News Clips for Corporate Travel Management: April 2012

  1. Is Heathrow's third runway back on the table?

    Is the possibility of a third runway at Heathrow really back on the agenda? Or has the penny just dropped with the government about the lack of air capacity in the south east.

    Airlines, airports and the wider travel industry have been pushing the message about the lack of air capacity around south-eastern England ever since the coalition government came to power nearly two years ago.

    So if it's not to be the third runway, what can the government do? Cameron last week talked up Gatwick as "emerging as a business airport for London" during his speech on improving the UK's infrastructure. There has also been speculation over the weekend about the possibility of using RAF Northolt, which is around six miles from Heathrow, as an alternative to the third runway.

    Has the government finally grasped the nettle that the day is already late in terms of adding capacity now? Cameron warned last week that its plans - when they are finally revealed - will be "controversial" which at least suggests that the government may be prepared to take tough decisions. Although given the delicate balance of the coalition, the chances of some sort of "fudge" or half-baked solution has to be high.

    It's interesting to note that Heathrow has over the last four months been running a trial allowing the airport to use its two runways for both landings and take-offs (known as dual use), instead of the usual practice of alternating runways. While this has so far been touted as a way of reducing delays (a second trial is planned during the Olympics in the summer) rather than adding flights, it could also be a way of increasing capacity. Although whether it would be acceptable politically is far less clear cut, as is any potential rise in night flights into Heathrow.

    Source: ABTN - full report by Rob Gill

  2. A First class welcome at Kings Cross

    East Coast was joined by former Olympic gold medallist Jonathan Edwards at an event to mark the opening of its new First Class Lounge at London King's Cross station.

    The lounge has been opened to the public (Monday, 19 March 2012) to coincide with the launch of the new Western Concourse at the station - a stunning glass and steel roof structure, which complements the Grade-1 listed station's heritage, whilst creating a space for passengers that is three-times larger than the current concourse.

    East Coast's opening event gave key stakeholders along the East Coast Main Line a sneak preview of the new First Class facilities available to East Coast customers travelling to and from London.

    Accessed from the new Western Concourse, the lounge is a contemporary area boasting modern facilities for customers and has been sympathetically designed to complement the re-development work being undertaken at King's Cross. Including free Wi-Fi and complimentary refreshments, it is a further addition to the East Coast First Class product.

    Finished in a striking range of lime green and aubergine decor, the lounge took 12 months to create. It features displays showcasing a range of artefacts loaned by the National Railway Museum, while pieces of artwork depicting the station's heritage, by artist Anne Howeson, adorn the walls.

    Source: Breaking Travel News - full story

  3. Easyjet to start allocated seating trial

    Easyjet is commencing with its trial of allocated seating on a select number of routes from Luton and Glasgow, the airline announced on last week (27-03-2012).

    Flights from Luton to Sharm El Sheikh, Malaga, Alicante and Istanbul, and from Glasgow to Alicante, will all see the trial introduced over the summer.

    The trial will see passengers travelling on one of the trial routes being notified in advance of the allocated seating. All passengers will have a seat allocated to them and the seat will be clearly marked on their boarding pass when passengers check in online or at the airport. Passengers who wish to select a seat will be able to do so (subject to availability).

    There will be three bands of pricing, dependent on the seat selected.

    £12 for extra leg room (front row and exit seats)
    £8 for up front seats (rows 2-5 on the A319 or 2-6 on an A320)
    £3 for any other seat

    If passengers do not pay to select their seat, then one will be allocated for them. For passengers with the Easyjet Plus Card, which currently allows Speedy Boarding, seat selection will be included in the annual price (currently £120). Those who select their premium seats will be allowed to board first.

    Source: ABTN - full report by Tom Otley

  4. IHG Unveils New Brand Created Specifically For Chinese Market

    InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) has launched HUALUXE Hotels and Resorts, an upscale, international hotel brand designed specifically for the Chinese traveller. HUALUXE translates from Hua, which means "majestic China," and luxe, representing luxury. The new brand will launch initially in Tier 1, 2 and 3 cities and resort locations in China and in time, will open in major cities elsewhere in the world so that Chinese travelers can have the same experience abroad.

    With the HUALUXE brand, IHG is tapping into a trio of growth markets: consumer demand for an upscale international hotel brand that demonstrates pride in Chinese customs and reflects local tradition; the domestic China opportunity, whereby the number of domestic travelers is expected to reach 3.3 billion in 2015 and the China hotel market is projected to grow by as much as 8 percent annually by 2030: and the international opportunity, where outbound trips from China are projected to grow from 10 million to more than 100 million in the next 10 to 15 years.

    Source: BTE - full story

  5. MS-UK & ACTE-Global Corporate Travel & Expense Management Forum

    We are delighted to announce that 50% of Delegates spaces have already been sold for our 23rd Corporate Travel & Expense Management Forum, which is scheduled for the 15th May in the Lion Suite of the elegant 5 star City Grange Hotel, which is situated within yards of the Tower Bridge Underground station and overlooking the medieval wall of London.

    Our planning committee is working hard on the finer details for the Spring event, the theme of which is currently "The Changing Face of Travel Management and Procurement".

    Session 1: Compliance or free for all? The burning question
    Session 2: Rising taxation in a static market - have you got a handle on it?
    Session 3: RFP - R.I.P.?
    Session 4: The 'Buyer Speakeasy'

    Full details of theses sessions can be seen on our website www.ms-uk.com/travel-forum.html

    Pictures and videos of previous Corporate Travel & Expense Management Forums



    You can make sure of your place at this key industry event by clicking here.

  6. Sustainable growth of Asia-Pacific economies through air travel

    Over 24 million jobs and $470 billion in GDP in the Asia-Pacific region are supported by aviation, according to a new report released last week at the Aviation and Environment Summit in Geneva. The report, Aviation: benefits beyond borders, was produced by the Air Transport Action Group (ATAG) and Oxford Economics. It outlines an industry that plays a larger role in both the Asia-Pacific and global economy than many would expect.

    For Asia-Pacific forecasts indicate that passenger numbers are expected to almost triple from 779.6 million in 2010 to over 2.2 billion in 2030. Meanwhile, cargo volumes are projected to rise at a similar rate of 6.3% per annum.

    The report, available at www.aviationbenefitsbeyondborders.org, also outlined the role aviation plays at a global level, supporting 56.6 million jobs worldwide and $2.2 trillion of the world's GDP. There are some 1,500 commercial airlines using nearly 24,000 aircraft to serve 3,800 airports around the globe.

    This report highlights the fact that the Asia-Pacific region already accounts for 34% of passenger traffic worldwide, ahead of both Europe and North America (27% each), led by dynamic growth in the major emerging economies. Looking ahead, the Oxford Economics analysis suggests further growth can provide an additional 1.4 million jobs in aviation across the region by 2030 - and if you include the tourism benefits, up to 4.6 million jobs.

    Source: Breaking Travel News - full report

  7. BA to launch London City-Venice route

    British Airways is to add to its growing number of routes served out of London City, with a new service to Venice launching in September.

    Business Traveller was alerted to the news by industry website airlineroute.net, and a look at BA's online reservations shows that flights are already loaded into the system, for travel from September 17.

    Flight BA8479 will depart London City at 1100 on weekdays and 1500 on Sundays, arriving at 1405 and 1805 respectively.

    The return leg BA8480 will leave Venice at 1445 on weekdays and 1900 on Sundays, landing back into London City at 1550 and 2005 respectively.

    Flights will be served by BA's Cityflyer subsidiary with Embraer E190SR aircraft.

    BA currently serves Venice's Marco Polo airport from both Heathrow and Gatwick, while Ryanair flies between Stansted and Treviso airport (located about 20 miles from Venice city centre), and both Easyjet and Monarch operate between Gatwick and Marco Polo.

    Source: Business Traveller online - read the report by Mark Caswell

  8. Future Inns Cardiff Bay gets 'smart technology' to hotel rooms

    Acentic, a leading supplier of broadband systems and digital interactive TV (iTV) for the hotel industry, announced today that it is providing its latest SMART IPTV solution combined with Horizon high-speed internet connectivity to Canadian hotel brand's first UK hotel; Future Inns Cardiff Bay.

    Future Inns Cardiff Bay is the first hotel in Europe to benefit from Acentic's new IPTV solution, offering its guests a wide range of digital Freeview TV, HD and radio channels. Its 200 guest rooms and suites have been installed with the new technology providing an upscale in-room experience.

    Utilising the hotel's existing IP network, Acentic has installed its SMART IPTV solution together with LG's LD650 smart LCD TVs that enhance picture and sound quality, while promoting the hotel brand when switching on the TV.

    The smart solution eliminates the need for external hardware or additional cabling replacing the set-top box with a sophisticated software application that fully supports all functionality and on-screen usage.

    Source: BreakingTravelNews - full report

  9. 'Bizcations' new word for the new mini-break

    You've heard about the 'Staycation' and the 'Daycation' and now in this tough economic climate, we're seeing proof that business trips are being seen as the new mini-break - the 'Bizcation'.

    35% of business travellers surveyed have said they see overnight business trips as a break from routine with 19% looking forward to exploring a new city, according to a Survey conducted by hotel group Jurys Inn and Cross Country Trains.

    Of the 1000 business travellers surveyed, a quarter admitted to looking forward to a business trip, with London (22%) being the most popular UK business destination followed closely by Birmingham (16.2%) and then Brighton (16.1%).

    A quarter of business travellers also saw an overnight hotel stay prior to a business meeting as proof they are valued by their employer and one in three people will opt to stay overnight before a meeting to ensure they are there in time and refreshed for the day ahead.

    Despite common misconceptions, nearly 85% of business travellers in a relationship do not argue with their partners about the number of business trips they take, indicating partners understand work commitments and welcome taking a break from each other. Business travellers were quizzed over the delicate question of fidelity: over 70% of those questioned had never experienced a "brief encounter" whilst travelling for business and of those that had, over a third had regretted it but nearly 10% had formed a relationship afterwards.

    Source: BreakingTravelNews - full report

  10. Mystifly Launches MyFareBox in the UK

    Mystifly is an anywhere to anywhere travel consolidation & aggregation company. MyFareBox is Mystifly's unique B2B platform that offers access to lowest airfares to tour operators, travel agents, travel management companies and online travel agents.

    MyFareBox is a dynamic multi-GDS and low cost carrier content aggregation platform that is designed to access airline inventory to make bookings from Anywhere-to-Anywhere around the clock. This means travel professionals in the UK can book air tickets for travel originating from not only within UK but any country in the world to anywhere at a price that is cheaper than any other published fares by upto 50%.

    Also they no longer have to depend on local suppliers from that country to access inventory. With MyFareBox they would now be able to search and book local, contracted and discounted fare in over 900 airlines from 50+ countries, all at one place.

    MyFareBox offers these special fares across geographies as net fares and users can add their mark-ups while issuing tickets to their clients.

    In other words, procuring flight tickets at a much lower price and being able to adjust mark-ups based on their business objectives will allow travel organizations to stay competitive and profitable.

    MyFareBox is available in two variants - one is the agent version where users can directly log into the application over the internet. The other solution is called OnePoint Webservice, that allows MyFareBox content to be is integrated into the existing travel portal or any other sales channels of the travel organization.

    Source: Travelmole - full story and further details

  11. Japan Airlines takes delivery two 787 Dreamliners

    Boeing and Japan Airlines (JAL) are celebrating the delivery of the airline's first two 787 Dreamliners. JAL is the first airline to take delivery of a 787 powered by fuel-efficient General Electric GEnx engines.

    The 787 Dreamliner is more efficient to operate and has lower fuel use compared with today's similarly sized airplanes because of use of light weight composites and advancements in systems, engines and aerodynamics.

    The Boeing 787 Dreamliner is features a host of technologies that provide value to airlines and comfort to passengers. Capable of flying long-range routes, it enables airlines to open new, non-stop routes.

    Ssource: BreakingTravelNews - full story

  12. Control freaks going global?

    As Easter approaches, plenty of people besides you (and possibly your family) take an interest in your travel plans. But starting this month, another organisation has British travellers in its sights: the US Department of Homeland Security.

    The Americans take an understandably close interest in the identities and motives of everyone flying to the US. Before any trip to the 50 states, you must reveal your plans to the American authorities. They then make "pre-flight comparisons" against watch lists belonging to a multiplicity of agencies, including the FBI - and even the Center for Disease Control's "Do Not Board" list. If your details match someone, you are off the plane.

    Up to now, there has been a simple way to eliminate the danger of being denied boarding: don't buy a ticket to America. But as The Independent revealed this week, you may now fly to Mexico, Cuba or eastern Canada only if the US authorities agree.

    The Department of Homeland Security requires airlines to send passengers' full names and dates of birth at least 72 hours ahead of departure. And that plane may leave the gate only when the US says so. A spokeswoman insists: "The US government has the authority to refuse entry into its territory any flight it deems to present a threat to its security."

    Consequently, British passengers flying to popular destinations such as Havana and Cancún, as well as to the major Canadian cities of Toronto, Montreal, Ottawa and Halifax, face the prospect of being barred from a flight by officials of a country which they do not want to visit.

    Source: The Independent - read this fascinating, and somewhat worrying story

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