News Clips for Corporate Travel Management: January 2011

  1. Meetings on Wheels (high speed that is)

    European high speed rail operator Thalys will start rolling out its new onboard private lounge Le Salon from January 12.

    Aimed at business travellers, each Salon four chairs surround a conference table, equipped with wifi access and plug sockets.

    Passengers booking Le Salon will be given the same services as in Thalys' business class, Comfort 1, which include at-seat dining, wifi access, newspapers and magazines.

    As a guide, to reserve Le Salon on a Paris-Brussels journey, it will cost €600 for a maximum of four people.

    Source: ABTN - story by Sara Turner

  2. Four Seasons returns to Park Lane

    Luxury hotel the Four Seasons London at Park Lane is set to reopen on January 31, after an extensive refurbishment project which has seen a new all-glass top floor added to the property.

    Four Seasons had originally intended to reopen the hotel late last year, but this slipped into 2011, and the group has now confirmed both on its website and Twitter page that reservations are open for arrivals from the end of January.

    The renovated hotel will include a brand new top floor housing a luxury 697sq mtr spa with 360 degree views of the capital, nine treatment rooms including a double suite overlooking Hyde Park, male and female saunas and a rooftop fitness centre.

    Source: Business Traveller online - full report by Mark Caswell

  3. A Purple saving

    Do you or any of your traveller colleagues need to park a car at either Heathrow or Gatwick?

    If so you might like to take advantage of this little offer I just came across.

    If you know your dates and can book your car space before the 17th of January you can get 25% off of parking at London Heathrow Airport during anytime during 2011 or 20% off any other airport parking that Purple Parking have around the UK.

    Full details

  4. Aer Lingus expands London Gatwick - Shannon

    Aer Lingus will start a daily London Gatwick to Shannon service on March 27.

    The flights will leave Gatwick at 06:50 and return from Shannon to Gatwick at 09:00.

    One-way fares start from €24.99 including taxes and charges for travel from March to May 2011.

    Source: TravelMole - full story by Bev Fearis

  5. Spring 2011 Forum

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

    The overall theme for our next Spring Forum currently is 'The Corporate Travel Game - are you a Player?'

    We plan to examine the phenomenon that is Facebook and Twitter and how these new channels of information are being addressed by the Corporate Travel Sector and how their impact is affecting travel management, including how they can be utilised for the benefit of benefit of travellers and management.

    If you missed our event in September you can still get a flavour of the day by clicking through to these pages to see the video interviews and the gallery of pictures taken during the day.

    The Agenda for our Spring 2011 Forum on Thursday 12th May will be published later this week as mentioned above; if you cannot make the May Forum you might like to make a diary note now to ensure that you don't miss our Autumn 2011 event on Thursday 22nd September.

  6. Virgin Brighten the New Year in Trafalgar Square

    EAT your heart out Christina Aguilera - Virgin Holidays workers are the real belles of burlesque.

    The firm's staff this week emulated Xtina's latest movie routines as they attempted to set a world record for the biggest burlesque dance, with dozens gyrating in celebration of the company's January sale and TV ad campaign.

    Source: Daily Mirror Online - click here to read more

    Composed of Virgin Holidays employees and assorted enthusiasts, the group was led by 24-year-old burlesque dancer Kimberley Dunne, who performs under the stage name Kimberley Holladay.

    Over 100 strong, the scantily-clad troupe attracted the gaze of onlookers during the performance. To view some of the record attempt watch this clip

  7. Latest Honda model literally takes off

    Honda Aircraft Company announced four days before Christmas that it had successfully completed the first flight of its FAA-conforming HondaJet advanced light business jet. The event is a significant step in Honda's program leading to delivery of aircraft in 2012.

    After taking off from the company's world headquarters facility at the Piedmont Triad International Airport in Greensboro, NC, the HondaJet remained aloft for 51 minutes, during which time the aircraft's flight characteristics and performance were analyzed and systems checks were conducted.

    As flight tests continue, the company also nears completion of its aircraft production facility on its Greensboro campus. It too is scheduled for completion early this year. As test flights continue, Honda will begin moving equipment and personnel into the facility and undertaking pre-production preparations and training necessary to support HondaJet production ramp-up beginning in 2012.

    Source: Business Travel Executive - full story

  8. Capita Buys BSI

    Last month's acquisition of BSI, which is one of the three largest hotel booking and meetings management agencies in the United Kingdom, will more than double the UK-based business process outsourcing and support services business Capita Group's annual total business travel transaction value in to above £300 million, officials said.

    Capita will retain the BSI brand separately from its Capita Business Travel travel management company in the wake of the £42.5 million December 23 deal. Present BSI managing director Trevor Elswood will serve as managing director of both.

    Capita Group is among the top 100 publicly quoted companies in the United Kingdom. It also owns the rail booking tool Evolvi.

    Source: Business Travel News online - full report by Amon Cohen

  9. Cardiff, Belfast and Luton airport websites relaunched

    The websites for Cardiff, Belfast International and London Luton have been revamped, including the option to customise homepage content according to travellers' needs.

    The simplified homepages of the websites ask users whether they are planning a trip, travelling soon, meeting and greeting passengers or are in search of airport information, allowing visitors to streamline their navigation of the site.

    Frequent users can also customise what content they wish to appear on the website homepages, by choosing from a list of sections including parking, security, executive lounges and shopping. Preferences will then be saved when the visitor next accesses the site.

    The websites also now include enhanced booking engines for car parking, flights, holidays, accommodation, car hire and executive lounge access, as well as link to social media channels.

    Source: Business Traveller online - full report by Mark Caswell

  10. Sabre to downgrade AA

    Sabre has announced it is to terminate its contract with American Airlines (AA) and make the carrier's air fares harder to find on its global distribution system.

    The travel technology firm said it was bringing its deal with the airline to an end to protect the interests of its customers.

    The move is the latest development in a bitter dispute between AA and a number of online travel agents, following the airline's move to a new commercial strategy which involves driving bookers to its Direct Connect product, thereby missing out the intermediary.

    Expedia and Orbitz have already removed fares from American Airlines from their websites.

    Sabre has accused American Airlines of withholding fare content, and has said it will scrap any existing booking discounts for the carrier.

    In a statement a Sabre spokesperson said the company was responding to AA's actions "taken in an attempt to impose a costly, unproven and unnecessary system" on agencies and companies.

    Source: ABTN - full story by Sara Turner

  11. London Overground makes progress

    Trains have started running from Dalston Junction to Highbury & Islington, the latest stage of the East London Line revamp and a big step on the way to creating an orbital railway for London.

    A test train was operated successfully by London Overground on Thursday 6 January 2011.

    That should now clear the way for the ELL extension to be opened for passengers from Monday 28 February.

    It is expected to begin as an "unadvertised" service and a full public service should be fully operational by May.

    Trains from Highbury & Islington will depart every 15 minutes to West Croydon while trains to Crystal Palace will leave every 15 minutes from platform 2.

    The new link was made possible by the completion of the western curve from Dalston Junction station and realignment of North London line tracks from Dalston to Highbury & Islington.

    At Highbury & Islington station, ELL passengers will be able to switch to NLL trains to Richmond and Clapham Junction, the Underground's Victoria line and First Capital Connect services to Moorgate and Hertford/Welwyn Garden City.

    Source: Railfuture - full story by David Berman

  12. CityJet Re-launches Deauville for Winter Season

    CityJet, the airline that flies from the heart of London, announced the re-launch of its Deauville route as a winter destination commencing 7 January 2011. The carrier will operate three flights per week to the Normandy coast town with prices starting from £59 one way, including all taxes.

    The continuance of the Deauville route for winter builds on the hugely successful take up of the route when it was first launched in June 2010 and follows successful forward bookings for select flights over the festive season.

    Says Christine Ourmières, CEO, CityJet, 'There's been very positive feedback to our reinstatement of Deauville for the winter schedule. It's clear that this is a year round destination. Whilst it's mainly a leisure destination from the UK, inbound traffic from Deauville to London has a strong business focus. This, combined with high demand from second home owners with investments in Normandy and the large British ex-pat community in the region, means the popularity of this upmarket getaway is assured.'

    Source: LondonCityAirport News - more information

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