This week's ABTN news in brief
HRG executives buy more company shares
Company executives have been snapping up shares in Hogg Robinson Group (HRG) as its market value continues to suffer.
Shares in the TMC have fallen from 60p each at the beginning of the year to less than 4p at close of trade yesterday.
David Radcliffe, HRG's ceo, and Julian Steadman, group finance director, both increased their shareholdings last week by 248,831 and 246,106 respectively at a cost of 4.035p per share.
Announced just two days earlier, HRG chairman John David Coombe purchased 150,375 shares at 6.65p each.
Mr Radcliffe, Mr Steadman and Mr Coombe now hold 0.74%, 0.27% and 0.17% of total company voting rights respectively.
HRG was valued at an estimated £1.19bn in London yesterday, its share price having closed at 3.86p per share.
Germanwings cuts fuel surcharge
Low cost airline Germanwings is the latest carrier to cut its fuel surcharges in response to the fall in the price of oil.
Effective from December 16, passengers flying German domestic and cross-border flights within Europe now pay €3 less per route.
The fuel surcharge on domestic flights has been cut from €8.10 to €5.10.
Passengers on short European flights previously paying €12.75 will now pay €9.75.
Fuel surcharge on longer flights of over two hours has been cut from €15.75 to €12.75.
The airline said any further adjustment in surcharges will depend on the "development of fuel prices."
Business Travellers pay out for missed flights
Business travellers make up 25% of people who miss flights, according to a survey from YouGov.
The sample of 1954 adults revealed that 13% of UK travellers missed their flight, with most blaming public transport and traffic.
The online survey also showed that 38% were forced to buy a new ticket. Only 2% of business travellers charged the loss on expenses, with the other 98% ending up out of pocket.
Parking problems and the failure to remember a departure time/date were among the top three reasons for missed flights.
UK hotel profits drop 14.1%
Profits for UK chain hotels dropped by 14.1% in November, the latest HotStats from TRI Hospitality consulting said.
TRI said income from each available room - also called income before fixed costs (IBFC) - fell from £53.88 in November 2007 to £46.26 this year.
The consultants blamed a drop in both corporate and conference business for the decline.
Jonathan Langston, TRI's managing director, said: "Hoteliers experienced a significant reduction in the volume of corporate and conference lets this November as businesses reined in their expenses.
"At the same time food, wages and energy costs were all higher one year on."
TRI also reported a drop in revenue per available room (revPAR) of 7.3% to £101.83 and a drop in profits of 13.7% £33.69 per available rooms in UK regional hotels compared with last November.
In London, the 109 full-service chain hotels questioned reported a 10.5% fall in total revenue to a daily figure of £144.33 per available room.
IBFC declined by 14.6% to £69.79 per available room.
"The overall picture is unfortunately of falling revenue and profit. What is encouraging, however, is that hoteliers are maintaining their efforts to promote their businesses.
"Our survey shows that sales and marketing, a cost that is often the first to be cut, has not been reduced."
DoT demands more information from BA and AA
The US department of transportation (DoT) has ordered BA and American Airlines to file more detailed information regarding their application for anti-trust immunity.
The move by the DoT is likely to delay any decision on the joint application for several months.
If the application were to be approved, it would allow the two carriers to work more closely together.
The decision by the DoT comes a few days after merger talks between BA and Qantas, an Australian carrier, were abandoned.
The DoT said it was concerned about submissions from US travel agents, Air France and Virgin Atlantic about the proposed tie up.
Virgin has been vigorously campaigning against what its calls a potential "monster monopoly" if two of the biggest transatlantic carriers were to work more closely together.
The BA/AA application was made with three other airlines, Iberia, with whom BA is also in merger talks, Finnair and Royal Jordanian.
All five are members of the oneworld alliance.
The DoT decision was welcomed by Virgin while BA said it would comply with the request for more information.
www.dot.gov www.ba.com www.americanairlines.co.uk www.virgin-atlantic.com