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Welcome to Corporate Travel Chronicles, your monthly news round-up bought to you by Club Travel Corporate. This news-in-brief summary will help you, the travelling professional, navigate the thrilling and fluid world of business and corporate travel. By bringing you the latest developments informing South African business travellers we will keep you abreast of the most important stories in recent weeks delivered in an easy-to-digest, bite-sized format.
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Corporate Travel Chronicles keeps you on the pulse of industry updates, airline anecdotes, travel advisories among a pick of the most important stories in recent weeks.
For December 2019 we bring in to focus:
Business rescue specialists tasked with saving SAA say the national carrier has a good chance of surviving. “We are of the belief that the business rescue process will achieve a better outcome for all stakeholders than an immediate liquidation,” the statement said. In December, the government put SAA into business rescue – a form of bankruptcy protection where specialist advisors take control of a company to restructure it. While the decision to save SAA bodes well for its future, it is uncertain how many jobs can be saved. Creditors have approved an extension to the turnaround plan deadline until no later than February 2020.
From January 2020, African nationals can gain visa-on-arrival entry to Nigeria and are exempt from applying for a visa before departure. President Muhammadu Buhari confirmed Nigeria will issue all African travellers with a visa on arrival tweeting: “Nigeria is committed to supporting the free movement of Africans within Africa. Yesterday at the Aswan Forum in Egypt I announced that, in January 2020, we will commence issuance of visas at the point of entry into Nigeria, to all persons holding passports of African countries.” The announcement comes five months after Nigeria signed a deal aimed at promoting free trade on the continent. For more information visit the Nigeria Immigration Service.
“The measured car rental industry has a fleet in excess of 70 000 vehicles that facilitate 2,7 million rental transactions and in excess of 17 million rental days. The revenue generated by the industry, before taking into consideration the value of vehicles sold when they reach the end of their rental life, is in excess of R6 billion. Like the South African economy, the car rental industry has not grown in real terms in 2019,” an Avis Executive told Business Traveller Africa in a recent interview. Despite the challenging time, it is said the industry will grow as South Africa’s economy recovers and domestic and foreign tourism doubles to 21 million by 2030. “Corporate and leisure travellers will continue to need vehicles, as we are a vast country with an underdeveloped public transport system. There will be competing transport solutions available to travellers, such as ride-hailing, but this will remain a service that meets short period and distance movements.” Read the rest of the Q&A on Business Traveller Africa.
The first of SAA’s four new A350-900 aircraft has commenced flights between Cape Town and Joburg – one of Africa’s busiest routes. Delivered in October, SAA released the newest member of its fleet on Christmas eve. The plane flew from Johannesburg to Cape Town as flight SA323 and returned as flight SA336 from Cape Town to Johannesburg on 24 December. Fleet renewal has been a major focus for the embattled airline currently undergoing business rescue and more routes will be operated by the Airbus A350-900s, including SAA’s ultra-long-haul routes between Johannesburg and New York’s John F Kennedy International Airport.
The BON Hotel Plaza is set to open in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in early 2020. The boutique hotel will have an upmarket, urban feel and feature 72 rooms, conference and meeting facilities, and all-day dining. Three more BON Hotel projects are approved for Ethiopia and are set to open in 2020 as part of the SA-based group’s rapid East African expansion strategy. BON Hotels also has plans for nearby Eritrea. Most of the hotel’s guests are anticipated to be business travellers.