Saturday, November 6

Tropical fever

Tonight I fly to Malaysia, via Abu Dhabi, for a week-long company offsite. It's been more than two years since I was last in Malaysia. Temperatures are forecast to be at least 28C, with daily sunshine. As I look out the window here in Swiss Cottage I know where I'd rather be next week. The view today is a rain-soaked one with the trees looking decidedly shabby as the last of their leave fall.

I'm stopping over in Abu Dhabi for a most of Saturday. It'll be my first time in the city - as well as my first experience flying Etihad Airlines. I'm hoping to visit the recently opened Ferrari World theme park while in town. It's sure to have plenty of special events happening as the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix starts less than eight days from now.

The decision to fly with Etihad rather than my usual stable of OneWorld airlines has proven unnervingly fortuitous. Yesterday Qantas grounded its entire Airbus A380 fleet after one the superjumbos suffered a dramatic engine failure near Singapore. While the aircraft landed safely, passengers were shocked to see large holes in the wing directly above the damaged engine. The grounding of the A380 fleet has thrown Kangaroo Route travel into chaos as flights are delayed or cancelled.

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