Sri Lanka A new domestic airline is due to launch next month, using small seaplanes, carrying between nine and 12 passengers, to link the international airport at Colombo with seven destinations around the island. Cinnamon Air’s flights, which cost from $135 each way and are due to begin on May 15, are evidence of the growing popularity of seaplane services on the island – since 2011 Sri Lankan Air Taxi has offered scheduled flights by Twin Otter floatplanes, while Simplifly offers private charters. The flights slash transfer times (driving the 165 miles from Colombo to Yala National Park, for example, can take seven hours) and so allow tourists to combine beaches, cities and highlands in one short trip.
Germany Travellers are being offered help in claiming compensation for delayed or cancelled flights on a “no win, no fee” basis. Refund.me, an online platform set up last summer in Germany, launched this month in countries including the UK, US and Spain. It relies on EU legislation which, if certain criteria are met, allows passengers to reclaim up to €600 from their airline. Refund.me charges 25 per cent, plus VAT, of any award, and says it hopes to expand into Russia, Brazil and India.
UK A British company claims to have sold a two-year-long, £990,000 trip to visit all 962 Unesco World Heritage Sites. The trip was initially publicised last month but many were sceptical whether it would sell. Now the organiser, luxury experience website VeryFirstTo.com, says a Chinese client has signed up, although no departure date has been agreed as he must finish a PhD first.