The Corporate Traveller 44

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Corporate Traveller

autumn 2012 No. 44

The Annual Airline

Business Class Survey

 Amadeus e-Travel Management Premium Tools customised for corporate needs  “Don’t travel less. Travel smarter.” Diederik Banken, Commercial Vice President for the Benelux at BCD Travel.  The Business Traveller Viola Brandalesi, an Italian in Paris











m-Power Mobile at the centre of travel

Now your travel agency can travel

content The

Corporate Traveller

Industry News 004 The Journal

THE BUSINESS MAGAZINE FOR THE CORPORATE TRAVELLER IN THE BENELUX CIRCULATION 26.000 DIFFUSION Belgium, France, Luxemburg and The Netherlands PUBLICATION FREQUENCY 4 issues per year PUBLISHED BY LEO bvba 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: MANAGING EDITOR Jean Paul Talbot – E-mail: EDITORIAL TEAM Joanna Pays, Angela Antrobus, Jeroen Coteur, Jacques Legros ART DIRECTOR Bert Wagemans SUBSCRIPTIONS Subscriptions to The Corporate Traveller cost € 150 per year (excluding VAT). Costs of delivery to destinations outside of Benelux and France are in addition to this price. Student subscriptions cost € 90 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: edr@ TRAFFIC HILDE DE RIDDER – E-mail: Traffic.leo@ DESIGN LEO BVBA PRINTING Schaubroeck, Nazareth COVER Amsterdam Airport Schiphol 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, My Land Rover Magazine and Toys & Games Magazine. ISSN 1387-2400

News from the travel industry

Hotels 016 The evolution of the Rezidor Hotel Group Rezidor has grown from a small Scandinavian hotel player, to become one of the fastest growing hotel groups worldwide. Michel Stalport, Rezidor’s Area Vice President Western Europe, North and West Africa, shared with us the strategies behind group’s evolutions.

Rail Ways 019 Back on Track – supporting the development of a 21st century rail network Back on Track explains how outsourcing in the rail industry can help drive modernisation. Only through these modernisations can the EU objectives for a building a unified European rail network be achieved.

020 Thalys always gives more services, smoothness and flexibility The PLATINIUM+ card allows Thalys’ passengers to benefit from the very best of Thalys. From now on this will also apply to the strengthened Brussels-Cologne-Düsseldorf-Essen route.

Travel Management 023 Don’t travel less. Travel smarter. In times of economic crisis, each and every euro is scrutinised backwards and forwards several times before it is spent. The case of business travel is no exception. Here, the expenditures are even more closely examined and put to question.

022 The Business of Green When we think of project management, how can we apply some “green thinking” to our projects?

024 Travel tools customised for corporate needs At the end of October, Amadeus is launching a new package within its series of corporate travel tools, namely Amadeus e-Travel Management Premium.

026 Managing business travel for smaller companies Business travel management for small to medium-sized enterprises is a growing sector, especially in Belgium where the number of SMEs is over 600,000.

Air Ways 027 Turkish Airlines voted best airline in Europe for second year running 028 British Airways now connecting Rotterdam to London and beyond British Airways will launch a new route between Rotterdam and London Heathrow in December.

030 Qatar Airways – one of the world’s fastest growing airlines Under the leadership of CEO Akbar Al Baker, Qatar Airways has grown from a small regional carrier to become one of the fastest growing airlines in the world.

032 Jet Airways – Business Class In-flight Report 033 Czech Airlines on SkyTeam, new services and added frequencies to Brussels 034 Lufthansa boosting services and fleet with 19 billion euro investments Lufthansa is in the midst of a 19 billion euro package of investments to its fleet. Steffen Weinstok, Lufthansa General Manager France and Benelux, explained about the advantages travellers will be seeing.

036 SAS brings even more value to corporate customers in the Benelux SAS, the flag carrier of Sweden, Norway and Denmark, is continuing its initiatives to encourage customer loyalty and capture the business traveller market.

037 The Corporate Traveller’s Annual Airline Business Class Survey As each year, The Corporate Traveller has interviewed its readers on their overall business class experiences with airlines. The timing of our survey is particularly pertinent as a number of airlines have been announcing major investments in their premium cabin products. From the results of our readers’ preferences gathered in the survey, we can see some patterns emerging.

Destinations 054 Slovenia’s Bled – incentive and golf destination ‘par excellence’ In the summer edition of The Corporate Traveller, we published a reader competition to win a luxury golf and incentive break to the Slovenian town of Bled. At the end of August, our winner, Gregory Smet of Intergem, explored with us some of the many treasures the region has to offer to meetings and events planners, highlighted by a tour of the stunning Kings Club golf course.

Lifestyle 059 Greater flexibility with choice of 46” and 55” screen sizes Bose introduces the VideoWave® II system, the next generation of its breakthrough entertainment system that combines a high-definition TV, home cinema sound, and a music system into one revolutionary product.

060 One headset to rule them all Found out your favorite headset doesn’t work on your new smart phone? No worries, Sennheiser’s first universal headsets work for most common smart phones brands and doesn’t care if you are running IOS or Android.


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The Traveller Journal News from the travel industry

United Airlines unveils first 787 Dreamliner and premier 787 international routes United Airlines has showcased its first Boeing 787 Dreamliner, fresh out of the paint hangar at Boeing’s Washington facility. United is the North American launch customer for the Dreamliner and has firm orders for fifty 787s, for delivery by 2019. The airline has announced the first international routes for its Dreamliner fleet. In addition to the previously-announced service from its Denver hub to Tokyo Narita, starting in March 2013, the airline will operate non-stop 787 services five days a week between its Houston hub and Lagos, Nigeria, beginning January 2013. United will also operate daily direct 787 services between its Los Angeles hub and its Narita hub, beginning January 3 2013, and Los Angeles to Shanghai, beginning March 30 2013. United will operate daily, non-stop 787 services from its Houston hub to Amsterdam and London Heathrow on a temporary basis. The Houston to Amsterdam service begins on December 4 2012, while the Houston to London Heathrow service begins in February 2013.

Etihad signs codeshare with China Eastern Airlines Etihad Airways has signed a codeshare agreement with China Eastern Airlines. The new agreement is the Abu Dhabi-based airline’s 37th codeshare and follows the exchange of a comprehensive Memorandum of Understanding with the Shanghai-based carrier in March this year. Initially, China Eastern Airlines will place its ‘MU’ code on Etihad Airways’ flights between Abu Dhabi and Shanghai. The airlines have plans to expand the partnership in subsequent phases of cooperation. For example, China Eastern will place its ‘MU’ code on Etihad Airways flights to destinations not on the Chinese carrier’s network, while Etihad Airways plans to codeshare on China Eastern’s domestic services beyond its Shanghai hub. The two airlines also plan to offer reciprocal benefits such as mileage earn and burn to members of their frequent flyer programs, Etihad Guest and Eastern Miles, by the end of this year.

Sandton Hotel Pillows in Brussels goes international launches The Sandton Club Lounge is expanding from its Belgium base to launch its solutions in The Netherlands, Luxembourg and France. Some of world’s leading hotel groups such as Hyatt Hotels & Resorts, Concorde Hotels, Radisson Blu Hotels & Resorts and Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts, have joined Lastminutemeetingroom on these new international markets. The booking platform is now accessible in English, Dutch and French languages. The option to ask for requests can now be done without any time restriction in the future.


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The Sandton Hotel Pillows in Brussels now features the The Sandton Club® Lounge, which offers guests unlimited services during their stay.

pre-dinner snacks, hors d’ oeuvres and beverages) and access to the business lounge - it is the ideal place to conduct business or simply unwind.

The Sandton Club® Lounge redefines the luxury hotel experience combining intimacy, comfort and exclusivity with the personalized service and attention to detail that are the hallmarks of Sandton Hotels. With continuous culinary offerings throughout the day (breakfast, afternoon tea with sweets,

Guests of the Sandton Club® Lounge also enjoy complimentary internet, garment pressing and coffee service with wake-up calls. Culinary offerings can be customised to accommodate any dietary restrictions upon request.

The Traveller Journal | News from the travel industry

Austrian Airlines receives first of its Airbus A320 for fleet renewal As part of its strategy to harmonize its medium haul fleet, Austrian Airlines has received its first Airbus A320. The airline is scheduled to receive a total of seven of the aircraft, to replace its Boeing 737s. The first three new aircraft are due to enter service by the end of 2012 and it is planned to have all seven Airbus A320s operating by the summer schedule of 2013. In parallel with these additions, the Boeing 737-800 fleet is being withdrawn from flight operations on a step-by-step basis. Homogenization of the company’s fleet of medium-haul aircraft will make it possible to achieve savings in operating costs in future and to deploy the aircraft more productively in network planning.

British Airways is first airline to sign for Amadeus’ new revenue accounting solution British Airways has become the first airline to sign for Amadeus’ new Passenger Revenue Accounting solution. British Airways will benefit from Amadeus’ user-friendly, web-based system, which employs state-of-the-art technology in order to transform revenue accounting from a labour-intensive task to a fast, flexible strategic function. Amadeus Passenger Revenue Accounting is designed to help airlines increase revenue, reduce operational costs, and make revenue decisions more quickly and accurately. Whereas current passenger revenue accounting processes are often slow to recognise and process revenues, Amadeus’ new system offers realtime, largely automated data acquisition and processing.

British Airways is scheduled to migrate to the new solution in early 2014 and will benefit from the solution’s full integration with the Amadeus Altéa solution, of which British Airways is a significant and long standing customer. “The removal of paper documents from the passenger distribution process provides the opportunity to bring revenue accounting closer to the operational functions” explained Gyorgyi Szantner, Head of Finance Services, British Airways. “We have been looking for a passenger revenue accounting system that takes maximum advantage of this opportunity, and the solution agreed will be delivered in partnership with Amadeus. We believe it will enable us to transform passenger revenue accounting from a ‘back office’ function to a ‘front-end’ activity, providing real time visibility across the airline including our operational colleagues on how well the airline is performing.”

Travelport completes KLM Economy Comfort Best Western Hotel rollout for Galileo agents in Benelux Travelport has completed its KLM Economy Comfort seat rollout to all Galileo-connected travel agents in the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg.

Van Ieperen, Country Manager for Travelport Benelux. “We are also obviously thrilled to have delivered this service for our airline partner, KLM.”

In March, Travelport became the first GDS to complete a live booking of a KLM Economy Comfort seat using the new EMD industry standard. “This rollout is great news for travel agents as they continue to be able to offer the widest possible content and products to their customers” said Marco

Over the past 16 months, Travelport has successfully integrated ancillary services seamlessly into agency points of sale for airlines including British Airways, Air Canada and United. More are in the pipeline throughout 2012.

Executive appointments at Alitalia Alitalia is continuing with its internal reorganisations to strengthen its commercial activity and has announced the appointments of Gianni Pieraccioni as Chief Commercial Officer and Marco Sansavini as Chief Strategy Officer. The 53 year-old roman Gianni Pieraccioni has gained significant professional experience both in Italy and abroad in consumer-goods and luxury companies. He will now contribute his Marketing, Sales and International Affairs experience to Alitalia, where CEO Andrea Ragnetti has invited him to initiate phase 2 of the Airline’s relaunch and revenue growth strategy. The position of Chief Commercial

Officer is a newly created function within Alitalia which controls all Marketing, Sales, Distribution, Cargo and Ancillary Revenue activities. The 45 year-old bolognese Marco Sansavini is a highly experienced world-class manager in air transport, including in senior level positions at KLM and Air France-KLM. As Chief Strategy Officer he will be in charge of defining Alitalia’s Strategic Plan, by taking care of the network and fleet development and overseeing the negotiation of agreements, the achievement of economic and financial targets and a well-balanced pricing policy through an integrated management of revenue-management levers.

Lido in Mons becomes Best Western Plus Hotel

The Best Western Hotel Lido in Mons has become a Best Western Plus Hotel. The hotel is conveniently located in the city centre, 200 metres from la Grande Place and 76 kilometres from Brussels International Airport. In the heart of town and close to museums, monuments and shopping, the hotel offers 61 rooms all equipped with a flat-screen television, a work desk, free WIFI and a private bathroom. Guests enjoy daily complimentary buffet breakfast and the property features an exercise facility, spa and steam room. Travellers will also appreciate the multilingual staff and foreign currency exchange facilities. Each Best Western branded hotel is independently owned and operated, while Best Western Plus hotels offer a ‘Plus’ on the interior and room level.


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The Traveller Journal | News from the travel industry

Etihad Airways to fly daily to Tokyo BMI purchase boosts British Airways domestic services Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, is to offer daily services between its Abu Dhabi hub and Tokyo, as from April 2013.

In March 2010, Etihad Airways became the first Middle Eastern carrier to launch operations to the Japanese capital. With

five non-stop flights a week to Tokyo’s Narita airport, the airline has since carried approximately 160,000 travellers between the two cities.

The daily flights to Tokyo will be operated by a two-class Airbus A330-200 aircraft, configured with 22 Pearl Business class and 240 Coral Economy class seats.

British Airways boosts confidence for nervous flyers British Airways has launched a brand new instructional video for nervous flyers on its in-flight entertainment system. The film, presented by British Airways pilot and course leader Captain Steve Allright, takes information from the British Airways Flying with Confidence course – the airline’s oneday fear of flying programme. In the video, Captain Allright explains the technical side of flying, how an aircraft operates and other areas that can give some customers cause for concern, such as turbulence. The video also gives advice from clinical psychologists on the course including relaxation techniques, and how best to deal with anxiety and feelings of panic. Customers can view excerpts from the clip on Youtube or watch the complete video on the British Airways Well Being channel, one of the hundreds of options on the airline’s extensive in-flight entertainment system. “The British Airways Flying with Confidence course has helped more than 45,000 people over the past 25 years” said British Airways Captain Steve Allright, who flies Boeing 747s.

New appointments at Amadeus Benelux Continuing the evolutions to its organisational structure announced in July, Amadeus Benelux has made several new appointments within its teams. Sara van de Pontseele has been appointed as Marketing Manager. Sara benefits from extensive marketing experience in high-tech business-to-business and international environments. She will be based in Vilvoorde and will report to Rene Schukkink, Commercial Director. Lara Marouf and Wendy Herrero are to join the team as product specialists. Both Lara

and Wendy will be based in Hoofddorp. Amadeus Benelux is also reinforcing its Consultancy and Implementation Services with the nomination of a new developer, Dean De Block and its Customer Services department with a new colleague, Jessie Vandeput. Luc Pannecoeck, General Manager Amadeus Benelux welcomed the arrival of these new colleagues and commented “We are sure that the knowledge and the enthusiasm of our staff will support the further development of our customers by offering them the best products and services solutions.”

The UK regions are set to benefit from British Airways’ new winter schedule, which begins on October 28, thanks to parent company IAG’s purchase of bmi. The airline will add extra frequencies and use bigger aircraft on flights to Scotland enabling it to offer nearly 27,000 more seats a week between London and Scotland. This includes two extra flights a day between London Heathrow and Edinburgh and two extra flights per day between Heathrow and Aberdeen. In addition British Airways is also starting a three-per-day service between London City and Aberdeen on September 24 to connect the two business hubs. From December 9, British Airways will start four flights per day between Heathrow and Leeds Bradford, connecting Yorkshire with the airline’s extensive global route network at Heathrow and increasing consumer choice in the North of England. British Airways has already taken over bmi’s six daily flights to Belfast, and will be launching a new timetable of seven flights a day between London and the Northern Irish capital. A new London City to Isle of Man route has also recently launched. There will be an increase in frequencies in winter 2012 including on routes from Heathrow to Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Manchester, Oslo, Zurich and Phoenix. Flights to Bologna will be consolidated at Heathrow, with an increase in frequency on the existing Heathrow service from seven per week, to 21 per week. At Gatwick, services will increase to Faro, Malaga, Marrakech, Salzburg and Turin. Flights to Marseille will move from Gatwick to Heathrow on October 28.

British Airways strengthening African network with services to Liberia British Airways will add the 19th destination to its African network this winter, when it begins flying to Liberia. The winter schedule will now include three weekly services to Monrovia, Liberia, via Freetown in Sierra Leone, starting on November 5. This schedule will be reduced to two weekly flights from December 10, before returning to three from February 4 onwards. The flights will all operate out of Heathrow Terminal 5. British Airways will fly a Boeing 767 on the route to Monrovia with three-cabin classes - World Traveller, World Traveller Plus and Club World. The flights will depart Heathrow on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays, leaving West Africa on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays.


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The Traveller Journal | News from the travel industry

New General Manager for The Hotel Qantas and Jan Joris has been appointed General Manager of The Hotel, Brussels, which was acquired last year by Swedish real estate group Pandox AB. The 421 room hotel is currently undergoing major renovations.

Johan Joris was born and raised in Belgium and boasts an impressive career in the hotel industry, with extensive experience in Belgium and abroad. He started in the hotel industry in 1988 before going on to hold several positions in the Alfa Hotel group and subsequently NH Hotels. In 2011 he joined the Russian Azimut hotel group, with 22 hotels in Russia, Germany and Austria, where he was appointed Director of Operations.

Singapore Airlines to fly to Yangon Singapore Airlines will launch daily services to Yangon on 28 October 2012 in order to cater to the rapidly growing demand for travel to Myanmar. Together with regional subsidiary SilkAir, the Singapore Airlines Group will serve Yangon with 16 weekly flights. Yangon is the largest city in Myanmar and it once served as the country’s capital. Today it serves as Myanmar’s economic centre, in addition to being a popular tourist destination. The new flights are subject to government approval.

Virgin Atlantic’s award winning Premium Economy Virgin Atlantic’s award winning Premium Economy cabin offers much more comfort for a lower than expected budget. Premium Economy features a host of extras including dedicated check in, priority service on boarding and on leaving the aircraft, plenty of space to stretch out in a super comfortable seat,

a glass of bubbly to welcome passengers on board and a selection of delicious meals served on china. Clad in plush, purple leather, the premium economy seat is 21 inches wide, equivalent to many airlines’ business class seats, with a full 38 inches of seat pitch. There is also adjustable lumber support, a headrest, footrest and laptop power.

Etihad boosts Abu DhabiSingapore-Brisbane flights to daily Etihad Airways has announced plans to increase flights between Brisbane and Abu Dhabi from three times a week to a daily service, as from February 1 2013.


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The new frequencies will bring to 28 the total number of flights Etihad Airways operates between Australia and Abu Dhabi, together with partner airline Virgin Australia. The additional four services will operate via Singapore in both directions.

Emirates sign global partnership

Qantas and Emirates have signed a new global aviation partnership that will give their customers a seamless Australian and international network, exclusive frequent flyer benefits and world-class travel experiences. Under the agreement signed by Emirates President Tim Clark and Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce, Qantas will move its hub for European flights to Dubai and enter an extensive commercial relationship with Emirates. The 10-year partnership will go beyond codesharing and includes integrated network collaboration with coordinated pricing, sales and scheduling, as well as a benefit-sharing model. Neither airline will take equity in the other. Qantas will launch daily A380 services from both Sydney and Melbourne to London via Dubai, meaning that together Emirates and Qantas will offer 98 weekly services between Australia and Dubai. Qantas will be the only other airline operating to Terminal 3 and the new purpose-built A380 concourse at Dubai International Airport. The partnership will give Qantas customers one-stop access to more than 70 Emirates destinations in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. For Emirates customers it will open up Qantas’ Australian domestic network of more than 50 destinations and 5,000 flights per week. The carriers will also coordinate on their services between Australia and New Zealand and on services between Australia and South East Asia. The Emirates and Qantas frequent flyer programs will be aligned, giving customers expanded opportunities to earn and redeem points. Emirates and Qantas will provide reciprocal access to tier status benefits including end-to-end customer recognition, lounge access, priority check-in and boarding and other exclusive services. The airlines will submit an application for interim authorisation to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) in order to begin commercial planning. Subject to regulatory approval, it is anticipated that the partnership will commence in April 2013.

The Traveller Journal | News from the travel industry

easyJet to introduce allocated seating on all flights easyJet is to roll out allocated seating across its network from November 2012. easyJet has been trialling allocated seating since April and over this period more than 800,000 passengers have flown on 6,000 trial flights. Research among these passengers shows that more than 70% think allocated seating is better than easyJet’s current system, due to the improved boarding experience, while over 60% said that they are more likely to use easyJet in the future as a result. easyJet trialled allocated seating because passenger research showed that the current boarding process can be a source of stress for some passengers and in some cases puts people off flying with easyJet altogether. The key

tests of the trial were to improve passenger satisfaction without impacting easyJet’s ability to deliver industry leading punctuality or adding cost – all of which were achieved on trial flights. On allocated seating flights passengers who do not wish to pay to select their seat will be allocated a seat free of charge. Passengers travelling on the same booking will be seated together wherever possible by easyJet’s reservation system which uses the most advanced seating algorithm in world aviation.

Global hotel prices rise in all regions Recovery in the hospitality sector gathered speed with a 4% increase in the first half of 2012 but average prices remain at 2005 levels, according to the new Hotel Price Index For the first time in five years, travellers paid more on average for their hotel rooms during the first six months of 2012 in all parts of the world, according to the latest Hotel Price Index. The global 4% rise, compared to the same period the year before, demonstrated that the economic recovery in the hotel industry was well-established. Launched in 2004, the HPI looks at prices that people actually paid for their hotel rooms around the world. During the first six months of 2012, prices rose across the board with Pacific rates up 6%, North America up 5% and Asia up 4% while Latin America as well as Europe and the Middle East experienced a slower trajectory, up 1%. “The hotel industry bounced back in the first half of this year from a number of natural and political crises in 2011 and it is encouraging to see growth in the sector” said David Roche, President, “While initially it may not seem good news for consumers, hotel prices are still only around their 2005 level, representing great value for travellers when both wages and other prices have risen considerably.” Following the turmoil of the Arab Spring in early 2011, confidence returned to much of the Middle East and North Africa and hotel prices rose accordingly. The same was true in Asia as the Japanese began to travel again after the turbulence of the earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster in March 2011 but there were other factors at play here as well. The significant increase in the number of Chinese international travellers helped to drive rates higher and expansion by the region’s low cost carriers also boosted travel. Although rates rose as a whole in Europe, the results showed a mixed picture. One of the areas where prices dropped was in parts of the Eurozone where falling consumer confidence and spending power led to lower occupancy in the major cities and holiday hotspots. “The first six months of 2012 have proved a promising start for most hotels” said David Roche. “However, the second half of the year, with increasingly mixed economic signals, will be interesting to watch. What our regular Hotel Price Index gives consumers is a good guide as to where they can make the most of their travel budget, no matter what outside influences are impacting prices.”


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The Traveller Journal | News from the travel industry

Ritz-Carlton opens first hotel in Austria The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company has opened its first hotel in Austria, in the capital city of Vienna. The Ritz-Carlton, Vienna, a 202 room property located on the central Schubertring Boulevard, is the ninth hotel in Europe for the luxury hotel company. The Ritz-Carlton, Vienna is an elegant building composed of four historic palaces dating back to the 19th century. It is located in the heart of the city with incredible views of Vienna’s landmarks from its rooms and roof top bar. The cultural heritage of the city with its museums, opera, concert halls and historic buildings is just a short stroll from the hotel. The hotel’s stylish guestrooms include 43 suites and a spacious Presidential suite of rooms on the second

floor with many original features. The Club Lounge is located on the seventh floor and provides guests exclusive access to a private concierge service, a gastronomic food and beverage presentation throughout the day and cityscape views. The business facilities offered at the hotel include a range of meeting rooms, featuring the stunning 300 square metre Crystal Ballroom decorated with thousands of sparkling crystals. Two permanent boardrooms and three function rooms with natural light are complemented by a Business Centre, all located on the first floor. Recreational amenities comprise a spectacular 18 metre indoor swimming pool, Fitness room, sauna and steam rooms. The boutique Guerlain Spa will offer six treatment rooms including two specially designed for couples.

Trudy Rautio appointed chairman of Carlson Wagonlit Travel Carlson Wagonlit Travel has appointed Trudy Rautio as president and chief executive officer of Carlson, and chairman of the CWT board of directors. Rautio has served as a member of the CWT board since August 2006. She succeeds Hubert Joly, who resigned from the CWT board on August 17 to join Best Buys as CEO. Joly was the first non-family member to run Carlson and Rautio is only it’s fifth CEO. Previously Rautio served as a president of Carlson Hotels Worldwide, The Americas for 15 years. She also served as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial and Administrative Officer for eight years and has been responsible for directing all financial and information technology operations of the company. She serves on the boards of Carlson Wagonlit Travel and The Rezidor Hotel Group, as well as on the board of directors for Securian Holding Company and Imation.

Turkish Airlines adds Kinshasa to its growing list of African destinations

Crowne Plaza Brussels Airport is becoming ‘Green Engaged’ Intercontinental Hotels Group has implemented ‘Green Engage’ within the Crowne Plaza brand. Crowne Plaza Brussels Airport is just one of the hotels implementing the Green Engage standards to improve the environment and contribute to the community in which it operates. Green Engage is the only existing hotel program to be endorsed by the US Green Building Council, an internationally recognized green building standard. The Green Engage standard will


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help Crowne Plaza hotels to identify the most appropriate green solutions for each of its hotels. With Green Engage they will look for better ways to manage their carbon footprint than merely offsetting emissions. The hotels will also engage with their partners to create a ‘green’ culture where hotel owners actively explore solutions that enhance their business. As the first step to make Crowne Plaza Brussels Airport hotel a ‘greener’ place to be, the hotel has made all guest bedrooms ‘non-smoking’.

Further expanding its global reach in Africa, Turkish Airlines has launched services to Kinshasa, with four roundtrip flights from Istanbul per week. Kinshasa becomes one of more than 200 destinations Turkish Airlines currently flies to, including direct, non-stop flights from its four US gateways, including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and Washington DC. In April 2013, Houston will become the fifth U.S. gateway flying direct to Istanbul.

The Traveller Journal | News from the travel industry

BCD Travel and routeRANK for environmentally Focus on savings means more Benelux companies are responsible and productive travel BCD Travel has announced a partnership with routeRANK, a technology company for the travel industry. The partnership brings solutions for business travellers to maximise their productivity during their journey, while also being able to measure the environmental footprint of their trip, depending on their choice of route. Through a single search, routeRANK gives a comprehensive overview of all possible routes and transportation options to get from point A to B. It combines the usual travel options with less obvious alternatives, such as routes and timetables of public transport or use of the private car for part of the journey. This gives a better picture of the travel options and offers the choice of the best option, based on price, travel time, the ability to move work or sleep and the impact on the environment. For example, a business traveller may find that the first part of his journey is cheaper if he uses his

own car, but that if he takes the train instead he will be able to work for an extra two hours. The search capabilities include air, rail, other public transport, car travel and locations with video conferencing. “Until now, there was no single solution that offered businesses the possibility to choose between commercial, public and private modes of transport. This alternative planner allows travellers the various options combined in the way that suits them best, while they can still book through their favourite channels” said Diederik Banks, Vice President Commercial at BCD Travel Benelux. BCD Travel Benelux has integrated the solution with its online booking system for customers, while BCD Travel’s telephone booking support teams have the same information. The public version of routeRANK is viewable on www.

Historium Bruges to open its doors in November Bruges is set to become an even more attractive tourist destination, with the launch of Historium. While the details of the new project have been public for some time, the official opening date has now been fixed for November 25th. Historium has all the signs of being a great success story. Its concept is not to be a museum but to be an experience centre where visitors make a fascinating journey to the distant past, to the glorious world of Bruges in the year 1435. Visitors to the Historium will step into a time machine that transports them to the streets of medieval Bruges where snowflakes are gently falling, to the bustle of a world sea port and the studio of Van Eyck. Film clips, beautiful decor, a compelling love story, special effects and

atmospheric music all combine to create a unique total experience. Historium is destined to be a success not only on account of the content and historical setting but also due to its fantastic location on the old market square of Bruges. There could not be a better location given that the 600 year old story portrayed in the Historium took place exactly on this spot. Furthermore the close cooperation with the Tourism Office for Flanders, Toerisme Brugge and the tourist guide associations is a major asset. There will also be an after show and a Historium city walk that perfectly complement the visit to the experience centre. Historium will be open daily, except 1 January and 25 December, from 10 am to 6pm.

KLM strengthens African network with services to Harare, Zimbabwe KLM Royal Dutch Airlines will begin operating services to Harare on 29 October. The Zimbabwean capital will be served in combination with the new KLM destination Lusaka, Zambia.

KLM will operate services from AmsterdamSchiphol to Harare International Airport three times a week. KLM will also offer eleven weekly services to Harare via Nairobi in cooperation with Kenya Airways.

establishing travel policies

More and more companies in the Benelux region are establishing business travel policies. The biennial ‘Continuous Research Business trip’ conducted by NBTC-NIPO Research, and in which BCD Travel participated, reveals that 44 percent of business travellers have a travel policy in place in their company. “We see that more and more companies are drafting travel polices” said Derrick Banks, Vice President Sales at BCD Travel Benelux. “This is partly the consequence of the economic crisis, which has hit business travel. At the same time we see that other companies are tightening their existing travel policies. It is important that both companies and business travellers are aware of the importance of a travel policy. It can provide significant cost savings, as it means spending is better managed and price agreements can be made with suppliers. In addition, the company also benefits in terms of travel risk management. Often we see that companies take too much of a reactive attitude to emergency situations. A Travel Risk Management program avoids confusion about responsibilities and guarantees rapid intervention. “ The research also showed that many companies have agreed and negotiated discounts with airlines or hotel chains. However a large majority of business travellers are not aware of these agreements, so there is clearly room for improvement.

airberlin celebrates three millionth topbonus member with competitions Dr Albina Boyarkina from Saint Petersburg has become the three millionth member to join airberlin’s topbonus frequent flyer programme. Marcus Puffer, airberlin’s Vice President Loyalty & Partnerships, presented her with the gift of a long-haul flight voucher for two within airberlin’s route network. All other frequent flyers also have an opportunity to win prizes with topbonus, as there are currently two competitions for members. The first competition can be found on the promotional page, where there will be a prize draw for a total of 3 million miles, with 1 million award miles allocated as first prize. Topbonus partners Marriott, Starwood Hotels, Avis and Europcar are also organising a competition, at airberlin, where exclusive prizes will include hotel accommodation and car rental vouchers.


autumn 2012 | 11

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The Traveller Journal | News from the travel industry

Ikea to build budget hotel chain Ikea, best known as the world’s largest furniture retailer, is planning to build a budget hotel chain across Europe, following a trend for cheap-butcool accommodation driven by low air fares and increasingly price-conscious business travellers. The 100 hotels, which will not feature Ikea’s eponymous flat-pack furniture, nor its brand name, represent the company’s biggest real estate development to date. Demand for stylish yet affordable rooms from austerity-hit business guests and leisure travellers is high and growing, according to Harald Muller, senior executive at the property unit of Inter Ikea, the company that owns the Ikea brand and concept. “‘Budget designer hotels’ is today the fastest developing hotel segment” he said.

Sofitel Le Louise introduces Business Suite package complete with own meeting room Sofitel Le Louise has introduced a new Business Suite package, comprising a junior suite, adjacent private meeting room and second bedroom.

The meeting rooms can accommodate five delegates. Wifi is available throughout and all necessary meetings equipment, including projection facilities, are available on request. Coffee breaks and all catering can be tailored to the clients’ needs.

Luxury Netherlands hotel obtains Green Globe sustainability certification

Delta showcases distinctive California winemakers on transcontinental flights

Green Globe has announced certification of De Hotels van Oranje in Noordwijk, Netherlands. The luxury property pioneered green hotel initiatives in the Netherlands and has demonstrated corporate social responsibility and sustainable practices for years.

Delta Air Lines is introducing the Delta Winemaker Series on all transcontinental flights, offering customers in BusinessElite a unique selection of California wines on flights.

“We are very proud to be one of the first 5-star hotels in the Netherlands to earn the prestigious Green Globe Certification” said Jaap Liethof, General Manager at De Hotels van Oranje. “The green philosophy has grown to become a core value of our business and this achievement would not be possible without our dedicated staff. We created a special Green Team, consisting of employees from different departments, to continuously improve our sustainability policy. In addition, we offer intensive training sessions to all our staff members. We strive to include our partners, customers, staff, and local communities where relevant to contribute to a better environment.”

“We know our transcontinental customers have great taste and discerning palates” said Gail Grimmett, Delta’s senior vice president – New York. “This program is a natural way to further enhance their in-flight experience. The Delta Winemakers Series, combined with Wi-Fi on every flight, new cabin interiors with seat back in-flight entertainment, BusinessElite cradle seats for a comfortable sleep, and special menus designed by Napa-based chef Michael Chiarello, offers a unique cross-country flight experience for our customers.”

The first Ikea hotel is scheduled to open in Germany in 2014 and the chain will be run by an international hotel operator. “There is no Ikea furniture in it” added Muller. “It is not an Ikea hotel. It’s a continuation of our normal investment activities in real estate.” Inter Ikea already owns a few hotels and has more in the works, but the new project would be its first chain and will top its 26-acre (10-hectare) home, office and hotel scheme around the Olympic park in London. Inter Ikea is identifying and buying sites for future hotels in the chain which will be launched in Belgium, Austria, the Netherlands, Scandinavia, Britain and Eastern European countries such as Poland.

Qatar Airways announces daily passenger flights to Chicago Qatar Airways is expanding its USA route network with the introduction of daily passenger flights to Chicago, as from April 10 next year. The non-stop service from Doha, capital of the State of Qatar, will be the carrier’s fourth USA gateway, following already successful daily operations to New York, Washington and Houston. The carrier, which operates twiceweekly cargo flights to Chicago O’Hare, will use its flagship long-haul Boeing 777-300 Extended Range passenger aircraft on the Doha – Chicago route, with an approximate flying time of 15 hours.


autumn 2012 | 13


The Corporate Traveller Interview

Viola Brandalesi, an Italian in Paris

The Corporate Traveller series of interviews gets the client’s point of view on the world of corporate travel. For this edition, we spoke with Viola Brandalesi, frequent business traveller based in Paris.


autumn 2012 |

»» Viola Brandalesi at Cire Trudon in Paris

Could you give us some background about yourself and your work?


’m from Italy but I moved to Paris eight years ago, following my studies in London. I specialise in international whole-

sale business development for luxury brands and within this I’ve worked in the interiors, fashion and cosmetics sectors. In my current role I am worldwide business development manager for Cire Trudon.

Why do you travel for work and what does your schedule involve?

My business trips are mainly for client prospection and follow up, retailer training sessions and tradeshows. Over the last year my work has involved travel to destinations in Europe, the Middle East and Asia and I am away for one or two weeks in total, each month. If I am travelling within Europe, trips are two to four days. If I’m doing an Asia tour, I can be away for two weeks or more.

What is your company travel policy and how are your bookings made?

What we have in place is not exactly a travel policy but a travel budget that we need to respect. The travel budgets are defined every quarter, depending on the countries we want to focus on and develop. In general we travel in economy class but if it’s a flight of over 6 hours, we often take Premier Voyageur, the Air France intermediate cabin class between economy and business. Being based in Paris, I take most of my flights with Air France as they have the best timetable for me. We don’t have a contract with them, but I do have an Air France frequent traveller card. As I am a gold level frequent traveller it means I can use the lounge at Paris-Charles de Gaulle airport which is great. That means I can gain time, as I have space to work properly and tea and coffee are provided free of charge. Flights are booked through an agency and hotels are booked individually, by each traveller. Five star hotels are permitted, as long as they fall within the budget allowance. Personally I normally use an online hotel booking site to get the best qualityprice ratio.

What do you look for in a hotel when travelling for work?

Most of the sales points of our distributors are in city centre locations, so of course I’m always looking for a hotel nearby my clients. Free internet is important and its surprising that not all hotels provide this yet. A gym or swimming pool in the hotel is a bonus, as it means I can do some sport in the evening, or in the morning, before the working day begins. Its also nice to have a restaurant in the hotel, as sometimes after a busy day I really don’t feel like going outside the hotel in the evening. For most of my business trips I am travelling solo, but I don’t mind dining on my own, as I like to have a proper break away from work rather than eating in my room.

What are your favourite destinations and why?

Well, I have plenty of favourites but I must say that, as I am Italian, its always a pleasure to go to Italy. The best city for me is Rome, as this is where our Italian distributor is based and they organise a lot of promotional and press events. Further afield, I love Hong Kong. Its a really exciting city and truly the window to Asia. Tokyo is also very interesting from a business point of view and I find the people there are extremely polite and well organised – qualities that I appreciate.

What improvements could be made to make your travelling easier?

When you don’t have access to airport lounges, I find airport restaurants, cafes and seating areas are too crowded and that could definitely be improved. As to airlines in general, it seems that due to budget restrictions they are cutting down on service levels in economy. Even when travelling at lunchtime, sometimes you don’t get even get a sandwich, just a small snack. Turning to travel to and from Charles de Gaulle airport, there is definitely room for improvement in the RER train system. In the rush hour it is just too packed with people and frankly, it could be cleaner. Finally all airport taxis should be equipped with credit card systems - that would definitely make life easier.

What are your top tips when travelling?

Well, so far I have never lost any luggage when flying, as I have travelling light down to a fine art. I organise everything to fit in my cabin baggage, even when I am going to be away for two weeks. My top tip for fellow women corporate travellers is that I only pack flat ballerina shoes and that nearly everything I take to wear is black. That way I can go out in the morning to work and be ready to go straight out in the evening in true Italian style! Finally, when travelling on a tight schedule, don’t privilege taxis over local transport, as often they can end up being more stressful when you are stuck in a traffic jam.

What do you enjoy most and least about travelling for business?

Luckily for me I really enjoy travelling so its not a problem for me. As to flying, what I like best is being upgraded to business class, both for the service and for the fact that I can sleep properly and in top shape at the arrival on long destination. On the downside, as I like to take early flights out at around 7am, it means I have to wake up at 4.30am. I must admit the early mornings can be tough, but as I am pretty organised, so far I haven’t yet missed a flight. Business-wise for me its crucial to have face-to-face contact with our clients. Besides the presentations and training sessions, it means above all that I can take the time to sit down and speak with them and get good feedback on our products. This level of client relationship development cannot be done from a distance. | THE CORPORATE TRAVELLER.BE

autumn 2012 | 15


Interview with Michel Stalport Rezidor’s Area Vice President Western Europe, North and West Africa


autumn 2012 |

The evolution

of the Rezidor Hotel Group Rezidor has grown from a small Scandinavian hotel player, to become one of the fastest growing hotel groups worldwide. Over the years it has evolved to focus on hotel management, rather than ownership, with three core brands in its portfolio – Radisson Blu, Park Inn by Radisson and Hotel Missoni. Michel Stalport, Rezidor’s Area Vice President Western Europe, North and West Africa, shared with us the strategies behind these evolutions.

How has Rezidor been ‘Sharpening its Brands’?


ezidor now concentrates on three hotel labels – Radisson Blu, Park Inn by Radisson and Missoni. By sharpening these brands, we have clarified and

defined our standards of excellence. We believe in a small, but carefully selected brand portfolio as, after all, what you cannot explain, you cannot sell. All the hotels that we take on must fit into one of these three brands. Radisson Blu is Europe’s largest upscale brand and features hotels with contemporary styling, while Park Inn by Radisson is a fast growing mid-market chain. Hotel Missoni is the youngest in our range. Besides outstanding interiors, these luxurious lifestyle properties feature full facilities including spas, meeting rooms and restaurants. The first two Missoni’s have opened in Edinburgh and Kuwait, and we have several new locations lined up for Europe and the Middle East.”

½½ Radisson Blu Gran Canaria

Why do you believe Rezidor was awarded ‘Most Improved Hotel Brand’ by Business Development Research Consultants?

“We have improved our profile and developed our market penetration by offering good value and consistent quality standards. Our market share is improving fast, by 1.5 to 2 points annually. There are good and bad years for the hospitality sector, but the best way for us to judge our progress is through our market share growth. Rezidor’s ‘Yes I Can’ mantra means going the extra mile and making things easier for our guests. We are constantly innovating to achieve this. For example we were the first group to offer free wifi and a 100% satisfaction guarantee. Our 3 hour laundry service is great for business travellers as they can arrive with just hand luggage, and by opening our sports facilities around the clock, they can fit in exercise any time. Soon we will be introducing a new generation of Park Inn rooms and of course we have a very powerful tool with our Carlson Club loyalty programme. It’s the accumulation of these things that make us customer-centric.”

½½ Park Inn by Radisson Leuven

Why have you evolved to being hotel managers rather than owners?

“We have transformed our business model from the time when we bought and managed hotels. Property investors and owners have their fields of expertise, but our job is to get the most out of these properties for them. Owners want to invest to get international clients into their hotels, and this is where we can help them. Besides higher financial returns, the more revenue and profit margin owners make, the more the book value of their property increases.”

How do you see Rezidor’s continued development?

“I have been with Rezidor for nearly two decades. Back then we had 29 hotels and our ambition was to grow to 50 properties. We were the small player that people didn’t see coming. Now we have 430 hotels in 70 countries! Our growth will continue as we have a good business model and strong brands, whilst being flexible enough to accommodate the needs of hotel owners.”

½½ Park Inn by Radisson Luxembourg


autumn 2012 | 17

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Back on Track

supporting the development of a 21st century rail network

Back on Track, the report recently published by Professor James Woudhuysen, and sponsored by Amadeus, explains how outsourcing in the rail industry can help drive modernisation. Only through these modernisations can the EU objectives for building a unified European rail network be achieved.


he next decade looks set to be the decade of rail. The opening up of the market, investments in high-speed rail infrastructure and increasing demand from travellers are fusing to create conditions for rapid market growth. Combined with the vision set out in the EC whitepaper, ‘Roadmap to a Single European Transport Area’, the stage is set for rail companies to take pole position.

Time to move on from legacy IT systems

One area threatening to hold back rail progress is technology. Many rail companies are still reliant on legacy systems that are not able to support them in implementing changes as quickly as their commercial strategies demand. Back on Track argues that the rail industry should consider adopting next generation IT solutions, similar to those used by other travel companies such as airlines, in order to cut costs, raise productivity and improve the customer experience. High-speed rail networks have grown, and airline users are mixing flights with rail more and

more. These trends have made for new alliances between different rail companies, and between rail interests and airlines. As routes and rail companies multiply, passengers may feel overwhelmed by too many options, especially on multi-country rail trips. Whether it’s booking tickets, baggage handling or interlining with airlines, rail IT must now offer complete customer journeys.

To an outsourced community platform

The concept of an outsourced community platform - a shared system used by rival rail companies to manage customer processing - means rail companies would benefit from the latest technology whilst remaining free to innovate and differentiate. This approach would see the rail experience transformed, allowing for personalised journeys, intermodal and rail to rail connections and the selling of ancillary services and multiple options for ticketing. In the community approach, a third party expert develops and hosts applications which many companies share in common, so

as to reap economies of scale and cut costs. For the rail industry, these new systems offer significantly enhanced operational and distribution functionalities such as scheduling, availability, inventory, reservations, fare quotations, ticketing and loyalty programmes. The new generation of IT will also help establish what Amadeus calls the ‘Modern Station’ – railway terminals fit for the 21st century.

The need to think big in rail IT

There is little choice but to think big in rail IT. Europe already has 5600km of high-speed track in operation, 3500km under construction and 8500km more planned. Furthermore an EU White Paper forecasts the tripling of the length of existing high-speed rail networks by 2030. It’s true that rail passengers will likely welcome more competition but the danger exists that this could lead to passenger confusion and difficulties between train operating companies. For railways to be coherent rather than chaotic, rail companies need to ensure that they unify their practices in IT. In short, rail companies need to extract themselves from the basic end of IT, and concentrate on their main businesses of punctuality, ride quality, safety and brand building. That way, there can be real grounds for optimism about the future of rail. | THE CORPORATE TRAVELLER.BE

autumn 2012 | 19


Thalys always gives more services, smoothness and flexibility

For the most frequent clients, Thalys has created the PLATINIUM+ card. This new premium grade reinforces the Thalys TheCard loyalty programme which, since its launch in 2009, has been an outstanding success with more than 170,000 members. With PLATINIUM+, it is possible to benefit from the very best of Thalys: always more services, smoothness and flexibility. And from now on this will also apply to the strengthened BrusselsCologne-Düsseldorf-Essen route.



he PLATINIUM+ card offers many advantages. Flexibil-

ity: the holders of the PLATINIUM+ card have access to the maximum level of flexibility. Whatever their initial schedule, they can access all trains in the day (with the exception of No-Flex tickets and special fares). Proximity and dedicated Client Service means a free telephone line accessible 7 days a week, exclusively reserved for PLATINIUM+ Members as well as priority processing of e-mails, whatever the demand. Offices and meeting rooms are free: PLATINIUM+ members can also benefit by having the use of a Regus office one day each month free at Brussels, Antwerp, Gand, Brussels Airport, Paris, Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Cologne and Düsseldorf (upon reservation). Smoothness on ‘Prime’ tickets: conversion of the ‘Prime’ ticket Miles. In other words, Thalys and Eurostar trips are facilitated with exchanges and unlimited refunds, reservations at J-1, exchanges by telephone and an unlimited validity of Miles. The Salon is offered once per year: to celebrate the client’s birthday, clients are offered the possibility of travelling for free on board the Thalys Salon for a weekend as a family or as a group of friends (The Salon is a space set apart on each train, cosy and privatised for four persons in Comfort 1). Over the course of the year, numerous gifts, VIP invitations for art previews and exhibitions are also part of PLATINUM+ advantages.

Thalys TheCard

Created in June 2009, the Thalys TheCard loyalty programme is comprised of four levels: Silver, Gold, Platinum and henceforth PLATINIUM+. Clients welcome the simplicity of use of the card and its numerous very concrete advantages, such as a simple equivalence system: €1 spent counts as 1 Mile (Silver), as 2 Miles (Gold, Platinium and PLATINIUM+), which can be exchanged towards Thalys trips. Since the beginning of May, it is also possible to exchange the Thalys miles against the Eurostar ‘Prime’ tickets (tickets available between Brussels-London and Paris-London, in 1st and 2nd class, depending on availability, non-exchangeable and non-refundable), and shortly 20 | THE CORPORATE TRAVELLER.BE

autumn 2012 |

against the TGV ‘Prime’ tickets departing from, or with destination, of Brussels-Midi. A smoothness and flexibility in timetable: TheCard clients can access the train both before and after the train booked (flanking trains) if they have Semi-Flex tickets, and to all the trains in the day if they have a Flex ticket. The possibility of travelling without a paper ticket: the ticket can be directly charged on the card. Various considerations and services: This loyalty programme is also very easy to access: in a few clicks on the site www., it is possible to obtain the card number, to accumulate Miles from the 1st reservation and to rapidly exchange them against Thalys or Eurostar trips. It also means being able to benefit from various consideration and services: access to lounges in stations, priority reservation for a taxi (Brussels, Paris, Cologne and Amsterdam), information by SMS in case of disruption in traffic, exchange of tickets by phone, discounts on car hire and hotels as well as a selection of cultural advantages in function of partnerships linked with Thalys network cultural institutions and so on. In real terms, Silver members make fewer than 10 trips a year. In this case, €1 spent = 1 Mile earned. Gold members make between 11 and 27 trips per year, which means they benefit by 2 Miles earned for each €1 spent. In the same way, Platinium members who make between 28 and 99 trips per year and, now, PLATINIUM+ members who make more than 100 trips per year will benefit by €1 equalling 2 Miles. In practice, 2,000 Miles corresponds to a single ticket between Brussels and Paris, 1,250 Miles to a single ticket between Brussels and Amsterdam, 1,000 Miles to a single between Brussels and Cologne.

Strengthening of the Brussels-CologneDusseldorf-Essen route

Desirous of further consolidation of its presence in Germany, Thalys has in fact increased the number of extended routes to Dusseldorf and Essen, to offer henceforth 3 different timetables departing from Brussels. Frequent traveller clients will be able to save all these Miles even more easily thanks to the strengthened Brussels-Cologne-DusseldorfEssen route. Dusseldorf, Duisbourg and Essen are served by Thalys since August 2011. Situated in the heartland of the Ruhr, where Thalys already serves Aix-la-Chapelle and Cologne, these three cities that are rich in interest but little-known by many Belgians are ideally suited for return city-trips. The Rhineland region in its entirety has almost 12 million inhabitants and is an important concentration of economic activity.

Short trips are facilitated

In response to requests by Belgian travellers, two new timetables are proposed departing from Brussels to achieve three departures per day (on the five daily trains with Cologne as destination): 7.28 (arrival 10.15), 13.28 (arrival 16.07) and 19.28 (arrival 22.16). On return from Essen, the morning train will henceforth leave the station at 5.40 to reach Brussels at 8.32. Sales were opened from last September 14 for trips starting from December 9, 2012. From Brussels, the new schedule lends itself easily to short trips, with three departures possible on Fridays with a return on Monday morning. These totally new destinations are in fact perfect for city-trips. Add to this, the low Thalys fares (starting from €19 single in Comfort 2 and €29 in Comfort 1) which are extended to these destinations. | THE CORPORATE TRAVELLER.BE

autumn 2012 | 21


Project Management

The Business of Green Being Green is not just Kermit’s theme song anymore. It’s every one’s. Green tips are top of mind, everywhere we turn. So, when we think of project management, how can we apply some “green thinking” to our projects?


ere are our top five ways to bring some green ingenuity to your every day project management.

1. Green Materials Maven. Are you using materials that have been recycled and are you recycling the materials that you’re currently using? Regardless of what industry that you work in, just a little research can make a big difference, to your project’s carbon footprint. 2. Packing Green. Packing materials for products can produce a lot of waste. Can you use recycled materials for packing - like old newspapers? Biodegradable packing peanuts and environmentally friendly soft foam are other options. 3. Green Team. There are hundreds of ways to make your office greener. Here are just a few to get you started: • Use coffee mugs instead of paper or Styrofoam • If you are a small or home-based office, you can produce your own energy. Visit for more information. • If you can’t produce your own energy, look for a supplier that is producing green energy in your area. • Put automatic timers or sensor lights in your bathroom, conference rooms or spaces that are not occupied the majority of the day. • Use as much natural light as possible in the design of your office space. • Use energy saving light bulbs. • Switch off computers, photocopiers and other equipment when not being used. • Buy office equipment with the best energy ratings. • Use green materials when designing a new office, such as bamboo instead of wood flooring • Use refillable vs. disposable pens • Buy green products for your office – everything from toilet paper to recycled paper for printing • Promote a “reuse” mentality and lead by example • Promote “think before you print.” • Use environmental or natural cleaning products. • Support and buy the products of other vendors and suppliers who are eco-friendly. • Support virtual office employees or support car-pooling and ride sharing if in a suburban area. • If you’re in a rural area, can you create a wildlife trust around your company’s property? 4. Make a Commitment to Green. When you make green more than a passing fancy, you show your team, and your customers that you mean business. You’re not just being trendy; you’re making changes that impact the world around you. 5. PR with heart & soul. Let’s face it, there’s a lot of bad news out there. Your customers do want to hear about the good things that you’re doing. So, if you have a green initiative or a project with a green heart and soul, talk about it. Get the buzz going. Green PR is only bad when it’s insincere. So, when it comes to greening up the planet, who better to lead the charge than Project Managers? Who knows better than you about tackling something large with small milestones that make a big difference! So, Kermit, it can be easy being Green. Just bring a project manager on board to get it done.


autumn 2012 |

About the Authors Michelle LaBrosse, MSME, PMP, Founder Cheetah Learning and Cheetah Power Michelle LaBrosse is an engineer and an entrepreneur with expertise in both aerospace and mechanical engineering. She started her career as an Air Force officer in the field of aircraft structures and vibrations; a challenge that resonates today with some of the technical challenges encountered with wind power. For her mechanical engineering master’s degree thesis project, she participated in a Department of Energy grant to help older factories become more energy self-sufficient. Michelle has been creating courses using accelerated learning principles for the past 15 years. She is the founder of Cheetah Learning, a firm of over 100 people worldwide that specializes in combining accelerated learning and project management to help people achieve their goals faster than they ever before imagined. The Project Management Institute recognized Michelle as one of the top 25 most influential women worldwide in Project Management. Her company, Cheetah Learning, was named the 2008 Project Management Institute Provider of the Year in recognition of its accelerated learning in project management education. Michelle is a graduate of Harvard Business School’s Owner President Management Program. She is also the founding board member of the Center for Advanced Learning Concepts (CALCO). She brings all of this experience together to help herself and others become energy self-sufficient.

Erica Edmond, CAPM, Cheetah Green Team A marketing intern for Cheetah Learning and Cheetah Power, Erica is Cheetah’s go-to resource for all things green. She researches and writes the Cheetah Power newsletter and is also a research assistant for a communication professor at the University of Portland. In 2008, Erica began her first Cheetah internship and wrote an ongoing green feature article for the monthly Cheetah Learning newsletter, as well as educational green articles that showed Cheetah employees how to become more energy efficient in their offices and at home. During the summer of 2007, Erica worked on a catamaran in Haines, Alaska, as a deckhand/purser. Prior to that, she was appointed by Alaskan senator Ted Stevens to work as a senate page in the U.S. Senate in Washington, D.C. Born in Soldotna, Alaska, Erica has traveled to Costa Rica through an AFS exchange program to take Spanish language and culture classes. She also attended a summer session at the Naval Academy in Annapolis. A senior at the University of Portland, Erica is majoring in organizational communication. When she’s not studying or working for Cheetah, she can be found exploring with Rambo, her Chihuahua.


Don’t travel less. Travel smarter. »» Diederik Banken, Commercial Vice President for Belgium, The Netherlands & Luxembourg at BCD Travel

In times of economic crisis, each and every euro is scrutinised backwards and forwards several times before it is spent. The case of business travel is no exception. Here, the expenditures are even more closely examined and put to question. According to Diederik Banken, Commercial Vice President for Belgium, The Netherlands & Luxembourg at BCD Travel, companies do not have to travel less but rather smarter in order to reduce costs.


n difficult economic times, a company will try to save in as many areas as possible. More often

than not, business travel finds itself in the crossfire. “A natural reaction of companies and organisations in times of economic crisis is to not travel at all,” says Diederik Banken. “But that is anything but good. Travelling helps ensure growth for companies, for exports, for imports... and when you stop travelling, you may have saved money in the short run, but you miss out on enormous opportunities in the long term. You have to keep travelling, but in our view, you can do that smarter and cheaper.”

A good, clear travel policy

One of the foundations of efficiently dealing with travel is defining a good travel policy. “A recent survey shows that 2 out of 5 travellers indicate that they have to comply with a travel policy. This means that 60% travel without even feeling that they have to comply with a particular travel policy. A good travel policy provides clarity and gives travellers certainty about what they can and cannot do. In this manner you can save a lot of money.” According to BCD Travel, travelling smarter and cheaper all comes from planning. “We are often surprised at how late plans are made. Late planning always results in higher costs. However, about 60% of travel is to meetings that have long been planned in advance. It is thus a matter of

awareness - since one is often not aware of the higher costs - as well as a matter of mentality. Planning itself can also deliver cost savings. For example, scheduling travel during the middle of the week is often cheaper than the same trip departing on a Monday or Friday. You’re making the same trip, but you’ve planned smarter and saved money.”

From door to door

BCD Travel looks at each trip from door to door, and not from airport to airport. “Before you arrive at your departure airport, and after you have landed, you often still have a way to go, and that has to be taken into account. We place a strong emphasis on this. We provide tools with which you can book travel from door to door, and which takes into account travel times, as well as efficiencies, during these travel times. We advise clients about their specific travel policy and indicate where they can save costs. The expertise and experience of our people can really make a difference here.” Diederik Banken explains that it is difficult to say precisely what a more efficient approach to travel will yield. “Some clients already have their affairs in order but others not so much. So it’s hard to attach a percentage to it. However our experience is that when you start working with a travel agency on a managed travel programme, you can quickly recover 10 to 15% of your costs,” concludes Banken. | THE CORPORATE TRAVELLER.BE

autumn 2012 | 23


Travel tools

customised for corporate needs At the end of October, Amadeus is launching a new package within its series of corporate travel tools, namely Amadeus e-Travel Management Premium. This package goes a step further than current products on the market and is in fact the precursor to a completely new generation of corporate travel solutions that we can expect to see next year. MÊlanie François and Caroline auf dem Brinke from Amadeus discuss the various corporate travel solutions that this technology partner has to offer us.


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o date, Amadeus has two different online booking tools on the market. “For small-to-medium en-

terprises, we have the Amadeus Business Travel Portal, and for the larger businesses and multinational corporations, we have Amadeus e-Travel Management,” explains Mélanie François. “Both solutions offer an interesting array of functionalities. The Travel Arranger Workplace, for instance, is a kind of dashboard in which you can make a booking with one overview for a customer or for potential corporate guest travellers. There is a calendar that clearly indicates who travels when, and the status of each reservation is also displayed. The Travel Arranger Workplace was developed in coordination with representatives of large and small companies from different countries. This way we took into account what the customer actually wants. Another component of these tools includes the mini-rules, in which the most important restrictions for each ticket are displayed in a structured and easy-to-understand manner. For example: Is it possible to make changes to the ticket? Is it possible to cancel the ticket? When is the ticket available? And so on. We display all of this in a language that is understandable by the end user, whether it is in Dutch or French.”

Carbon emissions and Rail

Sustainability is increasingly important in our society, including for the corporate world. Amadeus takes this into account with the tools it offers. “Companies want to know how much carbon emission their trip generates. So we show this when they make a booking, and this allows people to potentially choose another travel option. There is still no travel policy in this regard, but we do see that people are sincerely interested in annual carbon emissions reporting. Based on the amount of emissions, charitable donations are often made to a variety of good causes.” Corporations in the Benelux countries can also book train travel with the Amadeus Corporate Rail Benelux module. “In this regard we work together with SNCB/NMBS, NS and CFL,” notes Caroline auf dem Brinke. “In principle, the entire Benelux rail content is integrated into our corporate travel solutions. Based on the feedback from the user group, we have developed an entirely new flow which was released on the market earlier this year, specifically customised for the Benelux market. And we are seeing very enthusiastic use of this, with the result being a tremendous growth in online rail bookings!”

Amadeus e-Travel Management Premium

So much for the current state of affairs. At the end of October, the existing offerings will be expanded with the third packaged solution. Mélanie François explains. “In addition to the Business Travel Portal and e-Travel Management, we’re now launching e-Travel Management Premium, which is directed at larger companies and multinational corporations that want to book more than just travel by also having pre- and post-trip integration. One of the greatest and most anticipated improvements is the offline flow enhancement. This tool can immediately evaluate - based on individual information that

the traveller inputs - whether the travel can be booked online or if it has to be booked through the travel agent, according to the applicable business travel rules. This is determined on the first screen so that the traveller does not have to go through the entire flow first. This saves both time and money.” All expense management systems are also integrated posttrip. “At the moment, we have agreements for integration with SAP, Mobile Expense and Concur. And these are automatically offered in the Amadeus e-Travel Management Premium Pack. The various functionalities are customised for the client so that superfluous options can be left out. In October we’ll be seeing an increase in simplicity for the end user. This falls under the launch of our new user interface, with an improved and modernised look and feel. The traveller will have to click and scroll less, everything will be clearer and easier to understand, and also more intuitive, somewhat like a B2C tool. The new website will also be available for tablets, which wasn’t available in the past. The travel agency and the corporate entity will both be able to configure the site according to their own customisation needs. For instance they can configure it in the general image of the travel agency or the corporation,” explains Mélanie François.

Amadeus Offers

Another innovation that is being launched in October is Amadeus Offers. “The travel agent can use this tool to offer various options to the end user,” Caroline auf dem Brinke points out. “Nothing is booked yet, but one can tell right away if a flight is availability and which fares are valid. Up to the present, all such correspondence has taken place via e-mail. You choose various options and this is sent via e-mail, in which everything has to be written out. With Amadeus Offers, the agent enters everything that has to do with the reservation into our system. This is then sent directly to the end user, who can then see the status of each option right away. When done by e-mail and telephone you lose time, in that the fares and availability can change. With Amadeus Offers, the Amadeus e-Travel Management user can see the different options in the online tool and indicate which options he or she wants to take. Afterwards the booking is automatically made according to the end user’s choice without the agent having to become involved.”

Corporate Advisory Board

The point of view of the customer has always been of prime importance in the development of new Amadeus products. This will continue to be the case in the future, and even more so. “In the spring we launched a new initiative. Following in the footsteps of the Amadeus Travel Agency Advisory Board, we created the Amadeus Corporate Advisory Board. The fact that Benelux corporations are represented helps us inventorise what is necessary in the corporate world so that they are able to book their travel online. They also participate in the concepts for the completely new generation of corporate travel tools that are coming out next year,” says Caroline auf dem Brinke. | THE CORPORATE TRAVELLER.BE

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Managing business travel for smaller companies

½½ BCD Travel’s Jean-Francois De Mol

Business travel management for small to medium-sized enterprises is a growing sector, especially in Belgium where the number of SMEs is over 600,000. This market has its own particular needs and the relationship between travel agencies and their smaller business clients demands a more personalised and simplified approach.


usiness travel in the SME sector is growing and the market for these clients is competitive amongst travel agents. While many large companies

froze business travel budgets in 2008, smaller companies were less likely to do so. “SMEs are more entrepreneurial and dynamic, and their view is that if they need to travel for business, then they will” says Jean-François De Mol, BCD Travel’s Director Sales and Account Management for Belgium. “When we look back at the business travel downturn following September 2001 and again in 2008, the SME segment is where we saw the least drop in transactions. They were also the first companies to start using low cost air travel for business and to increase the use of train travel. Bigger corporations have to look at processes or policies before allowing these kinds of changes.”

Simpler solutions and personalised contacts

The main difference between larger and smaller companies in terms of travel management, is that larger companies are looking at a whole process including integration with complex systems such as SAP. The smaller enterprises require simpler solutions so as not to be overloaded with paperwork. And although they might be more likely to contact more than one agency for a quote, as they are less tied by contracts, they want to have a personalised service with the same interlocutor. “By giving SMEs their own dedicated travel agent, a personalised relationship is created” says De Mol. “The account manager knows quickly and exactly what the client needs when they call. They can also examine the travel performed by clients, to look at patterns and thus propose new solutions to help them.” 26 | THE CORPORATE TRAVELLER.BE

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“These smaller companies are very cost conscious and our recently launched flexible travel insurance is the type of product that very much appeals to this market” says De Mol. “It’s a travel insurance that covers a wide range of reasons for cancelling travel or missing flights, even being stuck in a traffic jam on the way to the airport. As smaller companies tend to take cheaper, non-refundable fares, this insurance helps them save valuable budget in unused tickets over the course of time. Simplified on-line tools are also sought after by this market.”

Evolutions in business travel for SMEs

“Across the board we are seeing a pronounced growth in train travel, particularly now that high-speed train companies are evolving with services such as wi-fi on board” says De Mol. “We can help travellers in booking these trips online as well offline, through our new online tools. Another evolution, especially with mid-sized companies, is the inclusion of meeting venue bookings with their travel reservations. To attract this market, we have put into place agreements with meeting venues, including hotels, in a number of cities in the Benelux to offer a ‘low cost meetings’ booking solution.” “The SME market will always be looking at more personalised and simpler services with real added value that can save them time and money, both during booking and in their actual travels. We can provide them with all the information including transfer times and costs which can often be left out of the equation when deciding a travel choice.”

air ways ¾¾ Turkish Airlines General Manager receives awards from SkyTrax CEO Edward Plaisted

Turkish Airlines voted Best Airline in Europe for second year running Turkish Airlines scored a resounding success at the 2012 Skytrax World Airline Awards, with air travellers voting the airline as the ‘Best Airline in Europe’ for the second year running. Turkish Airlines also won the Skytrax categories for ‘Best Airline in Southern Europe’ and ‘Best Premium Economy Class Airline Seat’.


he annual Skytrax survey polled over 18 million business and leisure air travellers from 100 countries. The winners of the

passengers’ choice awards were announced at the Farnborough Airshow, in the UK on July 12. Turkish Airlines’ General Manager Temel Kotil, received the awards from Edward Plaisted, CEO of Skytrax, during a ceremony at the airshow. “Turkish Airlines continues to consolidate its position as one of the world’s leading airlines and the awards they have received today for ‘Best Airline in Europe’ and ‘Best Airline in Southern Europe’ demonstrate their continued popularity amongst passengers” said Edward Plaisted during the awards ceremony. “Turkish Airlines Premium Economy cabin product has proved increasingly popular and the award Turkish Airlines collected for the ‘Best Premium Economy Class Airline Seat’ is

a clear reflection of the success of this high quality product.” One of the fastest growing airline companies, Turkish Airlines has previously received several Passengers Choice Awards from Skytrax. These include the Skytrax Awards for the ‘Best Airline in Southern Europe’ for the past 2 years and, in 2009, the ‘Skytrax World Aviation Award’ known as the Oscar of

the Aviation industry. In 2010, Turkish Airlines and its catering partner Turkish DO&CO were recognized for the excellence of their economy class catering, taking the ‘Best Food, Economy Class’ title. Turkish Airlines has also achieved honours for its Miles&Smiles frequent flyer scheme which won first place in the categories of ‘Best Frequent

½½ On board dining in business class

Flyer Programme’ and ‘Best Loyalty Credit Card’ in the Europe and Africa regions during the 2012 Freddie Awards. Miles&Smiles members can now accumulate status miles, as well as regular miles, to upgrade and maintain their membership through the scheme’s many partner companies which include airlines, hotels and car rental companies. Besides its awards achievements, 2012 is a milestone year for Turkish Airlines in terms of growth. Amongst the latest routes to be added are Kinshasa (Congo), Ganja and Gence (Azerbaijan), Osh (Kyrgyzstan), Sabha (Libya), Djibouti, Ulan Bator (Mongolia) and Edinburgh. Coming up are routes to Sharm El Sheikh (Egypt) and the Maldives, which will be launched in October and November respectively. With over 200 destinations, the airline now operates the world’s seventh largest route network and one of the largest and youngest aircraft fleets.


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British Airways

connecting Rotterdam to London and beyond British Airways is expanding its portfolio of destinations in the Benelux with the launch of a new route between Rotterdam-The Hague Airport and London Heathrow in December. A choice of three flights a day will be offered, giving passengers access to over 500 worldwide connections operated by British Airways and its oneworld airline alliance partners.

More choice for travellers from the Benelux

he new British Airways’ Heathrow to Rotterdam route further strengthens the airline’s network in the Benelux, giving travellers a choice of three airports to travel from in the region. Flights between


Rotterdam-The Hague Airport and London Heathrow will commence on 9 December, departing from Rotterdam each day at 12.00, 16.15 and 19.45. Flights will leave Heathrow for Rotterdam at 08.20, 12.50 and 16.50. The airline already operates 6 flights a day between Brussels and Heathrow, as well as up to 17 flights a day between Amsterdam Airport Schiphol and London Heathrow Terminal 5.

Business class

British Airways’ Rotterdam services will be operated by Airbus 319 and 320 aircraft, offering both Club Europe business class and Euro Traveller economy class. Club Europe business class features greater space and comfort on board, as well as the opportunity to earn 50% more frequent flier miles than on regular economy class. Business class pas-

sengers transferring at Heathrow to flights with British Airways or its partner airlines can benefit from its excellent premium lounges, as well as British Airways Club World business class cabins with its fully flat beds to long haul destinations.

Over 500 worldwide connections and more opportunities for flyer rewards

“Our flights from Rotterdam to Heathrow are particularly attractive for passengers from the southern part of the Netherlands and the north of Belgium who wish to connect on to our network of business and premium leisure routes in the US, Asia and Africa, many not offered by other airlines” says Katinka van Ekeren, commercial manager the Netherlands for British Airways. “Following a flight lasting not even 1 hour to London, we open a world of destinations through British Airways, as well as our oneworld airline alliance partners. All of these give travellers more opportunities to earn and spend rewards through our Executive Club frequent flyer programme and On Business scheme for small to medium sized companies.” One way Economy Class fares on the new Rotterdam to London route commence at 65 euros, including taxes, for bookings made on line at For more information, contact travel agencies, the British Airways Call Centre or visit


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From 9 December, Rotterdam The Hague to London Heathrow 3 flights per day. Information at

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Qatar Airways

one of the world’s fastest growing airlines Qatar Airways, national airline of the State of Qatar, is one of the aviation industry’s big success stories. Under the leadership of CEO Akbar Al Baker, Qatar Airways has grown from a small regional carrier to become one of the fastest growing airlines in the world. As part of major expansions in the pipeline, Qatar Airways has over 250 next generation aircraft on order and will be opening a brand new airport at Doha at the end of this year. Premium Terminal and New Doha International Airport


t its Doha hub, Qatar Airways operates the world’s only dedicated commercial passenger terminal exclusively for its First and Business Class passengers.

Expanded in 2009 to give an additional 80 percent seating space, the Premium Terminal features facilities such as sit-down check-in for First and Business Class passengers, a spa, Jacuzzi, duty free shopping, business centre, fine dining restaurants, delicatessen and a cocktail bar.

With Qatar Airway’s growth, increasing passenger and cargo demand and the arrival of the new wide body jets, the construction of the New Doha International Airport (NDIA) has been underway since 2006. NDIA is located just four kilometres from the existing airport, with the first phase scheduled to open in December this year. With a capital investment of over 14 billion dollars, NDIA is set to be a true a state of the art airport and the first especially 30 | THE CORPORATE TRAVELLER.BE

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designed to welcome wide-body jets such as the Airbus A380. Opening with an initial capacity of 28 million passengers, by 2015, NDIA is expected to handle up to 50 million passengers a year. Qatar Airways will manage the new airport, which has been designed to help shape Doha as a key regional and global aviation hub. NDIA forms an integral part of the Qatari government’s fast paced infrastructure development plan and will play a critical role in maintaining Qatar’s position as one of the world’s fastest growing economies.

Latest generation aircraft

Qatar Airways has one of the industry’s youngest fleets, with an average age of less than four years, comprising over 100 Boeing and Airbus aircraft. The scale of Qatar Airways’ growth is illustrated by the fact that it has over 250 new aircraft pending delivery, worth more than US$50 billion. Replacing and expanding the existing fleet, the orders comprise all the latest generation aircraft for short, medium and

»» Business Class Check In Area Qatar Airways Premium Terminal

»» First Class Dining Area Qatar Airways Premium Terminal ½½ Qatar Airways New Boeing 787 Seats BUSINESS CLASS

long term routes. Included in the order books are 13 Airbus A380s, the world’s largest aircraft capable of carrying 555 passengers. Qatar Airways will also be taking delivery of its first Boeing 787 Dreamliner this year, to be introduced on the London Doha route, while new 777s will be affected to very long haul routes, such as to the US and Australia.

Network expansions

From its hub in the Qatari capital, Qatar Airways has developed a global network spanning Europe, Middle East, Africa, South Asia, Asia Pacific, North America and South America. The airline’s Brussels Doha route was opened at the beginning of 2011. The service is offered five times a week with onward connections to over 50 worldwide destinations. In addition to greater frequencies on a number of routes, 14 new destinations are being opened over the course of 2012. From Helsinki to Perth, the routes are a reflection of the airline’s aggressive growth strategy to expand on different continents

and open up new routes to key business and leisure destinations. “In keeping with our highly focused and tailored growth strategy to enter underserved and thriving markets all over the world, the latest additions very much match our plans to open up a host of new destinations” explains Qatar Airways’ Chief Executive Officer, Akbar Al Baker. “I am extremely confident that the wave of new route announcements for 2012 will bring much excitement to our passengers and partners in the new destinations, as well as across our global network.” Qatar Airways was named Airline of the Year 2011 in the annual Skytrax World Airline Awards. Over 18 million travellers worldwide cast their votes in the survey by the leading global airline industry audit. Already ranked Five Star for service excellence by Skytrax, the independent aviation industry monitoring agency confirmed Qatar Airways as Best Airline in the Middle East for the sixth year in a row and Best First Class Lounge for its Premium Terminal. | THE CORPORATE TRAVELLER.BE

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Heaven in the skies


few months ago, the Corporate Traveller team got the chance to get on a flight to New York with Jet Airways in business class. Our people

are not exactly rookies - their job entails heading to some extraordinary places and experiencing them in an extraordinary way -- but let it be said that they were left truly impressed. The seats have all the advantages of any other flights with business class, especially in the choice of entertainment. What really stood out were A) the serviceoriented cabin personnel and B) the culinary offerings. Once you sit in a business-class seat - with any airline - you are already so comfortable and there is more than enough music and films to enjoy... an area in which Jet Airways particularly excelled was the princely manner in which you are treated by the cabin crew while seated in your comfy throne. Our team was also enchanted by the extensive menu with its choice of many different appetizers, entrees and desserts with selected wines! Could there be any downside? An intermediate class with the best of both worlds for an affordable fare would, in our opinion, be a good move to satisfy the discerning traveller. Pictures say more than words, so dream away with the different images shown here!


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Czech Airlines on SkyTeam, new services and added frequencies to Brussels Czech Airlines has been a member of the SkyTeam Alliance since 2001. Jiri Marek, Czech Airlines’ Vice President Sales and Marketing, talked to the Corporate Traveller about the significance of its SkyTeam membership and updated us on some of the airline’s latest products and services.


ur membership and code-share partnerships with other carriers within SkyTeam have brought Czech Airlines a stronger international position and undoubtedly a more attractive product, with a wider offer of destinations and connections” says Jiří Marek. “We have, for example, a successful and mutually beneficial cooperation with Korean Air on services between Prague and Seoul. Thanks to this cooperation, travellers from Czech Airlines’ network in Central and Eastern Europe have excellent connectivity to Seoul via Prague.” “Alliances are definitely beneficial to passengers as they gain more choices in destinations and more opportunities to earn and spend frequent flyer miles. Another advantage that the SkyTeam alliance brings is its standardisation of service levels across airlines. SkyTeam Priority is the most recent example. In fact Czech Airlines provided a very similar service prior to the SkyTeam Priority launch, but only at Prague Airport. Once the SkyTeam Priority initiative is fully deployed, our clients will be guaranteed the same level of service at all international airports where our partner airlines operate.”

Connecting bridge between East and West via Prague

“Through our own routes and those of our partner airlines, the main principle of our network is to be a connecting bridge between East and West via Prague” says Jiří Marek. “In addition to our SkyTeam partners, we also have a successful code-share agreement with Etihad Airways on long-haul flights to the Middle East, south-east Asia and Australia via Abu Dhabi. Apart from this strategy, we operate strong point-to-point business routes for corporate travellers. One of the most important of these is our regular service to Brussels. As from our winter schedule,we are adding a fourth daily frequency to Brussels. It will leave Prague at 9am to arrive in Brussels Zaventem Airport at 10.25. The Brussels-Prague route is mainly used by point-to-point travellers but it also has perfect connections on to other Czech Airlines’ destinations such as in Russian and CIS cities.”

Latest new services from Czech Airlines Amongst the latest innovations introduced by Czech Airlines is a mobile web site with applications for smartphones. It means that travellers on the move can quickly and easily book tickets and see the latest updates on departures and arrivals. The mobile web service is available in Czech, English, German, French and Russian. The airline has also launched five new product and fare families - Promo, Standard, Plus, Flex and Business - to give customers a wide choice of flexibility and services. As from the winter schedule, Business class passengers will be able to enjoy hot and cold snacks especially designed for Czech Airlines by Marek Fichtner, chef of the Hotel Kempinski in Prague.


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boosting services and fleet with 19 billion euro investments Lufthansa, Europe’s largest airline in terms of passengers carried, is in the midst of a 19 billion euro package of investments to its fleet. Steffen Weinstok, Lufthansa General Manager France and Benelux, explained about the advantages travellers will be seeing.


ufthansa is currently undergoing the biggest fleet investment in its corporate history. Central to the airline’s programme are 16 billion euros which have been earmarked for the purchase of over 180 new aircraft by 2016.

Amongst the new fleet are 21 Boeing 747-8 aircraft, the fourth generation of the Boeing 747 and the world’s longest passenger plane. Lufthansa is the launch customer for the 747-8 and the aircraft is already operating on the airline’s routes to Washington and New Delhi. By the end of this year, Chicago, Los Angeles and Bangalore will be added.

New business class

Lufthansa’s Boeing 747-8 and A330-300 are the first planes in its fleet to be equipped with its new Business Class cabins. The new Business Class seat offers exceptional comfort for passengers in a sitting or recumbent position, intuitive adjustment features, additional storage space and an individual entertainment system with much larger, 15-inch screens. At the press of a button, the seat converts into a comfortable bed with a horizontal sleeping surface measuring 1.98 metres in length. An entirely new seating arrangement, in a ‘V’ formation, means that neighbouring seats are angled towards one another along a central axis. This virtually doubles the distance at shoulder level between the seats, giving Business Class passengers greater privacy. The Business Class cabins will be deployed on Lufthansa’s entire long-haul fleet by 2014.

Further product improvements

Lufthansa has a further 3 billion euros planned for product improvements. “Besides the new business class, we are continuing installation of our very exclusive First Class product on our long haul fleet” says Steffen Weinstok. “The new First Class cabins were initially launched in 2010, on our Airbus A380s. Equipped with eight seats which transform into the industry’s widest bed (80cm) at the press of a button, First Class has a specially designed insulation which makes it the quietest cabin on any commercial aircraft.” 34 | THE CORPORATE TRAVELLER.BE

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½½ Lufthansa new business class

¼¼ Mobile check-in ¼¼ Lufthansa check-in

»» Lufthansa, launch airline for the Boeing 747-8

Other service innovations include Lufthansa’s new FlyNet broadband wireless internet system, which is being rolled out on all of the airline’s long haul fleet. Working just like a public hot spot on the ground, FlyNet enables passengers to surf the internet with their notebooks, tablets or smartphones. “We have received extremely positive feedback on FlyNet, especially from corporate travellers as it means that they can work and stay in touch with their offices even on a long flight” says Steffen Weinstok. “Lufthansa is the only airline offering this innovative technology on flights on transatlantic routes and already over half of our long-haul fleet offers this service. Also, on the ground, we are continuously investing in our product. Worldwide our customers have 60 state-ofthe-art lounges, with a total space of 38,000 m2, in which to relax and escape the busy atmosphere at airports. By 2015 our lounge space will be increased to 44,000 m2.”

Strengthening links to the Benelux

Strengthening its links to the Benelux, Lufthansa recently launched a new route to Rotterdam from Munich. “We think this will be an important route for both business and leisure travellers” says Steffen Weinstok. “We certainly see that the area of Rotterdam The Hague has high potential for us in terms of corporate customers and that the swift and efficient airport infrastructure at Rotterdam is much appreciated. Travelling from Rotterdam The Hague Airport, via Munich, to the world is a very convenient alternative to starting travel at Amsterdam Airport. The modern infrastructure and dense network at Munich are our highest incentives to promote this new route and our product. Munich Airport provides state-of-the-art facilities and seamless connectivity to over 100 destinations worldwide.” Frankfurt and Munich are the biggest of Lufthansa’s four hubs, but the airline is continuing expansion of its services from Dusseldorf and

Berlin. “Frankfurt is where we offer the biggest choice of flights on a global scale and provide the largest space in terms of lounge amenities” explains Weinstok. “From Munich our focus lies more on services to Southern and Eastern Europe, as well as to Asia and the US. Munich Airport has seen significant growth over the past few years and now provides an extensive network to our customers. As the construction of a third runway at Munich has been opposed, we expect that our growth at the airport will reach its limits over the coming years. Nevertheless, it will continue to be an efficient and reliable hub.” “On a European scale we are investing around 60 million Euros in our presence in Berlin” says Weinstok. “We see that the German capital is becoming increasingly important for both MICE and leisure travel and it now has a higher growth rate than either London or Paris. With our own flights and those of our airline partners combined, we now offer direct flights from Berlin to 50 destinations in Europe and the Near East. Brussels, for example, is connected with four daily direct services operated by our partner Brussels Airlines. Services from Berlin will be further improved when operations move from Berlin-Tegel Airport to the new BER Airport which will open next year.”

Long haul connections

As to long haul routes, Lufthansa is focussing its network development on emerging markets such as China, Russia and South America, illustrated by the airline’s recently launched destinations such as Shenyang, Qingdao, Bogota and Rio de Janeiro. “Besides point to point travel, our strength is the vast network we offer all over the world” says Weinstok. “The majority of our passengers do not end their journey in Germany but are connecting passengers. They continue on to any of the 200 plus destinations we serve worldwide, in the confidence that our hubs in Frankfurt, Munich and Dusseldorf are amongst the most modern and efficient airports in Europe.” | THE CORPORATE TRAVELLER.BE

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¼¼ Wim Melis, SAS Sales Manager Benelux


brings even more value to corporate customers in the Benelux SAS, the flag carrier of Sweden, Norway and Denmark, is continuing its initiatives to encourage customer loyalty and capture the business traveller market. Close attention to client feedback, through a new dedicated portal and more incentives for corporate customers, form part of the airline’s loyaltydriving strategy.

Client contact and account teams in the Benelux

e just announced that SAS has moved its European back office headquarters from Brussels to the UK, but our customers can be assured that our strong sales organisation in the Benelux remains in place” says Wim Melis, SAS Sales Manager Benelux. “SAS has account teams for the Benelux based in Amsterdam and Brussels, so our customers will benefit from the same service levels and direct interface as before.”


“Encouraging two way communications and feedback from our customers is an important part of the Strategy4Excellence plan that we launched last year” says Wim Melis. “We want to make sure we are completely in synch with the services and products that they are looking for. That is why we recently launched My SAS Idea, a new portal for customers through which they can send us their feedback. In fact it was on the basis of client suggestions that we took the decision to launch San Francisco as a new destination next year.” “Our route development, however, is focussed principally on Eastern Europe – the Baltics, Poland and Russia” explains Wim Melis. “We offer good connections from our Scandinavian hubs throughout these regions, such as Copenhagen to St Petersburg in just forty minutes, and we just launched an additional eight routes to Poland.”

SAS credits programme for SMEs

As to incentives for corporate customers, SAS is building up membership of its SAS Credits programme, for small to medium sized 36 | THE CORPORATE TRAVELLER.BE

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companies. The scheme means that even businesses that do not carry out enough flights to warrant a fully fledged contract can still benefit from discounts each time one of their employees flies with SAS. Companies continue to qualify for Credit points, even when they book on the lowest price fares. What makes the scheme especially attractive is that corporate travellers still gain their own frequent flyer miles, through membership of the SAS frequent flyer programme, Euro Bonus, while their company benefits as well. Points can be earned and spent with SAS and its partners, which include the Rezidor group of hotels. Small to medium sized businesses have been showing great interest in the Credits scheme and membership is growing fast. Even though the majority of these companies book through travel agencies, they still gain all of the benefits. The travel agency receives a unique tracking code for each corporate client. The code is then used for all reservations to ensure that points are accumulated. “We introduced this programme as client feedback showed that there is a need in the market” says Wim Melis. “At SAS we value all of our customers, not just the big corporations, so in return we want to give them all good value for money. That is why we have put into place loyalty programmes that are attractive for every segment in the market”

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The Corporate Traveller’s

Annual Survey Airline Business Class

As each year, The Corporate Traveller has interviewed its readers on their overall business class experiences with airlines. The timing of our survey is particularly pertinent as a number of airlines have been announcing major investments in their premium cabin products. From the results of our readers’ preferences gathered in the survey, we can see some patterns emerging.


ur readers were presented with one simple question “With what airline was your best overall business class flight experience, on a short or long haul flight, over the last 6 months?” This year our inquiry gathered answers from 590 of our

readers - a high score thanks to the ‘free return flight’ we offered to one of the respondents. In total 34 airlines achieved one of the top ten rankings with our readers for their high performance in business class. As airline investments in business class products tend to focus on the long haul business class cabins, it is not surprising that those operating predominantly long haul flights from the Benelux achieved the highest scores with our readers. Of the four airlines nominated in equal first place for their business class services (Qatar Airways, Singapore Airlines, Hainan Airlines and Etihad Airways) and the two airlines in second place (Lufthansa and Cathay Pacific), five are non-European-based airlines. Lufthansa was the highest ranked European carrier, closely followed by Air France and Austrian Airlines. Asian and Middle Eastern-based airlines fared particularly well with our readers in the survey, achieving half of the top five places and one third of all votes throughout the top ten rankings. As not all of the airlines that our readers voted for operate flights from Brussels, the survey also illustrates that a number of travellers based in Belgium are picking up their longer haul flights from airports in neighbouring countries. Examples of these are two of the highest scoring airlines - Singapore Airlines and Cathay Pacific, which operate from Amsterdam Schiphol airport but not from Brussels Airport. China Southern Airlines, also made the winners’ list, although our readers would be travelling or transferring to Frankfurt airport to fly with them as they do not service Brussels or Amsterdam directly. Also of note is the fact that four of highest ranked business class winners in our survey - Qatar Airways, Singapore Airlines, Hainan Airlines and Cathay Pacific - belong to the elite group of SkyTrax ‘5 star’ airlines.

The results of the Corporate Traveller Annual Airline Business Class Survey are thus as follows: Equal 1st place Qatar Airways, Singapore Airlines, Hainan Airlines, Etihad Airways Equal 2nd place Cathay Pacific, Lufthansa Equal 3rd place Air France, Austrian Airlines Equal 4th place KLM, British Airways, China Airlines, Jet Airways, Air Canada Equal 5th place China Southern Airlines, Finnair, SWISS, Thai Airways, Turkish Airlines, SAS Scandinavian Airlines Equal 6th place airberlin, Brussels Airlines, China Eastern Airlines, American Airlines, Delta Airlines Equal 7th place EL AL, Alitalia, Cyprus Airways, Royal Jordanian Airlines Equal 8th place Virgin Atlantic, United Airlines, TAP Airlines Equal 9th place TAROM, CSA Czech Airlines 10th place Iberia


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» COORDINATES Address: Avenue Louise/Louizalaan 149, 1050 Brussels Belgium (Administration) Brussels Midi/ Zuid railway station (City Ticket Office) Brussels Airport (Airport Ticket Office) Tel BE: +32 (0) 70 222 466 - Tel LU: +352 27 30 20 06 e-mail: through, “contact us” Website:

» TYPE OF AIRCRAFT(S) A318-319-320-321-330-340-380 / Boeing 747-777 / Regional fleet


specifications » LOUNGE ACCESS Yes 530 Air France or SkyTeam lounges worldwide, including arrival lounges in selected airports

» LIMO SERVICE TO THE AIRPORT Yes In Brussels for tickets sold in Belgium (special conditions apply)

» PRIORITY BOARDING Yes » EXTRA LUGGAGE 2 baggage items weighing up to 32 kg each at no extra charge +2 pieces hand baggage (max 18kg) on long haul flights

» CATERING Refined details, considerate service, intense flavors, and porcelain tableware. Menus updated every 10 days from Paris. Main course to choose from 4 daily suggestions. Two reserved bar areas with buffets and refreshments on long-distance flights.

» BUSINESS SEATS The Affaires seat is designed to provide optimal comfort. It transforms into a spacious bed up to 2m in length. It takes on the shape of the body and guarantees quality sleep.

» INFLIGHT ENTERTAINMENT 600 hours of program on wise-screen personal TV’s, including 85 films in 9 languages, popular TV series, 3000 songs, 17 games, language courses, 4 themed TV channels, news and geovision.

» EXTRAS Business class customers benefit from the SkyPriority program. This is SkyTeam’s red carpet treatment which offers a range of priority services at the airport. Travellers enjoy advantages free of charge, from check-in up to baggage delivery. SkyPriority will speed and guide the traveller through its journey with ease.

» OWN DESCRIPTION Whether customers just want to relax or make the most of their time at every stage of the trip, from booking through to baggage delivery, Business class constitutes a privileged travel experience. Every stage of the trip has been carefully studied to ensure that Air France customers receive professional, streamlined and efficient service. At each airport, Business class customers benefit from dedicated check-in desks and priority service at security checkpoints where equipment and legislation make it possible. Once check-in is complete, Business class customers can relax away from the bustle of the airport, enjoy a meal, work in tranquillity or simply rest before take-off.


» COORDINATES Address: Austrian Head Office, Office Park2,A-1300 Vienna Website:

» TYPE OF AIRCRAFT(S) A319/320/321/B737/B767/B777

» NAME BUSINESS CLASS Business class


» CATERING Restaurant service with flying Chef on board, catering partner Do&Co Viennese coffee house service.

» BUSINESS SEATS Individual adjustable lie flat sleeper seat with massage function and personal video screen

» INFLIGHT ENTERTAINMENT 12 video and audio channels


Miles and More

specifications » LOUNGE ACCESS Yes Austrian Senator Lounges, Austrian business lounges, Austrian HON lounge

» LIMO SERVICE TO THE AIRPORT Yes red|cab transfer service (additional service to be paid as part of Austrian red|services:

» PRIORITY BOARDING Yes » EXTRA LUGGAGE 2X32kg, 158 cm per piece maximum, HON, SEN, Star gold+ 1 additional piece, +one golf equipment, except to/from the USA

Take off in even greater comfort! Between November 2012 and spring 2013, we’ll be modernizing the interior of our entire long-haul fleet. Look forward to the following outstanding features aboard Austrian Airlines: high-tech Business Class seats with horizontal bed and innovative details a new entertainment system with video on demand for non-stop entertainment award-winning service and first-class cuisine from DO & CO




specifications » LOUNGE ACCESS Yes Galleries lounges

» LIMO SERVICE TO THE AIRPORT No » PRIORITY BOARDING Yes » EXTRA LUGGAGE Club World: Checked- in baggage: Three bags - Up to 32kg each BA will waive the heavy bag charge

» CATERING The very best in local and international cuisine is served, along with expertly sourced wines, and if customers are still hungry they can help themselves to tasty treats from the Club Kitchen. Club World’s menus are inspired by some of the world’s top chefs.

» BUSINESS SEATS The Club World seat converts to a fully flat bed and guarantees complete comfort, whether customers want to sleep, eat or relax. In-seat power combined with comfortable design means working onboard could not be easier.

» INFLIGHT ENTERTAINMENT On-demand entertainment: Customers watch what they want, when they want, with control over their very own entertainment system and noise-cancelling headset offering over 100 movies, TV programmes, 50 music CDs, audio books and 20 interactive games.

» EXTRAS The Galleries Club lounge of Heathrow Terminal 5 offers luxury, fine wines and food and a relaxing Elemis Spa. The Club World London City all-business class service offers a luxurious and productive experience between London City and JFK, with a late check-in, a fast immigration process and an internet access onboard.

» OWN DESCRIPTION Your seat, your bed, your space. Leave the outside world behind you The Club World seat has been specially designed to adapt to your needs, whether you are working, sleeping, eating, or relaxing. It offers four preset seat positions, as well as the flexibility to create your own using the fine adjustment buttons. The 201cm (six feet six inches) “Z” position is perfect for relaxing. Sleep well. Stretch out in total comfort and privacy on our luxurious bed with the following features: • 63.5cm (25 inches) wide bed • soft mattress • memory-foam headrest • cosy quilt • touch button privacy screen


» COORDINATES Address: Brussels Airport / Airport bld 26 / General Aviation-Ringbaan B-1831 Diegem Tel/Fax: +32 2 754 19 00 e-mail: Website:

» TYPE OF AIRCRAFT(S) Airbus A330-300 ; Airbus A330-200; Boeing B737-300; Boeing B737-400; AVRO RJ85; AVRO RJ100; Airbus A319; Airbus A320; Bombardier DH8 Q400



specifications » LOUNGE ACCESS Yes : Sunrise Lounge & Business Class Lounge

» LIMO SERVICE TO THE AIRPORT Yes, for travels from Africa to France, Germany, Luxembourg and The Netherlands


» EXTRA LUGGAGE Checked luggage: + 18kg; hand luggage: + 4kg

» CATERING Brussels Airlines offers its passengers travelling to the US and Africa a genuine “wine & dine” experience that represents its brand (Belgian hospitality) while taking into account the different nationalities of its guests.

» BUSINESS SEATS The premium seat can be turned into a ‘flatbed’ of two meters equipped with a pneumatic cushion and relaxing massage function. 10 of the 30 Business Class passengers have no adjacent seat.

» INFLIGHT ENTERTAINMENT The on-demand entertainment system offers over 100 hours of entertainment including a threedimensional view of the flight course. Passengers can connect their own devices to their individual touchscreen monitor of 38.9 cm.

» EXTRAS With the ingenious cabin configuration, 24 of the 30 seats have direct aisle access. The flatbed offers LED mood lighting and plenty of storage space for shoes or reading material. Seat belts carry an airbag. The on-demand entertainment system is wirelessly connected to every individual screen offering extreme reliability.

» OWN DESCRIPTION The cabin provides a new dimension to the term ‘passenger comfort’. With its new cabin, Brussels Airlines is a real trendsetter of quality in terms of seats, relaxation possibilities, legroom and entertainment technology. With the seat-centric IFE system, the passenger gets instantaneous access to the content, and fast-forwarding or rewinding the chosen programme is extremely quick thanks to a user-friendly touchscreen interface similar to popular electronic tablets. In addition to headset and USB power ports for recharging MP3 devices and smart phones, the seat also provides a laptop power port and personal video port for watching films stored on the passenger’s device.


» COORDINATES Address: Louizalaan 149 Avenue Louise - 1050 BRUSSELS Tel/Fax: +32 (0) 70 300 872 CTO: Air France Brussels Midi Ticket Office Reservations: +32 (0) 70 300 872 Website:

» TYPE OF AIRCRAFT(S) Boeing 767-300ER aircraft



specifications » LOUNGE ACCESS Yes – British Airways Club (Terminal B – 4th floor)


» PRIORITY BOARDING Yes – through the Sky Priority lane.

» EXTRA LUGGAGE Delta allows one carry-on bag and one personal item (such as handbag or a laptop) and two checked bags up to 32kg each

» CATERING A personalized five-course menu produced by celebrity chef Michelle Bernstein. This upscale culinary experience is complimented by a wine programme from Master Sommelier Andrea Robinson, which contains 24 wines, an award winning champagne and a dessert wine. In between the meal offerings customers also have access to a wide variety of snacking options.

» BUSINESS SEATS Delta offers a full flat-bed seat on services from Belgium to New York-JFK (year-round) and Atlanta (summer only). Each seat converts to a 180-degree fully flat-bed and offers direct aisle access in a 1x2x1 configuration. The new seats are forward-facing and 22% wider than the seats they replace. Delta will offer more than 1,000 of these seats between Belgium and the United States during the summer season.

» INFLIGHT ENTERTAINMENT The seats all feature a 10.6” individual screen in addition to a 110v AC power source and USB power. All passengers have access to state-of-the-art personal entertainment system with thousands of choices, including Delta on Demand — an advanced, touch-screen digital entertainment system with up to 100 movies, HBO, an extensive music library with up to 4,100 songs, MP3s, and in-flight trivia.

» EXTRAS Delta already operates the world’s largest Wi-Fi-equipped fleet of aircraft within the USA with more than 3,000 flights daily, offering more than 400,000 customers per day access to the internet above 10,000 feet. From early 2013, this service will be extended to passengers on longhaul international flights including Belgium.

» OWN DESCRIPTION Delta Air Lines serves more than 160 million customers each year. With an industry-leading global network, Delta and the Delta Connection carriers offer service to nearly 350 destinations in 65 countries on six continents. Headquartered in Atlanta, Delta employs 80,000 employees worldwide and operates a mainline fleet of more than 700 aircraft. A founding member of the SkyTeam global alliance, Delta participates in the industry’s leading trans-Atlantic joint venture with Air France-KLM and Alitalia. Including its worldwide alliance partners, Delta offers customers more than 13,000 daily flights, with hubs in Amsterdam, Atlanta, Cincinnati, Detroit, Memphis, Minneapolis-St. Paul, New York-LaGuardia, New York-JFK, Paris-Charles de Gaulle, Salt Lake City and Tokyo-Narita.


» COORDINATES Address: Culliganlaan 2D Box 3, 1831 Diegem. Ticketing desk only at Brussels Airport (near check-in row n°10) Tel. 02/200 88 80 - Fax: 02/725 81 77 e-mail: Website:

» TYPE OF AIRCRAFT(S) A340-600, A340-500, A330-300, A330-200, A320-200, A319-100, B777-300ER New aircraft types to be delivered within the coming years: A350, A380, B787

» NAME BUSINESS CLASS Pearl Business Class » FREQUENT FLYER PROGRAM Etihad Guest ( When flying Pearl Business Class, you receive 50% extra miles on top of the normal number of miles. Silver member also get a tier bonus of 25%, Gold and Gold Elite members get a 50% tier bonus.

specifications » LOUNGE ACCESS Yes. Etihad Pearl Business Class lounge in Abu Dhabi, Brussels Airlines lounge in Brussels

» LIMO SERVICE TO THE AIRPORT Yes (Etihad Chauffeur). No distance restrictions apply within Belgium and the UAE.

» PRIORITY BOARDING Yes » EXTRA LUGGAGE Checked luggage: bags with a total not exceeding 40kg.

Etihad Guest Base members receive 45kg upon presentation of their permanent Etihad Guest card. Silver members receive 50kg. Etihad Guest Gold members receive 55kg. Etihad Guest Gold Elite members receive 60kg. Carry-on luggage: 2 bags with a total not exceeding 12kg

» CATERING Your Food & Beverage Manager will help you find the right dish to suit your mood and the perfect accompaniment for your meal. Dine as you like, when you like

» BUSINESS SEATS Sit back and relax in luxurious seats with 49” seat pitch that stretch out into 6’1”full flat beds. Placed in 1-2-1 configuration, the seats offer direct aisle access to every Guest.

» INFLIGHT ENTERTAINMENT Enjoy 600 hours of on-demand entertainment on our 15” individual LCD TVs. What’s more, you can recharge your laptop or mobile phone, or connect your personal devices to the system.

» EXTRAS Etihad Airways offers the fastest way to travel between Brussels and Dubai! Abu Dhabi International Airport is only a 55 minute drive away from New Dubai’s main hotel and business district. On your way back, you can check-in your bags at our dedicated Dubai city check-in, up to 24 hours before flight departure.

» OWN DESCRIPTION Welcome to our Pearl Business Class ; the most luxurious way to fly for business and pleasure. From limousines, to lounges, to onboard – experience comfort, luxury and an intimate atmosphere throughout your entire journey. Explore Etihad’s Pearl Business Class right now by taking the interactive tour on our website. Etihad Airways currently operates 8 non-stop flights a week between Brussels and Abu Dhabi and double-daily flights from Düsseldorf to Abu Dhabi with convenient onward connections to our destinations in Asia, Australia, Africa and of course the Middle East.

Be our Guest!


» COORDINATES Address: TIETOTIE 11, 01053 FINNAIR Tel/Fax: 24h Customer Service +358 600 140 140 Website:

» TYPE OF AIRCRAFT(S) Airbus A330, A340, A321, A320 and A319 and Embraer E190 and E170



specifications » LOUNGE ACCESS Yes At Helsinki airport there are two Finnair lounges.

» LIMO SERVICE TO THE AIRPORT No » PRIORITY BOARDING Yes » EXTRA LUGGAGE In business class, checked-baggage allowance is two pieces (max weight per bag 23kgs) carry-on allowance two pieces with a maximum combined weight of 10kgs.

» CATERING Finnair’s kitchen is a combination of Nordic cuisine and the best international tastes with an award winning wine cellar. On long-haul flights departing from Helsinki you may pre-order a gourmet menu on the Internet.

» BUSINESS SEATS Comfortable lie-flat or full-flat seats on board airbus A340 and A330 fleet with space for both work and privacy for an enjoyable flight.

» INFLIGHT ENTERTAINMENT On board Airbus A340 and A330 a personal entertainment system with 24 music channels, 34 movies and a collection of hit TV programmes in every seat.

» EXTRAS At Helsinki Airport all departure gates are under one roof in one terminal building ensuring smooth transfer. The two Finnair lounges offer innovative design and peaceful atmosphere between your flights.

» OWN DESCRIPTION Finnair is the fast airline between Europe and Asia. Via Helsinki you will reach 11 destinations in Asia; Bangkok, Beijing, Chongqing, Delhi, Hong Kong, Nagoya, Osaka, Tokyo, Seoul, Shanghai and Singapore comfortably and in style. Flying via Helsinki on our modern fleet means fewer emissions and less fuel so Finnair is also your eco-smart choice. Finnair is part of the oneworld alliance, bringing the whole world closer to you on the wings of the best airlines in the world.


» COORDINATES Address: Hainan Airlines, Brussels National Airport, PO Box 39, B- 1930 Zaventem, Belgium Tel: 00322-7533030/31, Fax: 00322-7533036. e-mail: Website:



specifications » LOUNGE ACCESS Yes

» LIMO SERVICE TO THE AIRPORT Yes, between Beijing Airport and downtown



» CATERING Chinese and western cuisine is graciously served. 20 Special Meals Service based on request and availabilities.

» BUSINESS SEATS 180-degree fully flat bed seat, supplied with bed sheet and toiletry bags. Pajamas offered on request.

» INFLIGHT ENTERTAINMENT ‘Your Travel’ entertainment system, Audio & Video On Demand for each individual passenger.


World “Five Star Airline” by SKYTRAX in 2011 and 2012 “Punctuality Award Long Haul Airlines” awarded by Brussels Airport in 2012 Best Airline in China and Excellent Service Awarded by SKYTRAX from 2010 to 2012 “Best Airlines in China” awarded by �Global Traveller�in 2011 Safety record: Top 5 worldwide by Germany JACDEC in 2011


» COORDINATES Brussels National Airport PO Box 10 1930 ZAVENTEM - Belgium Tel.: +32 2 709 09 09 - Fax : +32 2 709 09 00 e-mail: - website:

» TYPE OF AIRCRAFT(S) 10 Boeing 777-300 ER aircraft 11 Airbus A330-200 aircraft 59 next generation Boeing 737-700/800/900 20 modern ATR 72-500 turboprop aircraft


specifications » LOUNGE ACCESS Première and First Class passengers have access to the Jet Airways lounges (Jet Airways lounge and Amber lounge)

» LIMO SERVICE TO THE AIRPORT Yes, for Première passengers travelling from Luxembourg » PRIORITY BOARDING Yes, for Première passengers » EXTRA LUGGAGE ALLOWANCE TO INDIA AND NORTH AMERICA: • 1 piece max 23 kg in economy • 3 pieces of max 23 kg each in Première

EXTRA LUGGAGE TO INDIA: • first extra piece (max 23 kgs) • second extra piece (max 23 kgs) • Excess luggage (23kgs> <32 kgs) EXTRA LUGGAGE TO NORTH AMERICA: • first extra piece (max 23 kgs) • second extra piece (max 23 kgs) • Excess luggage (23kgs> <32 kgs)

70 USD 200 USD 150 USD 100 USD 200 USD 150 USD

» CATERING Our gourmet meals are prepared under supervision of two Michelin stars chef Yves Mattagne and for the Indian Cuisine by Bombay Brasserie. Special meals are on request. Jet Airways only uses the freshest and best quality ingredients for all dishes.

» BUSINESS SEATS OUR PREMIÈRE GUESTS ENJOY: • A 180 degree flat bed with lumbar support and massage systems • An oversized table, laptop power, telephony, SMS and e-mail services • on-Demand In-flight Entertainment (IFE)

» INFLIGHT ENTERTAINMENT Individual large screen with integrated on demand entertainment system, with a selection of best of Hollywood and Bollywood films, television and music.

» EXTRAS Jet Airways service is second to none with a touch of Asian hospitality. Jet Airways aims at excellence in all areas of service on ground and on board: high qualityof comfort, service, ondemand entertainment and fine dining. Jet Airways also offers enhanced connectivity, frequency and flexibility.

» OWN DESCRIPTION Jet Airways operates 7 direct daily morning or evening flights to Mumbai, Delhi and Chennai in India from Brussels, London Heathrow or Milan Malpensa. Jet Airways offers seamless connections to 52 destinations within India and 22 international destinations. From Brussels daily direct fligths are offered to New York in the US and to Toronto in Canada. The level of comfort makes the investment for travel in Business versus travel in Economy more attractive, as Jet Airways’ guests are arriving at destination relaxed and rested, enabling to conduct their business appointments without delay and without losing time.


» COORDINATES Address: Avenue Louise/Louizalaan 149, 1050 Brussels Belgium (Administration) Brussels Airport (Airport Ticket Office) Tel: +32 (0) 70 225 335 e-mail: through, “Customer Support/Contact us” Website:

» TYPE OF AIRCRAFT(S) AIRBUS 330, BOEING 737-747-777, MC DONNEL DOUGLAS MD11, Regional fleet

» NAME BUSINESS CLASS World Business Class


specifications » LOUNGE ACCESS Yes KLM Crown Lounge or SkyTeam lounges worldwide

» LIMO SERVICE TO THE AIRPORT Yes In Belgium for tickets sold in Belgium (special conditions apply)

» PRIORITY BOARDING Yes » EXTRA LUGGAGE 2 baggage items weighing up to 32 kg each at no extra charge +2 pieces hand baggage (max 18kg) on long haul flights

» CATERING Customized top quality of service. Three-course meal devised by world renowned Dutch Top Chefs, including choice between three main courses. Wines selected by an expert “sommelier”. Asian meals to/from China, Korea, India & Japan devised together with renowned local chefs.

» BUSINESS SEATS The World Business Class Sleeper seat with privacy canopy is 190 cm long and 175 degrees reclinable. A Massage unit integrated in the seat provides optimal comfort.

» INFLIGHT ENTERTAINMENT Interactive entertainment thanks to more then 300 CDs, video games, and over 85 movies on wise-screen personal TV’s on demand.

» EXTRAS Business class customers benefit from the SkyPriority program. This is SkyTeam’s red carpet treatment which offers a range of priority services at the airport. Travellers enjoy advantages free of charge, from check-in up to baggage delivery. SkyPriority will speed and guide the traveller through its journey with ease.

» OWN DESCRIPTION The KLM World Business Class offers business or leisure customers flexibility and a wide range of choices. Every stage of the trip has been carefully studied to ensure KLM World Business Class customers a professional, streamlined and efficient service. The strong transfer product offered by KLM at Amsterdam-Schiphol airport is the foundation of a high-quality network of direct European and intercontinental connections. At each airport, Business class customers benefit from dedicated welcome and check-in desks and can access our Business class lounges.


» COORDINATES Address: Brussels National Airport Tel/Fax: 070 35 30 30 Website:

» TYPE OF AIRCRAFT(S) A380-800/A340-600/A340-300/A330-300/B747-400/B 747-800

» NAME BUSINESS CLASS Lufthansa Business Class


specifications » LOUNGE ACCESS Yes Business Class Lounge

» LIMO SERVICE TO THE AIRPORT No » PRIORITY BOARDING Yes Priority check-in and boarding

» EXTRA LUGGAGE General: 2 bags up to 32kg each Senators/ HON Circle Members/ Star Alliance Gold Members: 3 bags up to 32kg each

» CATERING Thanks to our cooperation with luxury hotel chains and regional star chefs to ensure that our Business Class passengers aboard selected intercontinental flights to Germany enjoy delicious regional delicacies. With top quality menus, these masters of the culinary art shape Lufthansa’s sophisticated concept of in-flight service “Connoisseurs on Board”.

» BUSINESS SEATS The star of the new Lufthansa Business Class is the new seat which, among other things, provides you with a completely horizontal surface to sleep on, ensuring you arrive at your destination feeling even more rested. The new seat is impressive in any position due to the high level of comfort it affords and it enables you to lie fully flat on its 1.98 m length. Currently, you can experience the new Business Class on board all new Boeing 747-8s and three A330’s flying out of Munich. It will be fitted in the entire Lufthansa long-haul fleet within the next four years.

» INFLIGHT ENTERTAINMENT Lufthansa media world: a wide variety of audio/video on demand: cinema in eight languages, radio and TV programmes, music magazines, CD’s and audio books o demand. Boundless/wireless communication on longhaul flights with the Flynet® portal.

» OWN DESCRIPTION Just being comfortable was yesterday — today you can look forward to more. The star of the new Lufthansa Business Class is the new seat which, among other things, provides you with a completely horizontal surface to sleep on, ensuring you arrive at your destination feeling even more rested. But it is not only the new seat that makes the difference and ensures you enjoy an excellent travel experience in Lufthansa Business Class. Be it flexible check-in with Lufthansa eFly services, the preferential baggage service or relaxing with a drink and a snack in the Lufthansa Business Lounge before departure, our promise of providing you with a special service is already apparent in many details on the ground too.


 CATERING Individual service and dining at own convenience with option to choose from our à la carte menu with an award-winning premium selection of the world’s fine wines and champagne. Two meals offered on a six-hour flight.




Address: Avenue Louise, Louizalaan, 350, 8th floor Tel: 02 300 24 00 Fax: 02 300 24 16 e-mail: Website: &

Oryx Entertainment is a state-of-the-art fully interactive on demand system offering a selection of over 1000 entertainment options of world-class audio and video programs.



Privilege Club

specifications Âť LOUNGE ACCESS In Brussels, British Airways Lounge for business travellers and Silver and Gold Privilege Club member.


Âť BAGGAGE ALLOWANCE IN BUSINESS CLASS 15kg in cabin 30kg in hold



A330-200, A330-300

Business class

24 seats in a 2-2-2 configuration with 170 degree recliner, including a built-in back massage, telephone and laptop power port. 152 cm seat pitch and 52 cm seat width.


The Premium Terminal at Doha International Airport: a dedicated terminal for First and Business Class customers offering full conference facilities, restaurants, a medical centre, a dedicated duty free shopping, private showers, dedicated attendants, a nursery and videogames room for children. The New Doha International Airport is under construction and will soon open. This new facility will set a new high level standard in airport and airline efficiency with a state of the art service for all passengers.

Âť PRESENTATION Qatar airways has been voted “airline of the yearâ€? for the second time in a row by Skytrax for its outstanding inflight product and operational excellence both on the ground and onboard. The company however won’t stop here its efforts and will continue to seek new ways of improvement to set a always higher service level for its passengers. As an example, Qatar Airways has assembled a team of 4 world famous Chefs (Nobu Matsuhina, Vineet Bhatia, Ramzi Choueiri & Tom Aikens) to offer its passengers the very best inflight dining experience in Business class. These 4 Chefs have been selected to create a new standard for dining in the sky while representing the finest international cuisine after several months of adapting and testing their specialities for Qatar Airways’ passengers. Their menus have begun to be rolled out on flights to and from Doha International Airport. This service should soon be extended to European gateways. Starting 1st February, Qr will fly daily from Brussels to Doha. This increased frequency will mean an even wider choice of destinations from Brussels, including routes to India and Africa, with optimized connecting schedules.


» COORDINATES J.E. Mommaertslaan 20 A – 1831 Diegem Tel/Fax: 02 643 69 20 / 02 643 69 09 E-mail: - Website:

» TYPE OF AIRCRAFT(S) Airbus A319/320/340/330, Boeing 737 » NAME BUSINESS CLASS Business Class » FREQUENT FLYER PROGRAM EuroBonus

specifications » LOUNGE ACCESS Yes, 15

» LIMO SERVICE TO THE AIRPORT Yes Yes, Netherlands and Belgium for Asian and USA flights


» EXTRA LUGGAGE Yes, 2 Baggages

» CATERING * Business class passengers enjoy SAS’ renowned Scandinavian World Cooking After take off, a four course superior meal service with multiple choices, carefully selected wines and premium spirits is served. Before landing, a breakfast or light meal is served. Passengers who wish to enjoy their sleep longer receive a “Grab & Go” breakfast bag and coffee when exiting the flight

» BUSINESS SEATS * The SAS Business Sleeper is one of the best in the sky, offering passengers a 52cm/20” wide seat, 155cm/61” seat pitch and 200cm/79” of living space. When fully reclined at 170°, the SAS Business Sleeper creates a 188cm/74” long bed with an additional 15cm/6” width at the shoulders. Seat features include audio/video-on-demand entertainment, a built-in massage function and clever storages for laptops and other items

» INFLIGHT ENTERTAINMENT * The SAS Business Sleeper is equipped with a 10.4” screen, offering movies, music and games on demand. Each seat also features a laptop power outlet for added convenience. *

product information is regarding long haul product only


» COORDINATES Address: Hector Henneaulaan 144 B4 Tel/Fax: +32 2 70 98 400 e-mail: Website:

» TYPE OF AIRCRAFT(S) A319, A320, A321, A330 and A340



specifications » LOUNGE ACCESS Yes, TAP Premium Lounge Lisbon

» LIMO SERVICE TO THE AIRPORT No, but free parking and ValetXpress.


» EXTRA LUGGAGE One extra piece of checked luggage of 32 kg. Hand baggage allowance is 2 bags up to 16 kg, instead of one bag of 8 kg.

» CATERING Over 112 different dishes with special creations of top chefs Vitor Sobral (Portuguese cuisine) and Dânio Braga (Brazilian specialities) accompanied by award-winning wines. Catering is centered around sophistication and personal service.

» BUSINESS SEATS The Recaro Lie-flat seats can be transformed into real beds, with anti-allergy pillows and covered with a soft-touch material. In all long-haul flights, your rest is now enhanced with new large and soft quilts. There are also new, improved head-rests for greater comfort onboard. Other features: laptop sockets, noise-cancelling headphones and amenity-kits.

» INFLIGHT ENTERTAINMENT AVOD – Video on demand –The interactive touch-screen menu provides information on the 18 films and TV programmes, the collection of 50 CDs and 12 radio channels, maps and games in several languages.

» EXTRAS TAP is one of the first European airlines to offer in-flight connectivity services. The partnership with OnAir WiFi allows passengers to enjoy the pleasure of browsing the Internet, accessing social networks, twittering and sending and receiving e-mails on the Airbus A330’s.

» OWN DESCRIPTION Whether you’re at the airport or on board, exclusive personalized service and maximum comfort allow you to work or relax as you wish. With comfortable lie-flat seats, onboard connectivity, an interactive AVOD video on demand entertainment system and quality food and drinks TAP Executive caters to the needs and demands of the 21st century business traveller. At the TAP Premium Lounge in Lisbon airport Executive passengers can also enjoy a wide range of beverages and food before departure, catch up on some reading or work in a quiet environment. During the flight our cabin staff have only one goal: to make sure that you leave the plane a satisfied customer.


» COORDINATES Address: Avenue de la Toison d’Or 21 Tel/Fax: +32 2 502 47 44 e-mail: Website:

» TYPE OF AIRCRAFT(S) A380, B747, B777, B737, A340, A330, A300


» FREQUENT FLYER PROGRAM Royal Orchid Plus Silver, Gold & Platinum status

specifications » LOUNGE ACCESS 6 Royal Silk Class lounges at Bangkok Airport + own or partner lounges worldwide THAI Spa lounge in Bangkok with free access for Royal Silk Class passengers.

» LIMO SERVICE TO THE AIRPORT No » PRIORITY BOARDING Yes » EXTRA LUGGAGE Yes, Royal Silk Class has 30kg luggage on ticket. Extra luggage via Silver, Gold or Platinum Card of Royal Orchid Plus

» CATERING Taste our Royal Silk Class menus, which are changed regularly to create variety. Meals are served, restaurant style, in individual courses, always with a tempting choice of main dish. Presentation is also magnificent, with porcelain place settings, fine table linen and crystal glasses. Royal Silk Class Passengers travel ex-Bangkok can pre-select their meal in business class via www. with selection of 8 meals.

» BUSINESS SEATS With the introduction of a Boeing 777-300ER on BRU-BKK-BRU route, THAI will fly with 30 business seats, 180° flat-bed in herringbone layout. 1-2-1 seat configuration Every seat is equipped with PC power outlets (110V AC) compatible with all standard PC plugs. On its Boeing 777-300ER, THAI also offers Royal First class with 8 mini suites.

» INFLIGHT ENTERTAINMENT Enjoy the interactive Audio Visual on Demand entertainment system offers literally hundreds of channels, for movies, music, information and games.

» EXTRAS THAI flies non-stop Brussels Bangkok Brussels, 3 times a week with 3 class-concept: Royal First Class, Royal Silk Class & Economy Class. As from 16 February 2013, THAI will introduce one additional weekly flight on Brussels-Bangkok route with a total of 4 flights per week. Non-stop flights from Brussels to Bangkok, only 11hours flight and short connections to rest of South-East Asia. Relax and enjoy a 30 minute Traditional Neck & Shoulder Massage or Meridian Foot Massage in our Royal Orchid Spa at Bangkok Airport, free of charge for business travellers, before boarding Bangkok-Brussels.

» OWN DESCRIPTION As from 16DEC12, THAI will operate its first Airbus 380 from Bangkok to Frankfurt. On 16FEB13, Paris will be the second European A380 destination. Onboard passengers will enjoy our brand new product, with the latest flat-bed business class seats in staggered layout. Daily flights with A380 via Frankfurt & Paris can be combined with non-stop flights from Brussels, 3 times per week.


» COORDINATES Address: The Office, Manor Royal, Crawley, West Sussex, RH10 9NU, UK Tel/Fax: +44 1293 562345 E-mail: Website: / Trade site:

» TYPE OF AIRCRAFT(S) 40 aircraft – Boeing B747s Airbus A340-300’s, A340-600’s and new A330-300’s


» FREQUENT FLYER PROGRAM Flying Club – Flying Club offers more generous rewards than other loyalty programmes, and you can even start earning miles before you fly.

specifications » LOUNGE ACCESS Yes, Clubhouses in Heathrow, Gatwick, New York - JFK, New Jersey - EWR, Boston, Hong Kong, Johannesburg, San Francisco, Tokyo Narita, Washington Dulles, and shared lounges at all other destinations.

» LIMO SERVICE TO THE AIRPORT Available in the UK and at the end destination *restrictions apply, available on certain fares

» PRIORITY BOARDING Yes » EXTRA LUGGAGE Economy – 1 x 23kgs, Premium Economy 2 x 23kgs, Upper Class 3 x 23kgs

» CATERING Our brand new Upper Class meal experience offers a delicious new selection of contemporary cuisine and fine wine served to your seat. There are a number of new innovations too like our cheese and port and afternoon tea service on most day flights.

» BUSINESS SEATS Our Upper Class Suite has one of the longest fully flat beds in business class, and on selected flights you can enjoy our Snooze Zone, a dedicated space in the cabin, where the lights are turned down low, and there’s minimal disruption.

» INFLIGHT ENTERTAINMENT There’s over 300 hours of entertainment available on your personal seatback screen, including the latest Hollywood blockbusters, TV Shows and games.

» EXTRAS When you fly on our Heathrow A330 aircraft, you can look forward to our new Upper Class Suite*, which has been specially developed with your comfort as its number one priority. It features a new bed, which is longer and more comfortable than ever. On arrival into London Heathrow on your Virgin Atlantic flight you can freshen up in our Revivals lounge+, with a delicious breakfast, hot shower, full business facilities and our Clubhouse Spa Room. *Available on the VS3/4 +Open from 5.00am to 1.30pm “

» OWN DESCRIPTION For over 28 years, Virgin Atlantic has been one of the world’s leading long haul airlines, annually flying over six million passengers to more than 30 of the world’s most amazing destinations. Virgin Atlantic is famous for creating memorable journeys, by providing award-winning, excellent value products and friendly service in every class. From the big picture, to the tiniest detail, Virgin Atlantic has the vision and service commitment that sets them apart from other airlines.


Slovenia’s Bled incentive and golf destination ‘par excellence’

½½ A view from the golf course

In the summer edition of The Corporate Traveller, we published a reader competition to win a luxury golf and incentive break to the Slovenian town of Bled. At the end of August, our winner, Gregory Smet of Intergem, explored with us some of the many treasures the region has to offer to meetings and events planners, highlighted by a tour of the stunning Kings Club golf course.


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½½ Medieval town of Radovljica


ess than two hours flying from most of Europe’s capital cities, Bled and its surrounding region of forests, mountain peaks, waterfalls and medieval towns offer an exceptional backdrop for events organisers. The town, with

its lake, island and hilltop castle overlooking the Juliana Alps, is undoubtedly the most photographed image in Slovenia.

Bled lake, island and castle

No trip to Bled would be complete with a visit to Bled Lake and its picturesque island. The lake itself, at over 2km long, is used as a destination for international rowing events. For those who wish to reach the island at an easier pace, an oarsmen will ferry you across in a characteristic Pletna boat in around ten minutes. On arriving at the island, there are exactly 99 steps. A steep climb in itself, but for those getting married on the island, it is customary for the bridegroom to carry his new wife up to the stop of the stairs. We were lucky enough to witness this for ourselves, although the bridegroom didn’t quite make it to the top! On the island are a small museum, a pleasant café with outdoor terrace and a beautifully decorated baroque church with bell tower. A folktale around the bell, which dates back over 500 years, says that those who ring it will see a wish granted. The ancient castle of Bled is perched high on a cliff top, with unrivalled views of the town, the lake and the mountains. Often used for corporate events, the buildings of the castle are arranged around two large courtyards which can be used for medieval style banquets and entertainments. The castle’s printing workshop allows visitors to try their hand with the ancient printing press and customise their own document. Events can also be organised at the castle’s wine cellar, where guests can label and cork their own bottle of wine and organise wine tasting events. Both the printing and wine labelling activities allow corporate branding so that delegates can take back a souvenir of their event. The castle also has a blacksmith demonstration, a museum of Slovenian history, a café and a restaurant. All, or part of the castle’s areas can be completely privatised outside of opening times to the public.

events, to outdoor and sporting activities. Besides snow sports in the winter, just some of the other activities possible include climbing, paragliding, cave exploring, white water rafting, horseback-riding and of course – golf!

Bled Golf and Country Club

During our trip, we were lucky enough to be hosted by the Sava Hotels Group at the Kings Clubhouse, located on the Bled Golf course itself. An ideal base for golf enthusiasts and incentive trips, players can easily enjoy a few practice shots on the driving range before taking breakfast on the terrace. The exclusive, but friendly hotel has seven rooms and two suites, all with large private balconies overlooking the course. Besides the restaurant, bar and outdoor terraces, the Club House offers a boardroom for ten people – all complemented by outstanding Slovenian hospitality. Bled Golf course is located just 4 km from the centre of Bled. When King Aleksander Karadjordjevic of Yugoslavia chose Bled as his summer residence in the 1920s, wealthy guests and nobility came from all over Europe. To entertain these guests, the golf course was constructed in 1937. As soon as it opened connoisseurs declared it to be one of the most beautiful in Europe. Set in a 70 acre natural park, which is home to a variety of wildlife including deer, golfers are offered magnificent views at every step.


Surrounding Bled are a number of charming towns and villages, each with their own unique architecture and culinary specialities. Radovlija, just 10 minutes from Bled, is one of the best examples of these. Once home to some of Slovenia’s most famous writers, Radovlijca has lost none of its authenticity. Amongst the attractions around the town’s medieval town square are a fascinating museum dedicated to Slovenia’s bee-keeping traditions, with magnificent baroque ballroom that can be hired for private events. Radovlijca’s Lectar house combines a family run hotel and traditional restaurant with a living gingerbread museum where traditional gingerbread decorating workshops can be organised for groups. For those looking for authentic cuisine in a traditional setting, the 500 year old Lectar restaurant serves an array of delicious regional cuisine and wines using locally sourced ingredients. Its outdoor terrace overlooks a valley and mountain-side. In the surrounding area, visits to local farmhouses for home cooked fare around the farm kitchen can also be arranged. The region’s rich offering of meeting and tourism infrastructures are complemented by a strong network of local tourism bureaus and qualified agencies. For teambuilding events, organisers have a limitless choice at their fingertips, ranging from cultural and gastronomic

½½ Sava’s Kings Clubhouse - view from the breakfast terrace | THE CORPORATE TRAVELLER.BE

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Green. Active. Healthy.


½½ Practice golf driving at Bled

Meetings venues and hotels Since its origins as a spa destination in the 1800s, Bled has built up a strong meeting and tourism infrastructure. Today the town offers 5000 guest rooms at 3, 4 and 5 star hotels, with nearly half of this capacity in five star hotels. Bled’s hotels offer a generous array of meeting and conference venues, as well as leisure and relaxation facilities. The Grand Hotel Toplice has the largest conference offering. A luxury lake-side hotel, the Grand Hotel Toplice has six conference rooms, salons that can be privatised, a large private terrace and a lido. There are also three restaurants, including a gourmet restaurant, and a wellness centre with thermal spa. Amongst the other excellent hotels with meeting facilities are the Hotel Park, also located on the lake shore and the Golf Hotel, near the golf course. Both feature conference rooms, restaurants, wellness centres and thermal spas. Bled’s largest venue is the Festival Hall. It features a state of the art auditorium and theatre for over 500 delegates, as well as three large additional halls and a foyer. Set on the lake-side in walking distance of most hotels, the Festival Hall is host to the Bled Strategic Forum, an annual event attended by international politicians and strategy makers from around the world. ¼¼ Grand Hotel Toplice overlooking the lake

Besides its outstanding facilities and attractions, all within easy reach, one of Bled’s biggest appeals is its people. Throughout our visit we were greeted with a warm, friendly welcome and English is spoken by everyone. For many international meeting planners, Slovenia is as yet an undiscovered destination worth getting to know better! For more information on Slovenia visit, and

The championship level course holds over 110 tournaments a year, of which half are for corporate events. It comprises an 18 hole course, a 9 hole course, driving range, putting greens, two club houses and a well stocked professional golf shop. Three full time golf professionals are on hand for instruction and all golfing equipment can be borrowed. Corporate meeting packages can include a year’s overseas club membership for just 100 euros and the four day package allows new players to quickly obtain their golf license. We started off our first day with a lesson from one of the club’s pros on the driving range. After a few missed tries, thanks to our instructor’s patient advice, we were soon hitting some nice long shots. With our confidence up, we booked to play a round later that afternoon. We tried the nine hole course, which has a challenging and varied terrain including steep slopes, blind corners and some difficult to avoid water hazards and sandbanks! The warm weather, scenery and the diverse course design made for a memorable afternoon. If playing got off to a ‘touch and go’ start, as we continued on we saw a definite improvement. After an enjoyable round, we congratulated ourselves on our hard work and headed back for dinner at the King’s Club House restaurant. The restaurant is renowned for its outstanding Slovenian cuisine and range of high-quality wines and we were not disappointed.

Travel to Slovenia Slovenia is less than two hours flying from most major European hubs, including Brussels. The country’s main airport, Joze Pucnik is 15 minutes drive from the capital of Ljubljana and 25 minutes from Bled. The airport is served by around 250 weekly scheduled flights, most of which are operated by the national carrier, Adria Airways. Adria Airways flies to Amsterdam, Brussels, Copenhagen, Frankfurt, Istanbul, London, Moscow, Munich, Podgorica, Pristina, Sarajevo, Skopje, Tirana, Vienna and Zurich throughout the year, with additional destinations in the summer. From its Slovenian hub, Airways offers a network of connecting flights to Eastern Europe and the Balkans. The airline operates nine weekly flights to Amsterdam and thirteen to Brussels, both with Economy and Business class cabins. Brussels is one of Adria Airways’ most important routes for business travellers and on board service is of high standard. Passengers from Brussels travelling on business class, or holding a Miles&More Gold loyalty card, can use the Star Alliance Gold Lounge, or the lounge of fellow Star Alliance member, SAS. Business class passengers at Brussels have access to a fast lane check in, open four hours before departure so travellers can spend more time in the lounge if wished. From Slovenia, everything about the hub airport, Joze Pucnik, is fast and convenient. Due to its near proximity and small size which allows rapid check-in and boarding, delegates can easily attend a whole day of meetings and activities and still be in time to catch a flight home at 6pm! For more information on travel to Slovenia visit


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Bose® VideoWave® II system Greater flexibility with choice of 46” and 55” screen sizes Bose introduces the VideoWave® II system, the next generation of its breakthrough entertainment system that combines a high-definition TV, home cinema sound, and a music system into one revolutionary product. Greater flexibility has been incorporated into the VideoWave® II range through a choice of 55 inch and 46 inch screen sizes. New features also include a new LED backlit display for stunning images, a more refined industrial design, and an updated click pad remote for the easiest, most intuitive control of home entertainment ever developed.

High-Definition Television


urrounding the new 1080p LED backlit display is an aluminum-finish bezel that complements the brilliant image quality. A thinner frame can be found on the 55” screen, creating

a complete all-in-one entertainment system that is slender and elegant. Both screen sizes can be easily wall-mounted using standard brackets. Elegance and simplicity also extends to the one cable connection into a sleek media console that allows the owner the flexibility to connect up to six different devices, such as an Apple® TV, Blu-Ray Disc™ player, cable or satellite box, gaming devices, or many others that now feature in most households. Controlling all of these devices is easy with the stylish yet practical click pad remote control. Using just a few buttons, a touch-sensitive click pad, and an on-screen interface to control everything, the Bose® click pad remote instantly eliminates the need and clutter of multiple remotes for multiple devices. In addition, it uses Radio Frequency (RF) technology, so doesn’t need to be directly aimed at devices like Infra Red (IR) remote controls, meaning all devices it controls can be hidden from view but still fully controllable. With the click pad, every command can be made without looking away from the screen – move effortlessly between devices and channels, skip forward or back, play, pause, record and anything else.

Home cinema sound with invisible speakers and no wires

Obtaining the experience of home cinema can often mean a compromise on the layout and style of a living room. The Bose® VideoWave® II eliminates the need for multiple speakers and connecting wires to be placed throughout the room without compromising on the sound by integrating a home cinema system – complete with 16 loudspeakers – behind the screen display. This innovation from Bose delivers unmistakable cinema sound – immersive and powerful – but with no separate speakers, no bass module, and no speaker wires. Bose can only generate this quality of performance through a cluster of six high-performance woofers inside the system that are carefully matched to a powerful acoustic Bose waveguide. These are designed to deliver the impact of deep low notes with no audible distortion, even at the highest listening levels. The new VideoWave® II system is designed to be placed almost anywhere in a living room, hotel suite or office boardroom thanks to Bose® ADAPTiQ® technology, an exclusive audio calibration technology that automatically adjusts the sound to compensate for different room shapes, sizes, and even furnishings.

Enjoy all of your music

The new VideoWave® II system includes a dock for an iPod® or iPhone® and completely transforms music listening. Invisible, built-in speakers reproduce instruments and vocals with the clarity and separation of a multi-component audio system. Artists, songs, and playlists are displayed on the screen, and the click pad remote allows for full access and control. A video mute feature can turn the screen off when desired, and do what was previously impossible: fill the room with full-range, accurate music reproduction, and not a single speaker in sight. | THE CORPORATE TRAVELLER.BE

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One headset to rule them all Found out your favorite headset doesn’t work on your new smart phone? No worries, Sennheiser’s first universal headsets work for most common smart phones brands and doesn’t care if you are running IOS or Android.


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oo many people have experienced buying a new headset for their smart phone only to find out that the music isn’t playing on it, or that they cannot use the built-in microphone for making calls. But while phone manufacturers

do not have a common standard for headsets, Sennheiser now does. The first two products in this new universal headset line for smart phone are the CX 275s and the HD 429s.

The new CX 275s

The new CX 275s universal music and communications headset fits virtually all smart phones and doesn’t care if you are an Apple fanatic or prefer HTC, Samsung, Nokia or another phone brand. “The CX 275s works everywhere. Until now you often had to buy your headset from the same company your phone came from to ensure it worked, but no longer. We have tested CX 275s against more than 100 smart phones, and users can even check what functions are enabled by their phone” says Christian Ern, Product Manager at Sennheiser Communications. The CX 275s features an in-line microphone and remote for the easy management of calls and tracks. It sports high-powered dynamic speaker systems and a rich, full sonic reproduction with outstanding bass-driven stereo sound. Ear adaptors of different sizes are included to provide a personalized ear canal fit and passive attenuation of ambient noise. Also, an in-line microphone and smart remote is integrated on its symmetrical cable for ease of use and for easy management of tracks and calls.

Benefits and Features: • Universal fit: fits virtually any smart phone in the market featuring 3.5mm headphone jack, including Android, Windows Mobile, RIM (Blackberry) and IOS devices. • Signature Sennheiser sound: high powered dynamic speaker systems for great bass-driven stereo sound • Premium comfort: ear adaptors in different sizes for excellent ear canal fit and ambient noise attenuation • Intuitive design: highly-aesthetic and ergonomic design • Ease of use: integrated microphone and smart remote for enhanced usability • Convenience at its best - storage pouch for hassle-free portability • 2-year international warranty

HD 429s - Hit the streets with powerful bass

With the HD429s you will be able to enjoy Sennheiser sound with powerful bass on the streets. The high-output neodymium magnets provide an outstanding audio performance with smooth bass response. Great comfort from around-the-ear design provides excellent isolation from ambient noise making this the perfect headset to immerse yourself in music on the move - wherever you go. The HD 429s offers excellent compatibility with all major mobile smart phone brands using a 3.5mm headphone jack, including Android, Windows, Nokia, Sony Ericsson, RIM (Blackberry) and iOS devices - either with or without using the supplied adapter.

Benefits and Features: • -Universal fit: fits virtually any smart phone in the market featuring 3.5mm headphone jack, including Android, Windows Mobile, RIM (Blackberry) and IOS devices • -Hit the streets with powerful bass: high-output neodymium magnets for stereo sound with smooth bass response • -Ambient noise isolation: closed circum-aural headphone design • -Easy Call Control: In-line remote with integrated microphone makes it easy to take/end calls. • -Easy Music Control: The in-line remote at the same time enables you to easily play/pause music and change track. • -Freedom of movement: single-sided cable reduces tangling • -Comfortable fit: provided by innovative and ergonomic design • -Peace of mind: two-year international warranty


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