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Tourism and Aviation News April 2015

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Marriott International and Everest Hospitality Group Ink Agreement
MS Group’s Everest Hospitality Group Pvt Ltd has signed an agreement with Marriott International to open Marriott Hotel in Kathmandu . MS Group has informed that it is constructing Fairfield Marriott in Naxal, Kathmandu which will be completed by the end of 2015. “There is a strong need of international hospitality brands in Kathmandu as it continues to grow as a tourist destination. Marriott International and Everest Hospitality Group are pleased to sign this agreement to bring the globally renowned Marriott brand in Nepal,” said MS Group in a statement. 
 
According to Executive Director of Everest Hospitality Group Gaurav Agrawal, Nepal’s popularity as a tourist destination is growing continuously and more and more tourists are coming to Nepal. “Kathmandu is a transit and also a tourist destination. We, through the new hotel, will offer our hospitality to the tourists who come to Kathmandu and also attract more people to Nepal,” said Agrawal. The new Marriott Hotel, after its completion, will have more than 200 rooms, an all-day dining restaurant, bar, banquet, meeting hall and a health club. 
 
Fewer Tourists in 2014
According to the statistics of the Immigration Office, Tribhuvan International Airport released on March 11, visitor arrivals in the year 2014 by air has decreased by 0.3 % as compared to the year 2013. The figures show that a total of 585,981 international visitors arrived in Nepal in the year 2014, which is less by 1,861 as compared to the year 2013. In the year 2013, a total of 587,842 tourists entered Nepal by air route.
 
According to Nepal Tourism Board (NTB), Nepal observed a sustained growth in international tourist arrival in the early months of January, February, April and May but suffered a decline from June. “The decline suggests that Nepal needs to promote its tourism products in the international market more aggressively in order to increase the tourist arrival,” says a statement from NTB.  
 
Qatar Flies to Frankfurt with New A350 XWB
Qatar Airways has started flights to Frankfurt from March with its second A350 XWB aircraft. With the introduction of the second A350, Qatar has now started flying to Frankfurt double-daily exclusively with the new aircraft. The airline’s launch of the first commercial A350 XWB flight took place in January 2015 when the airline began inaugural A350 services to Frankfurt. Following the introduction of the second A350 XWB, the airline is now scheduled to accept delivery of three more A350 XWB aircraft in June, July and August of this year, all of which will be deployed on the Doha-Singapore route.
 
“We are thrilled to have taken delivery of our second A350 XWB less than two months after the historic delivery of our first aircraft. As the A350 is setting new benchmarks in terms of both comfort and passenger experience, we look forward to welcoming our passengers on board our A350 XWBs, to enjoy our renowned five-star service,” said Akbar Al Baker, Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive. 
 
The A350 XWB comprises of a two-class configuration with 36 Business Class seats in a 1-2-1 configuration, featuring an 80” fully flat bed and 17” HD in-flight entertainment screen. Economy Class meanwhile, is comprised of 247 seats at 18-inches wide in a 3-3-3 configuration, with up to a 32-inch pitch.
 
Freshly Brewed Illy Coffee on Dragonair Flights
Dragonair has started serving freshly brewed illy coffee in-flight for its First and Business Class passengers. According to the airline, passengers have the opportunity to enjoy authentic rich-tasting Italian coffee on Dragonair’s extensive Asian network through this collaboration with the renowned Italian coffee roasting company.  
 
“Dragonair’s catering team has carefully selected the finest dark-roasted coffee to serve onboard. illy provides a perfect blend of Arabica beans, working directly with the growers and adjusting the roast after every harvest to ensure a strong and rich, yet smooth and balanced, cup of coffee,” says a statement from the airline. In addition to selecting the best level of roasting for the coffee beans used in-flight, the Dragonair catering team has worked with illy to design a special coffee pillow pack for use with the airline's in-flight coffee machines. 

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