September 29 2022, Kimpton Fitzroy London
Friday 30 September 2022, JW Marriott Grosvenor
21 November 2022, Hilton London Metropole
This week's ABTN news in brief
"New rail hub for Heathrow"
The UK government is considering whether to build a major new rail hub at London Heathrow Airport.
The £4.5bn station would be in addition to the proposed third runway at the airport.
Transport minister Andrew Adonis told the UK newspaper the Sunday Times that it was "vital that we have an integrated approach to planning new rail capacity and any new airport capacity that's also required."
There was speculation that a new high speed rail service would link the airport not only to major UK cities, like Manchester but also to Eurostar services to the continent.
The British government is due to make its decision on the controversial plans to build a third runway at Heathrow later this month.
Qantas drops fuel surcharges
Australian flag carrier Qantas has announced it is to drop fuel surcharges on domestic routes despite forecasting a AUS$400m increase in airline fuel costs.
Passengers buying Qantas domestic and QantasLink tickets from January 1 will no longer pay the AUS$18 per sector charge.
John Borghetti, Qantas' executive general manager, said the airline had reduced domestic and international charges twice in recent months.
He said Qantas' fuel costs remain higher than when surcharges were introduced in 2004, despite recent falls in the price of oil.
According to Qantas, the group's 2008-09 fuel bill will be AUS$400m higher than last financial year.
Etihad reports record passenger figures for 2008
Etihad Airways flew more than 6m passengers in2008, an increase of 34% on 2007.
The airline, based in Abu Dhabi, said its load factor rose from 68% to 75% during the 12 months during which it also took delivery of nine new aircraft, bringing its fleet up to 42.
Alitalia knocks €20m off debt over November
Alitalia Group has announced a €20m reduction in "net indebtedness" between the end of October and November 2008.
Not including Alitalia Servizi S.p.A. and Alitalia Airport S.p.A, group figures released on the 30 November last year show a net financial position of €1,228m compared to €1,248m on 31 October.
The Group said €300m used to increase net assets was not included when calculating its indebtedness.
UK room prices drop 4%
Room prices in the UK have fallen for the first time in four years according to the latest Hotels.com Hotels Price Index (HPI) figures.
According to the bookings website, prices have dropped 4% in Q3 2008 to £97 per room per night compared to the same period in 2007 when guests paid £101.
Hotels.com said prices fell across many major UK cities as hoteliers looked to maximise occupancy.
Worst hit was Inverness which suffered a 15% drop with guests paying an average of £94. Aberdeen suffered an 11% fall to £96.
England's worst affected city was Birmingham, hit by a 13% drop in prices from £75 to £66 per room per night.
But prices in Bath, the UK's most expensive city according to Hotels.com, were up 13% to £142 per night.
London, the UK's second most expensive city, saw average prices fall 3% to £116 per room.
JAL offers passengers carbon offsetting
Japan Airlines has teamed up with the CarbonNeutral Company to offer its passengers a voluntary carbon offset program.
Passengers booking via JAL's website will be able to calculate their CO2 emissions based on distance travelled, aircraft type, fuel burn, passenger load factors, and passenger to cargo ratios.
Passengers then choose to support one of ten sustainable development projects through the purchase of carbon offset 'credits'.
The programme makes completely "carbon neutral" travel possible.
The mini-site will be provided by Recycle One, the CarbonNeutral Company's Japanese agency.