Arrivals & Departures Weekly Travel News & Views 5 March 2024

A village on the Rhine River near Mainz, Germany

From Flying to cruising and making sure you have the right cover, Travel Editor Stephen Scourfield delves into another week in Travel


Congratulations to aviation writer Emma Kelly, who just received two awards at the Singapore Airshow. One was an outstanding achievement award, which is a big recognition of her talent. It was based on the breadth and variety of her work for various publications and online services around the world, and on the vast range of aerospace subjects she writes about, including her work in our pages. In the 2024 Aerospace Media Awards Asia, Emma also won the best rotorcraft/vertical flight category for the third time in a row. Brilliant.

Emma brings us news from the air show here.


Australia’s only independent low-cost carrier, Bonza, recorded the best on-time arrivals performance in the country in January. Bureau of Infrastructure and Transport Research Economics data shows that 78.4 per cent of Bonza flights arrived on time.


G’day Group has bought Kununurra-based Triple J Tours and Kununurra Cruises in the East Kimberley. It is the first acquisition of a dedicated touring operation by what is now Australia’s leading regional tourism company. It already has Discovery Parks in Kununurra and Lake Argyle and El Questro are Discovery Resorts. Founded more than 35 years ago, Triple J Tours runs daily cruises along the Ord River between Kununurra and Lake Argyle in the Kimberley. Kununurra Cruises, which was added to the Triple J portfolio in 2014, offers sunset cruises on Lake Kununurra. Lots of readers will have experienced Jeff Hayley’s brilliant guiding on the Ord, and he and photographer wife Penny have appeared in these pages many times. All the best to them. It’s the end of an era.


Reader Gary Clifton has been following our stories on travel insurance and adds: “I am travelling the Kimberley coast later this year on a nine-night cruise. When I went to get travel insurance (cruise pack) for Australian waters, to ensure I had medical evacuation, I discovered that as there was no registered doctor on the boat (only first aiders) therefore I would have no medical evacuation coverage. I have not been able to find a policy that covers this, but they would have taken my money had I not discovered the fine print!”

Gary adds this PS: “I have never used a medical clause in an insurance policy and hope not to.”


Viking has released its 234-page 2024-2026 River Brochure which covers Europe, including France and Portugal, Egypt, South-East Asia and the US. I mention this because many river cruises are selling out a long time in advance. Michelle Black, Viking’s ANZ managing director, confirms: “Our 2026 season will open for booking earlier.”


When I spot really good deals, I like to share them, of course. And this week I see that My Cruises has a 17-day stay and fly holiday in Europe which includes a 15-day river cruise, international flights and a two-day hotel stay in Amsterdam from $5990 per person twin share. After the two nights in Amsterdam, there’s a rail journey to Cologne to join the MS Oscar Wilde for a 15-day Heart of Europe river cruise, stopping at Vienna, Budapest and Mainz (pictured at the top of the page). It has to be booked by March 31, 2024 to sail on April 23, 2025. Call 1300 191 847 or visit


BIG4 Holiday Parks has just finished a study which reveals that West Australians are the least likely Aussies to take their laptop on holidays. Nearly all West Australians believe holidays should be solely centred on relaxing. A BIG4 spokesperson explains:

+ 24 per cent of WA survey participants take their work device on holiday, compared with 59 per cent of NT respondents and 38 per cent of Victorians.

+ 88 per cent of West Australians believe holidays should be solely centred on relaxing and completely work-free.

+ 82 per cent say that work brought on holidays negatively impacts their enjoyment as well as those they’re travelling with.

+ 60 per cent say they are chattier with people/strangers when they’re in a holiday setting as opposed to their everyday environment.

+ 93 per cent of West Australians said they’d say “hi” when passing other park guests.

+ 65 per cent are open to meeting others on holidays, 55 per cent of those friendships continuing post-trip.