Newsletter - December 2007

  1. Lounge Around with EOS

    EOS Airlines are hoping to attract more business class passengers with the opening of a brand new executive lounge at London Stansted Airport. EOS Airlines, who aim to make your travelling experience more akin to flying on board a corporate jet than a typical business class seat, have opened Club 48.

    The lounge offers a wide range of amenities for passengers to enjoy which include two 50-inch widescreen televisions, individual workstations with computer, wifi access as well as food and bar services.

    Source: Executive PA

  2. Guoman Guo

    The Thistle Hotel Charing Cross (well known as a venue for the MS-UK Forums in the past) has been rebranded as a Guoman hotel, the premier brand of Guoman Hotels Ltd.

    The hotel, now known simply as Charing Cross, joins the small luxury collection which also includes the Cumberland by Marble Arch and the Tower at Tower Bridge.

    Guoman will rebrand three more Thistles over the next few years with an investment of £100 million. The Royal Horseguards is due to launch in September 2009, and the Cumberland Marble Arch and Thistle Victoria will follow by the end of that year.

    So far £1 million has been spent on the Charing Cross, a Grade II Listed Victorian railway hotel, including a renovation of the bars, restaurants and public areas.

    Source: BusinessTraveller

  3. Loyal Silver service

    Following the successful launch of their new service to Dubai, the all-business class carrier Silverjet has launched a loyalty scheme with rewards aimed at corporate travellers.

    "Silverjet Set" offers a free flight for every ten flown, but unlike rivals Maxjet and Eos, which run loyalty programmes for individual passengers, the Silverjet scheme is designed for companies, with all flights taken by their employees counting towards the earning total. Once the required ten flights have been reached the company can then assign the free ticket to any employee.

    Source: BusinessTraveller

  4. Deutsche Bahn Fancy a Danish

    Deutsche Bahn (DB), the German rail company, is to begin services to Denmark.

    It will work with the Danish rail network DSB to provide services from Berlin and Hamburg to Copenhagen and Aarhus from December. Denmark will be the sixth country to which DB has extended its high speed ICE (Inter City Express) trains.

    The others are Switzerland, Austria, France, Belgium and the Netherlands. The move is part of DB's plans to extend its services to 80 cities outside Germany.

    Source: Business Travel Europe

  5. Flybe unveils 23 new routes from Regional Airports

    Flybe has launched 23 new routes for summer 2008, with significant investment in new flights from Cardiff, Inverness, and the Isle of Man.

    From Cardiff, the no-frills airline will fly to Edinburgh three times daily, to Glasgow twice daily, and to Newcastle daily, all starting on March 30.

    From Inverness, it will start flights to Birmingham daily from March 30, and from May 8 it will also add services to Exeter and Southampton daily and to Manchester twice daily.

    From the Isle of Man, Flybe is adding flights to Liverpool three times daily from March 30 and also to Newquay, although scheduled and prices are not yet finalised.

    From Newquay, it will fly daily to Southampton and to both Birmingham and Glasgow on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays from March 30. It will also add flights to the Isle of Man and Reus, with details yet to be announced.

    A new non-stop service to Paris from Belfast will fly daily from March 30 and there will be two new weekly services from Jersey to Aberdeen and Doncaster (both on Saturdays).

    Source: Travelmole

  6. ACTE & MS-UK Spring Forum Plans

    We have been forced to change the date of our next Forum to Friday 6th March in 2008 so please make a note of this date in your Diary for next year.

    We are delighted to announce that the Agenda has now been chosen from the suggestions put forward by the participants of our last forum and this now reads as follows:
    1. Domestic Rail - What is Fact and what is fiction - Can costs really be reduced by over 30%?
    2. Self Booking Tools - are they the Holy Grail and how can they be best used in a manged travel programme.
    3. How should you book that accommodation, via the TMC - the HBA or an Apartment specialist?
    4. Corporate Credit / Charge Cards why are they not universally adopted and can the objections be overcome
    "There are so many of these types of events that you can attend, so I am very careful and selective about the subject matter to ensure I get the most out of being out of the office. The day you organised was truly excellent in it's format, structure and content."

    This is a transcript from a letter we received following our day in October.

    If you want to make sure of your place for this event that has sold out for the past two years please register now by emailing your interest to - we are endeavouring to keep the price below £100.00 More news will soon be available on this site.

  7. BA Cityflyer's growth at London City

    BA Cityflyer, the wholly owned subsidiary of British Airways, is to start four new routes from London City Airport from next spring. Services to Nice will begin in April while new routes to Amsterdam, Barcelona and Warsaw will start the following month.

    BA Cityflyer's operation at London City airport continues to go from strength to strength and from next summer will operate to nine destinations in the UK and Europe.

    The airline will also increase its frequency on the London City-Zurich route to five flights a day but will terminate its service to Milan Malpensa from the east London airport

    . Source: BTW Online

  8. Premium Economy gets more Premium

    Premium economy, the superior long-haul class pitched midway between business and economy class, continues to get better.

    Readers with long memories will remember that the airlines’ original premium economy products featured slightly wider seating and more legroom and that was that. Passengers still had to use the economy class counters for check-in, there was no lounge access and there was no change in the food and drink.

    But this year several airlines have begun upgrading their products. Virgin Atlantic set the ball rolling when it began re-launching premium economy on its Heathrow services (Gatwick follows in 2008) with new slightly wider seats with extra recline (legroom stays at 38 inches). Virgin now provides better food and dedicated staff on board.

    More recently Bmi has instigated a massive seat upgrade. On its Airbus A330s (which operate a number of flights out of Manchester) it ditched the former seating (which wasn’t much different to economy class) in favour of fitting its former business class seats which, with the extra size (21-inch seat cushion width) and 49 inches of legroom, are more spacious than any other carrier’s product.

    Source: Business Traveller

  9. Transfer for Dubai Westin gets the Chopper

    The Westin Dubai Mina Seyahi Beach Resort has announced exclusive helicopter rides for guests checking into the new beachside property.

    The flagship Westin property in the UAE is gearing up to greet its guests in lavish style, with dedicated helicopter transfers to and from Dubai International Airport. Further, guests will also be able to book airborne sight seeing tours of the city, with special helicopter rides starting and commencing at the property.

    Sir Richard Branson, CEO and chairman of Virgin Atlantic Airways, was among the first to take a Westin helicopter tour, on a recent visit to Dubai, thereby endorsing an affiliation with Virgin.

    Source: Business to Business Travel Websites Group

  10. Virgin features online drama inflight

    Passengers flying on Virgin Atlantic will be able to watch the fastest growing TV show on the web, KateModern.

    In a unique move, the airline has teamed up with the programme’s creators to showcase this hugely popular series from the beginning of December. Passengers will be able to watch a short introductory video plus the first 31 episodes on Virgin Atlantic’s award-winning in-flight entertainment system V:port.

    KateModern, the UK spin-off of the pioneering web drama lonelygirl15, has all of the intrigue and drama that made lonelygirl15 the biggest phenomenon on the Internet.

    It debuted on Bebo this summer, with over 25 million views and is steadily increasing in viewership with an average 1.5 million views per week.

    Source: Airline Travel News

  11. European Rail upgrade gets green light

    The European Commission is proposing to spend over €5 billion on transport projects, the majority invested in the rail networks.

    Projects on the shortlist include rail links from Berlin to Palermo, Lyon to Slovenia, Hungary and the Ukraine (via Turin) plus high-speed links between France, Spain and Portugal.

    Source:; more news

  12. Park Plaza expands its Airline Partner Network

    Partners already include British Airways, American Airlines, United Airlines, Northwest Airlines and Delta, but from now on loyalty scheme members with 14 other carriers will benefit. (The new airline partners are SAS, KLM, Air France, Lufthansa, Continental, Qantas, US Airways, Midwest Airlines, Air Canada, Aeromexico, Icelandair, Japan Airlines, Cathay Pacific, Lan Chile and Asiana.)

    Frequent flyers with these airlines will now be able to earn 500 air miles per stay at any Park Plaza hotel or Art’otel across Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

    Guests will earn the same amount of miles whether they are staying in a suite or a standard room, or staying one night or one month.

    Source: Business Traveller

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