News Clips for Corporate Travel Management: February 2007

1 Capita take over

FTSE-100 business support services company Capita has acquired Harry Weeks Travel & Leisure Group in a deal worth up to GBP33m.

The deal includes Harry Weeks' rail ticketing issue system, featuring its Evolvi and Travelpackonline software (see their latest "Foyer Kiosk" touch screen UK rail ticket dispenser on Stand 207 at the Business Travel Show) its Leisuretime employee travel benefits service and its travel management service.

Source: e-Tid

2 Third business airline to New York takes off

After three years in the planning, Silverjet launched their maiden flight from Luton to Newark. The third business-only airline flying from London airports to New York took off on January 25th, bringing down prices for transatlantic luxury travel even further.

Silverjet is selling seats from GBP799 return (rising to GBP999 lead-in fares), with established rivals Maxjet starting at GBP790 and Eos, GBP3,550.

Silverjet aircraft has 100 business class flat beds, with individual food service, personal in-flight entertainment systems - and a separate ladies toilet. Onboard services including wireless internet and plasma TV screens.

But two more factors make Silverjet stand out from the competition. The airline has a check-in of just 30 minutes at the private aircraft terminal at Luton airport, while it includes a mandatory carbon offset contribution in its ticket prices.

Source: The TimesOnline

3 Business Travel Show is going green

The Business Travel Show are proud to be working with ACTE and leading climate change business The CarbonNeutral Company in order to make this year's event CarbonNeutral ®.

This means that the CO2 emissions produced from 3 days of heating, lighting, waste, supplier and organiser travel have been balanced out by putting money to 3 climate friendly projects which reduce the equivalent amount of CO2. These projects are industrial methane capture, energy efficiency and forestry

The Business Travel Show will be taking place at London's Earls Court 2 from February 13-15, 2007.

The show aims to help visitors meet and network with suppliers, develop new relationships, make deals, save time and money, and learn about the hottest topics affecting the business travel industry.

Business Traveller magazine will also be presenting the Cellars in the Sky wine awards to winning airlines. Visitors will have the opportunity to try the winning wines at special tasting sessions and meet the Business Traveller team.

4 Coming Clean on going Green

Only four carbon schemes get green light

It was announced on the 14th January that only four of the current 59 schemes available to travellers who want to offset the carbon emissions of taking flights meet the government's standards for offsetting projects.

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs has announced the new standards in a bid to clear up confusion among travellers who want to reduce their carbon footprint.

The four schemes named as meeting the new standards are PURE the Clean Planet Trust, Global Cool, Equiclimate and Carbon Offsets Ltd.

Source: TheTimesOnline

5 ACTE Global & MS-UK

Management Solutions (UK) are delighted to report that this year's Corporate Travel & Expense Management Forums are to be supported by ACTE-Global.

The plans for the Spring event on Tuesday the 24th April are moving ahead smoothly with the Agenda chosen by our readers and former delegates announced as follows:

Security & Risk Management

Cost Containment Strategies - how to control Travel Budgets

Upcoming Changes in Airline / GDS /TMC relationship

Carbon Costs - how they work

As usual MS-UK have invited a number of key specialists to discuss these issues including

Richard Tams, British Airways,

Stanislas Berteloot, KDS

Marcus d'Apise, Control Risks

Jonathan Green, DEFRA

Ron Mitchell, Zurich Insurance

Richard Boardman, Reed & Mackay Travel

Other names of the key participants will be featured on the website, as their confirmation is agreed.

These excellent Networking forums where experts are prepared to share their knowledge and experience are continuing to attract interest from buyers and suppliers.

6 Back to the boom

Based on data from 175 London and 521 regional hotels, hotel consultancy services at PKF revealed that revenue per available room at London hotels averaged GBP93.28 in 2006, a year-on-year rise of 16.8%, the strongest annual growth since 1985.

Source: e-Tid

7 Russia's first budget airline takes off

Starting January 29, 2007, Russia's first low-cost air company Sky Express began regular flights from the Vnukovo airport on the Moscow-Sochi-Moscow route.

Flights are made with B-737-300 planes twice a day. By the beginning of the summer season, the flight frequency may be raised.

Source: Airline Travel News

8 You've heard about Self Booking - now meet Self greening 

KDS is planning to unveil an enhanced version of its end-to-end T&E solution that will enable carbon emissions to be calculated and managed for each business trip.

The Proof of Concept is based on the class-leading KDS Corporate Version 6 system.

It is a working demonstration of how KDS believes travel management systems will very soon be able to help companies integrate their travel and Corporate Social Responsibility policies.

The unveiled system will give an insight into advanced product development currently underway at KDS that is expected to produce a commercially available product by the second half of 2007.

Source: Airline Travel News

9 easy-Vista

easyJet and Microsoft are teaming up to create a range of desktop "gadgets" and web services to ensure travel is seamless from desk top to touch down.

The "easyJet desk top gadget" enables customers to personalise a flight information and booking service using the Microsoft Vista technology.

From the comfort of your own desktop the “gadget” provides:
- Simple one click purchase of easyJet flights
- Real time updates
- Rescheduling
- Directions to airports
- Calendar management

- As well as access destination information such as:
- Hotels
- Car hire
- Conference facilities
- Restaurants

Source: Airline Travel News

10 Stark Warning to Agents Over Airline Distribution

The European business travel industry will be damaged beyond repair unless airlines and GDS companies reach a sensible conclusion over full content, an expert has warned.

Speaking at the Annual General Meeting of the Guild of Travel Management Companies, Kevin Mitchell, chairman of the US-based Business Travel Coalition, urged travel management companies and their corporate clients to take action now to secure the outcome of the agreement, which is due to be reached at the end of February.

"The damage done could be far worse than reduced incentive fees, content surcharges or content fragmentation," said Mitchell.

Source: Travelmole

11 Emirates to Brazil

Emirates Airlines is to make its South American debut on 1 October 2007 with six-a-week non-stop services from Dubai to Sao Paulo (Brazil).

The 14-hour and 40-minute flight will be the first ever non-stop service between South America and the Middle East.

Source: Air & Business Travel News

12 Ethiad to Australia

Abu Dhabi's national airline Etihad has set March 26 as the date of its inaugural flight to Australia.

When fellow regional carriers Gulf Air and Emirates flew Down Under for the first time they had to be content with Melbourne. Only after proving themselves did the Australian authorities (renowned for their restrictive aeropolitics) permit them to add Sydney.

But in this case Etihad has scooped the pools, as it's been allowed to serve Sydney from day one. Etihad will ply the route non-stop three times a week with long-range Airbus A340-500s starting March 26. From June 26 the service will upgraded to daily.

Source: Business Traveller

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