News Clips for Corporate Travel Management: November 2005

1 Air Passenger Duty

EasyJet and FlyBe have been quick off the mark to try to scupper moves reportedly being considered by Gordon Brown. The Chancellor is said to want to double the PD levy from £5 to £10 for short-haul economy-class flights. EasyJet said any increase would be a raid on the pockets of taxpayers and should be fiercely resisted. "It is widely recognised that APD is a blunt tool which unfairly discriminates against passengers on low-cost airlines," the airline added. "EasyJet's average fare for the six months to the end of March was £42. APD at the current rate of £5 is too much, £10 would be an outrage."

Source: Air & Business Travel News;

2  Air Canada Renews Indian link

After a break of four years Air Canada have re-commenced passenger services to the Indian sub continent with services direct from Toronto to Delhi - the only non-stop flight available between  North America and India.

Source: Air & Business Travel News;

3  Virgin commission re-structure

Virgin Atlantic is set to unveil a “radical” commission structure that it promises will reward agents who switch sell clients from other airlines.

Source: TravelWeekly online

4  British Airways re-think

Afer announcing last month that commission to travel agents will be reduced to 1% from the 1st December BA’s head of UK sales, Tiffany Hall, informed the UK’s ABTA travel agents at their convention in Palma on Friday that agent’s will be rewarded with an additional £10 to £15 per booking.

Source: TravelWeekly online

5  Amex profits

On the 27th October American Express Travel Related Services reported record third-quarter net income of $606 million on 8 percent higher year-over-year revenues.

Source BTN Online

6   Virgin Trains leans toward Liverpool

Virgin Trains have introduced their revolutionary Pendolino train on the Euston to Liverpool service, initially on the 1215 Liverpool – London and 0810 London – Liverpool weekday departures.

Over the coming months new units will be introduced and from September 2004 the hourly service from Liverpool to London will take just 2 hours 22 minutes to complete the 194 mile journey, providing passengers with much faster journeys in a superb environment with facilities to plug in laptops or mobiles and enjoy audio entertainment. Pendolino trains currently also serve Manchester, Birmingham and the West Midlands and Preston.

Source: Air & Business Travel News;

7  Lavish hotel kicks minimalist trend

Lavish decor is the trademark of London’s newest hotel, The Bentley, whose opulent style is a clear snub to the minimalist design of many modern properties.

Located in Harrington Gardens, Kensington, The Bentley claims to have 600 tonnes of marble throughout the 64-room property but has not neglected more modern touches such as internet access, touch-screen telephones and an interactive audio-visual system.

Source: Business Traveller Magazine online;

8  Cendant launches Travelport to the Corporate Travel Market in Europe

Travelport will offer corporate travellers, travel managers and travel management companies a unique and customisable business travel solution that they claim will help reduce overall travel management costs by up to 40%. Travelport was recently launched in the United States, where it is already widely used, with more than 275 companies, including large, global, multi-national corporations already taking advantage of what Travelport has to offer


9  Alitalia cuts 1,500 jobs as Financial Year loss widens

Alitalia is to axe 1,500 jobs and outsource a further 1,200 from its total workforce of 21,300 after forecasting a full year operating loss of around Ⓤ410m (£281m).At a board meeting last week, the airline’s directors agreed on a restructuring plan that will also see Ⓤ1.2bn invested to upgrade Alitalia’s fleet over the next three years and a ‘drastic reduction in commercial and distribution costs’, which will be achieved partly by strengthening direct sales channels.


10  Sabre: agent incentives should grow

Sabre Holdings says it expects incentives it pays agencies to grow by as much as $50 million in 2004.

Sabre will be renegotiating between 30% and 40% of its agency contracts in 2004 that are expiring, according to chairman and president Bill Hannigan. "Our expectation is that the market rate for incentives can improve," he added.

He said Sabre is providing more of what was previously called "web fares". Carriers are beginning to differentiate between high and low-cost GDSs.

Sabre is arguing for reduced incentives, in common with competitors, in part because it is getting less revenue from carriers with the spread of discount deals of GDS's.

Source: Ttravelmole

11  Connection insurance free offer by, Europe's only travel site that connects low fares airlines is offering it’s clients Ⓤ100 compensation without insurance on all missed connections on multi-sector low fares flights booked and flown in November 2003.

Launched earlier this year is the website that take the ache out of searching and booking connecting low fares flights in Europe. Openjet also offers travel insurance that pays up when you miss your connecting low fares flights.

12  New jet widens LondonCity horizons

Bosses at London City are celebrating the clearance of a new jet type, which could lead to increased traffic at the airport.

Irish low-cost carrier Jetmagic has introduced a 37-seater, Brazilian-built Embraer ERJ 135 jet on the Cork-London route that it launched in September.

Only two other commercial jet types are certified to fly into the airport. Other commercial flights are served by turbo-props.  Richard Gooding, managing director of London City said: “By increasing the family of aircraft approved to operate, we are potentially increasing the volume of traffic.

Source: Business Traveller Magazine online

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