Important Changes to US Visa Waiver Programme

Travellers planning to visit the United States who are nationals of Iran, Iraq, Sudan or Syria – or have been present at any time in these countries on or after March 1, 2011 – must now apply for a non-immigrant visa and cannot travel under the Visa Waiver Program.

Travellers who have an existing ESTA (i.e. travel under the Visa Waiver Programme) and also hold dual nationality with any of these countries will have their current ESTA revoked (some exceptions apply).

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Peak Travel Dates For Your Diary

The summer holiday period is a peak travel time in New Zealand. We strongly recommend that you book flights, accommodation and cars well ahead of time to avoid missing out.

Of special note is Chinese New Year which is celebrated on 8 February this year; travel will be high in New Zealand during the weeks following.

Other peak travel dates of note include:

3 February – Blackcaps v Australia ODI
6-7 February – NRL Auckland Nines
5-14 February – Cirque Du Soleil
27 February – Simply Red concert
5 & 6 March – Madonna Rebel Heart Tour
19 March – Tom Jones concert
19 March – Auckland City Limits Festival
28 April – Black Sabbath concert

8 February - Blackcaps v Australia ODI

30-31 January 2016 – Wellington Sevens
6 February – Blackcaps v Australia ODI
18-21 February 2016 – Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo

17-26 February – Cirque Du Soleil
5 March - Simply Red concert

30 April – Black Sabbath concert

As always for travel bookings or assistance contact us on 0800 TRAVEL (872 835).

AirAsia X Returns to New Zealand, Connecting Gold Coast and Kuala Lumpur

Air Asia X will return to New Zealand's skies from March this year, with a daily service connecting Kuala Lumpur and Auckland via the Gold Coast.

An A330-300 aircraft will be used for this route, seating up to 377 passengers. It will feature lie-flat premium cabin seats and a child-free "quiet zone".

Air Asia X disestablished its Malaysia-Christchurch route in 2012, citing low demand and the rise of fuel prices. However the company says the time is right to return to New Zealand.

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New Canada Entry Requirement

A reminder that Canada is this year introducing a new entry requirement known as an Electronic Travel Authorisation (eTA) for certain international travellers arriving by air, which will include New Zealanders and Australians.

As of 15 March, travellers will need an eTA before they board a flight to Canada. The authorisation is electronically linked to your passport and is valid for five years or until your passport expires, whichever comes first.

The eTA application is available online, through the CIC website. Before entering Canada, the applicant will be required to submit his or her passport, biographic and background information, in addition to a processing fee of $7 CAD.

Singapore Airlines Confirms Canberra to Wellington Route

Singapore Airlines has announced it will commence flying direct between Singapore and Canberra, and will extend this route with a Canberra-Wellington leg that is being dubbed the "Capital Express". This is the first direct service between the two capital cities.

The Singapore-Canberra-Wellington route will fly from 20 September this year, with an initial schedule of four flights per week.

The Boeing 777-200 flying this route will feature 38 business class 'angled flat' seats and 228 economy seats.
Tickets will be on sale from 25 January.

More information

Return of the Mach 2 – Top 10 Concorde Facts

In aviation's golden era, the Concorde symbolised the ultimate in speed and luxury travel. More than a decade on from its grounding in 2003, funds are being raised to return the aircraft to skies around the world.

So to celebrate one of the world's most loved planes, here's our top-10 list of Concorde facts.

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Rydges Wellington to Undergo Refurbishment

Rydges Wellington has advised they will be refurbishing the hotel's facilities in 2016.

The improvements will commence with upgrades to the leisure centre from 21 February to 9 March. During this time there will be no guest access to the pool, sauna and cardio room, however alternative arrangements have been made with neighbouring facilities.

The refurbishment work will be completed during the day, so that guests will not be disturbed during the evening.