News Clips for Corporate Travel Management: July 2005


July 1st saw the arrival of the world’s newest Travel Management Company - FCm Travel Solutions which is headed up in the UK by Alan Spence, the former owner of Brittanic Travel.

Alan’s Britannic Travel, which held the UK licence for TQ3 Travel Solutions since 2001, was acquired by the Australasian travel group Flight Centre Limited in March 2003 and officially became FCm Travel Solutions on July 1st.

Britannic Travel was established by Alan Spence in 1968 as a freight forwarding company, expanding into business travel three years later.  Over the next 30 years the company grew to become one of the most successful, independently-owned travel management companies in the UK.

FCm Travel Solutions already operates across the burgeoning Asia-Pacific region including Australia, New Zealand, China, Hong Kong, Singapore and India, as well as South Africa, USA and Canada.  The UK and EMEA launch will mean FCm Travel Solutions can provide services in over 50 countries worldwide.

2  Who is following the money?

Delegates at the recent ACTE meeting in London received some alarming facts and information. 

The results of a recent survey amongst ACTE members in the EMEA region showed that 64.3%  did not know what their company’s expenditure was on meetings and events last year!

Even more disconcerting was the emerging fact that a whopping 73.2% had no breakdown of meeting spend by agency and category including commissions.

3  Forum update

We are delighted to confirm that bookings have already reached 50% capacity for our AirPlus sponsored Corporate Travel & Expense Management event on 20th September.

If you need to manage & control Travel Expenditure - then come along and learn from experts and your contemporaries.

Do you need to deliver comfort as well as value for money for your corporate travellers?

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

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

4  Outtask Connects where others cannot reach

Outtask the world’s leading independent provider of corporate travel and expense (T&E) automated solutions continues to provide corporate customers with access to the widest variety of airfares through a mixture of sources

Outtask has announced a direct connection to JetBlue Airways inventory, with access to all the carrier's fares and availability, through its Cliqbook corporate booking tool. Cliqbook has been providing JetBlue flight information to its corporate customers since the carrier entered the travel arena early in 2000.  In July 2004, Outtask added access to JetBlues' CompanyBlue corporate reporting tool, augmenting the reporting capabilities in Cliqbook's existing travel reporting.

JetBlue ceased listing any of its inventory on a GDS this past January, when it left the Sabre system after having already exited Worldspan and Galileo. Outtask says that self-booking now on JetBlue can lower transaction fees by more than 40 percent.

5  Frankfurt’s faster

Checking in at Germany's busiest airport is set to become easier following the introduction of self-service kiosks.

The introduction of the kiosks at Frankfurt Airport this autumn will speed up the check-in process and reduce queues according to the airport operator. Unlike check-in kiosks at other airports, the machines can be used by multiple carriers –in this case 42 airlines and ground handlers.

However, airlines including British Airways and Lufthansa will continue to operate their own check-in kiosks at Frankfurt Airport as well as utilising the general use machines.

At first eight kiosks will be installed at the airport, with further added if demand is strong. Operators of the airport hope that by 2010, more than 60% of the 50 million passengers who use the airport each year will check-in using the kiosks.

Source: Business Traveller

6  First Conrad in Japan

The 1st July also saw the opening of the latest Conrad Hotel, this time in the Shiodome district of Tokyo, Japan.

This luxurious hotel combines the legendary Conrad excellence with traditional Japanese comfort and hospitality. Exemplary in its architecture and interior design, the hotel occupies the top ten floors of the Tokyo Shiodome Building, a 37-storey multi-purpose tower offering panoramic views over Hamarikyu Gardens, Rainbow Bridge and Tokyo Bay.

Conrad Tokyo caters for corporate and leisure markets, featuring 290 luxurious rooms - of which 68 are suites - and setting impressive new industry standards with a minimum room size of 48sqm, three-metre high ceilings and floor-to-ceiling picture windows.

Source: Hotel Travel News

7  Scottish Agency Leads in Race for IATA’s Paperless Future

Kenneth Macleod Travel, based in Milngavie near Glasgow, has become one of the first travel agencies in the UK to take advantage of updated IATA regulations, completely ditching paper airline tickets in one of its locations in favour of e-tickets, the electronic replacement.

The Sabre Connected agency applied to IATA in February to change the category of its Milngavie location, which had been operating for five years as a branch, into an electronic ticketing location (ETL).

This enables the agency to reduce operational costs as there is no need to hold stocks of ‘paper’ tickets or carrier identification plates (CIPs). IATA therefore does not require the location to have a safe and there is no need for the travel agent to invest in a ticket printer. Also, many of the office security measures demanded by IATA of conventional travel agents do not apply to ETL agents.”

This cost saving for ETL agents could also spell cost reductions for corporate clients of similarly equipped agents who can reduce their internal costs considerably.

Source: Internet Travel News

8  Opodo Continues Aggressive Growth Strategy with Latest Acquisition

Opodo has strengthened its presence in the French marketplace with its latest acquisition of French Internet travel agency Vivacances.

Vivacances launched in 2002 and offers the full range of travel products including flights, hotels, car hire, trains and package holidays.

France is the second largest and one of the fastest growing European markets for online travel with Euro 7 billion gross sales forecast to be sold in 2005. The Opodo companies in France reflect this growth as they continue to go from strength to strength. In the first quarter of 2005, experienced a 96% growth compared to Q1 2004, whilst Karavel increased by 75% year on year.  (Source Internet Travel News - click link for full story :-

9  Live 8 post script

With Saturday’s event still ringing in our ears the global leaders and the United Nations are pushing for funding the fight against poverty.

France, Brazil, Chile and Germany called for a new tax on airline tickets to help finance the global fight against poverty, and urged other countries to support the proposal at a UN ministerial meeting.  The call came in advance of the meeting of G8 nations at Gleneagles, Scotland next week.

In the search for new ways of funding the UN goal of halving extreme poverty by 2015, France led the proposed new airline tax call.


10  SBT to BH SW1 or Royal Family to book business trips online

Perhaps belatedly, the Royal Family is to start buying flights online for its “business trips”. While it may be some time before you find the Queen sitting next to you on an easyJet flight, the department of the Royal Household that handles royal “business” travel arrangements has today announced that it plans to buy scheduled flights online for the first time in the coming year.

The details are published in the 2004-05 Annual Report on the Royal Family’s air and rail travel expenditure. This is now the eighth year that the accounts have been made public.

However, the Royal Family are not complete technophobes when it comes to travel. In the past year, members of the monarchy has used an electronic Royal Travel Diary to help make their travel arrangements.

The report also reveals that the Royal Family spent £5 million on travel in the year to the end of March 2005, up 2 per cent up on last year’s figure. Of that, some £2.1 million was spent on helicopter flights.

Source: Times Online -

11  BA Price hikes “Regrettable”

British Airways increased its fuel surcharge on flights from Monday 27 June, 2005 as a result of further rises in the price of oil.

The longhaul fuel surcharge on tickets sold and issued in the UK increased from £16 per sector to £24 per sector (£48 return trip).

The shorthaul fuel surcharge increased from £6 per sector to £8 (£16 a return trip).

Martin George, British Airways' commercial director, said: "The continuing rise in global oil prices to almost US$60 a barrel means a further surcharge increase is regrettably unavoidable. We now expect our fuel bill for this financial year to be around £1.6 billion.

"Our estimated fuel bill for this year will now be more than £450 million higher than our fuel costs last year. This additional fuel surcharge will help to offset the recent sharp increases in the price of fuel."

12   All Available £26 Travelodge Rooms Now Online

UK number one budget hotel brand Travelodge has just launched a search tool facility on it's website which provides clarity on identifying all available rooms within the UK at the low-cost rate of £26 and £46*(Central London).

This new search service allows customers to find all Travelodge hotels that have a £26/£46 room rate at a glance; and if their preferred hotel is not available at this particular rate, at the time they would like to travel, up to twenty nearest hotel options will be provided at the same rate.

Guy Parsons, Travelodge Sales and Marketing Director said: "Travelodge pioneered the introduction of the budget airline low-cost model into the UK hotel industry last year. We received a fantastic response to our new online pricing rate, but the biggest gripe our customers had, was they could not always easily find a £26 or £46 rate when they needed it."

Source: Executive PA ezine

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