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Lufthansa is to set up its own private jet service.The German national carrier said demand for private jets had risen steadily since it introduced its Lufthansa Private Jet (LPJ) service two years ago.
The move comes as the carrier's agreement with NetJets, which specialises in fractional ownership, ends next February.
NetJets, which provided the aircraft for the LPJ service, indicated that it wanted to concentrate on its own core business.
The private jet scheme had originally envisaged it would cater for travellers wanting onward flights after arriving at Lufthansa's German hubs of Frankfurt and Munich.
But Thierry Antinori, the airline's executive vp sales and marketing, said that 70% of its passengers were flying point to point in Europe while 30% wanted flights to connect with long haul flights at Frankfurt, Munich and Zurich.
Lufthansa will now invest in it own fleet which, after re-fitting, will go into service next spring.
Mr Antinori said: "Customer demand for the Lufthansa Private Jet has risen steadily in 2007 and at times outstripped capacity.
"The continued growth in demand shows us that our customers want a top-quality Lufthansa service. By creating our own Private Jet service, we are broadening our product portfolio, and we will thus be able to offer customers a full range of services."
Amadeus moves hotels to new platform
Amadeus has moved all 75,000 hotels on its GDS to a new distribution platform which the IT company said would give bookers more search capability.
The company said the "next generation" platform runs on the Linus operating system and uses Open Travel XML which provides improved interaction with other systems.
Amadeus said the new platform classified hotels according to 100 different attributes and enabled agents to find properties with specific facilities like business centres or swimming pools.
It also offered a clearer and more detailed display of room rates and facilities, down to things like whether there was an alarm clock or coffee maker.
Amadeus said the construction of the new platform would enable it to add new search features to find specific properties.
Antoine Medawar, Amadeus' managing director hospitality unit, said: "With more than two billion people checking-in to hotels each year – more even than the airline industry – the hotel industry is one of the world's biggest in terms of transactions processed but the industry's IT processes remain fragmented and unready to cope with the enormous increase in transactions as more hotels and booked online."
He said the new platform was a "major milestone" in the roll out of Amadeus's new hotel platform in 2008.
"This is designed from the ground up to help hotels reduce costs and increase revenue by centralising their technology infrastructure," he said.