BTN Europe presents an overview of business travel and MICE predictions for this year
Thomas Cook withdraws from merger talks
Thomas Cook today (September 29) withdrew from merger talks with TUI and Lufthansa.
The talks could have resulted in the merging of Thomas Cook”s airline Condor with Lufthansa”s Germanwings and TUIfly.
The group said trading in the summer 2008 season had been strong and was confident it was on track to meet expectations.
Hotel benchmarking tool launched
A new web-based application called Productivity Bench has been launched by PKF Management Consultancy Services (MCS) and JW Bench.
The tool allows hoteliers to monitor productivity in areas such as rooms, food and beverage, conference and banqueting, and sets up indicators in response to market pressures such as energy management.
The tool is also aimed at property and facilities management companies.
More services and new lounge for T5
BA has moved more services to Heathrow Terminal 5, as well as opening the building”s sixth lounge named ”Galleries”.
Another 30 arrivals and departures now pass through T5 daily, serving 29 destinations and doubling the terminal”s long haul schedule.
The move to T5 will be completed on October 22 when the remaining 12 routes are transferred from T4.
All BA's UK domestic services and most European flights now use the terminal.
The new lounge located in T5”s Satellite B area is available to passengers flying First Class, Club World/Europe and also Emerald/Sapphire members in any Oneworld frequent flyer programme.
Qantas' first A380 arrives
The Australian airline is the first Oneworld member to add the Airbus superjumbo to its fleet.
Qantas received the first of its new 20 A380s last week. They will fly to Los Angeles from Sydney and Melbourne from late October.
The aircraft will offer 450 seats in four classes ” 14 in first, 72 business class ”Skybeds”, 32 in premium economy and 332 in economy.
For more information and a virtual tour, visit www.qantas.com.au/info/flying/A380/index.
Singapore Airlines adds Riyadh
A new service destined for Riyadh, the largest city and capital of Saudi Arabia, will start on December 14 from Singapore Changi.
Singapore Airlines will fly four times weekly - every Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday - via Dubai.
Riyadh will be the second Saudi city the airline flies to after Jeddah.
Glasgow Airport ”Skyhub” to open in October
After 18 months, the first phase of the ”31m extension is set to begin October 21 with the opening of the new ground floor domestic arrivals hall.
A ”12m security search area on the first floor will follow as part of the second phase on October 28.
The ”carbon neutral” development is part of a larger ”200m investment plan for the airport which Airport managing director Amanda McMillan hopes will be "transformational" for passengers.
The third phase will see airport operator BAA refurbish the original terminal, with work due to complete spring 2009.
Premium class a first for South America
LAN has added premium economy seats on its short haul A320 flights, a first for the continent.
The seats have been rolled out on services between its Santiago hub and Buenos Aires, Guayaquil, Lima, Montevideo, Quito and Sao Paulo and between Lima and Bogota, Medellin, Quito and Sao Paulo.
On the ground, passengers have access to preferential check-in queues and LAN”s airport lounges.
LAN is also upgrading IFEs on its long haul Boeing 767s, with screens in each seat, 85 new TV and movie channels, plus on-demand music and video games.