News in brief from Aer Lingus, ANZ, AirPlus, Vueling and the European Event ROI Institute
Aer Lingus strengthens Heathrow route
Aer Lingus has added a third daily flight between Shannon airport in Ireland and London Heathrow.
The new mid-day flight will begin on October 25 in addition to Aer Lingus' morning and evening services.
Aer Lingus corporate affairs director Enda Corneille said the new service would strengthen business, leisure and connecting traffic between the west Ireland and Heathrow.
Mr Corneille said: "This development reflects the growth and strong traffic volumes that we have seen since the resumption of the service last March. We are very encouraged with customer demand."
Tickets for the new service go on sale today (Thursday July 23).
ANZ to oppose Delta-Virgin deal
Air New Zealand has come out against the proposed joint venture between Delta Air Lines and Australia's Virgin Blue Group.
The airline is said to be planning to lodge a complaint with regulators after claims the trans-pacific tie-up could be anti-competitive.
ANZ was unavailable for comment.
Delta and Virgin Blue recently announced plans to boost their code sharing agreement ahead of an application for anti-trust immunity (ATI) with the US Department of Transportation (DoT) and the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.
Singapore-based budget carrier Tiger Airways is also understood to be against the joint venture and will bring it up to both Australian and US regulators.
www.airnewzealand.com www.delta.com www.virginblue.com
AirPlus inks UK public sector deal
Business travel payment provider AirPlus International has signed a framework agreement with Buying Solutions, the UK public services procurement partner.
AirPlus will be used by more than 44,000 public bodies when the four year agreement begins in February.
Yael Klein, AirPlus' managing director, said: "This comes at a crucial point in time when procurement processes are being scrutinised, and travel policy compliance and supplier negotiations are being re-examined to save costs wherever possible."
Under the terms of the deal, AirPlus will offer a lodge card for pre-trip expenses, corporate cards for business travel expenses and an integrated payments tool.
Vueling reports €13.4m profit
Spanish low cost airline Vueling has reported a €13.4m profit in the second quarter having successful merged with clickair.
The airline's operating margin was up 12.7% when compared to the second quarter 2008.
Vueling said revenue per passenger had stayed level at €75.36 despite the economic downturn and fluctuating oil prices.
The airline said the outlook for the next quarter was "positive as bookings are evolving cautiously well."
Its merger with British no-frills carrier clickair this month is expected to bring further savings on advertising, structure and handling.
Vueling said its cash position now stands at €114.7m.
Institute to launch ROI tool for meetings
A new tool designed to measure the Return on Investment (ROI) for meetings and events is to be launched next month.
SenseROI will be unveiled at the European Event ROI Institute's ROI week in Dublin in August 31-September 4.
The Institute said the tool enabled companies to measure the "bottom line" impact of conferences.
Dr Jack Phillips of the Institute said the tool encompassed the entire cycle of an event from the planning stage to the post-event analysis.