Business Travel Show Europe Kick Off, 23 February,
Global Travel Risk Summit Europe, April 2023,
3rd Annual Sustainable Business Travel Summit
BA has been given the go ahead by the US Department of Transportation (DoT) to fly new transatlantic routes.The DoT approval gives the UK carrier blanket authority to fly from anywhere in the EU to any city in the US from next March when the recently agreed Open Skies deal comes into effect.BA had already announced that it plans to start new services from key European cities to New York and possibly other US cities.The key European cities include Paris, Amsterdam, Brussels, Frankfurt and Milan. Willie Walsh, BA ceo, said in New York this week that no decision had yet been made on whether the routes would be two-class or all-business class, according to the US magazine Business Travel News.The BA application was opposed by US Airways which had urged the DoT to wait until the Open skies deal came into effect before making a decision.BA has already said that it will move its flights to Dallas Fort Worth and Houston from Gatwick to Heathrow when Open Skies comes into effect.Robert Boyle, its commercial director, said the deal allowed non-stop flights to the two destinations for the first time.He added: "Among the sectors to benefit will be the oil and gas industry as business travellers will be able to transfer with greater ease at Heathrow between Texas and destinations such as Lagos, Luanda and the Middle East."
Hilton hotels sold
Hilton Hotels Corporation (HHC) has been sold to an American property and private equity company for $26bn.The buyer is The Blackstone Group which already has substantial hotel holdings in the US and Europe.It is also the owner of Travelport, which in turn owns two GDSs, Galileo and Worldspan, online agency Orbitz, and other travel companies including ebookers, CheapTickets and GTA.The deal with Hilton has been approved by the latter's directors and is expected to be completed later this year. This is subject to the approval of Hilton's shareholders.The sale comes 18 months after HHC paid Â£3.6bn to acquire the UK-based Hilton International, re-uniting the two companies 42 years after they split up in 1964.Stephen Bollenbach, Hilton's co-chairman and ceo, said: "Our priority has always been to maximise shareholder value."Our Board of Directors concluded that this transaction provides compelling value for our shareholders with a significant premium."
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