Aviation

STA Travel cuts ties with Royal Brunei Airlines over country’s new anti-gay laws

In the wake of Brunei’s introduction of harsh new anti-LGBTQI and adultery laws last week, STA Travel has announced it will no longer be working with Royal Brunei Airlines.

The country’s strict new legislation, which incorporates Sharia law, punish sodomy, adultery and rape with death by stoning; amputation for theft, and public flogging as punishment for abortion.

According to a release by the company, the company has made the decision throughout its global operations to stop selling Royal Brunei flights.

STA Travel’s country manager for Australia, Monika Rieker said: “At STA Travel, we are really proud of our open and diverse culture, and we fully expect all our partners to demonstrate and uphold these same values.

“We categorically don’t support the laws that have recently been introduced in Brunei (including on Brunei-registered aircrafts and vessels), which we believe are in direct contravention of basic human rights.

“We can’t do much to change laws, but we can add our voice to a campaign that we believe in.

“Gender and sexuality diversity are a natural part of life, so of course we think sentencing people to death for their sexuality is abhorrent, which is why we’ve backed the Brunei boycott.”

STA Travel is also offering full refunds to customers who have bought Royal Brunei tickets through the company and no longer want to fly with the airline.

Affected customers are invited to contact the STA Travel’s customer service team, who will refund airfares and assist customers to make alternative travel arrangements.

Reiker said: “We are really pleased that STA Travel has taken this stance and is joining forces with the growing choir of voices calling on Brunei to reverse this change in the law. We stand in solidarity of LGBTQI people everywhere.”

STA Travel is not alone in boycotting Brunei’s new laws, with Virgin Australia ending its staff leisure travel agreement with Royal Brunei last week.

A number of celebrities such as George Clooney, Elton John and Ellen DeGeneres have also urged travellers to boycott the nine luxury hotels owned by Brunei Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah through his company Brunei Investment Agency.

The company owns nine luxury hotels across the US and Europe, including legacy institutions such as Beverly Hills Hotel, London’s The Dorchester and Paris’ Plaza Athenee, which have been forced into hiding on social media due to the backlash.

SEE WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING

Wholesalers

Wholesaler wrap: Insight Vacations launches US/Canada brochure, new Contiki trips and sale + more

This week’s wholesaler wrap has a bit of a clam chowder/poutine flavour to it. Meaning there’s a lot of news about US and Canada tours.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

One dead and 11 injured as magnitude 8.0 earthquake rips through Peru

A massive earthquake has hit northern Peru, causing widespread damage to homes and roads, and leaving at least one person dead and 11 others injured.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Destinations

Bali’s Mount Agung erupts again and… cue the flight cancellations and delays

by Huntley Mitchell

Like clockwork, Mount Agung has spewed its guts up once again, causing chaos amongst the airlines flying in and out of Bali.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Man removed from Jetstar flight after hurling abuse and headbutting federal police officer

A man’s disruptive and abusive behaviour has caused chaos on a Jetstar flight, resulting in his removal and a court case.

Share

CommentComments

Hotels

Hotel review: Naumi Singapore

by Harriet Jayne Morris

Travel Weekly’s roving reporter recently got the chance to put their feet up at Naumi Singapore. They even found time to do a review about their stay.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Boeing 737 MAX to return to the air by June

The word on the street is Boeing’s 737 MAX will return to circulation next month, following the manufacturer’s software update and FAA approval.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

Wholesalers

Excite Holidays launches trade campaign with Travel South USA

This new campaign has inspired Travel Weekly’s editor to play a bit of Dolly Parton on the office stereo while chowing down on a three-piece feed from KFC.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

Tourism

National Tourism Service of Chile appoints GTI for trade and PR representation in Australia

It’s understood staff at GTI have all enrolled in evening Spanish language classes after scoring some new work with Chile’s tourism board.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

REVEALED: The most popular domestic holiday destination for Aussies

We’ve tried to be clever here by not giving away anything in the headline, but then our junior journo pointed out the obvious accompanying photo.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

Tourism

“Recipe for disaster”: Startling photo of Mount Everest traffic jam goes viral

If there was ever an extreme example of overtourism, then this is it.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

Tourism

Instagram model slammed for vandalising 200-year-old statue

In what appears to be a desperate attempt for more followers, an Insta model has taken to a historic statue with a hammer, and suffered the consequences.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Qantas passenger accuses airline of “fat-shaming” after being booted from exit row seat

A Qantas passenger has accused the airline of “fat-shaming” and bullying him after being removed from an exit row seat for being too large.

Share

CommentComments