News Clips for Corporate Travel Management: August 2009

  1. Go Greener - Go Europcar

    With the price of unleaded petrol now over £1 a litre, Europcar, voted the world's leading car hire company at the World Travel Awards, is helping customers focus on both fuel efficiency and more eco-friendly driving. Europcar has become the first car hire firm to give customers information on average CO2 emissions for each car group as part of its online fleet guide.

    Now, when customers log on to http://www.europcar.co.uk to book a vehicle, they can quickly make an assessment of the impact of their rental on the environment as well as the fuel efficiency of the vehicle.

    The lowest emissions group features average 130gms CO2 emissions vehicles. This typically includes mini three-door hatchbacks, such as the Ford Ka. The highest group comprises 230gms emissions vehicles such as executive saloon automatic estates including the Saab 9-5 and the Volvo V70.

    Source: Breaking Travel news - full story

  2. Concur Rapid European growth continues

    Concur, a provider of expense management systems, has bought French rivals Etap-on-Line.

    The move continues the US company's rapid expansion in European over the last two years.

    Etap-on-Line was a privately owned company based in Paris. No figure was given for the purchase.

    Steve Singh, Concur's chairman and ceo, said: "This acquisition is one more step in Concur's ongoing commitment to providing both global and local leadership to the travel and expense industry.

    Source: Air & Business Travel News - full story from Stanley Slaughter

  3. British Airways cuts food

    British Airways is axing free meals on thousands of short-haul flights as part of inflight service cuts that it estimates will save £22m annually.

    The UK flag carrier is stopping free meals and sandwiches after 10am on flights of less than 180 minutes out of Heathrow. Passengers will instead be offered a small snack and biscuits. Similar cutbacks have already been implemented on flights from Gatwick.

    Other cost cuts are also being explored, including a review of the range of free alcoholic drinks on short-haul flights.

    Long-haul economy passengers will have their free bottles of water replaced with "water cuplets" while those in business class will have their second meal, usually served before landing, reduced.

    Source: Breaking Travel News - full story

  4. BA cuts US flights

    BA is making more cuts to its services this winter, with flights to the US most affected.

    The UK national carrier is cutting services to New York JFK from seven to six a day and to Newark by three to two a day.

    Chicago flights will be reduced from three to two a day and those to Seattle by ten to seven a week.

    Further afield, BA is cutting flights to Johannesburg from 19 to 14 a week from September 13.

    In addition the Heathrow to Toronto service will see both the two daily flights using Boeing 767s aircraft, where previously one was served by a Boeing 777.

    Source: ABTN - full story

  5. London Heathrow Airport's little known World First!

    Heathrow's Personal Rapid Transit (PRT) system reached a significant milestone as the system was officially handed over from construction to operational testing on July 7.

    PRT is a world first and is being trialled at Heathrow to make passenger journeys quicker and reduce congestion on airport roads. It consists of 21 low-energy, battery-powered, driverless vehicles capable of carrying four passengers.

    Operational testing will now begin on the system, ensuring that PRT is fully integrated into Heathrow's infrastructure transporting passengers directly from T5 Car park to the main terminal building. The track can easily be seen as you approach on the road to T5.

    When the system is launched, passengers will board PRT vehicles at one of three stations and select their chosen destination using a touch screen.

    The programmed vehicle immediately takes them directly to their destination, at speeds up to 25 mph, without the need for any stops in between. The journey time from the Terminal 5 business car park to Terminal 5 will be around five minutes

    Source: AERBT - full story and other stories

  6. Bookings for Autumn Business Travel Forum stream in

    Bookings for Management Solutions (UK) Limited and the Association of Corporate Travel Executives next London Corporate Travel & Expense Management Forum to be held at the London Hesperia Victoria Hotel on the 15th October have been coming in nicely with over 35% of the expanded capacity already sold.

    The theme for our Autumn Forum will be "Buying Value for Money Travel Services" and will feature sessions on
    • "Finding Value in a Commoditised Market"
    • "Changing remuneration mechanisms - revolution, evolution or full circle?"
    • "Choosing value solutions - who decides what value means and how?"
    • the final session again being a Buyers Speakeasy titled "Buyer Value - doing something different"
    If you are a buyer and would like to make sure that you get a chance to attend our Autumn event Register Now to guarantee your space and avoid disappointment. And early registrants will benefit from the early bird lower rate with Buyers currently representing 66% of our Audience.

    The full list of exciting speakers will be posted on our web pages as we finalise all the details.

  7. Liverpool debut for Eastern

    Eastern Airways this month launches its first scheduled flights from Liverpool John Lennon, with three services each weekday to both Aberdeen and Southampton.

    The carrier is also stepping up frequencies on its Aberdeen-Southampton route from two to five each weekday.

    At the same time, Eastern is adding an early morning departure from Southampton to Newcastle, with an 07.00 departure replacing the 09.20 flight.

    Originally set up to service the oil and gas sector, the Humberside-based airline now serves 14 UK airports, as well as two in Norway.

    Source: Buying Business Travel - full story

  8. Banks resume funding

    Ryanair has secured $1.6bn (£950m) in funding to finance 55 aircraft.

    The new aircraft will join the fleet between November this year and October 2010.

    The money has come from a syndicate of banks, including Calyon, which has underwritten 25 aircraft, and BNP Paribas and SMBC, which have each underwritten 15.

    Meanwhile, Ryanair has apologised to passengers who missed flights or were delayed at Stansted Airport on Saturday (1st August) because of a shortage of staff at the baggage drop-off desks.

    Ryanair blamed the problem on its ground handling partner, Swissport, and said it was working with the company to 'ensure this situation does not recur'.

    Source e-tid.com - full story

  9. No Age Discrimination

    Next time you stay at a Sofitel, a Novotel or, if your company is really suffering in the recession, a Formule 1 in France, take a look around at the staff.

    Hotels, along with most other parts of the travel industry, are notoriously image-focused. This is why you always get the resting actors and models between assignments behind the check-in desk. Other, less toothsome individuals are consigned to work back of house, where they have little chance of coming face to face with a paying client.

    This may be about to change at hotel company Accor, the parent group of the chains mentioned above. It has decided to anonymise CVs submitted to its French careers website, removing applicants' first and last names, nationality, sex, age and e-mail address.

    Source: Times Online - full story by Mark Frary

  10. Gatwick link between North & South closing in September

    The free monorail which runs between Gatwick's South and North terminals, will close for a £37 million refurbishment programme in September.

    The news was reported on the businesstraveller.com forum over the weekend, and has now been confirmed by BAA (although the operator would not confirm the exact dates for the closure).

    BAA says a free shuttle bus will replace the transit service while the project is being completed, the timetable for which has not yet been released. The transit currently runs every six minutes (three minutes during peak times) and takes two minutes to travel between the terminals."

    The new inter-terminal transit system will have the capacity for passenger traffic predicted in 2020.

    Source: Business Traveller online - full story by Felicity Cousins

  11. Olympic Kentish benefits

    Travellers from Dover have been able to take advantage of a Javelin shadow operation now working and being well received by travellers from the south east. A full service will begin in December.

    For some it has been something of a culture shock, actually crossing (under) the Thames to reach central London, their previous goal Waterloo, a world away.

    The scheduled train journey time from Dover Priory is likely to be 1hr 7min via the two Folkestone stations, Ashford and Ebbsfleet. Currently there is a single train in the morning from Dover to Waterloo taking a shade under two hours, the normal twice hourly service longer. Stations from Canterbury East to Margate will also be served direct from St Pancras.

    Southeastern Trains, who run the operation, point out that another hidden benefit form the Javelin services is the connection at both St Pancras/Kings Cross and nearby Euston, to the north. For the first time travellers to and from Kent will have easy access without having to traipse across London. Source: AERBT - full story and other stories

  12. MyAir stops flying

    Italian budget carrier MyAir has had its operating licence suspended by the Italian Civil Aviation Authority (ENAC) effective midnight last Friday due to severe financial difficulties and service failures.

    ENAC said Thursday the airline could not ensure coverage of costs for essential services, and that months of financial troubles had made the company's service questionable.

    MyAir has been seeking recapitalization for several months but has failed to come up with secure financing. It had been operating on a temporary licence for the past month.

    The airline is headquartered in Vicenza, northern Italy, and flew from several Italian cities to airports within Italy and across Europe, as well as Turkey and Morocco.

    MyAir confirmed in a statement that because of the ENAC order it would be obliged to halt service.

    The airline also had 15 Bombardier 100-seater CRJ1000s on order.

    Source: Breaking Travel News - full story

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