News Clips for Corporate Travel Management: December 2006

1 Self Booking Tool gets smarter

Amadeus will release Amadeus e-Travel Management v10.0 in December.

The new version will allow the display of multiple fares for a single itinerary, whether the traveller makes a search by schedule or a search by fare. Both return fares and one-way fares can be displayed at once, making it easier for the traveller to select the best combination of flights that will meet his or her needs.

This feature will let the administrator determine the different fare types that will be displayed. Source Business Travel Executive Redline News - For full story click on this link:-

To learn more about e-Travel

2 Innovation for Air Berlin' Corporate clients

German carrier Air Berlin has extended its corporate rates to the UK market, increasing the probability of UK companies using the carrier.

In its home market the budget airline has signed up over 100 major firms and it now hopes its special offer will appeal to companies based here who book large numbers of flights.

"Our volume proposition offers savings of up to 40 per cent with the benefit of ticket flexibility," says UK country manager Titus Johnson. "We have already signed up over a dozen UK-based companies and believe these corporate rates are lower than anything else in the market."

Air Berlin's UK network mainly revolves around Stansted. It operates domestic flights to Manchester, Glasgow and Belfast City. It also flies to Vienna along with a number of cities in Germany including Berlin, Dusseldorf, Hanover, Leipzig and Nuremberg.

Passengers from the UK regions can connect at Stansted for onward services to Germany and Austria.

Unlike other budget carriers Air Berlin serves snacks and drinks free of charge. It also through-checks baggage and operates a frequent flyer scheme.

Source: BusinessTraveller Online

3 A new One at the City

Air One, Italy's privately owned airline, has launched its new service to Milan, Linate from London City Airport.

There will be two flights daily Monday - Friday, departing London City Airport at 10:05 and 17:30, plus a Saturday service departing at 10:05 and a Sunday service departing at 17:30.

Air One operate the service with an Avro RJ70 aircraft, with 70 seats.

Air One offers both a business and economy product. Fares start from £99 one-way including taxes.

Captain Peter Dahlqvist was delighted to launch the Air One Milan, Linate service touching down nine minutes ahead of schedule: "The flight was very smooth and I think all the passengers enjoyed the journey. The fact that it is a direct City-to-City service means it is very time effective, especially for the business traveller."

Looking at the growing demand surrounding London City Airport, Air One feels Italy is an under served market and plan to extend their London network in January 2007 launching a service to Rome, Fiumicino. The schedule will be similar to Milan, offering a twice-daily service Monday - Friday, plus daily departures on Saturdays and Sundays.

In addition to Rome, Air One is considering launching services to Genoa and Turin in February 2007.

Source: Internet Travel News

4 Avis booked in 60 seconds

The launch of Avis Rent a Car's revolutionary new website service marks the next of many changes by the company to make booking a car more customer friendly. Its retail design and functionality is a first for the rental industry and reflects the familiarity of format that those who book and buy online expect.

Avis has simplified the language and tone of the site an information is presented clearly using the latest web building technology. The site is easy to navigate and offers a bespoke service for customers throughout Europe.

The site includes commands familiar on retail websites, but never before included on car rental sites form the basis of Avis' new website. Customers can now register online, creating an account to store all personal and payment details securely, saving time when completing a booking. (this is not in the initial release of the site).

Avis claim that a booking by a customer who has previously created and account, using pre-stored payment details can be completed in under 60 seconds which Avis contend to be the fastest in the industry.

OAG, the global travel and transport information company, has joined forces with the Avis Rent a Car online reservation system.

Customers booking a hire car on the Avis website (or on one of its partner travel sites) will be automatically linked to the OAG flight schedules database.

Having entered their date of collection and flight number the OAG database will then verify the information and auto-fill the booking form based on the flight so you don't have to fill in fields such as pick up city and country yourself. For more information

5 Management Solutions Forum dates confirmed for 2007

Next year's Forums will be held in London in the Hesperia-Victoria Hotel on Tuesday 24th April and Thursday 11th October 2007

These excellent Networking forums where experts are prepared to share their knowledge and experience are continuing to attract interest from buyers and suppliers.

The agendas have not yet been finalised but we will be sending out more information in the coming weeks.

6 The seat you want is only online

British Airways is making changes to the way customers select and book seats on December 5th by Diverting Pre-assigned Seats For Online Check-in.

For the majority of travellers, checking in at will become the best way to secure the best seat because those who check in online will have the most seats from which to choose.

All seats on the aircraft that have not been pre-assigned will be offered for a customer to select. To make more seats available at the time of check-in, the airline is reducing the number of pre-assigned seats.

Pre-assigned seating will be limited to families with young children, first-class flyers, Gold and Silver Executive Club members and those holding fully flexible tickets across all cabins.

This will encourage more passengers to check-in online and print their own Boarding passes which will speed up the check-in process at airports. For more information

7  SAS put a Finger on a new way to handle baggage

SAS Sweden is to launch a new biometric system throughout Sweden.

Travellers use their fingerprint, which is matched to their checked baggage. This makes the check-in process easier and improves security.

The new technology is being launched during November and December at almost all airports served by SAS in Sweden.

The new system, offers many benefits. Travellers register their fingerprint when handing in their baggage and again at the gate.

In this way travellers are automatically matched to their checked baggage.

The new system eliminates the need to show photographic ID as the fingerprint is the means of identification.

After completion of the trip, the fingerprint is automatically erased by the system. The use of fingerprint ID is optional. Those who prefer may still travel with an identity card or passport.

Introduction of the biometric system means that SAS is the first airline to meet the security requirements agreed by the EU in the spring. In the long term, fingerprint reading will take place in connection with all flights within Scandinavia. The technology is expected to affect some 10 million travellers a year.

The system applies at check-in for all trips on SAS' Swedish domestic routes under the "Nya Inrikesflyget" concept.

Source Airline Travel News

8  Save a third of the time travelling between Leeds and London

The fastest northbound GNER service for the 186-mile journey from King's Cross to Leeds will be the 0910, which will take 2 hours 8 minutes. The fastest southbound GNER journeys between Leeds and King's Cross are the 0700 and 0720 from Leeds, which take 2 hours 6 minutes.

The AA's Route Planner advises car drivers that London-Leeds by road takes 3 hours 40 minutes.

These are just two highlights of the new winter timetable, which takes effect on 10th December, which also includes one or more additional weekday services for Peterborough, Grantham, Doncaster and Northallerton.

Currently weekday GNER trains departing London King's Cross for Leeds generally leave at five minutes past the hour or 35 minutes past the hour.

From the start of the new timetable, GNER London-Leeds services that currently depart at five minutes past the hour will now leave Kings Cross at 10 minutes past the hour.

When combined with other minor timetable adjustments, this means that nine King's Cross-Leeds trains will be up to seven minutes faster.

GNER advises passengers to check the new timetable before travelling.

Source: GNER

9 FCm accelerates EMEA plans

Flight Centres Limited's corporate travel arm, FCm Travel Solutions, has named Kevin King as sales director for the EMEA region.

FCm said that 'rapid network growth in central Europe, particularly since the start of our agreement with DER Business Travel in Germany this July this year, has led to the appointment being made six months ahead of schedule'.

Based in the UK, Kevin King will build a European sales team for FCm Travel Solutions including the appointment in early 2007 of an EMEA sales manager and a global bid writer.

King brings some 17 years of TMC experience to the role. He spent six years from 1998 as head of sales at The Travel Company where he was director of sales EMEA for the Synergi network.

Since January 2005 King has been sales director at Business Travel Management (BTM) where he was also responsible for the company's relationship within the global Radius group of travel management companies.

King has also been an active member of the Institute of Travel Management (ITM) since 1998 holding key posts on the supplier committee for some four years. Kevin has been a director of the ITM for the last two years.

Source: e-Tid

10 Swiss switches

Swiss continues to consolidate its Geneva flights at London's City airport (LCY) in favour of Heathrow.

The carrier's Heathrow-Geneva operation is now reduced to a couple of seasonal flights aimed at the ski market. Meanwhile Swiss will expand its London City to Geneva service from four to six flights a day effective December 15th.
The new timings give a better spread of departures allowing a longer stay in Geneva. A new early bird service from LCY at 0650 gets you to Geneva at 0930. In the return direction, a later flight back departs Geneva at 2050 reaching LCY at 2130.

So far this autumn has been a busy one for LCY. At the end of October, Lufthansa began services to Hamburg and Nuremberg while Belgian carrier VLM extended one of its Amsterdam services on to Groningen in north Holland. This new service departs at 1750 from LCY returning from Groningen at 0650.

Then on November 20, as mentioned in NewsClip 3 Air One began daily flights to Milan Linate.

Source: Business Traveller Online

11 VLM adds and grows

VLM, a London City Airport stalwart since 1993, has added further aircraft to its fleet. The Belgian airline now has 19 Fokker 50 turboprops and is currently in the middle of a €2m fleet refurbishment programme. With the added capacity the carrier's new winter programme offers over 50 departures each weekday from the docklands airport.

In spite of serious competition from rail operators LCY to Manchester continues at eight daily, and Liverpool three return flights. Amsterdam is up to 13 departures including a new service which goes on to Groningen. In total the airline serves ten destinations from London City Airport.

Carol Baker has been appointed UK regional manager. Carol was the airline's sales manager since 2003 and previously reservations manager for the scheduled flight division of First Choice Holidays.

Source: Air & Business Travel News

12  Mandarin Oriental opened in Prague

The Golden City celebrated the official launch of Mandarin Oriental, Prague last week with a lavish event attended by some 400 celebrities, dignitaries and society guests.

The festivities also included a lavish dine-around experience, and guests were invited to explore the Spa, signature Essensia restaurant and chic Barego bar before trying their luck at winning a weekend for two at Mandarin Oriental, Prague or the celebrated Mandarin Oriental, New York.

Housed in a former 14th century monastery, Mandarin Oriental, Prague, is set to define a new standard of luxury in the Czech Republic. Superbly located in the Mala Strana district, the 13th century "Little Quarter" and the heart of Prague's rich historic centre, the 99-room hotel is within easy walking distance of the Golden City's major tourist attractions.

Adjacent to the museum of music and only a five minute walk to the beautiful Charles Bridge, Mandarin Oriental, Prague offers the best of the location with a unique Oriental flair.

Source: Hotel Travel News

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