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The

Corporate Traveller

SUMMER 2012 No. 43

The first real time online Booking and Request platform for meeting rooms LastMinuteMeetingRoom.com  Slovenia The sky is the limit for incentive events  British Airways showcases stylish comfort with enhancements to First and Club World  Managing business travel for smaller companies Interview with Jean-François De Mol, BCD Travel’s Director Sales and Account Management for Belgium

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CORPORATE

TRAVELLER

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BENELUX


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The

Corporate Traveller

Industry News

Travel Management

004 The Journal

035 Business trips: too expensive... or doing it wrong?

News from the travel industry THE BUSINESS MAGAZINE FOR THE CORPORATE TRAVELLER IN THE BENELUX www.thecorporatetraveller.be 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: jp@eventbox.be PUBLISHER Erik De Ridder – E-mail: edr@eventbox.be MANAGING EDITOR Jean Paul Talbot – E-mail: jp@eventbox.be 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@ eventbox.be TRAFFIC HILDE DE RIDDER – E-mail: Traffic.leo@ telenet.be 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

008 Lastminutemeetingroom.com The first real time online booking and request platform for meeting rooms.

Hotels 015 Don’t feel guilty any longer about going on business trips… Two-thirds of business travellers feel guilty about leaving their loved ones. To relieve this feeling of guilt they fall back on loyalty programmes to arrange family holidays for themselves.

016 The making of a hotel Tineke de Wit, who has brought to life two new properties for the Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group and is currently General Manager of the Park Inn by Radisson Leuven, gave us an insight into the life of a hotel manager.

Travel Management 019 Amadeus m-Power: putting mobile at the centre of travel Amadeus recently announced the launch of its new m-Power mobile solution, a revolutionary new technology developed for the mobile platform.

Destinations

Diederik Banken, VP commercial BCD Travel, says companies could save a lot of money on their business trips by taking the right tips and tricks into account.

Air Ways 036 Air France’s Premium Voyageur concept brings greater comfort at affordable prices One million passengers have travelled in Air France’s new Premium Voyageur. The class has been particularly attractive for corporate travellers who normally fly in economy, as it gives them the opportunity to travel in greater comfort, at an affordable price.

038 British Airways showcases stylish comfort with enhancements to First and Club World Passengers in British Airways’ First and Club World business classes can enjoy a series of stylish enhancements and innovations to their premium travel. In addition frequencies from Brussels have been upped.

040 Jet Airways celebrates 5th anniversary in Brussels – and eyes alliance possibilities Stefan Hollands, Jet Airways’ General Manager Benelux discusses the importance of Brussels as a hub – and reveals how the airline’s expansion strategy will soon include an announcement on membership of an airline alliance.

042 Daily flights to Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo Planning to enjoy a relaxing trip to Brazil? Do it with TAP Portugal

044 SAS looks back on achievements and forward with new initiatives This year SAS has plenty to celebrate. New routes, a fleet renewal and major partnerships are all part of the SAS success story in 2012.

046 Alitalia: Best in every Class In order to meet the needs and wishes of its business passengers, Alitalia offers a wide choice of classes on its medium and long haul flights.

022 Slovenia – The sky is the limit for incentive events Slovenia has an astounding variety of landscapes and activities to discover. At less than two hours flying from Brussels, combined with a state of the art hospitality infrastructure and professional meeting services, makes Slovenia a dream destination for incentive and team-building events.

Air Ways 031 Hainan Airlines racks up more awards and increases flights to Brussels Hainan Airlines has once again been rewarded with worldwide 5 star status by Skytrax and this summer will be increasing its flight schedule between Brussels and Beijing to a daily service.

048 Brussels Airlines flies to New York and offers new cabins on all long-haul flights As Brussels Airlines returns to New York after a break of 10 years, the airline unveils the first of its long haul aircraft refitted with a brand new Economy and Business Class cabin.

Hotels 049 Stay in style - at the unique and hospitable Sandton hotels With four top hotels in Belgium, Sandton Hotels presents an innovative hotel collection, with many advantages for the business traveller. Each Sandton hotel is unique: the establishments in Brussels, Ghent and Kortrijk each retain their own, characteristic identity, blending seamlessly with their specific environments.

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The Traveller Journal News from the travel industry

Brussels,

Capital of Gastronomy One could approach the ambitious programme for Brusselicious 2012 and say it will, or will not be, gastronomic. A multitude of events has been organised by VISITBRUSSELS to promote Brussels as a destination for leisure as much as for business by putting the accent Patrick Bontinck on an alreadyreputed sector: gastronomy. Patrick Bontinck, the CEO of VISITBRUSSELS, tells us more about this special year. As a frequent traveller, unless, that is, you have spent the past few months in the Princess Elisabeth Station in Antarctica, your numerous trips to Europe or elsewhere have probably compelled you to spend some time in Brussels and, consequently, to plunge into the Brusselicious gastronomic events year, that Patrick describes. “Gastronomy perfectly

reflects the multicultural identity of Brussels which we want to showcase to the whole world, while using this as a sales argument in promoting Brussels as a gastronomic destination. We particularly want everyone to profit from this year of gastronomy and the organised events to showcase talents and qualities to the people of Brussels and Belgium but also, and more especially, to the international public.”

An enticing programme “Amongst the major events foreseen for this year of gastronomy are larger-than-life sculptures symbolising the gastronomy of Brussels all around the town, the fitting out of a temporary (one year) gourmet restaurant in a tram which is ideal for corporate event receptions (but, don’t leave it too late to book as places are very much in demand), the organisation of complete themed dinners in exceptional locations, the final of the Bocuse d’Or coming to Brussels under the auspices of the Horeca Life Expo, the organisation of a gastronomic festival in September offering VIP possibilities or even a collaboration with the Dinner in the Sky restaurant experience suspended at a height of 50 metres for one week at each of four different sites.”

Train travel gaining popularity with Belgian business travellers A recent study carried out by Belgian business travel management company, BCD Travel, shows that an increasing number of corporate travellers are showing a preference for train travel.

Banks, BCD Travel’s Vice President Commercial Belgium, The Netherlands & Luxembourg. “Business travellers are finding that there are many advantages associated with travelling by train. We anticipate therefore that this trend will continue”

The BCD Travel analysis shows that 140 percent more trips by train took place in 2011 than in 2010. Moreover, it appears that more business travellers opt for a train than for a flight. The most given reasons are that the train has reduced waiting times, the availability of a WiFi network and greater comfort, allowing business travellers to work more easily. The environmentally friendly aspect of the train also plays a contributing factor in companies’ travel decisions.

The train is most often taken to destinations that are easily accessible by high speed train. Paris remains a favourite with London in second place. Strasbourg comes third, Amsterdam fourth and Luxembourg fifth. Rotterdam and Lille are also performing well as train destinations.

“Since early 2011 we see that the number of tickets that customers booked more than doubled” said Derrick

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To meet the rising popularity of the train, BCD Travel Belgium offers a complete online service for booking train tickets in partnership with SNCB Europe. The service allows travellers to book their entire trip, including tickets, accommodation and local transport.

Other themed events “Brusselicious marvellously illustrates our desire to build a long-term coproduction system with the sector to try and maintain events initiatives in Brussels by grouping them under common themes so as to achieve an impressive level of international penetration. Apart from Brusselicious, other ‘heavy artillery’ is already being prepared such as the Emperor Charles V Festival, with the Coudenberg Palace and Ommegang characters centre stage and which aspires to reclaim this historic figure who is well known in Belgium, but less so internationally. Another themed event will honour Victor Hugo, who lived in Brussels, and his work “Les Misérables” which was published in Brussels exactly 150 years ago. There will be walks organised to celebrate this anniversary as well as a gala dinner with the great-grandson of Victor Hugo in attendance. Thanks to the centre for historic gastronomy, the guests will be able to partake of the same menu as that offered by the Mayor of Brussels when that masterpiece came out. Finally, the unbeatable theme of the cartoon will also be honoured in September with a festival and a complete village dedicated to cartoons. So, in summary, lots of opportunities to liven up your business trips at the heart of the capital of Europe”, Patrick Bontinck concludes.


The Traveller Journal | News from the travel industry

Expanded codeshare between Etihad Airways and Brussels Airlines The Etihad Airways codesharing agreement with Brussels Airlines is expanding and will now incorporate Brussels Airlines’ services to Lyon, Marseille and Toulouse. These are in addition to Brussels Airlines’ services to Barcelona, Copenhagen, Gothenburg, Madrid, Oslo and Stockholm, on which Etihad Airways already codeshares. “This adds three very popular destinations to the Etihad Airways network, and opens up more of Europe for our customers” said James Hogan, Etihad Airways President and Chief Executive Officer. “This expansion is a natural next step in what has been a very successful partnership since 2006, and we look forward to continuing to work with Brussels Airlines to also enable passengers from various points on their network to travel to Abu Dhabi and further afield.” Etihad Airways operates eight weekly Abu Dhabi-Brussels services in a two-class aircraft configuration.

Carlson Rezidor and SAS sign partnership agreement The Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group has signed an agreement as the exclusive hotel partner of SAS Credits, the corporate loyalty programme of SAS for small and medium sized enterprises. SAS Credits is a leading loyalty programme for small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) with more than 30,000 companies signed into the scheme, generating more than 1 million room nights per year. The programme exists in 22 countries. SMEs can earn Credits when their employees fly with SAS and selected Star Alliance affiliated airlines, and stay at Radisson Blu- or Park Inn by Radisson hotels in Europe and the Middle East. These Credits can be redeemed for free flights or Rezidor e-Gift Cards. An attractive added value is that not only does the business earn points, the individual travellers can also earn points for themselves when they present their personal loyalty membership card. “We are delighted to lift our long term cooperation with SAS to new heights” said Kurt Ritter, President & CEO of Rezidor. “We are already collaborating with SAS

Rezidor CEO Kurt Ritter and SAS CEO Rickard Gustafson EuroBonus, the airline loyalty programme for individual travellers, and generate over 300,000 associated room nights per year. We are now expanding our partnership to SAS Credits and target the Small and Medium Businesses – a discretionary market that is growing strongly and has a huge untapped potential.” “Our SAS Credit program is unique within the airline industry and highly appreciated amongst small and mediumsized companies” said Rickard Gustafson, CEO of SAS. “With Rezidor as a new partner, our members are given a wider range of opportunities to earn credits, whilst at the same time it will lower their travel expenses.”

Cyprus Airways returning to Brussels Airport Cyprus Airways will resume operation of services between Larnaca and Brussels in June. The Brussels-Larnaca route will initially be served with five frequencies a week- on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. As of July there will be an additional flight on Sundays. More information can be found at the airline’s website, www.cyprusair.com

Hotel BLOOM! inspires delegates with ‘Dare to Explore’ Hotel BLOOM! has created an environment to inspire its business meeting delegates to attain and go beyond their objectives. BLOOM!’s Dare to Explore concept is about stimulating meeting attendees with stories and portraits of inspirational personalities. These are all people who have an amazing life story and have changed their own and other’s environment with their creativity, breakthrough ideas and perseverance. Photos and success stories of people who have once had a great idea and had the drive to make it happen, are featured on the exterior walls of the meeting rooms. In this way, the hotel has created a gallery of inspirational personalities on its meeting room floors.

Sofitel Brussels Le Louise brings surrealist dimension to meetings and events facilities Sofitel Brussels Le Louise has introduced a brand new concept to its meetings, events and business facilities. The hotel’s newly renovated Saphir meeting room is a nod to Brussels’ historic links with art – and in particular with surrealist artist Magritte. Decorated with surrealist works of art and furnishings, the Saphir offers a truly memorable and original setting for meetings, social events and cocktail parties. The 75m2 room enjoys natural daylight and is equipped with state-of-the art audio visual facilities. Guests can also benefit from Le Louise’s terrace, one of the best known in Brussels.

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The Traveller Journal | News from the travel industry

Paris is most popular European destination for Benelux business travellers A recent study, published by leading business travel management specialists BCD Travel, shows that Paris is still the most visited destination for business travellers from the Benelux.

IAG CEO Willie Walsh

IAG purchase of BMI completed International Airlines Group (IAG) has completed the purchase of bmi from Lufthansa. It is planned that bmi mainline will be integrated into British Airways and consultation has begun already with bmi mainline staff and their trade unions.

When carrying out the research, BCD took into account the total number of reservations, for air and rail travel, made in Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg during 2011. According to the study, the two leading European destinations for

SUMMER 2012 |

Outside of Europe, the most popular corporate travel destinations are New York, Singapore and Dubai.

The InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) annually rewards its best performing hotels in Europe with the Hotel Stars Awards. This year, Crowne Plaza Brussels Airport hotel has been recognised as the winner of the prestigious Quality Excellence Award, for excellence in delivering the best guest experience and satisfaction.

Turkish Airlines adds Somalian capital to route network

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“Paris and London have always been business centres with which the Benelux has close contact” said Derrick Banks, commercial vice president at BCD Travel Benelux. “Furthermore there are excellent connections to the two cities, both by train and by plane, which makes it easier for business travellers to meet with their contacts.”

Crowne Plaza Brussels Airport hotel receives International Award

bmibaby and bmi regional have not been sold prior to completion. Under the terms of the purchase agreement, IAG will also acquire these businesses and receive a significant price reduction. IAG has already stated that bmibaby and bmi regional are not part of IAG’s long term plans and will not be integrated into British Airways. IAG will pursue options to exit these businesses and more details will be provided in due course. The costs associated with exiting these businesses, including the impact of operating them in the short term, are expected to be offset by the price reduction.

Turkish Airlines has added Mogadishu to its growing network, operating twice weekly via Khartoum.

corporate travellers from the Benelux, in order of preference are Paris and London, as was the case during 2010. Tickets for Paris and London together account for approximately 60 percent of all business traveller tickets sold. Munich has now risen to third place, Zurich to fourth place and Berlin to fifth place in the European rankings.

The new route marks the first services to the Somalian capital to be operated by a major commercial airline in over 20 years. Roundtrip airfares from Istanbul to Mogadishu are now available.

To celebrate this achievement, Crowne Plaza Brussels Airport has introduced a Quality Excellence Hour at the Bar. Guests benefit from champagne at 5 euros, free canapés with drink orders and other drinks at special promotional rates. The Quality Excellence Hour takes place in the bar Mondays to Thursdays between 6 and 7pm, and on Fridays from 4 to 5pm. Other Quality Excellence celebrations at the Crowne Plaza Brussels Airport include the Buffet Lunch Loyalty Card Promotion. Loyalty Card Holders can enjoy the hotel’s daily Smart & Healthy Lunch Buffet, with one drink, for 25 euros per person. After collecting 4 tokens, customers receive a voucher for a free glass of champagne during the Friday Quality Excellence Hour. Finally the Bubbles & Chocolates Meeting Special is a daily meeting package which, for 86 euros per person, includes free bubbles drink and chocolates at the end of the meeting.


The Traveller Journal | News from the travel industry

Etihad Airways and China Eastern Brussels Airlines’ Board of Directors Airlines sign MOU agreement adapts senior management structure Etihad Airways has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with China Eastern Airlines.

Brussels Airlines’ Board of Directors has decided to adapt the airline’s senior management structure. A significant step in these changes is the move away from Brussels Airlines’ current co-CEO structure to a single CEO function taken on by Bernard Gustin, the current co-CEO, as from 1 June.

Etihad signs with China Eastern airlines The agreement will encompass joint route and schedule coordination, codesharing between the UAE and China and, in time, full frequent flyer reciprocity, reciprocal airport lounge access, joint product development, and technical and cargo cooperation – subject to regulatory approval. “The partnership with China Eastern Airlines will allow us to extend our reach into the dynamic Chinese travel market in a commercially viable and mutually beneficial way” said James Hogan, Etihad Airways’ President and CEO. “It will allow both airlines to offer their customers greater choice in terms of destinations and schedules and practical benefits like reciprocal lounge access and the ability to earn and burn airmiles on each other flights – so a win-win for the business and for travellers across our combined global networks. We will explore further opportunities to expand the cooperation with China Eastern Airlines and would welcome them operating to and beyond our home base in Abu Dhabi.”

Further senior executive nominations have been made in the company’s main three areas of operations, finance and commercial strategy. All matters relating to the airline’s operations will be headed by Peter Kranich, Chief Operation Officer and new member in the management. Brussels Airlines’ Vice President Controlling since 2008, Jan De

Erik Follet, currently Executive Vice President Strategy and Business Development, will become the airline’s Chief Commercial Officer in charge of the commercial strategy of Brussels Airlines. The airline’s Cargo Sales activities, Customer Service, Pricing & Revenue Management, Marketing and Off-line Sales will be included in his areas of responsibility. Peter Kranich, Jan De Raeymaeker and Erik Follet will all report directly to the CEO, Bernard Gustin.

TAP Portugal appoints Mario Guerreiro as District Sales Manager Belgium TAP Portugal has announced the appointment of Mario Guerreiro as the new District Sales Manager Belgium. Mario Guerreiro has gained over 10 years experience in sales and marketing for TAP Portugal and Portugalia. He is now based at TAP’s airline offices in Brussels Zaventem airport.

IATA reports strong passenger demand in April The International Air Transport Association (IATA) announced global traffic results for April showing that total passenger demand rose 6.1% while freight demand was 4.2% down on April 2011.

“The growth in passenger markets is encouraging. But it comes against an environment of continuing high oil prices and growing economic uncertainty. So translating the stronger demand into profits will be difficult” said Tony Tyler, IATA’s Director General and CEO.

Despite continuing economic weakness in some parts of the world, demand for air travel continues to grow. The 6.1% overall growth recorded for April is above the 20-year trend. Strong demand for air travel with limited capacity expansion pushed load factors to 79.3% which is a record high for an April load factor.

With the exception of Africa, all markets saw capacity expansion at levels below the expansion in demand. “In the face of economic uncertainty, many airline managements will be going back to first principles—careful capacity management, cost control and conserving cash. This will be the order of the day until some clarity comes to the global economic outlook. Of course the uncertainty impacts the whole value chain. We are all in this together. Airlines will be particularly looking to their industry partners to share the imperative on cost control” said Tyler.

International air travel rose 7.4% in April compared to the year-ago period, outstripping a capacity expansion of 4.3%.

Raeymaeker will take on the function of Chief Finance Officer. He will also be in charge of the company’s strategic plan ‘Beyond 2012/2013’.

Mario Guerreiro takes over Sales and Marketing responsibilities from Araci Coimbra who, after 5 years in Belgium, has moved to Rome where she has been assigned the role of TAP Portugal General Manager for Italy, Greece, Croatia and Israel.

Marc Staelens appointed General Manager of Warwick Barsey Hotel in Brussels Marc Staelens has been appointed General Manager of the Warwick Hotel Barsey in Brussels. Born in Ghent, Marc Staelens has a long experience in hotel management, particularly in the Benelux region. Skilled in managing and marketing upmarket international hotels, Staelens also speaks Dutch, French, German and English.

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The Traveller Journal | News from the travel industry

Lastminutemeetingroom.com The first real time online Booking and Request platform for meeting rooms. The vision of Lastminutemeetingroom.com is to improve the visibility of the meeting industry for the consumer (B2B and B2C). The website will display online availability, prices, discounts and specific promotions for a period of 60 days in advance, and offers all partners an easy and consumer-friendly way to quickly obtain cost estimates. Lastminutemeetingroom.com provides a platform that connects the B2B/B2C client with a variety of suppliers, from meeting centres and hotels to golf clubs and chateaus. It includes rural locations and, here and there, a well-kept ‘secret’. This ‘E-hospitality’ initiative seeks to inform the market on the availability, as well as the competitive plusses, of the various meeting venues. In this way clients not only benefit from an overview of the market but also - and mainly - from the opportunity to directly book online, or to request additional information from selected locations “Real time online Reservation” is a well-designed and complex system that connects all venues and partners, thereby saving the end-user significant time and expense. It achieves this not only by offering quick and convenient venue booking, but also via the special promotions offered by the locations. This innovative service is unique - not only within Europe but worldwide. With Lastminutemeetingroom.com the user can also conveniently request multiple quotes at the same time. For a client requiring a number of quotes within 24 hours this represents a considerable time saving. In addition, the system allows one to

initially acquire background information - to get to know what a venue offers or gain insight into market prices over a certain period. For suppliers this is an accurate and reliable way to distribute the necessary information about their services and, for the very first time, an opportunity to establish direct, online communication with a broad market. It is therefore a win-win situation for both parties and at the same time a major step forward for all market players wanting to exploit their competitive edge by highlighting added value or offering periodic promotions and discounts. “With years of experience in the industry we know that it’s very difficult for a B2B/B2C client to quickly and efficiently find out what’s on the market and what prices are being asked”, says Thierry Vermeiren, Managing Director, E-Hospitality. “This can mean a big delay between searching, requesting a quote or quotes and, finally, confirming the reservation. We have speeded up that process by providing the consumer with an ongoing opportunity to check the availability and price of locations, and to quickly book a meeting or request a number of quotes based on up-to-date information. “We aim to initiate an online revolution on behalf of the venues. For the first time, the

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suppliers’ market can now communicate its offer to the market on a last minute basis (next 60 days). This creates a very transparent situation between client and market, whereby supply and demand can be matched. We’ve reached the milestone of 100 Belgian locations. We’re now targeting more than 250 locations. This offer will continue to expand, exponentially, as our 2012 growth is focused on The Netherlands, Luxembourg, France and England”, said Thierry Vermeiren.

For more information: Consumer Contact: clientsupport@lastminutemeetingroom.com Register a Venue: hotelsupport@lastminutemeetingroom.com Office: Laurent-Benoit Dewezplein 3, 1800 Vilvoorde, Belgium Telephone: + 32 2 344 25 50 Fax: + 32 2 343 24 50 E-mail: info@lastminutemeetingroom.com


The Traveller Journal | News from the travel industry

IHG’s new wellness hotel brand Star Alliance welcomes InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) is introducing a new hotel brand, EVEN, to the US. The brand has been designed to meet the large and growing customer demand for healthier travel, at a mainstream price. Over a span of 18 months, IHG closely analyzed emerging trends, conducted robust quantitative and qualitative studies, and talked to over 4,000 customers. The research showed a demand shift to a holistic wellness travel experience, and confirmed an unmet need among customers – staying healthy while they travel. The EVEN brand concept is deeply rooted in what these guests need, and provides a solution for healthier-minded travellers.

development of new Terminal 2 at Heathrow

“We have a track record of delivering on hotel industry firsts, and we’re doing it again by staking our claim on the wellness space within the mainstream lifestyle category” said Richard Solomons, chief executive officer, IHG. “We are so confident in the EVEN brand that we are committing a capital investment of up to $150 million over the next 3 years in order to deliver growth and profitability for EVEN Hotels.” Features of EVEN Hotels will include guest rooms designed for in-room workouts with multi-functional room amenities, nutritionally designed menus with a particular focus on natural, fresh, fit and energizing meals. IHG expects its first EVEN hotel to open in 2013.

Qatar Airways signs over 3,700 hotels to loyalty programme Qatar Airways’ Privilege Club has signed agreements with several leading hotel companies, giving members of its loyalty programme the chance to earn Qmiles at more than 3,700 properties worldwide.

signed up with the Doha-based carrier’s frequent flyer programme include Raffles in Singapore, Marriott International, Fairmont Hotels & Resorts, Jumeirah Hotels & Resorts, Raffles Hotels & Resorts and Swissôtel Hotels & Resorts.

The deals collectively give Privilege Club members a huge new range of hotels to choose from during their business or leisure trips across the Middle East, Europe, Asia Pacific and the Americas. Hotels that have

The news comes after last month’s official opening of Oryx Galleria – a new Doha-based boutique – designed exclusively for Privilege Club, where members can redeem their Qmiles for a variety of luxury products.

Delta embarks on expansion at New York’s LaGuardia with new routes Delta Air Lines has commenced flights to 11 new cities from LaGuardia airport, as it embarks on the largest expansion of the New York City airport in more than 40 years. The new flights are part of a major expansion by Delta in New York to create a domestic hub in the busiest aviation market in the world. Delta is to increase services at LaGuardia by 60 percent, with 100 new flights and 26 new destinations in spring and

summer 2012. When its full schedule is implemented, Delta will operate more than 260 daily flights between LaGuardia and more than 60 cities, exceeding any other carrier. Delta is also investing $160 million to modernize two terminals at LaGuardia and build a connector between them, a project that will provide construction jobs for city residents along with the roughly 700 permanent jobs Delta will add at the airport.

With the major structural work now completed, Star Alliance has welcomed the development of the new Terminal 2 at Heathrow which will become its new home at the airport when the terminal opens in 2014. The Terminal 2 programme comprises the new terminal, a satellite pier, a new multi-storey car park and the redevelopment of the associated road system. The design of the terminal provides a modern, technologically progressive and environmentally friendly space for travellers and employees alike. “The Star Alliance member carriers are looking forward to moving into our new home here at Terminal 2, Heathrow” said Lee Hock Lye, Star Alliance’s VP Products & Services. “Being located under one roof will enable our airlines to deliver seamless alliance travel to our passengers, further enhancing the current airport customer experience. The redevelopment of Terminal 2 will reinforce Heathrow’s position as one of the leading global aviation hubs. From our new home at Heathrow, Star Alliance will be able to compete on an equal footing in the alliance arena, something we have been waiting for ever since the opening of Terminal 5.”

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The captain and his crew wish you a very relaxing flight in our Premium Voyageur Class, designed with extra room to stretch your legs and to enjoy the privacy of our innovative shell-seats.

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making the sky the best place on earth


The Traveller Journal | News from the travel industry

Free one night accommodation for Etihad Hainan Airlines to offer daily Brussels-Beijing Airways stopover passengers in Abu Dhabi flights for summer season Etihad Airways is offering one night’s free accommodation to passengers stopping over in Abu Dhabi for a minimum of two nights before December 1.

Following on from the previously announced rise in frequencies on its Brussels-Beijing route, Hainan Airlines will increase its schedule to provide daily flights between the two cities from 1 July to 27 October.

The Essential Stopovers offer, part of the Essential Abu Dhabi program, can be redeemed at 25 hotels, ranging from three to five star. Further nights in five and four star accommodation can be purchased at rates as low as US$59 per person, based on twin occupancy, and US$43 for three star accommodation. Etihad Airways passengers taking advantage of the stopover can additionally benefit from two-forone deals at Ferrari World, Saadiyat Beach Golf Club, Abu Dhabi Golf Club, Yas

Virgin Atlantic’s new Upper Class Suite offers longest fully flat bed in business Virgin Atlantic has unveiled the first of its aircraft to feature its new Upper Class Suite. Upper Class, Virgin Atlantic’s business class offering, has been re-engineered and reinvented with a number of new features including more spacious and comfortable seating. The new 220cm fully lie-flat bed seats are longer than any other airlines’ business class beds. Each seat in the new Upper Class has direct aisle access. A window, built into the wall of each suite, gives more light but also allows passengers privacy due to its unique opaque design. Individual touchscreen monitors with touchscreen handsets are equipped with Virgin’s latest entertainment system, JAM. The JAM system allows passengers to connect their own digital devices if they prefer to watch, read or listen to their own content. Passengers also benefit from their own flip down cocktail table, push panel armrest, fully adjustable reading light and increased personal storage space. Productivity on board is aided with in seat power sockets for laptops and an AeroMobile system which enables passengers to use their own mobile phones. The new Upper Class Suite is now flying the VS003 route from Heathrow to New York JFK and the return VS004 flight back to London. More aircraft and destinations will be fitted with the new Upper Class on the airline’s A330 aircraft this year and on its new 787 aircraft from 2014.

Before and after the summer season, the direct flights will be offered five times a week, on Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Passengers arriving in Beijing can be connected to Hong Kong with Hong Kong Airlines and to over 50 other cities, including Shanghai and Guangzhou, interlined with Hainan Airlines domestic flights. Links and Monte Carlo Beach Club. Two-for-one safaris and tours can also be claimed from operators Desert Safari and Abu Dhabi City Tour.

The Brussels-Beijing services are operated with Airbus A330-200 wide-body aircraft, configured with spacious, 180-degree lie flat seats in Business Class.

The positive impact of the Olympic Games Amadeus and Forward Data SL have unveiled a range of travel data trends, based on actual global air reservations, which details the impact of the London 2012 Olympics. Their findings reveal that travel volumes into London will significantly increase during the Games-time period. Importantly, the research demonstrates the global impact of the Games as other European cities, connected to London via high speed rail, see increased traffic, while longhaul routes experience heightened volumes. Key findings from the research include: • In-bound traffic boosts travel to London during Games-time Analysis of all in-bound air travel reservations for London reveals a massive spike in arrivals (143% increase compared to the same day 2011) on 26 July, the day before the opening of the Games. When the period of analysis is broadened to include the four days before the event, scheduled future arrivals show an overall increase of 31% when compared to the previous year. • US and German travellers show an early appetite for the Games US citizens have taken the lead in early bookings with analysis showing a 82% surge in bookings to London as early as August 2011 when compared to the same period last year. Currently, US citizens represent 17% of scheduled arrivals but German travellers are in hot pursuit, representing 11% of scheduled arrivals during the period of analysis. When considered in relative terms, Estonia is recording the largest increase in visitors to London with a fourteen-fold increase in arrivals during the Games.

• Long-haul routes in Latin America and the Caribbean increase volumes In addition, the traditionally successful Olympic nations of Jamaica (fourfold increase) and Brazil (threefold increase) show the largest relative growth in scheduled arrivals for long-haul travel. • European high speed cities benefit from the Games Brussels, Amsterdam and Paris are all linked to London by high speed rail and all three cities have registered surges in arrivals during the period of the Games. During the three week period of the Olympics, future scheduled arrivals in Brussels are up 49% compared to 2011; Amsterdam 28%; and Paris 5%. These figures suggest that travellers are increasingly adopting high-speed rail links in conjunction with air travel in order to reach London. • Londoners show appetite to stay in the city to experience the Games Analysis of scheduled departures from all London airports shows that Londoners are 11% more likely to stay in the city during the Olympics period than they did in 2011. This finding suggests that contrary to popular opinion, Londoners are not flocking en mass to rent out their homes and to travel abroad. Instead, it seems that the vast majority of Londoners are keen to play an active role in the event. The forecast provided by ForwardKeys.com, a business intelligence tool launched by Forward Data in partnership with Amadeus, is based on actual statistical aggregated air booking data currently available and covers the period from 23 July though to 12 August 2012. This analysis is the first in a series of forecast reports examining how the London 2012 Olympics is affecting global travel trends.

| THE CORPORATE TRAVELLER.BE

SUMMER 2012 | 11


m-Power Mobile at the centre of travel

Now your travel agency can travel www.benelux.amadeus.com/mPower


The Traveller Journal | News from the travel industry

Growth in business travel demand exceeds expectations Advito, an expert in the area of business travel consultancy, adjusted its 2012 estimates in a new update of its Industry Forecast. This was done against a backdrop of a growing number of indicators that oil prices, and consequently air travel prices, will continue to increase this year. The good news is that demand for business travel and meetings is again on the rise – and more strongly than first expected. Since the publication of Advito’s Industry Forecast voor 2012 many changes have taken place, in various markets. This has led to adjustment in the areas of expected demand for business travel and prices. Increased demand for business travel and meetings Advito’s analysis shows that worldwide demand for business travel is growing faster than initially

assumed. Businesses are again focusing on growth - and realise that travel and meetings support this focus. At the same time, there is more awareness of the cost factor. In comparison with a number of years ago, meetings are shorter and have fewer attendees. In addition, many businesses are looking carefully at how they can combine face-toface meetings with digital solutions such as video conferencing, to bring employees together on a worldwide basis. Air fares uncertain Uncertainty regarding Iran’s nuclear plans and unrest in Sudan are feeding unease on oil prices. In the best case, the price of oil will continue to fluctuate around US$115 per barrel; in the worst it will increase to US $200 – which can have a major effect on air fares. In addition, IATA (International Air Transport Association) expects an increase

in the demand for air travel, while an increasing number of airlines are reducing their capacity. This can also contribute to price increases. “Economic turbulence makes it more difficult than usual to make precise forecasts. The recession, with its potential to affect important markets, freefalling consumer confidence and a potential new credit crisis could all lead to a considerable drop in the demand for air travel and everything that goes with it. If that happens, airlines will find it a lot more difficult to introduce the expected price increases and prices could again decline steeply. Travel managers will have to take into account that stability is far from guaranteed at the moment. Airlines will also continue to become more creative in the area of ancillary fees. The extra costs of fuel and credit card payments are also being passed on to the customer”, says Jeroen Hurkmans, Vice President EMEA/APAC at Advito.

Rise and outshine.

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SUMMER 2012 | 13


Don’t worry, be appy The App from Brussels Airport makes sure you have a carefree refreee journey to and through our airport. From the second half of June it is available for iPhone and d Android phones. Download it from your favourite App Store. ore..

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hotels

½½ BW PREMIER Sukhumvit, Bangkok, Thailand (Opening June 2012)

Don’t feel guilty any longer about going on business trips… According to a study about business travel, two-thirds of business travellers feel guilty about leaving their loved ones behind. To relieve this feeling of guilt they fall back on loyalty programmes and use the benefits of these programmes to spoil and spend quality moments with the persons they care about. Best Western, with Best Western Rewards, offers a very attractive loyalty programme that is easy to manage, thanks to the new sites bestwestern.com and bestwestern.be. “ The beauty of the programme and Best Western is that it allows to use the earned free nights in more than 4,100 hotels across the world, as Bernard Beauvois, Business Development Manager of Best Western Hotels Belgium, explains.

“w

hile some hotel chains have reduced the number of points earned per night or have increased the conversion rate for points in the last few years, Best Western is actually offering options to earn points more rapidly with the double and triple promotions and through other travel suppliers such as airlines, car rentals and other relevant partners. However, the best part of the Best Western Re-

wards programme rests assuredly in the fact that clients can exchange their points for overnights in more than 4,100 hotels scattered across the world and select amongst the BEST WESTERN, BEST WESTERN PLUS or BEST WESTERN PREMIER hotel portfolio. This means that business travellers who feel guilty about their numerous absences will be able to please their family by planning holidays practically anywhere in the world and in a hotel that really fits their needs and purpose of travel.

Another strong asset of the loyalty program is the status match system: you will receive the same elite status that you have already obtained in the framework of another chain’s loyalty programme while being assured of the same elite advantages. An additional facility for business travellers who are usually members of at least 3 loyalty programmes”, Bernard Beauvois adds. To employers who think that the benefits of loyalty cards are ultimately advantages that are unjustified and paid by the company, Bernard Beauvois answers: “If the objective of the trip is effectiveness and profitability, then it is best it takes place in good conditions with no frustrations, such as feeling of guilt. And at Best Western, we offer value for money. This is definitely the reason of our success, especially during the recent years of recession. Employers understood this well!”

New technologies

“The benefits of the Best Western Rewards programme will be highlighted on the new Bestwestern.com site, planned for May 2012. The revisited website will include a new lay-out, functionalities such as Trip Adviser listings, new search engines to facilitate research and reservations and more information about our hotels. The regional bestwestern.be site is also expected to be launched in May which will allow you to manage all your operations (research, reservations and management of your Best Western Rewards account) in French, Dutch and English. And finally it will possible to book through the facebook.com/bestwestern.

Expansion

“Finally, Best Western continues to expand across the world, with the objective of having a presence in practically every country. The presence of Best Western in South America is consolidated year on year more particularly in Brazil where 17 additional hotels are scheduled this year. The presence is also more and more marked presence in Africa (notably with 4 hotels in Nigeria). And finally, the brand never stops reinforcing its anchorage in Asia, in Indonesia for example where Best Western counts on quadrupling its portfolio of hotels two years, a destination which is popular both for incentive and leisure travel. To summarise, there is good news to our Best Western Reward members who feel guilty: Best Western can heal your pain. Use Best Western as your source of inspiration and take your family or friends around For more information the corner or around the globe for unforgettable visit www.bestwestern.com moments “Bernard Beauvois concludes. Bernard Beauvois Best Western today has more than 4,100 Best Western Hotels hotels in more 100 countries across the E: sales@bestwestern.be world. T: + 32 2 374 31 85 | THE CORPORATE TRAVELLER.BE

SUMMER 2012 | 15


hotels

The making of a hotel Interview with Tineke de Wit, General Manager of the Park Inn by Radisson Leuven As hotel users, we are often far away from appreciating the work and dedication that goes into the opening and smooth running of a hotel. Tineke de Wit, who has brought to life two new properties for the Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group and is currently General Manager of the Park Inn by Radisson Leuven, gave us an insight into the life of a hotel manager.

他他 Hotel of the Year Park Inn by Radisson Liege Airport

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»» Tineke de Wit at Grand Opening Park Inn by Radisson Liege Airport

Sometimes a pre-opening project takes a little as four months, but depending on circumstances it can be anything up to three years. You have to be prepared for the unexpected. With the Park Inn by Radisson Leuven for example, there was an issue with construction which delayed the opening by four months.

TCT: What does your job as General Manager entail once a hotel is up and running?

TCT: How did you become involved in the hotel industry?

he hotel industry is definitely in my blood. I graduated from the Hague school of Hotel Management at the age of 22, but many years before that I had already gained my first experience in the hotel sector, working part time when I was still at school.

T

Following my studies I went to Germany to work for a hotel in Dresden. Moving to Germany was a big step for me as it was a new country, a new language and a new hotel. It would be fair to say that I started at the bottom rung of the ladder, as I began my full time career as a waitress in the banqueting department. However I enjoyed my work and I was determined to do my best. I got promoted quite quickly and stayed in Dresden for nearly four years. After a short spell in Budapest, I returned to Germany and joined the Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group as sales manager for the Radisson Resort Rugen. This was another big change for me as I had not worked in sales before. The role had a wide remit and included everything from sales management and guest relationship marketing, to guest entertainment. When my General Manager subsequently changed hotels, he asked me to take over his role and that’s when I first became General Manager. When the time came for me to move on and take up a new position within the group, I was asked to work on my first hotel opening - the Park Inn by Radisson Liege Airport. I then went on to manage a second hotel opening, for the Park Inn by Radisson Leuven, which was inaugurated at the end of last year.

TCT: What is it like to manage the opening of a new hotel?

To be honest, I wasn’t expecting to, but I really like working on hotel openings and find the challenge very exciting. You are thrown back to basics and really have to build up something right from scratch. When a pre-opening project starts, you start alone by reviewing everything. You need to set up the computer systems, the ordering, the marketing, the paperwork and the procedures – in fact the whole operational side, even down to stamping envelopes at the beginning. Then, crucially, you need to put in place the sales organisation, contact the first clients and obtain the first contracts. Recruiting is important, as when the hotel is nearly ready, we have to make sure we have the right team ready to go in. We then complete the final touches and open for business.

As General Manager I am responsible for fine tuning our operations and ensuring that we meet our obligations to all our stakeholders – our customers, our staff, the owners and the Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group. A key part of my mission is my contribution to the marketing of the Park Inn by Radisson brand in Belgium, where we are relatively new. We now have four hotels here (Liège, Leuven, Antwerp and Brussels) and we are starting to get well known and build a good reputation. That’s important as our premier objective is creating relationships with our guests. We have an international mix of customers, as we are near the airport and train station, but from these we are already gaining a lot of regular customers.

TCT: What have been your proudest achievements?

A professional achievement I am very proud of is that the first hotel I opened, the Park Inn by Radisson Liege Airport, was elected hotel of the year by the Carlson Radisson Hotel Group in 2009. Another is the fact that I am the mother of two young children but am still working full-time. I’ve even found that being a mother has made me more effective and efficient in using my time, so my work performance has improved. I’m pleased to see that the number of women hotel managers is growing. The Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group especially is a great employer for women and of our four Park Inn by Radisson hotels in Belgium, three of them have women General Managers.

TCT: How do you see the world of hotel management changing?

It is changing very quickly indeed, especially in terms of systems and automisation. Its really important to keep up with new communication technologies in order not to become outdated and this is further reinforced when I see the ease with which my young children are playing with computers. In the hotel sector, as in many others, things are now much more transparent in terms of pricing and quality. Suppliers and service providers can no longer hide what customers say about their products. Reputation is quickly spread on the internet, but I think this is a good evolution.

TCT: What are your next objectives?

For the Park Inn by Radisson Leuven we are working on establishing ourselves here on the market. That’s means more than just delivering our promises to clients, but going beyond that and making the very best impression we can in terms of quality, service and reliability. As regards my own professional objectives with the Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group, in the future I would be interested in working in other opportunities in Belgium, including hotel openings which I enjoy. Every job has its challenges but as long as you still enjoy it and go to work with a smile on your face every day, you know you are on the right track! | THE CORPORATE TRAVELLER.BE

SUMMER 2012 | 17


Travel Management

Amadeus m-Power:

putting mobile at the centre of travel Imagine being able to offer end travellers search, booking and pay functionalities across multiple airlines, hotels and car services, as well as flight notifications, location based services, immediate customer service and social media functionalities all through one mobile application. Amadeus recently announced the launch of its new m-Power mobile solution, a revolutionary new technology developed for the mobile platform.

Main Features and Benefits * Extend your client base New sales and communication channel: Provide your customers with an end to end solution which fulfils their travel needs on the move.

* Generate new revenues Flight notifications: Keep clients informed with chargeable up to the minute flight status messages from multiple sources. Consistent quality of messaging consolidated by one reliable source - Sound of Data Promotions: Generate new business with a selection of pre designed promotional messages (best offers, upsell/cross-sell) specific to your agency

D

esigned with the traveler in mind, Amadeus m-Power offers the solution of search and booking, in-trip and post trip functionalities allowing travel agencies to deliver choices and extra services to end travelers throughout the entire trip straight from the mobile phone. Travellers benefit from

the total travel experience straight from their mobile smartphone, a truly differentiating advantage over other mobile travel applications currently available in the Benelux. It allows travel agencies to become a leading player in the mobile channel.

Enriching the travel experience & ensuring customer loyalty

Travellers are increasingly seeking self-contained applications. Developed with their needs in mind, this solution of search and booking, in-trip and post trip functionalities allows travel agencies to deliver choices and extra services to their clients throughout the entire trip: Search, book, pay, itinerary overview, online check-in reminders, flight status messages, social media integration, weather reports to name but a few... By providing end travellers with this all in one solution, they will not need to host multiple apps to fulfil specific elements of their travel journey thereby ensuring they remain within one environment.

* Boost your service level Real time flight information: Improve relevant information flow towards your customers

* Time saving features Flight search: Essential elements only, provide a valuable time saving feature and enhanced user experience (including autocomplete for city and airport codes) List/sort/filter flight results: Easy ordering and viewing of results for a speedy selection and booking of the right flight Flight payment: Easy viewing and payment, all in one display

* Access Click-to-call/mail and FAQs: Traveller consults ready available FAQs or has immediate access to the travel agent Online check-in reminder: Push notifications for applicable online check-in

* Additional services Fully customisable application: Custom-fit application that matches your business objectives Social Media: Travellers can quickly share their trip experience with family and friends via email and social media (Twitter, Facebook) Weather: Travellers can plan destination activities in advance with a 3 day weather forecast Statistics: Monitor client usage and behavior with Google analytics tools, including: number of page views, number of unique visitors, most frequently displayed pages, etc... Languages: Available in English, French, Spanish, Dutch, Portuguese and Italian

| THE CORPORATE TRAVELLER.BE

SUMMER 2012 | 19


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Travel Management

m-Powering the traveller

Travellers can access at any time to search flights, and verify their itinerary details in the language of their choice: the solution is available in English, French, Dutch, Spanish, Portuguese and Italian. No forwarding of data is required, as booking details are sent directly to the travel agent. With Amadeus m-Power, travellers can share their flight status by email and social media. Additionally they can keep track of previously booked car and hotels for easy synchronisation of all travel arrangements, and access future trips instantly. At all times the traveller is provided with only essential element so that the booking flow is always fast and easy, and total payment can be viewed in advance.

“The travel industry in your pocket”

½½ Bart Bellers

Deployment

The mobile application, developed by Sound of Data and Amadeus, will be deployed by two innovative travel agencies: BTS Travel Experts (in Belgium) and VCK Travel (in The Netherlands), both RADIUS members. As from today the app from both agencies can be downloaded from the Apple App Store. Mickey Creyfs, CEO BTS Travel Group: “With m-Power, we are the first travel agency in Belgium that has an answer to the need of our customers to be serviced by us via the mobile channel. Mobile booking with comparison between all airline fares in the Belgian market is now a reality.” With the increasing trends of travelers relying on their mobile applications to deliver information, functionalities and services, Amadeus has committed to deliver to travel agencies a unique and ground-breaking new solution to meet this new area of opportunities. Luc Pannecoeck, General Manager Amadeus Benelux: “We are very proud to have developed this app for travel agencies. More than ever we can say that Amadeus is one of the most innovative technology partners who turns ideas into reality. We are always searching to the most advanced solution which can provide the appropriate answer to our customer needs.”

Amadeus has brought a revolutionary product to the market: With Amadeus, travel agents can stay in touch with travelers – and do this throughout their journey. “In today’s world, the rules are increasingly set by the end user”, said Bart Bellers, Director of Business development at Amadeus Benelux. “This is why we wanted to give travellers a tool for booking extra services in addition to the trip itself, and for staying in contact with their travel agent throughout their journey. The traveller is immediately informed of possible delays and cancellations and the travel agent can immediately start searching for a solution. We expect this product to change the entire travel world. Previously you always had to look online. Now you’ve got the whole travel industry in your pocket. Travellers will now be able to use their mobile phone to find a restaurant, check in, etc – whenever it suits them. In this way we’re also trying to reduce the stress experienced at airports.” Bookings via m-Power are immediately recognised in the Amadeus system, so that the travel agent can verify this with the travel policy. In the future this, too will be fully integrated. “m-Power is a step by step process. We have chosen to launch it now because we can closely monitor end user behaviour. We will continue to adapt the product on the basis of the feedback obtained, which is logical in the fast-changing world of mobility. We will also regularly release product updates”, said Bart Bellers.

| THE CORPORATE TRAVELLER.BE

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SLOVENIA

Green. Active. Healthy.

www.slovenia.info


Destinations

Slovenia the sky is the limit for incentive events… Slovenia, at just half the size of Switzerland, has an astounding variety of landscapes and activities to discover. The blue of the Mediterranean, lush forests, a maze of underground caves and snow peaked caps of the Alps are all within easy reach of the capital of Ljubljana.

A

t less than two hours flying from Brussels, combined with a state of the art hospitality infrastructure and professional meeting services, makes Slovenia a dream destination for incentive and team-building events.

One of Slovenia’s added values for meeting planners is its compact size which allows meeting planners to create diversified programmes, with different experiences and localities, while staying in one destination. For example one can ski in the Alps and swim in the Adriatic Sea easily within the same day. Or for an event that is held in Ljubljana, one can plan a specially tailored visit of the Postojna Caves, including a concert and a drink in their fascinating underworld space, concluded by a dinner in a chateau.

Ljubljana – a blend of old charm and new cool

Amongst Slovenia’s many attractions are its historic cities. The enchanting capital of Ljubljana offers a blend of old charm and stylish new cool, rich in arts, music, history and gastronomy. Incentive delegates can explore the old town with its narrow cobbled streets and enjoy shopping for everything from antiques to designer clothes.

The river Ljubljanica which runs through the city was, for centuries, an important trade route between the Black Sea and the Adriatic. Today boat trips along the river mean further possibilities for incentive events and the riverbanks in the old town area are lined with many excellent cafés and restaurants. Compact enough to be a true walking and cycling city, Ljubljana is still large enough to attract major international names in arts and culture to its stages. Ljubljana is home to Slovenia’s two largest conference venues – the Cankarjev dom Culture and Congress Centre and the Ljubljana Exhibition and Conference centre. These are complemented by a range of convention and meeting hotels. A number of special events venues, such as Ljubljana Castle and the Krtzanke open air theatre, bring even further possibilities for organisers.

Historic cities of Maribor and Ptuj

To the north of Slovenia lies the ancient city of Maribor, nestled between wine growing hills, mountains and thermal springs. Maribor, nominated European Capital of Culture in 2012, is a creative hub, rich in musical and artistic events. As Slovenia’s second largest city, Maribor offers an excellent | THE CORPORATE TRAVELLER.BE

SUMMER 2012 | 23


Destinations

range of conference and spa hotels. A host of other incentives and outdoor team building experiences can be linked to the river Drava, which wends its way through the city.

horses stud farm. A variety of water-themed activities can be arranged from fishing picnics to yachting regattas, or even a day trip to Venice by catamaran.

Maribor’s neighbour, Ptuj, traces its routes even further back in time. The oldest city in Slovenia organises a four day festival each summer to celebrate its Roman heritage. The multitude of events, ideal for incentives groups, include a Roman party, a Roman market where visitors can sample and buy goodies from ancient Rome and traditional Roman entertainment including gladiators.

The Karst region features the majority of Slovenia’s 9,000 underground caves and is regarded by many as one of the most beautiful underground worlds on the planet. They offer a magnificent background for special events from concerts and multimedia performances, to more adventurous trekking programmes.

The Grand Hotel Primus at Ptuj organises poolside Roman dinners, with an extraordinary evening of entertainment, fun and unique cuisine. Guests are transported back to the hedonistic period of ancient Rome and their everyday clothes are exchanged for Roman tunics. The programme can be adapted and modified to the requirements of events organisers.

Magnificent Alpine setting of Bled

Bled, with its magnificent lake and mountain scenery, is one of the most photographed and famous attractions in Slovenia. The city is overlooked by a cliff-top medieval castle which can be used as an events venue, while boat trips can be organised to the picturesque Bled Island, which rises above the lake. Bled’s natural beauty and fresh Alpine rivers make ideal settings for all kinds of outdoor incentives including riding, climbing, golf and hot air ballooning. And following a day of activities, visitors can enjoy swimming in hotel pools filled with thermal water from the area’s natural springs. Bled has its own Congress Centre, as well as a range of 3, 4 and 5 star hotels with meeting facilities.

Portoroz and the Karst region

Slovenia’s Karst region is blessed with a mild climate and 48 miles of Mediterranean coastline set in lush vegetation. Portoroz, the premier coastal resort, has over 100 years’ tradition in the hospitality industry. This is reflected in its high quality hotel infrastructure including several 4 and 5 star properties with excellent meeting and spa facilities. For memorable events settings, there are numerous nearby attractions. There is the fairytale scenery of the Secovije salt marshes and Prejama Castle, which hosts regular jousting events. The region is also home to the famous Lipizzaner 24 | THE CORPORATE TRAVELLER.BE

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Throughout the summer, all along the Slovenian coast, there are a variety of arts, cultural events, shows and performances including traditional salt harvesting, medieval markets, musical evenings and concerts. Many of these experiences can be tailored for group experiences. The Karst area is known for its ‘osmice’ where farmers open their doors and serve their home-grown food and wine for one week every year. If you are not lucky enough to catch the right week, a tailor-made visit of typical Karst farmhouses can be organised with a tasting of the local specialities.

A world class incentives and events destination

Slovenia is a world-class destination for outdoor activities such as canyoning, kayaking, white-water rafting, sailing, skiing, ice-climbing and even underground cave discovery tours. Other team building challenges include testing the participants’ culinary or artistic skills… It could be said when organising a programme in Slovenia that the sky is the limit. The historic, architectural and ethnographic heritage of Slovenia, a host of cultural events and tourist products, its excellent gastronomy and the genuine hospitality of its people enhance the country’s natural riches. And it offers good value for money! Slovenia has a large number of PCOs, DMCs and events agencies which specialise in organising incentives, events and team-building programmes. The Slovenian Convention Bureau acts as a professional intermediary between meeting planners and suppliers. For more information on Slovenia visit www.slovenia.info, www. slovenia-convention.com and www.sava-hotels-resorts.com


Travel to Slovenia

Flying time to Slovenia from most major European hubs is less than two hours. The main international airport, Joze Pucnik is only a 15 minute drive from the capital of Ljubljana. The airport is served by around 250 direct scheduled flights a week, many of them offered by the national airline, 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. Adria Airways offers nine weekly flights to Amsterdam and thirteen weekly flights to Brussels. Economy class and business class cabins are available on these flights. 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. For more information on travel to Slovenia visit www.adria.si | THE CORPORATE TRAVELLER.BE

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 Over 500 meeting rooms in the Benelux  All under one roof and easy accessible  Market leader in hospitality  Refreshing lunch concepts and breaks  One dedicated contact person  Always offering alternatives

More information or request a proposal? Visit www.nh-conference.be


Destinations

SLOVENIA’S GOLFING DESTINATIONS ½½ Bled Golf Course 21

Slovenia’s golfing boom began in the late 1980s and wherever one is in Slovenia, there is a golf course not far away to offer further possibilities for team building and incentives. The country has over a dozen golf courses to choose from, all of which are in unique and naturally beautiful settings. There are also driving ranges for those who want to work on their shots. Lessons are available for all those who want to improve their game – from initiation for beginners, to one on one coaching sessions with golf professionals for experienced players. Lipica is the only golf course in Slovenia that is open all year round. In the shade of mighty oak trees in the idyllic Karst region, golfers can play nine holes of golf at the home of the stud farm of the famous Lipizzaner horses. A hotel and casino are attached to the course. Volčji Potok Arboretum golf course lies among small lakes set in a pine forest, with a view of the Kamnik Alps. Its 18-hole course is a challenge for the finest players.

Mokrice is set on the rolling hills around the beautiful Mokrice Castle, where guests can stay overnight. The touch of the Mediaeval and the tranquillity of the castle park lend a unique charm to the course. For further relaxation there is the nearby resort of Terme Čatež. Moravske Toplice is situated in the Prekmurje region, with its thermal spring waters. The designers of this golf course wanted to preserve the natural environment and its wildlife and during a round of golf, players may find themselves accompanied by storks, a well known symbol of the region. Inexperienced players can take lessons and practice on the driving range and putting green. More-seasoned golfers can test themselves on the 18-hole course, or compete in organised tournaments. Ptuj is the best-kept 18-hole course in Slovenia. The water hazards are the main threat, requiring composure from all players. Golfers will also enjoy visiting the ancient city centre, with its Mediaeval castle and winery.

½½ Kings Club House

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  

 



www.adria-airways.com


Destinations

½½ Grand Hotel Toplice

Slovenske Konjice – the Zlati Grič 9-hole course lies in a valley, surrounded by vineyards and dotted by streams, ponds and forests. After a good round, golfers can relax with fine wine and local food in the nearby restaurant. Podčetrtek’s 18-hole Olimje course offers amazing sand traps and natural water hazards. Just 3 km from the resort of Terme Olimia, the hospitality of the locals and the beautiful countryside makes for an exceptional incentive trip. Otočec – Slovenia’s newest course has nine holes, and has been designed to meet all the latest standards. It is very close to the famous Otočec Castle, which lies on an island on the river Krka. Ljublana Trnovo course does not require a permit to play. All nine holes have artificial tees for beginners. Bled – Slovenia’s first golf course, was built in the 1930s for the king of Yugoslavia. Considered one of the most beautiful in Europe, it boasts

a stunning landscape and challenging course design. Players can choose between the 18-hole King’s Course and the 9-hole Lake Course. The King’s Club House offers comfortable accommodation for the die-hard golf enthusiast since it is only a short walk away from the Golf Bled golf course. Its rooms and apartments offer a view of the golf course and of Slovenia’s highest mountain peaks. Many of the hotels located near the Bled golf course boast excellent wellness facilities. Amongst these are the Grand Hotel Toplice, a 5 star hotel in the spirit and style of the 1930s, located on the shores of Lake Bled. The Hotel Golf, in the centre of Bled is a Condé Nast Johansens award winner. Both hotels have wellness centre with thermal pools. The Sava Group of hotels in Bled offer special golf packages which feature 2 room nights with breakfast, green fees for 18 holes, use of pools and saunas.

CORPORATE TRAVELLER READER COMPETITION Win a golfing break in Slovenia Adria Airways, Sava Hotels and the Slovenian Tourist Board are offering a lucky Corporate Traveller reader and their partner the chance to win a golfing break at the beautiful city of Bled. The prize includes return flights with Adria Airways, a two night stay at the 4 star Hotel Park, located on the shore of Lake Bled, with half board and golfing green fees at Bled Golf Course. A one hour golfing lesson with a professional golf coach will be adapted to winner, whatever their level, whether complete beginner or experienced player. The winner will feature in the next edition of The Corporate Traveller Magazine. The trip will take place from Tuesday 28 August to Thursday 30 August. Dates of the prize cannot be modified. The winner will be selected by The Corporate Traveller from entries with correct answers to the following 3 questions: 1) How many weekly flights does Adria Airways offer from Brussels to Ljubljana? 2) Where was Slovenia’s first golf course constructed? 3) Which hotel organises poolside Roman dinners? Please also specify your golf playing level: Beginner | Intermediate | Advanced To participate in the competition, go to www.thecorporatetraveller.be/golf Entries should be received by June 30 2012. The winner will be contacted in early July.

| THE CORPORATE TRAVELLER.BE

SUMMER 2012 | 29


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Visit: www.bose.eu or go to your local authorised Bose dealer ©2012 Bose Corporation. Patent rights issued and/or pending. The distinctive design of the headphone oval ring is a trademark of Bose Corporation. Financing and free shipping offers not to be combined with other offers or applied to previous purchases, and subject to change without notice. Risk free refers to 30-day trial only and does not include return shipping. Delivery is subject to product availability Delivery is subject to product availability. The following countries are participating in the Bose Flying Blue Earning Miles promotion: The Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Italy, United Kingdom, Ireland, Austria, France, Switzerland, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Finland, Spain, USA and Canada. Reddot design award, winner 2010. * Available for select Apple products; the remote and mic are supported only by iPod nano (4th generation and later), iPod classic (120GB, 160GB only), iPod touch (2nd generation and later), iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPad and 2009 models or later of MacBook and MacBook Pro. The remote is supported by iPod shuffle (3rd generation and later). Audio is supported by all iPod models. Apple, iPhone, iPod, iPod touch, iPod nano, iPod shuffle, iPod classic, MacBook and iPad are trademarks of Apple inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries. „Made for iPod/iPhone/iPad” means that an electronic accessory has been designed to connect specifically to iPod/iPhone/iPad and has been certified by the developer to meet Apple performance standards. Apple is not responsible for the operation of this device or its compliance with safety and regulatory standards.


Air Ways

Hainan Airlines

racks up more awards and increases flights to Brussels

Hainan Airlines continues to rack up more awards worldwide for its services, punctuality and safety. The airline has once again been rewarded with worldwide 5 star status by Skytrax and this summer will be increasing its flight schedule between Brussels and Beijing to a daily service. Seamless gateway to Asia

W

orldwide Hainan Airlines has a network of 500 routes, including links to 90 destinations in China. The

airline recently introduced interline services from Brussels via Beijing to Shanghai and, in cooperation with its sister airline, Hong Kong Airlines, from Brussels via Beijing to Hong Kong. Travellers from Brussels have seamless links to Hong Kong or Shanghai, with a transfer time in Beijing of only 2 hours. When checking-in at Brussels Airport, passengers automatically receive boarding passes to Hong Kong or Shanghai, and their luggage will be labelled to final destination. For passengers to Hong Kong, luggage is checked directly through and they have no need to collect it in Beijing. Transfer passengers to Shanghai need only collect their checked-in luggage at Beijing and proceed to the nearby Hainan Airlines International Transfer Counter. “We are also going to build an exclusive lounge for transfer passenger at Beijing Airport, in addition to the free accommodation service currently offer to transfer

passengers” adds Chen Mingqiong, Hainan Airlines’ General Manager for Belgium. “In Brussels, our Business class passengers have access to a club lounge.”

Gaining more international awards for service, safety and punctuality

In March Hainan Airlines was awarded the title of worldwide 5 star airline, for the second year in a row, by Skytrax. Skytrax ranks over 200 international airlines and the 5 star award, held by only 7 carriers, is the global aviation industry’s highest accolade for airline performance. The 5 star award adds to a string of recompenses recently earned by the airline. At the end of last year Hainan Airlines was named, for the second year in a row, as ‘the Best Airline in China’ in the GT Tested Reader Survey Awards. Hainan Airlines was also noted as one of the world’s five safest airlines in 2011, based on the annual report of German aviation agency JACDEC. And with its ontime performance of 93.4% in 2011, Brussels Airport recently named Hainan Airlines as ‘Most Punctual Long Haul Airline’.

More frequencies and services for Brussels

Hainan Airlines, China’s second largest carrier in terms of network, connects Brussels to Beijing, its gateway in China, and then beyond. This summer the airline will increase its popular direct flights between Brussels and Beijing to daily frequencies. Furthermore, new train services being introduced from Brussels Airport will mean direct links to Antwerp and more connections to other European countries. “SNCB trains will link Brussels Airport Terminal directly to Antwerp city centre from this month, and more trains are going to link the airport with surrounding countries, such as France, Netherlands and German” says Chen Mingqiong, “We are also implementing a combined ‘Rail & Fly’ service between Brussels Airport Terminal and Paris Nord Station, in collaboration with Thalys, which we expect to introduce very shortly. These train connections, in combination with our partnerships with airlines such as Brussels Airlines and Air Berlin, will increase our European links substantially. With its stronger connections both by air and rail, Brussels Airport has a bright future as central hub for Europe”. | THE CORPORATE TRAVELLER.BE

SUMMER 2012 | 31


Touch down at Austria’s latest attraction. The new Austrian Star Alliance Terminal at Vienna Airport has opened. Fly with Austrian Airlines in even greater comfort via Europe’s fastest transfer airport to 130 destinations worldwide.

Earn miles with Miles & More.


Austria’s latest attraction. The Austrian Star Alliance Terminal Check-in 3 (301–399) at Vienna Airport.

Check-in. The light-flooded check-in zone with 69 counters and 40 check-in machines is located at Level 1 of the semicircular terminal building that stretches across 270 metres. Here is where the journey begins for all passengers flying with Austrian Airlines or one of the Star Alliance partners. Status clients and Business Class travellers enjoy the service of dedicated check-in islands, such as the HON Circle Check-in, STAR Gold Check-in and Business Class Check-in. Passengers with special needs like wheelchair users or children travelling alone are personally attended to in exclusive waiting and check-in areas. A special “Ticketing Island” is available for guests who want to make or change a booking or collect their tickets.

The new Austrian Lounges – Chill out the Austrian way On more than 2,000 m2 of floor space Austrian Airlines offer their guests six vast and modern lounges with Austrian flair and a magnificent view of the apron. There are three Schengen and three Non-Schengen Lounges, each of them with an HON Circle Lounge, a Senator/Star Gold Lounge and a Business Lounge. They are located at Level 2. Every day from 5:30 AM to 11:30 PM we serve Austrian delicacies and international treats by DO & CO.

Safety first. After check-in the passengers proceed alongside the glass front to the central Security Control area. 15 security lanes provide for short waiting times. Business Class travellers and Status clients benefit from our Fast Lane Service.


Direct to China, connecting Asia Brussels-Beijing, Connecting Hong Kong, Shanghai and 80 cities of Asia.

Brussels-Beijing-Hong Kong, seamless connection, convenient transfer


Travel Management

Business trips: too expensive... or doing it wrong? In times of economical and political uncertainty, the demand for business travel drops. That seems logical: flights, hotels, taxis, ... It all adds up. When cost cutting becomes necessary, business travel is one of the first areas subject to discussion. And that’s a pity, because business travel can be crucial for a company’s business and growth. But does travel always has to be this expensive? Not at all. By taking the right tips and tricks into account, companies can save a lot of money. ½½ Diederik Banken, VP commercial BCD Travel

Outsourcing = saving costs

T

Travelling isn’t as expensive as most companies think. Without having to give up on comfort, there are a lot of things a business traveller can keep in mind when planning a trip.

First, as contradictory as it may seem, business travellers shouldn’t try to book their trips themselves to save costs. Booking flights, hotels, meeting space and local transport: business travel agents have more experience and can enjoy better negotiated rates than any individual can.

Providing the right information: back to basics

A second thing a business traveler should keep in mind is that the more the travel agent knows about the trip, the cheaper it will become. Let’s start with the basic information a travel agent needs. Many people say for example: I need a ticket from Brussels to Paris and need a hotel not far from my meeting location. That’s easy work for a travel agent. But how will the traveler get to the airport? Will he call for an expensive taxi? Is it necessary to book a flight or can the train be an alternative? Maybe it’s less expensive to book a hotel outside the city and take a taxi or metro to the meeting location? These are things a travel agent can check when provided with the right information.

Frequent travellers: the more, the better

Some advice for the frequent traveler: inform the travel agent of all trips that have been planned for the next months. Combining trips can help to save costs, as well as the “package deals” travel agents can negotiate for travelers flying with the same airline several times.

Meeting management

Next to details on the transportation and the stay, the travel agent needs information on the meeting itself. Has a meeting space been booked in advance, does it include catering, Internet connection, audiovisual equipment, etc.? For meetings, the same rules apply as for travelling: the travel agent is trained in finding the most complete, but cost-effective solution.

No “comfort cutting”

The first things that come to mind when cutting costs on business travel are flying low cost, planning shorter trips, etc. But a traveler’s comfort and safety have to be kept in mind as well. An early flight or a late return can help save money, but what does that buy a company when the business traveler has a car accident due to stress or fatigue? When a travel agent has the right information, he can propose some creative alternatives to the typical business trip. When travelling long-haul, flying economy but booking an extra night in a hotel can be much less expensive than flying business class. If the employee is traveling for internal meetings, it’s less of an issue if he has to get straight from the train station or airport to his meeting than for an important sales meeting. Are people from all over the world flying in for a meeting? Maybe video conferencing can be an idea.

Responsible travellers

Companies should realize that not allowing business trips can cost them more money than allowing the trips would. But the traveler himself needs to take his responsibility as well. Accepting restrictions is one thing, being flexible enough for alternatives is another. | THE CORPORATE TRAVELLER.BE

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Air Ways

Air France’s Premium Voyageur concept brings greater comfort at affordable prices One million passengers have travelled in Air France’s new Premium Voyageur, the intermediate class between economy and business, since it was introduced at the end of 2009. Premium Voyageur has been particularly attractive for corporate travellers who normally fly in economy, as it gives them the opportunity to travel in greater comfort, at an affordable price.

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Faster, seamless transit through the airport

T

he advantages of flying Premium Voyageur start even before passengers board the plane.

Customers benefit from enhanced ground services, based on those of Business Class, for greater speed and convenience. Besides the options of checking in online, or using the self-service kiosks, travellers have dedicated priority check-in desks, separate from those of economy class. In fact, in airports around the world, Premium Voyageurs have access to priority check-in counters and boarding.

The red carpet treatment with SkyPriority services

Premium Voyageur clients now have the additional benefits brought by the brand new SkyPriority service proposed by all airline members of the SkyTeam alliance. With its exclusive priority lane, SkyPriority means easier and faster transit through the airport. SkyPriority is offered at Paris Charles de Gaulle and Orly airports. By early 2013, SkyPriority will be visible at over 1,000 airports, including the Belgian departure points.

Priority baggage delivery and accrued baggage allowance

Priority baggage delivery and extra baggage allowances are further advantages for Premium Voyageur clients. Passengers can transport two checked-in items, weighing up to 23 kg each, at no extra charge, against the one baggage item for economy class. There is good news for those who only travel with hand luggage too. Premium Voyageurs have a carry-on baggage allowance of two items, totalling up to 18kg, as in business class.

More Miles with Flying Blue

By flying Premium Voyageur class, passengers can accrue Miles faster. Depending on the distance flown and the booking class in Premium Voyageur, travellers are awarded between 25% and 100% more Miles than those flying in Voyageur cabin (economy). This means more award Miles to be spent and faster access to the various Flying Blue Elite levels which offer even greater benefits to Flying Blue members.

Enhanced comfort and new fixed shell seat

By travelling in Premium Voyageur, passengers enjoy additional room and superior comfort, at a price suited to their travel needs, whether professional or personal. At the airport and on board, everything is provided to make the trip a stress-free, relaxing experience.

Located between the Business and Economy cabins, Premium Voyageur contains a limited number of seats distributed over 3 rows. Passengers enjoy more space, more privacy and more comfort. On long haul flights the service has recently been enhanced with a new private cabin especially designed to evoke a sense of well-being. Its deep-blue and gray tones create a calm and serene environment, perfect for working or resting. Air France has created a new fixed-shell seat to further improve in-flight comfort for Premium Voyageur travellers. Integrating the latest innovations, the new seat offers passengers 40% more space than in economy class. Individual electric outlets and a large tablet, big enough to accommodate a laptop and a note pad, make working on board easy. For travellers who just want to relax, 85 on demand video films and a wide range of music programs are available during the entire flight. A complete travel kit with personal care items, a pure virgin wool blanket and a feather pillow are just some of the extra comforts to ensure passengers well being on board.

On board cuisine

Premium Voyageur travel means high-quality service throughout the flight. Once comfortably seated, passengers are presented with an aperitif from a large selection of soft drinks or alcoholic beverages, including champagne. All Premium Voyageur menus are prepared by Michel Nugues, member of the Toques du Ciel airline cuisine group. Regional cuisine is offered on flights between France and selected Asian destinations, including Japan, with a choice of two hot dishes. A large variety of wines and champagnes are available to accompany meals. Depending on arrival time and flight duration, breakfast or additional snacks are served before landing. On flights of over ten and a half hours, a self-service buffet is available allowing passengers to choose from a selection of snacks such as mini-sandwiches and Häagen-Dazs ice cream. After enjoying the comforts of the Premium Voyageur cabin, passengers are amongst the first to exit the aircraft. To help save even more time, their checked baggage receives priority delivery. Doesn’t that sound like a premium voyage? The Premium Voyageur service is offered to more than 50 destinations and is available on Air France’s entire longhaul network served by Boeing 777, Airbus A380, A330 and A340 aircraft. | THE CORPORATE TRAVELLER.BE

SUMMER 2012 | 37


Air Ways

British Airways

showcases stylish comfort with enhancements to First and Club World Passengers in British Airways’ First and Club World business classes can enjoy a series of stylish enhancements and innovations to their premium travel. In addition frequencies from Brussels have been upped, giving premium passengers even greater access to the new range of added comforts on board and in the lounges. ½½ BA Club cabin

T

o better serve customers departing from Brussels, British Airways has increased its services to London Heathrow to up to 7 flights a day, thus offering even more connecting flights to passengers departing from Brussels via London Heathrow. For example,

with 11 daily flights to New York, customers enjoy easy links from London Heathrow’s Terminal 5, recently voted the World’s Best Airport Terminal by the World Airport Awards.

New Club World cabin

British Airways’ Club World cabin combines elements from the home and business to create a sleek and comfortable environment. Seats have been redesigned to give greater privacy, comfort and space. While retaining their ability to lie completely flat, the seats can be used in a unique ‘z’ setting which forms a similar position to that assumed by the body in zero gravity. In the z configuration, the bed can increase to up to six feet and six inches and the deep recline angle is perfect for snoozing, lounging or watching the in-flight entertainment. To mould the seat to each person’s in38 | THE CORPORATE TRAVELLER.BE

SUMMER 2012 |

dividual shape, both the headrest and lumbar area are adjustable and the headrest includes a layer of memory foam. Club World flyers benefit from noisereducing headsets and large individual screens. These complement the audio and video on demand system with interactive control. The onboard entertainment library comprises over 100 movies and TV programmes, together with an extensive audio offering including radio channels and audio books.

Galleries Club Lounges

British Airways’s luxurious Galleries Club Lounges take their inspiration from the finest boutique hotels around the world. Open to First and Club World flyers, as well as Gold and Silver Executive Club members, Galleries Club Lounges are located in numerous airports worldwide including Brussels Airport and London Heathrow. Guests of Galleries Clubs can relax in exclusively designed furniture upholstered in Osborne & Little fabrics and take their pick from a range of snacks and food, all under the glow of a Swarovski crystal chandelier. A

wine gallery, work and entertainment zones are just some of the facilities on hand while passengers await their flights. The lounges also have limitless free internet access and a news zone for catching up with the latest world events. The Galleries Arrivals Lounges, also open to premium travellers and Gold and Silver Executive Club members, are relaxing havens equipped with comfortable seating and a wealth of high-end amenities. Passengers can revive themselves in one of the shower rooms whilst BA presses their suit for them, make use of one of the cabanas with infinity bathrooms or enjoy treatments at the Elemis Travel Spa within the lounge. British Airways has teamed up with leading skincare expert Elemis to offer customers a spa treatment as part of their travel experience. These spas are open to First class and Club World customers travelling on long haul flights and all treatments are offered on a complimentary basis. Customers can choose to be revived or relaxed by selecting from a range of 15-minute treatments.


½½ BA First lounge

½½ BA First suite

Redesigned First class

British Airways has introduced a new First suite and cabin on flights between London Heathrow and Lagos, New York JFK, Shanghai, Tokyo Haneda, Tokyo Narita, Hong Kong and Sao Paulo (subject to availability).

noon Tea has been inspired by one of London’s most luxurious and iconic hotels, The Dorchester. It includes a mouth–watering selection of finely cut sandwiches and sumptuous cakes, served with a variety of flavoursome teas from around the world.

Using feedback from customers, the airline has redesigned First class with new features including individual wardrobes and personal windows which incorporate the first electronic blinds onboard a commercial aircraft.

The cabin design may vary on other routes but all other aspects of the first Experience remain the same, including access to exclusive lounges, top quality in-flight dining and premium service by attentive cabin crew.

Seats are now 60% wider at the shoulder and once passengers are ready to sleep, they can slip into wonderfully soft cotton pyjamas and request the Turndown Service at any time of the day. First class cabin crew will then make up the fully flat bed with a specially designed single–piece quilted mattress, crisp white 400–thread Egyptian cotton duvet and pillow.

First class lounges

The First menu is created in consultation with some of the world’s finest chefs. Focussing on the simplicity of dishes, it alters from month to month according to the quality of seasonal ingredients. First’s signature After-

Providing even greater luxury are British Airways’ Concorde Room lounges, located at London Heathrow Terminal 5 and New York JFK. With their luxurious furnishings and traditional chandeliers, the Concorde Rooms are

In certain airports, including Heathrow, Gatwick, JFK, Boston and Chicago, British Airways provides dedicated lounges for First class travellers. Passengers can enjoy waiter-served dining and make use of the complimentary work and entertainment zones equipped with printers, copiers and fax machines.

the epitome of elegance. Guests can enjoy intimate dining with elegantly designed private booths and at the Heathrow Concorde lounge, they can relax in private cabanas - hotel-style rooms, with a comfortable day bed and en suite bathroom. The Heathrow Concorde lounge offers a state-of-theart business suite which, on request, can be booked as a fully equipped boardroom for 8 people. “We have contemporised First and created an intimate private jet experience onboard” said Mark Hassel, British Airways’ head of customer experience. “Every feature has been carefully considered and researched to ensure we are giving our customers what they want.”

Special promotion - free upgrade to First!

Customers who plan a travel in business class, departing from Brussels, Amsterdam or Luxembourg, can now experience First class with a free upgrade on selected destinations for any travel booked in Club World (C or D) before 15 July. More information on the promotion can be obtained through travel agencies or by visiting ba.com/ upgrade-to-first | THE CORPORATE TRAVELLER.BE

SUMMER 2012 | 39


Air Ways

Jet Airways celebrates 5th anniversary in Brussels – and eyes alliance possibilities

This year Jet Airways is celebrating two anniversaries – the 20th year since its creation and its 5th year of operations at Brussels Airport. Stefan Hollands, Jet Airways’ General Manager Benelux discusses the importance of Brussels as a hub – and reveals how the airline’s expansion strategy will soon include an announcement on membership of an airline alliance.

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½½ Cuisine created by Yves Mattagne

½½ Lounge at Brussels

Brussels as a European hub

In-flight services

J

et Airways operates flights to 24 international cities and, together with its domestic subsidiaries, to 52 destinations in India. The airline’s first

flights to Brussels were inaugurated in August 2007, with the launch of a Mumbai – Brussels – Newark, New York service. Within three months, two further three-point routes were introduced – Delhi – Brussels – Toronto, followed by Chennai – Brussels – JFK, New York. With services from Brussels to three Indian cities and three North American cities, Jet Airways’ European hub at Brussels Airport was born. Jet Airways has two lounges exclusively reserved for its own premium passengers at Brussels Airport. Facilities include showers, a reading corner, children’s area and restaurants with both Indian and Western food. The second lounge was opened in order to provide greater capacity, as currently all six of the airline’s routes from Brussels leave during peak morning hours. “There were multiple reasons for choosing Brussels as our European hub” explains Stefan Hollands. “Firstly, there was the fact that we were able to establish a mutually beneficial partnership with Brussels Airlines, which feeds in traffic to our network. Then, with Brussels Airport we were able to obtain the traffic rights we needed to the US and India, with the peak time slots we wanted of 8am to 10am. We benefit from our own gates at Brussels Airport, so our passengers are saved from the inconvenience of having to go to remote boarding gates. The Belgian government was also very helpful and provided us with advice on logistics when we were setting up.” The fact that Belgium is one of the top five countries in the world in terms of trading with India makes Brussels a particularly attractive destination for Jet Airways. The most important business link is the diamond trade between the two countries, with India being a centre for gem cutting and Belgium for trading. Reinforcing the trade connection between the two countries, investment by Belgian companies and banks in India is important. “Our strategy has been to put in place ‘three point’ routes, linking major Indian cities to the US and Canada, via Brussels” says Hollands. “There is a huge market between North America and India and we offer these passengers a convenient way to travel with the best possible connections. Passengers benefit from a range of route options, without having to endure direct flights of 15 hours or more. Then of course we have over 25% of our clients at Brussels arriving from other European airports to travel on with us to either the US, Canada or India.” As to Jet Airways’ network in India, in March the airline regrouped its domestic subsidiaries JetKonnect and JetLite to form a sole entity, JetKonnect. The new unified branding is intended to be clearer for Jet’s customers with a market positioning of low fare, high quality, all-economy cabin services to over 50 destinations.

“Depending on the route and date, corporate travellers constitute between 40 to 60% of our revenue, which is quite high” says Hollands. “We offer them convenient routes and good on-time performance. Moreover, corporate travellers appreciate our in-flight product, which is really state of the art, throughout our cabin classes. Economy seats have a wide pitch of 81cm, generous spacing between seats and are equipped with special nets for relaxing feet, which makes a big difference in comfort. We offer all drinks on board, free of charge, and an in-flight entertainment system with over 500 hours of Hollywood and Bollywood movies.” “On board dining has always been a big focus for us. We have an award winning selection of wines and our meals for both business and economy are developed and created by two star Michelin chef Yves Mattagne. This has really become a crowd puller for our passengers. Yves Mattagne began working on our menus in 2008 and they have been continually getting more creative.” Most of Jet Airways’ flights to and from Brussels are operated using A330 aircraft, configured with business and economy cabins. Business class has fully lie flat seats with in-built massage system, oversized tables, laptop power sockets and provision for SMS and email communications. Later this year more enhancements to the airline’s business class product will be announced. Some of the Brussels services are flown on 777 aircraft which are equipped with first class cabins. Jet Airways’ individual first class suites come complete with their own sliding doors and a large bed of 2.4m2. Passengers onboard enjoy the very best in wining and dining, including Dom Perignon champagne and a whisky library.

Airline alliance entry and expansion plans

In terms of passenger seats a week, Jet Airways is currently the second largest air carrier flying between Europe and India. The airline is looking at new route possibilities in Europe which will take it to the number 1 position. “Besides looking at new destinations, we have been studying the options for joining an airline alliance” says Hollands. “This will help us with the expansion of our worldwide network by feeding traffic into our network, for example in the US. We expect to be making a decision on which alliance we will join by this summer, with a view to becoming a member next year. Although the choice of alliance will affect the landscape, we hope to continue cooperation with our existing airline codeshare partners. “Looking forward over the next 18 months we will be bringing in a further 10 aircraft to our fleet, and we are definitely looking at opening new destinations in Europe as part of our development. More details will be given on this later in the year, as our choice of alliance will be pivotal in our decisions on where we expand our network and deploy our new aircraft.” | THE CORPORATE TRAVELLER.BE

SUMMER 2012 | 41


Air Ways

Daily flights to Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo Planning to enjoy a relaxing trip to Brazil? Do it with TAP Portugal (Transportes Aéreos Portugueses), Portugal’s national airline. TAP flies worldwide from its base in Lisbon to 75 destinations in Africa and North, Central and South America. Outstanding service and quick connections to Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo have enabled TAP to become the market leader in flights between Europe and Brazil.

W

ith four daily flights to Lisbon, TAP offers a flexible service, tailored to the needs of business travellers. Flying out of Lisbon you can

choose between two daily flights to Rio de Janeiro (morning and afternoon) or fly to São Paulo (midday and night flights).

Rio, colourful carnival city

Discover Brazil. The country of carnival, samba and football! With beautiful beaches, great weather and a sizzling nightlife. And there’s no better place to experience it than Rio de Janeiro - the exuberant Brazilian city of carnival and the samba. Rio is uniquely located on the edge of the enormous Guanabara Bay and is spread over countless hills. The most famous is Sugarloaf Mountain, an imposing rock rising up on the bay shore and offering magnificent views. The symbol of the city is the enormous statue of Christ on Mount Corvocado, the Cristo Redentor. You’d rather just relax? Enjoy a caipirinha while you sunbathe on the beautiful beaches of Copacabana, Ipanema, Leblon or Barra da Tijuca. Thanks to the spirited residents of Rio, called cariocas, tourists quickly feel at home. And when the sun goes down you’ll enjoy the exciting nightlife, together with tourists and locals. The city offers much more: Explore the Tijuca Park, the biggest urban forest in the world, with its hundreds of different types of plants and small wildlife. Take the cable car up Sugarloaf for more great views. Experience Brazilian history in the Municipal Theatre, the Praca Quinze and the former presidential residence, Catete Palace. Go hang gliding, surfing or experience a football match in the Maracana football stadium. 42 | THE CORPORATE TRAVELLER.BE

SUMMER 2012 |

São Paulo, a bustling metropolis

São Paulo is, in many ways, very different from Rio. With nearly 20 million residents it is the biggest city in the Southern Hemisphere. A cultural and industrial centre, it is the wealthiest city of Brazil. Wealth has also brought its problems, comparable to those of other major cities. But for those who love big cities and exciting nightlife, São Paulo is a great experience. Interesting sights are the Mercado Municipal, the beautiful Parque Ibirapuera, the Pátio do Colégio (where the Jesuits founded the city in 1554), the Teatro Municipal (the pride of São Paulo), various enjoyable and interesting museums (Museu de Arte Moderna – or Contemporânea, Aeronautica, Museu de Arte Sacra, Museu Lasar Segall, etc) the Instituto Butantã (where more than 1,000 snakes are kept for venom extraction, for the production of snakebite antiserum), Casa do Bandeirante and the Museu do Ipiranga, with its lovely gardens. With more than a thousand restaurants, the city is regarded as one of the world’s great gastronomy centres.

Every comfort in Business Class

“You’re in good hands with us”, says Mario Guerreiro, District Sales Manager of TAP Portugal Belgium. “Our cabin staff have one aim during your flight: to ensure that you disembark as a satisfied passenger. We guarantee an exclusive service, personal attendance and maximum comfort. So you can work and relax in the skies. “With new executive seats, TAP Portugal offers the ultimate in sophistication and comfort. This includes an individual video screen, laptop socket, anti-allergenic pillows and redesigned headrests. Our new anti-noise headphones minimize external noise from the cabin, making your journey even more pleasant. Economy class has also been upgraded. Discover our newly designed seats and interactive, individual screens.”


Menus & Drinks

The menu reflects the skills of the TAP chefs in Portugal (Victor Sobral) and Brazil (Dânio Braga), as well as those of other, specially invited chefs: Over 112 different dishes have been specially prepared for the long-haul flights. The same, high standards apply to breakfast, with its selection of cold meats, cheeses, dried fruit, yoghurt, jams and a range of sweet and savoury breads. If you would like to rest during your journey, you can choose an express meal that can be served up to 45 minutes before landing. And it’s all done to help you start your day in the best possible way.

With TAP Portugal you disembark as a satisfied passenger:

When it comes to drinks, TAP offers a large selection of sparkling wines, red and white wines, ports and spirits. It is custom to prioritise wines from Portuguese vineyards, the richness and quality of which result from centuries of craft and a varied terrain. Tropical fruit juices, coffee and a variety of teas are also served on board our aircraft.

NEW! TAP Expands Mobile Check-in service

Check-in by mobile phone is now available for most European airports in the TAP network. The service is available for all Apple iOS devices (iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad), as well as Android devices. TAP customers no longer have to go to the check-in counter at departure, as their boarding passes are sent directly to their mobile phones. The mobile check-in service can be accessed through the TAP Mobile website using a mobile phone with Internet service and the TAP apps, available for download from the App Store and Google Play. In addition to Lisbon airport, the service is available at most European destinations, including Brussels.

NEW! In-flight connectivity on North and South American routes

TAP Portugal is one of the first European airlines to offer in-flight connectivity services on its flights between Europe and North and South America, with the launch of OnAir Wi-Fi service this year. TAP passengers on A330 aircraft operating on transatlantic routes will be able to access the Internet, including e-mail, via iPhone, iPad, BlackBerry and laptop. Payment is by mean of the passenger’s credit card.

Member of Star Alliance: Since 2005, TAP Portugal has been a member of Star Alliance, the biggest network of airlines in the world. The alliance offers travellers convenient transfers, through better connections and coordinated, realtime ticket reservations. In addition, the alliance strives for better service quality and recognises members’ frequent flyer programmes. Victoria: This is TAP’s frequent flyer programme - ideal for those who often fly TAP. Members can save points and obtain extra privileges as they accumulate air miles. For more information, go to www.tapvictoria.com. TAP free app: TAP offers passengers a free app for iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad and, soon, Android in Portuguese or English. The benefits? Mobile check-in and information on flight durations, arrival and departure times, promotions, cities and the Victoria programme. More information? Go to www.flytap.com

| THE CORPORATE TRAVELLER.BE

SUMMER 2012 | 43


Air Ways

SAS looks back

on achievements and forward with new initiatives This year SAS has plenty to celebrate. New routes, a fleet renewal and major partnerships are all part of the SAS success story in 2012. Rising passenger numbers and customer satisfaction show that the airline’s 4Excellence strategy is paying dividends.

½½ SAS-Business class

44 | THE CORPORATE TRAVELLER.BE

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New fleet, new routes

A

s part of its 4Excellence strategy, SAS is in the process of renewing its fleet with next generation aircraft, notably A320 Neos and Boeing 737NGs.

The new fleet brings with it new horizons and in 2011, SAS added 11 routes to its schedule. During the course of this year, a further 25 destinations are set to join the airline’s network. SAS is continuing its expansions in Eastern Europe, increasing its routes to Poland, Russia and the Baltics. With the recent opening of services to Katowice, the airline now flies to five destinations in Poland. Looking towards Asia, in March SAS added Shanghai to its offering, with 5 weekly frequencies.

Promotional fares on Economy Extra

SAS has reduced fares on its premium economy class product, Economy Extra by up to 28% in Belgium, up to 11% in Luxembourg and up to 20% in the Netherlands. In a class of its own, Economy Extra is the superior choice for the modern business traveller or leisure passenger wanting that little bit extra. For time-saving, passengers can use Business class check-in and Fast Track security. As well as increased comfort on board and superior in-flight service and meals, travellers also qualify for greater check-in and carry-on baggage allowances, as well as 150% EuroBonus points.

More reward opportunities

This spring SAS celebrated the 20th anniversary of its EuroBonus loyalty program with a number of campaigns, events and competitions. “SAS was one of the first airlines in the world to launch a loyalty program back in 1992” comments Rickard Gustafson. “Today we are one of Scandinavia’s leading and most popular loyalty programs with over 80 partners, which means we can offer our three million members a wide range of benefits and opportunities.” The EuroBonus frequent flyer programme recently added a new hotel partner, with Worldhotels. Worldhotels has grown to become one of the leading groups of independent hotels, with close to 500 affiliated properties in 65 countries. SAS EuroBonus members will now earn 500 points for qualifying stays with the four and five star hotels and benefit from various bonus promotions.

More partnerships

SAS Credits, Scandinavian Airlines’ loyalty program for small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) recently signed an agreement with The Carlson Rezidor Group. Under the partnership, SAS Credits member enterprises now earn credits when they stay at Radisson Blu or Park Inn by Radisson hotels in Europe and the Middle East. While individual travellers continue to earn their own EuroBonus points as usual, companies in the scheme earn Credits each time an employee travels with SAS and selected partners, or stays at a Radisson Blu or Park Inn hotel. The credits can be redeemed by companies for free flights, or Rezidor e-Gift Cards.

“Our SAS Credit program is unique within the airline industry and highly appreciated amongst small and mediumsized companies” says Rickard Gustafson. “With Rezidor as a new partner, our members are given a wider range of opportunities to earn credits, whilst at the same time it lowers their travel expenses.”

More partnerships

SAS has signed a joint venture agreement with Singapore Airlines which covers routes between Scandinavia and Singapore. The two airlines are now planning to co-ordinate schedules to enable more seamless connections to points in Northern Europe, as well as Asia and Southwest Pacific, through their respective hubs. The new joint venture is expected to lead to growth in air services between Singapore and Scandinavia, and, subject to market conditions, pave the way for a new route between Singapore and Stockholm. “Singapore Airlines will be a vital part of our Asian strategy and we look forward to jointly exploring further growth opportunities in this exciting and important market” says Rickard Gustafson, President and CEO, SAS.

Passenger traffic and customer satisfaction rising

SAS’s 4Excellence strategy aims to drive customer loyalty, through a number of initiatives to improve service quality levels. Over the course of 2011, customer satisfaction ratings rose by 3 points, while passenger numbers leapt by 2 million, to reach 27 million. Punctuality has been a big contributing factor to this success. In April, SAS was recorded as the world’s most punctual airline and for the past three years SAS has earned the title of most punctual airline in Europe. The punctuality ratings are provided by the independent source Flightstats, who track the performance of over 150,000 flights per day, archive the data for analysis and publication, and provide real time flight status to millions of travellers worldwide. “We are extremely proud to have a world-class punctuality, which we know is highly valued by the tens of thousands of customers we take care of every day” says Rickard Gustafson. “Our staff work very hard to ensure our operation is as smooth as possible, and this is combined with products such as Fast Track, the SAS Smart Pass and our easy-to -use check in facilities which can be done from home or via mobile phone.” “Best value for time and money is a Key Performance Indicator for our customers” says Gustafson. “It is pleasing to confirm that SAS’s customer offering continues to be attractive, principally due to our continuous improvement initiatives throughout the organization”.

¾¾ SAS-Lounge at Copenhagen

| THE CORPORATE TRAVELLER.BE

SUMMER 2012 | 45


Air Ways

Alitalia

Best in every Class In order to meet the needs and wishes of its business passengers, Alitalia offers a wide choice of classes on its medium and long haul flights. Classica

A

litalia aims to provide maximum levels of comfort and a very warm welcome to its Classica passengers.

On board Alitalia’s Boeing 777, passengers enjoy the comfort of Recaro seats, individual entertainment systems and the possibility of making external telephone calls. They can also call other passengers on the same flight, free of charge, simply by dialing their seat numbers. On board Boeing 767s, the airline has installed additional, redesigned, ceiling-mounted LCD screens, allowing passengers to enjoy a selection of films and music programmes to suit all tastes. Alitalia’s long-haul Airbus 330 and Boeing 777 aircraft are equipped with monitors, that allow passengers to choose from 45 films in eight different languages, as well as news programs, video games and documentaries. Individual screens with a wide choice of music and television programming are also provided on medium-haul flights, depending on the aircraft. During long or medium-haul flights, Classica passengers can enjoy a complimentary meal or snack, varied according to destination and departure time. The menus include sweet and savory snacks, hot meals, hot drinks, soft drinks, and white or red wine. Following the Italian tradition, the ingredients of the recipes vary according to the season.

½½ Classica

Classica Plus

Alitalia’s Premium Economy Class is available on long-haul flights operated by new A330 and refurbished B777 aircraft. This perfect solution for those who are looking for enhanced comfort at a reasonable price offers 40% more personal space than Economy Class. As time is precious, a journey in Classica Plus starts at the Business Class check-in counter, followed by priority boarding with other premium passengers. Once aboard, passengers are offered a complimentary beverage before take-off and a hot towel before the meal service. Alitalia serves hot and soft drinks, snacks and complete meals, depending on the destination, as well as a broad selection of wines from some of the most important wineries of Italy. The 21 ergonomic seats can be reclined to an angle of 120°. The seats are in a 2-3-2 arrangement in order to create two spacious aisles, so that passengers can travel in greater comfort and move freely around the cabin. Various accessories are also available, such as blankets, pillows and a handy travel bag containing a toothbrush, toothpaste, earplugs, a sleeping mask and moisturizing face cream. 46 | THE CORPORATE TRAVELLER.BE

SUMMER 2012 |

½½ Classica Plus


Make yourself at home Whatever Class you’re flying, Alitalia’s cabin crew is always on hand, with the professional and friendly approach and style that distinguish Alitalia staff. Their aim is to satisfy your needs and ensure that your journey is a safe and pleasant one. Each flight also gives you the opportunity to shop on board with the GriffAir catalogue, which offers a wide range of products at competitive prices. And, if you are an Alitalia MilleMiglia member, all your GriffAir purchases will earn you bonus miles.

Classica Plus seats are designed for work and play. An electrical socket is available, as well as a USB port for transferring digital content from a laptop computer or MP3 player to a personal, in-seat entertainment system. As in the Classica class, individual satellite telephones are also available. Business travelers will also appreciate the fact that members of the MilleMiglia Program who travel in Classica Plus are awarded double the number of miles.

Magnifica

Magnifica, Alitalia’s long-haul Business Class, offers the ultimate in comfort and elegance. To ensure a pleasant and enjoyable flight, Alitalia has completely redesigned its cabin, developed an award-winning in-flight dining program, and partnered with famous Italian brands such as Bulgari, Frette and Richard Ginori. Traveling with Magnifica means always being first in line and enjoying privileged treatment. At Alitalia’s main airports, a preferential lane ensures Magnifica passengers rapid processing and boarding. On the ground, modern lounges also welcome business travelers with a relaxing environment. ½½ Magnifica

Alitalia has thought of every detail to ensure your flight is as relaxed and enjoyable as possible. From the elegant wellness kit provided by Bulgari and an exclusive pillow and duvet set by Frette, to an innovative lighting system that varies in intensity and color, depending on the time of day or night. The new Magnifica cabin features multi-functional seats designed to offer maximum comfort. They convert to fully-horizontal beds, reclining to a total length of 73.5 inches. The cabin is configured in such a way that it guarantees all-aisle seating, making it easy to stand and move about, even when seats are fully reclined. The seats also come with a special massage function and a reading light. In addition, a privacy screen can be raised on side-by-side seats, allowing passengers to enjoy maximum privacy. You can stream content from your iPod or MP3 player and laptop computer to the personal entertainment system’s 15.4-inch LCD screen via the in-seat USB port. Unless you prefer enjoying more than 45 films in eight different languages, documentaries, sitcoms, video games and news…

½½ Magnifica

Dining in Magnifica is also an experience that you won’t forget. For two consecutive years Alitalia has won the award for “Best Airline Cuisine” in Global Traveler’s GT Tested Reader Survey. This presti-

gious award recognizes Alitalia’s commitment to creating an authentic, high-quality, Italian dining experience for Magnifica travelers. Alitalia’s exciting Magnifica dining program features menus inspired by Italy’s culturally diverse regions. Menus change every three months, and different regions are featured in each flight direction, so travelers enjoy a new dining experience each way. Wines from the regions are paired with menus by the Italian Association of Sommeliers (AIS).

Ottima

Ottima, Alitalia’s Business Class on medium-haul flights, offers travelers one of the best European travel experiences on continental flights. Demanding passengers will enjoy their journey, thanks to the delicious on-board meals and the comfortable cabin. In addition to Alitalia’s professional staff, who are dedicated to meeting your needs, a range of benefits on the ground and during your flight are the main feature of Ottima. When travelling in Ottima, you can take advantage of reserved check-in desks. You may also check-in at the Club Freccia Alata lounges in certain airports; a useful service if you are traveling on business, or simply looking for a little extra pampering before your flight. A seat by Recaro is ready to welcome you in Ottima. Thanks to the spacious central folding table and the seat’s ergonomic design and leather upholstery you can enjoy maximum relaxation, with every flight holding the promise of well-earned repose. Depending on the aircraft, passengers have individual monitors to access television programming and music selected to satisfy the most varied tastes. Before landing you can also indulge yourself in a little shopping by choosing items from the GriffAir catalogue; an enjoyable way to earn extra MilleMiglia miles. And, if you just want something to read, you can choose from a wide range of national and international newspapers, as well as the Ulisse magazine. Traditional Italian cuisine has always been the inspiration for the menus served on board Alitalia flights. In Ottima you can enjoy different menus, depending on the length of the flight and the season of the year. On short flights, a tasty hot snack or a lunch or dinner based on pasta is provided, while on longer evening flights we offer gourmet, meat-based dishes. Meals are accompanied by a wide range of drinks of your choice and by an on-board ‘wine cellar’ which includes, in addition to spumante, a carefully selected wine list containing the best Italian regional wine labels. Hot drinks and soft drinks are also available during the flight. The quality of the meal is enhanced by the elegant porcelain dinner service, designed by Culti. | THE CORPORATE TRAVELLER.BE

SUMMER 2012 | 47


Air Ways

Brussels Airlines

flies to New York and offers new cabins on all long-haul flights

There are big developments underway at Brussels Airlines. The launch of direct flights from Brussels to New York, on 1 June, marked the return of the Belgian national carrier to the US after a break of 10 years. But that’s not all. Brussels Airlines has unveiled the first of its long haul aircraft refitted with a brand new Economy and Business Class cabin. Back to the US

B

russels Airlines is now offering daily flights from Brussels to New York JFK. The

return of a Belgian airline to the US is both strategic and symbolic. New York is the leading destination out of Belgium in terms of passenger numbers. “It is only natural that as the leading Belgian airline, we fly to the Big Apple” says Eric Kergoat, Brussels Airlines’ Product Management and Customer Experience Manager. “Our commercial studies show that we can expect to get up to two-thirds of our customers on this route fed through from our strong networks in Europe and Africa. The fact that our dedicated long haul terminal is right next to Brussels Airport’s ‘Shengen zone’ makes transfers really fast and easy.”

30 million euro upgrades to long haul cabins

Brussels Airlines is investing 30 million euros in a completely renewed cabin on its entire long-haul fleet, in both Economy and Business Class. Towards the end of 2012, all of the airline’s intercontinental aircraft will 48 | THE CORPORATE TRAVELLER.BE

SUMMER 2012 |

be retro-fitted. Flights on Brussels Airlines’ New York route, as some of its 18 sub-Saharan destinations in Africa, are already equipped. Business Class travellers will appreciate the comfortable flatbed seats and the extra privacy provided by the 1-2-1 configuration. Nearly all seats have direct aisle access, while 10 are single seats with no neighbouring passengers. Business Class seats have an integrated massage function and a Pneumatic Cushion System which can be adjusted from soft to firm. While waiting for their flights, travellers can benefit from Brussels Airlines’ spacious Sunrise Lounge which features relaxation rooms for sleeping, as well as showers and working places. Passengers flying in Economy Class now have stylish, ergonomic seats, especially created by Italian designers to offer a level of comfort more usually found in premium economy cabins. The headrest is adjustable in height and in width, while the increased sleep recline and 83 cm legroom allow even great relaxation during the flight.

Both service classes are equipped with the new RAVE in-flight entertainment technology, of which Brussels Airlines is amongst the launch customers. Based on the most popular tablets and available in 6 languages, the RAVE system includes a laptop power port, headset port, USB power port and a personal video port to allow passengers to watch their own content onscreen.

Outstanding best in class features

“What we have done with the design of our new Business and Economy Class cabin is to aim for a class above, but at attractive prices” says Eric Kergoat. “Our Economy Class is based on the same standards as those offered by premium economy with other airlines and our Business Class offers some of the comforts and services that one would normally only be offered in first. This is something that corporate travellers, with their travel policy restrictions, will be sure to appreciate. That is our objective, to provide outstanding best in class features and substantial value benefits for our customers.”


Hotels

Stay in style

at the unique and hospitable Sandton hotels

With four top hotels in Belgium, Sandton Hotels presents an innovative hotel collection, with many advantages for the business traveller. The hotels offer guests a broad range of accommodation and leisure opportunities. And each Sandton hotel is unique: the establishments in Brussels, Ghent and Kortrijk each retain their own, characteristic identity, blending seamlessly with their specific environments. Distinctive added value

L

uxury, comfort, individuality, location - and the feeling of being at home: these are the principles that give Sandton Hotels their distinctive added value. The business traveller can count on

a proactive and authentic welcome at every Sandton hotel. The management and the employees of the Sandton Hotel Collection understand hospitality as no other. The hotels are always located in an intriguing city centre and/or in places that have much to offer guests during their stay. An example is the stately, four star, deluxe boutique hotel, Sandton Pillows Brussels, situated in the heart of the old centre of Brussels. While Sandton Brussels Centre is located just seventy metres from the Central Station, a stone’s throw from the Grote Markt. The parliament buildings of the European Union are also close by. And yet you can still count on a pleasant and relaxing stay at this contemporary, luxury hotel.

Sandton Grand Hotel Reylof

Grand Hotel Reylof is an oasis of rest in the heart of Ghent, and just a stroll from the wonderful, historicstructures that have made this city world famous. The stately city hotel has 158 rooms and delights the eye with its empire-style fascia, beautiful courtyard and heritage coach house. The high-ceilinged rooms, with their large windows, take you back to 18th Century France. The modern section of the hotel contains stylish rooms, suites, long-stay apartments and modular seminar areas. Business people will enjoy the extensive facilities, with individual climate control, WiFi, minibar and a luxurious bathroom with walk-in shower. There are plenty of opportunities to relax in the evocative lounges and state-of-the-art wellness centre. And refined

½½ Broel by night: Sandton Hotel Broel in Kortrijk

gastronomic pleasures await one in the Lof restaurant, where classic French specialities are served. A visit to the unique champagne bar or the NJOY cocktailbar is also not be missed. Businessmeetings can take place in one of the nine meeting rooms of the hotel. These, too, are equipped with the most modern facilities to ensure maximum comfort, while each still retains its authentic character. Convenient parking is another plus: in the underground hotel garage or in the nearby public parking facility.

Sandton Hotel Broel

Located in Kortrijk, on the banks of the Leie, Sandton Hotel Broel is emerging as the hotel, par excellence, for business accommodation and meetings. It is excellently located in relation to the Lille Metropolis and is the ideal base for visits to the city of Kortrijk. Located opposite the watchtowers of earlier days, it is within walking distance of the lively city centre. The hotel’s 70 rooms are decorated and equipped in a style that blends atmosphere, an elegant simplicity of design - and luxury. The spacious bathrooms set a new style standard in the hotel world. The entire hotel is smoke-free and offers a broad range of extra services, meeting facilities, free WiFi and laundry options. The ‘Orangerie’ provides guests with a prestigious annex that includes, amongst facilities, the Junior Suites, a gym, and a delightful party hall.Sandton Hotel Broel contains various meeting rooms and indulges its guests in the Bistro Restaurant Broel, the Lounge Bar Castel, or on the magnificent terrace with its view of the Broel Towers on the banks of the river. Parking is available at Parking Broeltorens, immediately opposite the hotel. For more information: www.sandton.eu

½½ Sandton Grand Hotel Reylof in Ghent | THE CORPORATE TRAVELLER.BE

SUMMER 2012 | 49


ssels

Sandton Hotel Broel

Sandton Brussels Centre Broelkaai 8, 8500 KORTRIJK T +32 56 21 83 51 F +32 56 20 03 02 kortrijk@sandton.eu www.sandton.eu/kortrijk

The elegant Sandton Hotel Broel lies on the banks of the River Leie, opposite the old city watchtowers. This luxury, four star hotel has 70, charmingly decorated rooms, an indoor swimming pool, gym, sauna and various restaurant facilities, including a top-rated bistro. Sandton Hotel Broel is uniquely located. The city center, with its numerous, historic buildings and fashion shops, is just a walk across the bridge from the hotel: An opportunity to experience Kortrijk’s reputation as the design centre of Belgium. And Lille, ‘the Antwerp of France’, is just 15 minutes away by car. MEETING ROOMS: 7 NUMBER OF ROOMS: 70 RESTAURANT: Restaurant Bistro Broel. Our welcoming and lively bistro can seat 80 guests. This bistro is an excellent venue for everything from a business lunch to a dinner, or perhaps just coffee and cake. Good weather means one can also enjoy a drink and a snack on the terrace, with views of the Broel Towers and the River Leie. The bistro’s culinary creations are served throughout the day and evening. The menu offers a broad choice of fish, meat and seasonal dishes. And in the morning there’s an extensive breakfast buffet.

Sandton Pillows Brussels

Parochiaansstraat 15-27, 1000 BRUSSEL T +32 22 74 08 10 F +32 22 74 08 19 brussels@sandton.eu www.sandton.eu/brusselscentre

‘A contemporary hotel in the heart of Brussels’ is the best way to describe the Sandton Brussels Centre hotel, serenely located on Parochiaansstraat. Brussels, the capital of Europe, is home to the brand new Sandton Brussels Centre. This modern, luxury hotel is in the heart of Brussels, a stone’s throw from the Central Station, the Grand Place and the impressive Saint Michael’s Cathedral. Belgium’s business centre with the parliament buildings and the European Union are within walking distance of the hotel. In short, Sandton Brussels Centre, situated between the tourist and business centres of the city, enjoys a prime location! The hotel’s facilities include more than 70 spacious and comfortable rooms three of which are suites, its own underground parking garage, two meeting rooms, a warm, cosy lounge and free WiFi. MEETING ROOMS: 2 NUMBER OF ROOMS: 70 RESTAURANT: Breakfast is served daily in the lobby lounge. And a wide variety of breakfast foods awaits you – ensuring the best start to your day, every day. The international bar is open, daily, from 3 pm to midnight.

Sandton Grand Hotel Reylof Hoogstraat 36, 9000 GENT T +32 9 235 40 70 F +32 9 235 40 79 gent@sandton.eu www.sandton.eu/gent

Place Rouppe 17, 1000 BRUSSEL T +32 22 04 00 40 F +32 22 04 00 49 pillowsbrussels@sandton.eu www.sandton.eu/brusselspillows

Sandton Grand Hotel Reylof

e, in het centrum van Brussel, ligt Pillows Brussels. Op de eerste blik Sandton Grand Hotel Reylof, gelegen op een echte toplocatie en op maar zo gauw u binnen stapt voelt vanPillows bekende monumenten, is een echte aanrader. HetSandton Grand Hotel Reylof, with its prime location, and within a short walk The newly-opened,wandelafstand four star, Sandton Brussels lies on the PlaceRoupe voel. Dit prachtige hotel beschikt zal beschikken over hotelkamers, waaronder Charmeof famous historic buildings, comes highly recommended. The hotel has 158 square, in the centrehotel of Brussels. Imposing at158 firstcomfortabele glance, the building quickly amers, 2 conference zalen en een kamers, Deluxe kamers, Junior Suites en een Presidential Suite. In het Pillows Brussels beantwoordtwelcomes in rooms, including suites and executive apartments, the Lof gastronomic restauyou as you enter the warm atmosphere of its interior. monumentale hoofdgebouw bevinden zich het sfeervolle restaurant & bar st die zowel zakelijk als privé grote rant & bar, a champagnebar, the NJOY cocktailbar, a courtyard terrace and free onlijke aandacht. Lof, een champagnebar, een cocktailbar en een private dining room. Er is

This delightful hotel has 45 stylish rooms, two gratis wificomfortable beschikbaar and in het gehele hotel. In conference de prachtige binnentuin kuntWiFi. Reylof is the perfect venue for meetings, with its nine meeting rooms halls and a restaurant a great and aopbar. u bijwith goed weer atmosphere heerlijk genieten eenSandton van de Pillows terrassen. Een oase vaneach with its own, authentic atmosphere and natural daylight. ms, met indirect daglicht, moderne Brussels meets, in rust everymiddenin respect,de thestad. business and personal requirements Voor de nodige ontspanning vindt u in het koetshuis r de warme inrichting zijn de zalen of guests who value comfort andsauna, personal service.behandelkamers Sandton eenatmosphere, Wellness met zwembad, stoombad, en fitness.As a hotel guest you have access to facilities that are unique for a city hotel: ngen en seminars als voor private Pillows Brussels is Het situated the core the30-tal city centre, near the maar Groteer is eveneens dea fully-equipped wellness centre with free bath, sauna, steambath and gym. hotel in beschikt overofeen parkeerplaatsen, publieke parking ‘Ramen’ hoek. Various treatments and a solarium are also available for a fee. Parking is available Markt and the statue of Manneken Pis. Itnetis om justde150 metres from the for 45 cars - and the Ramen public parking garage is just around the corner. metrostation.

t centrum, dichtbij de Grote Markt, Meetings & Events ation, de parlementsgebouwen en MEETING ROOMS:Het 2 hotel beschikt over zeven meetingrooms met elk hun eigen authentiekeMEETING ROOMS: 9 els is gelegen naast het 2-sterren sfeer en allen met daglicht. De zalen beschikken eveneens over gratis wifi. t u naar de leuke winkelbuurtenNUMBER en NUMBER OF ROOMS: OF ROOMS: 45 et hart van de Europese hoofdstad.

158 RESTAURANT: Lof is one of the newest and trendiest restaurants in Ghent. RESTAURANT: For lunch, dinner ora snack with your drink, Sandton Pillows Activiteiten Brussels has an ‘alldaydining’ menu,Lonely offering you classic dishes be enjoyed Gent, volgens Planet België’s best to bewaarde geheim, is zeer deThe menu offers classic French dishes, plated in the modern style to surprise in a warm, informal moeite atmosphere. waard. Het kent vele indrukwekkende bezienswaardigheden en ademtand delight all your senses. Good weather means you can relax on the terrace de sfeer uit van het verleden. De stad die schoonheid en cultuur combineert- an oasis of peace, in the middle of the city. met creativiteit, vooruitstrevend design en gastronomie. Kortom, gezellig genieten! Ontdek de meest historische stad van Vlaanderen en verblijf in Sandton’s eerste Grand Hotel, Sandton Grand Hotel Reylof.

SANDTON HOTELS www.sandton.eu

SANDTON HOTELS www.sandton.eu

50 | THE CORPORATE TRAVELLER.BE

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