News Clips for Corporate Travel Management: April 2010

  1. Get an Apple with your room

    InterContinental Tests iPad For Concierge Service.This week InterContinental Hotels will begin equipping concierge teams at select properties with Apple's iPad mobile device.

    Properties in New York, Atlanta, London and Hong Kong will use the devices to provide guests with directions through interactive maps, show destination-specific videos for activity recommendations and make instant bookings at restaurants and other activities. The properties are the first in the brand's global pilot program for the technology.

    The iPad, a 1.5-lb. mobile device with a 9.7-inch display screen, hit stores for the first time last Saturday

    Source: Business travel News - full story by Michael B Baker

  2. Doubledeckers for Manchester

    Emirates has ended speculation by confirming that it will roster its A380 on to flights into Manchester, will roster the A380 onto one of its two daily flights between Dubai and Manchester from September 1, replacing its Boeing 777 aircraft making it the first carrier to serve a regional airport with the superjumbo.

    The move will increase capacity on the route by 75 seats per day, and makes Emirates the first airline to serve a secondary airport with the superjumbo. Up until now only primary cities such as London, Paris, Sydney and Bangkok have benefited from the introduction of the A380. It also means that Emirates will offer its first class suites on the Manchester-Dubai route for the first time.

    Source: Business Traveller Online - full article by Mark Caswell

  3. Flybe's expanded summer schedule takes off

    Twenty four new services have been introduced by Flybe as part of its summer schedule.

    The carrier will serve 190routes across the UK and Europe including destinations such as Croatia, France, Portugal and Spain.

    The airline claims to offer the widest choice of summer connections to regional France, with 42 routes to and from 12 French and 11 UK airports.

    These include new routes from Birmingham, Edinburgh, Manchester and Gatwick

    Source: TravelMole - full story by Phil Davies and Flybe's new summer schedule routes.

  4. Hampton opens three UK hotels

    Hampton Hotels, part of the Hilton group, has opened three new hotels in the UK.

    The properties in Birmingham, Shrewsbury and Braintree, Essex have 241 rooms between them and increase the chain's portfolio in Britain to five.

    The three hotels are owned by Osborn Securities and will be managed by the US group. The Birmingham hotel is located in the Birmingham Star City complex near the M6 and has 90 rooms.

    The Shrewsbury property on the outskirts of the city has 75 rooms while the Braintree hotel has 76.

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

  5. Spring 2010 Forum

    THE number one networking and educational event this Spring is coming together nicely.

    Where: Hesperia London Victoria Hotel - When: Tuesday 20th April 2010

    The theme for day is Re-engineering the Buying Process - our delegates will hear the thoughts of Marianne Sammann, the General Manager UK of Lufthansa as well as learning from a number of travel buyers including Geoff Allwright, the Head of Travel and Expenses UK, EADS UK; Richard Beale, Consultant Buyer, Bright Sourcing; Ken Forder, the former Travel Manager for Europe, Middle-East and Africa, Nortel and Stephen Newton, Travel Buyer, Prudential.

    The full list of all our Moderators and speakers can be found here.

    If you want to get a seat at our Forum you had better act quickly as there are only twelve seats left as we go to press, click here to book your seat online

  6. Continental first for 787

    Continental Airlines plans to take delivery of four Boeing 787s in the third quarter of 2011 and two more in the fourth quarter, becoming the first airline, other than lead carrier ANA, to be positive with its introduction dates for the 787.

    In a US Securities and Exchange filing last it confirmed 11 of the Dash 8s (long haul) and 14 Dash 9s (a larger version with further extended range). The aircraft will arrive fitted with the new BusinessFirst interior and are likely to be initially used on the highly competitive Newark to Heathrow route, probably ahead of the introduction by British Airways and Virgin Atlantic of the same aircraft.

    Source: AERBT - similar stories
    Also, Continental Airlines

  7. Chinese Cracker

    China has unveiled ambitious plans to export its rail technologies worldwide, including the creation of a global network that would slash train times between Beijing and London to as little as two days.

    Just two years after completing its first high-speed link, the Chinese Ministry of Railways is considering plans to build two lines to Europe, one passing through India, Pakistan, the Middle East and terminating in London, while a second would head to Germany via Russia.

    There are also plans for a third line extending south from China to connect Vietnam, Thailand, Burma and Malaysia.

    If China is able to pull off this ambitious plan, it would be a huge boost to its rail industry and would help Beijing recoup the billions of yuan it has invested to transform its ageing national railways.

    China's Ministry of Railways is also going head-to-head with the Japanese for the US$8 billion which Barack Obama had earmarked to rebuild U.S. rail.

    General Electric has already announced a partnership with the Chinese state group to manufacture equipment for U.S. high-speed rail projects.

    Source: Breaking Travel News - full story

  8. Stafford to Kempinski

    The Stafford Hotel based in London was recently taken over by Kempinski, which is the oldest luxury hotel group of Europe.

    The Stafford Hotel has been rated in the 5 star categories for its quality service and facilities. Excluding the property in London there are 65 other luxury hotels across the globe managed by the Kempinski group.

    The deluxe hotel of Stafford hosts 105 rooms to cater a wide range of visitors.

    The Stafford hotel is now scheduled for a refurbishment and is expected to return with a new modern appearance. The reconstruction will be initiated on the entrance lobby, the bedrooms, the main house and restaurants. The renovation work is supposed to end by the end of 2011.

    Source: - full story

  9. Qatar Rail

    Qatar is pressing ahead with a huge high speed rail network over the next decade, in a deal signed with Deutschebahn and reported to be worth $23 billion.

    The completion date is 2026 with most of the project completed four years earlier in 2022 when Qatar hopes to host the FIFA World Cup.

    The new line will connect Qatar's New Doha International Airport with Doha city centre as well as a Doha Metro Network and a new metro system being planned. It will also connect Bahrain via a 40km bridge, and Saudi Arabia.

    Source: Business Traveller online - full story

  10. European Ban

    All airlines from the Philippines and Sudan are to be banned from flying to Europe following a new blacklist issued by the European Union (EU).

    All carriers from 17 countries, with 278 companies in total, are now excluded. Most of the carriers targeted operate out of Africa.

    The EU commission also warned Albania's air carriers to improve safety urgently, and said it was following closely the performance of Egyptian air carriers. It also changed an operating ban into restriction on airlines from Angola and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK). The Angolan flag carrier, TAAG Angola, is allowed back under certain strict conditions with specific aircraft.

    Source: AERBT - full story and others: Also, full list of blacklisted carriers

  11. Banks increase Hotel growth in Saudi

    Four years ago, when King Abdullah relaxed the banking laws to allow foreign direct investment in Saudi Arabia, there were just 11 investment banks in the Kingdom. Today there are 110, and the hotel scene - particularly in Riyadh, the capital - is scrambling to catch up. Drive around the city and you will see hoardings for new hotels everywhere you look.

    At last count, there were nine international brand hotels under construction in the Saudi capital alone, including Hilton, Marriott, Starwood, Hyatt, Kempinski, IHG, Raffles, Movenpick and Rocco Forte.

    Most of them are in the high-end luxury category, but all have sub-brands to cater to the three- and four-star markets including Hilton's Garden Inns and IHG's Crowne Plaza brand.

    The move to three- and four-star is a reflection of the current economic climate, which although it has not laid waste to the hotel scene as in Dubai, it has certainly made business travellers think twice before make a booking at a luxury property.

    Source: The Times Online - full story by Adam Coulter

  12. Lufthansa to launch Heathrow-Dresden service

    The historical Saxon capital will be linked to London from April 19 when Lufthansa inaugurates a new daily service to Dresden.

    Lufthansa will be using an Airbus A319 which is being operated on its behalf by Bmi.

    The schedules allow for easy domestic and international connections at Heathrow for passengers coming in from elsewhere.

    Fares are extremely good value in economy class. For travel in late April, Lufthansa's website quotes an excursion rate from London starting at £90 return with tickets for trips (without a Saturday night stay) being priced between £120 and £191.

    Since reunification Dresden has re-emerged as a leading cultural and economic centre of Germany. Local businesses include car manufacturing, micro-electronics and pharmaceuticals.

    Source: BusinessTraveller Online - full report by Alex McWhirter

    For more information visit,

  13. Need a holiday?

    Not sure when there is a national holiday in Belarus or Turkmenistan? Do you need to organise trips or send goods overseas and need to avoid the National Holidays in overseas countries?

    If so you might like to take advantage of a very good feature we have found on the Federal Express website.

    Click here to visit the National Holiday page on the FedEx website

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