5 MAY 2014


© 2022 Business Travel News Ltd.

Carlson Rezidor in Africa

Following the launch of Radisson Red for the lifestyle segment and the Quorvus Collection in the luxury market early 2014 Carlson Rezidor says it is now focussing on Africa with 30 hotels and 6,300 rooms under development.

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Garuda promotes Skyteam

With the introduction of non-stop services from Amsterdam to Jakarta due 30 May, Garuda Indonesia held a reception last week at The White House, London, in conjunction with Skyteam.  On 8 September the route is extended to Gatwick.  A non-stop operation from the UK is on hold at the present.

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London Shangri-La finally opens

One of the world’s finest luxury hotel groups will finally realise a long time ambition on Tuesday (6 May) by opening a London property.  Sited by London Bridge Station on the south bank of the Thames The Shangri-La Hotel at The Shard will have a low key, soft entrance.  Whilst it will certainly quickly attract a certain type of client its success depends on the quality of service matching, or even bettering, other 5-star properties in London.  Hence the slow start to ensure a seamless introduction.

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New CEO for Heathrow?

Following the surprise resignation of Colin Matthews as CEO of Heathrow Airport Ltd (see BTN 14 April) Business Travel News has learnt that a replacement appointment could be imminent.  The owner of Heathrow itself plus Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Southampton airports, plans to unveil its long term strategy for its London hub on 13 May.  It is likely that this could be delivered by the new appointee.

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Qatar to introduce A380

A date has now been set for Qatar Airways to introduce the Airbus A380 on its Heathrow – Doha service.  The aircraft will operate the QR 003 service departing Doha 07:55 and arriving Heathrow 13:15.  Return is 15:05/11:50 with a flight time of around seven hours (all local times).

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A Statement from the Editor in Chief

Welcome to Business Travel News now back under its original management.  If you are a new reader hello.  Please sign up for your FREE email edition.  BTN is published every Monday morning.  It is possible with the changeover that some links/features are not working.  These will be corrected over the next few days.  The Archive does not work from 27 January 2014.  The missing issues will be added as soon as possible.

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Nothing has changed in our quest to bring you the latest travel news, whether by land, sea or air, but at the same time offering an interesting read.  We will COMMENT where necessary, perhaps upsetting a few. 

This being the first Monday of the month we normally lead with ON THE SOAPBOX.  However we think there is enough reading for you.  Shannon Hyland, President and CEO of Radius Travel will be next week.

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Accor UK expansion

MGallery Collection, a division of the French Accor Group, is to open hotels in Aberdeen, Cheltenham and Windsor.  Also announced are new flagship properties for the Mercure brand in Boxhill, Bristol, Cardiff, Exeter, Oxford and Sheffield.

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Aviation Club welcomes Transport Minister

Now the longest serving Secretary of State for Transport (since Alastair Darling 2002-2006), Patrick McLoughlin is clearly a man of passion regarding particular projects (in his case HS2).  He was guest of honour at the Aviation Club last week.

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CityJet changes hands

Intro Aviation has acquired CityJet (now WX) and its subsidiary VLM from Air France.  CityJet is based in Dublin, and at London City Airport.  CityJet operates 17 Avro RJ85s on scheduled services.  VLM, an aircraft operating company, hires its planes, complete with crews, to other airlines (ACMI). CityJet is its major customer.

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Iberia to Montevideo

Starting on 1 September, Iberia will operate four weekly flights between Madrid and Uruguay.  These services will connect with more than 37 European destinations and another 12 in Africa and the Middle East, via Madrid airport’s T4.  The flights depart southbound on a Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday at 00:30, and arrive 07:50 (all times local).

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Odyssey Airlines

UK start-up air carrier Odyssey Airlines is seeking £5m in core investment as it prepares to introduce the Bombardier CSeries at London City Airport.  Finding the initial funds does not seem too difficult.  Odyssey’s problem is a lack of news from the Montreal-based aircraft constructor on progress towards certification of the new twin jet.  Odyssey says it wants its first of 10 aircraft by 2016.

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ON TOUR: Cologne

It seemed a good idea to feature Cologne as this week’s ON TOUR, one of the stops on Emerald Sky’s maiden voyage, the feature ship in Cruise News.

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Ship enthusiasts and those just fancying a historical day out should note that next Friday 9 May, RMS Queen Mary 2, Queen Elizabeth and Queen Victoria will all be at Southampton replicating the Diamond Jubilee celebrations.  HRH Prince Philip will help celebrate QM2’s ten years of service joining a special lunch to honour the occasion.

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AND FINALLY: World Cup Fever


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Flybe management changes

Exeter-based Flybe has announced a series of management appointments following last week’s unveiling of plans to operate from London City Airport.

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LATAM drops First Class

South American airline group LATAM held an industry and press reception at One Horse Guards Avenue overlooking the Thames at Westminster last week to promote its oneworld membership.  As TAM the airline flies daily from Heathrow T1 to both Rio de Janerio and Sao Paulo and is expected to move to T3 by October.

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More free wi-fi

Jurys Inn is the latest hotel group to offer free wi-fi.  This follows a campaign by Business Travel News and other media to highlight, usually multi-nationals, who insist on charging for what should be part of the package.  You would not expect to be charged for keeping a light on.

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Mulally to go from Ford

Alan Mulally, President of Boeing Commercial Aircraft from 1997 until 2005, is to retire from Ford Motor Co, where he has been the highly successful CEO since leaving Seattle.

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Plaza Premium at Heathrow T2

Heathrow Airport last week staged an exhibition at One Marylebone (the former church by the White House hotel) to showcase some of the new commercial arrivals for the Queen's Terminal T2.

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SAS baggage

Scandinavian Airlines has simplified its additional and special baggage charges, cutting prices and introducing a simple weight rule.

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Stavanger to Houston – Business Class only

The strength of the oil market will be clearly demonstrated by the launch of a six days per week service by SAS on 20 August between Stavanger and Houston.  The airline has entered into a “wet lease” agreement with PrivatAir to operate a Boeing 737-700, with a flight time of around 10 hours.

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Thomson Airlines

Whilst strictly not a business traveller airline, but nevertheless the first UK operator of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, Thomson Airways is increasing capacity at UK regional airports for summer 2015 through the introduction of 29 new routes.  Business people do not plan their travels 12 months ahead, but do for the most part try and sort out their holidays.

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Trinity House open day

With this week’s Business Travel News being the monthly cruising edition we thought we might mention a rare open day at Trinity House, close by the Tower of London.  Saturday 17 May 10:00-15:00.

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Xiamen Airlines in the UK

China’s Xiamen Airlines has announced its appointment of APG as its GSA in the UK.  APG will also be representing the airline in Australia, Canada, France, the Netherlands and the Philippines.

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