News Clips for Corporate Travel Management: January 2010

  1. Get your kit off - electronically speaking that is!

    Heathrow is to become the first of BAA's six UK airports to install full body scanner. The airport operator said the scanners would be in place "as soon as practically possible".The move came as the US and British embassies in Sana'a were closed for a second day after security threats from a Yemen-based al-Qaeda group that has claimed responsibility for the US attack.

    BAA, the Ferrovial-owned operator that runs six UK airports, said the scanners would be rolled out at Heathrow first.

    Tighter security measure across UK airports have been announced, including checks for explosives on hand luggage and controls on transit, as well as the full body scanners.

    This announcement came after the Dutch government announced their deployment on all transatlantic flights within three weeks.

    The step-up in security at Schiphol airport was announced five days after a suspected Al-Qaeda terrorist, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, attempted to blow up a Detroit-bound jet after changing planes in Amsterdam.

    Nigeria has also announced plans to use the scanners, which are already in use in countries including the US and Germany.

    Unlike metal detectors currently used at UK airports, these scanners can see through clothes and project an image of the passenger's body onto a screen.

    Source: BreakingTravelnews - full story

  2. ACTE - Ground Breaking Pan-Nordic Executive Forum with Live Video Streaming

    In conjunction with the four Business Travel Associations in the Nordic region, ACTE will hold the first ever Pan Nordic business travel educational event using the advances of live video-streaming technology, supported by TANDBERG and Visual Conference Group.

    The main Executive Forum will be held at the Sheraton Stockholm Hotel in collaboration with SBTA (the Swedish Business Travel Association). A live video link will enable senior corporate travel delegates in Stockholm to share discussions and outcomes with satellite groups of their peers located in Helsinki, Copenhagen and Oslo, with the additional support of the Finnish, Danish and Norwegian Business Travel Associations.

    Click here to register.

  3. Moscow move by budget hotel firm

    UK hotel company Umi is opening its first overseas property in Moscow.

    The firm, touted as a luxury budget group, has just two hotels in London and Brighton.

    The company has now agreed a partnership with the owners of the ten-room Petrovka Loft Hotel, Moscow.

    The hotel is retaining its name but has a new logo and website. It will be expanded into a 64-room property including Umi facilities and service levels by 2011.

    Source: TravelMole - full story by Phil Davies

  4. Gatwick Express is once more under threat.

    The ex-National Express service, which ceased to be a standalone operation in 2008, is now run by Southern, and the current operation exists thanks to a compromise reached in 2008.

    As a result of objections from the aviation industry and various consumer bodies over proposals to serve the airport with commuter trains, the Department for Transport intervened. As a result, Gatwick Express trains ran at their existing 15-minute frequency until the end of 2008, but since then have had six trains at peak times extending their route onwards between Gatwick airport to Brighton and vice versa. These services also call at Haywards Heath.

    Now, BAR UK, the industry association that promotes the business interests of scheduled airlines with a UK operation or representation, says that the service is once more under threat.

    Source: BusinessTraveller Online - full report by Tom Otley

  5. Spring 2010 Forum

    Plans are moving ahead at a pace with the support of BCD Travel, Lufthansa,, Hesperia London Victoria Hotel and Buying Business Travel to ensure that the MS-UK / ACTE Global Forums continue to set the standard in the Corporate Travel industry in Europe.

    The overall theme for our Spring Forum is 'Re-engineering the Buying Process'

    Session 1 - 'The Changing Face of the Travel Transaction'
    Session 2 - 'Who delivers What Management Information?'
    Session 3 - 'Comparing and Benchmarking Suppliers: How, Why and When?'

    And finally the Buyers Speak Easy, which should be very busy after the discussions above.

    So please make a note in your 2010 diaries and block off Tuesday 20th April for our Spring Forum which will be held at the Hesperia London Victoria Hotel

    To have a look at our previous Autumn event please click here

    Further coverage of the event will appeared in the January edition of Buying Business Travel - you can also read an article from the Air & Business Travel News here

    More details will be published as the programme develops.

  6. Bespoke opens in Leeds

    Work is proceeding apace on the refurbishment of the 35-room Ellington Hotel in the heart of the financial district in the City of Leeds.

    The Ellington is a speakeasy in style, 35 bedrooms and a splendid dining room with fastidious service and the most comfortable beds in Yorkshire.

    This property originally opened in September 2008 and was managed by Pantin Hotels but after only five months of business went into administration after owner City Retreats Group went bust.

    In March 2009 the Ellington went up for sale at £3 million. One year on, UK hotel operator Bespoke Hotels is relaunching the property, with doors opening to the public in February.

    This is good news for business travellers, as the hotel is in a good location, close to the train station and in the heart of Leed's financial district.

    Source: ABTN - Press Release

  7. Travelodge announces £115 million UK expansion Project

    Budget hotel chain Travelodge is to open 26 new hotels across the UK.

    Owners, Dubai International Capital, said the opening programme would cost in the region of £115 million.

    The expansion will create more than 2,000 rooms and some 500 jobs.

    Three new properties are to open in Edinburgh and two in London.

    Other locations include Chichester, Maidenhead, Canterbury, Chester, Horsham, Hull, Maidstone, Northampton, Rugby and Wincanton.

    Source: ABTN - full report by Martin Ferguson

  8. ACTE welcomes former boss to the board

    South African Jo Lloyd to sit on board of directors

    Members of the Association of Corporate Travel Executives (ACTE) have elected its former Europe boss to the organisation's board of directors.

    Jo Lloyd stood down as ACTE's regional director for Europe the Middle East and Africa some two-and-a-half years ago and has since worked with both Qatar Airways and her present employer, InterContinental Hotels Group.

    But the popular South African, who is based in the UK, has been chosen to serve a three-year term in elections described as "the heaviest" in the group's 22-year history.

    She will work alongside German-based Lutz Stammitz, president of corporate mobility services for electronics firm Siemens, who was also elected.

    Last year Lutz was awarded ACTE's "Advancing the Industry award", the association's highest accolade for professional development contributions.

    Source: ABTN - full report by Martin Ferguson

  9. Glasgow airport upgrade

    Scotland's second busiest airport is to benefit from a £25m investment package over the next two years, with projects including a terminal pier upgrade and a new food court.

    Following the unveiling of a £31m terminal extension last year, the BAA-owned airport is to invest a further £12m this year, and £13m in 2011.

    The airport's main passenger lounge is to be refurbished and a new food court will be added, with upgrades to the airfield taxiway system and runway lighting also planned.

    The airport is also contributing £1 million towards the cost of the M74 extension, aimed at reducing journey times to and from the airport, and says it will invest a total of £85-100m between now and 2014, when Glasgow stages the Commonwealth Games.

    Source: Business Traveller Online - full report by Mark Caswell

  10. China debuts World's fastest train

    China's newest high speed train, the Harmony Express, has taken the title of fastest train in the world.

    It made its premiere run on Saturday, December 26, travelling from Wuhan to Guangzhou.

    With average speeds of 217 miles per hour, the train cut the previously 11-hour journey down to three hours.

    In the next two years, China expects to have 42 more of these high speed rail lines. Currently, the Harmony Express connects Central China to the Pearl River Delta and other towns.

    Siemens in Germany, Alstrom in France and Montreal's Bombardier had hands in helping the $17 billion dollar project take off.

    Source: - full story

  11. Amsterdam - Brussels high speed rail link.

    Thalys introduced their new high speed service in December. With trains on the line reaching speeds of up to 300kph, travellers can now save 49 minutes and be in Amsterdam just 1hr 53mins after departing Brussels.

    Thalys, the train operator owned by France's railway SNCF, its Belgian counterpart SNCB and Deutsche Bahn, says it expects a 65% rise in traffic between Paris and Amsterdam by 2013.

    Amsterdam to London could be possible in less than 4hrs and Paris 3hrs 18mins.

    With rail travel accounting for less than 1% of the European transport sector's greenhouse gas emissions, governments are keen to promote high-speed rail as a clean alternative to air travel.

    Source: AERBT

    For more information on Thalys services click here

  12. American Group extends their reach into Europe

    European travel management organisations have joined forces to form a regional-wide National Business Travel Association.

    The European division expands on the NBTA's existing network in the US and surrounding area.

    It will provide corporate travel professionals with a buyer-led, multinational European business travel and meetings network.

    The Institute of Travel and Meetings was instrumental in setting up the group.

    Source: ABTN - Press Release

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