Short cuts: Travel news and inspiration

Cheltenham Tour operator Abercrombie & Kent has unveiled details of an extraordinary African safari, to take place in March 2014. The 19-day trip is open to up to 40 people, who will travel the length of the continent by private jet, landing at air fields inaccessible to larger commercial planes. Stops en route include the gorillas of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest in Uganda, Ethiopia’s rock-hewn churches and Botswana’s Chobe National Park. Geoffrey Kent, the company’s founder, will act as a guide on the trip, which costs £55,000 per person.

Dubai Emirates is to launch services from Milan to New York, the first by a Middle East carrier directly linking mainland Europe to the US. The daily flights start in October and are a sign of Emirates’s determination to spread into the western airlines’ traditional market. Emirates already flies three times a day from Dubai to Milan; one of these services will continue to New York. The airline says it expects strong demand from business travellers but also from tourists who will be able to end a US trip with a stopover for shopping in Milan. Departure times have been set to ensure easy connections with easyJet flights from other European countries (a previous tie-up means Emirates passengers will earn frequent flyer miles on easyJet flights). Meanwhile, Qatar Airways last week began flights from its Doha base to Chicago.

London British Airways has agreed an alliance with Mr and Mrs Smith, the boutique hotel directory. BA customers will now be able to book 300 hotels from the Mr and Mrs Smith collection alongside their flights on BA’s website. The airline says it has seen a 50 per cent rise in the online sale of flight and accommodation packages in the past year.

Chamonix Arc’teryx, the Canadian outdoor equipment manufacturer, is to stage a weekend of mountaineering courses and lectures in the French resort of Chamonix, led by guides and professional athletes sponsored by the brand. The event runs from June 14 to 16, sessions cost from €35.

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