News Clips for Corporate Travel Management: August 2005

1  Last-Minute Booking Opportunity

We received this note from our NBTA colleagues in Washington.

“We are two weeks out from NBTA's 37th Annual Convention and Trade Show schedule for 14 -17 August and would love see some additional travel managers from the UK.

Although our Early Bird deadline has past (3 June) we are offering to extend this rate of $525 to all UK travel managers registering. If they book into our official block in San Diego through our official housing partner, VIP, they will receive an additional $50.00 off the registration rate. Therefore getting four full days for $475 USD. What a deal !!! Especially with the advantageous currency exchange rate, pounds to dollars.”

We understand that around 4,500 industry colleagues have indicated that they will be participating this year.

2  Access to the Lounge

Priority Pass has over 450 airport VIP lounges in 245 cities and 80 countries worldwide, giving access regardless of class of travel or airline flown.  Airport lounges provide the perfect escape from crowded departure halls and make working and keeping in touch with the office that much easier.

If you or travellers within your organisation would like to find out how to gain access to these facilities without tying yourself into any one airline programme email abel.smith@prioritypass.co.uk or call Abel Smith by telephone on 020 8253 5095 and find out how you can save up to 70% on the annual membership fee - corporates and organisations can reduce the cost down to as low as £20 per member.

Click this link for further information www.prioritypass.com

3  Forum update

We are delighted to announce that Outtask (see item 12) have now joined AirPlus as co-sponsors of our Corporate Travel Forum on Tuesday 20th September 2005.

Bookings have now passed 65% capacity for this event and if you do not want to miss the opportunity of hearing how other travel managers have dealt with their issues we would encourage you to give us a call to reserve a space now,

Remember that very few problems are being faced for the first time so come and share your’s and let us see if we can solve them together

Our website is still undergoing transition but you should still be able to view the Forum details including the names of the 14 speakers who have so far confirmed their participation

This event will be held at the Thistle Charing Cross Hotel, starting at 09:00 and finishing by 16:45.

Please call 020 8444 7788 or send an email to:-  colin@ms-uk.com  to reserve a delegates space.

4  New BA Corporate Card

Free business travel for SMEs is on the cards after British Airways and American Express announced the introduction of a new corporate credit card. The card, available later this year, will reward SMEs who are members of British Airways Onbusiness programme, with free business travel and BA miles on card expenditure.

Tiffany Hall, head of global sales and distribution for BA said: "The SME market is extremely important to British Airways and we have worked closely with our 13,000 OnBusiness customers over a number of years to deliver tailored products to help maximise their travel budgets where possible."

Exact details of earning potential and redemtopion possibilities will be released later this year. At present, British Airways - American Express credit cards have three other cards available to Executive Club members: the BA American Express Credit Card, Premium card and Premium Plus card. Card members can earn up to 1.5 BA Miles for every £1 spent on the Card.

5  City to Copenhagen

London City Airport will get a connection with Copenhagen this winter on the back of strong demand from frequent users of the airport.

The route is being launched by Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) on October 30, and will be the carrier's first service from the east London airport.

The SAS flight will compete directly with a Copenhagen flight being launched from London City by BA franchise-partner, Sun Air of Denmark, which starts on October 31 with two flights per weekday.

Copenhagen was among a list of destinations mooted by London City managing director, Richard Gooding, as potential new routes for this year, in an interview in the Business Traveller May edition.

Other destinations that are expected to launch in the coming months from London City are Glasgow, Madrid, Milan, Newcastle, Stockholm and Vienna.

Source: Business Traveller

6  United flying into friendlier skies

Last quarter United managed an improvement in operating profits, up from $7 million a year ago to $48 million. Like all other airlines United was hit by rising oil prices, giving a bill for the three months $262 million higher than the same period last year!

Chairman, chief executive and president Glenn Tilton said: "We now have the foundation in place that enables us to continue to build a much more competitive enterprise.

"We have reduced United's costs, we are posting industry-competitive revenue performance and our employees are delivering excellent operational performance.

"Although the harsh economic environment, including very high fuel costs, presents difficult challenges for the industry, United's restructuring has earned us the opportunity to compete for a place among the leading network carriers.

Source:Travelmole

7  Airbus plans to use London City Airport

Good news for travellers favouring London City Airport. Richard Gooding, the airport's managing director, has revealed that plane manufacturer Airbus is keen for its 100-seater A318/319 aircraft to be cleared to use London City's restrictive 1,200-metre runway.

At present almost all jet flights are operated by 95-seater BAe 146 planes but these aircraft have a limited lifespan and are no longer in production. Says Mr Gooding: "Flying the Airbus in is not a problem. It's what to do on the ground. The Airbus is larger and taller than the 146 and our apron space is designed for planes having a smaller footprint."

However, Mr Gooding believes there is an evens chance that the Airbus will arrive at his airport, assuming that certification is granted. The A318/319 is popular with passengers because of smart, wider and quieter cabins. They can also fly further than the 146.

Source: Executive PA Magazine -

8  New Newcastle New York

Transatlantic flights from Britain's regional airports are on the up, with the latest announcement coming from Newcastle International Airport.

The airport, in north-east England, will get its first non-stop scheduled link with New York next year. The American Airlines service will start in May 2006 with a daily flight over the summer and five flights per week in winter.

AA plans to operate the all-economy class service using a Boeing 757 with 188 seats. Fares have not yet been announced but tickets are expected to go on sale next week.

The flight departs Newcastle at 11am and arrives in New York JFK at 1.35pm. The return flight leaves New York at 7.45pm and arrives at 7.40am the following day.

Source: Business Traveller

9  Private Jet Charter made easy

Executive Fliteways (EFI) and Business Jet Class (BJC) have reached an agreement, to make EFI’s fleet available worldwide for booking by travel agents and travel management companies through BJC’s automated marketing and distribution system.

BusinessJet Class launched its automated marketing and distribution system in September 2004 and has secured user agreements to date with more than 2500 travel agency subscribers including several of the top 50 travel agencies and travel management companies.

Source: Internet Travel News

10  Security and Safety - A Case of Common Sense

EAST Coast train operator GNER is reminding all passengers using its trains and stations to keep luggage with them at all times – and so minimise the risk of delay caused by security alerts.

Following the terrorist attacks on London’s transport system earlier this month, GNER staff and British Transport Police are maintaining a heightened vigilance on station platforms and on board trains.

Even so, delays have been caused due to unattended luggage and passengers have been inconvenienced - and that’s why GNER is appealing to everyone to help by keeping a close eye on all belongings while on stations or trains.

Source: GNER website

11  New Executive Director

Paul Tilstone, the former Sales and Marketing Director of P & O Business Travel takes up his appointment at the helm of the Institute of Travel Management today, Monday 1st August, 2005 - we are sure that our readers will join us in welcoming Paul to the tough job of filling the shoes left behind by Loraine Holdcroft who has now moved to new pastures organising the hotel booking industry.

12   Fusing Clicking & Booking

Outtask are bringing total comprehensive looking and booking to the Corporate travel user via their partnership with London Based TRAVELfusion,  this allows users to access low cost airline carriers and Web only fares by bringing in more than 50 additional suppliers to Cliqbook’s extensive travel sources.

Outtask claims to provide customers with the largest portfolio of travel booking information available via a single procurement solution.  for more information visit www.outtask.com

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