News Clips for Corporate Travel Management: October 2011

  1. Bmi cuts domestic flights

    Passengers flying bmi between London Heathrow, Manchester and Edinburgh will have less choice from the start of the winter timetable.

    According to flybmi.com the cuts start on October 30. That is when the loss making bmi will reduce the number of Edinburgh services from a maximum of eight to six a day between Monday and Friday. The Saturday frequency drops from six to four while on Sundays bmi will operate five flights to Edinburgh as against seven at present.

    A sharper axe is wielded in the case of Manchester. Monday to Friday frequency drops from a maximum of eight to four daily flights while there will be three daily services at weekends as against four at present.

    By comparison, British Airways' rival schedule to both cities remains broadly unchanged over the same period.

    Source: ABTN - full report by Alex Mcwhirter

  2. Hotel in the Bag or the Pocket

    HRS, a hotel booking portal, last week launched new mobile booking tools aimed at the corporate traveller.

    The innovations include an update of its iPhone app and of its mobile website.

    It said the changes will help business travellers to access discounts of up to 30% off the standard leisure rate in hotels.

    The Hotel Now! app is easier to use, is able to find hotels near where the traveller is and gives 24-hour access to the portal's telephone hotline.

    Jon West, HRS's managing director for the UK and Ireland, said the changes had been made because "smartphones and Tablet PCs are becoming an increasingly important booking method for HRS."

    Source: ABTN - read the report by Stanley Slaughter

  3. Tax slash brings hope for UK air passengers

    The Government is coming under increasing pressure to slash air passenger duty for the whole of the UK after chancellor George Osborne reduced the tax on long-haul flights from Northern Ireland.

    The chancellor announced that APD on long-haul flights from Northern Ireland will be reduced to the same as the short-haul rate from November 1, slashing it from £60 to £12 per passenger in economy and £120 to £24 for business and first class passengers.

    The reduction was announced after Continental Airlines threatened to stop flights from Belfast because of the tax. Industry bodies had also argued that Northern Ireland was a special case because passengers could fly to Dublin with much lower taxes.

  4. Hilton Hotel Terminal 5 Heathrow Airport

    This brand new Hilton hotel, with 350 spacious bedrooms and one of the largest conference spaces in the UK, is just 1 mile from Terminal 5 at Heathrow.

    The hotel set in 13 acres of landscaped gardens has onsite restaurants, bars a spa and ample car-parking. The Gallery Conference Rooms can accommodate up to 1170 delegates theatre style and 800 guests for a banquet.

    The hotel is well situated for the business parks of West London and the Thames Valley and many tourist and leisure attractions including Windsor, Ascot, Wembley Stadium and Twickenham.

    Source: The Guild of Travel & Tourism Newsletter - more information

  5. Autumn Corporate Travel & Expense Management Forum

    Now with 90% of seats already booked for our event on the 3rd November as at Friday 30th September. As you can see there are very few seats now left for our next Forum - which we operate in conjunction with our friends at ACTE-Global. In order to grab one of these last few seats click on online booking details in order to register straight away. Our sponsors including BCD Travel, Lufthansa, HRS.com, NH Hesperia Hotel and AirPlus have all contributed with their minds, as well as their pockets, to our planning committee for our next event so clear your diary now to ensure you do not miss the MS-UK / ACTE Global Corporate Travel & Expense Management Forum on Thursday the 3rd November 2011. The Agenda for the day reads
    • Theme: Are corporate negotiated deals becoming redundant?
    • Session 1: Deal or No Deal?
    • Session 2: The Fine Art of Negotiation
    • Session 3: Online Booking Tools 2.0. What is around the corner?
    • Session 4: Buyers Speakeasy where our delegates on the Day explore matters of current concern.
    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 organised by our oldest sponsors, AirPlus International. 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 new technology must be controlled say travel managers and hidden corporates costs unbundling

  6. Eurostar goes Nomad

    Eurostar will offer customers wifi internet access provided by Nomad Digital Ltd when it launches its new and refurbished stock from 2013.

    The international high speed rail operator said that Nomad had "emerged as a clear winner" to supply onboard wifi connectivity and "state-of-the-art infotainment" for its trains, as part of a £700 million investment in its fleet.

    Refurbished stock will come into operation in 2013, followed by the first of ten new e320 trains in 2014, and both fleets will feature wifi internet access, as well as the ability to view and/or download onboard entertainment to personal devices.

    Eurostar says that the Nomad technology will allow "a high speed connection to the internet at all times throughout their journey, a seamless switchover at international borders and connectivity wherever the customer is seated and whenever it is required".

    Source: Business Traveller online - full report by Mark Caswell

  7. DB from St Pancras direct to Cologne or Frankfurt

    German rail operate Deutsche Bahn has confirmed it will launch services through the Channel Tunnel in 2013.

    Initially the operator will offer departures between London St Pancras International and Brussels, with a view to expanding to Amsterdam (via Rotterdam), Cologne and Frankfurt.

    DB will use its newly built ICE 3 (class 407) for the service.

    The train operator argues this will reduce the travel time from London to Cologne and Amsterdam to less than four hours and to Frankfurt to just over five.

    DB submitted an application in July for fundamental approval for its ICE trains to use the Channel Tunnel the Intergovernmental Commission (IGC), the safety authority responsible for this. Deutsche Bahn had previously outlined its plans following a series of safety tests earlier this year.

    Source: Breaking Travel News - click on this link to read the full story

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  9. London Luton launches Lodz

    London Luton Airport and low fair carrier Wizz Air have unveiled another new route.

    Launched on the 13th September 2011 the service to Lodz, Poland operates three times per week from London Luton Airport. Prices start from £17.99 one way including taxes and charges.

    The airline reached a landmark this summer having carried more than eight million passengers from London Luton since its launch at the Airport in May 2004. This reflects the Airline's increasing popularity as the carrier of choice to over 20 Central and Eastern European destinations.

    Source: Breaking Travel News - full story

  10. Get Up in the Air with Ryanair Passport

    From October 4 the only way to avoid Ryanair's £6 each way "admin fee" will be to take out its new Ryanair Cash Passport Mastercard prepaid card.

    Those using the card to purchase tickets online at ryanair.com will not have to pay the carrier's £6 per person per flight admin fee, which Ryanair says "relates to the costs associated with Ryanair's booking system".

    Cardholders will also avoid payment transaction fees for Ryanair flight purchases made online, and until March 31, 2012 no fees will be payable on any UK purchases made using the card.

    Note that the card - managed by Access Prepaid Worldwide - costs £6, but cardholders will receive a £6 travel voucher towards a Ryanair flight.

    From October 4, all UK bookings made with any credit or debit cards, including any UK Mastercard prepaid card other than the Ryanair Cash Passport card, will be liable for the £6 per flight admin fee.

    Source: BusinessTraveller Online - full report by Mark Caswell

  11. Etihad rolling out wi-fi on European flights

    Etihad Airways will provide onboard wireless internet on selected routes to Europe before the end of the year.

    Speaking today at the World Broadband Forum in Paris, Etihad CEO James Hogan said: "I can tell you that Etihad will have two aircraft with operational onboard internet by December this year, and five aircraft by March, 2012." Three of those five aircraft will be Airbus A330-300s, which will operate between Abu Dhabi and cities like Frankfurt, Geneva, London, Munich and Paris.

    Hogan added that it is at the point of settling on a fleet-wide Error! Hyperlink reference not valid. solution for the years to come.

    He added airlines around the world now faced pressure from customers to make broadband internet access standard on all flights, but cautioned the industry to invest wisely in wireless innovation.

    Source: BusinessTraveller.com - full report from Dominic Ellis

  12. No Dollar for Avis

    Avis Budget Group is dropping its year-long pursuit to acquire Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group, according to reports.

    The rental car company confirmed on Wednesday that it had 'decided not to pursue a transaction at this time in light of current market conditions', leaving Hertz as the sole bidder.

    Avis Budget and Hertz Global Holdings - the US's second and third biggest car rental operators, have been in a bidding war for Dollar Thrifty for the past 16 months. Dollar Thrifty has established itself in the low price market, offering leisure travellers value for money.

    Hertz and Avis have made at least six offers each to acquire Dollar Thrifty, according to reports - with Hertz making the highest offer to date - reportedly worth more than $2 billion.

    According to reports, Dollar Thrifty had instructed Hertz and Avis Budget to submit their final offers by October 10th.

    Source: Business Travel News - full article

  13. Train delayed until Autumn 2013

    A fleet of new electric multiple units is set to be built for London Midland and First TransPennine Express.

    The trains will be the latest version of the Siemens Desiro UK series, and probably built at Krefeld in Germany.

    The order, for around 18 of these 4-car trains, is being led by London Midland and will be subject to approval by the Department for Transport. If it goes ahead, just over half of the new fleet will be transferred to TransPennine Express, for use between Manchester and Scotland.

    Under the DfT's earlier procurement proposals new trains should have arrived in the spring of this year, but the electric Desiros are now expected to be delivered from the autumn of 2013, with the first sets going to TransPennine.

    Source: Railnews - full story

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