British Airways and iberia Merge Iberia and British Airways have today taken a further step towards creating a new leading European airline group by signing   their merger agreement. The merger is expected to be completed in late 2010 and will benefit both airlines’ shareholders, customers and employees. The new company will be one of the world’s largest airline groups with 408 aircraft flying to 200 destinations and carrying more than 58 million passengers per year. It has been structured so that it can take advantage of further consolidation in the global aviation industry.
The new group will generate annual synergies of approximately €400 million by the fifth year of the merger. It will create a new holding company called International Consolidated Airlines Group SA which will be known as International Airlines Group. Both airlines will retain their current operations and operate under their individual brands – British Airways and Iberia.
Antonio Vazquez, Iberia’s chairman and chief executive, said: “This is an important step in the process towards creating one of the world’s leading global airlines that will be better equipped to compete with other major airlines and participate in future industry consolidation. We look forward to concluding the deal before the year end.”
Willie Walsh, British Airways chief executive, said: “The merged company will provide customers with a larger combined network. It will also have greater potential for further growth by optimizing the dual hubs of London and Madrid and providing continued investment in new products and services.”

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Paros Island GreeceKarmasin Institute of Researches presented in Austrian press a study made on behalf of the Corp Touristique (Union of National Tourist Organisms in Austria)
The research was carried out with the method of sampling and participated 1.000 individuals from 18 years and more

54% of questioned has the intention to go for vacation in 2010 and from them 79% will go abroad. From those intended to travel abroad 46 already have proceeded in reservation, while the 54% are in the process of choice of destination.
The good weather and the cultural heritage of the country are the main factors of choice.  61% travel for leisure in the sun and sea, 34% to visit cultural sites and 26% are interested in visiting cities.
57% prefer individual packages while 40% prefers ready packages. Delphi Archaeological Site Greece
The preferred countries for the Austrians in 2010 are: Greece 22% (was in the 4th place last year) and Italy with 22%, Croatia (15%), Germany (11%) and Spain with 11%followed by Turkey and Egypt in the next places.
The main factors for choosing a vacation destination are: The relation between price and offered services, the cleanness and the hygiene.
The amount to be spent is euro 1000 from the 37%, euro 2000 from the 35% and up to euro 3000 from the 11%.
66% of the travelers seeks information from the internet while 50% books with their tourist agency and 23% book online in the internet.
Athens Greece changing of the guards in Syntagma SquareTendencies show that for the next 2 to 3 years the duration of the vacations abroad will be between 2 and 3 weeks. Visits to the cities, wellness places and cruising are the sectors with the greatest increase. The biggest demand is for tailor made vacation packages and for reservations via internet.
Mr. Skordas, manager of the Greek National Tourism Organization in  Vienna declared: Despite the difficulties of passed year we wait for an increase of 4%. The prices in Greece will remain constants and in a lot of cases decreased up to 5%

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Easytraveller Mitt exhibitionThe inauguration of one of the biggest and most important word tourism exhibitions, the  MITT in the Moscow, where Greece was the honored country, was made by the undersecretary of Culture and Tourism Mrs.  Angela Gerekou , with representatives of Russian Federal government and representatives of Municipality of Moscow. Present were journalists of television networks and specialized tourist magazines.
In her greeting she pointed out: For us, the Greeks, the tourism is not an activity of secondary importance, but is one from the main axes of our economy. As a new government we change the way, that the state faces the subject of tourism. We aim we make Greece, a destination for all the time and not only for the summer months. Greece has to offer not only the seas and the sun but also her cultural heritage as the New Acropolis Museum, and also cruises, religious tourism and alternative tourism.

You are all invited, in the country of search and dream, in the country the light and the harmony, in the country of art and beauty, in the country of Hospitality. Greece is ready and waits for you. The tourism in Greece, is an activity which, not only has not been influenced by the economic problem, but on the contrary,  becomes still more competitive and still more attractive. More simply speaking, the prices have been in the lower possible levels, while the quality of tourist services, remains high.
The messages from the first reservations from the tourist market of Russia, allow us to be optimistic .The sings show that there will be an  increase of tourist movement to Greece, which can reach or even exceed the 30%, given that the hotel prices for this year are the same as last year.

Regarding the visa for the Russian tourists we are working in order to facilitate the procedures and I hope that soon we will be issuing visas for six months or more.

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Mediterranean Cruises with Louis Cruise Lines
Mediterranean Cruises with Louis Majesty

The cruise ship Louis Majesty returned to Louis Cruise Lines from the  Norwegian Cruise Lines, where was chartered  until the end October doing cruises in America  as  Norwegian Majesty. The Louis Majesty in on her way to Europe where after the usual  work of maintenance will  wear the  colors of Louis Cruises.

It is reminded that the Louis Cruises Lines bought the cruise ship from  Star Cruises in July 2008 as one more step of concretization of her announced policy for renewal and upgrade of fleet and product that offers in the continuously increasing public that selects the cruise for his vacations.

On 4 December 2009, the Louis Majesty will perform its first travel with the colors of Louis Cruise Lines and will realize cruises from the Genoa and Marseille, in certain destinations of Mediterranean, the Canary Islands and North Africa.

The cruise ship Louis Majesty was built in 1992, while in 1999 went under complete renovation of total cost of 53,3 millions of dollars, with the addition of 34 meters in his length giving her the total length of  207,20 meters. The Louis Majesty offers 731 cabins and suites with all the modern comforts, as elegant furniture’s, television and DVD and can entertain 1,790 passengers. The Louis Majesty allocates offers: 6 restaurants with international cuisine, 9 bars, a representations amphitheater, a modern Spa and Centre of Health and beauty, disko, big casino, 6 lifts, two big swimming-pools and one for children, three Jacuzzis, comfortable deck spaces, commercial shops “Duty Free” and “Cruise Value”, children’s corner, international library and Internet corner.

The Louis Majesty starts her cruises on 4 December with Greek officers and educated international personnel.

Very soon we will upload in our web site easytraveller.gr in the cruises pages all the cruises that Louis Majesty will perform for the next year. Please check our web site regularly as we have always new products for your vacations in the Mediterranean area, Greece, Turkey and Egypt.

To see all the available cruises and make online reservations please visit our web site

The Easytraveller Team

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Athens Film Festival
Organised by the Athens Film Society, the 15th Athens International Film Festival – Opening Nights will bring the best of international cinema to the Greek capital. For 11 days, from September 16 to 27, the heart of cinema will beat in Athens. Highlights of this year’s festival include two important openings for Greek cinema, a collection of 20 rare cult films and specials dedicated to two of the greatest contemporary film pioneers, Danish director Jørgen Leth and Polish filmmaker Zbigniew Rybczynski.

The festival was first launched in September 1995 and continues with great success until now. The movie theatres accommodating the festival are the Attikon Cinemax Class, Apollo Cinemax Class and Danaos 1 & 2 theatres.

Cult Films

For its 20th anniversary, the 15th Athens International Film Festival – Opening Nights will present 20 rare gems that have achieved cult status. Lost in time, the copies of the off-beat and bizarre films comprising our cult films specials are something like the Holy Grail for festival staff who have combed through old collections, universities and forgotten production companies to locate them.

European Pioneers

The 15th Athens International Film Festival – Opening Nights is proud to present two of the most diverse European artists working today. Jørgen Leth is an anthropologist, jazz critic and poet, but we will get to know him through his groundbreaking documentaries, screened as part of the Jørgen Leth Special at this year’s Opening Nights.

Also, the 15th Athens International Film Festival will present a selection of Polish director’s Zbigniew Rybczynski’s finest films. Rybczynski, who received an Academy Award for his 1981 short animation, Tango, is considered one of contemporary cinema’s greatest pioneers.

Festival Sections

As always, the 15th Athens International Film Festival – Opening Nights will include two competition sections.

In the International Competition section, young directors will compete for the Golden Athena Award and the extremely popular Music & Film Competition section, whose winner will receive the Golden Athena.

Regular sections of the 15th Athens International Film Festival – Opening Nights include:

Panorama, a hand-picked selection of last year’s productions;

Midnight Movies, whose late night screening times are not the only thing that will give you chills;

Premiers, the chance to be the first to watch some of the coming season’s best features;

Cinema on the Edge, for those not afraid of films taking it to the extreme;

Documentaries, because life is often more engaging than fiction; and

Short Stories, because a cinematic experience can leave a mark irrespective of its length.

Note that in Greece, foreign films are not dubbed; they just carry subtitles in Greek, therefore you can watch them in their original language.

Don’t miss in this year Athens International Film Festival – Opening Nights contemporary film pioneers, Danish director Jørgen Leth and Polish filmmaker Zbigniew Rybczynski, the presentation of 20 cult films and all the regular sections of the Athens International Film Festival. All this at the Attikon, Apollo and Danaos movie theatres.

Easytraveller Team

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EasyJet
EasyJet, Europe’s leading low-fares airline, will launch a new daily flight to Athens from Rome Fiumicino airport this autumn. The new route is part of easyJet’s support of the Greek tourism industry with a schedule of 21 flights from major European cities to Greece.

EasyJet will offer daily flights from Athens to Rome, increasing the destinations served from Athens International Airport to seven. The airline expects to carry 550,000 passengers to Greece this year, an 18% increase from last year’s figures.

Since last summer, easyJet has extended its operations in Greece by adding six new flights from across Europe, which joined existing routes to 21 destinations from Athens, Thessaloniki, Heraklion, Rhodes, Corfu, Santorini and Mykonos. EasyJet operates on a year-round basis to Athens and Thessaloniki and runs summer-only flights to the top Greek tourist destinations.
Easytraveller.gr

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The new Acropolis Museum Athens Greece
The new Acropolis Museum Athens Greece

More than half a million visit new Acropolis Museum during its first two months

Visitors to the new Acropolis Museum numbered more than half a million during the first two months since its opening. Specifically, 523,540 people, of whom 60% were from abroad, visited the museum between the date of the grand opening and August 26.

During the same period, 409,000 individual Internet users from 180 countries visited the museum’s website, www.theacropolismuseum.gr.

An exhibition with the theme “Pericles Xanthippus” will take place at the end of autumn as part of the museum’s special exhibits featuring as its centrepiece the bust of Pericles from the Pergamon Museum in Berlin. The goal of the exhibit is to present Pericles’ construction plans for the Acropolis and its induction into the public life of classical Athens.

At the same time, the museum’s exhibit will be enhanced by new models of the Acropolis to improve services for visitors.

Finally, it should be noted that the museum already has a physician available for staff and visitors. In addition to the physician’s surgery, a baby and child care room is soon expected to open on the first floor of the museum.

As Greek Minister of Culture Antonis Samaras said: “With the Acropolis Museum as an example, we are working intensively to increase visits to all the museums and archaeological sites of the country. Our goal is to preserve and promote our cultural heritage, but mainly to link it to education and young people. I would like to once again congratulate everyone who worked and continues to work toward the flawless operation of the museum and the ongoing promotion of our country and our cultural heritage throughout the world.”

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