Bomb blasts in the Thai capital of Bangkok on the evening of Dec.
31 shocked crowds of visitors and locals ready to celebrate the new
year in these public spaces.
In a public announcement issued on Jan. 1, the U.S. Department
of State confirmed that at approximately 6 p.m. the previous
evening, bombs exploded at five different locations throughout
Bangkok, including the Victory monument, various police traffic
control booths and in the parking lot of a shopping mall. Thai
authorities promptly cancelled the area’s largest New Year’s
celebration, the “Bangkok Countdown,” which was to have been held
in the main shopping district near the World Trade Center. The U.S.
Embassy has confirmed that no Americans were injured or killed in
the blasts, but three Thai citizens were killed and over two dozen
were injured, including six foreign tourists.
Concerns that these acts of violence will deter tourism to
Thailand seem to be unfounded. An Associated Press interview with
the vice president for corporate communications for Thai Airways
International revealed that the carrier has not seen a rise in
cancellations. While the State Department encourages travelers to
use caution in case of additional incidents, the bombings seem to
have been exclusive to Bangkok, leaving popular beach resorts and
other areas unaffected.
Americans traveling abroad can get up-to-date security
information at the State Department’s Web site
(http://travel.state.gov) or by phone (888-407-4747).
Laurie BarattiJohnsen Returns to Pleasant
Pleasant Holidays welcomes the return of Elizabeth Johnsen to its
sales team, as she takes over the position of staff vice president,
national accounts. Johnsen rejoins the team at Pleasant Holidays’
headquarters in Westlake Village, Calif., after most recently
having served as the managing director of travel industry
partnerships for the Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau.
In her new position, Johnsen will oversee the building of
partnerships with key national travel agencies to increase revenue
and mutually enhance market share for each of Pleasant Holidays’
destinations, including Hawaii, Mexico, Tahiti, Asia and the South
Pacific. Johnsen previously enjoyed a productive seven-year stint
with the company in a similar capacity, complementing the efforts
of Pleasant Holidays’ national accounts marketing team.
With her long and fruitful work experience in the travel
industry, Pleasant Holidays considers her an asset to its team. She
has honed her marketing and sales skills in various management
positions with Alamo Rent-A-Car, Princess Cruises and the Walt
Disney company, as well as acting as vice president of marketing
for Carlson Wagonlit Travel in Minneapolis. L.B.
|Air France Launches Medium-Haul Carrier|
Air France and Transavia.com have announced plans to launch a new
carrier in the international medium-haul market. The Air France KLM
Group plans to meet the growing demands of leisure travel, using
KLM’s successful subsidiary Transavia.com as a model. Air France
French Commercial executive vice president Christian Boireau has
been appointed the chairman of the new airline’s supervisory board.
“This initiative marks an important step in our group’s
development,” said Boireau. “We will be taking position on a market
segment from which we have long been absent. The assets offered by
the new carrier stability, a clear reliable scheduled flight
strategy, flexibility, competitiveness, high standards in the
commercial and operating spheres are the guarantee of the project’s
The new airline will be under the umbrella of Transavia.com to
take advantage of the excellent reputation of the existing brand.
The airline will operate a fleet of four Boeing 737-800s, then
upgrade to nine by the third year. By this summer, the airline
hopes to operate 67 flights from Orly airport to as many as 10
Mediterranean destinations. Plans call for that number to increase
to 15 by winter 2007-2008.