16 October, etc.venues Monument
30 October, JW Marriott Grosvenor House
1st November 2023, etc.venues County Hall
This week's ABTN news in brief
CWT's Irish agency extends Travelport partnership
Irish Executive Travel Group Ltd, recently bought by Carlson Wagonlit Travel (CWT), has signed a new three year agreement with Travelport GDS to continue its use of Galileo, a leading GDS.
The new contract extends the 30 year relationship between Travelport, a global distribution service provider, and one of the main travel management companies (TMCs) in Ireland.
"Executive Travel Group Ltd has, and continues to be, a great business partner. We are delighted that they have decided to renew their long-term commitment to Travelport GDS," said Terje Tjostolvsen, Travelport GDS' Ireland country manager.
"It reaffirms our strengths in providing value added technology solutions, and our focus on service delivery.
"We look forward to supporting Executive Travel Group Ltd with the development of their business."
www.carlsonwagonlit.com www.travelport.com www.executivetravel.ie
WestJet, Air France and KLM sign commercial relationship
Air France, KLM and Canadian carrier WestJet have signed a "memorandum of understanding" marking the beginning of a new commercial relationship between the airlines.
Work will now begin on a code share agreement to start early in 2010, connecting the three networks through the Calgary, Montreal Toronto and Vancouver gateways.
Until then, an "interline agreement" will see the airlines accept each other's e-tickets with shared baggage and passenger check-ins.
Low cost carrier WestJet said cooperation on frequent flyer programs may also be a possibility.
www.westjet.com www.airfrance.com www.klm.com
NetJets to operate Frankfurt Egelsbach airport
Business jet operator NetJets has signed an acquisition agreement with shareholders of Hessische Flugplatz GmbH Egelsbach (HFG), operator of Frankfurt Egelsbach airport.
Pending approval by the municipal parliaments of each shareholder, the acquisition would give NetJets' fleet of 6-14 passenger jets access to an alternative airport to Frankfurt Main.
As part of the agreement with shareholders, all airliners and scheduled flights will be banned from Egelsbach airport.
In return, NetJets will be allowed to develop the airport into a "modern business aviation centre serving general aviation."
NetJets hopes to bring significant economic benefits to Egelsbach and the Frankfurt Rhine Main Region including new jobs at the airfields and €100m in commercial property development.
Business travel entrepreneurs to face the dragons
Hopeful business travel entrepreneurs are being given the chance to pitch their ideas to a panel of experts at the Institute of Travel Management's (ITM) Liverpool conference in March (25-27).
Buying Business Travel magazine has teamed up with the ITM and Barclaycard Commercial to present the ‘Enter the Dragons' event in the hope of discovering the next "Big Idea" in the supply and purchase of corporate travel.
"The idea could be simple or it could be wacky. It could be a new piece of technology, a service enhancement or a new product entirely," said the ITM.
The four best nominations will receive a VIP delegate place at the ITM conference including free accommodation and return travel.
The winner will receive a prize including marketing support from the Institute and consultancy assistance.
Entrants must submit an idea overview before February 16 - concepts must be in the planning or development stage.
Travelport GDS signs Chinese agreements
Travelport GDS has signed content agreements with three Chinese airlines - Xiamen Airlines, China Southern Airlines and China Eastern Airlines.
The agreement will allow subscribers of Travelport's Galileo, Apollo and Worldspan global distribution services access to fares and inventory from the three carriers.
Travelport connected agents will also benefit from functionalities such as View PNR, Interactive Seat Assignment and Last Seat Availability on China Southern Airlines.
The three airlines account for 60% of all domestic air traffic and 90% of all international traffic served by China-domiciled carriers.
"As the world's fastest growing aviation centre, China is a very important travel market for Travelport GDS," said Brad Holman, Travelport GDS' president and MD, Asia Pacific.
"The agreements not only strengthen our relationship with these three key Chinese carriers, but cement our position in the marketplace both in terms of reach and service delivery, and provide our travel agency."
Opodo sales up 26%
Opodo has reported €1.3bn in sales last year, up 26% compared to 2007.
The European online travel agency said pre-tax easrnings had reached €14.4m, with €5m coming from the UK market alone.
"We are particularly satisfied with figures as they are the result of a consistent performance and the ability of Opodo's teams across 13 European markets to drive the company through current times," said Opodo's chief executive Ignacio Martos.
Opodo attributed its overall growth to "improved loyalty ratios" which attracted new customers.
BA delays Saudi flights until May
British Airways has confirmed that its resumption of flights to Saudi Arabia, originally planned for March, has been delayed until May 31.
A spokesperson for BA said it had taken longer than anticipated to prepare for the new routes, but that Saudi Arabia remained "an important market" for the airline.