News in brief from Aer Lingus, Lodging Econometrics, Alitalia, Eurostar, ITP, oneworld, TAP, Hyatt and ITM
Aer Lingus puts brakes on deliveries
Irish airline Aer Lingus and Airbus have agreed to postpone the delivery of five new aircraft until 2013.
The delivery of just one new long haul aircraft in 2010 will help lighten Aer Lingus' capital commitment over the next three years.
The remaining five aircraft will be delivered between 2013 and 2015.
Aer Lingus also announced a reduction in its long haul fleet when it ends lease agreements on two aircraft.
The delivery deferral caps Aer Lingus' long haul fleet at eight until 2013.
Economic crisis hits EMEA pipeline
The global economic crisis has had a "serious impact" on hotel development, industry research company Lodging Econometrics (LE) said.
LE reported an 11% drop in the construction pipeline between the second quarter 2008 and Q1 2009.
The number of rooms under construction in the EMEA region now stands at 153,189.
LE said that of the total pipeline, 78,155 rooms are being built in Europe, the lowest level since Q3 2007.
The Middle Eastern room pipeline has fallen 13% to 142,702 compared to Q2 2008, but new hotel openings are expected to accelerate over the next two years.
The total pipeline in Africa is 174 projects and 35,253 rooms, a decline of 3% and 4% respectively in Q1 compared to Q2 2008.
Alitalia reports €273m loss
Italian carrier Alitalia has posted a net operational loss of €273m for the first half of 2009.
But its results improved significantly from a loss of €210m in the first three months to a loss of €63m in the second quarter.
Alitalia said its merger with Air One had resulted in improved load factor of 65% in the second quarter from just 51% in the first.
Revenues at the airline reached €1,276m in the six months to June 30.
Further improvements in revenues and load factors are expected in the coming months.
Eurostar hails Print Anywhere ticketing a success
Eurostar has reported an increase in the number of passengers using its Print Anywhere ticketing service.
Around 70% of travellers chose to print their own tickets through the Eurostar.com website.
The high-speed cross channel train operator said it had seen a "huge change" in the way people ticket their journeys.
Launched in April, the service allows passengers to print tickets where ever there is access to a computer and printer.
Print Anywhere is possible following recent improvements to barcode scanners at major stations in France, the UK and Belgium.
ITP signs Helsinki-based CityMatkat
International Travel Partnership (ITP) has strengthened its northern European network with the signing of CityMatkat, a Finnish travel management company (TMC).
ITP said the Helsinki-based TMC had a "clear emphasis on technology" that would benefit its agency network.
Oneworld to complete Heathrow move
The oneworld airline alliance is set to complete its London Heathrow move on October 29.
The final oneworld members will move to either Heathrow Terminal 3 or 5 completing the alliance's biggest relocation project to date.
All Qantas' operations and British Airways' Bangkok, Singapore and Sydney services will move from Heathrow's T4 to T3.
Finnair, Iberia and some BA short haul routes moved to T3 earlier this year where they joined American Airlines, Cathay Pacific, Japan Airlines and Royal Jordanian.
The project will see the alliance's eight carriers serve Heathrow from just two terminals rather than across all five.
TAP improves Q1 profits
TAP Group has reported a €72.4m net loss in the first quarter of the year, up 53.2% on 2008.
A first quarter drop in operating costs to €855.2m this year from €1,067.9m in 2008 saw TAP narrow its Q1 2008 loss of €154.9m.
TAP's operating revenue totalled €927m in the first quarter, a drop of 11.8% when compared to €1,050.8m in the same period in 2008.
Falling oil prices saw TAP's fuel bill drop by 49.7% in the first quarter year-on-year to €157.6m from €313.2m.
TAP said the economic crisis and falling demand had prevented the recovery expected from the price of oil.
The airline group also reported a 6.2% year-on-year fall in demand in the first three months.
Hyatt share offering to raise $1.5bn
Hyatt Hotel Corporation (HHC) has announced plans to raise $1.5bn through the sale of shares.
HHC has filed an initial public offering (IPO) of the shares with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
There was no indication from HHC as to how many shares will be offered or when. Their price range is also currently unknown.
The shares will be sold by HHCand its existing stockholders. HHC said it would not receive any money from the sale of shares by stockholders.
The HHC filing is available on the SEC website.
ITM announces two day conference
The UK and Ireland Institute of Travel and Meetings (ITM) announced it is to adopt a new two day format for its 2010 annual conference.
The event is also to be held later in the year to allow the sponsors to spread their budgets across two financial years.
ITM's 2010 event will run from May 12-13 at Chelsea Football Club in London
This year's 37th annual conference was held in March in Liverpool.
Diane Steed, ITM's head of sales and marketing, said the new format would offer delegates and sponsors more value for money.
"I have listened to delegates and sponsors and I am delighted the ITM board has agreed to the implementation of a number of changes I have recommended," she said.
Other proposed changes include a modular sponsorship option and the chance to buy tables at the gala dinner.
The event has been named The Journey and will focus on the "experiences of bookers and travellers and the utopia of an end-to-end experience."