News Clips for Corporate Travel Management: October 2004

1  oneworld expands interline e-Ticketing

In a bid to maintain it's position as the world's leading airline alliance, oneworld has announced that three more of its airline partners will now offer customer interline e-ticketing, keeping oneworld firmly on track to becoming the first airline grouping offering this customer convenience between all its members by the end of 2004.

Interline e-ticketing - which enables passengers to use a single electronic ticket when their itineraries include flights on more than one airline - is now in place between fourteen of the 28 potential pairings of oneworld partners.

Latest to link up are British Airways with both Aer Lingus and LAN and Aer Lingus with Qantas. The UK carrier now offers IET with six of its oneworld partners. American offers it with them all.

Interline e-ticketing enables customers to be checked right through to their final destinations on journeys involving a transfer between carriers with no need for a paper ticket, making connections between carriers smoother, easier and more reliable. They also make it easier and quicker for them to rebook between airlines - and there are no bits of paper to be lost or stolen.

Source: breakingtravelnews.com

2  Aeroflot privatisation delayed until it joins SkyTeam

Aeroflot privatisation delayed until it joins SkyTeam 27 Sep 2004 Russian flag carrier Aeroflot will join SkyTeam by the end of next year, according to MD Valeri Okoulov.

The timing is having an impact on the carrier’s proposed privatisation. A nib in the Times on Saturday reported that Okoulov said that the sale would not occur until Aeroflot had joined the alliance.

Source: E Tid

3  Virgin trains announce winter timetable

Commuter-style frequency to Manchester, faster Pendolino trains and a direct link between London Euston and Edinburgh: these are all highlights of Virgin Trains’new winter timetable.

Source: Business Traveller online

4  Welsh Dragon spreads wings

Air Wales, which is developing code share and marketing agreements with bmi regional, is launching three scheduled domestic destinations from Liverpool John Lennon Airport on 1 November.

The new six-days-a-week services will fly direct to Aberdeen and Cardiff airports. Travellers will also be able to connect to Plymouth City Airport at Cardiff.

The new services are part of a continued programme of expansion for Air Wales, which has launched several new routes over the last year and whose profile outside the Principality is notoriously low. The airline currently operates 220 scheduled flights each week on a network embracing eight destinations – London City, Glasgow, Amsterdam, Newcastle, Plymouth, Dublin, Cork and Jersey.

Source: Air & Business Travel News; www.airwales.co.uk

5  Rail Booking revolution continues

We have an apology to make to our readers, last month we mentioned the new rail booking and ticketing system HWT’s Travelpack Online.  Unfortunately whilst we got Jonathan Reeve’s name spelt properly we then managed to get his email address wrong - so for anyone who wants to fully track, analyse and manage their rail spend accurately and be able to make reservations and issue tickets instantly in your own office then contact jon.reeve@harryweeks.co.uk

6  British Airways online bookings take-off

British Airways has increased traffic to its Internet booking pages by approximately 3,500 hits per week following a series of best practice recommendations and implementations with RightNow Technologies.

A further 60% reduction in inbound email traffic has also been achieved, while the percentage of customers resolving their enquiries online has risen to 99%.  During a software upgrade on www.ba.com , RightNow provided BA with several best practice recommendations. These included adding a ‘book now’ button to the customer service and support area of the web site so that customers can easily navigate through to the booking facility.

This was advisable because customers often have a query they need to resolve before making a booking. Also added was a ‘manage my booking’ button enabling customers to quickly and simply tailor their bookings by requesting special meals or seat changes.

Source: Internet Travel News

7  Cendant moves into Second.

On September 29th Cendant Corp. and Orbitz reached a definitive agreement for Cendant to buy all the shares of Orbitz for $27.50 per share in cash or $1.25 billion. The parties to the deal, which is subject to regulatory and other approvals, expect to complete it in November.

The deal will make Cendant the second largest online booking system behind only Expedia and the fourth largest travel provider overall!

The acquisition was "not completely surprising," said Ian Wheeler, vice president of marketing for global distribution system competitor Amadeus, "Cendant has gone through a process of vertical integration, and this is in keeping with that strategy. What is unclear is what this means to the marketplace. Will Orbitz somehow be integrated, or will it continue business as usual? If the Cendant-Orbitz deal goes through, you will see more of these types of deals."

Cendant in a press release said it plans to offer both its Travelport and Orbitz products for the corporate market, but will migrate its Travelport architecture to run on the Orbitz platform.

Source: BTNOnline

8  ACTE Survey: 75% of Travel Managers have dropped hotels for safety lapses

Nearly 75 percent of business travel managers responding to a survey by the Association of Corporate Travel Executives say their hotel RFPs include a special section focusing specifically on security and safety issues. And 75 percent say they’ve discontinued a particular hotel or hotel chain over security issues.

Complete results of the survey, which was conducted exclusively for Business Travel Executive by ACTE, will be reported in the October issue of the magazine.

Source: askBTE.com

9  New flights form Southampton

Flybe has announced two new routes from Southampton to Brest and Cherbourg.

This expansion of services means that travellers in the south west of the UK can now fly direct to northern France. Services will begin on March 23, 2005 with fares starting from £29 one way (including taxes) to Cherbourg, and £34 to Brest. Bookings can be made in advance at www.flybe.com.

The new routes to Brest and Cherbourg follow the launch of a new Birmingham to Chambery route last week and underline the importance of the French market to Flybe. Over 10% of all Flybe's routes to France are where the airline has no direct competition from other low-fare carriers.

Flybe now operates 15 routes from the UK to France, serving Bordeaux, Cherbourg, Chambery, La Rochelle, Perpignan, Toulouse, Bergerac and Brest, which are popular destinations with a growing number of second homeowners in the UK.

Mike Rutter, Sales and Marketing Director at Flybe, said: “Demand from the South Coast for routes to France has always been high, we are simply responding to that demand with greater choice than ever before for the consumer. We have aggressively increased our operations throughout the year, focusing on marrying convenient regional travel with great value and choice”

Source: BusinessTraveller online

10  Autumn Corporate Travel & Expense Management Forum

Plans are moving ahead with the organisation of our Corporate Travel & Expense Management Forum.  At the moment we are planning to go ahead with Tuesday 23rd November and over 50 delegates have already registered for this event.

We are delighted to announce that AirPlus have again agreed to be part sponsors for the day which helps us to keep the price dow to a reasonable level.

We are hoping to finalise the agenda and sign a hotel contract for a centrally located hotel in London by the end of this week.

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ACTE
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