Newsletter - January 2009

  1. United Go Flat

    United Airline's new fully flat business class seat is now on the majority of its B767 fleet, with completion by May 2009, plus new routes for 2009.

    Other United Airlines highlights:-

    The B777 fleet will also have a new economy seat to allow for the new Inflight Entertainment system to be installed.

    The Dubai-Washington flight inaugurated on October 27th with the B777 as evidence of United's international expansion. The midnight departure from Dubai allowing for early morning arrival in Washington using the B777 ready for connections to domestic services. It is the carrier's second middle east destination after Kuwait.

    Looking forward to Spring 2009 and the return of London to Denver with 11 services each week out of London Heathrow, with a fourth daily Washington service in place for the summer schedule.

    The commencement of the Moscow to Washington Dulles service from March 27 2009 using a newly configured B767.

    The commencement of Geneva to Washington from April 20, United's second market in Switzerland after Zurich, taking the total number of transatlantic services to 31 each week. "A significant upgrade from last year," according to United Airlines' managing director of Sales, Europe, Africa, Middle East and India, Marcel Fuchs.

    Source: Business Traveller.com - full report by Tom Otley.

  2. Watch your step - Don't get wet

    Budget hotel chain Premier Inn has unveiled plans for its innovative 'Floatel' (floating budget hotel) - a first for the British budget hotel industry.

    Britain's largest budget hotel chain aims to build the 'Floatel' in Hartlepool Marina during 2009. It will be the first time a budget hotel has been purpose-built on water.

    The 'Floatel' is needed because there is a growing demand for additional hotel accommodation in the Hartlepool Marina area but little viable building space on-land.

    The new hotel will have 54 bedrooms, each able to accommodate two adults and two children under 16, and will feature ensuite bathroom, TV and Internet access, as is standard in all Premier Inns.

    Source: Hotel Travel News - full story

  3. Aer Lingus to resume Shannon-Heathrow

    Aer Lingus is resuming its Shannon-Heathrow service operating double daily flights from March 29, 2009.

    The decision follows recent agreements with staff to opt for alternative cost saving measures including work practice changes and new work agreements at Shannon, Cork and Dublin.

    These changes combined with a new deal on charges from the Shannon Airport Authority, and the recent reduction in the price of fuel, have made the resumption of the service a reality.

    Source: TravelTradeGazette.Live - full report

  4. Spring Forum News

    We are delighted to announce that we have secured sponsorship for our Spring and Autumn Interactive Travel & Expense Management Forums next year which have been set for Tuesday 12th May and Thursday 15th October - both to take place in the five star Hesperia-Victoria Hotel in London.

    The sponsors for our ACTE supported Forums now include BCD Travel, the Hesperia-Victoria Hotel and Buying Business Travel magazine.

    The agendas will be agreed in the next week for our first event and will consist of subjects suggested by our delegates at our last forum be published in the near future,  the line up for the first event is looking very exciting.

    For further information on our Forums please check out our website

  5. East Coast discount now available

    National Express East Coast has introduced discounts for companies and individuals who buy tickets in bulk in advance. The Business Carnet is a book of ten fully flexible return tickets for the price of nine. It is available on selected journeys to and from London in both Standard and First Class and is valid for three months from the date of purchase.

    The operator says that the Carnet can save companies up to £252 when buying a standard ticket or £344 when travelling in First Class between Edinburgh and London.

    Source: BusinessTravelWorld.com - full story

  6. January Sale - Airline style

    Bmi has launched its 'better for business' sale with no blackout periods or minimum stay requirements. Fares from Heathrow to Moscow start from £185 return, to Riyadh from £368 return and to Brussels from £68 return.

     Bookings can be made at www.flybmi.com or by calling 0870 60 70 555. The sale runs until 31 January and is valid for travel until 31 October 2009.

    Source: Times Online - full story

  7. Cross Country e ticketing

    CrossCountry Trains claims to be the first UK rail operator to offer self-print advance purchase tickets.

    CrossCountry's quick and simple 'e-ticket' enables customers to print their tickets at their own PC or laptop, cutting out additional trips to the station and the need to queue.

    E-tickets must be printed off and presented to station and onboard staff when required and will incorporate specific journey details including the customer's name and other relevant security features. Advanced tickets can be purchased online 24-hours any day up to 1800 the day before departure, subject to availability.

    As if that was not enough CrossCountry also announced that following the launch of the new e-ticketing service CrossCountry will also be making its website 'mobile-friendly' which for the first time will see users of mobile phones and PDAs being able to access CrossCountry information on the move,.to access live train times, timetables, station information and importantly, book their train tickets via their mobile phones.

    For further information contact CrossCountry's website

  8. Oxford to Jersey with Air Southwest

    Air Southwest has announced it is to link Oxford to Jersey for the first time.

    The new route will be served by a 50-seat Bombardier aircraft flying every Saturday between July 11 and September 12 next year.

    The airline said it is the first time Oxford Airport has been linked with the Channel Islands.

    The route will be sold exclusively by C.I. Travel Group's brands including Airways Holidays, Discovery Jersey and Channel Islands Travel Service.

    Jersey hoteliers will also be able to offer guests direct flights.

    Source: Air & Business Travel News - to read this and other stories

  9. Fast Italian on the rails

    Trenitalia Launches High-Speed Train Linking Milan & Rome.

    Trenitalia last month connected Milan and Rome with a new high-speed train link. The service shaves an hour off the route, bringing it down to 3 hours and 30 minutes, says Trenitalia, and reaches a maximum velocity of 186 mph.

    The route's Red Arrow Train will be available for reservations on Rail Europe's web site in January.

    Source: Rail Europe Press Release - full details

  10. New Campanile

    Campanile Hotels has announced its major investment programme for the UK. The company will launch its UK investment plans and unveil its new generation concept at an 'opening celebration' at the new £6 million Campanile Hotel Northampton.

    Campanile's target customer group is the 28 to 50 year-old age bracket for both business and leisure guests and this is reflected in the new ultra-modern style which it is implementing following extensive European consumer research conducted by IPSOS.

    The new look marks a real departure from the traditional budget hotel concept and features food inspired by internationally acclaimed 3 Michelin-starred chef Pierre Gagnaire, and interior design by Patrick Jouin.

    Source: Breaking Travel News - full story

  11. Aer Lingus confirms London Gatwick base

    Aer Lingus has confirmed plans to establish an international base at Gatwick for European flights. Four aircraft will be based at the London airport in the first move of its kind away from Ireland and Northern Ireland.

    Seven destinations - Malaga, Munich, Nice, Vienna, Knock, Faro and Zurich - have been earmarked for services from spring 2009. Fares will start at £19.99 one way including taxes.

    The airline, fending off a €748 million hostile takeover bid by Ryanair, already runs a Dublin-Gatwick service but the expansion will pitch it against UK budget rival Easyjet, one of the biggest carriers at the airport.

    Aer Lingus plans to expand its Gatwick presence to eight aircraft with a potential for 2.5 million passengers a year within 12 months.

    Source: TravelMole - full report by Phil Davies.

  12. Eurotunnel back on track

    The work that is being carried out to the damaged section of the Channel Tunnel is expected to be wrapped up by February.

    Following a fire which broke out on board a Eurotunnel freight train in September the operator has been running a new timetable, with 93 per cent of the capacity pre-fire and a speed restriction that adds an extra 20 minutes to journey times.

    This timetable will run until March 11. According to Eurotunnel services are running well with around 90 per cent of trains achieving punctuality targets of no later than 15 minutes of their scheduled arrival time.

    Source: Executive PA - full story and other articles

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