News Clips for Corporate Travel Management: July 2010

  1. Mayor opens new London hotel

    The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, officially opened Travelodge's 400th hotel at Waterloo and also joined in the party to celebrate the chain's 25th anniversary.

    The 279-room Waterloo hotel is the 34th Travelodge property in the capital and it is planning to open 18 more within the next two years, making it the biggest hotel brand in London by the time of the 2012 Olympic Games.

    To mark the opening of the Waterloo hotel, Travelodge is trialling a free bike hire service allowing customers to see the sights of the capital on a 'Go Cycle', which claims to be the world's lightest electric bike.

    Source: Travelmole - full report by Linsey McNeill

  2. AA OK for Mobile take off

    American Airlines has become one of the first airlines to offer mobile boarding passes for customers departing London Heathrow.

    Heathrow joins 41 US cities where AA and its subsidiary American Eagle already offer the mobile boarding pass option. The airline says it also plans to launch the service across its international network.

    As with mobile boarding passes offered by other airlines, AA passengers can opt to receive a 2-D barcode to their mobile phone, which can then be scanned at security and American Airlines gates. Those wishing to check in luggage can also scan the barcode at AA's self-service machines at the airport.

    Source: Business Traveller Online - full report by Mark Caswell

  3. New Gatwick link opens

    A new shuttle link between Gatwick's North and South terminals opened last Thursday as part of a £1billion pound investment in the airport by the new owners Global Infrastructure Partners.

    The £43m link includes the installation of new shuttle cars, fully accessible for passengers with reduced mobility, refurbishment of the track and an upgrade of the terminal stations. A sensory device will count the number of passengers waiting at the station triggering the operation of the shuttle.

    The link was opened thursday, two months ahead of schedule, by NASA astronaut James von Hoften, who is a member of the Gatwick Board.

    The £1billion investment, to be rolled out over the next three years, will include an upgrade of the South terminal departure lounge, security areas, immigration halls and baggage systems.

    Source: TravelMole - full report by Linsey McNeill

  4. Have Apple will travel

    SITA, in conjunction with Malaysia Airlines, has launched in Kuala Lumper the world's first kiosks to sell airline tickets using the Apple iPad.

    Also introduced at the same time is an Apple iPhone innovation for customers to pick up the best airline deals from nearby airports.

    Malaysia Airlines Managing Director/CEO, Tengku Dato' Azmil Zahruddin, said: "There is huge interest in the iPad MHkiosks in KL. It is as simple as ABC. You select your itinerary, pay with a credit card, and receive confirmation via SMS and email. There is no printing and no admin fee.

    It will mean better queue management at our ticket offices during peak hours when customers can be re-directed to 'stand-alone' iPad MHkiosks."

    The iPhone augmented reality application, MHdeals, will soon be available on-line in Apple AppStore. SITA says this demonstrates for the first time how airlines can exploit the technology commercially as a new channel for ticket sales.

    Further information available from www.sita.aero and www.MalaysiaAirlines.com

    Source: AERBT

  5. Autumn 2010 Forum update

    If you have not reserved your delegate's place at our Autumn event act now before it is too late. Bookings are already being received and as two of this month's articles proves our theme for the day could not be more relevant.

    Theme for the day:- i-travel: the benefits and threats of emerging mobile technologies for company travel purchasing and management.

    The proliferation of new 'apps' and social networks focused on the mobile enabled traveller will offer both threats and benefits. Social networks for travellers will begin to impinge upon a company's ability to get buy-in for travel policies but conversely a range of new applications will enable companies to track and communicate with their travellers like never before.

    Session 1. The distribution of travel products is fragmenting like never before, should buyers try to navigate this minefield or leave it to a third party?

    Session 2. Understanding social networks for travellers and their potential impact on travel policies

    Session 3. What kind of disaster recovery planning and traveller security tools are available in the market currently and what other benefits can emerging mobile solutions deliver for travel programmes?

    Session 4. The 'Buyer Speakeasy' - have your say and probe for answers on the hot topics of the day! Moderated by Bob Papworth, Buying Business Travel's Executive Editor.

    More speakers details will be added to our web page as we receive their information so make a diary note now for Tuesday 14th September. You can book now or register your interest on-line.

  6. Corinthia comes to London with style

    Corinthia Hotels is to open a five-star flagship property on London's Whitehall Place at the end of this year, with average room sizes of 45sqm, and a spa and wellness centre over four floors.

    The 300-room Corinthia Hotel London will be loacted within a Victorian building close to Trafalgar Square, dating back to the late 19th century and formerly housing the Metropole Hotel.

    Features will include British grill and seafood restaurants, a restored Victorian ballroom and adjacent Court Room, an executive club lounge, and seven duplex suites within the building's turrets with views of the River Thames and Trafalgar Square.

    The Corinthia Spa by ESPA will be one of the largest in London, with four floors including treatment rooms, an indoor pool and a 300-piece fitness centre.

    The hotel will join seven other Corinthia properties in Malta, Budapest, St Petersburg, Prague, Lisbon and Tripoli. For more information visit www.corinthialondon.com

    Source: Business Traveller Online - full report by Mark Caswell

  7. P & O Roll on for biggest cross channel ferry

    The arrival of the largest ferries ever designed for service on the Dover Strait has moved a step closer with the first of two new ships being built for P&O Ferries taking to the water.

    The Spirit of Britain, which will become the largest cross-Channel ferry when it enters service next year, was rolled out of its construction dock at the STX Europe shipyard in Rauma, Finland this week.

    The 49,000 tonne super-ferry will operate on P&O's Dover-Calais route from January 2011.

    Construction will now begin on a second P&O mega-ship, which will be named Spirit of France and enter service in September 2011.

    Source: Breaking Travel News - full story

  8. Fly to Rio with TAM

    TAM Brazilian Airlines, which recently became a full member of Star Alliance will use new A330-200s to fly from Rio to both London and Frankfurt from this August. The aircraft, which it is expected will have a three class configuration of 223 seats (4 First; 36 Executive; 183 economy) will commence flights on Monday August 9.

    TAM says that traffic to Rio over Sao Paulo was already strong, and the airline sees part of the advantage of new direct flights to Rio as freeing up capacity on the daily Sao Paulo service (since this includes connections onward to Buenos Aires, Santiago, Lima, etc). There will also be good connections in Rio to onward services to other South American cities and destinations within Brazil, although details of these have not been announced.

    The route is strong for business traffic led from the UK by the oil and gas industry and finance. There is also increasing movement between the two cities because of the Olympic Games being held in 2012 in London and 2016 in Rio. Brazil also hosts the World Cup in 2014, so a lot of people involved with those events, in sectors including infrastructure and planning, are now travelling between the two cities.

    Source: Business Traveller Online - full report by Tom Otley

  9. Emirates Expands and places super order for super jets

    Emirates has placed what it claims is the largest single order for aircraft by ordering 32 Airbus 380 jets.

    The buying spree would cost around $11 billion at the going rate of $346.5m a plane (although one assumes a bulk discount will be on the cards) and will mean the Middle Eastern carrier will have 90 planes.

    Delivery date is 2017.

    The bold order is a sign of chief executive Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum's confidence in his airline's growth. This year it anticipates earning $1.16 billion.

    Source: Travelmole - read the report by Dinah Hatch

  10. Berlin for ACTE

    The Association of Corporate Travel Executives (ACTE) Planning Committee has identified the Themes for the education sessions that will be the basis of its Global Education Conference agenda when it convenes in Berlin on October 3-5. Themes for the education sessions include:
    • Managing Travel Programs in an Environment of Indefinable and Unbundled Vendor Fees
    • Tracking the Best KPIs for Your Program - A Benchmarking Session
    • Managing Multi-Country Travel Programs in a Legally Complex Landscape
    • Integrating Travel Intelligence at the Point of Sale
    • Empowerment of the Business Traveller through Mobile Technologies and Social Networking
    The association's new president, Chris Crowley, described a setting "in which delegates will participate in small, intimate group sessions and work to openly tackle the most challenging issues facing the industry - locally, regional and globally."

    ACTE's talented team of steering committee members recently met and walked away with exceptional ideas and a commitment to creating the best program possible - but don't take our word for it - hear from the committee members directly by clicking here and scrolling down to the bottom of the page to see and hear their comments.

    The ACTE Global Education Conference will convene at the InterContinental Berlin in Berlin (3-5 October). Book now



  11. 20 to 50% discount on hotels this summer

    Hotel Reservation Systems, one of the sponsors of our Forum have announced some spectacular discount deals this summer - some as much as 50% discount.

    A quick look at their website reveals 3-star hotels for just €29 a night - save money while you sleep with the HRS Bargains! Also find 4-star hotels for just €39 a night and 5-star hotels for just €49 a night - only possible with HRS! Please note that the relevant price is only available for a specific number of rooms.

    To learn more check their website at www.HRS.com

  12. New Escape for Manchester

    Manchester Airport has opened a new VIP lounge for business and leisure travellers flying from Terminal 1.

    Passengers can pay to access the £1.7m Escape Lounge, which has separate areas for relaxing and working, a choice of refreshments and, for a quirky touch, a Scalextric track and Wii.

    The airport already has an Escape Lounge in Terminal 2 and it is planning to open one in Terminal 3.

    The airport is also planning to turn a vacant control tower into an additional bar for Terminal 1 later this year.

    Source: Travelmole - read the report by Linsey McNeill

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