Business Travel Tech Talk London, 16 October,
Business Travel Awards Europe, 30 October, JW
3rd Annual Business Travel Intelligence Summit
Ireland may go it alone on Open Skies
Ireland may negotiate its own "Open Skies" agreement with America because of persistent delays in the EU-US talks.The warning was given by the Irish transport minister Martin Cullen in an interview with the UK newspaper, The Guardian.The move comes despite the European court of Justice ruling such bi-lateral deals as illegal.Mr Cullen said Aer Lingus, in which the Irish Government has a 25% stake, had to expand in the US.Talks between the EU and the US have stalled over the latter's restrictions on foreign ownership of airlines. They are due to resume in Brussels next week. Mr Cullen said if they did not look like succeeding, Ireland was determined to secure its own deal.
AirPlus signs partnership with Infotel
Payment solutions company AirPlus International and hotel booking service Infotel Solutions have signed a partnership.Under the deal the lodge card company will become Infotel's "preferred payment partner" and recommend its clients to use AirPlus's payment systems.
FCm launches new portal
FCm Travel Solutions has launched a new product, FCm Portal Plus to provide clients with trip planning information and booking functionality on a single site.The TMC said the product could be used with its self booking tool and on a client's intranet travel site. Karen Spence, director client services at FCm, said the new portal would suit "the needs of staff at varying levels within a client corporation, as well as our own account management teams within FCm."
"Travellers prefer punctuality"
A survey of 500 business travellers by American Express in Spain has found that they prefer punctuality on flights to going by business class. Amex's "Loves and Hates" poll found that in addition to arriving on time, travellers preferred a good night's sleep to inflight entertainment or extra facilities at hotels.Travellers also decreasingly rated the "status" of going business class and staying in five-star hotels. A better work life balance and the chance to meet new people and encounter new cultures were considered more important. Angel G. Butragueño, director general of American Express Business Travel in Spain, said: "The time is an element highly valued by the business traveller who needs to feel that his trip develops at all times without problems, since a delay can cause him to lose business opportunities as well as leisure time."
IATA welcomes emissions guidance
Guidance on plans to include aviation in emissions trading schemes (ETS) have been welcomed by the International Air transport Association (IATA).The guidance was drawn up by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) which called for concerted action rather than individual schemes.Mr Giovanni Bisignani, director general of IATA, said: "We're pleased that ICAO has echoed IATA's call urging states not to jump the gun on emissions trading but to wait for the ICAO Assembly's recommendations in September 2007."Unilateral action by states is not the answer. We need a global approach that provides a level playing field for airlines and avoids competitive distortions."
Advantage signs deal with Net Trans
Advantage Travel Centres which represents small, independent agents in the UK, has signed a deal with Net Trans to collect hotel commissions for its members.Advantage said it would increase the rate of collection by 40%.While there has been a growth of hotel bookings in recent years, commission collected has not kept pace. Norman Gage Advantage director, Business Travel, said: "The increased focus on booking hotels in recent years has highlighted a flaw in that agents are not receiving all of their hard-earned and well-deserved commissions."Advantage has signed Net Trans with a view to overcoming the hotel commission problem."