Business Travel Tech Talk London, 16 October,
Business Travel Awards Europe, 30 October, JW
3rd Annual Business Travel Intelligence Summit
This week's ABTN news in brief
October air traffic rise "illusory"
Air traffic in Europe marginally rose in October by 0.1% compared with the same month in 2007.
But the Association of European Airlines (AEA), which released the statistics, said the increase was "illusory" as the 2007 figures were distorted by strikes.
The AEA said the adjusted figure showed a 1.5% drop which followed the 0.9% fall for September.
It said the two weakest areas were the cross-border market in Europe which fell by 2.7% and the North American market which dropped by 0.7%.
Capacity increased by 2.7% during the month but load factors fell by 2% to 76.1%.
Ulrich Schulte-Strathaus, the AEA's secretary general, said: "Key is the excess capacity.
Although airlines have significantly increased the speed with which they can reduce the size of entire networks, seat load factors are too low.
"Demand is decreasing more quickly than capacity offered.
"Given that no one knows whether we have seen the eye of the economic storm yet, adapting capacity quickly has become the number one priority."
Ypsilon launches new booking engine
Travel technology company Ypsilon.Net has launched the next generation of its multi-GDS booking engine.
It said the new tool was designed to cope with a changing industry where content was fragmented.
Ypsilon said its engine worked with all five major GDSs - Sabre, Galileo, Amadeus, Apollo and Worldspan.
The company said the "not only merges consolidator net fares, GDS fares, low-cost carrier and charter but provides a true multi source/multi GDS engine."
Patrick Coulomb, Ypsilon's vp sales and marketing, said Ypsilon could provide an all-in-one solution for all travel agency requirements.
UK advance rail bookings soar
Advance rail bookings be corporate have risen by 42% in the past year, thetrainline.com said.
The company said that as the economic downturn hit business, more companies were realising they could save significant money by booking ahead.
The trainline.com said companies using its self booking tool could save up to 39% compared to buying tickets at the station on the day of travel.
It said an open return from Leeds to London cost £206 while two single ticket for each stage of the journey bought in advance came to £49, a saving of £157.
Adrian Watts, thetrainline.com's sales and distribution director, said: "It's all about reducing costs at the moment, but to remain competitive, organisations have to look at cut backs that aren't going to have a detrimental impact on their business operations.
"Cancelling meetings or important engagements that require travel is not an option.
"Buying rail tickets in advance delivers significant savings to our business customers and we are witnessing increased adoption of advance tickets across all our customers."
easyJet sees 16.8% growth over November
easyJet has reported a 16.8% increase in passengers numbers throughout the 12 months ending November 2008.
The no-frills airline carried 44.37m passengers since last November, 6.4m more than the same period in 2007.
Load factor, or the number of seats sold against the number available, was up 0.8 percentage points from 83.7% to 84.4%.
Month-on-month, easyJet carried 2,985,826 passengers throughout November, 97,693 more than 2007's figure of 2,888,133 - a growth of 3.4%.
The load factor for November only was up from 80.8% to 83.9%, an increase of 3.1 percentage points.
TAP signs new deal with Travelport GDS
TAP Air Portugal has signed a full content agreement with Travelport GDS.
Users of Travelport's two Global Distribution Services (GDSs), Galileo and Worldspan, can now access the Portuguese airline's entire published and web-only fares and inventory.
Travelport GDS and TAP said they will work together "to explore ways to grow sales in markets across Africa as well as in France, Italy and Brazil."
Radisson SAS Scandinavia plans 83% expansion
The Radisson SAS Scandinavia, already Denmark's largest hotel, has announced plans to expand its capacity 83% by building 10 extra floors.
The 18-month plan, subject to approval by the Mayor of Copenhagen, would see an additional 460 rooms equivalent to 154,000 extra bed nights a year.
The hotel hopes to double its meetings capacity to 2,500 people per day; build an underground carpark; and change the facade completely.
A "well-known Danish architect" who's identity remains a mystery, will "create a new landmark in Copenhagen" according to Karim Nielsen, Radisson SAS Scandinavia's ceo.
The plans are subject to a public hearing which could take up to 18 months.
Hotel.info targets Italian business travellers
Hotel.info, the free online hotel reservation service, has announced the opening of its Rome sales office, an area of strong growth for the website.
More than 130,000 overnight stays have been booked in Italy during the past year, a figure Hotel.info hopes will increase further with a dedicated office.
Hotel.info Italia S.r.l. said it is particularly targeting SME clients, whose demand for online and direct booking systems is currently increasing.
But the service is available to private customers looking for tourist opportunities.
Hotel.info said its aim is to become "the leading hotel reservation service for Italian corporate customers."