News Clips for Corporate Travel Management: May 2007

1 Ryanair starts price war

Ryanair has declared a price war on its no-frills rivals by launching its biggest ever seat sale.

The airline, which is now quoting all of its fares inclusive of taxes, is offering 10 million seats across Europe from just £10.

Around 3.5 million seats will be offered for £10, including taxes, with another 3.5 million for £15 and the rest for £20.

Source: Travelmole

2 Running out of Puff

The smoking ban comes into effect on July 1, with England the last area to turn non-smoking in Great Britain. But what exactly does the ban entail and how will it affect the business traveller?

The Health Act 2006 was passed with the effect of a complete ban on smoking in public places in England. It will apply to all places that are fully enclosed or "substantially enclosed", which means that hotel bars, lobbies and restaurants will all be non-smoking.

Ireland has had a smoking ban since 2004 and Scotland since last year, while Wales went non-smoking on April 2 and Northern Ireland on April 30.

Hotels will still be able to offer smoking rooms as they do not fall into the category of a public space.

For frequent flyers, who need that last cigarette before heading to the gate, the news is less good. There will be no more dedicated smoking areas at airports.

Source: Businesstraveler Online

3 Airports must now test liquids in hand luggage

Passengers travelling through UK airports may face further security delays from this week as a result of a new requirement on airports to carry out random tests on liquids carried within hand luggage.

The Department for Transport (DfT) issued new rules to the UK’s airports asking them to introduce testing of liquids contained within the clear plastic bag carried within hand baggage. Passengers are currently allowed to carry up to one litre of liquids in containers of not more than 100ml in a clear, sealable plastic bag.

A spokesman for Heathrow said that the airport had been trialling the testing process, which involves placing litmus paper in the liquid under test, since January.

Source: The TimesOnline

4 Emirates Ups A380 Order

Emirates Airlines has reaffirmed its order for 43 Airbus A380 aircraft and additionally signed for four more. In the third quarter of 2006, Emirates will begin receiving its first A380, a double-decker, jumbo jet that can seat up to 555 passengers in a three-class configuration.

Source: Airline Travel News

5 Duty of Care - Front and Centre

Crisis avoidance company, The Anvil Group, has issued a stark warning to organisations that do not have a comprehensive travel policy in place, as new legislation in the UK could see unlimited fines and possible jail sentences for companies and individuals found lacking in duty of care (DoC) requirements.

Although the law is “still very ambiguous” and is in “a state of ping-pong” between the House of Lords and the House of Commons – Anvil warns that whatever the final outcome of the law, companies need to pay greater attention to their DoC requirements.

Anvil provides an Employee Travel Monitoring System (ETMS) service for both corporations and travel management companies (TMCs) to track each employee whilst away, as well as a web-based Travel Risk Intelligence System (TRIS) that alerts those involved in arranging and monitoring business travel to natural, political and security risks worldwide.

Source: ABTN

6 Hertz Introduces The Fun Collection To The UK

Following successful launches in the US and Europe, the Hertz Fun Collection is now available to rent in the UK. Customers can choose from a selection of fun cars that are great to drive and allow them to enjoy the freedom of the open road. Available now, the UK Hertz Fun Collection will initially include the Mini Cooper S, the classic Alfa Brera, Volkswagen Beetle Cabriolet, and the Volkswagen Eos.

Additional makes and models will be added to the collection over the coming months.

Source: BusinesstoBusinessTravel Group website

7 Successful Spring Forum

The 12th Corporate Travel & Expense Management Forum was held in London on the 24th of April 2007. The event was hosted by Management Solutions (UK) Ltd. in cooperation with the Association of Corporate Travel Executives (ACTE Global).

The forum focused on the imminent changes surrounding Global Distribution Systems (GDS), Carbon Reduction Costs, Security and Risk Management of Business Travel and how these issues affect the bottom line in corporate travel budgets.

More than 70 delegates from blue chips ranging from Mastercard and the Prudential to Unilever and Shell attended the one day event in London.

8 Rail speeds up between France & Germany

New rail services between France and Germany aim to slash journey times by more than two hours, providing a genuine alternative to short-haul air travel.

From 10 June, journey times will plummet between Paris and the German cities of Frankfurt and Stuttgart, as the high-speed national operators, Deutsche Bahn (ICE) and SNCF (TGV) start services.

For business travellers travelling first class, the service will include a selection of newspapers, a taxi order facility for Paris and a light meal served at the seat on international journeys. Staff on board trains will speak French, German and English.

Source: ABTN

9 Skyhub for Glasgow

Glasgow Airport is to get a £30 million new look called Skyhub, the 4,000 square metre development will replace existing security zones at the airport with a new purpose-built screening area which will include 14 X-ray machines, four more than at present.

The new security area is expected to be completed by autumn 2008. The existing security areas will be transformed into lounges, shopping and restaurants, ready for 2009.

Source: TimesOnline

10 Natwest drop Airmiles

Airmiles has been ditched by Natwest following complaints that the scheme is not flexible enough.

In its place Natwest has launched a new rewards scheme called YourPoints, which allows its cardholders to book flights or holidays from ebookers.com and easyjet.com.

Unlike Airmiles, any product available to buy in cash on ebookers.com or easyjet.com can be bought through the YourPoints website, which will launch on June 1, with the price reflected by the number of points required, so early bookings will tend to be cheaper than last minute ones.

The criticism of the British Airways-owned Airmiles surrounds the fact that customers are increasingly unable to cash-in miles because of limited availability on flights and hotels. The same criticism has been levelled at BA Miles, the frequent flyer scheme that is also owned by BA.

Because of the limits imposed on points redemption an estimated six million people have unspent Airmiles, out of a total 8 million members. The problem is not limited to Airmiles – there are an estimated 14 trillion unredeemed frequent flyer miles worldwide.

Source: Times Online

11 French Connection 2 - Bristol City route for Air France

Air France is launching a three-times daily service between Bristol International Airport and Paris Charles de Gaulle from 11 June.

The service will be operated using 48-seat AT5 aircraft and will depart Bristol at 0630, 1040 and 1725, returning from CDG at 0935, 1400 and 2040 and fares start from £105.40 return including taxes.

BA Connect previously operated on the Bristol-CDG route but when Flybe took over the ailing regional arm, it dropped the service because of a competing service from Exeter. Easyjet has a twice-daily service between the two cities.

Source: Business Travel World

12 Fancy a T-Bone steak served with French fries and salad bowl, $1.75 followed by Homemade Pie a la Mode for just 30 cents?

The oldest inn in America's oldest city, the St. Francis, has introduced some new promotional gimmicks. The Inn is an old historical Spanish residence built in 1791 on a lot which was a King's grant, known as the Governor's Palace. During the Civil War, it was used as headquarters for spies for the confederate Army.

The hotel in St. Augustine, Fla., which used to have a restaurant which was closed for decades, is opening up again to serve dining prices reflecting an ancient era.

Source: Travelmole USA

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