News Clips for Corporate Travel Management: June 2011

  1. Accountants spark sustainable movement

    During July PricewaterhouseCoopers plans to deploy two electric cars at its London offices from by Hertz car-sharing subsidiary Connect by Hertz the vehicles are intended to reduce taxi journeys as part of the firm's sustainable travel program.

    As part of the pilot program, PwC will install electric charging points for the vehicles at its offices on both sides of the River Thames.

    PwC personnel also will be able to use 16 charging stations in London opened in April by Connect by Hertz when it first made electric vehicles available to the public. In addition, PwC personnel can use another 150 charging points announced on Wednesday by London Mayor Boris Johnson, part of a plan called Source London.

    Connect by Hertz said it is offering more of its UK corporate and university customers the opportunity to add electric vehicles and charging stations to their pool fleets. It charges an hourly rental rate of £4 for electric cars, including insurance, maintenance, cleaning and roadside assistance. There also is an annual membership rate of £50, currently waived for a limited period.

    Source: Business Travel News - full report

  2. Flying Scotsman re-visited

    Rail operator East Coast has launched a new early morning "Flying Scotsman" service between Edinburgh and London, stopping only once at Newcastle and taking just four hours.

    The new service is aimed at business travellers located in the Edinburgh catchment area, as it departs at 0540 and arrives at London's Kings Cross at 0940 to allow a day's work in the capital (however with no Dining Car you will have to be content with just a Bacon Butty from the Buffet if you are travelling in Standard class Ed!).

    The new express service form part of the new East Coast timetable which the operator says adds 19 more weekday services across its network, with 13 additional services on Saturday and nine on Sunday. Among the additions include a new seven days per week service between London and Harrogate, and direct services between London's King Cross and Lincoln.

    Source: Business Traveller - full report by Mark Caswell

  3. Regional expansion for easyJet

    easyJet will base a seventh aircraft at Manchester Airport before the start of the summer season.

    The low-cost carrier said the move underlines its 'commitment to further expansion' in the north west and follows the addition of a sixth aircraft at Manchester on 27 May.

    The airline said it plans to expand at Manchester over the coming years, although exact details have not been revealed.

    In a statement, the airline said the addition of new aircraft 'reaffirms easyJet's position as the north west's largest airline and the region's strategic importance in the easyJet network, due its central location, strong business links and wide catchment area'.

    'easyJet has recently announced plans to commence services from Manchester to Madrid, Berlin and Belfast from this autumn.'

    easyJet launched at Manchester in March 2008 following its acquisition of GB Airways, with five routes and currently carries approximately 1m passengers through the base each year.

    Source: e-tid - full story

  4. Royal Garden Hotel completes refurbishment

    The Royal Garden Hotel in London's Kensington district has become the latest property in the capital to undergo refurbishment ahead of next year's Olympic Games.

    The hotel says it has spent a total of £45 million of the project, with the final stage being the renovation of 154 rooms and suites on the first to fourth floors of the property.

    The new-look rooms are decorated "in neutral calming shades and set off by rich fabrics", with features including iPod docking stations, flatscreen TV and a media hub. All 394 rooms within the property have now been refurbished, along with the meeting and events spaces, two restaurants, three bars, and the hotel's public areas.

    The hotel is one of a raft of properties opening or being refurbished in London ahead of the 2012 Olympic Games.

    Source: Business Traveller online -full report by Mark Caswell

  5. Corporate Travel & Expense Management Forum

    96 people attended our Forum on the 12th May "A truly excellent day" was how one delegate described it.

    If you would like to catch a glimpse of the proceedings and see what you missed you might like to view the videos taken at the event.

    We also had a number of articles published on line including: Our sponsors including BCD Travel, Lufthansa, HRS.com, NH Hesperia Hotel are working with our planning committee for our next event so make a note in your diary now to make sure you attend our next MS-UK / ACTE Global Corporate Travel & Expense Management Forum on the 22nd September 2011.

    What makes our event different - No Powerpoint, No sales pitches - just freewheeling discussion that involves everyone plus loads of Networking including the opportunity to avoid the rush hour afterwards at the Reception.

    Keep an eye on our Forum webpage to view the results of our planning committee

  6. Trainline on the move

    If you or your company use the Trainline for booking rail tickets in the UK you might be interested to learn that you and /or your travellers can now make bookings on the move from the mobile phone in your pocket.

    Trainline announced their new "App" which allows you to
    • Buy train tickets for any UK route
    • Check times and buy regular/favourite journeys
    • Collect your tickets from any self service ticket machine
    • No booking fee, no debit card fee
    All from the comfort of your own armchair.

    The mobile phone App is available now for iPhone, Nokia, Blackberry, Android and a range of other mobiles.

    To learn more click here

  7. Heathrow Terminal 5 opens extension

    Heathrow's Terminal 5 is now even bigger following the opening of a £340m third part of the terminal.

    The new British Airways satellite terminal - called T5 C - provides additional capacity with 12 new boarding gates, eight of which are designed to cater for the new 12-strong fleet of Airbus A380 aircraft joining BA from early 2013.

    The new section will cater for 3m passengers annually and they will be able to access it via an underground train before using an air bridge to get on the airplane.

    Previously, customers had been bussed straight out to flights leaving from the area.

    T5 C is also situated closer to Heathrow's other terminals and with a new dedicated transfer baggage tunnel linking it to Terminal 3 due to open next year, it is hoped that baggage performance will improve for all airlines at the airport.

    Source: E-Tid - full story

  8. Sittingbourne station revamp

    Major work starts next week to make long-lasting improvements to access and facilities for more than two million passengers who pass through Sittingbourne station every year.

    The biggest part of the project is the installation of two new lifts and a footbridge which will create a step-free route between the station entrance and platforms. Funded through the Government's Access for All programme, this will make it easier for everyone to use train services, especially those with reduced mobility, parents with young children or people with heavy luggage.

    The work also includes a series of enhancements to station facilities which will improve the overall travelling experience for passengers. These are being funded through the national stations improvement programme and include:
    • Relocating and increasing the number of cycle parking spaces outside the station
    • Renovating all passenger toilets
    • Creating new waiting shelters on the platforms and a new waiting room on platform 2
    • Repositioning the ticket gates to create more space for passengers in the ticket office
    • Installing a new customer information screen and non-slip flooring in the ticket office
    The main construction work is due to be completed in spring 2012.

    Source: Breaking Travel News - full story

  9. bmi upgrades product on three routes

    British Midland International is increasing capacity and upgrading product on its Heathrow to Freetown, Almaty and Bishkek flights.

    From June 25, bmi will use a wide-bodied Airbus A330 on its flights from Heathrow to Almaty and onwards to Bishkek on Monday, Thursday and Saturday.

    The aircraft will offer 36 Business Class and 196 Economy seats and will replace the leased Boeing 757 that has been operating on these routes.

    From 26 June, flights departing from Heathrow to Freetown on Wednesday, Friday and Sunday will also be operated by the Airbus A330, offering customers the convenience of direct flights with no refuelling stop required.

    Source: Travelmole - read the report by Bev Fearis

  10. New Design on old Square

    Due to open in July the Eccleston Square Hotel is an ultra-modern hideaway in the heart of Central London. With cutting-edge gadgets in every room, it's the perfect place for guests to relax and recharge.

    When guests arrive at Eccleston Square Hotel, an historic townhouse on an award- winning garden square in Pimlico, Central London, they might think they're about to step into an old-fashioned city residence. But instead they will be entering a timeless modern lobby, which dazzles with a black, crystal chandelier and herring bone pattern floor tiles.

    After a £6.5m renovation, this Georgian town house has emerged as an ultra-high-tech urban cocoon, where guests are comforted and soothed by luxurious products and swathes of futuristic gadgets. In all 39 rooms there are blue tooth iPod connections, VoIP phones and programmable 'wake up and sleep' experience that takes control of the curtains, heating and lighting. The 46-inch 3D TVs with 3D Blu-Ray players and hand-made, electronically adjustable Hästens beds are standard in all rooms.

    For more information click here

  11. Car pooling comes to the UK

    Popular in the USA and in France car pooling is coming to Britain but on a commercial basis.

    French company, Comuto, is launching its successful service BlablaCar following a huge success across the Channel.

    The service, known as Covoiturage.fr in France, has been a phenomenal success amongst drivers and passengers alike who are frustrated at disruptions to air and rail transport and hard hit by increasing petrol prices and rising public transport costs.

    The site, founded in 2006, is growing by over 50,000 users per month, not only saving €100m since 2009 but also over 200,000 tons of CO2, making it an environmentally friendly way to travel.

    To use the service, drivers post details of their trip and a suggested price, typically a proportionate contribution. Potential passengers searching for a specific trip then choose whether or not this fits with what they want to pay.

    However it is advisable to speak with your insurance company/adviser to ensure that both you and your passenger/s are covered for such trips, which are not hire and reward.

    Source: AERBT - this and other stories

  12. Bristol to Zurich via Jersey

    Blue Islands, the Channel Islands-based airline, has introduced another double week daily service between Jersey and the English mainland, this time to Bristol. Earlier last month the carrier introduced Jersey to London City. The schedules for both flights also include a single Sunday return service. Bristol is operated by a fully pressurised 19-seat BAe Jetstream aircraft.

    A convenient onward connection to Zurich is also available with Blue Islands via Jersey, offering the quickest journey time to the Swiss city from the South West. Bristol Airport offers extensive transfers for Jersey travellers with over 80 scheduled destinations across 22 countries served by direct flights.

    Blue Islands' "no hidden charges" pricing policy includes free ticket changes and no additional charges for baggage or credit card payment.

    Source: AERBT - this and other stories

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