Thomas Cook Group Airline announces route expansion to Caribbean and Baltics

Thomas Cook Group Airline has said that it will expand its worldwide route network with two additional partner airlines – LIAT Air and Baltic.

With LIAT, the Caribbean specialist, customers can now fly from Manchester, London Gatwick or Frankfurt to five new destinations via existing Thomas Cook Group Airline destinations Antigua (ANU), Barbados (BGI) and Grenada (GND). With LIAT, new destinations on offer include Dominica (DOM), Guyana (OGL), St. Kitts and Nevis (SKB), Casties/St. Lucia (SLU) and St. Vincent and the Grenadines (SVD).

A new partner for Thomas Cook Airlines this winter season, Air Baltic offers flight services from London Gatwick to Tallinn (TLL) in Estonia and to Riga (RIX), the capital of Latvia.

Christoph Debus, Chief Airline Officer, Thomas Cook Group, said: ‘Our interline agreements provide our customers with convenient, coordinated connecting flights at competitive prices. The new Group Airline partnerships with LIAT and Air Baltic will allow us to offer seven new flight connections in seven countries in the Caribbean and Europe.’

Thomas Cook Airlines partners with several airlines around the world, including JetBlue, enabling onward flights via New York to Atlanta or Charlotte. Condor customers flying from Frankfurt also benefit from partners such as Alaska Airlines, as Condor offers connections to Hawaii via Anchorage in Alaska as well as via Seattle and Portland.

With its fleet of 101 aircraft, Thomas Cook Group Airline is flying to almost 70 destinations this winter season and through cooperation with a total of 52 partner airlines, the number increased to over 250 destinations in Europe, America, Africa, Asia and Australia. All UK flights can now be booked online at and German flights via, it said.

Hawaii to promote 18 Big Island events for 2013

The tourism authority in Hawaii is planning to promote 18 big events on Big Island for 2013.

The Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA) has entered into an arrangement with the City and County of Honolulu, and the counties of Hawaii, Maui and Kaua’i to arrange the programmes. The itinerary will comprise 98 events and includes programmes to be held state-wide that will receive funding under HTA’s County Product Enrichment Programme (CPEP) for 2013.

Mike McCartney, president and CEO of the HTA, said, ‘As part of our marketing efforts to perpetuate and promote authentic and unique experiences on Hawaii Island, the HTA has selected CPEP events that reflect the distinction of each island and what makes it a one-of-a-kind destination. Our partnership with the County of Hawaii has allowed us to showcase year-round experiences exclusive to Hawaii Island, that highlight our people, place and culture for both residents and visitors to enjoy.’

The CPEP’s prime intention is to provide visitors with unique experiences in Hawaii, and the 18 events for which funding is to be offered include the Hilo Grown Ag-Tour, the Ka’u Coffee Festival and Hula Arts at Kilauea in Hawaii’s Volcanoes National Park. The programmes have been planned to involve tourists of all ages and interests, so no one should feel left out.

The CPEP was created in 2002 as a partnership between the HTA and local counties, to diversify tourism programmes in the islands.

For more information on the HTA and for details of the forthcoming events, visit

Hawaiian Airlines preparing to fly to New Zealand

Hawaiian Airlines has said that it is planning to launch a direct flight to New Zealand.

The company said that it is intending to launch a new non-stop service between Auckland in New Zealand and its Honolulu hub. When the plan is implemented, the company will become the only US carrier to fly directly into New Zealand. The decision to introduce the new route came after research, which indicated that customer numbers from New Zealand had dwindled after 1999, the year when non-stop flights between the two destinations were reduced.

The carrier’s CEO, Mark Dunkerley, said, ‘New Zealanders are avid travellers and we believe the introduction of new non-stop flights with our winning brand of service will be welcomed in meeting pent-up demand for a Hawaii vacation. At the same time, our new service will offer Hawaii residents easy access to the natural wonders and Maori culture of New Zealand.’

The company is planning to launch the new service on March 13 next year. Flights that connect Auckland to Honolulu will be operating three times a week on a 264-seat Boeing 767-300ER jet. The aircraft will be able to accommodate 18 business-class customers and 246 economy class customers. The itinerary will also allow connecting opportunities from several of Hawaii’s mainland destinations.

Hawaiian Airlines has been growing aggressively in recent times and has added several new international destinations during the past few years. Recently, it launched a flight service to Brisbane, Australia, the second Australian location to be serviced by the company.


New Courtyard Maui Kahului Airport Opens in Hawaii This Summer

New luxury accommodation is now on offer in Hawaii, US, with the Courtyard Maui Kahului Airport hotel opening this month.

The new hotel is located on the scenic island of Maui, and it is the fourth hotel from the Marriott International-owned, Courtyard by Marriott brand, to be based in Hawaii.

The 128-room, 10-suite hotel is owned by RD Olson Development, and is located close to the Maui Kahului Airport.

The hotel features the brand’s signature, Refreshing Business lobby, which offers flexible private and public space and seating, along with media pods, and a free Wi-Fi service. The guestrooms include functional workspace, as well as a separate seating area, and complimentary in-room Internet connectivity.

Janis Milham, the vice president and global brand manager for Courtyard by Marriott, said, ‘From day one, Courtyard has prided itself as a brand that listens to what business travellers want from a hotel. Guests want more control and choice with services and amenities that create a healthy balance between working and relaxing. The Courtyard lobby invites guests to get out of their rooms to work, socialise or be entertained, whether travelling alone or with colleagues.’

The hotel dining venues include The Bistro, ‘Eat. Drink. Connect’, a Starbucks coffee outlet, and The Market, a 24/7 shop for snacks, beverages and sundry items.

The hotel lobby features a new GoBoard 4.0 screen, which provides local information, maps, weather, and headline news on a giant LCD touch screen, and is also capable of sending information directly to guests’ smart phones.

Hawaii rules physicians can provide aid in dying

Compassion&Choices, the nation’s oldest and largest nonprofit organization working to improve care and expand choice at the end of life, and the Hawaii Death With Dignity Society (HDWDS), a local organization with similar goals, today announced the findings of a panel discussion on aid in dying. Experts on Hawaii law, medicine, elder care, legislative, and end-of-life issues concluded Hawaii physicians may already provide aid in dying subject to professional best-practice standards.

“Hawaii law, through a number of statutory enactments, and a provision in a 1909 law unique to Hawaii, already empowers terminally-ill patients with significant freedom to determine their course of medical care at the end of life and affords protection to physicians who provide care,” said panelist and Compassion&Choices Director of Legal Affairs Kathryn Tucker.

“Most medical care is governed by professional scope of practice standards,” said panelist Robert “Nate” Nathanson, MD, a founder of Hospice Hawaii. “These standards accept other practices that may advance the time of death, such as withdrawal of life-sustaining treatment, voluntarily stopping eating and drinking, and palliative sedation.”

“Even with excellent pain and symptom management, some patients trapped in lingering decline ask their physician to prescribe medication the patient may ingest to bring about a peaceful death,” said panelist Deborah Zysman, MPH, president of the Hawaii Public Health Association, “This practice, known as aid in dying, is increasingly accepted not only by the American Public Health Association, but also the American Medical Women’s Association, the American Medical Student Association, and the American College of Legal Medicine.”

Representative Blake Oshiro, Hawaii House Majority Leader, chaired the panel, which also included former State Representative Ernest “Juggie” Heen; Dante Carpenter, Chair, Democratic Party of Hawaii; former State Representative Eve Anderson; Mitch Burns, an attorney of elder law; Hawaii community volunteer Laura Thompson; Pam Lichty, MPH, member of the board of the ACLU of Hawaii; Scott Foster, co-founder of HDWDS; and Robert Orfali, author of Death with Dignity.

Orfali wrote his book to help give others the choice his wife, Jeri, wished she’d had. In her 50s, she faced ovarian cancer. “When she became terminally ill, Jeri wanted some form of insurance at the end,” Orfali said, “She did not want to die in pain. She believed in aid in dying and wanted to have medication just in case.”

“The people of Hawaii strongly support the availability of aid in dying as an option for terminally ill, mentally competent adults,” said Representative Oshiro, “And it is good public policy. The experience in Oregon demonstrates that when aid in dying is available, hospice utilization increases dramatically, physicians seek more continuing medical education in treatment of pain and other distressing symptoms, and are more open to discussing end-of-life options with their patients.”

The lawyers and legislators concurred that nothing in Hawaii law currently prohibits aid in dying. Patients and their doctors may make decisions governed by best medical practice, allowing them the opportunity to explore a wider variety of patient-directed, end-of-life choices. Tucker, Compassion&Choices’ director of legal affairs, said, “We expect Hawaii residents will soon have the same broad range of end-of-life choices enjoyed by the people in Montana, Oregon, and Washington.”