News in brief from Iberia, UK high speed rail, Rezidor, Air France KLM and Eurostar
Iberia may seek other merger
Iberia could seek new merger opportunities should new chairman Antonio Vazquez Romero act on calls from board members, reports said.
Spanish newspaper El Economista quoted a source who said that Iberia had lost a year in merger talks with British Airways and should look for alternatives.
Merger talks between BA and Iberia recently stalled after concerns were raised over the size of the British airline's pension deficit.
It is thought a disagreement over the structure of a merged board may also have proven a sticking point.
Iberia was unavailable for comment.
UK high speed service extended
The high speed train service launched in June linking London to Kent is to be extended beyond the high speed line.
Ramsgate and Dover in Kent will be linked to London St Pancras by additional commuter services during morning and evening peak times.
Train operator Southeastern said commuter journeys to Ramsgate and Dover would be shortened by an average of 49 and 47 minutes respectively.
Rezidor strengthens Nigerian portfolio
Rezidor has announced it is to open three new properties in Nigeria, strengthening its portfolio in the emerging African market.
The 250-room Radisson Blu Hotel, Victoria Island Lagos, 200-room Radisson Blu Hotel Abuja and the Park Inn Abuja with 125 rooms are all scheduled to open in 2012.
"These signings bring our portfolio in the emerging market Africa to a solid business featuring more than 30 hotels with 7,500 rooms in operation and under development, and secure our position as one of the leading hotel operators on the continent," said Rezidor's president and ceo Kurt Ritter.
Air France KLM limits traffic decline
Air France KLM reported a 0.7% rise in load factor in July year-on-year.
The airline group said a "limited decline" in passenger traffic of 3.3% year-on-year and a 4.1% cut in capacity had also boosted load.
Overall group passenger numbers stood at 6.9 million in the month of July, down 4.5% year-on-year.
AF KLM said July's decline in unit revenues was less pronounced than in previous months.
The group's network of routes to Asia saw the greatest decline in traffic of 5.5% year-on-year.
Africa and the Middle East were the only regions to see growth in passenger numbers, capacity and unit revenues.
Eurostar scraps introduces £3 card fee
Eurostar has announced it is to charge £3 per credit card transaction for all bookings made by phone or internet.
A spokesperson for Eurostar confirmed that the charge would apply to corporate customers.
But Eurostar said the charge was per booking and not per passenger.
The train operator said the fee was still significantly lower than those of its airline competitors such as British Airways which charges £4.50 per person.
All bookings made by debit card are free which Eurostar said reflected lower costs levied by banks for this type of payment.
The £3 charge will offset most of the costs levied by the credit card companies, Eurostar said.
Eurostar also announced it had scrapped call centre booking fees.