News Clips for Corporate Travel Management: December 2005

1  Virgin Nigeria launches

Virgin Nigeria, the fully private sector airline of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, is beginning operations from London Gatwick into Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Lagos.

Flights will operate from Gatwick departing on Mondays, Thursdays and Saturdays and return on Tuesdays, Fridays and Sundays into Gatwick. Virgin Nigeria previously operated services from London Heathrow to Lagos.

Graham Keddie, Chief Commercial Officer of Virgin Nigeria, commented: “We are delighted to be flying from London Gatwick and we see this as a good step in our effort to make travel more accessible for our customers, offering them a whole new experience.

Source: Internet Travel News

2  Hotel chain Cut Prices to win business

Budget hotel chain Travelodge is to offer 100,000 rooms for £10 per night over a 12-month period in a bid to win custom from the market leader Premier Travel Inn.

A further 500,000 rooms will be offered at £26 per night over the same period. Travelodge said each of its 280 properties had been reviewed ‘in order to undercut prices of the key competition in every location’ and it would now offer just three price bands, supersaver (£10), saver (£26) and flexible. This 'aggressive new pricing strategy' is expected to result in £20m of price cuts.

Grant Hearn, Travelodge chief executive, commented: ‘Budget hotels are about offering a quality night’s sleep at a low price. Our competitors have lost sight of this – we will not. With our rivals constantly raising prices, we are now the only true budget hotel offer in the UK. We can sell rooms at £26 but our competitors cannot.’


3  Are we prepared to pay the price of being green?

Airlines have been slow to address their environmental impact and are only now introducing policies such as carbon offset schemes to do so. But are business travellers and their companies willing to pay the price to be green?

If the British government and environmental watchdogs have their way, the aviation industry will be compelled to join the European Union’s emissions trading scheme in 2008, a move that could lead to higher airline prices. Under the scheme, the airlines would be assigned a carbon-dioxide emissions limit based on their existing routes and aircraft fleet.

Carriers would have to purchase the right to emit more carbon dioxide from the market if they wanted to exceed that limit, a likely scenario if an airline wanted to change or expand its network or fleet.

“Most business travellers don’t think about the environment. They think about price and whether they will get caviar and champagne onboard so it is unlikely that any mandatory green surcharge would be acceptable,” says John Melchior, a hospitality consultant who racks up about 150 flights per year.

Source: Times Online

4  Later Eos

Eos, the US all business class airline, has put back the timing of its London Stansted to New York JFK flight as of December 1st

Currently the westbound flight by 48-seater B757 departs London Stansted at 10.30 but from December 1 it will leave at 19.05 to reach JFK at 21.09. The inbound service will continue to run to existing timings: 19.05 from JFK arriving Stansted at 07.30.

A spokesperson for Eos said, "The time change has been driven by customer demand. Passengers have reported that they would rather leave London later in the day and arrive in New York in the evening rather than mid afternoon."


5  Will the last BA Manager left sitting please turn out the light......

British Airways plans to cut 35% of its senior and middle management positions, or nearly 600 jobs, by March08.

The company plans to carry out the reduction in the number of senior managers in three phases. Phase one will see 94 of the top executives (23%) leave the business by end-March06. Further reductions will continue during the next two years with the 50 per cent target achieved by March 2008.

Full proposals and a timetable for achieving the planned 30 per cent reduction in middle managers will be developed and communicated by March 2006.

Willie Walsh, chief executive, said: "We must lower our costs so that we can fund future investment in our business. Today marks the start of a renewed effort to deliver our goal of a 10 per cent operating margin.


6  Spring Forum continues to take shape

Management Solutions (UK) Limited are delighted to announce the support of Outtask, the producers of Cliqbook and Vinnet ( as sponsors of our their Tenth Forum being held on the 8th March 2006 at the Hesperia Hotel in Victoria.

There is now free wireless internet availability throughout the hotel which will allow the sponsors of our event to fully demonstrate their capabilities.

The line up for the day looks like the following:

  • Effective procurement of a Travel Management Company - How can TMC’s & Corporates work together to promote T & E as a senior commodity to senior stakeholders.
  • Self Booking Tools - selecting the right one?
  • The value good procurement can add to the travel purchasing process (hopefully including a case study from a procurement professional - any offers from anyone?) - Practical Travel Management.
  • Expense & Control management using Credit cards or lodge cards.

Details of speakers will be announced in the next few weeks.

We have already Registered a few delegates - if you want to make sure of your space please just send an email to us with the word REGISTER in the subject box and we will ensure that you receive priority booking status when bookings open.

7  Airbus connections

Bristol and Hamburg, two centres of Airbus production, were to be joined from 28th November by a new service operated by OLT Airlines which goes through Bremen, linked for the first time outside London.

Initially Saab 340s will be used for the operation, offering a business class type service featuring a full breakfast or dinner, complimentary drinks and leather seats.

Source:- Air & Business Travel News

8  Chambers Evolvi - lution

Chambers Travel Management became the launch agency for Evolvi - the new online British Rail booking and self ticketing system. Chambers installed their first printer in Edinburgh in late August and the client is already enjoying savings in the region of 60% in fees.

Grahame Weeks, Managing Director of Harry Weeks Travel, the developers of Travelpack Online reported that Forty of the leading Travel Management Companies had now signed up for the Evolvi version of their revolutionary booking and ticketing system.

9  Newcastle to City now Quicker

Newcastle is to become the latest domestic city to be connected to London City Airport with the introduction of a four times daily service to the east London airport.

The Eastern Airways operation is due to start on Monday 30 January and will be operated by a single class Saab 2000. On offer during the 70 - minute flight will be snacks, a complimentary bar and champagne.

Early morning passengers on the 0705 departure could arrive at the Bank of England well before 0900 using the Docklands Rail link (which should also be open by then).

Connections can also be made to European mainland points not served directly from Newcastle. Newcastle city centre is also joined to the airport in 25 minutes by the Metro with up to six trains per hour.

Source: Air & Business Travel News

10  Volvo sign global deal with SAS and Star

SAS and Star Alliance have signed what they are calling a "unique" corporate deal with Swedish car maker Volvo.

Under the two-year global deal, SAS and the 16-strong airline alliance will become the company’s main supplier of air travel.

The deal which involves 12 of Star's members, will give Volvo access to "favourable prices", in hundreds of destinations in 14 countries.

Ágústa Ólafsdóttir, global account manager SAS, said Volvo were in talks with both Star and rival alliance SkyTeam before selecting the former.

Source: Business Travel Europe

11  Extracted from Executive PA Magazine online

Top ten tips on how to survive the Christmas party

  • Avoid disappointment – as soon as this year's party is over, book the venue again for next year.
  • Avoid being left with the bill – if you're the one collecting deposits, give everyone a firm deadline and stick to it.
  • Make it a night to remember – don't overdo it with the drinks at the reception. Save yourself for later so that you get to enjoy the whole evening!
  • Order your taxi beforehand – don't leave it to chance on the night.
  • Girls – remember to wear your 'Party Soles' in your shoes. You don't want blisters by the end of the night.
  • Don't forget to confirm any special dietary requirements – can't have the boss going hungry!
  • Keep your responsibilities to a minimum and don't get caught up in booking hotels. Put together a list of local hotels and let people book their own room.
  • Get it right next year by asking for feedback after the event.
  • Always have just one point of contact at the venue and establish a good rapport. That way you can relax and enjoy the evening along with everybody else.
  • Give yourself the next day off – book the following day as a holiday well in advance before it's too late.

Tips provided by Kempton Park Racecourse

12  Get access to First Class Lounges without a First Class ticket

Access to 450 Airport lounges can now be obtained for only £69.

Priority Pass provides airport lounge access irrespective of who you are flying with, what class you are travelling in, or whether you belong to an airline lounge program.

As a member you will enjoy the following privileges at airport lounges around the world: 

  Peace and quiet - the chance to relax before your flight 

  Refreshments and snacks - no need to queue for expensive airport food 

  Full use of facilities - most lounges offer phones, fax machines, email, Internet access and even conference rooms. 


So if your flight is delayed, cancelled, or you simply have a few hours between flights then spend them in the comfort of an airport VIP lounge, away from the chaos of a busy airport terminal - with Priority Pass membership.

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