Sabre signs distribution deal with Emirates
Sabre Holdings has signed a long term deal with EmQuest, the distribution arm of Dubai-based airline Emirates.
Part of the ten year agreement will see the two companies launch distribution services in five African countries: South Africa, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia.
Under the agreement, EmQuest will also distribute Sabre products to travel agencies in the United Arab Emirates.
The deal was signed in Dubai by Emirates' chairman and ceo Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al-Maktoum and Sabre Holdings' ceo Sam Gilliland.
The companies said it was the first of several collaborative initiatives which they planned.
The deal with Sabre will replace EmQuest's current agreement with rival GDS Galileo which ends in December, 2008.
Tom Klein, president of Sabre Travel Network and Airline Solutions, said the two organisations shared a desire to invest in the new markets of Africa.
He added: "We look forward to growing our business with them and furthering our relationship with the Emirates Group's various business divisions.
"Today's agreement will significantly expand our footprint in the Middle East where we have successfully operated for almost 20 years."
BCD moves into Mozambique
BCD Travel has singed a new African partner in Mozambique.
The new addition to the travel management's growing network in Africa is Moçambique Expresso Turismo e Viagens (MEXTUR).
It is the sixth sub-Saharan African country to team up with BCD in the last month.
Greg O'Neil, BCD's managing director and senior vp for growth and emerging markets, said: "We have seen phenomenal growth which, in a period of economic uncertainty, is very encouraging.
"Leading corporations in sectors such as oil and telecommunications, along with the NGOs, appear to be reviewing and scrutinising their procurement of travel more than ever before to generate cost savings."
Hertz opens new offices in Russia
Hertz International's Russian franchise, ZAO Travel Rent has opened three more offices in the Black Sea port of Sochi.
The new outlets are at the city's airport, railway station and centre, and are aimed at both business travellers to the port and visitors to the 2014 Winter Olympics which will be based in Sochi.
The offices will offer chauffeur and long term rental services as well as short and medium term deals.
Michel Taride, Hertz Europe's president, said his company opened its first office in Russia in the 1970s and was the first car rental company to develop a network in the country.
Air France KLM confirms entry into the rail market
Air France KLM has confirmed that it will move into the high speed passenger rail market in a new venture with Veolia, a French transport company.
The two will make their move after rail passenger traffic in Europe is liberalised from January 1, 2010.
The two companies have been in talks since the summer but it is understood no formal deal has yet been signed between them.
Most high speed rail travel is currently run by train operating companies (TOCs) which are owned by the state, like the French network, SNCF and the German Deutsche Bahn which is being prepared for privatisation.
Companies like Eurostar which runs services form London to the continent, and Thalys which operates in France, Belgium and the Netherlands, are owned jointly by other TOCs.
ATP to open Munich office
The growing independent travel management company ATP has announced it plans to open an office in the southern German city of Munich.
The move comes after it said it would open an office in the Gulf state of Dubai.
Its new German office will be run by Otto Schweisgut, a member of the board of the DRV, the German agents‘ association.
Graham Ramsey, ATP's group ceo, said: "As the biggest economy in Europe, Germany is a major area of trading and a huge area of growth for business travel.
"Our Munich office will be ideally positioned to help existing and new clients alike. It is another clear indication of the seriousness and success of ATP's development plans."
Malév in £24m re-structuring boost
Malév has secured a £24m cash boost after an agreement between its owner AirBridge and a local bank.The deal is the final part of the airline's privatisation in February 7, 2007 when AirBridge bought it from the Hungarian government.
At the time of the deal, AirBridge said it would invest £14.5m (€18m) in the carrier.
Now after an agreement with Vnyeseconombank, it plans to invest an extra £9.7m (€12m) on top of the original sum.
Malév said the money would be used to "put the company in order" including helping to pay for new aircraft.
Ferrovial sells Belfast City Airport
Spanish company Ferrovial has sold one of its UK airports, Belfast City for £132.5m to a Dutch fund.
The buyers of the Northern Ireland airport ar ABN Amro Infrastructure Fund.
Ferrovial also owns BAA which runs seven other UK airports, among them Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted.
Belfast City, which handles about 2m passengers a year, is not part of the BAA holding.
Sabre launches new airline solution
New software which helps airline generate revenue by providing an “individualised customer approach” has been launched today by Sabre Holdings.
TheSabreSonic Customer Sales and Service software claims to function in all airline distribution channels as well as providing an individual approach to customers.
Sabre said the feature set a "new industry standard for airline reservation systems."
The IT company said some components of SabreSonic, like a pay-for-seats facility, had already been rolled out.
Others would follow in the coming months.
Tom Klein, group president of Sabre Airline Solutions and Sabre Travel Network, said CSS would give airlines "real choices in systems that fully leverages technology and creates business value while being flexible enough to drive revenue generation once adopted."
Booking.com opens Madrid office
Booking.com, one of the major hotel portals in Europe, has opened a new office in the Spanish capital of Madrid.
The company has had an office in Barcelona for five years but has expanded to "broaden its market reach."
On The Move
New appointments at oneworld
Mairead Ryan joins as the marketing development manager for Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands while Isabelle Gannoun adds Italy and Switzerland to her current marketing development responsibilities for France.
Oneworld has ten members, among the BA, American Airlines and Cathay Pacific.
Ms Ryan is seconded from BA where she has been working from Amsterdam as its marketing executive for the Benelux countries.
She joined BA in 2004 working initially in leisure sales.
Ms Gannoun joined oneworld a year ago on secondment from American where she had worked in France on leisure sales.
She has also previously worked for Sabre and in the hotel industry.
Flint sets up new company
Travel industry consultant Ian Flint has set up a new company weeks after leaving Hogg Robinson Group (HRG).
He has launched a travel consultancy Inform Logistics Limited which is based in Surrey, UK.
Mr Flint joined HRG, a leading travel management company, in 2006 when it acquired his former business Ian Flint and Associates.
Mr Flint said: "Inform Logistics has been created to meet the ever growing demand for a consultancy that specialises in the business travel sector and that can offer an end to end solution to supplier management; interim management; comprehensive analysis; and strategic procurement needs."
He said he was seeking strategic alliances and was in talks with potential partners in UK, Europe, North America and Asia.