16 JUNE 2014

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Dubai Travel Marketing Forum

Now into its third year at its home, the prestigious Dubai Madinat Jumeirah, The Global Travel Marketing Forum is expected to once again bring together travel marketing leaders from the Gulf area into a conference/panel/exhibition environment. 

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Holiday Inn Express - Istanbul International

Istanbul International Airport is to have a Holiday Inn Express later this year.  It will be the first limited service hotel near the airport.

The 110-room property is on the Basin Express Highway and will feature a number of meeting rooms and include the brand’s signature complimentary ‘Express Start’ breakfast.

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Nigeria to Dubai

Arik Air, which claims to be West and Central Africa’s largest airline, is expanding its reach to the Middle East, becoming the first Nigerian carrier to offer services between its capital Abuja and Dubai.
 
The maiden flight is currently slated for 28 July and will subsequently operate five weekly flights on Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday from Nigeria and return on Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday from Dubai.  Routing is Lagos, Abuja and Dubai.

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Seattle Airport Crown Plaza

InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) has announced the conversion of a former Holiday Inn as the 260-room Crowne Plaza Seattle Airport hotel, following a significant renovation.  It is located virtually within the airport complex, the other side of the freeway.

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COMMENT: Air travel price hike

Flying could get very much more expensive following a judgement at the High Court ruling in favour of a passenger who was left waiting for 27 hours for his flight due to engineering delays.
 
Hannah Clipston, Partner at law firm Thomas Eggar, comments on the ruling:
 
“In the context of flight delay compensation, the Court of Appeal has clarified in Huzar v Jet2.com that extraordinary circumstances are unlikely to cover delays caused by technical problems.  The Court has made it clear that technical problems are not extraordinary if they arise from the ‘normal exercise of the activity of the air carrier concerned.’
 
“Bearing in mind the significance of the decision, Jet2.com may appeal to the Supreme Court. 
 
“However, in the meantime, airlines (especially budget airlines) may need to look at their business models to ensure that they have built into their ticket prices and preserved a contribution to any potential flight delay compensation claims. 
 
“In the long term, this may mean that flight prices rise as airlines try and cope with the probable increase in compensation claims.”

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Part 2 'A Very British Airline'

In what is fast becoming the Willie Walsh Show, with the mysterious ‘press pack’ in tow, who you never see, part 2 of 'A Very British Airline' surfaced last Monday on BBC1 (with the series completing today 16 June). 

The style will fail to appeal to everyone, not a true documentary, but more a TV version of the newspapers’ sponsored supplement.  Award winning?  We shall see. 

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Airports Commission request

The Airports Commission, headed by Sir Howard Davies, has published what it calls “Utilisation of the UK’s Existing Airports Capacity,” call for evidence.

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BATA gets new Chief Executive

With the impending retirement of current Chief Executive Simon Buck, Nathan Stower has been appointed to the position at the British Air Transport Association (BATA), the trade body representing UK-registered airlines.

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easyJet and Gatwick

Gatwick CEO, Stewart Wingate, joined easyJet CEO, Carolyn McCall, last week to welcome members of the Association of Corporate Travel Executives (ACTE) to ‘The London Gatwick Experience’ on the same day that the airport announced its moving annual passenger total now stands at 36.5m – a record for Gatwick, and a single runway airport.  Visitors were able to see the transformation of the airport and hear plans for the future.

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Emirates/Alitalia cancel A350s

In a surprise announcement Emirates has cancelled its order for 70 Airbus A350 aircraft, the aircraft manufacturer has confirmed.  Alitalia has also negated a requirement for 12 of the Rolls-Royce Trent powered aircraft.

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Fine food for 'planes

It could be that the airlines are going to take the ‘celebrity chef’ route.  It is happening on the High Street and even with cruise ships.  All the legacy carriers like to talk about their refined in-air cuisine and some even offer a chef on board.

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London bus stops

The fact that all of London’s 19,500 bus stops are now numbered and can be located simply on any ‘smart’ phone may not be of interest to all of BTN’s business traveller readers.

For those that use the service it has become a force of habit and extremely handy.

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Norwegian Transatlantic problems

USA Today reports that the US Congress has approved legislation to prevent Norwegian from flying to the US because of concerns that the low-cost carrier will dodge international labour rules.  However the action must be confirmed by the US Senate before becoming law.

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ON TOUR: Air Race F1 comes to Europe

Jane Stanbury, our regular reporter, has been to Lleida, about 100 miles west of Barcelona, for air racing and clearly enjoyed herself.

Air Race F1 was an immediate success and Zaltman is now in discussions with a number of international venues ranging from Africa to Russia to determine the location of the next event. Commenting on the inaugural race he said, “I’ve never been so proud to be associated with a group of such talented and skilled competitors. We witnessed some of the most exciting air racing in years, matched only by the camaraderie and sportsmanship displayed on and off the course.  My congratulations to the winners, as well as each pilot who joined us for this historic beginning.”  www.airracef1.com   All images courtesy©


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AND FINALLY: Husky travel

This is the real thing and not the latest edition of Mr World.

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Air link to London subsidised

The new air link from Dundee to Stansted has become the first flight operation to London to gain a public service obligation (PSO) subsidy. (see BTN 27 January www.btnews.co.uk/article/7235)

Loganair will operate the twice-daily service from July 2014, branded as Flybe, with flight times between the two airports about 1hr 30mins. 

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CONNECT in Marrakesh

Very international CONNECT is a former French air travel gathering now in its 11th year.  Marrakesh was the host with Morocco positioning itself as a gateway to Africa. With over 400 delegates this year its covered both tourism and business travel and spread over three days with an excellent mix of formal presentations and entertainment, does lend itself to serious networking.

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Edinburgh for children

Airport travel can be a nightmare for parents but forward looking operators (and, as in this case, sometimes backed up by tour companies) are making an effort to make it easier.

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Flybe news

Last week marked an important milestone for Flybe, the airline returning to profit, announcing a rebranding project and opening up new routes.

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Lufthansa profit warning

Always seen as cautious and well run airline, Lufthansa has issued a profit warning, blaming pressure on fares in Europe and the US.  The company singled out the fast-growing Gulf carriers as a “major concern” for airlines in Europe.  Strike action by pilots also did not help.

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Regus airport lounges

Airport lounges are becoming big business with Regus, the office service providers, the latest company to offer accommodation. (See BTN 28 April) Regus says the move responds to a growing demand for ‘third place’ work locations where business travellers can check their emails, hold conference calls and meetings and print documents.

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Sleeping suit for Virgin

Virgin Atlantic has collaborated with the original onesie designers, OnePiece, to trial a limited edition OnePiece onesie for Upper Class passengers.

Amber Le Bon – daughter of music legend Simon Le Bon and supermodel Yasmin – was the perfect choice to model the onesie with her British, rock n’ roll and fashion roots perfectly complementing the spirit of Virgin Atlantic and OnePiece.

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Travelport at the Aviation Club

Gordon Wilson, President and CEO of Travelport, the airline commerce platform provider, was guest of honour last week at the Aviation Club of the UK.  Mr Wilson, a Brit and Cambridge law graduate, was with Air Europe, but has been with what is now Travelport since 1991.  He also sits on the Board of SITA.

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