Air Berlin posts 50m net profit
Air Berlin, the third largest no frills carrier in Europe, posted a 50m net profit for 2006 compared to a loss of 115.9m in 2005.
Ulf HÃ¼ttmeyer, the airline's chief financial officer, said sales revenue during the year rose by 28.6% from 1.22bn to 1.57bn, pre-tax earning were up 67.4% from 153.2m to 256.4m and operating income rose from a loss of 5.5m to a gain of 64.1m.
Joachim Hunold, Air Berlin's ceo, said: "By achieving the best operating result in the history of our company, we reached all the targets we had set ourselves for 2006.
"Our net profit even exceeded the expectations of most analysts."
Taj plans European expansion
Taj Hotels, one of India's leading hotel chains, has launched a $1.5bn expansion programme in Europe, Asia and the US.
Raymond Bickson, ceo for the group, told the Financial Times, that he wanted Taj to have a branded hotel in all the world's major gateway cities.
Mr Bickson said the group was hoping to re-brand the Crowne Plaza in Central London, which it owns, as a Taj hotel and was also looking for properties in France, Germany and Italy.
It was also looking for properties in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago and Miami.
Premier sales rise
Total sales at Premier Travel Inn, the UK's largest hotel chain, rose by 16% in the first 50 weeks of 2006, compared to 2005, according to a trading statement by its parent company Whitbread.
Mr Alan Parker, Whitbread's ceo, said that trading for the whole group had "strengthened throughout the year."
He added: “Premier Travel Inn's growth rate has continued to increase, with total sales up 16.5% and like-for-like sales up 8.1%.
"The London market remains particularly strong. By the financial year-end we will achieve our target for the year of adding 2500 Premier Travel Inn rooms to the estate, which includes 19 new hotels delivering 1,700 rooms with the balance being achieved through extensions."
Whitbread will present in full year results on April 24.
New board appointed at Alitalia
A new five member board has been appointed to the Italian national carrier Alitalia following the resignation of three of the four directors of the old board.
These resignations included that of the airline's ceo Giancarlo Cimoli.
The new board comprises Berardino Libonati who will be chairman, Aristide Police, Giovanni Sabatini, Carlo Santini and Luciano Vannozzi.
* see BTE's recruitment site www.businesstraveljobs.com