News Clips for Corporate Travel Management: April 2009

  1. Moscow Holiday Inn

    The global economic downturn hasn't stopped Intercontinental Hotels Group (IHG) from announcing a 1,000-room Holiday Inn property in Moscow.

    The huge property is set to overtake the Holiday Inn Chengdu Century City in China by some 35 rooms, with the Holiday Inn London Kensington Forum in third place with 910 rooms.

    The hotel will be located within the 90-hectare Crocus City development in Moscow's Krasnorgorsk district, and will be managed by IHG under a 20-year agreement with the Crocus Group.

    There are currently seven IHG-branded hotels in Russia, with another 13 in the pipeline.

    Source: BusinessTravellerOnline - full report by Mark Caswell

  2. New Jets in the City

    The future of jet operations at London City (LCY) has been secured with the imminent arrival of Embraer 170 and 190 jets.

    These brand new craft from Brazilian manufacturer Embraer will enter service with BA City Flyer (BA's LCY-based division) next October. They will gradually replace BA's existing BAe146 jets which operate both domestic and European services from LCY.

    The four-engined BAe146 is getting long in the tooth and, given its age, it will have to retire at some stage. It's not particularly fuel efficient and many passengers find its cabin (especially when configured six across 3-3) rather cramped."Says Richard Gooding, LCY's chief executive, "The BAe146 has served the airport well but it's now time to turn our attention to the future and to the aircraft types which will succeed it."

    The E170 has already been approved to operate into and out of LCY. Its larger E190 sister (which has a longer fuselage is this week undergoing "type approval" at LCY).

    The E170/E190s were designed from the outset to operate out of LCY. They can cope with all existing routes from LCY which means that, with a full payload, these aircraft could reach Oslo or Stockholm in the north, Warsaw or Vienna in the east or Rome or Madrid in the south.

    Source: Business Traveller Online - full story by Alex McWhirter

  3. Rezidor, Radisson, Russia

    The Rezidor Hotel Group has signed an agreement with the Regional Hotel Chain LCC to open at least 20 Park Inn hotels across the Russian Federation.

    Ten locations in key Russian cities have been identified, with the 132-room Park Inn Astrakhan and the 145-room Park Inn Kazan already under construction, and scheduled to open in 2010. Rezidor currently has 40 hotels in operation and under development in Russia and other CIS countries.

    Rezidor also operates the Radisson SAS brand, which is to be re-branded as Radisson Blu, and the group has also signed a worldwide licencing agreement with Italian fashion house Missoni to develop a new brand under the name Hotel Missoni.

    Source: BusinessTravellerOnline - full report by Holly Willis

  4. British Airways adopts the Travelex Cash Passport

    As part of a larger customer relations initiative aimed at upgrading its technology infrastructure and service processes (baggage, seating, etc.) compensation was identified as needing an overhaul.

    The airline identified Travelex' innovative prepaid Cash Passport as offering significant opportunities and benefits.

    Now over 1,000 service desks issue a Visa Electron card loaded with the compensation in less than three minutes. Having issued over 150,000 Cash Passport cards, British Airways has seen significant efficiency and security benefits while customers receive funds more conveniently and securely.

    The Travelex prepaid Cash Passport provides significant Benefits for the airline and other Corporate users:-

    • Replaces multiple time-consuming paper-based processes with one central, global streamlined process
    • Cards can be Loaded in US Dollars, Euros or British Pounds in less than three minutes
    • Improved cashflow as the card eradicates the need to hold large amounts of cash
    • Unused balances can be returned to the Airline/Corporate after an agreed period
    • For BA their return on investment was achieved six months ahead of schedule
    Cash Passport
    For more information Telephone 01276 462403 or email corporate.travelmoney@travelex.com

  5. Plane Speaking

    It's fair to say that the aviation industry has taken a bit of a battering in recent months and unsurprisingly airlines are reducing services in a bid to ride out the current economic climate.

    Bmi has now announced it is cutting several domestic and short haul services, which will be coming into effect at the end of March.

    Flights from Heathrow to Leeds Bradford, and Durham are being scrapped completely while its Amsterdam service is being reduced in frequency from seven daily flights to four, and Dublin suffering a similar fate with services cut to six a day, down from seven.

    Capacity will also be cut on Heathrow to Brussels and Aberdeen routes, due to replacing aircraft with a smaller plane for these services.

    Source: Executive PA online - further information.

  6. Triumphal Triumvirate

    We are delighted to announce that Lufthansa have now joined BCD Travel and HRS online hotel booking service as our main sponsors along with the Hesperia-Victoria Hotel and Buying Business Travel magazine for both of our ACTE supported Forums this year.

    The Spring Event is titled "Managing Business Travel in a Recession" and will feature four sessions covering Control & Knowledge, Aviation Issues, Expense Management and a Buyers speakeasy where Buyers will dictate the agenda and speak their minds on topics that really get them hot under the collar.

    If you have not checked it out yet please do so as we have already sold over 35% of the capacity of the event which will be held in the five star Hesperia-Victoria Hotel in London on Tuesday the 12th May.

    The full Agenda and our list of exciting speakers can be found by clicking here, which will also allow you to register and book online.

  7. BA Introduces Mobile Tickets

    Travellers flying with British Airways can now check in for flights via their mobile handsets.

    By logging on to www.ba.com/mobile with any mobile device with wireless connectivity, they can check timetables, make seat selections and check in individuals or groups for outward and return flights.

    The latest development follows the success of British Airways' iPhone application launched last July. More than 16,000 iPhone users checked in via the service in its first month.

    Source: BuyingBusinessTravel - full report.

  8. Control and Manage "on the road" travel spend

    AirPlus International - the award-winning global business travel payment provider turned heads at this year's Business Travel Show, with a fresh new look as part of its new AirPlus Corporate Cards launch campaign.

    The new self-issued AirPlus Corporate Cards for on-the-road expenses are now available in the marketplace and have already received considerable acclaim, with 40 customers rolling out the product before its official launch.

    More than 27 million MasterCard merchants in over 240 countries worldwide accept the new AirPlus Corporate Cards and together with AirPlus' dedicated local customer service and invaluable online administration tool, they complete AirPlus' comprehensive payment solution for business travel.

    If you would like some more information on this or other AirPlus International products please contact the AirPlus sales department by phone 020 8994 4725 or email london@airplus.com

  9. Liverpool to Amsterdam via KLM

    KLM has this week launched a three times daily link between Liverpool's John Lennon airport and Amsterdam Schiphol.

    The service is operated by KLM's cityhopper subsidiary using Fokker 70 jet aircraft carrying up to 80 passengers. Passengers can now travel between Liverpool John Lennon Airport and hundreds of worldwide destinations.

    Bookings have already been made to or from cities across all five continents and this important new route will be a tremendous asset for the city region improving its competitiveness going forward.

    Christine Ourmières, general manager for Air France KLM, UK and Ireland, added: "KLM is delighted with the level of support received from the Liverpool region. It's an exciting new territory and a positive addition to our extensive UK network. Forward bookings on the route are growing strongly and we expect this to increase further as KLM becomes established within the area."

    Source: TimesOnline - full report by Mark Frary.



  10. Roaming around gets cheaper

    Anyone who has made or received phone calls abroad will know that roaming charges, if factored in, can account for a significant addition to T&E spend. The costs incurred when a mobile phone native to one country is used in another can be staggering.

    The charges can also be confusing. Most mobile users expect to pay a small fortune calling a friend or colleague at home, but not everyone realises that receiving calls can cost the same, if not more. That is until it's too late.

    For the cost of a new sim card plus credit, WorldSIM supply a mobile number free to receive calls, a service around which the company's activities centre. The charges are transparent and straightforward. Online billing is in real time too, costs appear as soon as a call is finished, making it easier to keep an eye on expenses.

    The innovations from WorldSIM are set to continue. April will see the launch of its dual UK-US sim at the CTAI telecommunications showcase in Las Vegas. The new sim will come with two numbers attached to it, adding America to WorldSIM's list of free roaming countries for the first time.

    Source: Air & Business Travel News - full story by Andrew Gough.

  11. Your corporate data is in Danger!

    On the 1 April 2009 - Business Travel Coalition (BTC) called on International Air Transport Association (IATA) to finally make clear its intentions regarding compliance with data privacy obligations under the new European Union's Computerised Reservation System (CRS) Code of Conduct that went into effect on 29 March.

    Article 7.3 of the new Code mandates that the identity of travel agencies be masked in market intelligence products offered to airlines except in the case of travel agencies who have consented to the disclosure.

    Importantly, Article 11.5 of the new Code prohibits in all cases including in such market intelligence products any information that would identify the corporate purchaser of air travel.

    In the face of IATA's refusal to confirm that it will comply with these two mandates, there is a gathering storm of outrage across Europe regarding IATA's seeming indifference to the law and travel industry concerns.

    This is of particular concern to any Corporate that has an Implant travel office as theat office will have to possess a separate IATA licence thus identifying all the IATA traffic from that organisation.

    If you are concerned and would like to add your opinion to the mix then drop a line to Kevin Mitchell at mitchell@BusinessTravelCoalition.com

  12. ACTE expands on CSR

    Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is not just about reducing carbon emissions," notes Susan Gurley, executive director of the Association of Corporate Travel Executives, announcing that the Association will reinforce that conviction with a session at this month's conference exploring the issue of child sexual exploitation, its impact on business, and the measures each company can take to comply with global standards.

    It's not the first time that ACTE has addressed the issue. It officially joined the campaign to end child prostitution and pornography three years ago at its spring conference in Atlanta when Marilyn Carlson Nelson, then chairman of Carlson Companies, delivered an impassioned plea that the business travel industry not turn a blind eye to the situation.

    It was at this meeting that ACTE signed a code of conduct pact with ECPAT-USA (End Child Prostitution, child pornography and trafficking of Children for Sexual Purposes). ACTE has continued to work with ECPAT, as well as the International Office of Migration (IOM) and the MTV Exit Europe Foundation to end the exploitation of women and children.

    This year, the executive director of ECPAT-USA, Carol Smolenski, will be one of two featured speakers on the issue.

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