Page 1


Corporate Traveller

spring 2010 no. 36

page 84

LifeStyle British Airways and Iberia Airlines merger still has challenges to overcome “ The trends are familiar, but accelerated” Luc Pannecoeck, General Manager of Amadeus Benelux

The best car rental companies Satisfaction survey 2009-2010

Travel trends and forecasts for 2010 High Speed Rail Travel Set to Increase THE

Highlights from expert’s reports











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Industry News

Travel Supplies

007 The Journal

056 Boeing’s Dreamliner becomes fastest selling jet in history

The last news from the industry

Travel Management

2 issues per year

test flight in December. 56 customers around the world have already placed orders for a total of more

Belgium, France, Luxemburg and The Netherlands


Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner successfully made its first

042 Travel trends and forecasts for 2010 With 2009 now behind us, surveys and forecasts

than 850 Dreamliner .

058 Car rental companies Satisfaction survey 2009-2010


are painting a slightly rosier picture for 2010.

LEO bvba

The Corporate Traveller compiles some of the

The Corporate Traveller surveyed 1,000 readers

highlights from these reports...

during 2009 to learn their opinions on car rental

1, rue des Ixellois, 4000 Liège, Belgium Tel: 0032 (0) 4 224 7871 Fax: 0032 (0) 4 226 9484 E-mail:

PUBLISHER Erik De Ridder – E-mail:


044 Copenhagen Summit and the Travel Sector Travel and tourism have been particularly active

063 High Speed Rail Travel Set to Increase


in proposing initiatives that need to be taken.

The railways of Europe are aspiring to win over

Jean Paul Talbot – E-mail:

As theirs is an industry with no geographical

new customers from airlines by offering seamless

boundaries, they are lobbying policy makers to

national border crossings on high-speed trains.

EDITORIAL TEAM Joanna Pays, Angela Antrobus, Jeroen Coteur, Jacques Legros, Erwin Loenders

ART DIRECTOR Bert Wagemans

initiate fair and global legislation on emissions reductions.

046 IMEX 2010 – on target for bigger business

Alliances 066 Mexicana joins oneworld Mexicana has become part of oneworld - adding

A few months out from the opening of the eighth

Mexico and Central America’s leading airline to

Subscriptions to The Corporate Traveller

IMEX in Frankfurt organisers, the IMEX Group, have

the alliance. Its subsidiaries MexicanaClick and

cost € 75 per year (excluding VAT). Costs of delivery to destinations

announced that they are on course to deliver more

MexicanaLink joined oneworld at the same time, as

business opportunities than ever when the doors

affiliate members.


outside of Benelux and France are in addition to this price. Student subscriptions cost € 45 per year (including VAT). A student card is necessary to obtain a student subscription. Subscription requests can be made in writing, mentioning your name, job, title, company name and delivery address. Subscriptions are for a period of one year, and are automatically renewed until revocation. Revocation of subscriptions must be made in writing two months prior to the end of the subscription period.

ADVERTISING ERIK DE RIDDER Tel: 0032 486 13 13 13 – E-mail:

open on 25 May.

047 No more guilt!

067 The Future of Air Travel At the end of November, Mechelen University

Do Europeans feel guilty leaving their families

College and Travel Magazine assembled a

behind when they head out on business trips?

particularly interesting panel discussion about airline alliances.

049 Amadeus introduces the AmateurExpert Traveller Amadeus has identified the Amateur-Expert Traveller, who is more knowledgeable, more


adventurous and more likely to live in an emerging economy than ever before.


PRINTING Schaubroeck, Nazareth

052 “The trends are familiar, but accelerated” The Corporate Traveller got the opportunity to discuss the Amateur-Expert Traveller report with

COVER Istockphoto

Luc Pannecoeck, General Manager of Amadeus Benelux.

COPYRIGHT No extracts from this publication may be used, repeated or copied without express authorisation from the editor. Except The Corporate Traveller, LEO bvba also edits Experience Magazine, Body In Motion and Toys & Games Magazine. ISSN 1387-2400

055 Squatra - The Largest Independent Travel Agencyin Flanders D&D Reizen, Focus Reizen and Omnitravel officially joined forces on 4 January 2010.


SPRING 2010 |



WTM World Travel Market. The Portuguese airline will also increase the services to Africa.

068 British Airways and Iberia Airlines merger still has challenges to overcome British Airways and Iberia Airlines have announced that they had agreed the basis for a 4.5 billion euro

075 Air Arabia to expand its operations in Europe and expects further growth in Belgium

merger after nearly 16 months of talks. Under the

Air Arabia, the Middle East and North Africa’s first

agreement, both airlines will retain their national

low cost carrier declared mid February that it has

identities and brand names.

seen rise in passenger demand for its services between Brussels and Casablanca.

070 Business travellers fly in or b.flex


With its travel classes and b.flex economy, Brussels Airlines offers the ideal solution for business travellers. Roughly 30 per cent of all Brussels Airlines passengers now opt for this value-for-money proposition.


077 Lindner Group makes its entrance onto the Belgian hotel market in Antwerp The Lindner Hotels & Resort Group recently announced that it was taking over the Golden Tulip

071 KLM celebrates 90 years of innovation

Antwerp Centre Hotel, renaming it in the process the Lindner Hotel & City Lounge Antwerp. Lindner

KLM has been celebrating its 90th anniversary. We

also plans to implement a series of ambitious

take a look back over a year of special events and

upgrades to boost the hotel’s profile.

innovations for the world’s oldest airline.

072 Royal Jordanian Airlines Deploys PROS’ Technology Royal Jordanian Airlines and PROS Revenue

Destinations 080 Hong Kong Defies Downturn with Jump in Hotel Development

Management, L.P. announce that Royal Jordanian

With passenger arrivals on an upward trend, and

Airlines is deploying a new suite of Network

a near 10% increase in hotel capacity in 2009, the

Revenue Management Systems from PROS. The

Corporate Traveller decided to investigate the

system is scheduled to be implemented in the

Hong Kong situation further.

fourth quarter of 2010.

082 London Olympics in 2012 - Will they hurt tourism revenues?

074 TAP voted “World’s leading airline to South America”


When London narrowly beat Paris in its bid to

TAP Portugal was elected the World’s Leading

host the 2012 Olympics, there were celebrations

Airline to South America at the Grand Final gala of

throughout the UK. It was estimated that hosting

the 16th edition of the WTA World Travel Awards,

the world’s biggest sporting event could bring

held in London on November 8, on the eve of the

added benefits of 2.6 billion euros to the country’s tourism industry. But that was back in 2005...

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SPRING 2010 | 5

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The Traveller Journal News from the travel industry

JAL – Down but not out Japanese Transport Minister Seija Maehara has guaranteed support for JAL

New security measures for travel to the US

Suffocating under a burden of debt estimated at over 16

Maehara assured “JAL is a foundation for Japanese development,

billion dollars, Japan Airlines filed for protection from

therefore the government will provide necessary support until

its creditors on 19 January.

further funding is secured.”

Bankers will have to waive loans and investors have seen the

There is a good possibility that some funding could come from

value of their shares wiped out. However, this does not mean

American Airlines and its oneworld alliance. JAL announced,

the end of Asia’s largest carrier. The Japanese government

at the beginning of February, that it had decided to stay with

has stepped in with billions of dollars in fresh capital to

its current partner American Airlines despite approaches by

guarantee that the airline stays in the skies while it undergoes

Delta and its SkyTeam alliance to woo it away. Both alliances

restructuring. A press statement issued by JAL has confirmed

were eager to win JAL’s allegiance and profit from its rich Asian

that flight operations will be continued and that customers

networks, and had offered cash packages.

should be unaffected. Tickets purchased and frequent flyer miles will be fully honoured, while the frequent flyer programme is

JAL currently has a fleet of 279 aircraft and operates over 400

expected to continue as usual.

routes. After restructuring is completed, the airline will emerge as a downsized version. A new management structure will be

JAL has already been bailed out a number of times by the

announced in February and measures to revitalise the business

Japanese government over the last decade but the economic

will commence. These will include moving to smaller, more

crisis proved to be the final straw. The airline is now under

efficient aircraft, consolidating underperforming routes and

the supervision of the Enterprise Turnaround Commission – a

redundancies of around 15,000 staff.

state backed organisation. Japanese Transport Minister Seija

Following the foiled terrorist attempt on the Northwest Airlines flight at the end of December, the US Department of Homeland Security has advised that a series of new, long term, security measures are being introduced. These measures will include enhanced screening, random





Online registration now mandatory for visitors to the US

explosive detection at both security checkpoints

Passengers heading for the US must now apply online

takes 15-20 minutes to complete and authorisation is normally

and the gates themselves.

for authorisation to enter the country at least 72 hours

granted immediately, but may take up to 72 hours. Those making

prior to departure. The Electronic System for Travel

late bookings can still apply, but there is a risk that they may not

Passengers flying into the United States from

Authorization (ESTA) is mandatory for all passengers

receive immediate confirmation.

abroad can expect to see additional security

travelling to the US under the visa-free Visa Waiver

measures at airports such as increased gate

Program. Passengers failing to obtain authorisation

The ESTA is valid for multiple entries to the US over two

screening, pat-downs and bag searches. They

prior to departure can be denied entry.

years. During a transitional period, passengers must still

should allow themselves extra time for security and

complete on board the green I-94W arrival/departure form

arrive an additional hour earlier. During flights,

Online authorisation can be obtained from the dedicated website

which will be handed as previously to US officials on arrival

passengers will be asked to follow instructions

which has been set up by the US authorities – https://esta.cbp.dhs.

at the airport.

from the crew, such as stowing personal items,

gov. More details about ESTA as well as questions and answers

turning off electronic equipment and remaining

about the process are also available on the website. Passengers

If the ETSA is not granted, application for a visa will be

seated during certain portions of the flight.

must ensure that the number on the ESTA matches the number

necessary. Passengers that do have a valid visa for the USA do

of the passport they will use for the trip. The application process

not require ESTA approval.

British Airways say business class could end on short-haul flights British Airways’ Chief Executive

slightly larger seats for one or two-hour

economy cabin or moved to budget carriers

seats could be removed from planes operating

Willie Walsh, has said that European

journeys has become unsustainable.

instead. “Short-haul premium will never

out of Gatwick and regional airports.

recover” said Mr Walsh. “That part of the

However, BA may hold on to premium in

business-class travel may not survive the recession.

As a result, BA has seen a sharp drop in

business has changed for ever and we have to

short-haul flights operating from Heathrow,

With companies looking to cut travel budgets,

short-haul business-class passengers. These

address it.” BA is understood to be reviewing

to take advantage of business-class transfer

the added expense of flying executives in

travellers have either traded down to the

its short-haul operations and the premium



SPRING 2010 | 7

The Traveller Journal News from the travel industry

Airport body scanners Swiss being introduced International

Airlines scoops 3 BTA awards

As part of the new security measures on flights to the US, body scanners are starting to be introduced in the UK, the Netherlands and

Italy, as well as in the US. The European Union is urging that they are installed across all 27 European member states. In the UK, body scanners have already been introduced at Heathrow and Manchester airports. They will appear at other UK airports over the coming months. The Netherlands have also announced the introduction of full body scanners for flights heading to the US and Italy is installing more of the devices. Some European nations however, such as Spain, France and Germany are showing resistance until it can be proved that that do not cause health risks or infringe on privacy

In the U.S., 40 full-body scanners are being operated

rights. European-wide legislation on the introduction

in at least 19 U.S. airports. Six US airports are using

of scanners is a possibility. If the EU does decide to

them for primary screenings, instead of a metal

mandate the use of body scanners across all its 27

detector, while a further 13 US airports are using them

member nations, it could take several months before

for secondary screenings of passengers who set off a

binding regulations come into effect.

metal detector.

Asia-Pacific airlines to acquire 8,000 new aircraft over next 20 years Airlines in Asia and the Pacific will acquire

airlines carrying over 30 per cent of global passenger

some 8,000 new passenger and cargo aircraft

traffic and around 40 per cent of all air freight. “To

over the next 20 years, according to aircraft

meet this demand larger aircraft will be needed to

manufacturer Airbus.

ease congestion and do more with less,” he said. “This will see airlines from the region account for over

Valued at US$1.2 trillion, the requirement represents

40 per cent of twin aisle deliveries and more than

one third of predicted global deliveries between now

50 per cent of the demand for very large aircraft,

and 2028, with the region driving demand for larger

such as the A380. With a modern, eco-efficient and

aircraft types.

comprehensive product line, including the only allnew aircraft in the very large segment, Airbus will

Swiss International Air Lines

by seats which give passengers a

In the passenger market Airbus predicts that traffic

be especially well placed to meet the needs of airlines

was awarded the accolade

maximum of space. These seats are

in the region will grow at an average annual rate of

in this region.”

for ‘Best Business Class to

equipped with innovative pnematic

the Destination of North and

cushions which can be individually regulated by passengers.”

5.9 per cent, which compares with a global average of 4.7 per cent for passenger traffic. As a result of this

The Asia-Pacific region is a core market for Airbus

South America’ at the Business

growth and continuous fleet replacement, the region

accounting for a quarter of all orders recorded by the

Traveller Awards.

is expected to take delivery of some 880 very large

company to date. Today there are some 1,430 Airbus

aircraft, 2,570 twin aisle wide-bodies and 4,560 single

aircraft in service with 66 operators across the



‘Best Airline on the European

aisle aircraft.

region, with another 1,120 on order with customers

Products and Services at SWISS

Network’ for the fourth time in

for future delivery. This represents 32 per cent of the

said “this prize confirms that our

a row, as well as being top of the


company’s total backlog, reflecting the importance of

new cabin product corresponds to

category for ‘Direct or indirect

Customers, said that within 20 years the region

the region as the fastest growing market for new

the expectations of our clients in the


would overtake the US and Europe as the world’s

civil aircraft

Premium segment. Our new SWISS







largest air transport market, with Asia-Pacific


SPRING 2010 |

Swiss International was also voted Binkert,


Business Class is differentiated





The Traveller Journal News from the travel industry

Hertz Unveils New Corporate Identity The Hertz Corporation has launched a new corporate by refining every step of the rental process with the customer

As part of its re-branding, Hertz is also updating its

in mind. The Hertz brand identity will be vibrant and

worldwide facilities, including on-and-off-airport Rent-

The corporate identity program will include the introduction

dynamic as we introduce innovations and other customer-

a-Car and equipment rental locations consistent with the

of a series of innovations to enhance the customer’s rental

focused attributes to enhance the rental experience. Hertz’s

corporate identity. With an emphasis on customer-friendly

experience and will be rolled out at key rental locations, as

new logo leverages our signature yellow colour, signifying the

technology, Hertz facility redesign will incorporate multiple

well as internal and external communications, worldwide.

Company’s 91-year legacy of service and innovation.”

media channels, including leading-edge LCD displays to

“As an iconic global brand and leader in its category, we

“Our goal in the logo redesign was to create a more contemporary

has commenced at larger rental locations and head quarter

are refreshing the Hertz corporate identity to ensure we

corporate image that reflects our strong brand recognition, and

offices, and will affect facility interior, exterior and signage,

will continue to be the first-choice rental provider in every

is in touch with the mindset of current and future customers

as well as employee uniforms. In 2009, newly branded

segment we serve,” commented Mark P. Frissora, Hertz

who appreciate superior service, personalised choices and

facilities will begin appearing in Atlanta, Chicago, Frankfurt

Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. “The Company’s new

value,” commented Mike Senackerib, Hertz Chief Marketing

and Shanghai.

corporate identity embraces our traditional values of speed,

Officer. “We believe, and our customer research bears out,

selection and service, as well as values which customers will

that the new logo portrays Hertz as a modern brand with

Hertz, now in its 91st year, is the world’s largest general

come to identify with Hertz – a commitment to make the

personality for business, leisure and insurance replacement

use car rental company, operating from over 8,000 corporate

rental experience part of a rewarding, personalised journey

renters, and equipment rental customers.”

locations in 145 countries.

identity program, complete with a new logo.

replace most fixed signage. The facility redesign project

Survey Reveals Investment in High Speed Rail as the Business Traveller’s Priority The Guild of Travel Management Companies

airlines, with 20% using no frills carriers. The first

(GTMC), the UK’s leading professional industry

and business class experiences were only enjoyed by

body for travel management companies,

16% of respondents. Heathrow is still the airport that

recently unveiled the results of a survey

dominates discussion and most travellers just want

of 1,250 UK-based business travellers in its

it to work better and be able to get to it easier. The

first Business Travel Manifesto. 70% of the

majority of respondents were not happy with the airport

survey’s respondents felt that high-speed rail

environment as a place to do work (outside of business

networks should be a priority for government

class lounges) and were frustrated by the time it takes to








Caribbean Conference on Sustainable Tourism Development to be held in May After a one-year absence due to the global economic crisis,

The survey revealed what

with security measures. They

the Caribbean’s premiere international gathering on

business travellers really want

want wi-fi, access to work

sustainable tourism is back. The 11th annual Sustainable

from air, rail and road travel

stations and power points (also

Tourism Conference will be held from May 9-12, 2010 in

and overall the desire was

a requirement at trains and

Bridgetown, Barbados.

for convenience, reasonable

stations), appropriate levels of

cost, speed and the ability to

staff to minimise queuing and

be able to work through the

effective routing of passengers

journey. The most compelling


aspect of the survey was that

remain the biggest frustration

70% of the respondents felt

for the business traveller.



that a high-speed rail network should be the priority for

GTMC chief executive Anne

Government investment, over

Godfrey said “The delivery of

expansion of capacity at UK

the GTMC Business Travel

airports, and 60% said high

Manifesto has provided real

This year’s conference will examine critical issues relating to

speed rail when asked what

insight and clarity on what

sustainability and will explore creative solutions to many of the

infrastructure would make the

the business traveller wants

challenges facing Caribbean Tourism Organisation member countries,

to be achieved by the future government. We hope

including the effects of climate change. It will look at how member states

our lobbying efforts in the next 18 months will make

can design and implement sustainable tourism policies and programs,

In terms of air, the survey showed that around 50%

a real difference to the experience of the UK business

offering a regional forum for information exchange on the successes and

of business travel is economy class on scheduled


pitfalls of national, regional, and international initiatives.

biggest difference.


SPRING 2010 | 9

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The Traveller Journal News from the travel industry

Luxembourg’s Cyprus tourism plunges Abbaye de 10.9% in 2009 Neumünster joins Historic Conference Centres of Europe Cyprus tourist arrivals plunged 10.9 percent in

The majority of the island’s visitors come from

2009, according to the government’s statistics

European countries badly hit by the global recession.


Over 2009, there was a 10.3 percent decline in arrivals from Britain, the island’s largest source of visitors, and

The recession in Europe is now taking its toll

a 7.8 percent decrease from Germany.

on the Mediterranean holiday island whose

tourism-reliant economy and growth is expected

The figures are slightly worse than the government’s

to be minimal this year. Between January and

projected 10 percent fall in arrivals for 2009. The

December, 2.14 million tourist arrivals were

struggling tourism sector has sparked fears of a rise in

recorded, compared with 2.40 million in the same

unemployment which could reach an unprecedented 7

period a year earlier.

percent or more.

Aircraft manufacturers and major Middle Eastern Airlines form bio-fuel alliances Two of the Middle East’s biggest airlines – Etihad and Qatar Airways -have announced alliances to develop and run their planes on biofuel. Qatar Airways, Qatar Petroleum, Quatar Science & Technology Park and Airbus have announced that they are to work together to develop sustainable biofuel that could be used by the airline. More details on the project, including a possible timeframe, are to be announced shortly.

Luxembourg’s Centre Culturel

over its history, including being

de Rencontre Abbaye de

a state prison and police station

Neumünster has become

after the French Revolution. In

In January an agreement was announced by Boeing,

the latest member of the

1997, it became the home of The

Etihad Airways, the Masdar Institute of Science

Historic Conference Centres

European Institute of Cultural

and Technology and Honeywell’s UOP to develop

of Europe group. The Abbaye,


a sustainable bioenergy project which will use saltwater agricultural systems for aviation bio-fuel.

which is located in the centre of Luxembourg City,

Now completely renovated and

The integrated approach uses saltwater to create an

is a UNESCO World Heritage

transformed into a meeting and

aquaculture-based seafood farming system for plants

Site. It is also the first site

cultural centre with the latest

that thrive in salty conditions – thereby not competing

in Luxembourg to join the

technology, Centre Culturel de

with potential food sources.


Rencontre Abbaye de Neumünster

most innovative schemes of this nature in the world.

can host up to 1,800 delegates

Etihad Airways Chief Executive Officer James Hogan

The project’s findings will be of great use to Etihad

Centre Culturel de Rencontre

inside and 3,500 outdoors in

said “The development of carbon-neutral sources of

Airways as we look to reduce the use of conventional

Abbaye de Neumünster has a rich

theatre style. It has approximately

energy is of major importance to Etihad Airways and

fossil fuels and to develop a commercially viable

historical background, dating back

13,000 m2 of exhibition space

the aviation industry. We are delighted to be a key

alternative that is also able to meet the sustainability

almost 1,000 years ago. The abbey

throughout its 15 halls.

member of the Sustainable Bioenergy Research Project,

principles that we have committed to as a member of

which will be based in Abu Dhabi and will be one of the

the Sustainable Aviation Fuel Users Group.”

has served numerous purposes


SPRING 2010 | 11

The Traveller Journal News from the travel industry

UNWTO says International tourism on track for a rebound

Air France denies that corpulent passengers will be obliged to pay for a second seat

Growth returned to international tourism

improved, with arrivals now forecast to grow

estimated to have declined worldwide by 4

in the last quarter of 2009 contributing

between 3 percent and 4 percent in 2010. This

percent, to 880 million. This represents a

to better than expected full-year results,

outlook is confirmed by the remarkable rise

slight improvement on the previous estimate

according to the latest edition of the

of the UNWTO Panel of Experts’ Confidence

as a result of the 2 percent upswing in the last

UNWTO World Tourism Barometer.


quarter of 2009. Asia, the Pacific and the Middle

Contrary to information

East led the recovery with growth already

reported in some of the media

Although international tourist arrivals fell by

Over 2009, international tourist arrivals for

turning positive in both regions in the second

recently, Air France has said

an estimated 4 percent in 2009, prospects have

business, leisure, and other purposes are

half of 2009.

that it has no intention of making corpulent passengers

Hyatt expansion in China

New airline consumer protection website launched by US Department of Transportation

Hyatt Hotels Corporation has signed a deal with Chinese real estate company Suning Real Estate Development to grow its mainland footprint

pay for a second seat.

Since 2005, Air France has been offering corpulent passengers the possibility of purchasing a second seat to ensure they travel in optimum comfort and safety. This second seat benefits from a 25%

with three new hotels. The US Department of

discount. Air France has made a

The agreement covers the opening of two 350 room

Transportation (DOT) has

change to its service, which is to

Hyatt Regency hotels in Wuxi and Xuzhou in 2012,

launched a new website

refund corpulent passengers the

followed by a 400 room Grand Hyatt Nanjing in 2013.

to help consumers to file

cost of the second seat in economy

The past 18 months have seen six Hyatt-branded

complaints on airline service.






Economy cabin is not fully booked.

properties open in Greater China, including two Hyatt Regency hotels in Hong Kong and two Park Hyatt

The website (http://airconsumer.

hotels on the mainland., allows travellers to file complaints to the DOT, compare historical on-time and baggage

Emirates to reintroduce the A380 on its New York service

Michael Taride appointed President of Hertz International

Emirates Airline has said it plans to redeploy

Hertz, the world’s largest general use

baggage, fare advertising, refunds,

the superjumbo on its New York service during

car rental brand, has announced the

overbooking, disability and flight

the second-half of the year after pulling it off

appointment of Executive Vice President


the route last June.

Michel Taride to President, Hertz

mishandling records of airlines and get helpful tips about air travel. The site also contains a compendium of information on government rules and guidance on subjects such as

US Air Carriers Raising Domestic Fares In January American Airlines

International. His previous role as President,

“This updated web site is part

made minor increases to most

Emirates, which have already taken delivery of its

Hertz Europe, has been expanded to head

of our ongoing effort to improve

of domestic fares, and some

eighth A380, started flying the double-decker aircraft

up the company’s Asia and Pacific car rental


competitors have followed suit

to New York at the end of 2008, but pulled the

and leasing businesses in addition to those

ensure that airline passengers are

as the industry struggles to

superjumbo from the route months later due to falling

in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

treated fairly when they fly” said

gain pricing power.

passenger demand. The carrier now flies the A380 to




US Transportation Secretary Ray

Toronto, London Heathrow, Paris, Seoul, Bangkok,

Mr Taride will also be responsible for creating new

LaHood. “We want to make it as

The American Airlines fare rises

Sydney and Auckland. It will start A380 services to

joint business opportunities with the car rental

easy as possible for consumers to

led to increases from Continental

Jeddah from February.

and equipment rental operations in the Hertz

find the information they need to

Airlines and Delta Air Lines within

International region. Now in his thirtieth year with

make their air travel experience

a week. As of yet, United and US

Emirates currently have 58 A380s on order at a value

Hertz, Mr Taride is based at the Hertz International

as smooth and hassle-free as

Airways have not announced that

of more than $17 billion at list prices.

headquarters in Uxbridge in the UK.


they will be matching the rises.


SPRING 2010 |

The Traveller Journal News from the travel industry

Virgin America to retain OrientExpress to US certification Transportation authorities have ruled that Virgin


America Inc can continue to be a US- certified carrier.

relatively small,


This clears the way for Virgin America to increase its US

with just 100






travel from Thailand to Laos

Competitors, led by Alaska Airlines, had challenged Virgin’s US

1,500 employees. Using San Francisco as its hub, it flies routes

status following media reports early last year that Branson’s

to Boston, Ft. Lauderdale, New York, Seattle and several

Virgin Group owned virtually all of Virgin America’s voting

other domestic destinations. With passenger growth in the US

securities. Under US legislation, domestic-operating airlines

essentially stagnant, airlines have to grow their revenue by

must be 75% owned by US citizens. However, in January, the

poaching market share from others, typically by undercutting

Luxury train operator Orient-Express has

Transportation Department ruled that Virgin does indeed

their fares. Virgin America competes directly with Alaska,

scheduled its first-ever crossing of the

meet its standard to be a US-certified carrier, with 75% of the

JetBlue Airways and Southwest Airlines, as well as some of

Friendship Bridge between Thailand and

airline owned by VAI Partners LLC, a Delaware limited-liability

the big carriers such as United Airlines, which also has a San

Laos aboard the legendary Eastern & Oriental

company, and 25% owned by Branson’s Virgin Group.

Francisco hub.

Express (E&O) for February.

Amadeus makes key management appointments for 2010 and 2011

The Thai-Laos Friendship Bridge, which opened last year, allows E&O to continue its journey into Laos. In the past, E&O could only go as far as the Thai north-eastern town of Nong Khai, opposite the Laotian capital of Vientiane. The first four-day/three-night Voyage to Vientiane journey departs on February 23 from Bangkok and traverses key historical and natural

Amadeus has announced that David V. Jones will

Amadeus has also announced the appointment of Ana de

attractions in north-eastern Thailand and Vientiane

continue to lead the company as President & CEO

Pro as new CFO and Sabine Hansen Peck as Vice President,

before returning to the Thai capital.

through 2010 and will be succeeded in January 2011

Human Resources, responsible for Group HR worldwide.

by present Deputy CEO and until now also CFO, Luis Maroto. David will work closely with Luis and with the entire senior executive team to ensure a smooth transition in the coming months.

SIA to fly A380 to Zurich The 471-seat A380 service will have a

Travelport Seals Full Content Agreement with Gulf Air

Air travel in Brazil soars by 17.7% in 2009 Air travel in Brazil jumped by 17.7% during 2009 – its highest increase over the last five years. The improved outlook for civil aviation in Brazil reinforces expectations that ticket fares will be hiked early in 2010 because of strong demand for regional travel and a strengthening currency that is boosting disposable income for air travel.


Travelport and Gulf Air have announced


details of a new global full content agreement

Gol Linhas Aereas, Brazil’s second largest carrier,

that will give all Galileo and Worldspan-

registered a sharp increase in traffic December as the

Class suites,

connected travel agents worldwide access to

local economy continued to pick up. GOL registered

60 Business

the airline’s full range of published fares and

2.83 billion in Revenue Passenger Kilometres during



December, up 34.8% from the year before and 15%




higher than in November. TAM remained the market’s

Singapore Airlines is to

and 399 Economy seats. SQ346 will

replace its 12 weekly services

depart Singapore at 01:10, arriving

The new multi-year agreement marks the continuation

leading airline for domestic flights with a 45.4 % market

between Singapore and Zurich

in Zurich at 08:00 local time. On the

of a long-standing relationship between the leading

share, down from 50.3 % a year earlier. Smaller airlines,

with daily services on the

return leg, SQ345 will leave Zurich

GDS provider and the pioneering airline, known for

led by WebJet and Azul, saw their combined market

superjumbo A380 from March

at 12:00 and reach Singapore at

its traditional Arabian hospitality and award-winning

share rise to around 13% from 7.3% in 2008, according


06:05 the next day.

in-flight product and services.

to the Brazilian civil aviation regulator ANAC.


SPRING 2010 | 13

Back to real Hospitality








annonce A4.indd 1

4 \& 



26/11/07 17:59:05

The Traveller Journal News from the travel industry

Nyhuset Corporate Apartments launches new 5 star suites in Brussels

IATA says 2009 showed worst demand decline in airline history

Nyhuset Corporate

room with a roof-top terrace which enjoys breathtaking

The International Air Transport Association said 2009 showed

Apartments has opened

views over Brussels’ skyline.

the worst demand decline in history, despite December traffic

new 5 star Suites in the historic heart of Brussels.

improving 4.5% from a year earlier. In addition, residents can enjoy the convenient services of the Dominican Hotel located just around the corner.

IATA said while traffic, measured in revenue passenger kilometres,

The luxury apartments are situated in Brussels’ city

This includes free access to the Dominican’s spa and

improved 4.5% year-to-year in December, the load factor, which measures

centre, near the Galerie de la Reine, the Grand Place,

fitness centre, in addition to all the usual hotel services

the proportion of seats filled with paying customers, was 77.6%.

the Opera House and the Ilot Sacré – a well known

such as room service, laundry & dry cleaning, check-in/

Brussels restaurant area.

check-out, housekeeping and the restaurant and bar

IATA, which represents some 230 airlines and 93% of scheduled

with its cloister garden.

international air traffic, said over 2009 passenger demand was down 3.5%

All suites are stylishly furnished and equipped with

compared with 2008 with the 2009 load factor at 75.6%. Middle Eastern

LCD-TV, Wifi, air conditioning, walk-in glass enclosed

Prices start at 80 euros per day for the studios and 95

carriers witnessed the fastest growth in passenger traffic, up annually

rain shower and a fully equipped kitchen. There is

euros per day for the Penthouse with a minimum stay

19.1% in December and 11.2% over 2009, as they increased their share

also a duplex penthouse which has an upstairs living

of 30 days.

of long-haul connecting traffic over their hubs. Latin American carriers

ACTE Announces Board Run-Off Election Result

recorded 7.1% growth in December on the year, however full-year traffic growth was muted at 0.3% due to the impact of Influenza A(H1N1) fears during the second and third quarters. Asia-Pacific carriers benefited from a 8.0% year-on-year improvement in traffic in December, boosted by the significant economic upturn in the region. By contrast, European carriers saw a 1.2% decline in December and North American carriers declined by 0.4%.

The Association of Corporate Travel Executives

Leigh Bochicchio joins ACTE’s recently elected Lutz

“Revenue improvements will be at a much slower pace than the demand

(ACTE) has announced that Leigh Bochicchio,

Stammnitz, President of Corporate Mobility Services

growth that we are starting to see. Profitability will be even slower

Vice President Program Lead Multinational

for Siemens AG and JoAnne Lloyd, Sourcing Director,

to recover and airlines will lose an expected $5.6 billion in 2010” said

Corporate Program for MasterCard Worldwide,

Travel for InterContinental Hotels Group. Bochicchio,

Giovanni Bisignani, IATA’s Director General and chief executive officer.

has been elected to the At-Large Board seat in

Stammnitz and Lloyd will serve three-year terms

““In terms of demand, 2009 goes into the history books as the worst year

the first even run-off election.

running through to 31 December 2012.

the industry has ever seen.”

Association of Southeast Asian Nations launches massive tourism campaign The Association of Southeast Asian Nations

MITM Euromed to be held in Spain this summer

(ASEAN) has rolled out a new tourism

The fourteenth edition of

GSAR Marketing, MITM’s

selective fair modality based


campaign with the slogan “Southeast Asia:

MITM Euromed, Meetings



on giving priority to quality

in accordance with their

feel the warmth.”

and Incentive Travel

retain the event’s proven

over quantity, and matching

business potential.

Market, will be held in the

format of individual pre-

the number of buyers with

ASEAN consists of ten member countries –

Olympic Congress Palace,

requested and pre-established

exhibitors. The incentives,

Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia,

in Lloret de Mar, Costa



Burma, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and

Brava, Spain from June



hosted buyers, come from


9 to 11.

buyers, continuing with its

all Europe and the USA


appointments exhibitors







SPRING 2010 | 15

The Traveller Journal News from the travel industry

Air France–KLM extend Amadeus full content distribution agreement until end 2013

Lufthansa launches three new long-haul routes from Munich

Amadeus and Air France-KLM, have agreed

The full content agreement also includes the content

to extend their full content agreement until

of subsidiary airlines Martinair and VLM and ensures

December 2013. The agreement guarantees

access to the same content through Amadeus as

Amadeus travel agents worldwide access to the

through any other direct or indirect sales channel,

This summer Lufthansa

Teheran under the flight number

entire range of fares, schedules and inventory

distribution provider or website.

will be offering flights from

LH 608. Flights will depart for the

Munich to three new long-haul

Iranian capital four times a week,

Amadeus has recently announced long-term full

destinations. From the end of

on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays

content agreements with key airlines including British

March, Tashkent, Teheran and

and Saturdays.

Jean Wieviorka, VP Corporate and Distribution, Air

Airways, Iberia, Lufthansa, Swiss, SAS Group and

Miami will be included in the

France and KLM said “Travel agencies are an essential

Virgin Atlantic..

timetable. In addition, services

Services to Miami from Munich

to Cairo, which were launched

will also be resumed on 29

relating to more than 74.8 million seats and 90,000 flights operated annually by Air France and KLM.

part of our global sales strategy. We are delighted to have reached a cost-effective distribution agreement

More than 80% of all airline bookings sold by Amadeus

this winter from Munich, will

March. The “Sunshine State”

that will continue to give Amadeus travel agents

travel agencies worldwide are made on airlines with

be extended until 30 May 2010.


worldwide an efficient access to the wide range of Air

content agreements. This represents over 280 million

France-KLM services and fares”.

bookings a year.

Lufthansa will begin operating the

destination for companies in the

new service to Tashkent, the capital

health care and IT sector. Flight

Lufthansa and Brussels Airlines expand codeshare services to Africa




Lufthansa and Brussels Airlines passengers

Angolan capital Luanda in addition to its own twice-

of Uzbekistan, on 28 March 2010.

LH 460, operated by an Airbus

now have a wider choice of flights to African

weekly service from Frankfurt. Frequencies to Angola



A330, will depart from Munich


are thus being doubled from two to four per week.

concerns have already established

three times a week, on Mondays,

Members of Lufthansa’s frequent flyer programme

bases in the country because it is

Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Miles & More can earn miles on all flights operated by

rich in raw material resources and

with Brussels Airlines to four more

Lufthansa and Brussels Airlines or

agricultural produce. Germany is

Fares to Miami and Teheran

destinations in Africa. This means

redeem miles for award flights.

one of Uzbekistan’s principal import

start at 499 euros, while flights to

partners and is a key trading partner

Tashkent are available from 779

Lufthansa customers can now book codeshare flights

passengers can fly with the Belgian


carrier from Berlin-Tegel, Hamburg,

As part of the extended cooperation

in terms of exports. Tashkent is also

euros. These fares apply to return



between the two carriers, Brussels

an interesting tourist destination. The

flights in Economy Class and

Nuremberg and Stuttgart through

Airlines, which belongs to the

city is the gateway to the legendary

include all taxes, charges and the

Brussels direct to the African

Lufthansa Group, will also issue

Silk Road. Lufthansa will serve

Lufthansa Ticket Service Charge

capitals Conakry (Guinea), Freetown

its own tickets to passengers on

Tashkent three times a week, on

if the booking is made online at

(Sierra Leone) and Kigali (Rwanda).

Lufthansa flights from Frankfurt

Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays. Miles & More

Furthermore, Lufthansa can now

to Abuja, Lagos and Port Harcourt

offer its passengers two codeshare


flights with Brussels Airlines to the

Guinea) and also to Luanda.



SPRING 2010 |



members can earn miles on these On 29 March, Lufthansa will resume services from Munich to


The Traveller Journal News from the travel industry

Brussels Airlines joins Star Alliance, Brussels Airport becomes hub

Swiss International Airlines Expansion Plans for 2010

Brussels Airlines became the 26th member of

to the USA would definitely be an important step in

Star Alliance during an official ceremony on 9th

strengthening our hub competitiveness”.

December in Brussels’ historic “Grand-Place”. With the entry of Brussels Airlines, Brussels Airport Brussels Airlines brings a network of 60 destinations

has now become a hub for Star Alliance. This means

to Star Alliance, including many exclusive destinations

there will be a multiplication of new flights and

located in Africa. This means that customers on the

frequencies from Brussels by Star Alliance partners

Star Alliance network can now choose from more than

for next summer. Air Canada will start a daily

19,700 daily flights to reach 1,077 destinations in 175

Brussels-Montreal/Toronto flight, United Airlines will


fly to Chicago, and Blue 1 will launch non-stop services to Helsinki. The airport is also to be connected by a

Brussels Airlines’ management estimates that its

high-speed train link to northern Belgium and the

The air transport industry

with short-haul destinations such

integration into Star Alliance could help passenger

Netherlands, which will greatly enlarge its catchment

may have just ended one of its

as Berlin, Brussels, Copenhagen,

traffic to grow by 10 percent over the next two years.


most difficult years but Swiss

Milan, Paris, and Tel Aviv. Two

It plans to continue to build up its network. “As we

International Airlines plans

of the airline’s Airbus A340-300

are financially in a better position, we are now looking

Brussels Airlines HON Circle and Senator cardholders

for growth are optimistic, with

aircraft are returning to service

to be more aggressive in building up our network and

have been given Star Alliance Gold status while

a number of new routes in the



connections,” said Bernard Gustin, Co-Ceo of Brussels

Brussels Airlines Frequent Traveller cardholders have


temporarily withdrawn from the

Airlines. “We will continue to build up our African

Star Alliance Silver status. All other Star Alliance Gold

fleet and this additional aircraft

and European networks and we are seriously looking

and Silver status holders will be given the appropriate

In December, Swiss CEO Harry

capacity will be used to increase

to fly again to two destinations in the United States.

benefits when travelling on Brussels Airlines. Gold



frequencies to Delhi, Mumbai, São

Nothing has been yet officially concretized, especially

status privileges include access to 980 lounges across

expansion plans for 2010. “We

Paulo, and Montreal. “We are also

as long as the dollar remains extremely low, but flying

the network.

are pleased to see that Swiss has

monitoring the demand in Asia.

succeeded in remaining profitable

We will commence an additional

thanks to 5 years of efforts to lower

weekly frequency to Shanghai next

our costs and improve efficiency”

summer and we are looking at

he said.

Beijing in the longer term,” added





Hohmeister. Following the opening of new links to Lyon and Oslo from Zurich in

The airline also plans to boost

2009, the airline has announced

its routes from Geneva and is

the launch of a new route to San

considering destinations in South

Francisco to commence in June. SIA

and West Europe such as Nice and

will offer six flights a week between

Rome. In the meantime, from this

Zurich and San Francisco, using

spring, Swiss will serve London

Airbus A340-300 aircraft. The San

Heathrow with six daily flights

Francisco flight will be in connection

from Geneva.

Global recession has cost UK tour operators £ 2.1 Billion The recession has cost UK Tour

than they were a year before. The bill in lost

downturn, but there are still companies

Operators £ 2.1 billion in lost profits

profits stands at £2.1 billion. With demand so

getting it right in spite of it all. Amazingly,

over the last year, according to new

subdued and the resultant competition, many


research by market analysts Plimsoll.

companies are unable to charge the prices

maintained or increased their profit margins

they need to make healthy profit margins.”

in the last year. All things considered that’s

David Pattison, senior analyst at Plimsoll






a pretty good achievement. Those companies

Analysis says “The recession has hit the sector

However, the burden of lost profit is not

prove that an efficient business selling the

hard with more than half of the companies

being shared equally as Pattison explains,

right product to the right market can still

analysed in our new report making less profit

“570 companies have bore the brunt of the

succeed in the current climate.”


SPRING 2010 | 17

The Traveller Journal News from the travel industry voted LAN Air New Zealand to launch lie-flat seating best airport website Airlines seeks new in economy class acquisitions For the second time,

website also has its own video

Air New Zealand is to launch

economy seats, though prices will has been

channel – SchipholTV. Flight

“Skycouch” lie-flat seats in

not be confirmed until tickets go

awarded first prize in the

information, the most popular

Lan Airlines SA, Latin

economy class on its Boeing

on sale in April. The airline says

category ‘Best Airport

section of the website, has been

America’s biggest air carrier,

777-300ER aircraft scheduled

the new seating will transform

Website’ in the ‘Webbie

expanded and now features

is studying the market for

to be delivered in November.

international air travel, creating

Aviation Awards’ organised

prominently on the homepage.

possible acquisitions. With

a flexible space ideal for couples,

by – the

A parking guide has also been

its Latin American passenger

The Skycouch is made up of three

and for those travelling with

joint website maintained

added, providing visitors with

traffic showing recovery over

standard seats that can be changed


by several leading

information about where to

the last two months, LAN is


park at Schiphol.

seeking to expand its presence.

into a single, horizontal space by removing arm rests and covering

“For the past three years we have

over the footwell, although the seats

been designing a new long haul was awarded the

“We are looking at all the possibilities

do not fully recline. 22 Skycouch

experience that will reignite the



gold ‘Webbie’, followed by the

around and we are window shopping,”

seats will be fitted on the new



nl was recently reorganised

DFW International (silver) and

said its Chief Operating Officer

aircraft, making up the first 11 rows

said Rob Fyfe, Air New Zealand’s

and the navigation structure


Igancio Cueto. “It’s a time when

of the economy class cabin. They will

chief executive officer. “For those


airport websites.

be launched on Air New Zealand’s

who choose, the days of sitting in

added Ruben Catalan, an analyst

services between Auckland and Los

economy and yearning to lie down

who covers Lan for brokerage BCI

Angeles, and will become available

and sleep are gone.” Mr Fyfe also

Corredor de Bolsa SA in Santiago.

on the carrier’s Los Angeles-London

announced an overhaul of the

“Companies are looking to increase

services from April 2011.

airline’s premium economy cabin,

their efficiencies through combining

which he claims will offer improved

their operations.”

A single Skycouch is likely to cost



sector journals. content






the competition is consolidating,”

dining and comfort.

the equivalent of two and a half

Airline ticket prices expected to increase worldwide According to the latest ITB

percent. The

World Travel Trends Report,


a rise in the price of airline



tickets is to be expected



worldwide in the short to



3.4 percent, lagging significantly

medium term.

behind the expected global average

Scotland’s Flyglobespan goes bust

Airline fees to rise at Frankfurt Airport

Flyglobespan, the Scottish airline and tour operator, has been placed under administration. All scheduled flights have been cancelled and the majority of the company’s 800 staff have been made redundant. In 2009 Flyglobespan carried more than 1.5 million passengers and

The report says that airlines need

growth rate of 4.9 percent. The

German airport operator

euros annually on just the airside

operated 12,000 flights. In the

to significantly adjust their ticket

ITB findings are based on the

Fraport AG has signed a

facilities – the side of Frankfurt

same year the airline announced

prices, noting that “current airline

assessments of 60 tourism experts

preliminary agreement with


it had made an operating profit

prices are clearly too low to allow

from 30 countries.

airlines which may see fees

operations take place.

airlines to become profitable again.”




of £1.2m following a loss of £19m in 2008. However its recent failed

increase by 12.5 percent Dr. Martin Buck, vice president,

over the next two years at

The new fee deal with airlines will

attempts to conclude a financing

Despite the worldwide recession,


Frankfurt Airport.

see charges rising by 4 percent in

deal led to the announcement being

the ITB World Travel Trends

Logistics, Messe Berlin, believes

July and by 3 percent in October. In

made on December 16 that it had

Report expects commercial aviation

that the recession has already had

Fraport is planning a substantial

April 2011, charges will be raised

filed for bankruptcy.

to grow dynamically over the next

a positive effect, “The over-capacity

expansion at Frankfurt, including

by another 3 percent and by 2.5

two decades. The Chinese market

of the world’s airline industries

a fourth runway that it hopes to

percent in October 2011. Fraport

The airline industry, including

is predicted to expand annually

has been reduced and older planes,

open by 2011, and a third terminal

said it also hopes to agree promptly

Ryanair and easyJet mounted an

by around 8.4 percent, followed

which consume large amounts of

which will open in stages after

on the fee schedule between 2012

emergency operation to repatriate

by the Asian-Pacific region at 6.9

kerosene, have been taken out of

the new runway. Fraport has

and the end of 2015.

those left stranded at special

percent, and South America at 6.4


said it is spending about 1 billion


SPRING 2010 |



‘rescue’ rate fares.

We take care of your car

...while you travel with Thalys or Eurostar. Zuidstation Gare du midi


Brussel / Bruxelles

Antwerpen / Anvers

The Traveller Journal News from the travel industry

Amadeus Affinity Shopper wins Award at PhoCusWright Travel Innovation Summit

Hainan Airlines to offer Daily Brussels-Beijing links Hainan Airlines, China’s


largest private airline,

entertainment system with



will be offering daily links

personal touch screens. The

between Brussels Airport

flights will offer convenient

and Beijing as from April


27th this year.

Shanghai, Hong Kong, Taipei



and a large number of other

Amadeus has won the PhoCusWright


travel technology

operations between Beijing

innovation award for

and Brussels in 2006 and is currently offering three

its Affinity Shopper

weekly flights during the winter season and four weekly

“The availability of a daily direct service will be very


flights during the summer season. Since the startup of

much welcomed by business passengers” said Jos

this service, the direct flights between Brussels and

Stroobants, Director Aviation Development at Brussels

China have become very popular with both holiday and

Airport. “This announcement illustrates the growth of

business travellers.

business relations between our countries, as well as

The was







airline websites, was

destinations in China and North East Asia.

the growing popularity of the many wonders of China

launched in November and piloted

Selected from over thirty other

Flights will be operated with Airbus 330-200 aircraft,

for European holiday travellers, and the attraction of

by Lufthansa Airlines. Part of



offering 36 lie flat bed seats in business class and

our own cultural heritage for the growing number of

the Amadeus Extreme Search

Shopper was recognized for its

177 seats in economy. All seats are equipped with

Chinese visitors”.


innovative design and technology




enables travellers to shop on airline


websites by their desired travel

challenges such as displaying

experience, rather than on a linear

instant response to all search

date and destination basis.

functions – including budget, type



of activity or geography – all on The PhoCusWright award was

a single page. In the near future,

presented to Amadeus during

the solution will allow for further

the Travel Innovation Summit

services such as allocation of


frequent flyer miles.




US Justice Department gives tepid response to request on AA-BA tie-up

Profitable Emirates airlines could become financial collateral for debt-stricken Dubai

The US Justice Department has said that a tie-

Dubai could be forced to cede ownership of Emirates Airlines as

North America and Europe to help them overcome

the city state fights for its financial stability.

current industry challenges such as soaring fuel costs.

Department’s claims in the hope that the Transportation

They have applied for antitrust immunity from the US


government on transatlantic flights.

spokesperson from BA said “It’s important to note that

Emirates Airlines is a key asset for Dubai. As one of the world’s fastest

up of British Airways and American Airlines for transatlantic flights would lead to “competitive harm” and called for restrictions on the deal. American Airlines, British Airways and Iberia of Spain, all members of the oneworld alliance, have signed an agreement to cooperate over flights between

growing carriers, award winning Emirates posted a net profit of £163





the issues raised by the Department of Justice are

million last year. The airline has ambitions to make Dubai a leading

The Justice Department’s antitrust division made

virtually identical to those it made in the Continental/

international hub and to become the world’s most important long-haul

its recommendation on the 22 December to the

United Star alliance case, which the DOT ultimately

carrier within a decade. The biggest customer for the A380, Emirates

Department of Transportation (DOT), who in turn

rejected. The quickest way to enhance competition in the

has ordered 58 of the 500 seat aircraft. However financial experts believe

will be responsible for making the final ruling. The

global aviation marketplace and provide a competitive

the airline’s future could be determined by Dubai’s sister emirate, Abu

Justice Department has warned that it believes that

balance is to grant oneworld’s application for immunity.

Dhabi, which could demand ownership of the company for bailing out its

the BA-AA tie up could lead to a 15 percent increase

This will ensure a level and competitive playing field

neighbour if the troubles at Dubai World worsen.

in transatlantic fares and “would result in competitive

with both the Star and SkyTeam alliances who have

harm on certain transatlantic routes serving 2.5

already received this same grant of immunity.”

Emirates is owned by the Investment Corporation of Dubai, which is in

million passengers annually.”

turn controlled by the Dubai government. Dubai has sought a 6-month

The proposed AA-BA tie-up has also drawn criticism

moratorium on debt repayments of nearly US$60 billion, connected to

Reacting to the announcement, British Airways said it

from Virgin’s Richard Branson, who says the deal

Dubai World and its construction subsidiaries and associate companies.

would be making a line-by-line rejection of the Justice

would threaten rivals.


SPRING 2010 |

The Traveller Journal News from the travel industry

Virgin Galactic selects European space port in Sweden Once





operation for 6 to 12 months in the US, the shuttle will move to the to its new Swedish site to address the European market. In a recent interview with Swedish broadcaster TV4, Richard Branson said that spaceflight from Sweden could become a reality as early as 2012. “We would love to send people up Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic has selected

with rocket so they can experience the aurora from

Kiruna, in northern Sweden, as the second

space. Sweden has been very welcoming and very

port for its SpaceShipTwo space shuttle.

enthusiastic about this project, so I am hopeful that

SpaceShipTwo’s first flights are due to to take

we, very soon after having started our space program

off from Virgin Galactic’s home port in New

in New Mexico, will be able to start up in northern

Mexico, US, in 2011.

Sweden”, Branson said.

Kempinski Hotel Dukes’ Palace in Bruges voted Leading Business Hotel in Belgium The Kempinski Hotel Dukes’

organizations in over 160 countries

Palace has been recognized

across the globe.

EU to Review Financial Protection for Travellers Booking Flights Directly with Airlines

as the Leading Business Hotel in Belgium by the


prestigious World Travel

Manager of the Kempinski Hotel





Dukes’ Palace commented “This award is a tribute to my entire staff

The World Travel Awards were

which day after day ensures the most

launched in 1993 to acknowledge

consistent and attentive service. We

and recognize

are delighted to be recognized in our first full year of operations with

excellence in the world’s travel

this distinguished honour and it is

and tourism industry. Votes for

wonderful to be acknowledged for

the Awards’ various categories are

our consistent effort to deliver the

The Consumer Commission of the European

cast by travel professionals from

most attentive service, amongst so

Union is launching a review of the financial

183,000 travel agencies, tour and

many outstanding and renowned

protection available to travellers who book

transport companies and tourism

five star hotels in Belgium.”

flights direct with an airline. Currently, only those who have booked through a travel agent or taken out independent financial failure insurance are covered for the cost of a new flight if their carrier goes bust. However, with the airline

Hilton The Hague to open in April 2010

industry under pressure, the Commission considered

The consultation period was finalised at the end

whether the existing Package Travel Directive could be

of January and the Commission expects to publish

A new member of the Hilton

example of how an existing building

extended to cover independent travellers.

proposals for a revised directive in the autumn.

chain, Hilton The Hague, will

can be revived and revitalized.

Emirates Airlines to operate flights to Amsterdam Schiphol

open its doors at the beginning of April. The hotel will feature

The Hague, political capital of the

195 contemporary bedrooms

Netherlands, is home to the Dutch

and 11 meeting rooms,

Royal family and host city to the

including a ballroom with a

International Court of Justice.

maximum capacity for up to


400 guests.

Amsterdam and Rotterdam, the



Hague is just 25 minutes from Situated in the heart of the city,

Schiphol airport and enjoys direct

Emirates Airlines will be operating flights between

2010. The new Emirates service will offer daily links on

Hilton The Hague has a strong

high-speed train links to Brussels

Dubai and Amsterdam Airport Schiphol as from 1 May

Boeing 777 aircraft, with three different service classes.

emphasis on design and is a textbook

and Paris.


SPRING 2010 | 21

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The Traveller Journal News from the travel industry

Eurotunnel strengthens revenue management strategy with Amadeus fluid pricing

Amsterdam Airport Schiphol makes major investments in baggage management Amsterdam Schiphol Airport has signed a

Schiphol will invest approximately 800 million euros

contract with Vanderlande and IBM for the

in expanding baggage-handling system capacity and

implementation of a state of the art baggage

improving the quality and reliability of the system. The

transport system known as Backbone.

new Backbone system, along with the commissioning of transfer unloading quays, are key steps in Schiphol’s ‘70 MB’ programme which aims to increase capacity to 70 million baggage items in the future. The airport is working closely with KLM to realise the project. The new transport system will link the airport’s West, E, D and South baggage basements, thus creating an integrated baggage system. Work is scheduled to start in March 2010, and is expected to last until mid-2013. Two rows of check-in desks in Departure Hall 2 will be closed alternately from May 2011 through September 2012 in order to facilitate the completion of the new Backbone.

Amadeus and Fourth Dimension Software partner to provide nextgeneration technology to tour operators and package travel providers worldwide Pricing



Amadeus has partnered with Fourth

”We are extremely pleased to be able to contribute

Dimension Software (FDS), a software

to the success of tour operators and leisure travel

development and services company for the

providers such as Nouvelles Frontières” says

travel industry. The partnership offers a

Philippe Chérèque, Executive Vice President,

Eurotunnel has successfully


implemented a revenue

car yield revenue has increased

next-generation solution that combines

Commercial, Amadeus. “Their business processes

driving Fluid Pricing Solution

by 2%. Paul Lymath, Strategic

systems and technologies from Amadeus and

are very specific and their workflows differ from

from Amadeus.

Planning and Analysis Manager,

FDS’ systems, destined for tour operators and

one player to another. Together with FDS, we will

Eurotunnel commented “We have

providers of packaged travel.

offer them the highest service levels and reliability,

The Fluid Pricing solution, which

been using Amadeus Revenue

has been created to drive increased

Management products for over

FDS’ CONTOUR® is a complete travel management

revenues, is a new component

ten years and we couldn’t be

solution for tour operators and providers of packaged



more pleased with the results.

travel, which optimises inventory management,

Once implemented, CONTOUR can be interfaced to

Our partnership has allowed us

packaging, reservations, multi-channel distribution

Amadeus Web Services to easily source flights in a

automatically drive price inventory

to make more rapid, accurate



streamlined process and to Amadeus Master Pricer,

within the Central Reservation

decisions regarding pricing and

processes. CONTOUR enables tour operators to

the low fare search tool which enables tour operators to

System. Eurotunnel also benefits

customer acquisition.”

lower costs by streamlining and reducing manual

add the cheapest and most relevant flight component

processes and expanding multi-channel distribution.

to the holiday package they create. CONTOUR can



and market changes.”

which provides information to



helping them to continuously adapt to the industry






multiple scenarios for future price

Bernard Rannou, Head of PMS and

It adapts quickly and easily to changing market

also be interfaced to TravelTainment’s multi-channel

and market demand relationships

RMS development, Amadeus added

conditions with a highly efficient and flexible rules

distribution front-ends, part of the Amadeus Leisure

in order to better set pricing policies

“We have built a strong partnership

engine. CONTOUR offers deep integration with

Group Portfolio, on which the largest European

that guide future decisions.

with Eurotunnel and worked hand

Amadeus services. Tour operators can efficiently

online travel websites and travel agencies are

in hand with them throughout this

access and package scheduled, charter and net-rate

booking holidays.

implementation process.”

flights via Amadeus technology and distribute them








across TravelTainment’s distribution platforms.


SPRING 2010 | 23

The Traveller Journal News from the travel industry

Parisian hotels and tourism organisations sign charter for hosting major congresses In December, the heads of 15

Marriott Hotels & Resorts, Rezidor Hotel

hotel groups came together under

Group and Starwood Hotels & Resorts.

federation of the Paris City Council,

By signing the Charter, the hotels have

the Paris Chamber of Commerce and

undertaken to offer specific and advantageous

Industry, and the Paris Convention

conditions for major professional events.

and Visitors Bureau to sign a

These conditions would include special

cooperative Charter. The Charter aims

terms for deposits, cancellations and quotas

to attract major professional events,

of rooms guaranteed several years in

especially congresses, to the French


capital and surrounding Ile de France Through





of a whole industry, Paris has brought The hotels groups who have signed the

together all the assets for attracting major

Charter represent 475 hotels in Paris

association events against a backdrop of

and the Parisian region. They are Accor

very keen international competition. With

Hospitality, B&B Hôtels, Best Western,

the establishment of a charter involving

Choice Hotels Europe, Concorde Hotels

an important number of hotels, the Paris

& Resorts, Disneyland® Paris – Business

Convention Bureau is now well-equipped to

Association congresses are a strategic

financial contribution per visitor, with

Solutions, Exclusive Hotels, Hilton Hotels,

give global, precise and detailed propositions

market for Paris and generate 10% of

the average amount spent by a congress

InterContinental Hotels Group, Inter-Hotel,

to associations, even when several years in

business tourism nights. These major

attendee at €321 per day, 50% more than

JJW Hotels & Resorts, Louvre Hotels,

advance of an event.

professional events also bring a high

that of a leisure tourist.

BMI increases frequency on East Midlands – Brussels, but suspends Brussels-Heathrow

Thalys reduces travel times to Amsterdam and Cologne

BMI Regional has introduced an

travellers, and the preference to depart

improved schedule on its East

from their local airport straight to the

Midlands – Brussels route. The

heart of Europe. BMI Regional continues

airline will add an extra (third)

to be the UK’s most punctual airline and

rotation on Wednesdays and

through improved schedules we strive to

Thursdays from 13 January 2010, to

provide business and leisure travellers

On December 13 Thalys celebrated

Henceforth Thalys will be travelling at

meet demand by business travellers

with the best possible level of service

the launch of its new high speed lines

speeds of up to 260km/h between Liège and

on the route.

to ensure business travel to Europe is a

to Cologne and Amsterdam. This

the German frontier, and up to 300km/h

smooth and hassle-free journey for all of

means travel times from Brussels

between Anvers and Rotterdam. With the

our customers.”

to Amsterdam and Cologne have

new high speed link and an increase in the

now been reduced to 1h53 and 1h47

number of frequencies, notably a 7th return

Peter Kenworthy, commercial director of BMI Regional said: “The introduction of an extra rotation on the East Midlands

At the same time BMI are suspending all

respectively. Times from Paris to

between Brussels and Amsterdam, this

to Brussels route reflects the increasing

services between Heathrow and Brussels

Amsterdam and Cologne are now down

means that return journeys can easily be

popularity of the route amongst business

(see article on BMI restructuring)

to just 3h18 and 3h14.

made in the same day.


SPRING 2010 |

The Traveller Journal News from the travel industry

Starwood’s new Westin Pune Koregan Park part of 60% Indian growth plan by 2012

UK and US Protest against new Indian Visa Rules

The Starwood group has now opened

Britain and the US have lodged a

process of trying to secure a visa that would

its 25th hotel in India and plans to

diplomatic protest with India after the

grant them the right to residency. Some

grow its footprint in the country by 60

government in Delhi introduced rules

apply for six-month tourist visas and then

percent by 2012. The latest addition,

barring tourists from returning to the

travel to nearby countries, such as Nepal,

the Westin Pune Koregaon Park, was

country within two months of any visit.

to renew them. Those on longer-term tourist

inaugurated in December.

The new visa rules, which also apply to

visas ‑ for five or 10 years ‑ are also required

other foreign nationals, are apparently

to leave the country every 180 days and

a reaction to the arrest in the US of a

tend to fly out for a couple of days before

The Westin brand forms part of Starwood’s expansion plans for India and is the first of

Paasschen, President and CEO for Starwood

Mumbai terror suspect, David Coleman

returning. Under the new rules, that would

six new Westin Hotels to be opened in the

Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc.

Headley, who had entered India on a

no longer be an option. Posts on internet

multiple-entry visa.

travel forums suggest that some British

country over the next three years. India makes up 21 percent of the world’s

tourists have already fallen foul of the

“As home to the world’s fastest growing

incremental growth, and by 2016, its population

rules and have found themselves stranded

population, India represents a significant

is expected to be larger than that of Europe,

and unable to return to India after visiting


Russia, Australia, New Zealand, Japan,

neighbouring countries.





development partners,” said Frits van

Canada and the United States combined.

Brussels Airport opens new information centre in arrivals hall

India already cracked down on business visas last year, informing thousands of holders that they must return to their home countries and prove that they meet much stricter criteria before new visas will be issued. Ironically, The British high commission in Delhi has

the clampdown comes as the country

urged the Indian government to rethink

attempts to boost its tourism industry. The

the policy, which is expected to hit tourists

Indian government has apparently sought

planning to use India as a base for touring

to defuse the row by giving consular officials

the region. In addition many foreigners

the power to grant exemptions in exceptional

living in India prefer to use tourist visas

cases, although there is as yet no clarity on

rather than go through the complicated

how that might be applied.

Spanish Air Comet files for bankruptcy

Brussels Airport has opened a new

“An extensive survey of passengers and

information centre in the arrivals

airlines showed that the need for information

hall. The new centre centralises

in the arrivals hall was bigger and that is

several services for airport visitors

why we decided to bring together all our

including an information desk, Lost

passenger services in the very heart of the

& Found services, the public address

arrivals hall”, explains Ruben Sicking,

Spanish airline Air Comet announced


system and a telephone inquiries

Director Operations of Brussels Airport. “The

in the week prior to Christmas that it

against it. Owned by Spanish tourism and


first passengers seemed very enthusiastic

had suspended all its flights because of

transportation company Grupo Marsans,

about the new service.”

financial difficulties preventing it from

the airline owes 17 million euros in lease

paying its debts. The company said

payments to Nord Bank as well as some 7 million euros in back pay to its workers.

Extra services will be added at a later





stage and the information centre will not

Brussels Airport is one of the largest

it had filed for bankruptcy and had

only represent Brussels Airport but also

airports in Europe, handling well over

requested government permission to

distribute tourist information from other

18.5 million passengers and 661,100 tons

dismiss all of its 700 employees.

companies and organisations. This will

of freight annually. Brussels Airport links

include information on different regions,

the European capital with 200 destinations

Air Comet, which specialises in flights to

on flights from Madrid to Bogota, Buenos



worldwide through 100 different airlines of

Latin America, attributed its problems to

Aires, Havana, Lima, Quito and Guayaquil

accommodation in Belgium and finding

which 80 are passenger airlines and 20 full-

a decision by a commercial court in London

in South America

tickets for cultural events.

freighter airlines.

that enabled Nord Bank of Germany



Air Comet has a fleet of 13 planes and, prior to closure, carried 1,500 passengers a day


SPRING 2010 | 25

BRUSSELS – AMSTERDAM 1h53 Thalys faster than ever before

The Traveller Journal News from the travel industry

Continental Etihad to launch two Japanese Airlines joined destinations in first quarter 2010 Star Alliance Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, will launch services to Nagoya and Tokyo

in the first quarter of 2010. These are the airline’s first destinations in Japan. Etihad will operate a four flights a week service to Nagoya, via Beijing, from Monday, 1 February, increasing to five flights a week from 27 March, subject to regulatory approval. A five flights a week direct service to Tokyo’s Narita airport commences on Saturday 27 March, also subject to regulatory approval.

On 27 October, the CEOs of Star Alliance’s airline carriers welcomed their 25th member – Continental Airlines. Continental’s joining Star Alliance will further enhance the alliance’s three main customer objectives

US Travel Industry expects creation of 90,000 new jobs for 2010

of global reach, worldwide recognition and seamless

The U.S. Travel Association has

quickly adding tens of thousands of jobs,”

travel. Continental’s membership follows last year’s

announced that the projected

said Roger Dow, president and CEO of

announcement of a strategic partnership between

increases in inbound tourism for

the U.S. Travel Association. “What we

Continental and United Airlines. Experts from both

2010, although modest, will enable

are announcing is based upon modest

airlines and Star Alliance have been working together

the industry to add nearly 90,000

increases in travel. Given its immense

over the last 18 months in order to ensure the first

American jobs.

potential, we call on the Administration

successful transition of a major airline from one global alliance to another.

and Members of Congress to build a Leisure travel is expected to rise by 2.0

plan for economic recovery that drives

percent, business travel is projected to

significant increases in travel.”

“Bringing Continental Airlines into Star Alliance has

increase by 2.5 percent and international

been a truly unique experience. This is the first time

inbound travel will increase by 3.0


an airline has moved directly from one alliance to

percent. These job gains come on the

Association, a federal economic recovery

another and I would like to thank all those involved in

heels of 400,000 combined travel industry

plan to significantly increase travel and

to the US and for government funding

ensuring a smooth switch,” said Jaan Albrecht, CEO

job losses in 2008 and 2009.

create jobs would include passage of

for a “NextGen” air traffic control

the Travel Promotion Act to encourage


Star Alliance.





“The travel industry shares President

millions of travellers to visit the United

“Continental’s joining makes the Star Alliance network

Obama’s goal of putting Americans back

States. In addition they are calling

The US travel industry currently employs

even more extensive, offering our customers the

to work. Our industry is uniquely capable

for improvements to visa and entry

7.7 million workers.

broadest global access and greatest choice of service,”

of adapting to economic upswings and

processes that adversely affected travel

said Glenn Tilton, chairman and CEO of United Airlines. “We welcome our partner, Continental, which brings tremendous value to our customers, our employees and the communities we serve.” With the addition of Continental Airlines, Star Alliance customers now have a choice of 19,500 daily flights serving some 1,071 airports in 171 countries.

IMEX launches IMEX America with strong support from associations

Ray Bloom, Chairman of the IMEX group, has

IMEX America will benefit from a Strategic


announced the launch of a brand new trade

Partnership with MPI, as well as a broad coalition

Association International), AIPC (International

show for the US meetings industry. The new

of support from some of the industry’s largest

Association of Congress Centres) and ECM (European

show, IMEX America, will take place at the

associations. Site (the leading association worldwide

Cities Marketing) will all add their support through

Sands Expo Convention Center in Las Vegas,

for incentive travel and motivational events) will

a number of marketing and educational initiatives.

from 11 to 13 October 2011.

hold their 2011 Annual Conference immediately

In addition, ASAE (American Society of Association

following the first show, from 13 to 15 October, whilst

Executives) will organize dedicated association-led

the ICCA (International Congress & Convention

education on the day before the show.





SPRING 2010 | 27

The Traveller Journal News from the travel industry

Brussels Airlines welcomes new Chicago service from partner United Airlines Brussels Airlines’ Star Alliance partner, United Airlines, has announced the launch of a new daily transatlantic route between Chicago O’Hare and Brussels.

UNWTO says Confidence in tourism sector slowly picking up The UN World Tourism Organisation

The service, to commence in March 2010, will mean the

(UNTWO) expects moderate growth

connection of Brussels Airlines’ hub with one of United

for 2010 and believes the decline in

Airlines’ major US hubs.

international tourism may have started to bottom out. This is according to the latest

“We welcome the decision of United Airlines to

edition of the UNWTO World Tourism

launch this new transatlantic service to Chicago”,


says Brussels Airlines co-Managing Director Bernard Gustin. “We are very much looking forward to our

On a worldwide scale, international tourist

partnership with United Airlines who already operates

arrivals declined by 7 percent between January

a daily flight from Brussels to Washington Dulles. (...)

and August 2009, but the rate of decline has

This excellent news is another example of the many

eased in the past few months. These results, as

benefits we will be able to offer our passengers as we

well as the most recent economic data, confirm

joined the Star Alliance in December.”

UNWTO’s initial forecast of a 5 percent decline in international tourist arrivals for the full year

Increased UK Travel Taxes will Discourage Visitors say ETOA and ABTA

2009. Nevertheless, the downward trend that started in September last year may have begun to bottom out. Arrivals in the two high-season months of July and August declined by 3 percent compared with a decrease of 8 percent in the first half of the year and data available for September points to a continuation of this upward trend. The UNWTO Confidence Index is also improving after two periods at a historic low. The more than

The European Tour Operators

airlines may consider removing the

European states that have abolished

330 experts surveyed worldwide by UNWTO

Association (ETOA) and the

service altogether if the Government

departure taxes and other charges on

confirm that confidence is picking up. In the

Association of British Travel Agents

insists on taxing it as highly as business

travellers. He cited the example of the

latest survey, the percentage of experts with a

(ABTA) have hit out at new travel

and first class tickets.

Netherlands government, who realised

negative outlook for the next four months has

that such a policy was a mistake

decreased from 62 percent to 42 percent.

taxes in the UK, which they say will discourage visitors. Air Passenger

“Increased taxes on travel will discourage

and subsequently scrapped it. “The

Duty rose on 1 November and there

visitors to Britain as people avoid paying

Netherlands imposed such a tax and

will be more increases with rise in

them” said Jack Coronna, president of

have since abolished it after they were

Aviation Poll Tax planned for the

ETOA. “The UK government has raised

convinced it led to marginal fiscal gains

end of next year.

airport departure taxes this month by

but had a definite negative economic

between 10 and 40 percent and will raise


Increased UK Travel Taxes will Discourage Visitors say ETOA and ABTA

According to ABTA, inbound tourism

them again in a year’s time. This is an

will be damaged as foreign visitors are

insane and savage penalty on a group

Mark Tanzer, ABTA’s Chief Executive

Travelport has appointed Gordon Wilson its

put off travelling to the UK and regional

who can – and will – choose not to pay it.

warned “These travel tax rises will

new deputy CEO.

airports will suffer as airlines consider

UK citizens may find it difficult to avoid

put pressure on jobs and damage local

the profitability of maintaining routes.

paying this imposition, but tourists from

economies reliant on tourist expenditure

Based in Langley, the UK, Wilson will continue to

Those passengers willing to pay for a

elsewhere can easily avoid doing so – by

both here and abroad, when we are

serve as president and CEO of the company’s GDS

little extra leg room in premium economy

staying away,” he said.

already suffering from the impact of the

and IT services and software businesses. Wilson’s

recession. They will undo a lot of the

appointment recognises the importance of the GDS

good work being done by the industry to

business, IT services and software to the Travelport

keep prices at an affordable level”.

group of companies, said a Travelport spokesperson.

will be taxed still further, which will take it out of the range for many travellers


according to ABTA. They predict that

government could learn from other


SPRING 2010 |





The Traveller Journal News from the travel industry

ETIHAD wins WTA award for World’s Leading Airline Etihad Airways has been voted the

set itself one clear and

World’s Leading Airline, by a panel

simple goal – to be the

of more than 180,000 travel industry

best airline in the world.

professionals from over 175 countries,

I am proud of the way

at this year’s World Travel Awards

Etihad people all over the

(WTA). In addition to being named

world have embraced that

World’s Leading Airline, Etihad also


picked up the award for Leading First

investment in state-of-the-

Class for the second year in a row.

art products by delivering



superb customer service. The World Travel Awards recognise the

Etihad is honoured to be

best airline, hospitality and tourism brands

recognised as the World’s

worldwide, with industry experts vetting

Leading Airline by travel

nominations for their customer relations,

agents and other industry

creativity, quality of service, product

professionals – the people

innovation and business acumen. Etihad,

who really know what

the first Middle Eastern airline to win this

travellers are looking for

prestigious award, was recognised for the

in an airline.”

excellence of its onboard product, luxurious airport lounges and strong service ethic

Mr Hogan said: “As we

during a period of phenomenal growth.

move into 2010, we intend to cement our place as the






world’s best airline, opening up new routes,

new products in the air and on the ground,

to make travelling with Etihad better than

executive, said: “Three years ago, Etihad

taking delivery of new aircraft, investing in

and introducing a range of online initiatives


Focus on emerging economies key to Emirates’ success Airlines must develop new routes in

boosted by a program of cost cuts and lower

blow.” Emirates will have 15 A380s by

emerging economies if they want to

fuel prices. Clark said Emirates will close the

December 2010 rather than by June and

survive says Dubai-based carrier,

financial year significantly up on previous

won’t be able to introduce the aircraft on the

Emirates Airlines.

profit forecasts, thanks to the quality of its

route to New York as planned. Clark said

brand, a fall in oil prices and favourable

the new airliner is a “crowd puller,” with

exchange rates.

passengers going out of their way to fly on it

Speaking during a debate at World Travel Market, Emirates’ president Tim Clark (photo)

once they have experienced it. Load factors

said that they had been able to harness the

Seat factors remain “in the 80 percent

on the five A380s already delivered are

growth in emerging markets by developing

region” albeit with a lower yield per seat,

about 90 percent.

new links between cities in China, India,

and the carrier has taken 16 percent off its

South America, and Africa. “As we started to

unit costs, thanks to a recruitment freeze


connect these points, people started to flow in

and efficiency drive. “We grew so rapidly

“disingenuous” about Dubai’s growth –

ways that we had not seen before. More fool

that certain things got away from us, and we

particularly the UK press – “do so at their

those who do not harness what is going on,

found a pattern of legacy processes that were

own peril. It is an open economy and suffered

including the European carriers.”

not efficient,” said Clark.

in the recession. We have taken stock and

As well as its key geographical location and

He admitted that delays by Airbus with

hub operation, Emirates’ results have been

deliveries of the new A380s were “a real






slowed down but watch this space very Tim Clark – Emirates’ CEO



SPRING 2010 | 29

The Traveller Journal News from the travel industry

YTL Hotels embarks on international expansion plan International Survey Ranks Germany as Best Country for Ease of Travel

YTL Hotels and Properties is

by a hotel in Shanghai in late

embarking on an ambitious

May or early June. The chain will

expansion programme

also plant its flag in Los Angeles

that will see it turn into an

and two locations in Borneo, and

international hotel chain with

is eyeing a ski resort in Japan.

properties in Asia, Europe and YTL

the US.




presently has four properties in YTL intends to expand globally

Malaysia, namely the Tanjong

through acquisitions and new

Jara Resort, Pangkor Laut Resort,

The fifth annual Country Brand Index (CBI)

including Ease of Travel, Safety, Rest & Relaxation,

builds, and is looking to develop

Cameron Highlands Resort and

has been published by US-based FutureBrand

Standard of Living and Most Likely to Live in.

an umbrella brand for all its hotels

The Majestic Malacca. It also owns

by early next year. The first YTL

the Spa Village Resort Tembok in

company and the Weber Shandwick agency. The survey incorporated interview data

As the overall Top Country Brand, the USA has made

property outside Malaysia and

Bali, the JW Marriott Hotel Kuala

from nearly 3,000 frequent travellers from

it to number one in 2009 for the first time – ahead of

Indonesia will open in St Tropez,


nine countries and over 30 experts on 26

Canada and the 2008 number one Australia.

France in late May 2010, followed

Kuala Lumpur




categories. Germany was ranked the world’s leading country in the categories for ‘Ease of Travel’ and ‘Standard of Living’. It was also awarded 9th place in the overall international country brand index, amongst 102 rated countries. “This is an excellent result which also confirms the performance of the German meetings and conventions industry” said Lutz P. Vogt, Managing Director of the GCB German Convention Bureau, “Germany ranks top exactly in the categories that are important for meetings and events: number one world-wide in the ‘Ease of Travel’ category plus number one in

Movenpick targets tight budgets with US$1 meeting packages

‘Standard of Living’ – with a good business climate, high per-capita GDP and cutting-edge infrastructure

Movenpick Hotels & Resorts is

finalised by March 31 2010, and which

confident that we can attract new business

playing a major role. With 16 international and 14

aiming its new US$1 meeting

will take place between January 1 to

and retain existing clients.”

regional airports seamlessly interlinked with a

package at organisations with

September 30, 2010.

40,000 kilometres of railway network and 11,000

tighter budgets, to boost meetings at

kilometres of motorways, Germany offers excellent

its three Asian properties.

Available at Movenpick’s Phuket, Hanoi The package was launched in response to

and Saigon properties, the package

organisations becoming “more protective

includes use of a venue such as the meeting

Valid for planners who book 10 or more

of their budgets”, said Christina Bartz,

room or ballroom, lunch, two coffee breaks,

The Country Brand Index features a variety of

rooms at qualifying contract corporate


standard equipment and a room upgrade

ratings. These range from best overall country brands

rate or the Movenpick best available

marketing Asia. “By offering value-driven

to detailed rankings across a breadth of categories

rate, the US$1 package is for meetings

event and meeting packages, we are

travel connections throughout.”





for the organiser.


SPRING 2010 | 31

The Traveller Journal News from the travel industry

European court says EU airlines must compensate passengers for delays

Air France-KLM reveals new strategy for short and medium haul routes To counteract recent rumours on a possible

Air France will lower its current fares by 5% to 20% for

conversion of Air France-KLM short/medium-

its lowest fares and by 19% to 29% for its most expensive

haul network into a low cost operation, the

tickets. Other measures include rationalisation of

management of the French national carrier

the airline’s long haul network, with better offer in

decided to reveal their new strategy earlier

terms of product segment. Does Air France intend to

than planned.

emulate budget airlines? “We are looking to be more competitive. Our concept is to match the needs of our

On November 18th, Pierre Gourgeon, Air France-KLM

clients –especially SME and leisure travellers- but not

On November 20, a European

Group CEO gave full details on the airline’s future

to match at any price the budget airlines’ model, nor to

court handed down a decision

offer on short and medium haul routes.

become a low cost airline operation,” says Gourgeon.

that will require airlines

Air France will be repositioning with a new, simplified

The integration of the Airbus A380 will help the airline

compensate passengers for

offer, from April 2010. “We have seen a slow erosion

to reduce frequencies thanks to larger capacities. This

mass delays. Passengers

of our revenues since 2002 on short-and medium-haul

has been the case with the recently launched A380

forced to wait three hours or

routes. We had to react strongly,” explains Pierre

service to New York which is replacing two daily

more will be compensated 600

Gourgeon. “There will now be two reservation segments

flights. The airline estimates that the Airbus A380 will

Euros, the same amount as if

questioning why the United States

– Premium and Voyageur. Premium will integrate

reduce CO2 consumption per passenger/km by 20%

their flight had been cancelled.

has not yet taken similar measures

both Business Class and fully-flexible economy fares

and help save € 15 million per aircraft.

in the European Union to

stating: “Sadly, the US is woefully Hendrik

and Voyageur will propose low fares in economy.



behind in prioritizing the rights of

With Economy Premium, we close the gap between

Air France will continue to streamline operations at in the EU said:

its consumers. We deserve nothing

regular economy class and business class” continues

its two hubs of Paris CDG and Amsterdam Schiphol

“This is an historic decision for

less in the United States than the

Gourgeon. “By contrary, Voyageur is conceived for

whilst continuing to operate the best connection


very same rights the courts have

savvy travellers. I am convinced that we will see a

system in Europe. Air France-KLM believes these

within, or to Europe.”

rapid turn-around as we will gain market shares again

various rationalization measures should help it

in Europe thanks to our low fares in both leisure and

turn the corner and reach break even again by president Kate

business travel segments”.


Hanni took it a step further,



just granted to consumers living in democracies across the European continent.”

KLM Takes Strides in Sustainable Air Transport KLM Royal Dutch Airlines operated

“KLM leads the sustainability drive

The development of biokerosene is a

Johan van de Gronden, director of WWF

its first ever passenger flight powered

in global aviation. The Netherlands

quest that KLM is pursuing in accordance

The Netherlands said “The establishment

by sustainable biokerosene on 23

should make good use of this leading

with strict financial, technological and



position to ensure clean, silent and

ecological criteria. “The food chain may

initiative. KLM’s demonstration flight serves as a concrete step towards achieving

sustainable air transport worldwide,”


To give an extra impulse to sustainable

said KLM President & CEO Peter

of biokerosene should not go hand in

air transport, KLM also joined hands with

Hartman. “This is technically feasible.

hand with deforestation or excessive

North Sea Petroleum and Spring Associates

We have demonstrated that it is possible.

water consumption,” said Mr Hartman,

to establish the SkyEnergy consortium.

Government, industry and society at

adding: “The conservation of biodiversity

The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF)

large must now join forces to ensure that

is, of course, also a precondition. Our

will advise the consortium in relation to

we quickly gain access to a continuous

cooperation with WWF is both important

ecological aspects.

supply of biofuel.”

and inspirational.”


SPRING 2010 |









a more sustainable future.”

The Traveller Journal News from the travel industry

Marriott launches franchise for highend, independent hotels Marriott International is launching

Corinthia Hotel Lisbon opens lavish new Spa at cost of 4 million euros

a new brand called the Autograph Collection, aimed at customers who prefer

A 3,000-square-meter, state-of-

independent, high-end hotels.

the-art Malo health spa has been inaugurated at the five-star

The Autograph Collection will allow independent

Corinthia Hotel in Lisbon, Portugal.

hotels, many of whom have lost business in the

The €4 million spa is the largest

recession, to maintain their character while

in any hotel in Lisbon and offers

using Marriott’s massive reach to bring in more

the widest array of facilities

customers and save on costs.

and technologies for relaxation, treatments and fitness.

Marriott, with 3,200 properties worldwide, will operate the hotels as franchises. The hotel

The spa’s treatment areas consist of 13

owners will pay Marriott in return for using the

fully equipped rooms including a number

a natural solarium, a gymnasium, a

that include nutrition programs, plastic

giant hotelier’s infrastructure, which includes its

of suites. The wet area, known as Acqua

spinning room, a hairdressers and a

surgery, and physiotherapy consultation.

reservation and Marriott Rewards system, its

in Portugal, offers an interactive pool,

beauty lab.

purchasing power and its online site, Marriott.

hydro massage, Vichy showers, a walking


circuit, a Roman spa, aqua beds, Jacuzzis,

The Malo Spa also has a clinical section,

Roderick Micallef believes that the Malo

saunas, and a hammam. A heated pool

combining traditional spa rituals with

Spa will make the hotel one of Europe’s

is available all year round, as well as

integrated health and cosmetic services

great spa destinations.

“We can help them save money on food, beverage,

Corinthia Hotel Lisbon general manager

supply discounts, credit card fees and third-party executive vice president of brand management.

British Airways – Iberia merger deal

There are 1,700 independent hotels, many of

British Airways has agreed a merger with Spanish airline

“The merger will create a strong European airline well able

whom are trying to cut costs while attracting

Iberia after nearly a year and a half of talks. Under the

to compete in the 21st century. Both airlines will retain their

new customers during the downturn. “The

deal, BA will own 55% of the enlarged company and Iberia

brands and heritage while achieving significant synergies as a

universe of independent hotels has a lot of

45%. British Airways recently reported a record loss of

combined force,” Willie Walsh said.

variation, some good, some bad,” Semmler

£292 million and the new merger is expected to result in

said. “Our research tells us they want a trusted

cost savings of £360 million per year.

online bookers,” said Don Semmler, Marriott’s

expert to help them navigate, so there is no disappointment.

The two airlines began merger talks in July 2008 amid a sharp decline in the number of air travellers, but have since

The combined airline will carry 62 million passengers a

struggled to agree terms. The deal is due to be completed in

year, making it one of Europe’s largest airlines. The group’s

2010. BA shareholders will receive one new ordinary share

Marriott International said it is in negotiations

headquarters will be in London with Willie Walsh of BA to be

in the new holding company for every existing BA ordinary

with 25 hotels to become franchisees by the end

chief executive and Antonio Vázquez, Iberia’s chairman, the

share and Iberia shareholders 1.0205 new shares for each held

of 2010.

combined airline’s chairman.


Dreamliner delays cause Ethiopian Airlines to orders jets from Airbus Airbus SAS has won an order from

Ethiopian Airlines signed a memorandum

Airbus’s A350, a long-range widebody

Ethiopian Airlines for twelve A350

of understanding with Airbus to buy the

plane, is set to compete with Boeing’s 787

aircraft in a deal valued at about

A350s, following delays in the delivery of

Dreamliner as well as its 777. Airbus has

$2.8 billion at list price. The African

its order for ten of Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner

said it plans to deliver its first A350 in

airline will take first delivery of

aircraft. The Dreamliner order, placed in

2013 and expects to reach capacity of 10

the A350 in 2017. This brings total

June 2005, still stands.

airliners a month at full production

orders for the A350 to 505. | CORPORATE TRAVELLER.NET

SPRING 2010 | 33

The Traveller Journal News from the travel industry

British Airways reinvents First class

KLM Celebrates 90th Anniversary KLM has celebrated its 90th anniversary. KLM

citizens who had never before flown in an aeroplane

Royal Dutch Airlines, founded on 7 October

were treated to a flight by KLM. Last weekend KLM

1919, is the oldest airline in the world still

held an Open House for KLM staff and their friends

operating under its original name. Air France,

and family. Almost 40,000 people took the opportunity

which KLM merged with five years ago, is

to take part.

celebrating its 76th anniversary this year. Other highlights include KLM’s ‘Tour of Inspiration’. A celebratory symposium on 7 October marked the end

This autumn, a KLM lorry was travelling to 30

of a busy year of events to mark KLM’s 90th year. The

cities throughout Europe. The Tour of Inspiration

anniversary year was launched on 1 January with a

presented all KLM’s products and services. The

Celebration Flight for 90 sick children from the High-

lorry started its journey on 18 September in Billund,

Flyer Foundation (Stichting Hoogvliegers). Another

Denmark, and ended it on 7 November in Munich,

memorable event was held in July, when 90 senior


Brazil Tourism Set for a Boost as Rio Wins Bid for 2016 Olympics After Rio de Janeiro won the bid to host the

already in the pipeline and the city will also be looking

2016 Olympic Games, both Brazil and South

to provide accommodation on cruise ships. A high-

British Airways’ new First

cotton bed linen. Each first class

America are looking forward to reaping the

speed train between Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro

class service took off on

passenger has his own wardrobe,

benefits to tourism.

costing US$20 billion will be constructed and the port

10 February, on a Boeing

a leather-bound writing desk that

777 headed for Chicago.

converts into a dining table and a

News that Rio de Janeiro beat Chicago, Madrid, and

the vice minister. Rio also plans to upgrade its metro

The carrier is to make a

buddy seat to enable passengers

Tokyo in a competition to host the games was met

system. Not surprisingly, the news that Rio de Janeiro

£100 million investment in

to dine together. Personal in-flight

with jubilation by the South American delegations

had won the Games boosted shares of infrastructure

revamping its first class cabins

entertainment is provided on a 15

at the 18th session of the United Nations World

and tourism-related companies on the Sao Paulo Stock

on over 70 aircraft over the

inch screen.

Tourism Organization (UNWTO) General Assembly


area will be improved at a cost of US$210 million, said

in Kazakhstan. “It

next two years. Although British Airways took

is the first time that

British Airways’ head of customer

delivery of four long-haul Boeing

South America gets

experience Mark Hassell, said

777-200s last year that were not

the Olympic Games

“We have contemporised First

fitted with first class, Mark Hassell

and it is great news

and created an intimate private

explained that while there are some


jet experience onboard. We have

markets where first class is not

Mario Moyses, vice

resisted gadgets and gimmicks

appropriate, BA’s commitment to

minister of tourism

and focused instead on simplicity

first class upgrades had been tested

for Brazil.

and quality. Every feature has

and ultimately confirmed with this

been carefully considered and

new launch. All of BA’s long-haul

Rio’s infrastructure

researched to ensure we are giving

aircraft that currently offer first

will need substantial

our customers what they want.” The

class will be modified with the new

investment though.

new features include a 60 per cent

design, along with Boeing 777-300,

25,000 of the 48,000

wider bed fitted with an ‘intelligent’

Airbus 380 and Boeing 787 aircraft

hotel rooms needed

mattress and 400-thread Egyptian

currently on order.

for the event are


SPRING 2010 |



The Traveller Journal News from the travel industry

country has declared 2011 a Visit Sri Lanka

New UNWTO Roadmap for Tourism and Travel Recovery

Year. It is targeting one million arrivals

The 18th session of the UNWTO

The Assembly expressed strong concerns

wherever possible to boost travel and

that year, compared to around 500,000

General Assembly concluded with

about the dangers of increasing taxes at

increase its economic impacts.

visitors expected this year.

unanimous endorsement of its

this time of economic uncertainty and

SriLankan Airlines introduces new flights to Europe With peace returning to Sri Lanka, the

‘Roadmap for Recovery’ which

called on governments to reconsider

UNWTO now has 161 Member states

Sri Lanka Convention Bureau senior manager

included global strategies to

proposed increases. It called for a

and regions and a record of 409 Affiliate

Achini Dandunnage said “Over the last three

stimulate recovery in the tourism

moratorium on burdensome travel taxes,

Members. The Assembly called upon

months, we have seen foreign arrivals increase

and travel sectors. It underscored

which target tourism, citing in particular

those UN member countries that do not

by 20 to 25 per cent.”

the enormous importance of the

the UK Airport Passenger Duty. It said

yet belong to the UNWTO to join the

sector for job creation, trade, and

that these taxes place a serious burden



on poor countries, distorting markets and

SriLankan Airlines is also optimistic and is introducing new routes to Europe in anticipation

undermining universal efforts to promote

The Assembly’s next session will be held

fair tourism trade.

in the Republic of Korea in 2011.

of more passengers. The airline has launched

Taleb Rifai was unanimously elected

twice-weekly Colombo-Paris-Rome and Colombo-

as UNWTO’s Secretary-General for the

Frankfurt-Rome circuit flights. On December 16,

period 2010-2013. He called for greater

The Assembly also passed a Declaration

it launched twice-weekly Colombo-Paris-Milan

transparency and accountability and for


and Colombo-Frankfurt-Milan circuit flights.

the organization to become more program

burdensome border control regulations

based and results oriented.

and visa policies and to simplify them

Amex says Travel Budget Cuts Likely to be ‘Permanent’ Despite signs of an economic recovery, companies are unlikely to reverse expense cuts made to their travel policies, according to American Express Business Travel (Amex). Amex head of advisory services Jonas Borglin




Ryanair’s Chief TAM Exec says No Airlines Third Bid for Chairman Aer Lingus

said “C-level decision-makers who have control

Irish budget airline Ryanair

Wednesday he planned to axe

over travel budgets are determined to make

has said that if rival Aer

nearly one in five jobs and cut

a permanent change in the company’s travel

Lingus keeps slashing

salaries to secure the loss-making

purchase. “Amex estimated that companies

costs and fails to grow, the

carrier’s survival. The airline has

saved from five to 20 per cent on travel and

government would eventually

struggled to compete with Ryanair,

entertainment spending since changes were

ask it to bail out the former

Europe’s largest budget airline

made in the last nine months.

state carrier.

and one of the most cost-efficient players in the industry.

Calls it Quits

TAM airlines has announced that

Hotels that were able to comply with companies’

“If they continue down this road of

more stringent travel policies were increasingly

constant restructuring programmes,


favoured, although companies hit hard by the

constant job cuts and no growth

unlike rivals such as British

company’s chairman. Reasons for his

financial crunch would select hotels based on

the government will ultimately

Airways, has twice tried to take

resignation were not given.

rates alone.

be forced to come to Ryanair and

Aer Lingus over and recently saw

Commander David Barioni Neto has still



resigned from his position as the

ask us to rescue it,” Ryanair Chief

a bid at 1.4 euros a share rejected

Senior TAM executive Libano Miranda Barroso

Commenting on the direction of airfares in

Executive Michael O’Leary told

by the government, which owns

has temporarily taken over the position.

2010, Borglin predicted “a slight increase in

national broadcaster RTE.

25 percent of the airline. O’Leary

Barroso is currently the company’s VP of

said it was highly unlikely that

finance, management and IT, as well as being

airfares in general next year, although we may also see 20 to 30 per cent rebates on specific

Aer Lingus’s new Chief Executive

Ryanair would table a third bid for

chief executive officer of investor affairs and a


Christoph Mueller told staff on

Aer Lingus.

member of the board of directors.


SPRING 2010 | 35

The Traveller Journal News from the travel industry

Jet Airways Appoints New CEO

Travelport launches hotel commission initiative to help Benelux travel agents boost their revenues Travelport has launched its hotel commission

Pegasus, which will then process, reconcile, consolidate

Jet Airways has appointed Nikos

initiative to Galileo-connected users in the

and make weekly payments to agents.

Kardassis its new acting CEO from

Benelux. Following an exclusive agreement

October 15. Kardassis takes over

signed with Pegasus Solutions Inc, the new

Through the agreement, Pegasus, the preferred hotel

from Wolfgang Prock-Schauer, now

service was developed by the two organisations

commission service for travel agents, offers Galileo

chief executive for British Midland

to empower Galileo-connected travel agencies

agents a reduced price on its commission processing

International (BMI) in Europe.

to boost earnings from hotel commissions at

services and the opportunity to more easily reconcile

a time of reduced commissions in other travel

hotel bookings and collect hotel commissions.


Processing more than $500 million in commissions

Currently Jet Airways’ senior vice president of the Americas and previously the airline’s CEO (from 1994 to 1999), Kardassis retakes







the helm at a time when the 16-year-old airline is going through its

The exclusive program negotiated for Galileo agents

scheduled, consolidated payments in their preferred

worst financial turbulence. Jet Airways posted a net loss of US$48.37

will transfer booking data from the Galileo GDS to


EU extends inflight liquids ban to 2012

Lufthansa relaunches Flynet for inflight Internet

The European Union will extend its ban on

From the middle of 2010, Lufthansa’s customers

liquids in hand luggage until at least 2012.

will once again be able to communicate via the

million in the quarter ended June 30. The airline is also facing a price war, a demand slump and pilot unrest.

Internet from above the clouds. EU Transport Commissioner, Antonio Tajani, said during a press conference last week that the ban would

The airline is relaunching FlyNet, its on-board

continue until technology that can tell the difference

broadband Internet service. Together with its new

between dangerous and non-threatening fluids became

business partner Panasonic, Lufthansa aims to equip

widely available.

a major part of its long-range fleet with FlyNet within the first year of operation. The service will gradually

The ban was imposed in 2006 after UK police uncovered

become available on all Lufthansa’s long-haul flights

a terrorist plot to explode liquid explosives aboard


planes in mid-flight above the Atlantic Ocean.

US Dept of Transport Warns Airlines not to set Arbitrary Limits on Baggage Claims

Lufthansa passengers will have WLAN Internet access and be able to send SMS messages by mobile phone. The new service will also permit inflight data transfer over standard GSM/GPRS mobile networks. “In terms of communications, Lufthansa customers can look forward to a top-tier inflight service,” said Lufthansa CEO and Chairman Wolfgang Mayrhuber. “On long-haul routes, we offer business travellers, in

Last October the US Department

that is “expected” to reach the passenger

The airlines were given 90 days notice

particular, a range of communication options on a par

of Transportation (DOT) issued a

within 24 hours. The DOT’s baggage

to amend their contracts of carriage and

with those available at powerful hotspots or upmarket

guidance letter to the airlines asking

liability rule contains no such limitations

related policies. Consumers who have

hotels. FlyNet thus completes the standardised

that they review their policies

and even states that an airline “shall

been denied reimbursement coverage by

communications products for Lufthansa passengers

related to the reimbursement of

not limit its liability for provable direct

an airline can file a complaint with the

throughout the entire travel chain.”

passengers’ expenses related to lost,

or consequential damages.” According to

DOT at: Office of Aviation Enforcement

damaged, or delayed baggage.

DOT, an airline should remain willing

and Proceedings (C-70), US DOT, 1200

FlyNet is impressively user-friendly. Passengers with

to cover all reasonable, actual, and

New Jersey Ave SE, Washington, DC

a WLAN or GSM/GPRS-compatible device can log on

Airlines were warned not to set arbitrary

verifiable expenses related to baggage


from any point in the aircraft cabin, just like at any

limits on reimbursements, such as the

loss, damage, or delay up to US$3,300

public hotspot. They can choose to be billed via a mobile

denial of related expenses for baggage

per passenger.

service provider, or pay by credit card.


SPRING 2010 |

The Traveller Journal News from the travel industry

Marriott eyes slow and uneven recovery Marriott International expects to open 25,000

recovery. “Our continued focus on driving revenue,

to 30,000 rooms in 2010, even though its

controlling costs and strengthening our balance

Asia-Pacific properties have continued to suffer

sheet will position us to benefit from an improving

declines in occupancy and daily rates.


Marriott International chairman and CEO J.W.

Overall, the company posted a US$466 million loss

Marriott, Jr. said while the company had worked

from continuing operations in the third quarter.

Starwood Opens Its 150th Hotel in Asia Pacific as CEO says Growth Opportunities in the Region are ‘Unsurpassed’

hard to rein in costs, it anticipated a slow and uneven

Give Consumers a Choice on Transatlantic Flights pleads BA Chief

Starwood Hotels & Resorts

the journey to open our 1,000th

Worldwide, Inc. has opened

hotel and resort worldwide,” said

its 150th hotel in Asia Pacific

Frits van Paasschen, President

– the ITC Royal Gardenia in

and CEO of Starwood. “The growth

Bengaluru, India.

opportunities in Asia Pacific are unsurpassed perhaps anywhere

The hotel, part of the group’s

in the world. And we are working



with our best-in-class partners

business centre, meetings and

to further extend our position as

events venues, tropical gardens,

the region’s largest upper-upscale

five restaurants and a spa. The

and luxury hotel company, while

On 14 October, Willie Walsh, British Airways’

opening of the new 292-room hotel

strengthening our place as the

chief executive, made a plea to US authorities

underscores Starwood’s long-term

industry innovator in the select

to strengthen competition on transatlantic

strategic growth plans in Asia

service segment.”


Pacific, where it has executed 23



new deals in 2009.

Starwood already opened seven

Speaking in Washington DC, in a speech to the

hotels this year, prior to the

International Aviation Club, Mr Walsh called

“Reaching our 150th hotel in Asia

opening of ITC Royal Gardenia,

for parity among transatlantic global alliances

Pacific is an important next step

and another seven are slated to

by granting the oneworld alliance the anti trust

for Starwood as we progress on

open by year end.

immunity that its rival alliances, Star and Skyteam, already enjoy. Mr Walsh said: “If approved, this agreement will bring substantial benefits to US-EU customers by offering an expanded route network, improved schedules and

First A380 services for Air France

connectivity, greater access to discounted fares, fully

They were wrong. The first phase of the US-EU Open

reciprocal frequent flyer programmes and integrated

Skies deal made Heathrow an open airport. As soon

corporate deals. Above all, it will provide customers

as it came into effect, the number of operators flying

On 30 October

with choice. The Star and Skyteam alliances already

between Heathrow and the US more than doubled.

Air France took

operate across the Atlantic with the benefit of anti-

delivery of its

trust immunity. But surely a market of 800 million

“Slots at Heathrow are available – just ask the Star

first Airbus

potential consumers deserves a choice of more than

alliance. Star already possesses more than a quarter

A380. Three

two network providers. If Star and Skyteam remain

of Heathrow slots, far more than any other alliance

of the twelve

the only immunised alliances across the Atlantic, we

at a competitor’s European hub. Yes, Heathrow is

planes on

could end up with an untouchable duopoly. I do not

busy. But that is a consequence of the fact that it

order will be

believe that customers would want that”.

is the most competitive hub in the EU, with more

delivered to Air

airlines and more flights on transatlantic routes than

France between

any other airport”.

now and spring 2010, to be closely followed by a fourth.

Mr Walsh dismissed claims that access for new competitors to London Heathrow was restricted. He

Regular commercial services on the A380 were launched on

pointed out that the US-EU Open Skies agreement,

The US Department of Transportation is expected to

23rd November, with a daily service now running between

which came into effect last year, enables any US or

rule on the oneworld anti trust immunity application

Paris Charles de Gaulle and New York JFK.

EU airline to fly from Heathrow to America.

by the end of October. DOT approval would enable British Airways and its oneworld partners American

Air France is thus the first European carrier to operate this

He said: “Some people had argued that it would be

Airlines and Iberia to operate a transatlantic joint

Superjumbo, and the first airline worldwide to offer A380

impossible for competitors to gain access to Heathrow.

business, subject to European Union approval.

transatlantic flights.


SPRING 2010 | 37

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The Traveller Journal News from the travel industry

Despite restrictions Tibet saw record tourism in 2009

World Travel Awards Unveiled European Winners Europcar, Adam & Eve Hotels, Carlson Wagonlit

Airways won Europe’s Leading Marketing Campaign

Travel and Virgin Atlantic Airways were

for their ’25 Years Still Red Hot’ campaign. A number

amongst companies who triumphed during

of national category awards were also presented

the World Travel Awards European regional

throughout the evening.

ceremony, staged in the luxurious Marriott Praia D’El Rey in Portugal on 17th October. The

Nearly 1500 travel companies were nominated in

awards, described by the Wall Street Journal

177 categories in the prestigious ceremony, held

as the ‘Oscars’ of the global travel and tourism

in partnership with Marriott Praia D’El Rey, Bom

industry, revealed who are the ‘best of the best’

Sucesso, TAP Portugal and Turismo Do Oeste. Senior

in the region.

management and decision makers of Europe’s travel and tourism industry came together to celebrate their

In the European categories, Lufthansa won the title

achievements during the ceremony.

Europe’s Leading Airline and Marriott Hotels Resorts A record 4.75 million tourists

China banned foreign tourists from

& Suites won Europe’s Leading Hotel Brand. The

Each winner has automatically been put forward for

visited China’s Tibet in the

visiting Tibet after deadly anti-

accolade for Europe’s Leading Destination went to

the spectacular WTA Grand Final which will take

first nine months of 2009, more

Chinese riots erupted in Lhasa

Lisbon, Portugal, while Carlson Wagonlit Travel

place at the five-star Grosvenor House, a JW Marriott

than twice as many as in all of

and across the Tibetan plateau in

took home the award for Europe’s Leading Travel

Hotel in London on November 8th, immediately before

2008 when unrest led to a ban

March 2008. The number of visitors

Management Company. Viajes Iberia won the title of

World Travel Market.

on foreigners.

to the region fell to 2.2 million in

Europe’s Leading Travel Agency and Virgin Atlantic

2008 as compared with four million The local government has slashed

the year before.

the cost of holiday packages, hotels

TNS research forecasts Chinese to travel and spend more

and tickets to draw tourists back to

Beijing also barred foreigners in

the picturesque Himalayan region,

March of this year during the tense

the Xinhua news agency reported.

50th anniversary of a failed 1959

“It’s a high point for Tibet’s tourism

uprising against China that sent the

industry,” Wang Songping, deputy

Dalai Lama, the Tibetan spiritual

director of the regional tourism

leader, into exile. Foreign tourists

bureau, was quoted as saying.

must obtain special permission

Wang said visitors to the Buddhist

from China’s government to enter

region generated four billion yuan

Tibet, where resentment against

(586 million dollars) in revenue in

Chinese control has seethed for

Business and leisure travellers from tier one

travellers said their shopping budget in 2009

the January to September period.


and tier two cities across China will travel

had increased or stayed the same, despite the

more and spend more in 2009 and 2010,

recession. The study also found that 60 per cent of

according to

respondents combined business and leisure, while

a study by

less than 10 per cent travelled purely on business.

TNS research

Neel Banerjee, head of the TNS travel and leisure


practice in Hong Kong, said this suggested business travellers could be persuaded to extend their trip

According to the

for a few days of leisure, perhaps including their


family or friends.



cent of Chinese business


The Chinese leisure market is being driven

leisure travellers

primarily by bargain hunting, with travellers

claimed to travel

taking advantage of attractive packages, low



airfares and budget airlines and hotels. The survey

over 2008, while

respondents ranked Australia highest in terms of

80 per cent of

destination experience satisfaction, followed by



Singapore, New Zealand and Hong Kong





SPRING 2010 | 39

The Traveller Journal News from the travel industry

Travel Slump Triples Californian Hotel Foreclosures According


Moscow has the most expensive rooms in the world for business


travellers, according to the annual


hotel survey by Hogg Robinson



Moscow is the most expensive city for business travellers

Hotel foreclosures in


California more than


tripled in the first nine

dropped to 65 percent in January


months of 2009 as business

through August, down from 75

travellers paid an average of

travelers and vacationers

percent a year earlier.

£266.56 for a hotel room in the



Group, a corporate travel services




Russian capital in 2009 (down

cut spending. In the period from January through to

Overall occupancy in the top 25

from £303 in 2008). London hotel

September, there were 47

U.S. travel markets fell to 61

rates fell by five per cent to an

foreclosures, up from 15 a

percent in the first eight months

average of £151.56, leaving it

year earlier.

of the year, from 69 percent a

in the position as the 29th most

year earlier.

expensive city.

United, Continental and ANA apply for anti-trust immunity on US-Japan routes United Airlines, Continental

States reached a so-called “open

Airlines Inc and All Nippon


Airways are seeking a waiver

liberalize air service, particularly

of antitrust rules from the

into and out of Tokyo. “This joint

United States to allow them

venture, coupled with the recently

to coordinate on flights and

announced open skies agreement

fares between the US and

between the U.S. and Japan, will


significantly enhance our ability




to serve customers in Japan and The three airlines, all members

throughout Asia,” United Chief


Executive Glenn Tilton said in a





an application with the U.S. Department




Lufthansa plans to relaunch services to Iraq

seeking antitrust immunity in an

The filing also come at a time

effort to compete more effectively

when the industry is awaiting

with other global airline alliances.

the final outcome of an existing

Anti-trust immunity would permit

application from American and

the carriers to share pricing,

British Airways Plc for antitrust

scheduling and other information

immunity that would allow them

As Iraq is increasingly

services to Iraq this summer,

Baghdad, and the city of Erbil in

on specific routes.

to coordinate trans-Atlantic routes.

opening up to civil aviation,

subject to obtaining traffic

Northern Iraq from Frankfurt and

The Obama administration has

demand for flights to



This application for anti-trust

vowed to take a closer look at these

the country is growing.

immunity came less than two

relationships and applications for

Lufthansa is examining the

The routes currently in the

services were stopped at the start

weeks after Japan and the United

issues of competitiveness.

possibility of launching

pipeline are to serve the capital,

of the Gulf War in 1990.


SPRING 2010 |



operated flights to Baghdad, but

The Traveller Journal News from the travel industry

United Airlines Mexico City expects tourist numbers to cuts staff increase 35% in 2010 United Airlines, the third

However some are questioning

largest US airline, has cut

whether United is cutting too

staff by 140 workers. An

deeply. United and other carriers

additional 100 customer-service

have automated much of the work

Mexico City attracted 10.4

representatives and workers

that once was handled by customer-

million tourists in 2009, with

at the airport are being

service representatives, encouraging

an estimated benefit to the

transformed to part-time status,

passengers to check in for flights

capital of 3.3 million dollars.

according to the International

at home and trace lost bags using

Association of Machinists and

airport kiosks. United also is testing

Tourism was negatively affected

Aerospace Workers.

“line-buster” technology at O’Hare,

by the recession in Mexico and the



US and by the swine flu outbreak

United announced in June 2008

rebook passengers who have missed

in April and May, when authorities

that it was grounding more than


shut down public entertainment



venues and restricted restaurant

20 percent of its fleet and laying

activity. City Tourism Minister

off 7,000 workers as its fuel costs


hit the stratosphere. Although oil

questions saying that it needs



prices later fell, United continued

fewer front-line workers because



with the cost-cutting measures,

it is dealing with fewer travellers.

numbers are expected to grow to 14

which helped reduce its losses as a

It says it is confident that is has

million in 2010.

global recession cooled demand for

adequate resources to serve its

business travel in 2009.






is expects

however tourist

Beijing to host 10th Global Travel & Tourism Summit

Eurostar celebrates 15 years and over 100 million travellers

The World Travel & Tourism

the next ten years, China is also

will be going to Beijing, capital of

Council (WTTC) has

expected to be the fastest-growing

the world’s most dynamic travel

announced its agreement with

economy in the world – in addition

and tourism economy and one of

the government of China to

to being the leader in terms of

the most interesting and exciting

hold the 2010 Global Travel

travel and tourism growth. All of

new tourism destinations,” said

Eurostar, the high-speed passenger service which links the UK

& Tourism Summit in Beijing

this makes China an ideal location

Jean-Claude Baumgarten, WTTC

and the continent, celebrated 15 years of service on 13 November.

from May 25-27.

for the Global Travel & Tourism

president & CEO. “Our partnership


with the government of China will

Over the years it has carried over 100 million travellers and made the

provide a much-needed platform

equivalent mileage of 338 trips to the moon. It celebrated the event with

According to WTTC research in 2009, China’s travel and tourism

The WTTC board was unanimous

for dialogue among leaders of

a multi-media advertising campaign, a 15th anniversary competition

industry accounts for 9.8 percent of

in its decision to select China. “Our

industry and government, shaping

and a spectacular event at Searcy’s Champagne Bar at St Pancras

its GDP and 60.8 million jobs. Over

members are all delighted that we

the future of travel and tourism



SPRING 2010 | 41


Travel trends and forecasts for 2010 With 2009, a traumatic year for the travel and tourism industry, now behind us, surveys and forecasts are painting a slightly rosier picture for 2010. The Corporate Traveller compiles some of the highlights from these reports, as well as comments from leading travel industry experts, for an overview of the year ahead.

“We anticipate a further recovery effective from the second quarter of 2010, as airfares are likely to rise with improved load factors.” [Willem Starink, ATP]


SPRING 2010 |


tate-side, the American Society of Travel Agents’ recent Travel Agency Business Trends Survey showed, unsurprisingly, that the majority of agencies reported losses in 2009. Comparing the first half of 2009 to 2008, 78.2 percent of agencies saw revenues decrease, 75.2 percent saw the number of transactions decrease and 63.6 percent saw a decrease in the number of clients. Corporate agencies saw the biggest fall in revenues. The survey also shows that most leisure agencies are expecting to recover from the beginning of 2010, with corporate agencies not expecting improvements until the second quarter or later. But have industry results been as severe in Europe? Graham Ramsey, Group CEO of business travel and events agency ATPI said “as we have operations across Europe, as well as in the United States and the Far East, we are well placed to comment on these trends in the corporate travel sector. In our

UU Glenn Wastyn, President of the BTO and Commercial Director Belgium and Luxembourg for BCD Travel experience I think it is fair to say that the bulk of Europe has been less hard hit than the USA so the American Society of Travel Agents figures, whilst similar in trend, are not so extreme this side of the Atlantic.” Willem Starink, Divisional Managing Director of ATP for Netherlands and Belgium added “here in the Benelux region we have seen a slight improvement over the last quarter of 2009. The numbers of

UU Hervé Sedky, VP and General Manager American Express Business Travel transactions are already improving but the value of the airfares is dropping – clearly this is great news for our clients as airlines continue to offer aggressively low fares to fill their excess capacity. We anticipate a further recovery effective from the second quarter of 2010, as airfares are likely to rise with improved load factors. Looking at our business we can already see large corporate accounts remaining prudent on their travel spend, but the SME

market is showing strong signs of recovery – in fact almost back to pre – downturn levels”.

The hotel sector

Turning specifically to the hotel sector, according to American Express, Europe is showing signs of recovery. Karen Penney, Vice President Business Solutions, American Express Global Commercial Card explained “we believe the start of recovery in the hotel sector is a direct result of the industry’s proactive response to balancing supply and demand. Many hotel chains have shut down floors, closed marginally profitable hotels, put a stop on new builds and postponed openings. The hotel market is still a buyer’s market but this window of opportunity may be closing.”

UU Graham Ramsey, ATPI Group, CEO

Across the travel industry as a whole, American Express Business Travel believes that the prolonged period of weak demand depressed prices across travel categories in 2009 but following this weakened demand it expects a pent up need for travel and meetings to be unleashed in early 2010. Travel industry buyers are echoing this confidence in the industry. World Travel Market’s Meridian Club poll of senior industry buyers, which was published in January, showed that 84% of are optimistic about the industry’s prospects for 2010. Only 6% fear 2010 will see the travel sector perform worse than it did in 2009.

rently still cheaper than usual” observes Glenn Wastyn, President of the Belgian Travel Organisation and Commercial Director of BCD Travel Belgium and Luxembourg. “However we assume that the new trend for consolidation in the airline industry – mergers, anti-trust agreements and alliances, means that real airline competition is dropping, so ticket prices may go up. Whereas last year, airlines were looking for our support to overcome the crisis, this year we are already seeing a more bullish approach with their alliance partners.”

Airline prices won’t stay at lower rates

A return on investment approach in travel is more important now than ever before and

“Air ticket prices started to fall from last spring and they are cur-

UU Willem Starink, ATP Divisional MD Belgium and Netherlands

“Businesses are adapting to a fundamental shift in thinking focused on proving the value of travel and every employee connection” [Hervé Sedky, American Express Business Travel]

Changing attitudes on alternatives to travel

Companies have been taking a closer look at ways to cut travel costs. ACTE’s survey of corporate travel managers ‘CorporateTravel Spend Plans & Tactics’ anticipates the increased use of travel alternatives in 2010. Just over half of the survey’s respondents say they will rely more on electronic alternatives, such as web and video-conferencing, in order to meet their travel spend reduction goals. “Businesses are adapting to a fundamental shift in thinking focused on proving the value of travel and every employee connection” said Hervé Sedky, vice president and general manager, American Express Business Travel. Despite this, doubts and confusion persist about the effectiveness of using these technologies as travel replacements. David Tarsh, spokesman for European Tour Operators Association agrees with these doubts. “Corporate travel has suffered from companies trying to cut costs but this is actually a short sighted measure. When senior executives travel, it is usually to service and generate business. Businesses are starting

to realise that cutting marketing and travel costs are short term decisions which have long term impact for future sales. On the whole, there is a lot of optimism that 2010 is going to be better, but one has to keep that in context of the awful last year. It is still going to be horribly competitive for traditional travel agents and those agencies that did manage to make profits last year were successful in managing costs.” “Last year the leisure market in Europe was more resilient than the business market, as consumers had not really been hit yet” says Glenn Wastyn. “Leisure was down 8% year-on-year, but business was down by 28% – a significant difference. It is possible that the 2009 trend will reverse this as we anticipate that

“Businesses are starting to realise that cutting marketing and travel costs are short term decisions which have long term impact for future sales” [David Tarsh, European Tour Operators Association] household budgets in Europe will now start to be impacted further, but that business travel could eventually recover in 2010. We started to see a slight improvement in December in the business travel market but it is still not up to pre-September 2008 levels. A positive sign is that industry thinks the upturn will be from the third quarter of this year but it’s still a little soon to say. Our business customers probably will evaluate their own business performance by the end of the summer in order to assess where to invest, and that is when they will establish their budgets”.


SPRING 2010 | 43


Copenhagen Summit and the Travel Sector The Copenhagen COP 15 Summit in December was an eagerly awaited event in the international calendar, both politically and environmentally. The carbon emission reduction targets set by the Kyoto agreement are coming to an end in 2012. It was thus hoped that Copenhagen would be the stage for a new set of legally binding agreements for governments, as well as more in depth action plans for industry sectors. Travel and tourism has been particularly active in proposing initiatives that need to be taken. As theirs is an industry with no geographical boundaries, they are lobbying policy makers to initiate fair and global legislation on emissions reductions.

“Airlines, airports, air navigation service providers and manufacturers are reinforced in their commitment to a net reduction in carbon emissions of 50% by 2050 compared to 2005.” [Giovanni Bisignani, IATA’s CEO]

emissions. Although activities are already taking place throughout the industry to increase energy efficiency, the report called for support from policy makers at Copenhagen for a more global approach to legislation, as well as funding for investments in sustainability.


rior to Copenhagen, organizations including the World Travel and Tourism Council, the World Economic Forum and IATA submitted recommendations in the hope that they would be used as guidelines by policy makers at the summit. The World Economic Forum’s (WEF) report “Towards a Low Carbon Travel and Tourism


SPRING 2010 |

Sector” was produced in cooperation with numerous travel and tourism industries and organisations. Analyzing that travel and tourism currently account for 5% of global emissions, the report addresses specific areas including air transport and accommodation, and puts together a clear framework of suggested measures for reduction of carbon

Aviation has been particularly proactive in its carbon emissions reduction programme. This is partly in response to the threat of regulations being imposed and also for the sound economic reason of saving on fuel costs. IATA’s CEO Giovanni Bisignani recently confirmed that “Airlines, airports, air navigation service providers and manufacturers are reinforced in their commitment to a net reduction in carbon emissions of 50% by 2050 compared to 2005.” Planes are being replaced by more fuel

efficient models and the sector is undertaking other initiatives to lower its impact on climate change. These include more efficient air traffic management systems, such as NextGen, and work on sustainable biofuels.

Global legislation and project funding are needed

With airline profits being squeezed, the industry is looking to policy makers for financing and incentives to support its green investments. It recommends that a portion of funds collected from fiscal measures, such as carbon taxes, be invested back in the aviation and the broader travel and tourism sector. This would provide much needed project funding for sustainable initiatives, especially research and development into new aircraft technologies. In addition the

“Overall, COP 15 alleviated external pressure on the aviation industry” [Thea Chiesa, WEF]

to medium-sized companies, it is a fragmented and less internationally organised sector. For hotels to improve their energy efficiency they need to invest in renovations such as replacing heating and insulation systems. Because of the high cost of

aviation industry is particularly underlining the need for a more global, unified legislation. It says that national and regional legislation on emissions, such as the taxes levied on passengers at UK airports and the EU’s Emissions Trading Scheme, create competitive disadvantages. It was hoped that in Copenhagen a new international aviation agreement would be put in place to avoid a patchwork of conflicting national and regional policies. The hotel and accommodation sector is much less advanced in its carbon reduction programmes. As around 80% of hotels are managed by small

these improvements, hotels are typically only refurbished every 20 to 30 years. Financial incentives, such as tax exemptions, would accelerate hotel refurbishment and lead to significant reductions in emissions in the accommodation sector. It is also clear that there is a need for internationally accepted standards and metrics to measure sustainability improvements in the travel sector. These global environmental standards are, in addition, needed by travel purchasers in order to make informed decisions on the sustainability of different suppliers and travel products.

Next round to take place in Mexico

Disappointingly, the Summit failed to reach a legally binding agreement on carbon emission reductions, or to implement sector-wide initiatives, as had been hoped for by the travel industry. Many observers said that the summit failed to meet even the modest expectations set by leaders and declared it to be a frustrating conclusion to a

two year process. However, the machine is continuing to turn. COP meets yearly and the next summit, COP 16, is set to take place in December in Mexico. Thea Chiesa, Head of Aviation, Travel & Tourism Industries at the World Economic Forum and also one of the main authors of the WEF’s report, remains pragmatic. She gave us her reactions on the Summit’s outcome. “I think we need to be positive about this and think about the next steps. Overall, COP 15 alleviated external pressure on the aviation industry. No emissions targets or actions are imposed on the sector and there is an opportunity here for the aviation community to fill the gap left by COP15 and proactively shape its own future in advance of COP 16 in Mexico.” IATA agreed that Copenhagen was a least a step in the right direction and saw it as an indication that the industry’s own efforts to reduce emissions have been recognised. “We came to Copenhagen to be part of the deal and we were encouraged by

the level of support for the industry’s global sectoral approach and targets” said Giovanni Bisignani. “We will work closely with International Civil Aviation Organisation to prepare a global framework for managing aviation’s emissions and we will urge governments to ensure this framework is presented to COP16 in December 2010. The goals we have set ourselves show that the aviation industry is even ahead of its regulators in its approach to climate change. We have been diligent with our homework. Now governments must create the right legal and fiscal infrastructures to support us.” As Barack Obama observed after the summit “We’re going to have to build on the momentum that we’ve established here in Copenhagen. We’ve come a long way but we have much further to go.” Could the December COP 16 summit in Mexico finally be the right time for achieving a real and concrete agreement?

“We’ve come a long way but we have much further to go” [Barack Obama]


SPRING 2010 | 45


Four months out from the opening of the eighth IMEX in Frankfurt organisers, the IMEX Group, have announced that they are on course to deliver more business opportunities than ever when the doors open on 25 May.

IMEX 2010 on target for bigger business T

he trade show’s performance to date confirms the results of the latest IMEX Global Insights Report (last quarter 2009). The Report asked a standing panel of 45 senior international meetings industry and corporate professionals for their views about the coming year. 57% expected the number of meetings, events and incentives they organised to remain the same. A further 33% confidently expected the number of events they held to be even higher in 2010. Says Ray Bloom, Chairman of the IMEX Group, “Our experience of both exhibitor and hosted buyer numbers upholds these findings. It suggests that the underlining fundamentals in our industry are robust, despite a changing global economic outlook. This bears out the fact that virtually every sector of our industry is consistently prepared to commit to IMEX knowing they have the opportunity of meeting the right people, doing good business and being assured of getting all the support they need.”


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Strong hotel representation

Hotel groups will continue to be represented strongly at IMEX with many of the larger global groups bringing in additional hosted buyers for 2010. Ritz Carlton, Moevenpick Hotels, Fairmont/Swissotel Raffles and Starwood Hotels & Resorts have all increased their stand space. Scandic Hotels and Albert Management of Latvia will exhibit for the first time and Warwick International makes a welcome return. Other new exhibitors so far confirmed for 2010 include Columbia, Meeting Point International and Showcare. The IMEX Wild Card Winners for 2010 are also all first-time exhibitors in the international meetings and events industry. The Wild Card Pavilion will host one of the fastest emerging destinations in Africa – Uganda – together with the mountain town of Morzine in France and the new Hof Conference and Cultural Center, Iceland. Demand for exhibition space has been particularly strong from Asian meetings and events

industry suppliers with Macau, Sri Lanka and Indian Holiday all expanding their presence. US exhibitors have also confirmed their enthusiasm and commitment with Anchorage, Arizona, Chicago, Texas and New York City already contracted and all those who attended in 2009 expected to exhibit on the IMEX US Pavilion again in 2010. The Spanish Tourist Office is now firmly established as the second largest exhibitor at IMEX

with just over 800 square metres of floor space. Both Madrid and Valencia will be taking their own exhibition stands.

Other exhibitors who have also increased their exhibition sizes at the Frankfurt show so far include the Czech Tourism Authority; Luxembourg; Carat Tours; Liberty International and Discovery Jordan.

Visitor and hosted buyer registration is now open. For more information visit

No more


achieved. What’s more, close to three-quarters of the Europeans surveyed feel that leaving on holiday is too expensive.

Finding a better balance

Aware that too much time away from home can cause distress, British Airways is adding yet another benefit to its Club World advantages that help business travellers make the most of the time they spend with the airline. The newest offering is an extraordinary European Executive Club BA Miles promotion that lets frequent travellers earn free flights they can use for their loved ones. Through 31 December 2009, for every British Airways return flight in Club World business class or in First, passengers will earn enough BA Miles to redeem for a free flight on the airline. Just what the doctor ordered for the two-thirds of Europeans who want to spend some of their free time on holiday.

Do Europeans feel guilty leaving their families behind when they head out on business trips? British Airways asked this question in a study of 6,000 Europeans, 1,000 of whom were Belgian. The results are striking: close to a quarter of Belgians feel guilty at the thought of regularly leaving their partners and/or families when they travel for business. British Airways understands that this is an unpleasant situation and offers free flights to business travellers to help them achieve a better work-life balance.


rincipal findings

Belgians clearly put family at the top of their priorities, though the extent to which they do so varies by region. Those who hail from Flanders suffer the least from the situation (21%), followed by those from Wallonia (32%) and Brussels (30%). Walloons more often opt to holiday with the family (74%) while Flemish split their vacations between family (62%) and

friends (26%). Across all Belgians surveyed, one out of ten works 40 to 60 hours per week. With such a schedule, finding time to spend with the family often seems like an impossible mission. According to the Europeans interviewed, Belgium (along with Israel and Russia) is among the worst countries for work-life balance. Even so, close to half (48%) of Belgians assert they are satisfied with the balance they have

Direct access to Silver status

British Airways is extending a first-time promotional offer to holders of the Blue loyalty card and to all passengers who are not yet members of the Executive Club to receive Silver status for one year. By joining the Executive Club, they will receive all Club benefits and be automatically upgraded to the Silver tier once they have completed their first return flight in Club World business class or in First. Silver status comes with a host of benefits, such as access to more than 250 lounges worldwide, priority check-in and a guaranteed economy seat on your chosen British Airways flight, even if it is full. JeanPierre Martin, Sales Manager at British Airways Belgium: “Many of us work under stress but we still want to be able to have a social life and spend valuable time

with our family. But finding the right balance is not always easy. When travellers choose British Airways, they can work smarter and make the most of the money they spend on airline tickets. Plus British Airways travellers receive free flights they can then use with their loved ones.”

Travelling just got easier

Choosing British Airways opens the door to a host of benefits for business travellers. In London Heathrow’s Terminal 5 they will connect quickly and smoothly without having to change terminals. They also have access to a dedicated, secure Club World check-in area and an expedited passage through customs. BA’s exclusive international lounges have everything a business traveller needs to maximize productivity. Aboard the plane, the new Club World Kitchen offers hot or cold snacks for complete dining independence. And each seat in Club World is like a private capsule where you can sleep, work or relax. It even boasts a completely horizontal bed to ensure a good night’s sleep.

Flexibility, free time and comfort

Business travellers clearly put a lot of stock in finding a good work-life balance. So British Airways has decided to build on its experience with British Airways Club World, where flexibility, free time and comfort are key. The bonus BA Miles promotional offer is one way to rebalance your family life when it starts to shift in the wrong direction. Every traveller who flies in Club World or First will receive a bonus flight—for free! To learn more about this offer, to join the Executive Club or to travel on British Airways and enjoy free flights, visit www.


SPRING 2010 | 47










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Amadeus introduces the Amateur-Expert Traveller Amadeus, a leading provider of technology and distribution solutions to the travel and tourism industry, has identified the AmateurExpert Traveller. He is more knowledgeable, more adventurous and more likely to live in an emerging economy than ever before – and his rise in importance coincides with innovations in the trip experience and the growth of niche travel in the post-recessionary environment.


madeus, a leading provider of technology and distribution solutions to the travel and tourism industry, has identified the Amateur-Expert Traveller. He is more knowledgeable, more adventurous and more likely to live in an emerging economy than ever before – and his rise in importance coincides with innovations in the trip experience and the growth of niche travel in the post-recessionary environment. Based on primary research with 2,719 travel professionals, as well as 30 thought-leaders and senior executives from companies such as Kayak, Forrester and Qatar Airways, the report highlights three significant developments: • The Amateur-Expert Traveller: the average consumer has been empowered by the internet, and the dynamics of the relationship between travel companies and their customers is changing. 73% of industry professionals welcome the greater knowledge brought by user-generated content. This knowledge drives up customer expectations, and creates new opportunities

for travel agents to share their expertise with increasingly adventurous travellers. • The responsive journey: 62% of those surveyed think that the journey experience is ripe for technological innovation. The maturity of mobile internet will give rise to massive innovation around the trip itself. • All niches great and small: travel companies’ revenue streams are becoming more evenly spread over a wider range of products. The traditional 80/20 sales distribution curve no longer applies to all. 38% of respondents said that 80% of their revenues is derived from 60% or more of their products. Similarly, niche travel is now presenting opportunities for travel companies. Those surveyed identified adventure travel (83%), religious travel (55%), and weddings (45%) as key growth areas for specialist holidays. According to Ian Wheeler, Vice President, Marketing and Distribution, Amadeus: “The growing expertise of travellers has had a profound impact on the travel industry, as the average consumer,

“The maturing of the mobile internet will give rise to massive innovation around the trip itself.”


SPRING 2010 | 49

management to Mexico, Miami or the Bahamas but you do know you want to go to the beach. Thanks to Extreme Search, a traveller could narrow their search to ‘beach holidays, anytime between November and January at 25 degrees Celsius’ . Relevant destinations from across the globe would then be displayed. Extreme Search is one of the many new technological concepts which will intuitively help travellers find what they want quickly, and guide them towards new experiences based on their interests.”

The rise of the BRIC economies

As BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India and China) economies continue to grow, the traditional tourism and business travel landscape is changing. Our survey predicts that by 2020, China will be the third largest tourist destination in the world, ahead of traditionally second-placed Spain. Moreover, economic growth in these countries means that holidaymakers and business travellers are increasingly likely to be from Brazil, Russia, India and China. Successful travel companies will need to bear in mind the cultural specificity of serving Chinese or Brazilian holidaymakers instead of North Americans or Europeans.

UU Ian Wheeler, Vice President, Marketing and Distribution, Amadeus empowered by the internet, is increasingly wellinformed. However these greater customer expectations are actually being embraced by the travel industry, and they are spurring on a new wave of innovation in the wake of the recession.” Innovation in new technologies across the whole travel experience will be a critical source of new services and revenue streams for travel companies. According to the survey, one third of respondents thought that virtual reality will soon have the biggest impact on the travel experience by matching holidaymakers with destinations much more accurately.

In addition, while many industry watchers think the internet will take over the travel industry, 75% of industry experts think that we won’t all be booking our holidays online. As more of the world becomes accessible, we will still need the help of traditional travel agents to help us find that holiday that’s just a little bit more interesting. This is particularly true for the developing economies where a premium is placed on customer service and human interaction.

“Extreme Search is one of the many new technological concepts which will intuitively help travellers find what they want quickly, and guide them towards new experiences based on their interests.”

According to Wheeler: “The last year has been challenging – there’s no doubt about it. But we can clearly see the desire within the industry to grow, adapt, and innovate around the whole consumer experience.”

But virtual reality is just one of many different technologies that will shape our travel experience in the future. Amadeus recently presented a new Extreme Search solution, a search engine that transforms travel websites into a ‘traveller playground’ where consumers can explore and select their trip based on their desired holiday experience, rather than simply searching for flights along specific routes on exact dates. Driven by Amadeus’ ‘Extreme Search’ concept, travellers can ask ‘Where can I go and what can I do, for the money I want to spend?’ and instantly find clear alternatives, on the same initial search page. According to Wheeler “You do not always enter a store looking for a blue shirt or a striped tie. In the same way, you do not always know if you want to go


SPRING 2010 |

The entire report can be found on the Amadeus-website:

Amateur Expert Traveller

“The trends are familiar, but accelerated” The Corporate Traveller got the opportunity to discuss the Amateur-Expert Traveller report with Luc Pannecoeck, General Manager of Amadeus Benelux. Pannecoeck does not observe any earth-shaking surprises in the survey results, but he does see some interesting tendencies.


hat was the reason for this survey?

Luc Pannecoeck: “Amadeus has already commissioned several different surveys in the past. Two years ago, we conducted the Traveller Tribes 2020 survey, in which we took a look at the future. For us, as a technology provider, it is of course of great importance that we are able to look ahead. We can then can spot the needs of clients as early as possible and adapt our products accordingly. Acquiring this knowledge is the starting point and we can then add something more so that we can offer a solution with technology as a basis. For these reasons we commissioned the survey.” “It is a broad study about the consumer in general. We didn’t want to focus on corporate or leisure travel, but we do see that these general tendencies tend to be also applicable for corporate travel.”

What are the most significant trends that this survey has brought to light?

Luc Pannecoeck: “First and foremost, our report shows some trends that were already known to us, but that were hidden due to the economic crisis. In fact this was part of the reason for our analysis – to find out the current impact of the economic crisis on existing trends. And it is clear that to a large extent, the economic crisis has accelerated certain tendencies. Now, what are these tendencies? First of all, there is the switch to the online realm, which has a very strong presence and is seeing further growth. Furthermore there is also the question that many are asking about the role of the travel agent. This is also reflected in the title of our report – ‘The Amateur-Expert Traveller,’ in light of the fact that people are so well informed by everything that can be found in search engines and on the Internet, that they sometimes know more about the trip they’re going to take than the travel agents themselves. Thirdly, we are also seeing a clear tendency towards the use of technology as


SPRING 2010 | 51


a solution for a number of problems. Technology brings an increase in productivity for the travel agent, but also a humanisation of the travel experience through mobile applications and so forth.”

How do you arrive at the conclusion that these tendencies are linked specifically to the economic crisis?

Luc Pannecoeck: “We see a sharp increase in the number of online bookings. This is true for leisure travel as well as for corporate travel. One of the reasons for this becomes very clear in the study. The consumer is now, in comparison with a year ago, much more aware of the price factor. And he or she is also aware that certain airlines are not filling their seats due to the crisis, and that as a result, there are good deals to be had. These are just a few factors that logically go hand-in-hand with the crisis.”

Doesn’t the enormous abundance of information ensure that one simply gets too overwhelmed and that that makes it harder to make the right choice?

Luc Pannecoeck: “I think that we have to make a distinction between so-called ‘managed’ travel and leisure travel. In the first case, you have a corporate organisation that asks a travel agent to take over a number of roles for them. Searching and booking is a part of that, but it goes much further when you take into account other functions such as reporting. The travel agent thus plays a big role and brings a great deal of added value in negotiating and searching for the best rates. When we look at the other end of the spectrum, with leisure travel, I certainly recognise that there is an oversupply, but you also see that consumers clearly know what they are looking for, assuming of course they are able to make conscious choices using the information they find.”

The traveller is thus spending a lot more time searching. Do you see this trend receding in economically better times?

Luc Pannecoeck: “I do not think that this trend will have much to do with the economic crisis. The question that must be asked is what travel providers or middlemen can offer as added value to the client. When clients become used to going to a website to make a booking, they will tend to not drop everything to go back to the travel agent, unless the agent can show that they offer some extra value. This is a phase that we have entered somewhat already. Travel agencies and agents are very busy looking for added value and reinventing their model, because they are under a great deal of pressure. It’s necessary to make a distinction here between leisure and corporate travel. With corporate travel, a travel agency still plays a more


SPRING 2010 |

UU Luc Pannecoeck, General Manager of Amadeus Benelux important role, but agencies’ service fees are coming under pressure, so they have to prove that these service or management fees are worth it.”

Do you see travel agencies fading from the landscape in the long run?

Luc Pannecoeck: “We can only ascertain what is happening in the United States, which is a very mature market in the area of online travel. There, you see the growth of online stagnating at around 50%. Half book directly, but the other half still go through a travel agency. In Europe, we still lie a bit behind, but our expectation is that, after a period of strong growth in the coming years, that will also begin to stagnate here and a considerable part of travel will remain with the travel agent.”

According to the report, there are many opportunites for travel agents in niche markets...

Luc Pannecoeck: “You can approach the market from a broad angle in order to be everywhere and offer all products. But you could also say, ‘I’m too small and I will choose to position myself as a niche player rather than a generalist.’ The niche can occupy a certain part of the market, for example youth and student travel, or it can mean a specific geographical destination such as Africa, or a particular city. Because of the Internet, the market for travel agents has become global instead of national, so one can position themselves in a very small niche and reach a sufficient number of customers on a global level.”

The report also announces the rapid ascent of the BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India and China). What are the most significant consequences here?

Luc Pannecoeck: “This is a complete change for the airline industry. Previously the market was mainly concerned with Europe and the United States. You had a typical network, hub and spoke, or transatlantic route, that was primarily oriented towards the West. But now you see demand being created in the BRIC-countries. You therefore have another type of consumer and another type of network carrier. This has a big large impact on Amadeus as we have to incorporate other products that correspond to the needs of the client. The complexity is increasing.” “This is one of the reasons why airline alliances are on the rise. You can no longer cover the market with just Lufthansa and United Airlines alone – for a start you will certainly need an Asian airline. All of this has an influence on our technology and its complexity. You have to deal with passengers who travel with five different airlines instead of one.”

With the concept of “The Responsive Journey’, the study also points towards the growing need for mobile Internet during the trip. What things are happening in this regard?

Luc Pannecoeck: “The travel agent and the travel industry have up until now focused on the experience before the trip – in other words searching and booking. But from the moment that someone drives to the airport until the moment he comes back, there is little to no follow-up, with the exception of a certain emergency telephone numbers for help in some cases. With mobile technology, it is perfectly possible to keep in contact with the traveller during the whole travel experience. Above all, you can use a mobile link to give the customer directions or certain useful information, or for example to push recommendations for hotels and restaurants.”

Is there still customer loyalty in the world of the Amateur-Expert Traveller?

Luc Pannecoeck: “The study does indeed indicate that loyalty is considerably shrinking. The drawbacks that were formerly associated with

not being loyal no longer exist for the most part. Furthermore, with only a few exceptions, there are no more “bad” airlines anymore. The offerings in economy class have really become levelled out. The client is thus less attached to a particular brand and usually looks for the lowest possible fare. And it no longer matters so much which airline it is – I am talking about leisure travel here. Of course the more frequently you travel, the more you come into the realm of frequent flyer programmes – and this is where you see increasing allegiance and brand loyalty on the part of the client.”

Did the study produce any results that shocked you?

Luc Pannecoeck: “The survey confirms tendencies that we already knew about but we have determined that the evolution is going much more quickly than we had expected. This certainly applies as regards booking directly and the whole online story and it also shows that the role of the travel agent is being questioned more than before.”

Amadeus now needs to work with these results, of course. What is your plan?

“Now you see demand being created in the BRIC-countries. You therefore have another type of consumer, another type of network carrier, and that has a large impact on Amadeus. We have to incorporate other products that correspond to the needs of the client.”

Luc Pannecoeck: “First and foremost we are investing greatly in online technology. We are building a new generation of search engine. In the future, this will make it possible to make content from different sources available within very short response times. So we are very deeply involved in the evolution of the online realm and search engines. In addition, there is the domain of mobile applications, where we are setting a number of steps in place. For instance, we have a pilot project in cooperation with Air France and the Nice airport for seamless check-ins with all documents using a mobile telephone. These are the blocks we are building on.”


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Squatra - The Largest Independent Travel Agency in Flanders D&D Reizen (formerly located on the Brabant Dam), Focus Reizen (formerly on Zwijnaarde Street) and Omnitravel (until recently on Kortrijk Street) all placed great emphasis on quality, perfect service and diverse travel offerings. On Monday, 4 January 2010, they officially combined forces and have been known

under the name Squatra ever since. The name Squatra – which stands for Service & Quality in Travel – reflects the philosophy and the ambition of this new travel agency which has moved into an attractive building at Zonnestraat 8 in the heart of Ghent. In one fell swoop, this coming together has yielded the largest independent full-service travel agency in Flanders.


he purchasing behaviour and preferences of the modern customer defines the role of the travel agent. To be sure, in the dot-com era and times of heavy competition, maintaining a strong sense of confidence between the clientele and competent personnel is of utmost importance. A travel agent is no longer a mere purchaser of travel products, but is instead evolving into a provider of personalised, individual advice. Of course, there is a market for services of this nature – now, more than ever. By combining the forces of D&D Reizen, Focus Reizen and Omnitravel, Squatra is responding to this trend directly. Quality, reliability and experience are competencies that were always hallmarks of these three exceptional travel agencies. From now on, the traveller can enjoy the best that these three Ghent agencies had to offer together in one travel office, as the trusted brands of D&D Reizen, Focus Reizen and Omnitravel have faded from the Ghent landscape. An increase in scale, powerful specialisation and the nearly perfect complementarity were the inspiring factors for putting together this initiative, which is led by the managers of the three merged travel agencies: Luc Daels (D&D Reizen), Jan Van den Abeele (Focus Reizen) and Kristien De Belie (Omnitravel). The goal-directed bundling of these energies into one travel platform inevitably resulted in an even more creative approach and a broadening of the client base. “With this well thought-out concept, we are responding to the realities of the marketplace. We came together as like-minded partners, with a perfect chemistry existing between the three parties. The Squatra whole is greater than the sum of the individual parts,” says Luc Daels. Squatra is a well-rounded travel agency that relies upon the most modern travel tools. Its geographic area covers all of east Flanders with several stars among its niche products in adjacent provinces. With its years of experience in travel and expansive industry knowledge, the team seeks to serve all of its target groups, with 30 trained travel consultants working together with 22 full-time employees. At Squatra, the customer can find a varied, complete yet attractively priced offering of travel and vacation solutions. Whether a far-away

trip or closer to home, the classic all-inclusive package tours to points south, cultural trips for active travellers, “do-vacations,” learning tours to exotic locales, customised travel solutions, air or car vacations, special train trips, city getaways, unique weekend outings, incentives and conference trips, individual and group tours, school trips, luxury or economical tours -- neutral advice provided on a personalised basis to each customer can ultimately save a lot of money and hassle. In addition, Squatra features three of its very own niche programs: ‘Africa Explorations,’ ‘Focus on the Azores,’ and ‘Explorator.’ “Squatra will never become an anonymous ‘travel supermarket.’ We seek to earn the reputation of a delicatessen, where every type of travel customer can get personal advice. This is Squatra’s backbone. With all of our employees, we seek to convey the emotion that comes from the very same trips that we sell,” explains Kristien De Belie.

Ghent’s newest travel agency has moved into a classy art-deco building at Zonnestraat 8, in the belly of Ghent’s shop district, which is easily accessible with public transportation. Those who come by car can park in the parking garages at Kouter and Korte Meer just around the corner. From the street, there is a striking view of the travel agency, with its entrance and cosy reception area on the ground floor. The offices on the second floor underwent something of a metamorphosis. It offers customers and employees an extensive reception and work room of no less than 700 square metres, with an interior adorned with the bright green-blue Squatra colours. “After we made our decision to merge, we really didn’t face very many cultural differences. With regards to our vision and strategic approach, we toed the same line from the beginning. Our bundled experiences, together with a strong focus on the customer, a sharp team and a wide array of products, will help our clients to make the best choices,” states Jan Van den Abeele.


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Boeing’s Dreamliner becomes fastest selling jet in history Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner successfully made its first test flight in December. Following completion of the test program over the next few months, Dreamliner’s first commercial delivery is scheduled for the end of this year – to All Nippon Airways. 56 customers around the world have already placed orders for a total of more than 850 Dreamliners – making it the fastest-selling new commercial jetliner in history. We asked Boeing’s Vice President of Marketing, Randy Tinseth, why the Dreamliner is having such success, especially in these challenging economic times.

UU 787 cabin interior


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he reasons for the Dreamliner’s success are a combination of many factors – large and small. You could say the whole is more than the sum of its parts” summarises Tinseth. “Overall, the 787 family has been designed to allow airlines to operate more routes profitably, while travellers enjoy greater comfort. Success is about targeting the right markets and listening to your customer. The Dreamliner is particularly well suited for today’s needs. When we first opened our order books in 2004, improved fuel efficiency was already important – and back then fuel costs were only around 24 dollars a barrel. Over the last few years, with the rise in fuel costs, it has become even more critical. The 787 adapts well to fluctuations in traffic needs, providing airline operators with greater efficiency so they can serve more point-to-point routes and frequencies profitably, even on long haul destinations.” With environmental concerns now moving to the forefront, not to mention the introduction of carbon taxes, the fact that the Dreamliner makes significant steps in environmental efficiency is also good market timing. The 787 emits 20% less greenhouse gases per passenger mile and, due to its design, its noise footprint is cut by 60%. The plane also makes significant steps in environmental progress during its manufacturing and end of life. Fewer hazardous materials are used in manufacturing and aircraft will be recyclable on their retirement from service.

Composite materials reduce fuel and maintenance costs

One of the Dreamliner’s biggest breakthroughs is its use of polymer composites for more than 50% of its structure. Although composites are not new, Boeing is the first large commercial jet transport manufacturer to develop composite manufacturing methods to this level. These composite materials bring the Dreamliner a number of advantages, especially in lowering operating costs. The plane’s fuselage is constructed from barrels that have been produced in one piece, spun around a mould. This allows a reduction in weight and in the number of parts used. The lighter, simpler structure reduces fuel consumption by 20% per passenger mile. The composite materials are more resistant to corrosion, fatigue and impact damage than their aluminium counterparts. Maintenance time is thus cut down by 30 percent and scheduled maintenance intervals are significantly longer. This means an estimated 50 more flying days over a twelve year period compared with current generation aircraft. The 787’s composite structure has opened up new design possibilities to improve passenger comfort. “I guarantee that when you get on this plane you will see a difference and you will feel a difference” says Tinseth. “We have tried to take the stress out of the whole flying experience and to enhance the cabin experience with some really new concepts. Studies show that the lower the cabin altitude, the better passengers feel during a

flight. With the Dreamliner we have been able to reduce cabin altitude from 8,000 to 6,000 feet. We are also able to increase cabin humidity levels and we have new air filtering systems for cleaner air. The composite construction has allowed us to fit larger overhead bins and much bigger windows – 70% larger than in current aircraft of its size.”

‘Success has caught competition by surprise’ The mainstays of the Dreamliner family are the 787-8, which seats up to 250 passengers and the 787-9, which seats 250 to 290 passengers. Both have a

UU Boeing 787’s first test flight

UU Randy Tinseth, Vice-President of Marketing at Boeing range of just over 15,000 km. A third plane, the 787-3, which was designed for regional routes, may now be scrapped as it currently under review for market viability. The possibility of a fourth model with higher capacity requirements, the 787-10, is being studied. The 787 range has been designed to be complementary to Boeing’s 777 family, although it flies at a similar speed and altitude. Dreamliners come fitted with either Rolls-Royce or General Electric engines – “As we have a lot of customers for this aircraft, we wanted to give them a choice of engine” explains Tinseth. “I think the 787’s success has caught our competition by sur-

UU 787 business class prise and made them rethink their strategy. The fact that the Dreamliner is much more fuel efficient has led competition to lower its prices in some cases and we believe it was a big influencer in the fact that Airbus subsequently launched its A350. As to the economic downturn, it does not really seem to have hurt the Dreamliner. Although we have had some cancellations, our clients are staying with us

and no airplane in history has seen this type of success. To put things in perspective, the A380 was launched in the year 2000 and has now sold around 200 planes. We launched in 2004 and have already sold over 850.” Dreamliner’s order books are filled until 2013. We asked Randy Tinseth how long he believes it will remain in production and

how he foresees future sales. “ Our production is now on track and we aim to increase capacity to 10 aircraft a month by 2013. We should be producing 787s for 25 or 30 years no question about it, especially as we foresee an addressable market for us of around 3000 aircraft over the next twenty years. Sales for the 787 have already exceeded our expectations, so we are off to a very good start.”


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The best car rental companies Satisfaction survey 2009-2010 The Corporate Traveller surveyed 1,000 readers during 2009 to learn their opinions on car rental companies. Here is what we found.


ver the course of 2009, we invited 1,000 Corporate Traveller readers to participate in our car rental satisfaction survey. This e-survey gathered 422 answers to four questions.

Best brand recall

The first question in the survey was more focused on rental companies’ marketing. Respondents were asked to name the first three car rental companies that came to mind. The top six below show the companies that ranked highest in top of mind awareness (TOMA) among business travel professionals. Notice that four of these companies are running neck-and-neck in the ranking. With their total combined TOMA close to 70%, they stand out as the four tenors on the car rental stage.

1 Hertz.............................................18%

Best service

“Which car rental company offers the best service?” The second question in the survey needs no explanation. Four names led the voting.

1 Europcar......................................19% Hertz.............................................19%

2 Europcar......................................17% Avis................................................17%

3 Sixt.................................................18%

4 Budget..........................................16%

4 Avis................................................13%

5 Sixt.................................................10%

5 Alamo...............................................7% Budget.............................................7%

6 Alamo...............................................5%


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Most user-friendly website

The third question posed to the panel was simple, yet extremely important. Since people generally rent cars using the internet, we wanted to find out which websites our readers felt were the easiest to use. Here, three companies pulled ahead of the competition, driving away with close to two-thirds of the votes together.

1 Europcar......................................24% 2 Hertz.............................................21% 3 Sixt.................................................17% 4 Avis...................................................8% 5 Budget.............................................7% 6 Alamo...............................................6%

Best partner network

Which car rental company a business chooses can be influenced by certain partners who contribute to the total business trip. Airlines, hotel groups and credit card issuers are just some of the service providers who, when combined with a car rental, offer real advantages. The fourth and final question of the survey was: “In your opinion, what is the best network available?�

1 Sixt.................................................22% 2 Avis................................................15% Europcar......................................15% 4 Hertz.............................................13% 5 Budget..........................................10%

Conclusion The major international rental companies rank at the top of the lists created by their customers. This makes sense, since they can be found and used everywhere, making them more available in every corner of the globe.

6 Alamo...............................................8%


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» COORDINATES OF THE BELGIAN DIVISION: Weiveldlaan 8 1930 Zaventem - Belgium T + 32 (0)2 709 71 00 - F + 32 (0)2 344 12 13


» GOOD REASONS TO RENT A CAR: A global leader in car rental, Europcar has more than 5300 car hire stations throughout Europe, Africa, the Middle East, Latin America and Asia-Pacific – 160 countries in total. No matter where you are or need to go. Europcar offers a selection of rental cars from leading car manufacturers. Rent a small car, an automatic car, an eco-friendly car, luxury cars, or minivans and trucks if you need something a bit bigger. And at Europcar, we understand the environmental impact of what we do. That’s why we have wholeheartedly embraced a sustainable development program and are proud to be the first car rental company with certified ecological commitments. After all, what’s good for the Earth is good for our drivers. On the top of that in Belgium, with our 7000 cars and trucks, Europcar Keddy can offer you tailor made solutions to your mobility, what ever will be your car rental expectations. A dedicated team will help you to satisfy all your needs.

» GREEN POLICY: Offset your Carbon Emissions with Europcar! Europcar is teaming-up with Climate Care to offer you the possibility to offset your CO2 emissions when you rent a car with Europcar. Offsetting enables you to neutralize your emissions by funding sustainable energy projects that reduce CO2. Go for Green with Europcar: At Europcar we commit to offer our customers the newest range of vehicles which benefit from the latest innovations in terms of Green technology (CO2 emissions, hybrid, flexi fuel, LPG...) Our corporate passenger vehicles have an average age of 4 months and emission of 154g/km CO2 meaning the Europcar fleet has a much lower emission than the European average. Europcar and Sustainable Development: Environmental respect has always been a key objective for Europcar International. In 2007, we have developed the Green Charter with our main partners.

And in June 2008, Europcar charter was certified by Bureau Veritas, formalizing our commitment towards protection of the environment. We invite you to find out more about our commitment towards sustainable development.

» OVERVIEW PARTNERS: As a mobility provider, Europcar has teamed up with major partners. On European level: Easy Jet: Europcar and easy Jet have formed a strong, strategic partnership to provide Europe’s leading low-cost airline with a dedicated and tailored service. Together, Europcar and easy Jet work to improve the customer experience and offer the best possible deal to travellers. Joint services include an easy-to-use booking system where in just a few clicks; the customer can reserve a flight and a rental car simultaneously. Europcar has also set up special counters to serve easy Jet customers at some of their main destinations. ( Accor: Europcar & Accor work together to ensure their customers have the best offers & quality service for their travel needs. An easy reservation process & preferential rates on car rental for Accor guests & loyalty programmes enables this strategic partnership to boast optimal service & quality throughout the travel process. With 168,000 people in 140 countries, Accor is the European leader and one of the world’s largest groups in travel, tourism and corporate services, with two major international activities: hotels: over 4,000 hotels (over 466,000 rooms) in 92 countries, casinos, travel agencies, and restaurants; services to corporate clients and public institutions: 19 million people in 34 countries use a broad range of services (food vouchers, people care and services, incentive, loyalty programs, events) engineered and managed by Accor. ( ) • Local partners Since 2 years Europcar Belgium has also major partnerships in Belgium such has: Carrefour, IKEA, Touring, VAB, ...

» OVERVIEW LOYALTY/CLIENT PROGRAMS: We have partnerships with all the main airlines and card companies Worldwide such as: Lufthansa, American Airlines, BMI, and recently Amex: American Express Company is a diversified worldwide travel and financial services company founded in 1850. It is a global payments, network and travel services provider and international banking company. American Express operates in over 130 countries around the globe. Membership Rewards, the programme from American Express that brings members luxurious design, leisure and travel, just for using their Card. (


» COORDINATES OF THE BELGIAN DIVISION: Excelsiorlaan 18 1930 Zaventem, Belgium


» GOOD REASONS TO RENT A CAR Hertz Rent A Car offers flexibility in mobility. You can rent from a couple of hours to days, weeks, months or longer. Hertz is the world’s largest general use car rental company, operating from over 8,000 corporate locations in 145 countries. Hertz is in its 91st year of delivering quality car rental solutions to leisure and corporate customers. Product and service innovations such as Hertz #1 Club Gold, Worldwide Online Check-in, specially designed NeverLost® satellite navigation systems, Hertz in-car DVD Entertainment and unique cars offered through the company’s Prestige, Fun and Green Collections, set Hertz apart from the competition.

» GREEN POLICY: Hertz offers a special collection of cars with low CO2 emission; the Hertz Green Collection. With the Hertz Green Collection you can reserve fuel efficient environmentally-friendly cars that are both easy on the wallet and suitable for families and small groups travelling together. Unique is that the vehicles are make and model specific to be reserved and available worldwide.

» OVERVIEW PARTNERS: Airlines e.g. Lufthansa, Air France etc., hotels e.g. Marriott, Touring, VAB. Credit card companies e.g. American Express, Dav El Chauffeur Service and many more.



» COORDINATES OF THE BELGIAN DIVISION: Postbus 8 1930 Zaventem T + 32 (0)2 753 25 60 - F + 32 (0)2 753 25 61 E-mail:


» GOOD REASONS TO RENT A CAR Premium products and all-round service Sixt offers its clients in car rental and full-service leasing a broad range of high-quality vehicles and comprehensive additional services. The Sixt rental fleet comprises over 50% vehicles of the premium brands BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Audi. All vehicles feature high-quality equipment, such as climate control, automatic transmission and navigation systems. They stay in the fleet for no more than six months, so customers always rent mint condition vehicles. In addition, customers benefit from fast, uncomplicated leasing procedures. Great value for money “Drive first, pay economy“ – the slogan captures the Sixt philosophy. Thanks to close cooperation with leading car manufacturers, Sixt can offer high specification, mint condition vehicles at consistently attractive prices. Clear service focus At Sixt, great service quality and a strong service mentality are core values for all members of staff. The quality of the mobility services provided is of great importance, particularly for business customers – Sixt’s main customer segment. Key features of Sixt’s service focus include customerspecific, tailored rental and leasing offers (rather than “off the peg” solutions) and competent, comprehensive and friendly service. An attractive brand In Germany – one of the biggest European mobility markets – Sixt is among the best-known service brands. It is regarded as a premium brand offering the best vehicles, excellent service, friendly staff and smooth rental and leasing procedures. Sixt’s image is positive and associated

with attributes such as “likeable,” “dynamic,” “high-performance” and “unconventional.” Sixt’s international brand promotion bases itself on this strong positioning. Active marketing campaigns target business and private customers worldwide, informing them about the range of services on offer and communicating Sixt’s “spirit of mobility.” The message is that mobility means individual freedom, and car rental should be associated with the maximum possible comfort, convenience and fun. Innovation leader in mobility services Sixt is one of the most innovative providers of mobility solutions. In car rental and leasing, Sixt regularly develops new products and services that provide even greater convenience and better value for customers. Sixt leads the way in its use of new technology. For example, the Sixt website enables customers to make bookings quickly, simply and safely.

» GREEN POLICY: Sixt’s activities in the field of corporate social responsibility are focusing on providing our customers with clean and ecological alternatives to the traditional engines. Being a premium provider, Sixt aims at demonstrating, that using ecological vehicles does not necessarily mean less comfort or luxury for demanding business travellers. As early as in 2007, Sixt offered natural gas vehicles in the Volkswagen Touran EcoFuel model shortly followed by the purchase of hybrid vehicles - the Lexus RX 400h model. The last couple of years, the investment in green vehicles has continued. Into its rental fleet in Denmark, Sixt has added electric cars making it the first mobility provider in Europe to offer its customers this modern, low-cost automotive technology. In the Netherlands, Sixt customers can enjoy driving the CO²champion among all cars – the smart fortwo diesel which has the world’s lowest carbon dioxide emissions. In addition to investments in a green fleet, the introduction of paperless procedure at all branches and in the head office has drastically reduced paper waste and complements Sixt’s ecological activities.

» OVERVIEW PARTNERS: Sixt is the preferred partner of all major hotel chains, particularly Hilton Hotels. Sixt maintains exclusive partnerships with over 50 airlines and the affiliated mileage programmes. With six lowcost airlines, seamless flight & car rental reservations are possible by means of fully integrated booking engines. In addition, Sixt works along side all major travel and business organisations who operate in Sixt countries. These partnerships include, among many others, the Institute for Travel and Tourism (ITT), Society of Government and Travel Professionals (SGTP) and the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO).

travel Services

High Speed Rail Travel in Europe to Increase

UU Deutsche Bahn’s ICE-3 at Cologne

The railways of Europe are aspiring to win over new customers from airlines by offering seamless national border crossings on high-speed trains. New European legislation has opened up the rail market to competition and the construction of high-speed track has moved up a gear, revolutionising travelling habits. Railteam, the alliance of high speed train operators, recently predicted that the amount of high speed track in Europe will grow from its current 6,000 km, to more than 15,000km over the next ten years.


n 1st of January, competition on European rail networks was officially declared open. New legislation means that train operators can now negotiate ‘pathways’ with all European track operators. Germany’s Deutsche Bahn, which runs the ICE high speed train service, seems particularly interested in leveraging this opportunity. It already offers serves six neighbouring countries – Austria, France, Belgium, Denmark, Switzerland and the Netherlands and has stated its intention to operate on further routes outside of Germany thanks to the new legislation.

Deutsche Bahn could launch ICE high speed services to London

Deutsche Bahn has already shown interest in the UK market

and the possibility of launching a Cologne-Brussels-London route. “With the High Speed 1 rail network in place, the market for high speed connections between Germany and UK is very attractive” says Deutsche Bahn’s Andreas Fuhrmann. “Recent market analysis we carried out shows that there could be 1 million passengers a year from Germany to the UK, but of course it has to be cost effective for us.” The High Speed One network between London and the Euro tunnel could accommodate larger train carriages from the continent, but some modifications would be needed to conform to safety and security specifications. Deutsche Bahn’s ICE-3 trains could be suitable for the run to the UK. In Decem-


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travel Services

ber, Deutsche Bahn ordered 15 new ICE-3 high-speed trains. Designed to be lighter, faster and interoperable for use on international networks, they are due to enter service at the end of 2011. Eurostar spokeperson Lesley Retallack commented “We are used to competition as we have been competing with airlines on our routes since our debut in 1994. Since then we have achieved market share of over 70% and carry more passengers to Paris and Brussels than all the airlines combined. Its true that London to Paris and Brussels are prime routes for other operators, but we have a head start on new competitors thanks to the experience we have gained. We also benefit from a very strong pricing policy that appeals to all segments with three classes of fares that have scarcely risen over the years and are good value A newcomer to the

already started to implement a whole range of changes to ensure we are better placed to look after our passengers when disruptions do occur. This is a major focus for us right now.” The other big news from Eurostar is that Eurostar International Ltd is to become a single entity during this year, as opposed to the current joint venture between SNCF, SNCB and Eurostar UK Limited. “We have done remarkably well in getting as far as we have over the last 15 years, but as a single venture we will be quicker and better adapted to make decisions on this more competitive environment” comments Retallack. “We will need to be a bit more flexible and nimble depending on what the competition throws at us. Although the EU legislation means competition on our routes, it will also give Eurostar the opportunity to go further afield. Amsterdam is very attractive to us – and we are looking at other

UU Inside the ICE-3 cooperate on our Franco-German routes with SNCF” explains Fuhrmann. “We run an ICE service between Frankfurt and Paris and SNCF offers Stuttgart to Paris on TGV trains. We are also in negotiations with SNCF to offer partner services between

Germany and South of France, as there will be new high speed lines opening there at the end of 2011. As to services to Brussels, our Cologne-Brussels route is run in cooperation with Thalys, meaning that there are services on this line nearly every hour.

Thalys new high speed lines to Amsterdam and Cologne cut journey times In December Thalys celebrated the launch of its new high speed lines all the way through to Cologne and Amsterdam for its customers in Paris and Brussels. With travel times to Amsterdam reduced by 49 minutes and Cologne by 29 minutes, Thalys is expecting a major increase in passenger traffic. UU Thalys ticketless travel market will always look exciting and maybe customers will want to give them a try. We will just have to work even harder to retain our customers’ confidence.” After a difficult start to the year Eurostar is focusing its immediate plans on facing the competition, the creation of a single Eurostar organisation and especially addressing the recent problems caused by weather conditions. “We conducted an in depth review on these problems and have


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UU Olivier Poitrenaud CEO Thalys International destinations from a commercial and tactical point of view.”

Partnerships and competition on routes

Deutsche Bahn has been ramping up its agreements with other high speed railways. It has intensified its partnerships with France’s SNCF, Denmark’s DSB and Austria’s ÖBB to offer more frequencies on international routes. “We

The new lines allow Thalys to reach speeds of up to 260km/h between Liège and the German frontier, and up to 300km/h between Anvers and Rotterdam. This means travel times from Brussels to Amsterdam and Cologne are reduced to 1h53 and 1h47 respectively. Times from Paris to Amsterdam and Cologne are now down to just 3h18 and 3h14. With the considerable time savings and an increase in the number of frequencies, notably a 7th return between Brussels and Amsterdam, return journeys can easily be made in the same day. Thalys is targeting an increase of 65% in passenger traffic on its Paris to Amsterdam route and 30% more from Paris to Cologne by 2013. Thalys’ CEO Mr Olivier Poitrenaud commented “The 13th December, the day we launched these new services, was a very significant date for us. For passengers from Paris to Cologne or Amsterdam, we have now crossed the generally accepted barrier of 3.5 hours which makes a journey by rail viable for the business traveller. In fact since the launch we have already seen a rise of 8% in our traffic on these routes.”

ger market share. We will raise the number of return journeys between Paris and Amsterdam to ten a day before the end of 2010.” The Thalys Metamorphosis also includes the ongoing renovation of its entire fleet of 26 trains.

Thanks to new high speed infrastructure in Belgium, our travel times are becoming increasingly attractive and we are gaining good market share from airlines. Our Frankfurt to Paris service now only takes 3h45 minutes and Frankfurt to Brussels just 3 hours and 6 minutes. These may be longer than flight times, but when you factor in check in and travel from the airport to the city, together with improved productive time during the journey, it is competitive.” Thalys, a cooperative venture between SNCF, SNCB, Deutsche Bahn and NS, is no stranger to the borderless European travel philosophy. It offers high speed services to France, Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands. At the end of 2009 it launched new high speed links to Cologne and Amsterdam as part of its development plan, baptised ‘Metamorphosis’. “These new high speed offers are particularly interesting for our business clientele who can now easily make a return journey in one day” says Olivier Poitrenaud, CEO of Thalys International. “Over the next 18 months we plan to consolidate and develop these new high speed offers to increase capacity and gain a big-

“Our train renovations have improved comfort levels and made life easier for the business traveller” continues Olivier Poitrenaud. “There are individual power sockets for every seat, and WiFi is now available on all our trains. Booking has become simplified with the introduction of our ticketless system and following a successful trial at the end of last year we are launching a mobile ticketing service. The plan is to send electronic tickets directly to passengers’ mobiles in the form of a barcode. 2010 will also see the launch of on board business lounges on our renovated trains. These will be small meeting rooms with four seats that can be rented out and we are looking into offering a dedicated catering service along with a ‘business meeting package’ as part of this. We are also going to be promoting our Thalys Concept which has been developed with partners to offer a real door to door service with a low environmental impact. One example is our partnership with the city of Cologne, which means that public transport within a radius of 100km of the city is included in the price of the ticket.” “Apart from our two recent additions to Cologne and Amsterdam, we do not have expansion plans for new routes for the time being. When we pass the psychological threshold of 3.5 hours in journey time, we start to lose market share, so for example Amsterdam to Marseille would be too long. As to the UK, if we were to offer services, we would need to make large investments in new

train stock and we would have to be certain that this would be profitable for our investors.” “My view on the new liberalisation of the market, is that at Thalys we are used to competition” summarised Olivier Poitrenaud. “As part of the Railteam network we are both in competition and in partnership with other operators. You just have to look air alliances such as SkyTeam to see that this does work. Our cooperation with Deutsche Bahn’s ICE on the Brussels to Cologne route illustrates this perfectly. Similarly NS, the Dutch high speed network, will be launching its own high speed service from Brussels to Amsterdam at the end of 2010 or early 2011. That means we will both be offering services on this route. From the moment the customer has a choice, there is competition, but this is not a problem for us – especially as it is a market which is really growing.” The Railteam alliance recently published a study which showed that high speed rail is now seen as the preferred option for distances up to 1,000 km. Travellers perceive high speed rail as offering better punctuality, more comfort, city centre destinations

and a reduction in environmental cost in comparison to short haul flights. The study forecast that by 2020 the number of international high speed rail journeys on the Railteam network will have increased by at least 50 per cent, to 68 million a year.

UU London’s St Pancras Station could be greeting new arrivals

Pendolino tilting trains to run between Brussels and Luxembourg Infrabel, the Belgian rail infrastructure manager, has confirmed major modernization works are to commence on its line between Brussels and Luxembourg. The track improvements will include modifications to allow Pendolino tilting trains to run along the route. The Pendolino, a train initially developed in Italy (hence its name), is train which inclines or tilts when cornering in order to reach much higher speeds. When the line works are completed and the Pendolino introduced, travel time between the two capitals will be only 2 hours 15 minutes – a reduction of 22 minutes. The improvements to the line are expected to cost 680 million euros, with additional works for adapting tracks to the Pendolino to cost a further 22.7 million euros. The possibility of putting Pendolinos in service on this line has been the subject of discussion for over a year. With the decision now made to go ahead with this project, the Pendolino will be able to travel the entire distance between Brussels and Luxembourg, at speeds of up to 160km/h, by the time works are completed in 2014. The trains will then be able to continue further on the TGV line which links Luxembourg with Metz and subsequently Metz with Strasbourg.


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Mexicana joins oneworld Mexicana has become part of oneworld® – adding Mexico and Central America’s leading airline to the alliance. Its subsidiaries MexicanaClick and MexicanaLink joined oneworld at the same time, as affiliate members. All three airlines will offer the alliance’s full range of services and benefits from the first flights tomorrow. They extend the oneworld network to almost 700 destinations in nearly 150 countries, with a combined fleet M exicana is the leading carrier in Mexico and Central America. Mexicana of some 2,250 aircraft operating is one of the world’s most experienced airlines, startmore than 8,000 flights a day, ing service in July 1921. With affiliates Mexicanacarrying 325 million passengers Click and MexicanaLink, it serves 14 countries and 67 destinations – 37 of them in Mexico. Mexicana a year, with annual revenues of itself flies to 41 destinations in 14 countries, includUS$100 billion. ing 11 destinations in Mexico. MexicanaClick’s network encompasses 29 destinations in Mexico, plus Havana (Cuba), and MexicanaLink operates to 18 destinations in Mexico. The mainline Mexicana operates 63 aircraft – 26 Airbus A320s, 21 A319s, 10 A318s, two A330s, two Boeing 767-200s and two Boeing 767-300s. They make more than 200 departures a day, using the two-letter airline code MX. Mexicana offers two classes – Executive and Economy – with in-flight entertainment screens throughout the fleet and complimentary in-flight meals and drinks in both cabins. Mexicana boarded 8.3 million passengers in 2008, with MexicanaClick carrying another 3.4 million. The group employs 8,400 staff. Mexico City – the world’s second most populous metropolis – is the airlines’ main hub, with Cancun and Guadalajara secondary hubs. Among its most recent awards, it was named World Travel Awards’ Best Airline Mexico and Central America for the 11th year running, Best Business Class Latin America for the third year running and Best Internet Site in Latin America (all in 2007), and Best Airline in Mexico for two years running by Global Traveler magazine. From now on, members of the MexicanaGO frequent flyer programme can earn and redeem mileage awards on all oneworld partners, who include some of the biggest and best airlines in the world – American Airlines, British Airways, Cathay Pacific Airways, Finnair, Iberia, Japan Airlines, LAN


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Airlines, Malév Hungarian Airlines, Qantas and Royal Jordanian and almost 20 affiliated airline. Russia’s leading domestic carrier S7 Airlines is on track to join during 2010. MexicanaGO Conquer and Discover cardholders have oneworld Emerald and Sapphire status respectively, gaining them access to some 550 airport lounges worldwide offered by the alliance’s airlines. Mexicana Explore cardholders have oneworld Ruby status. The 21,000 customers in these top three MexicanaGO tiers have been sent new membership cards, bearing the oneworld logo, to ensure they receive their alliance benefits. oneworld Governing Board Chairman, American Airlines Chief Executive Gerard Arpey, said: “oneworld is very selective about who we invite on board to join us as a new member. We only consider airlines with brands that match the quality of our established partners, who share our priorities of safety, customer service and profitability and who can expand our existing combined network in key regions, rather than simply replicating what we already offer. As the leading carrier in Mexico and Central America, Mexicana more than fits the bill. We are delighted to be welcoming it and its customers on board oneworld.” Iberia Chairman and Chief Executive Antonio Vázquez said: “Iberia has been honoured to act as Mexicana’s sponsor into oneworld, a process that has reinforced the excellent relations between both airlines. Mexicana will considerably strengthen oneworld’s long established position as the leading airline alliance in the Spanish-speaking world and in Latin America, making it easier for more customers to reach more places more easily and for better value with some of the world’s best airlines.” Mexicana Chief Executive Officer Manuel Borja said: “As a member of oneworld, we can now offer our customers more choice and convenience, a much more extensive global network, more opportunities to earn and redeem frequent flyer rewards, more lounges, more customer service support and better value – services and benefits beyond the reach of any individual airline. For Mexicana and our employees, becoming part of oneworld, flying alongside some of the most respected names in the airline industry worldwide, strengthens our position considerably in an increasingly competitive marketplace.”

Airline Alliance Discussion

The Future of Air Travel

At the end of November, Mechelen University College and Travel Magazine assembled a particularly interesting panel discussion about airline alliances. Members of groups such as Star Alliance, Oneworld and Sky Team came together for this public forum to present an in-depth look at the consequences and advantages of airline alliances.


t does not often happen that Star Alliance (represented by Kardien de Werker from Singapore Airlines), oneworld (spoken for by Mairead Ryan) and Sky Team (with Marleen Wyckmans of Air France/KLM and Marco van Nieuwkerk of Alitalia) all respond to a mutual invitation to come together. Indeed, this was a premier opportunity to get an even-handed look into the world of airline alliances.

Economic added value

For the panellists, it was clear. The alliances came about in the first place because they bring added value economically. Sharing infrastructure components such as offices, computer systems, desks, personnel, et cetera can save a lot of extraneous costs. Another basic example is the act of working together to fill up flights. An A380 aircraft is oftentimes too large for an airline to fill up on its own. Being part of an alliance can succeed in making this much easier. Flying with larger and more efficiently filled aircraft is not only economical, but also interesting from an ecological perspective. With such alliances, the airlines can take on a leadership role in that area. In addition, the airlines have the opportunity to expand their network without having to operate additional flights. The large alliances’ networks are spread out over all continents, something that is often impossible for one airline alone. Also, in many cases, an alliance is viewed as just a beginning. Within the

alliances, certain airlines are working much more closely with one another. These instances of

cooperation can save considerable costs and address practical concerns for the airlines as well as the consumers.

The future

The current reality is that there are three large alliances that cover roughly three-quarters of the market. Of course, the panel also discussed the potential evolution the alliances may undergo in the near future. As far as that is concerned, Sky Team sees several opportunities in China. This alliance strives to achieve a worldwide presence, but not at the expense of quality. Its candidate airlines must fulfil a certain set of criteria, and the number of members cannot become too great. oneworld also considers itself to be extremely selective when it comes to signing on new members. Does it add something to the existing network? Do they have a good reputation in the area of safety? Are they financially sound? Without a doubt, quality takes priority over quantity. At Star Alliance, the guiding light is the principle of being able to go anywhere. New members are thus brought aboard with the purpose of re-

ducing the white spaces on the alliance’s map. Africa is a good example of such white space,

mainly because of the fact that the quality of the airlines there often leaves much to be desired. Nonetheless, they are hard at work getting rid of these white spaces over time.

An air travel market with three players

It seems that the alliances are continually gaining the upper hand in the world of air travel. The branding of Sky Team, oneworld and Star Alliance is being expressed more frequently – on the aircraft themselves, in communications, at the airports… and worldwide, we see that the members of the same alliance are grouped with one another in terminals more often. Naturally, this means an enormous win for travellers with regards to transfer time. By sharing frequent flyer programmes, the customer can only reap the benefits. The world of air travel seems to be evolving toward a landscape with three large players, each with worldwide coverage. This is a very meaningful situation for the traveller, who can arrange a complete trip via one airline. The various national and international authorities are able to invoke scores of antitrust regulations to ensure that competition remains safeguarded.


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British Airways and Iberia Airlines 4.5 billion British Airways and Iberia Airlines have announced that they had agreed the basis for a 4.5 billion euro merger after nearly 16 months of talks. Under the agreement, both airlines will retain their national identities and brand names – but within a new holding company known as TopCo. Hurdles still to be overcome though include the outcome of the application for US antitrust immunity along with American Airlines, and talks with BA’s unions to quiet threats of industrial action.

euro merger still has challenges to overcome


illie Walsh, BA’s chief executive, announced that ‘The merger will create a strong European airline, well able to compete in the 21st century. Both airlines will retain their brands and heritage while achieving significant synergies as a combined force”. TopCo will develop the group’s strategy and ensure synergies, while BA and Iberia will continue to have their own separate management and hubs in London and Madrid respectively. The fact that the two airlines are retaining their own brands and national identities is a crucial one, as it means that they will be able to preserve their rights to specific flight routes. Positioned as a ‘merger of equals’, British Airways will own 55% of the enlarged company and Iberia 45%. Of the 14 board members, 7 each will come from Iberia and BA. Willie Walsh will be TopCo’s Chief Executive and Antonio Vázquez, chairman of Iberia, will become the combined airline’s chairman. Finance and operations will be headquartered in London, with TopCo listed on the London Stock Exchange. The business will be registered and tax-domiciled in Spain.


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UU BA and Iberia at start of merger negotiations in 2008

UU Costs such as maintenance will be optimised

Cost savings and threat of industrial action

Hopes for cost savings and improved efficiency are driving the deal, and the agreement talks were accelerated due to the heavy losses incurred by both airlines during 2009. The airlines’ financial difficulties follow a sharp decline in the number of passengers due to the both the recession and increased competition from low cost carriers. BA announced a pre-tax loss of £292m for the six month period to September, as well as a 3.6 million sterling deficit in its pension scheme. Iberia

posted a loss of 30.4 million euros in the three months to September. If the merger is completed, it should return the combined group to profitability, allowing them to slash costs and improve buying power. TopCo’s size would mean huge economies of scale would be made in purchasing aircraft, fuel, IT systems and maintenance. The airlines have announced they would target savings of 400 million euros per year by the middle of the decade. The merger has, however, prompted fears of further job

losses at the two airlines. BA is currently dealing with the threat of industrial action by its cabin crew over the 4,900 job losses already announced, as well as changes to their working conditions. The UK aviation union Unite is holding back support for the merger until it receives assurance that there will be no further compulsory redundancies. A 12 day strike over the Christmas and New Year period was narrowly averted when the UK high court ruled that the strike would be illegal due to the way

the union had conducted its ballot. It is estimated that the strike would have caused BA losses of up to £30 million per day. Unions say that there may still be strike action early this year but whatever the outcome, this episode has certainly not been positive for BA’s relations with its customers.

Merger is a logical progression of BA – Iberia relationship

Commenting on the merger, a spokesper- UU Passengers will gain access to better connections son from Iberia said “Most people in the industry on some of our routes. British where Iberia is European leader. would agree that we are going Airways has been an investor in And with the third runway at to see more and more consolida- Iberia since 2001 and now holds Heathrow now looking unlikely, tions in the airline industry. around 13% of Iberia, while Ibe- a growing number of BA passenWe have already seen the Air ria Airlines holds a 10% stake in gers could find themselves flying France-KLM fusion and several British Airways. The merger, for to international destinations acquisitions by Lufthansa. This us, is a logical progression. The via Iberia’s Madrid hub. Iberia merger between British Airways finalisation of phase one of the customers, in turn, will gain up and Iberia should not really Open Skies agreement is what to 98 new destinations. come as a surprise to anyone has made this possible as, prior as the relationship has been to Open Skies, a merger such as All of these will create potential developing for many years. Be- this would have meant the loss for higher revenue for the airsides both being members of the of precious rights to some flight lines, while schedules and fares Oneworld alliance, we already routes including to the US and will be worked on more closely. have code sharing agreements Latin America.” The BA – Iberia merger will give passengers access to more frequencies, destinations and lounges, as well as better synchronised connections. Passengers of BA will gain up to 59 destinations including 13 in Latin America,

Next steps in merger and antitrust immunity with American Airlines

BA and Iberia are scheduled to sign a contract within the first three months of this year and they hope to conclude the merger by the end of November. The deal will also need to be rubber stamped by shareholders and authorities, including the European Commission. Iberia Airlines itself still has the right to back out of the deal if they do

not find the outcome of negotiations satisfactory. BA’s pension deficit and union woes, as mentioned above, could be possible blocking points. However, if the merger is finalised as planned, it would create an airline of 419 aircraft carrying over 60 million passengers a year. With annual revenues of 15 billion euros, TopCo would be Europe’s third largest airline in terms of revenues, after Lufthansa and Air-France KLM, and the sixth largest in the world. British Airways and Iberia are also hoping for a tie up with American Airlines, as this would make them far more competitive on transatlantic routes. They have applied for EU-US anti-trust immunity (ATI) and now await approval from US authorities in Washington. A final decision is awaited from the US Department of Transportation early this year.


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Business travellers fly in or b.flex With its travel classes and b.flex economy, Brussels Airlines offers the ideal solution for business travellers. Roughly 30 per cent of all Brussels Airlines passengers now opt for this value-for-money proposition.


russels Airlines connects Brussels Airport with over 50 European destinations. Since time is money for a considerable number of business travellers, Brussels Airlines flies to nearly all of these airports several times per day -- four times a day to Barcelona and Madrid, six times a day to Geneva, five times a day to Birmingham, four times a day to Rome... no other airline does better. By choosing Brussels Airlines, our business clients save a great deal of time and costs. Thanks to the excellent travel schedules, even one-day business trips are possible, in which you can avoid extra costs for hotels and other accommodations. The frequency of the flights is an important factor for business travellers, but saving money and comfort are just as significant. For these reasons, Brussels Airlines has developed two travel formulas that address the needs of the modern businessman or -woman. is the airline’s top-ofthe-line product. Those who select choose the highest level of comfort, are guaranteed a spot in the front of the aircraft, have the middle seat unoccupied, and are provided with a meal inspired by top Belgian chefs, including Vrancken Champagne. This class includes lounge access at all airports. At Brussels Airport, a passenger can park his


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or her car at very economical rates (i.e. no additional cost, in contrast to other parking arrangements) and leave it safely and conveniently in the VIP parking lot, where an attendant watches the car. In addition, tickets are always changeable. For those who cannot take advantage of the outstanding offerings of the class, the b.flex economy class of travel may be just the right choice. Flexible tickets, fast lane security, extra baggage and a nice meal on board are just a few of the many advantages enjoyed by business travellers who want full service in economy class. Those who travel in or b.flex economy receive frequent flyer miles that may be redeemed for flights to several different destinations. The loyalty programmes of Brussels Airlines and Lufthansa – Privilege and Miles&More, have been partnered together since October 25 with the purpose of providing a unique frequent flyer offering. More than 30 per cent of all Brussels Airlines passengers choose either or b.flex. This is proof positive that both products,

which were specifically developed with the business traveller in mind, are highly valued in the travel world. The airline’s selection of flights keeps expanding every month. In April of 2009, Brussels Airlines successfully launched new service to Vilnius, Palermo and Seville. Thanks to joint cooperation with Lufthansa, you can book Brussels Airlines tickets to the German cities of Hanover, Stuttgart and Nuremberg. The number of daily flights to Frankfurt and Hamburg has also increased. In the months to come, the flight offerings will be further improved. The Star Alliance group of airlines, the most popular alliance in the business world, will make flying with Brussels Airlines much more interesting. Thanks to its partnership with the Star Alliance, Brussels Airlines will gain access to a worldwide route network, with numerous frequent flyer advantages and all sorts of new commercial products.

“Flexible tickets, fast lane security, extra baggage and a nice meal on board are just a few of the many advantages.”

KLM celebrates 90 years of innovation KLM has been celebrating its 90th anniversary. We take a look back over a year of special events and innovations for the world’s oldest airline.


© Capital Photos/PResslink


LM, or Koninklijke Luchtvaart Maatschapij, was founded on 7 October 1919 to serve the Netherlands and its colonies. High points over the years have included the launch of the world’s longest distance scheduled service in 1929 – from Amsterdam to Jakarta, KLM’s first transatlantic flight in 1934 and, of course, the merger with Air France five years ago. Air France KLM now operates a combined fleet of 620 aircraft and carries 75.5 million passengers a year. As a tribute to its proud Dutch heritage, KLM commenced the year of anniversary activities with a special Celebration Flight on 1st January 2009 over the various Dutch regions. “Two aircraft were used to represent the old and the new faces of KLM – a Boeing 777-200 and a Boeing 737-800 painted in retro KLM livery from the 1960s” explained Air France KLM’s Bernard Castel. “The VIP passengers on board included clients, senior executives and 70 chronically ill children in partnership with the Stichting Hoogvliegers Foundation. In a similar vein we also organized a flight for 90 senior citizens who had never flown before. We flew from Amsterdam on a circular voyage over Holland in a Fokker 50 aircraft. The feedback was great – and I think we gained some new clients!” Corporate social responsibility has been at the heart of KLM’s festivities and each year it supports a charitable cause under its Foundation KLM Air Cares. The cause chosen for the airline’s 90th year was Cycling Blue for Kenya. KLM carried out a series of international actions throughout 2009 for the campaign in order to raise finance for purchase of bicycles to enable children to go to school, and to set up repair workshops for bicycles.

Tour of Inspiration

One of the largest communications actions during KLM’s celebrations was the organization of its ‘Tour of Inspiration’ last autumn. The Tour traveled through 30 European cities using a specially equipped lorry to showcase KLM’s products and services. On ground and in-the-air services presented ranged from self-checking kiosks, to onboard catering and the latest inflight entertainment services. Also on show were KLM’s next generation business class seats and its new Economy Comfort Class. The Economy Comfort class, to be launched this December, will offer greater passenger comfort than regular economy (including seats that recline back twice as far), but at only a slightly higher cost. “These are exactly the type of products that

we wanted to put ‘in the hands’ of our clients by organizing the Tour” said Castel. “The Tour commenced in Amsterdam on 18 September and we made our first stop in Billunde in Demark. The roadshow then continued through several European countries including Luxembourg, Belgium, Germany, the UK, France, Italy and Spain before terminating in Munich on 8 November. At each stage of the tour, events were organized to specifically target our local clients in each destination. The feedback on the Tour from our clients has been very positive. Although we are already in regular contact with them, this marketing initiative gave them the chance to experience first hand our latest products and innovations for medium and long haul flights. It was also a great opportunity for networking and exchange. The ideas and suggestions gathered from our clients have been passed on to our dedicated innovation department so that we can continue to anticipate future market needs.”

Sustainability and innovation core to future development

The anniversary celebrations officially ended on 7 October with a symposium, presided over by KLM president and CEO Peter Hartman, at the airline’s head offices in Amstelveen. KLM sees sustainability as a core ingredient of its growth strategy, and this was reflected in Peter Hartman’s speech at the symposium. He predicted that the main changes the airline faces in the shorter term involve the development and application of sustainable fuels. “We are working hard in this area and hope to be able to redouble our efforts as soon as the economic crisis allows”. In 2009 Air France KLM was confirmed as “Sector Leader” in air transport sustainability for the fifth consecutive year. Notwithstanding its 90th anniversary celebrations, 2009 was a dynamic year for KLM. The month of May saw the debut of a transatlantic partnership between Air France KLM and Delta Air Lines. Under the agreement, the partners will operate their transatlantic businesses jointly. The airlines will also cooperate on routes between North America, Africa, the Middle East and India, as well as on flights between Europe and several countries in Latin America. As Bernard Castel underlined “We may have a long history but our aim is to continually innovate and improve. As part of this we are undergoing a major renewal of our passenger fleet. As regards our medium haul and regional aircraft, we have begun replacement of our Boeing 737-300s and 400s by the latest generation Boeing 737 aircraft – the 737-700 and the 737-800. Our long haul Boeing 747-400s are being replaced by Boeing 777-300ERS. This will extend our maximum range and give more comfort and choice to passengers with the latest on-board in flight entertainment systems.”


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Royal Jordanian Airlines Deploys PROS’ Technology


passenger service Royal Jordanian Airlines and PROS Revenue Management, L.P. announce that Royal Jordanian Airlines is deploying a new suite of Network Revenue Management Systems from PROS– a world leader of pricing and revenue optimization science and software. The system is scheduled to be implemented in the fourth quarter of 2010.


arking a new milestone in Royal Jordanian’s commitment to growth and continual adoption of state-ofthe-art technology, the Airline will implement the PROS Origin-and-Destination Business Solution. The centrepiece of this solution, the PROS O&D Revenue Management System, will maximize network revenue by optimizing the price mix of passenger flows across RJ’s burgeoning hub in Amman.

About PROS

PROS Revenue Management L.P. is a leading provider of pricing and revenue optimization software products, specialized in price analytics, price execution, and price optimization. By using PROS software products, customers gain insight into their pricing strategies, identify detrimental pricing practices, optimize their pricing decisionmaking, and improve their business processes and financial performance.


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PROS’ software products incorporate advanced pricing science, which also includes operations research, forecasting, and statistics. PROS’ high-performance software architecture supports real-time high volume transaction processing and allows PROS to handle the processing and database requirements of the most sophisticated and largest customers, including customers with hundreds of simultaneous users and sub-second electronic transactions.

More possibilities, more revenues

Complementing this solution will be PROS Real-Time Dynamic Pricing (RTDP), which enables RJ to infuse commercial strategies and business tactics into the system’s automated process

“With our increasingly broad network, it is imperative that we employ sophisticated technology to make the most of our opportunities. PROS is best suited to deliver tangible results.”

“Additionally, the airline opened a 24/7 Call Centre, which offers RJ customers from all over the world reservation services, information regarding the frequent flyer program, flight schedules, luggage and ticket fares.”

“Other IT systems were also implemented to make it easier for passengers to deal with all travel procedures, like the advanced boarding pass and Common Use Self Service check-in system (CUSS).”

to enhance revenue quality. In addition, the PROS O&D Group System will round out the solution to optimize group traffic and network seat utilization. The entire solution will be integrated seamlessly with Royal Jordanian’s passenger service system platform. “This deployment perfectly underscores our recent commitment to increasing revenues,” said Royal Jordanian President/ CEO Hussein Dabbas. “With our increasingly broad network, it is imperative that we employ sophisticated technology to make the most of our opportunities. The PROS solutions have

demonstrated their effectiveness at managing these kinds of realworld circumstances, and we believe PROS is best suited to deliver tangible results.”

ing this partnership with Royal Jordanian has been both an honor and a pleasure.”

State-of-the-art required

In light of the airline’s modernization and development policy, RJ introduced several other advanced, state-of-the-art systems, linking up with the oneworld airline members; the most significant are the electronic ticketing and the departure control systems, the Internet booking, the frequent flyer program (Hitit) and a new group revenue management and the revenue accounting (Sirax) systems.

Guido Ruther, Chief Commercial Officer-, said, “Royal Jordanian is distinguished by several attributes, including a modern aircraft fleet, a network of 57 direct international routes, and the broader oneworld alliance network that extends our network to more than 700 destinations globally. Our business model requires the support of state-of-the-art technology and Royal Jordanian prides itself on employing the best solutions available. The PROS solutions clearly fit that profile. We are confident that these systems — and the company behind them will help us achieve our strategic initiatives.” In welcoming this decision from Royal Jordanian Airlines, PROS Senior Vice President, Business Development, Benson Yuen said, “With Royal Jordanian’s unique advantages and their strong, clear-sighted leadership, they are well positioned to gain the greatest benefit from the proven technology and business processes PROS provides. Forg-

Wider choice for passengers

Other IT systems were also implemented to make it easier for passengers to deal with all travel procedures, like the advanced boarding pass and Common Use Self Service check-in system (CUSS). Additionally, the airline opened a 24/7 Call Centre, which offers RJ customers from all over the world reservation services, information regarding the frequent flyer program, flight schedules, luggage and ticket fares. Royal Jordanian provides competitive ticket prices and valuable offers to give wider choices to passengers.


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Increased flights to Africa

TAP is “World’s leading airline to South America” TAP Portugal was elected the World’s Leading Airline to South America at the Grand Final gala of the 16th edition of the WTA World Travel Awards, held in London on November 8, on the eve of the WTM World Travel Market. The Portuguese airline will also increase the services to Africa.


reated in order to recognise, award and celebrate excellence in all sectors of the global travel and tourism industry, the World Travel Awards are today the most prestigious in the industry. The WTA winners were elected through an online voting process involving travel and tourism professionals, mostly travel agents, with the voting process also open this year to the travelling public.

Recognised efforts

“On behalf of TAP, it is with great excitement that we see ourselves recognised as leaders among the airlines that operate in South America.”


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“The award of this prize fills us with pride and satisfaction and represents an enormous incentive for all of us here at TAP. This distinction praises and recognises the efforts that the Portuguese airline has persistently made, over the last few years, to promote and strengthen its presence in South America, particularly in Brazil, where we carry the most passengers of any foreign airline and provide daily links from Europe to Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, Brasília, Belo Horizonte, Salvador, Recife, Natal and Fortaleza,” declared Luiz Mór, TAP Executive Director. “On behalf of TAP, it is with great excitement that we see ourselves recognised as leaders among the airlines that operate in South America. For us, this prize carries with it added responsibility towards our cus-

tomers and crowns the success of our efforts and investment in this market, motivating us to continue improving.”

African continent

TAP will also open a new route to Marrakech in June, operating 3 flights per week on Tuesdays, Fridays and Sundays. The company continues to pursue its expansion strategy in Africa, which has shown steady growth since 2001. Passenger numbers have risen from 236,000 to 541,000, an increase of 129%. With the opening of this new route, TAP will now cover a network of ten cities in eight African countries, operating a total of 55 flights per week between Portugal and the continent. In Morocco, Marrakech now joins Casablanca, which is currently served by 13 flights a week. TAP flies seven times a week to both Sal and Praia in Cape Verde, and operates the same frequency to Dakar in Senegal. The company increased its service to Luanda to 10 flights per week last year. TAP also flies the Maputo and Johannesburg route three times per week, as well as running one extra direct flight a week to the Mozambican capital. Finally, the airline operates three flights per week to Bissau and one to São Tomé.

Air Arabia, the Middle East and North Africa’s first low cost carrier declared mid February that it has seen rise in passenger demand for its services between Brussels and Casablanca. The company, which started operations between its hub at the Mohamed V International Airport, Casablanca and Brussels South Charleroi Airport on May 10, 2009, has carried over 40,000 passengers on this route by far.

Air Arabia to expand its operations in Europe and expects further growth in Belgium S

peaking to the Belgian media following a press conference organized by the airline, Mr. Adel Ali, Group Chief Executive Officer of Air Arabia said that “Brussels was among the first five destinations the airline started operations to from its nine month old hub in Casablanca, Morocco. We have seen a notable increase in demand for our services on this route and we believe there is a good potential for further growth”. Air Arabia, the largest Arab airline by market value operates direct services to over 60 cities from two hubs in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates and Casablanca, Morocco. The airline started operations from Sharjah International Airport in October 2003 offering value for money services to the Middle East, North Africa and Asia. In May 2009, Air Arabia launched its second hub at the Mohamed V International Airport, Casablanca covering Europe and Africa. The airline will also launch its third hub in Alexandria, Egypt later this year. “Air Arabia operations from Maroc hub have seen an or-

ganic growth over the past nine months.” Mr. Ali concluded. “We have been able to offer the European residents as well as the Moroccan community living in Europe a great choice to visit Morocco more often, benefiting from competitive fares and reliable services”. Air Arabia offers four flights per week between Mohamed V International Airport, Casablanca and Brussels South Charleroi Airport. The carrier currently operates direct services to 12 cities from its hub in Casablanca including Paris, Lyon, Marseille, Basel, Amsterdam, Milan, Venice, Bologna, Barcelona and Istanbul. The airline will start new services to the French city of Montpellier in March this year as well as enter new African markets. Air Arabia fleet consists of brand new Airbus A320 aircraft offering its passengers the best economy configuration in the market with 32” seat pitch as well as an all inclusive free luggage allowance. The carrier has a confirmed order with Airbus for the purchase of 44 Airbus A320 aircraft.

Adel Ali Board Member and Group Chief Executive Officer, Air Arabia Adel Ali, awarded world’s Low Cost Airline “CEO of the year” 2007, 2008, 2009 has been given credit for setting up the Middle East and North Africa’s first low-cost carrier (LCC), Air Arabia. Adel has brought over 27 years of strategic aviation, tourism and marketing experience to Air Arabia since the company commenced operations in October 2003. Adel’s distinctive leadership style, vision, skilful management combined with his charisma, makes him an inspiration to his team and has made Air Arabia the world’s best low cost carrier (LCC) in 2009. Adel previously served as Vice President (Commercial and Customer Service) for Gulf Air, where he played a central role in the airline’s recovery. Before that, he spent over 20 years with British Airways where he also held senior management positions, including General Manager (Middle East and Africa).


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Quieter than ever before Introducing BOSE QuietComfort 15 Acoustic Noise Cancelling headphones. ®



Our best headphones. 1998 saw the breakthrough introduction of our first noise reduction headphones. And now, after almost a decade of additional research and development, we are proud to present the BOSE QuietComfort 15 headphones - our quietest ever. ®


The QC 15 offers an unmatched combination of improved noise reduction, acclaimed lifelike sound and comfortable around-ear fit. The exclusive Bose technologies inside the product electronically sense more of the sounds around you, reducing more noise across a wider range of frequencies. In addition to these enhancements we developed a new ear cushion that reduces unwanted noise more effectively. ®

Enjoy music more. In today’s world where silence is a luxury, these headphones diminish the noise around you. Imagine sitting in a crowded commuter train and still being able to dedicate yourself completely to your work, your book or anything else that calls for solitude. When you fly, the engine roar fades even further away. When you listen to music at home or at work, fewer distractions get in the way. Less noise, along with acclaimed lifelike sound, a fit that stays comfortable for hours and the quality you expect from Bose. So now you can relax and appreciate music, movies or just some serenity more than ever before. Welcome to a quieter world. Try our newest and quietest model for yourself: when you fly, when you work, when you relax at home. Hear the difference they make in creating a quieter world around you.

Visit: for more information or to find your local authorized Bose dealer Belgian customers can call 0800 92833 quoting reference B9ATCT44 ©2009 Bose Corporation. Patent rights issued and/or pending. The distinctive design of the headphone oval ring is a trademark of Bose Corporation. Delivery subject to product availability. Price subject to change without notice. For more information about our standard terms and conditions of sales, visit our website


Lindner Group makes its entrance onto the Belgian hotel market in Antwerp UU Lindner Hotel and City Lounge Antwerp

The Lindner Hotels & Resort Group recently announced that it was taking over the Golden Tulip Antwerp Centre Hotel, renaming it in the process the Lindner Hotel & City Lounge Antwerp. Although the 174 room business and spa hotel only opened in its original guise just over two years ago, Lindner plans to implement a series of ambitious upgrades to boost the hotel’s profile. German group Lindner is already a wellknown brand in its homeland, but this is its first foray in Belgium. We asked Otto Linder, CEO of Lindner Hotels, about the reasons behind this acquisition and the group’s future plans.


indner Hotels & Resorts is a familymanaged German hotel group which operate 33 business and leisure hotels in the four and five star bracket. Under the leadership of Otto Lindner, expansion has been impressive and it has tripled its number of hotels over the last ten years. Between 2002 and 2008 revenues more than doubled to reach 156 million euros. “We have achieved this by exercising sound judgement in opening new hotels and taking over distressed hotels and revitalising them” explains Otto Lindner. “We have the advantage of belonging to a parent group that includes a full service provider in the real estate segment, an architectural firm and an operating company for hotels. All of these talents are key factors in successfully building a hotel group.”

Why Antwerp?

The Hotel & City Lounge Antwerp marks Lindner’s introduction onto a fifth European market, following on from Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Spain. “We been working hard on building our brand recognition in Germany and we are now considered as a bigger player there” says Linder. “With this phase completed, the next step was to export our expertise to neighbouring European countries. Our strategy is to grow hotel occupation levels from the local market, whilst as an added value we profit from clientele from our German feeder market. Why Antwerp? It is Belgium’s second largest city and has a thriving local business community, including the diamond industry and a very big seaport. Transport links are good, as


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Antwerp is served by a high speed rail network and two airports – Antwerp and Brussels. In addition the strong economical relations between Antwerp and Germany confirmed our decision to acquire the hotel. We have a potential catchment area of 15 million Germans living within less than a two hour drive away – and a 1,600 place carpark. In fact German business and leisure visitors to Antwerp currently account for 50% of our business here. Corporate travel keeps us busy in the week and we are cross selling to leisure tourism for the weekend. The Dutch leisure tourism market is huge and keeps our weekends full in Antwerp.” Building brand awareness is central to Lindner’s strategy. “For a start we attract attention to our hotels by offering things that are a little different. We have opened themed hotels, golf hotels, spa hotels and we were even the first to offer multimedia hotels in Germany. Lindner also carries out a lot of promotional and marketing work to build its brand on a local, company-wide and partnership basis. Our advertising campaigns, direct mailing and newsletter campaigns have been crucial to building our brand awareness and with driving direct bookings. In addition we have forged a number of successful marketing partnerships, such as with the Private Label Company, a subsidiary of Leading Hotels of the World, and with ADAC, Germany’s largest automobile club.”

UU Otto Lindner – CEO of Lindner Hotels

“Elsewhere we are looking at other European opportunities, including a possibility in London. As an overall business philosophy though, we do not believe in long term strategy plans. We want to be ready to look at good opportunities as they arise, taking chances and advantages, listening to the market. That is the beauty of being a family owned group – I can take decisions within minutes. The shortest time we have managed so far between first looking at a hotel property and taking it over was two weeks. These days we tend to see bigger companies eating up the smaller ones. But we are faster and we are able to take decisions quicker. In these times this really makes a difference. As we work closely as a real estate developer with quite a VV Lounge with panoramic views


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UU Guest room

“Of course we are looking to see how the economy is going to recover, but the Belgian market seems to be well positioned.” UU Restaurant lot of banks, we are aware of what is called debt for equity swaps. We are in a fortunate position to have insight on these opportunities. This is how we have acquired a number of our hotels and was the case with the former Golden Tulip in Antwerp, which was under the ownership of German institutional investors.”

Belgian market seems to be well positioned

“Of course we are looking to see how the economy is going to recover, but the Belgian market seems to be well positioned. Although trends are not yet stable, in autumn we saw the first sign of recovery from our market research. The VAT rate on food in Belgium has been lowered from 21% to 12% which gives us a higher efficiency on food revenues. All in all there are a lot of positive signs for the Belgian market.” Lindner Hotels plans to implement a series of ambitious improvements to boost the Antwerp hotel’s profile. These include a substantial expansion of the hotel facilities and upgrades to service levels. With 13 conference rooms, a top floor reception and events lounge with panoramic views and a recently awarded “5 Hamer” certificate, the hotel enjoys a reputation as a premium business location. “We can see that with this hotel we will be able to build up Lindner’s brand awareness in Belgium and use it as a jumping point into the Belgian market” says Lindner. “That is our strategy for development in new countries and we are already looking at possibility hotel opportunities in Brussels now.”

UU Meeting room


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Hong Kong Defies Downturn with Jump in Hotel Development Hong Kong, gateway to the Far East, founded its affluence on trading, finance and tourism – three sectors that have been sorely afflicted by the global downturn. Despite this, Hong Kong, a territory of only 7 million inhabitants, is amazingly still the world’s 17th richest nation – and that is when counted separately from China. Even Hong Kong’s tourism sector is looking particularly dynamic when compared to the current global picture. With passenger arrivals on an upward trend, and a near 10% increase in hotel capacity in 2009, the Corporate Traveller decided to investigate the Hong Kong situation further.


Although visitor arrivals over the first nine months of 2009 were down by 2.8% compared to 2008, August and September figures were up by 5.8% and 2.5% respectively. These figures also reflected a rise in long haul traffic from EMEA and the US. Moreover the number of Hong Kong hotel rooms jumped by 9.5% in 2009, with many other new openings in the pipeline recently announced.

Swire Group backing the trend

The Swire Group is a key player in Hong Kong’s evolving landscape. One of territory’s oldest and most influential conglomerates, Swire has interests in shipping, trading, aviation and property. In 2008 it formed its own hotel group, Swire Hotels, to create and manage its own line of boutique luxury hotels. Its first Hong Kong hotel, the Upper


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evolution as we have significant expertise in property management and tourism. Our property arm, Swire Properties, has long been developing properties for world class hoteliers and we already have investments in Hong Kong hotels such as the Island Shangri La, the JW Marriot and the Conrad. For our own brand hotels we see opportunities for luxury boutique hotels that target the sophisticated,

demanding traveller looking for something on the cutting edge of innovation, with great service. This is where we are positioning the Upper House and East. We will continue to develop and manage hotels for other groups but we will also be opening more of our own, including the launch of a second brand of hotels in Hong Kong next year.

House, was opened in October. Located in Pacific Place, a major commercial and retail hub, the hotel’s 117 rooms are the most spacious in Hong Kong, starting at 730 square feet. Architect Andre Fu, hailed by Vogue UK as a ‘Design Wunderkind’, is behind the hotel’s avant-garde design. Swire’s second Hong Kong hotel, East, followed in January this year. East is being positioned as a business lifestyle hotel. It offers 345 rooms in the Quarry Bay district, home to over 300 multinational companies. East has been especially conceived to target this business community, including those on a longer stay. We asked Brian Williams, Managing Director of Swire Hotels, why the group is making investments in this sector now. “The idea to launch our own hotel company was a natural

UU Brian Williams, Managing Director of Swire Hotels

Our goal is quite simply a good return on investment. We are essentially a property business who wants to maximise value on our real estate. As property developers we see particular potential in mixed use developments which combine retail, commercial and hotel space in the same complex. These complexes function as inter-operative eco-systems, attracting investors and visitors alike. The locations of Pacific Place and Quarry Bay chosen for our new hotels are good illustrations of this strategy.”

The world’s tallest hotel

Swire is far from being the only investor in new hotels in the territory. The Ritz-Carlton has just announced the opening of a 393 room hotel for early 2010. Located on the 102nd to 118th floors of the ICC Tower on Hong Kong’s Kowloon side, the new Ritz-Carlton will have the pres-

tige of being the world’s tallest hotel. Other arrivals include the Preferred Hotel Group’s 494 room Mira Hotel, inaugurated in September, and the International Hotel Group’s Hotel Indigo, due to open in 2012.

new Shatin hotel is situated next to the Hong Kong Science Park, home to over 200 IT and electronics companies, as well as the University of Hong Kong for whom we regularly host large international forums.”

The Hyatt Group, present in Hong Kong since the late sixties, is also upping its stakes in the territory from this year. Early in 2009 it opened a new Regency Hotel in the Shatin district and in October it reopened the Regency Tsim Sha Tsui following a three year closure. Hyatt Regency Shatin’s Edith Cheng explained “Many people

There is no denying that Hong Kong tourism has been through a tough time recently, with the global economic crisis, swine flu and SARS. However, Hong Kong is dynamic, financially resilient and knows how to make the most of its opportunities. Many hotel groups are currently looking at prospects in Asia – and Hong Kong has proven since the

may think that 2009 is not the best year to add more hotels to the market, but we have been seeing an increase in our business despite the ‘economic tsunami’. We are targeting the traveller looking for globally branded hotels in specific business locations. For example our

handover to China in 1997 that it has a significant role to play in Asian business. It has the dual advantages of being part of China, the world’s most cash rich nation, whilst retaining its status as a special economic region. A key opportunity therefore for Hong Kong is as a bridge to the

international community eager to do business with China and throughout Asia. Even more importantly, Hong Kong hoteliers agree that inter-Asian travel has been growing exponentially over the past few years and now makes up over half of hotel occupancy rates. This trend is expected to continue and Hong is well positioned, as an Asian crossroad, to welcome this traffic. “A lot of hotel brands are keen to get in to Hong Kong” continues Brian Williams. “Real estate prices make hotel development challenging but there are a

number of ongoing projects. Over the next 10 years we predict that there are still more hotels needed – especially those offering high quality and good value for money – particular requisites for the Asian market and an area where Hong Kong excels.”


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When London narrowly beat Paris in its bid to host the 2012 Olympics, there were celebrations throughout the UK. It was estimated that hosting the world’s biggest sporting event could bring added benefits of 2.6 billion euros to the country’s tourism industry. But that was back in 2005. Since then we have seen the recession and the negative impact that the Olympics had on Beijing tourism in 2008. With a budget estimated at over 10 billion euros, is the London win really such a blessing and can the UK expect to recuperate this investment in tourism?

London Olympics in 2012

Will they hurt tourism revenues? T

here now two camps of thought regarding the games. Those, especially government backed organisations, who believe it will really bring tourism benefits, and other industry experts who are less optimistic. Even Tessa Jowell, the Minister for the Olympics warned at the end of last year that “The economic downturn has changed the landscape for London 2012. We bid for the Games in one economic climate, but we will be staging them in another.”

An excellent opportunity

Tourism bureaus VisitBritain and Visit London are working hard to maximise the opportunity of hosting the 2012 Games. Their primary objective is to fill the capital’s hotel rooms. While hotel supply has been deemed as sufficient for the games, there will be over 13,000 new rooms available in the capital by 2012, bringing the total to 130,000. New arrivals will include the 1,000 room Park Plaza in Lambeth early this year and the Shangri La London Bridge Tower hotel, to open at the landmark 70 story ‘Shard’ building in 2012. Visit London is plugging the Games as ‘an excellent opportunity to reinforce Britain’s reputation as a world-class destination for business events’ and its studies of previous Games show that corporates can account for up to 50 per cent of tourism benefits from hosting the Olympics. Keen to fulfil this potential, VisitBritain has set up a number of initiatives including the new eventBritain unit and a “Fair Pricing and Practice Charter” to encourage fair pricing during the Games.


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About 90% of the Olympics budget is earmarked for urban regeneration projects, including transport and housing. In fact back when London was still bidding for the games Ken Livingstone, then the city Mayor, said that one of the major reasons he wanted the Olympics was to get budget for developing London’s transportation. The much needed improvements made to transportation have been impressive. By this summer, the new Docklands Light Railway will be extended up to Stratford International station, site of the Olympic park (and also a Eurostar station). In addition a new ‘Javelin’ rail service will operate a high speed link between St Pancras International station and the Olympic Park in just seven minutes.

Previous host cities showed tourism losses

UU The Olympic handover ceremony from Beijing to London

UU Olympic stadium under construction

Contradicting the official government line that Games will be beneficial to tourism is the European Tour Operators Association (ETOA). The ETOA is part of the working group, which includes VisitBritain and Visit London, specifically set up to develop tourism throughout 2012. It is concerned that the Olympics will cause damage to the city’s

UU New Park Plaza Westminster Bridge Hotel

could be justified. Secondly hotels believe that they

tourism industry, with a loss of as much as 2.6 billion euros. The ETOA has carried out its own research on losses in tourism experienced by host cities of previous Games. It studied visitor statistics for the Olympics in Beijing, Athens, Sydney, Atlanta, Barcelona and Seoul. Whilst some of these cities saw a peak in demand during the games, all saw a major disruption to their normal tourism market and none revealed any conspicuous tourism growth. The data from Beijing is particularly worrying. International visitors to Beijing plumetted during 2008. In the month before the Games they fell by 30% on the previous year and in the months following the Games international arrivals were more than 20% down. The ETOA research also highlights a comparison with the two similar markets of Australia and New Zealand. In the five years prior to the 2000 Games, Australia and New Zealand were enjoying parallel growth in tourism – but Australia lost significant ground to New Zealand following the Sydney Olympics. “A pattern emerges when a destination becomes known as the Olympic host city. It starts with the phenomenon of overbooking – which leads to overpricing” commented the ETOA. “Organisers booking events in advance, book more rooms than they need, knowing that they will be able to give a proportion back if necessary. That’s the way it works in the tourism industry. There are three main dangers with these ‘pencil’ bookings. In the case of the Beijing Olympics it let to a vast overbuilding of five star hotels – more than ever

are booked up, so they can name their price. When buyers find they cannot negotiate their prices as usual, they go where they are sure of getting a supply, at a good rate. Organiser logic becomes ‘if I am going to Europe I will avoid London this year because of the Olympics.’ This syndrome happens at every Olympics. Finally hotels find themselves with rooms that they think are booked, dumped back on them at the eleventh hour.”

Imaginary cloud of profit

ETOA Executive Director Tom Jenkins adds “Another factor is that people don’t travel to watch athletics events, at least not in the same numbers as they do for football. And those that do travel are not classic tourists in terms of spending habits. They do not go to the theatre or to restaurants as much and they spend less on accommodation. We believe it is our responsibility to make sure all these facts are known in advance by the market, especially as Minister Tessa Jowell has said that those who benefit from the games, should be those who pay, and by that she means the tourism industry. If these issues are not properly aired and we do not carry out a rigorous assessment of the real accommodation demand, tourism will fall victim to the Games. This assessment needs to include lessons learnt at past Olympics. Many studies we have now are carried out by firms of accountants and are, frankly, over optimistic.” “Landing an Olympics involves a necessary amount of exaggeration in the bid process to express that a city is the best suited to host the event” warns Jenkins. “The trouble is this creates an imaginary cloud of profit that can be gained from hosting an Olympic games. If London follows the pattern of Beijing, it could see over 2.5 million fewer visitors at a loss of 1.7 billion euros.”


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Aural pleasure between Amsterdam and Boston Relaxation, entertainment, or inspiration: With the Sennheiser MM 450 TRAVEL hitting the road may be whatever you want.


ife between the cities

No matter if you are a commuter, a top manager or a globetrotter: City trips, long-distance flights or extended journeys by train or bus are part of your everyday life. You pass the time between two destinations with the help of professional journals or daily newspapers, movies and good

music. As a smart traveller, your luggage and your outfit as well as your electronic equipment are perfectly concerted for being on the road. But did you ever think about a suitable travel headset? The Sennheiser MM 450 TRAVEL combines mobility with practicability and thus guarantees optimal auditory enjoyment on every cruising altitude.

The ideal travel companion

A missed call, engine noises or a distracting conversation from the next seat may hamper travelling as well as unhandy objects do. Anyone who is on the road a lot knows: An ideal travel companion mustn’t distract nor


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put an additional strain on things. The MM 450 TRAVEL by Sennheiser is optimally fitted for the circumstances of travelling, starting with the design, passing the additional features, and ending up with the fulfilment of the most modern demands regarding a sound quality that is as clean as it is full. The revolutionary NoiseGard™ function blocks out noises of all kind and thus protects the sensitive ear: Being able to have low music playing despite loud background sounds provides relaxed listening pleasure instead of just multiplying the noise. A total isolation is prevented with help of the TalkThrough

Button: The noise cancelling is maintained while at the same time the voice of the flight attendant or newsworthy announcements become clear and understandable. Bluetooth keeps your hands free, enables easy storage and avoids cable spaghetti, when an unexpected call requires extra technical application. The in-flight adapter caters for on-board entertainment offers, and a 3.5 mm audio cable allows connection to many additional sources. And thanks to the built-in microphone no important call will be missed. In addition, the Head Set controls allow convenient volume adjustment directly at the right ear-cup and a harmo-

nious design including ultrasoft ear pads for exceptional comfort and a metal-reinforced headband make the MM 450 TRAVEL a sturdy travel companion. The foldable headset is supplied with a moulded travel case – for frequent flyers with style. Well then: No matter if you go business class or not – Hear first class!

Silence is golden with the MM 450 TRAVEL for multimedia mobile phones. This bestof-breed Stereo Bluetooth® headset features Sennheiser’s NoiseGard™ 2.0 active noise cancelling system. With 90% of background

Features/benefits of the MM 450 TRAVEL • NoiseGard 2.0™–advanced Sennheiser active noise cancellation lets users enjoy music in peace • TalkThrough –one press of a button turns on the external microphone so you can talk to fellow passengers or the flight attendant without removing the headset • Wireless freedom–Bluetooth®2.1 guarantees hands-free convenience without wires and the advanced A2DP profile for Stereo Bluetooth®delivers optimized hi-fi stereo sound • Invisible microphone –with high-performance sound quality for clear conversations • Direct cable option –for use on airplanes, with an airline adapter included • Easy headset controls –in one intuitive cluster • Sennheiser sound quality–hi-fi headphone drivers ensure superior dynamic range, detail and excellent bass • Wearing comfort –padded ear-cushions provide an excellent soft fit, even on long trips • Easy-2-GO –the headset folds into a compact bundle for travel and storage,while the headband is metal-reinforced for durability • Flexible–replace the battery with a spare on long trips –or recharge it via the USB port on your laptop or the supplied lightweight wall charger with different plug fittings for Europe, the USA, the UK and Australia • Connect everywhere –to mobiles, laptops, MP3 players, or in-flight entertainment systems with an all-in-one headset solution • Peace of mind–thanks to the 2-year international warranty




40 44155 04564 2


6 15104 17073 5

Art. No.


General Data Wearing style


Ear cup style

Closed acoustics


Bluetooth® 2.1 + EDR / supported profiles: A2DP + AVRCP + HSP + HFP

Talk time without NoiseGard™


Play time without/with NoiseGard™

10h / 8h

Charging time






Headphones Frequency response

15 – 22,000 Hz (*)


Less than 0.1% at 1KHz

Sound pressure level (1kHz, 1mW)

107 dB

Microphone Frequency response

100 – 10,000 Hz (*)

Pick-up pattern


Accessories USB wall charger for US, EU, UK and AU plus USB charging cable Included

In-flight adapters (3.5mm double mono adapter and 6.35mm adapter) 3.5mm audio cable Carry case


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Some other interesting options… PX 210 BT – Precision

High-quality, collapsible, closed type stereo miniheadphones with Bluetooth® wireless transmission technology, ideal for use with Bluetooth® enabled audio/video devices. • Bluetooth® 2.1 digital wireless transmission technology – recommended Sennheiser BTD 300 BT adapters sold separately • Also available: adapters for audio and iPod connectors

• Collapsible, metal-reinforced headband – improved folding mechanism • Integrated track and volume controls for enhanced usability and convenience • Option of using cable as well • Extensive accessories included: multi country charger, rechargeable Lithium-Polymer battery and carrying case

• Supports apt-X®: Sophisticated audio compression technique for true hi-fi quality • Neodymium magnets and duofol diaphragms for excellent sound reproduction

MM 400 – Enjoy music and never miss a call For Modern mobile people who demands high end and wireless stereo sound quality while enjoying music on their phone – with ability to take calls simultaneously Wireless freedom – Bluetooth® 2.1 guarantees hands-free convenience without wires and the advanced A2DP profile for Stereo Bluetooth® delivers optimized hi-fi stereo sound • Invisible microphone – with high-performance sound quality for clear conversations • Direct cable option – for use on airplanes, with an airline adapter included • Easy headset controls – in one intuitive cluster • Sennheiser sound quality – hi-fi headphone drivers ensure superior dynamic range, detail and excellent bass • Wearing comfort – padded ear-cushions provide an excellent soft fit, even on long trips • Easy-2-GO – the headset folds into a compact bundle for travel and storage, while the headband is metalreinforced for durability • Flexible – replace the battery with a spare on long trips – or recharge it via the USB port on your laptop or the supplied lightweight wall charger with different plug fittings for Europe, the USA, the UK and Australia • Connect everywhere – to mobiles, laptops, MP3 players, or in-flight entertainment systems with an allin-one headset solution • Peace of mind – thanks to the 2-year international warranty


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PXC 310/PXC 310 BT Enjoy the Rhythm, not the Rattle

Outstanding sound quality with optimum protection against ambient noise: with the new models PXC 310 and PXC 310 BT sophisticated travellers are spoilt for choice when it comes to Sennheiser´s selection of high quality travel headphones. PXC 310 and PXC 310 BT are high-end collapsible stereo miniheadphones with Sennheiser NoiseGard™ 2.0 active noise compensation and TalkThrough function. Both models are ideal for use on a plane, train, bus or in any other noisy environment.

PXC 310

PXC 310 BT

• High active noise attenuation up to 90% • Neodymium magnets and duofol diaphragms for excellent sound reproduction • Collapsible, metal-reinforced headband – improved folding mechanism • Intelligent, easy-to-use operating/MMI interface • TalkThrough function • Optimized for inflight entertainment systems (aircraft adapters included) • Extensive accessories included: inflight adapters, multi country recharger, rechargeable Lithium-Polymer battery and carrying case.

• Same specifications like PXC 310 • Ideal for use with Bluetooth® enabled audio/video • Bluetooth® 2.1 digital wireless transmission technology – recommended Sennheiser BTD 300 BT adapters sold separately • Supports apt-X®: Sophisticated audio compression technique for true hi-fi quality • Adapters for audio and iPod connectors also available separately • Option of using cable as well

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With the Prestige, Green and Fun Collections, there are now even more reasons to love the road. Ask our representative for the options! Start your journey at | CORPORATE TRAVELLER.NET

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3 Times Bose Those who seek the best acoustics immediately think of Bose. The company is primarily known for its research in this field, which has produced inventions that have improved the performance of loudspeakers, home entertainment systems, automotive music systems, noise-reducing headsets, and much more. The frequent flyer will also find what they’re looking for in Bose’s extensive offerings. The editorial board of The Corporate Traveller tested and evaluated three of their products: the Bose QuietComfort® 15 Headphone, the Bose SoundDock 10 and the Bose SoundLink.

Bose QuietComfort® 15 T

he QuietComfort 15 has an over-theear design, including earcups that swivel and fold flat to fit in a stylish case. Through significant engineering advancements in active and passive noise reduction technologies, the QuietComfort® 15 headphones offer more attenuation in louder environments and across a wider range of frequencies without compromising the audio quality and comfortable fit of the acclaimed QuietComfort headphone line. The QuietComfort® 15 headphones debut a more sophisticated, proprietary electronics approach to active noise reduction, placing microphones both inside and outside the earcup. This electronics system better senses the sound in almost any environment and then more effectively measures, compares and reacts to the noise to produce an opposing cancellation signal. New proprietary ear cushion technology provides additional passive attenuation. It features a new mechanical design and uses materials selected for specific acoustic properties to block more noise from entering the earcup.

Consistent experience


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distraction at work or at home, and when music is preferred, it is heard more clearly: within a quieter environment, more definition and detail are revealed. The QuietComfort® 15 headphones benefit from decades of research in on-head audio. Proprietary active equalization technology electronically tunes the frequency response of the headphones, ensuring the accurate reproduction of instruments and vocals. BOSE® TriPort® acoustic headphone structure is incorporated, a technology featuring small ports in the earcups that dramatically increase the low-frequency output of the system. Deep low notes are delivered naturally, without a manufactured “boost” and without increasing headphone size or weight.


The QuietComfort® 15 headphones feature an around-ear design that maintains the renowned comfort of its predecessors. A single earcup cable can be detached for untethered noise reduction. Once the cable is removed, listeners need only flip a switch on the right earcup to activate the proprietary technology.

Through research in user testing, the QuietComfort® 15 headphones overcome the inherent challenge of all headphones, the performance variation from user to user, caused by the difference in head shape and size. Bose engineers used a proprietary acoustic design to deliver a consistent experience for all owners.

A single AAA battery powers the QuietComfort® 15 headphones for approximately 35 hours of use. The green on/off indicator light flashes when there is approximately five hours of battery life remaining. For compact storage, the earcups rotate to a flat resting position and fit easily into the provided newly designed carrying case.

The resulting performance is demonstrable. The engine roar fades further away, there is less

The new QuietComfort® 15 Acoustic Noise Cancelling headphones are available in silver for € 349.

Bose SoundDock® 10 front of the system to complete the full-range of accurate musical reproduction.

The new SoundDock® 10 system was designed to reset the standard for how good an iPod can sound from a single enclosure. It maintains dock-and-play simplicity in a small, elegant design, yet plays with exceptional clarity across the full musical range, with the low-note performance and volume levels of much larger sound systems.

The SoundDock® 10 system’s electronics package is integral to achieving its performance and size. Proprietary digital signal processing algorithms improve musical instrument detail and definition. Audible distortion is reduced, and all frequencies can be heard when the system is played quietly. The system is driven by efficient amplifiers and a switching power supply housed within the system, eliminating the need for an external transformer. Users need only manage a simple power cord.

media player technologies emerge. A Bluetooth® dock is included in the box and streams music wirelessly from a stereo Bluetooth® music phone. As new devices become established standards, new docks will be made available. An auxiliary input allows for the connection of additional equipment – an iPod shuffle, MP3 player or portable CD player. A video output lets users play video from an iPhone or iPod on a TV while listening to the soundtrack on the SoundDock® 10 system. An infrared remote controls the system and the basic functions of an iPod or iPhone, including playlist navigation. It also allows listeners to switch back and forth between sources.

“The SoundDock® 10 system is for people who want the sound quality of a primary music system for their iPod or iPhone,” said Phil Hess, vice president of the Bose Home Entertainment Division. “We started with a clean sheet and a clear goal: to deliver unparalleled audio performance without the need for complicated equipment. We then developed new technologies to deliver that performance without compromise.”

Advanced Engineering

The SoundDock® 10 system was designed as an integrated system and uses advancements from every Bose engineering discipline. Measuring just 23 cm high, 43,2 cm wide and 28,7 cm deep, it incorporates new and existing Bose technologies, including a new version of Bose proprietary waveguide technology, debuting for the first time and developed specifically for the SoundDock® 10 system. The new waveguide was reduced from 190,5 cm to 132 cm without compromising audio performance and is folded precisely in the system’s small enclosure, using every cubic cm of acoustic space. It is matched with a newly designed BOSE® woofer, made exclusively for the SoundDock® 10 system to deliver four times the efficiency of a conventional woofer. Together, the new waveguide and custom BOSE® woofer deliver very deep low notes, without enlarging the enclosure or requiring a separate subwoofer. They are connected by a proprietary multi-purpose metal cap that met a required combination of benefits: it seals the waveguide and woofer, provides magnetic shielding, directs air through the enclosure and withstands the high internal pressure created by the system when played. Two proprietary BOSE® Twiddler® transducers (a combination of a high-frequency transducer and mid-range driver) are optimally positioned in the

A proprietary vibration isolation structure is used to maintain iPod or iPhone performance, regardless of the listening level. For heat management, components are precisely positioned to create a “chimney effect,” efficiently cooling the system.

The SoundDock® 10 system is Made for iPod and Works with iPhone certified, compatible with any click-wheel iPod or iPod Touch, and the iPhone 3GS, 3G and original iPhone model.

“ T h e SoundDock® 10 system is a thrilling product made possible through our research,” said Hess. “We believe its performance and elegance stand alone. And we believe that becomes evident the very first time an owner listens to a favorite iPod playlist or an internet radio station.”

It features a new, proprietary interchangeable docking architecture, designed to “future-proof” the system and protect an owner’s investment as new

The SoundDock® 10 digital music system is available from Bose beginning on October 12, 2009 for € 799.

New Functionality


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Bose SoundLink™ wireless music system long-range wireless link that works through most walls and floors. “Many people use a computer as their primary source for music,” said John Roselli, category business manager for Bose Corporation. “But that convenience and experience is diminished by having to be at the computer to hear it. The Bose SoundLink™ system unlocks that music, streaming it almost anywhere quickly and easily, even outside.” The SoundLink™ wireless music system is a onepiece portable speaker system that allows users to play music from their computer without any wires. The SoundLink™ was designed as a simple solution for people who listen to music stored on their computer, but don’t want to be at their computer to enjoy it. Setup is easy. No software or Wi-Fi connection is required. Just plug the included SoundLink™ USB key into the computer, select music -- from iTunes®, Internet radio or any other music source and the audio will stream to the SoundLink™ system via a


SPRING 2010 |


For added flexibility, a rechargeable lithium-ion battery is included, making the SoundLink™ wireless music system truly portable. It’s charged by the system’s AC power supply. No outlet is required. The battery provides all the power the system needs for up to three hours when played at full volume or for longer periods at more moderate listening levels. Advanced Bose engineering in electronics efficiency and speaker design enable the same high-quality audio performance whether

plugged-in or operating on battery power. The SoundLink™ system features a proprietary acoustics package, which combines exclusive BOSE® waveguide speaker technology and neodymium transducers to deliver room-filling, high-quality audio from a very small enclosure. The system’s infrared remote control operates the power and volume, and can send transport control commands to most applications, allowing users to skip tracks or play/pause from a distance. Touchsensitive volume buttons also are located on the unit itself. Although designed primarily for wireless connectivity to a computer, the SoundLink™ system features an auxiliary input for connecting additional audio sources, including an iPod, iPhone, MP3 player or CD player. The new SoundLink™ wireless music system comes in Gloss Black, and is available from for a price of € 549.


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