Newsletter - December 2008


1 Girl Power
2 Going Dutch in Liverpool
3 Forum News
4 Lost Luggage?
5 Viva Mexicana
6 Starwood unveils Saudi expansion
7 London City links to the Isle of Man
8 The Jurys opens Inn Sheffield
9 BA reconfigures Club Europe cabin
10 BMI Baby loses five
11 Eurostar faces pre-Christmas industrial action threat

  1. Girl Power

    Korean Air has appointed two female pilots as Captain for the first time in the history of the airline.

    Pilots Soo-jin Shin and Soo-in Hong were officially appointed Captain on 3 November 2008, after passing the Captain Qualification Check, the final test to become an aircraft captain given by the Civil Aviation Safety Authority, a department under Korea’s Ministry of Land, Transport and Maritime Affairs.

    To pass the final test, both Captain Shin and Captain Hong had to successfully complete five months of rigorous training under the Captain Upgrade Training Program, which included ground school and simulation training courses. Both pilots will take control of their first flight as captain of a Boeing 737 aircraft on 15 November 2008.

    Source: Airline Travel News - full story

  2. Going Dutch in Liverpool

    KLM is to commence flights from Liverpool to its hub in Amsterdam for the first time since the Second World War.

    KLM will launch three-times daily flights between the two cities on March 29, 2009, using Fokker 70 aircraft configured for up to 80 passengers.

    KLM will use the flights to further feed into its long-haul network out of Amsterdam, and as an opportunity to tap into the Cheshire and North Wales catchment area. The airline already serves Manchester six times daily from Amsterdam, as well as 13 other UK airports including Aberdeen, Birmingham, Leeds Bradford, Newcastle, and London’s City and Heathrow airports.

    Source: Business - full story by Mark Caswell.

  3. Forum News

    Make notes in your 2009 diary. We are pleased to confirm that we have chosen Tuesday 12th May and Thursday 15th October for our Spring and Autumn Interactive Travel & Expense Management Forums next year.

    The final decision on the agendas will be made in the near future and the line up for the days is looking very exciting.

    The actual Agendas will be chosen by our Buyer readers and we will be distributing the list of subjects suggested by our delegates at our last forum for you to vote on in the next couple of weeks so you can actually contribute and decide what we discuss.

    For more information check out our website

  4. Ever Lost your baggage?

    Here's a solution all travellers might like to consider.

    A simple Baggage Label could be the answer to all your travellers lost baggage problem.

    Contrary to popular belief, it is an expensive and time consuming exercise for airlines to identify the legal owners of lost baggage and whilst every effort is always made, there is no guarantee that your baggage will ever be returned to you. Lost baggage belonging to BaggagePIN members can easily be identified by baggage handling agents and returned to the travellers quickly and cost effectively by using the unique BaggagePIN code.

    If baggage belonging to a member of BaggagePIN is mislaid or lost in transit, their baggage handling agent will enter the unique BaggagePIN code number into the BaggagePIN web-portal, and in a matter of seconds the system will identify the legal owner of the lost baggage, enabling the speedy return of lost baggage to be made.

    BaggagePIN is an elegant, innovative and simple solution to combat complex baggage problems.

    To learn more about this innovation click here

  5. Viva Mexicana

    Last week Mexicana airlines announced that they will launch their first transatlantic flights and will begin operating between the UK and Mexico City on January 17 from London Gatwick Airport.

    Boeing 767-200s will be used on this route, under a cabin configuration that seats a total of 156 passengers: 40 in the carrier’s award-winning Clase Ejecutiva business class and 116 in economy class.

    Passengers on this route will enjoy a unique travel experience, complete with bed seats, an exclusive in-flight menu created by acclaimed Mexican chef Enrique Olvera and a select list of wines handpicked by Mexicana’s executive sommelier Sandra Fernández from Tierra de Vinos. All these quality services and more will be available at highly competitive fares that offer excellent value for money.

    For further information, visit: or call 020 8492 0000.

  6. Starwood unveils Saudi expansion

    Starwood Hotels has announced plans to open three new hotels in Saudi Arabia.

    The proposed Four Points by Sheraton Mall of Arabia, Four Points by Sheraton Dhahran and Aloft Riyadh will increase its portfolio to 13 hotels in the Kingdom.

    The Middle East continues to be one of the strongest components of Starwood’s global portfolio, as the company continues to expand in the region at record rates.

    Currently, Starwood operates 50 hotels and resorts in the Middle East under five of its nine brands, including Sheraton, Le Méridien, Westin, Four Points by Sheraton and the Luxury Collection. Starwood expects to double its portfolio in the broader Europe, Africa and the Middle East region to approximately 500 properties by 2013.

    Source: Hotel Travel News - full story

  7. London City to the Isle of Man

    Dublin-based carrier Aer Arann plans to launch a new route between London City airport (LCY) and the Isle of Man (IOM) from January 19, with a 72-seat new-generation ATR72-500 aircraft.

    The first weekday Aer Arann flight from LCY will depart at 1015 (arriving into IOM at 1140), followed by flights at 1545 (arriving at 1710) and 1945 (arriving at 2105).

    At weekends there will be a reduced service: the 1015 flight will operate on Saturdays, and the 1545 and 2105 flights will run on Sundays.

    Source: BusinessTraveller online - full report by Sara Turner.

  8. The Jurys opens Inn Sheffield

    Jurys Inns will open its latest hotel in the Sheffield city centre on January 16, a 259-room property which will become the largest hotel in the city and located on Eyre Street, the three-star hotel is just a few minutes walk from the train station and the main tourist attractions.

    The hotel’s 259 rooms have all been designed “with style and comfort in mind” and are fitted with wifi and flatscreen TVs.

    Dining options include the Innfusion restaurant, which offers “value-for-money” dinner and breakfast options, and the more casual Inntro Bar where guests can pick up sandwiches, light dishes and drinks. Il Barista will have pastries and coffee to go.

    Features for the business traveller include nine meeting rooms, with the largest theatre-style room able to cater for up to 100 people.

    Source: Business Traveller online - full report by Liat Clark.

  9. BA reconfigures Club Europe cabin

    British Airways is giving customers more comfort and privacy in its Club Europe cabin from February 23, 2009 by removing the use of the middle seat.

    This new configuration will offer those customers booked in the airline’s shorthaul business class cabin a guaranteed window or aisle seat, with the middle seat free. It will provide them with greater privacy and enhance their ability to work and rest onboard.

    Customers can enjoy a more relaxing travel experience, while maintaining the full range of onboard Club Europe services including extra legroom in a comfortable leather seat, a choice of hot and cold refreshments and a complimentary bar.

    Source: AirlineTravelNews - full story

  10. BMI Baby loses five

    Bmibaby is to suspend five routes from Birmingham from the start of next summer’s timetable at the end of March. The services affected are those to Lisbon, Rome, Madrid, Milan and Bordeaux. The grounding of the services marks a U-turn from September when the airline announced that the Rome and Bordeaux services would be part of next summer’s operations from the airport.

    Source: - full story

  11. Eurostar faces pre-Christmas industrial action threat

    Eurostar will endeavour to ensure that services will operate normally in the run-up to Christmas in the face of possible industrial action.

    The company was responding to a ballot of Eurostar UK train managers by the RMT and TSSA unions in a dispute over work rosters.

    Eurostar said it had already met with and continues to talk to the unions to resolve the dispute.

    Eurostar UK train managers represent a proportion of the total complement, which includes staff from French and Belgian national railways.

    Source: TravelMole - full story by Phil Davies.

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