the time. More than 900 troops, most of them Argentine, were killed in the 10-week war that started on April 2, 1982. Fernandez has repeatedly ruled out the use of military force to press Argentina's claim over the islands. Mar 1, 2012

American Airlines American Airlines to Increase Service on Miami-Kingston Route. American Airlines will add an additional daily nonstop flight between Miami International Airport (MIA) and Norman Manley International Airport in Kingston, Jamaica (KIN), this summer. The flight will operate between April 4 and Aug. 20, bringing the total number of daily nonstop flights between Miami and Kingston to four during the summer season. The new service will be operated with a 160-seat Boeing 737 aircraft. In addition to this seasonal flight, American offers three daily roundtrips between Miami and Kingston year-round. American also serves Montego Bay, Jamaica (MBJ), from Miami, Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) and Chicago (ORD). Feb 27, 2012

Avis Rent a car Avis Offers Late-Model Vehicles to Rent in South America. Avis is renting late-model vehicles in South America in locations ranging from Medellin in the north to southernmost Tierra del Fuego, and from Quito on the Pacific coast to Joao Pessoa, Brazil, the easternmost city on the continent. OAvis is committed to having a robust presence throughout South America, from established destinations such as Brazil to emerging tourism growth areas such as Uruguay,O said Patric Siniscalchi, president, Latin America/Asia Pacific, Avis Budget Group. In South America, most Avis locations are operated by independently owned licensees. Avis has 68 locations in Argentina, four in Bolivia, 85 in Brazil, 24 in Chile, six in Colombia, eight in Uraguay and six in Venezuela. Feb 28, 2012

Blue Horizons Garden Resort Grenada's Blue Horizons Garden Resort Offers Summer Promotion. Grenada's Blue Horizons Garden Resort has launched a OSuper Summer Value PackO promotion offering travelers who book a seven-night stay in a one-bedroom suite a package of amenities including one dinner per person at La Belle Creole restaurant, daily continental breakfast, a one-hour yoga session, a three-hour sightseeing tour, an introductory scuba lesson, use of non-powered water sports and snorkeling equipment and roundtrip airport transfers. The packages start at $590 per person for travel from April 16 to Dec. 15, 2012. Feb 28, 2012

Boeing FAA proposes change to air data sensors on Boeing 737. The Federal Aviation Administration has proposed altering wiring on air data sensors on Boeing 737 aircraft to make the sensors automatically activated. Pilots now must manually turn on the air data sensors on the more than 1,000 aircraft registered in the U.S. FlightGlobal.com (U.K.) Feb 28, 2012

Casa de Campo Resort Dominican RepublicOs Casa de Campo Resort Offers Packages. Travelers who book a minimum four-night stay at the luxury Dominican Republic resort Casa de Campo for stays between March 1 and April 24 can opt for an all-inclusive package featuring unlimited meals and drinks at resort restaurants, bars and lounges, one round of trap or skeet shooting, unlimited horseback riding, tennis, non-motorized water sports and use of the resortOs fitness center. Meanwhile, golf lovers can celebrate the 40th anniversary of the resortOs iconic Teeth of the Dog course with special rates on the Casa Golf Legends package between March 1 and Oct. 31, 2012. Rates start at $309 per person, double occupancy, with a three-night minimum stay. For an additional $15 per person, per day guests also receive unlimited rounds on the resortOs Dye Fore and Links courses. With the Casa Families package, families who stay between April 25 and Sept. 30, 2012, receive 50 percent off a second connecting room, while two children age 12 and under stay, play and eat free. Finally, vacationers who book a Casa de Campo stay 180 days or more ahead of their stay receive 20 percent off; travelers who book between 90 and 179 in advance save 15 percent. Feb 29, 2012

Collette Vacations Collette Vacations Offers Second Tour to Cuba. Collette Vacations is offering its second tour to Cuba. Collette Travel Service has been issued a license by the U.S. Department of Treasury Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), which authorizes its registered guests under the auspices of Collette to legally travel to Cuba, to participate and engage in a full-time schedule of authorized educational exchange activities in Cuba, which will involve interaction with people in Cuba. Prior to departure, Collette will provide clients with a Letter of Authorization to confirm their legal travel status, the authorized travel agenda and activities, and your recordkeeping responsibilities. Clients will spend seven nights in Havana, visit an organic farm in Pinar del Rio and explore the architectural heritage in Matanzas. The Heart of Cuba tour, with departure dates from May through November, includes a walking tour through the four main plazas of Old Havana, a visit to the National Aquarium in Havana for a dolphin show and workshop with divers to learn about CubaOs marine conservation efforts, a meeting with an organic farmer and his family while going on an informative tour of their harvest in Viales, and a visit to the Afro-Cuban Religion museum in Guanabacoa to learn about the religious practices of the island. Collette Vacations is also offering Rediscover Cuba -- A Cultural Exploration, which includes stays in Havana and Trinidad and a visit to Cienfuegos. Both tours offer visits to the Ernest Hemingway House, Finca Viga (Lookout Farm), a meeting with a Cuban family in their own paladar (a privately owned and operated restaurant) for dinner, listening to live traditional music and a lecture on the instruments used to produce the distinctive OSounds of Cuba,O and going to the Casa Fuster, the colorful home of Jos Fuster, where one of the artistOs apprentices or even the artist himself will be on hand to talk about his work, inspired by Antoni Gaud, a notable figure in Spanish architecture. Mar 1, 2012

Florida Visit Florida Releases 2012 Travel Planner, Transportation Map. Visit Florida, the official tourism marketing corporation for the State of Florida, announced that the Florida Official Transportation Map and the 2012 Visit Florida Magazine are now available. Both publications provide rich Florida travel planning content that is also available online and on mobile devices. The 2012 edition of the Visit Florida Magazine, the stateOs premier travel planning publication, serves as a comprehensive stand-alone magazine with articles and images highlighting activities and destinations of interest to visitors in the Sunshine State. The magazine is also a resource for locating the rich content accessible via smartphone and other mobile devices. Consumers will find Microsoft tags throughout both the magazine and map. Readers can snap the tag with their smartphoneOs camera to see related videos, photo galleries, articles, deals and events. Hard copies of the Visit Florida Magazine and the Official Florida Transportation Map are being distributed to consumers via direct request, at sales shows, in the five official Florida Welcome Centers and by tourism industry businesses throughout the state. Tourism organizations who wish to provide the publications to their customers are invited to place bulk orders. Feb 29, 2012

General Tours General Tours, LAN Offer Savings to South America. General Tours World Traveler and LAN partnered to offer a series of air-inclusive savings to South America. Under the terms of the offer, clients can save $750 to $800 per couple when they pay in full at time of booking by April 30 for any of the companyOs 15 Small Group trips to Peru, Chile, Argentina, Antarctica and the Galapagos. The savings are available on General ToursO Economy and Business Class airfares for travel through April 2013, except for some mid-summer and Christmas dates. Clients can choose from Privately Guided Tours such as Five Days in Peru and Three Jewels: Buenos Aires, Iguassu & Rio, or Small Group Journeys like the 12-day Grandeur of Peru and 10-day Across the Andes, or off-the-beaten path adventures like Galapagos & Kapawi in the Amazon. Clients can save an additional $500 per couple on four different Galapagos voyages when they book and pay in full by March 30 for a Classic or Deluxe Balcony Suite. These savings aboard the intimate, all-suite MV Galapagos Explorer II are available on 19 select departures through December 2012. Clients can combine these limited-time discounts with the companyOs Family and Friends offer of additional savings of $50 to $150 per person when three or more guests travel together. Travel agents who are members of General Tours Rewards earn a $100 bonus per booking when their clients take advantage of these pay-in-full savings. There is no limit to how much an agent can earn in bonuses -- which are paid when clients travel. Feb 29, 2012

GOL Linhas Aereas GOL Announces a Study of Flights to The United States of America. GOL Announces a Study of Flights to The United States of Americas Inteligentes S.A., the largest low-cost and low-fare airline in Latin America, hereby informs that it is always evaluating new opportunities that add to business results and benefits the customers, and therefore, requested ANAC a consultation about the availability of 14 weekly flights to the United States of America, and another seven frequencies to Venezuela. ANAC's rules number 325 and number 326 designate the frequencies as provided in bilateral agreements between the countries involved. Mar 1, 2012

Hotel Unique, S - o Paulo, Thompson Hotel Most magnificent hotel rooftop pools on earth. The Skypark pool atop the Marina Bay Sands hotel in Singapore might be one of the most magnificent pools on earth: It's an infinity-edged oasis 650 feet above ground with a mind-blowing view of the city's skyline. It's part of a massive rooftop entertainment platform perched atop three skyscrapers. While it may vie for the most dramatic, this high-altitude hot spot is now one of many built in major metropolises. These days pools are popping up on top of skyscrapers from New York to Sydney and everywhere in between, often with bars and restaurants that help transform the pool deck into a social scene all its own. "In densely populated cities where space is at a such a premium, if you want to build something new and innovative, the only place to go is up," says Thompson Toronto project architect Rob Cadeau, who turned the hotel's rooftop into a gathering place by designing a bar adjacent to the pool area. Other designers have used increasingly dramatic effects -- infinity edges, cantilevered pool tanks, see-through flooring -- in order to distinguish and gain international attention for their offerings. "Every time someone does something new, someone else has to up the ante," says Cadeau. "In the future, we're going to see even more acrobatic engineering on rooftops, features that will stretch our perception of the pool edge, the height and the sensations you experience once you're swimming." The trend to create entertainment hubs above the hectic urban bustle started a decade ago in New York, where 35 hotels now feature a rooftop bar, many of which have pools. Boutique properties like the Soho House were the first to get in on the action, and other hotels followed suit, from Hotel Frasano's Phillipe Starck-designed rooftop pool in Rio de Janeiro to the Joule in Dallas, where part of the pool hangs off the building. Eventually the laws of physics may keep designers from pushing the envelope any further. In the meantime -- the sky's the limit. Departures.com: 10 stunning hotel penthouses Marina Bay Sands, Singapore The infinity pool at Marina Bay Sands soars a hair-raising 650 feet in the air, overlooking the Singapore skyline. The expansive "SkyPark" deck and observation platform (large enough to fit three football fields) is perched 55 floors up on a platform that connects the hotel's three skyscrapers. Guests who aren't content to swim or lounge can paraglide off the side. marinabaysands.com. Hotel Fasano, Rio de Janeiro This Phillipe Starck-designed rooftop pool deck is a feast for the eyes, from dramatic views of Ipanema beach and Two Brothers mountain to Starck's sculptural installation of ear-shaped mirrors. Naturally even the guests are worth a glance: Madonna, Kevin Spacey and P. Diddy have all been spotted poolside. To help loungers stay cool as the people-watching heats up, the bar mixes specialty caipirinhas and freshly squeezed tropical juices. The hotel recently opened a Vichy shower room adjacent to the pool, which offers body wraps, massages and after-sun treatments by Spa Fasano and renowned Brazilian spa therapist Renata de Abreu. fasano.com.br. The Joule, Dallas When movie mogul Tim Headington, who has bankrolled such films as Martin Scorsese's "The Departed" and "The Aviator," built a pool on the tenth-floor rooftop of his downtown Dallas hotel, he opted for a little Hollywood-style drama, extending the pool eight feet out and over the side of the building, complete with an aquarium-like glass wall at the end overlooking the street. On warmer weekends The Joule hosts parties on the pool deck, which is complete with cabanas and a menu from the Charlie Palmer restaurant downstairs. Not outrageous enough? The poolside loungers can request an SPF application from the onsite tanning butler. thejouledallas.com. InterContinental Hong Kong In a city with no shortage of IMAX-worthy hotel views, the one from the InterContinental demands a mention. Visitors can take in views of Victoria Harbour and nearby Hong Kong Island from one of three temperature-controlled infinity spa pools on the third floor pool terrace, which is open to all guests. Guests rotate between hot, warm and cold plunges on the 30,000-square-foot deck while a butler lingers nearby with a selection of beverages and facials mists. For those who need further relaxing after their swim, the feng shui--based Ancient Rituals of the Orient treatment at I-Spa, located steps from the pool, is guaranteed to do the trick. The hotel also has a Presidential Suite and a CEO suite, which both have a private swimming pool and jacuzzi. hongkong-ic.intercontinental.com. Ritz Carlton Hong Kong This indoor pool stands a dizzying 1,500 feet above the street, offering a bird's-eye view of Hong Kong Island. It also features 144 LED screens installed in the ceiling that display video and images, a hot and cold plunge area and an outdoor Jacuzzi. The pool shares the floor with OZONE, the highest bar in the world (rivaled only by at.mosphere in Dubai's Burj Khalifa). Head over to check out the space-age decor and take part in the drinking and dancing. ritzcarlton.com/hongkong. Departures.com: 25 top travel apps Soho House, New York City When it opened in Manhattan's emerging Meatpacking District in 2003, the heated top-floor pool at this members-only club instantly became the city's most exclusive destination. Despite a nearly decade-long cooling off period, the buzz remains: the black-and-white-striped lounge chairs beside the pool are still prime real estate. While the pool has stayed members-only, visitors can gain access by booking one of the 24 rooms in the hotel below. sohohouseny.com. Hotel Unique, S - o Paulo The best time to pay a visit to this pool, poised atop one of S - o Paulo's most cosmopolitan new design hotels, is after dark. That's when the unparalleled views of the city's downtown skyline and the colorfully lit pool water glow brightest as guests nibble from the sashimi menu and sip wasabi martinis. Still, even the most determined loungers will want to dive in: music is pumped through the pool via an underwater sound system. hotelunique.com. Thompson Toronto Thompson Hotel execs took advantage of the city's relatively mild weather and designed their 16th-floor oasis to maximize their guests' access to the outdoors. "We built the infinity pool on a raised platform, so you're at eye level with the water the second you step out of the elevator," says Rob Cadeau, whose team oriented the entire deck to face east so it would feature an unobstructed sightline toward downtown. During warmer months, the glass wall between the indoor bar and outdoor pool retracts to create one large space for mixing and mingling. thompsonhotels.com/hotels/Toronto. The Viceroy, Miami Miami is famous for its exceptional pools, so it takes a truly over-the-top one to impress. The one on the roof of The Viceroy is no slouch: Its two-acre pool deck connects the three towers of the Icon Brickell complex and has a 300-foot infinity pool that appears to drop off into Biscayne Bay, 15 stories below. The outdoor recreation area offers 12 cabanas and 200 chaise lounges, a life-sized chess set and a thermal hot tub that seats 80 people. Don't miss the late-night scene at Club 50. Perched on the 50th floor, this lounge and dancing space (designed by interior designer Kelly Wearstler of Bravo's Top Design) features an Asian-inspired pool area and an ever-rotating roster of internationally renowned DJs. viceroyhotelsandresorts.com/Miami. Adelphi Hotel, Melbourne, Australia It may take nerves of steel to take the plunge at the Adelphi Hotel. This heated saltwater pool is cantilevered several feet over the street below and features a transparent floor that looks over a nine-story drop down to the pavement. Since the beginning of December, the start of the Australian summer season, the Adelphi offers themed events poolside: "Roja" (Latin jazz, tapas and sangria), "Sultry" (weeknight cocktail parties) and "Splash" (casual Sunday recreation with beach balls, toys and buckets of beer). Source: CNN Feb 28, 2012

Hotelito Desconocido MexicoOs Hotelito Desconocido Reopens After Renovation, Expansion. Hotelito Desconocido, in Cruz de Loreto, Mexico, recently completed a $10 million renovation and expansion project and has re-opened its doors. Located along the Costalegre and in the middle of a nature reserve, the property is an eco-luxury hotel featuring 26 redesigned individual rooms and a presidential suite, a new Thalasso spa, two restaurants, two pools and a range of eco and adventure activities. As part of the renovation project, Hotelito replaced its original 24 bungalows with 26 individual larger units and one presidential suite, designed with artisanal Mexican dcor and hand-carved furnishings. Hotelito Desconocido features two gourmet restaurants -- El Diablito and El Nopalito Beach Club & Restaurant each showcase Mexican homemade cuisine featuring all local fish and meats, as well as herbs and produce from the propertyOs organic garden. Guests also have the option of requesting exclusive and private dinners on the beach, lagoon, on the tower or in the spa. Hotelito's new spa has a focus on thalassotherapy treatments, as well as a series of regional rituals, including a Temazcal, and Asian-inspired services including Ayurvedic therapies. Feb 27, 2012

Interjet MexicoOs Interjet adds Miami to Network. MexicoOs Interjet (4O) has introduced Mexico City-Miami services, its second US route following Mexico City-San Antonio services in December 2011. Flights will operate 2X-daily weekdays and daily on Saturdays and Sundays. The low-cost carrier, which operates a fleet of 31 Airbus A320s, serves 28 destinations, including Guatemala City and Havana. The airline serves 25 city pairs out of its Mexico City main hub, seven domestic city pairs out of its Toluca hub, and three city pairs each out of its Guadalajara and Monterrey hubs. Feb 28, 2012

Interpol Law enforcement deals blow against Anonymous with international sweep. Police say they have nabbed more than two dozen suspected members of the hacker group Anonymous -- including suspected managers of the group's operations in Spain and Latin America -- in coordinated actions in Europe and South America. The arrests are the culmination of a weeks-long international investigation headed up by Interpol that involved searches in 15 cities and the seizure of 250 pieces of tech gear. The suspects, who are as young as 17 and as old as 40, are said to include Anonymous members responsible for hacking political and industrial targets, including Colombia's defense ministry, Interpol said. Feb 29, 2012

JetBlue Airways JetBlue Adds Service Between Bogota, Colombia and Fort Lauderdale. JetBlue Airways is connecting South Florida with Bogota, Colombia's renowned capital, with a new daily nonstop flight between Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport and Bogota's El Dorado International Airport starting on May 7, 2012. To celebrate, the airline has launched a special $99 one-way fare (a) to make this vibrant South American business center and emerging tourist destination more accessible than ever. JetBlue's flights between Fort Lauderdale and Bogota will be operated with its comfortable Airbus A320 fleet and award-winning service featuring convenient, assigned seating; a first-checked bag free (b); complimentary and unlimited name brand snacks and drinks; comfy leather seats; and more legroom than any other carrier in coach (c). Mar 1, 2012

LAN Airlines LAN completes Cusco-Lima RNP flight. LAN Airlines on Thursday operated its Cusco-Lima route with Required Navigation Performance (RNP) satellite navigation from takeoff to landing, shortening the route by 30.5 km., saving 67.5 gal. of fuel and emitting 644 kg. less carbon dioxide. Though LAN Peru has used RNP operations since 2009 on flights to Cusco and since 2011 on flights to Cajamarca, Arequipa and Juliaca, the carrier had only used it for landings prior to ThursdayOs flight. Feb 29, 2012

Lighthouse Bay Resort BarbudaOs Lighthouse Bay Resort Offers OLadies in Luxury GetawayO. The luxury Lighthouse Bay Resort, located on a private island in Barbuda, is offering a three-night "Ladies in Luxury Getaway" package featuring roundtrip helicopter service for the group to and from Antigua; all meals and beverages during the stay; a day charter complete with lunch, snorkel and sail gear; one hour of horseback riding; a group cooking class with the resortOs chef; a beach barbeque and bonfire; a one-hour, full-body massage, detoxing and rejuvenating scrub and manicure and pedicure for each guest; and a pre-loaded iPad with fun, girls-night music. In-room amenities and services include flat-screen satellite televisions, iPod alarm clock CD players, complimentary international telephone calls, personal laptops and iPads for guests' use while on property, and Wi-Fi Internet connection. For added convenience, guests can make unlimited international telephone calls at no additional cost and complimentary laundry service is available. Feb 27, 2012

Los Cabos CVB Los Cabos CVB Announces New Flights from U.S.. The Los Cabos Convention & Visitors Bureau announced the launch of several new nonstop flights to San Jose del Cabo International Airport (SJD) from Orange County, Calif. (SNA), and Chicago (ORD). In December 2011, AirTran Airways announced its intent to launch new nonstop service to Los Cabos from Orange County, Calif., effective June 3, 2012. AirTran's new flight service to Los Cabos will be available once daily, seven times per week. Customers can begin booking travel for this new flight immediately. Frontier Airlines' new nonstop service to Los Cabos from Chicago will be available once per week on Saturdays. The new flights compliment existing Frontier Airlines service from Denver (DEN) and Kansas City, Mo. (MCI). Frontier Airlines began its new route on Feb. 11 Feb 27, 2012

Marriott Hotels MarriottOs Caribbean, Mexican Resorts Offer Package. MarriottOs Caribbean and Mexican resorts are offering the new Wind Down and Warm Up Event. With savings of 25 percent and a daily resort credit of $50, travelers have a choice of nine resorts in seven locations across the Caribbean and Mexico. A minimum three-night stay between April 15 and June 30, 2012, is required and guests must book between March 1 and March 31, 2012. Travelers must use the promotion code LLF when making the reservation. Participating resort properties include Aruba Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino; CasaMagna Marriott Cancun Resort; CasaMagna Marriott Puerto Vallarta Resort & Spa; Curaao Marriott Beach Resort & Emerald Casino; FrenchmanOs Reef & Morning Star Marriott Beach Resort; Grand Cayman Marriott Beach Resort; Renaissance Aruba Resort and Casino; JW Marriott Cancun Resort & Spa; and St. Kitts Marriott Resort & The Royal Beach Casino. Feb 29, 2012

Mexico Mrida, Mexico, showcases its vibrant Mayan heritage. The city of Mrida in the Mexican state of Yucatn hums with life night after night with exuberant activities that celebrate its people's Mayan culture. Traditional dances, fairs and musicians continue to draw visitors who wish to see a city that refuses to let go of its roots. Mar 2, 2012

Mientras Tango Argentineans to tango through Jamaica, Queens . One of the most popular romantic dance forms in the world takes center stage in Jamaica, Queens this weekend. Back by popular demand, the Mientras Tango Company will dazzle attendees with the elegant artistry of tango this Saturday, March 3, 2012. The Argentinean group will feature at the Jamaica Performing Arts Center (JPAC) in Jamaica, Queens - an increasingly popular venue for showcasing global cultural presentations. Following a successful engagement there last season, the Mientras Tango Company, comprising an internationally acclaimed group of Argentinean tango artists, returns to the stage at 8 p.m. with their presentation of "MIENTRAS TANGO (While We Tango) 2012". The Octavio Brunetti Tango Quintet - featuring Octavio Brunetti on piano, Pedro Giraudo on double bass, Machiko Ozawa on violin, Juan Pablo Jofre on bandonen and Adam Tully on guitar - will provide the accompaniment for the athletic dancing artistry of Orlando Reyes Ibarra, Adriana Salgado Neira, Carlos Caedo and Jennifer Wesnousky. "Mientras Tango Company's performance was one of our last season's highlights," recalled Philip Willis, executive eirector of the Jamaica Center for Arts and Learning (JCAL), managers of JPAC, "and we are looking forward to yet another enthralling performance." The group has graced such world-class stages as Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, Carnegie Hall and The Beacon Theatre in New York City, and has performed with the likes of Yo-Yo Ma and Jennifer Lopez. The show will take place in JPAC's 400-seat auditorium, located at 153-10 Jamaica Avenue in Queens, where the unique architectural elements of a 19th century church has been incorporated into the construction of a 21st century performing arts theater. The facility is easily accessible by public transportation, including bus and subway (E, F, J and Z lines) as well as the LIRR. Feb 28, 2012

Royal Caribbean Cruises RCCL Exercises Option for Second Project Sunshine Ship. Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. exercised its option to build a second Project Sunshine-class cruise ship to be delivered in the spring 2015. The ship will be built by German shipbuilder Meyer Werft on substantially the same terms as the first Sunshine ship. OThis confirms our continued confidence in the success of this new generation of ships and our strong conviction about the Royal Caribbean International brand,O said Richard D. Fain, RCCL chairman and CEO. The original order, placed just over a year ago, was for one ship to be delivered in fall 2014 with the option. The 158,000-ton newbuilds will carry just over 4,100 guests based on double occupancy. Feb 29, 2012

SeaDream Yacht Club SeaDream Schedules Two Scuba Dive Voyages in December. SeaDream Yacht Club in December will operate two itineraries designed for diving. SeaDream I sails from San Juan to St. Thomas, Dec. 9 to 6, and SeaDream II will cruise from St. Thomas to San Juan, Dec. 16 to 22. On both voyages, the first dive site is Culebra, located 17 miles east of Puerto Rico. CulebraOs reefs are in excellent condition and abundant with marine life. The second dive site is Saba, the premier dive spot in the Caribbean. Then, an overnight in St. Barts, which has a marine park with sea turtles, stingrays, barracudas and angelfish. The final days are spent yachting in the British Virgin Islands of Tortola, Norman Island and Virgin Gorda. Feb 27, 2012

Seven Stars Resort Turks & CaicosO Seven Stars Resort Offers OParadise GetawayO. The Turks & CaicosO Seven Stars Resort launched a OParadise GetawayO program, offering travelers who book an oceanfront room by March 31 every third night free for stays through April 15, 2012. Under the offer, rates start at $693 per night. Named for the seven stars of the Pleiades constellation, Seven Stars is an all-suite resort located on 22 acres at Grace Bay Beach. Suites feature spacious private balconies and dramatic views. Accommodations feature gourmet kitchens with wine refrigerators and Nespresso machines. Feb 27, 2012

Solmar Hotels & Resorts Cabo San Lucas SolmarOs Hotel Quinta del Sol Converted to All-Inclusive Property. Solmar Hotels & Resorts Cabo San Lucas announced the conversion of Hotel Quinta del Sol to an all-inclusive property, following major renovations in late 2011. The new premium, all-inclusive concept will provide guests of the property with enhanced dining options and a variety of other perks in an effort to maintain the hotel group's commitment to providing outstanding service. The conversion is effective immediately. The new amenities and services at Hotel Quinta del Sol include a welcome cocktail for all guests, as well as breakfast, lunch and dinner at the hotel's restaurant, Las Quintas. All domestic beverages, complimentary in-room beverages on day of arrival, snacks and beverages in the hotel's pool area, wireless Internet, parking, use of the fitness center, use of the beach club at Solmar Resort and one-time laundry service (excluding dry cleaning) are also included in the all-inclusive package. Also as part of the new all-inclusive offering, guests will receive a 25 percent discount at Playa Grande's Spa and a 10 percent discounted at recommended off-site restaurants. For guests booking four or more nights at Hotel Quinta del Sol, theme night dinners at Solmar Resort are available at no extra charge. Feb 28, 2012

Southwest Airlines, AirTran Airways FAA Issues Single Operating Certificate to Southwest Airlines and AirTran Airways. Southwest Airlines and its wholly FAA Issues Single Operating Certificate to Southwest Airlines and AirTran Airwaysned subsidiary AirTran Airways announced today the carriers received approval by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for a Single Operating Certificate (SOC), marking a key milestone in the integration of the two airlines. The process of a full integration of the AirTran Airways fleet into the Southwest Airlines fleet (i.e., paint scheme and interior configuration) is not complete and the transition to a single ticketing system is a large and complex process that will take several years to complete. "While this is an important milestone and one that we are extremely proud to achieve, as a practical matter, most Employees and Customers will see little or no immediate difference in the two airlines' flight operations, as allowed by having both carriers named on the Single Operating Certificate," said Mike Van de Ven, Chief Operating Officer at Southwest Airlines. "This will enable us to continue our integration in a coordinated and thoughtful manner while our Customers will continue to receive the highest level of service and Safety they have come to expect from both carriers." The FAA, Southwest Airlines, and AirTran Airways will address the following regulatory changes today: [yen] The Southwest Airlines Air Carrier Operating Certificate will be amended to read "Southwest Airlines Co. and/or AirTran Airways Inc." [yen] The two airlines will conduct operations under a single set of FAA Operations Specifications. Southwest Airlines and AirTran Airways Customers will continue to experience the same great service from each airline. Customers flying on AirTran will continue to make reservations or check in at airtran.com or by calling 800-247-8726, and visit AirTran kiosks and airport ticket counters. AirTran Employees will still work on scheduled AirTran flights. Customers flying on Southwest can continue to find low fares or check in at southwest.com or by calling 800-435-9792, or at Southwest kiosks and airport ticket counters. Southwest Employees will still work on scheduled Southwest flights. Customers will continue to earn and redeem currency through the respective frequent flier loyalty programs, as they do today. These programs will be integrated over time. "We cannot overstate the significance of having received our Single Operating CertificateNit is a monumental step in the regulatory processNand achieving it enables us to move forward with the integration of the two airlines into a single carrier. I would like to thank the Employees of Southwest and AirTran, the FAA, and the Department of Transportation for the countless hours of work they have dedicated to achieve the Single Operating Certificate," said Van de Ven. Southwest Airlines announced plans to acquire AirTran Airways on September 27, 2010, an acquisition that significantly expanded Southwest Airlines' low-fare service to more Customers in more domestic markets, creating hundreds of additional low-fare itineraries for the traveling public. Since Southwest Airlines closed the deal to purchase AirTran Airways on May 2, 2011, both carriers have worked hard to guarantee a thoughtful and smooth integration process while providing the same high level of Customer Service that Customers have come to expect. Throughout the next several years, Southwest Airlines will continue the process of welcoming AirTran Employees to the Southwest Family, converting AirTran Airways aircraft to the Southwest paint scheme and interior configuration, and transitioning AirTran Airways gates to Southwest Airlines gates (beginning with Seattle in August of 2012). Mar 1, 2012

ZZ AirGuide 120304

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Comment:Regional News - Latin America / Caribbean.
Publication:Airguide Online
Article Type:Company overview
Geographic Code:3ARGE
Date:Mar 5, 2012
Words:6129
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