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The airline war has reached a new low, with AirAsia offering return flights to London for $217 from the Gold Coast or $240 from Melbourne.

If the booking confusion doesn’t deter your search for the ultimate fare (all legs need to be booked separately and through Kuala Lumpur), you may be rewarded with an unprecedented discount flight.

AirAsia has been a dominant player in the ultra-cheap flight sector, recently making headlines for offering free flights to Bangkok from Asian ports, to help restore tourism after the recent political unrest. Earlier last month, it excited travel enthusiasts with $378 Australia-London flights.

The current discount-basket fare is part of a sale which started at 2am this morning and will run for 48 hours, for travel only between October 11 and November 14, 2010.

Although the base flights are some of the cheapest in Australian history, don’t expect to indulge in the normally free benefits of international travel – the low-cost airline will charge you for meals, beverages, in-flight entertainment and extra baggage.

AirAsia recently reported a net profit after tax of $A81.23 million for the first quarter of the year. The airline sources 16 per cent of its revenue from their extra charges, referred to as the “unbundling of services”.

Source  :  www.thewest.com.au

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Free Seats are back! AirAsia, the world’s best low cost airline is today giving away 1 million free seats*, to over 70 hot destinations including China, India, Taiwan, Indonesia, Thailand, Singapore and many more across our extensive network of over 130 routes; stretching across 20 countries.

The free seats promotion kicks off from 11 – 15 November 2009 (booking period) for the travel period from 1 May – 30 October 2010. Guests may log on to http://www.airasia.com or mobile.airasia.com to find out more about these exciting great deals.

AirAsia’s Regional Head of Commercial, Kathleen Tan said, “To usher 2010, this is the biggest and most exciting promotion of the year. With no fuel surcharge, and no administration fee, it’s a real deal, offering fantastic value to our guests. When the economy is tough, people seek cheaper traveling options which offer them better value for money and there is no better option than flying with AirAsia for Free! This is also our gesture of saying a big thank you to our guests and the public who supported and contributed to AirAsia’s success. Without them, we would not have been conferred the recent “Airline of the Year 2009” award from the Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation (CAPA), flying over 80 million guests to date.”

“AirAsia always observe the importance of low fares to ensure everyone can fly; and bringing back our highly popular free seats promotion will give our guests the greatest value ever. What’s more? To compliment the free flights, GoHoliday, AirAsia’s one stop travel portal is also offering sizzling deals and fantastic packages, including “Free Rooms” for over 180 Asia Pacific hotels online at http://goholiday.airasia.com. With this incredible offer, guests can plan their holidays ahead to enjoy great bargains, take this opportunity to be creative and map their holiday routing via AirAsia’s ten hubs (Kuala Lumpur, Kota Kinabalu, Bangkok, Phuket, Bandung, Jakarta, Surabaya and Bali, Penang and Johor) across our network at ultra low fares. For instance, guests from Australia, Europe or the Middle East may explore exotic ASEAN and beyond to some of the world’s most popular island resorts such as Bali, Phuket, Langkawi, and vice versa. With these great deals, AirAsia’s guests with huge appetite for travel will be spoilt for choice as we not only cater to the leisure market but also the adventure seekers, diving enthusiasts, historical and heritage explorers, shopaholics, and keen golfers all within our vast route network.” concluded Kathleen.

Guests can fly from Kuala Lumpur to domestic destinations such as Penang, Kota Kinabalu, Kuching and many more from as low as RM6 (All In Fare)*. Popular international destinations such as Jakarta, Bali, Yogyakarta, Bangkok, Phuket and even Tianjin are offered from as low as RM25 (All In Fare)*.
The best part is that, AirAsia’s long haul affiliate, AirAsia X recently launched routes such as Abu Dhabi, and Chengdu are also offered within the same period with special fares from as low as RM 99.00* (All In Fare)* only. AirAsia X highly in demand “Kangaroo Routes” to Australia such as Gold Coast, Melbourne and Perth are offered from as low as RM149.00 (All In Fare)* and the popular London route is also on offer from as low as RM499 (All In Fare)*.

Promotional seats are limited and available on first-come, first-served basis and made exclusively online via http://www.airasia.com and mobile.airasia.com.

Stay tuned! Follow AirAsia on Twitter, Facebook, and AirAsia’s Blog where we will provide real time updates on our latest promotion.

Source  :  www.tourismtravel.com

 

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AUSTRALIA has delivered a blunt message to India that it is selling education, not visas, even as the Rudd government deploys its most senior ministers to patch up relations damaged over a series of Indian student assaults.

Trade Minister Simon Crean, whose visit to India this week overlaps that of Deputy Prime Minister Julia Gillard, outlined to the Confederation of Indian Industry yesterday federal government measures to crack down on shonky education and training providers in Australia.

But he said the crackdown could be successful only if similar action were taken in India to close down shonky education and immigration agents running scams to secure permanent Australian residency through student visas.

“Let’s be clear, we are offering a quality education in a safe environment,” Mr Crean said yesterday. “The quality of our education is what we are promoting, not the visa attached to it.

“For this to succeed, we also need the co-operation of the Indian government. The fact that politicians in both countries have been forced to focus on the issue improves the odds of coming up with a better system.”

Ms Gillard is understood to have delivered a similar message during meetings with Indian Human Resources Development Minister Kapil Sibal and, late on Tuesday night, with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, where greater engagement between the two countries on defence, energy and climate change were also discussed.

Mr Crean denied Australia’s international education industry needed to be remarketed in India, despite the fact it is widely seen — and in some areas promoted — as a pathway to permanent residency.

But he conceded better co-operation between Australian government agencies was also needed to help stem student visa abuses.

What the student issue has done is shed a light on the importance of interaction between Austrade, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and those that market our services in the Department of Education, Employment and Work Relations in the protection of our brand,” he said yesterday.

In just eight days, India will have hosted three of Australia’s most senior politicians, Mr Crean, Ms Gillard and Wayne Swan.

By the end of the year, a total of eight Australian ministers will have graced Indian soil.

The ministerial offensive is aimed at patching bilateral relations, damaged by a recent series of attacks on Indian students in Australia, as well as building trade relations with the emerging Asian superpower.

Mr Crean, who is in India for a two-day meeting of G20 trade ministers ahead of the next Doha round of WTO talks in Pittsburgh later this month, said Australia’s trade relationship with India had historically been “underdone”.

The ministerial visits — which will culminate in a tour by Kevin Rudd later this year — were designed to correct that.

“We understand the fundamental importance of India to our future, just as we do China and the rest of Asia. This is going to be the fastest-growing region in the world for the next couple of decades, it is the place to be,” he said. “Australia fortunately positioned itself for that a couple of decades ago but we have to renew the effort.

“Obviously, if there is a hiccup in the relationship, as there has been here over student safety, of course we have to address it. Visits here are an important part of that.”

Canberra hopes that a successful culmination of the Doha talks — aimed at reducing international trade barriers — will help accelerate free trade agreement negotiations between Australia and India, still at the feasibility stage.

It was also concentrating on building trade ties in infrastructure and energy security areas, with particular focus on investments in gas and coal.

Mr Crean denied that Australia’s refusal to sell uranium to India — a non-signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty — would hurt the progress of the talks, despite Mr Singh again raising the issue during his meeting with Ms Gillard.

Source  :  The Australian

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British Airways has teamed up with Australian radio station Nova 969 to launch a special promotion.

The airline announced that it would be carrying the popular radio presenting trio Merrick & Rosso & Kate Richie to the UK for a week in September.

Every day during the week, listeners will have the chance to win a pair of World Traveller tickets to London.

The competition is part of an initiative being launched by BA to promote its offer of a trip from Sydney to the UK with a free European break thrown in.

BA previously worked with the radio presenters to launch a competition giving listeners the chance to win holidays in Bangkok.

Sam Heine, the airline’s commercial manager in the south-west Pacific region, said: ‘After our best ever result, off the back of the 2008 consumer promotion Mile Thai Club, it meant that we once again turned to Nova to produce an integrated solution that would spread awareness of the exciting fare deal British Airways has to offer and also to let Australians experience everything that’s fantastic about the UK.’

BA operates flights to Sydney via Singapore and Bangkok, as well as connections to Melbourne, Perth and other Australian cities as part of a codeshare deal with Qantas.

Source  :  http://news.opodo.co.uk/NewsDetails/2009-08-26/BA_teams_up_with_Australian_radio_stars

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For travellers who are REALLY on a budget and are looking for a way to skim a few bucks off their travel expenses, why not consider sleeping in an airport?singapore02_std 

Why spend money on a night in the airport hotel when an inflatable raft on the airport floor is free? Sure, it may sound a little cheap and degrading at first, but read-on and you’ll soon discover a travel community, that for 13 years has been sharing their airport sleeping experiences and travel advice with fellow airport sleepers around the world. Airport sleeping is no longer just for the poor young backpacker. Nowadays, you’ll find travellers of all ages and income brackets stretched out on airport floors around the world.

So now, sit back….get out your travel itinerary and read the latest airport reviews.  You are about to discover which airports you can sleep in safely and comfortably and those which you should avoid altogether on your next trip.  Your friends and family may look at you funny when you return with your airport stories, but as you’ll read here and on our blog, that’s only part of the adventure.  

Whether you sleep in an airport overnight by choice or get stuck in the airport due to an airline problem or weather delay, let sleepinginairports.net help you make your stay more tolerable.  Together with a hearty dose of your sense of adventure, unnecessary airport hotels are about to become a travel expense of your past!

Visit  :  www.sleepinginairports.net

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The Tax Office today reminded Australia’s 11.8 million taxpayers to start getting ready to lodge their tax returns.                                                                                                

Tax Commissioner Michael D’Ascenzo said the Tax Office has a range of information and assistance available to help people meet the 31 October 2009 deadline.

“From 1 July, people can prepare and lodge their return online using e-tax, which is free, secure and easy to use software which in most cases processes your return within 14 days.

“As well as calculators, help screens and links to rulings, you can also download information from third parties directly into your tax return, including payment summaries, government payments such as pensions and allowances, bank interest and private health insurance details.

E-tax can be accessed free of charge 24 hours a day, seven days a week from our website at www.ato.gov.au,” Mr D’Ascenzo said.

Government and third party information will be available to download progressively from 1 July. You can subscribe to an alert service within e-tax which will let you know when the information becomes available.                                                                                                                                                                                         ato

People can still lodge using TaxPack 2009 or the short tax return for individuals 2009.

TaxPack 2009 is available from most newsagents, Tax Office shopfronts or the Tax Office website from 1 July.

If you used the short tax return last year you’ll receive a copy in the mail shortly.

Mr D’Ascenzo also reminded people to contact their tax agent as soon as possible.

“If you’re using a tax agent for the first time or using a different one from last year you need to contact them by 31 October 2009,” he said.

“Only registered tax agents can charge a fee to prepare and lodge a tax return.

“However some people present themselves as tax agents when they are not.

“Registered tax agents are regulated by the Tax Agents’ Board and have the qualifications and experience to handle your tax affairs.”

Visit the Tax Agents’ Board website http://www.tabd.gov.au or call 1300 362 829 to check if your agent is registered.

Compliance focus

We cross-check tax returns against a wide range of data including financial institution data, state and territory revenue and property sales information and Australian stock exchange data.

Help and assistance

If people have questions or need assistance they should visit the Tax Office website www.ato.gov.au or phone the Tax Office on 13 28 61 between 8.00am and 6.00pm weekdays.

The Tax Office can provide you a more personalised service if you provide your tax file number when you call.

source  :  www.ato.gov.au

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alliedhealth4Skilled health professionals in the west of the UK are being given the chance to find out about a new life in Australia at the Down Under Live event in Cardiff. on the 11th July. 

There is currently a significant shortage of doctors, medical specialists and nurses in Australia, particularly in regional areas. One of Australia’s leading healthcare recruitment companies, HealthStaff Recruitment, will be coming from Australia to interview candidates for positions in Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide and other cities.

Candidates will also be able to talk to a range of companies that will make the move possible, including migration agents, state governments, banks and shipping companies.

Tickets are free to any skilled professionals in the healthcare professions. For further information or to apply for tickets, go to www.emigrationseminars.com/cardiff.php

Source  :  www.australiamagazine.co.uk

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