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Jim Mason

PostPosted: Mon Apr 04, 2005 5:44 am    Post subject: AIR & BUSINESS TRAVEL NEWS Reply with quote


Herts EN6 1PU, United Kingdom
Tel: +44 (0)1707 665454
All enquiries: [email]info (AT) abtn (DOT) co.uk[/email]

INFORMATION http://www.oag.com

4 April 2005

In association with THE TIMES

BREAKING NEWS is that the Department for Transport is advising airlines
operating out of the UK that from 25 April metal cutlery can again be
used for cabin services and that airport security personnel will have
much more flexibility in allowing sharp items onto aircraft.
Nail files should be OK as will be knitting needles, tweezers and
scissors with blade lengths of up to 3cm. The measures were brought in
after September 11, but this has not been the case in the US where
passengers on domestic flights in first class are still treated to metal
knives and forks. Likewise in much of the Middle East. With all UK
registered large transport aircraft now having reinforced locked doors,
and following representation by the airlines, the Department says the
rules have been looked at again.

capacity up DEREGULATION ? not popular FATAL ? US incidents down FLYBE ?
Iberia focus GB AIRWAYS ? expansion LUFTHANSA ? buy-outs over MALEV ?
sell-off off MALMAISON ? UK expansion MOSCOW ? new terminals planned
closed NEW DELHI ? partners wanted RUSSIA ? first sales SONG ? on song
TAP PORTUGAL ? fuel hit US AIRWAYS ? investment needed US VISITORS ?
Europe thriving VIRGIN ATLANTIC ? Heathrow upgrade

ON TOUR: Nashville, Tennessee
INCIDENTALLY: Sir Richard Boxes Clever

ON THE SOAPBOX, the first issue of ABTN each month, serves as a platform
for senior people in the air transport industry to put their (often
controversial) views forward. With the 5th Global Travel & Tourism
Summit, taking place in New Delhi this coming week (8-10 April), ABTN is
proud to offer Jean-Claude Baumgarten, president of The World Travel &
Tourism Council (WTTC), an opportunity to expand on the organisation and
its objectives. Jean-Claude is a true airline man having held senior Air
France posts around the world, joining the airline in 1970. In February
1996 he became executive vice president of corporate, international and
industrial affairs. From December 1997 until July 1998, prior to leaving
Air France, Jean-Claude held the position of advisor to the chairman.
After his departure he established a company with American investors
under the name of CREWE Associates. This involved consultancy work and
start-up advice for new businesses. In October 1999 he was appointed
president of the World Travel & Tourism Council.

"Travel and tourism is one of the world's largest and fastest growing
industries in the world today. According to WTTC's latest Tourism
Satellite Accounting Research, in 2005 travel and tourism will account
for 10.6% of global GDP and over 221m jobs worldwide.

Travel and tourism is of great strategic importance to virtually every
country in the world not only for the economic opportunities it presents
but also for the political. It is unique in its ability to transfer
wealth from society's most affluent to its least affluent and the
cultural exchange generated by travel and tourism is a potent force for

However, with demand projected to grow at 5.6% per annum, there is an
urgent need for the industry and for governments to think about the
infrastructure of the future, both on the ground and in the air but
specifically air traffic control systems. If this issue is not addressed
urgently, I foresee serious congestion ahead, failure to achieve the
great economic potential of travel and tourism and a missed opportunity
to transfer wealth from the haves to the have-nots.

The theme for the forthcoming Global Summit is 'Realising the
Potential'. For all stakeholders to get the most from travel and
tourism, there are three general trends I am particularly keen to

 First, governments need to take a greater interest in the
travel and tourism sector and elevate it to the top level of policy

 Second, there needs to be more collaboration between public and
private sectors, particularly with regard to infrastructure development
and the management of crises.

 Third, government and industry leaders need access to
increasingly better data to inform their planning and decision-making.

With the third point in mind, we will present a wealth of new economic
information at the Summit. On the first day, Richard Miller, WTTC
executive vice president, will present a detailed analysis of the
economic impact of the Boxing Day tsunami and he will also release
WTTC's 2005 forecasts projecting the economic performance of the travel
and tourism sector on a global basis and also in India, host country of
the Summit.

On the second day, during a special breakfast session sponsored by
Marriott, WTTC will release details of a new economic model that will be
able to forecast the impact of crises on the travel and tourism
industry. After answering a series of quantitative and qualitative
questions, the model uses information from eight previous crises
(including 9/11, SARS, and the Gulf War) to forecast the impact of a new
event on any one of 174 countries.

Other highlights of our agenda include:

? Summit inauguration by Dr APJ Abdul Kalam, The Honourable President of

? Bill Marriott, chairman and CEO of Marriott describing how the travel
and tourism industry can create genuine prosperity for everyone

? An investigation, involving tourism ministers from four different
continents, into the strategies necessary to make a destination

? A premonition of the industry's future with Roger Bootle, an economist
with a reputation for making controversial predictions that have turned
out to be correct.

? A media briefing on the development of travel and tourism in China.

? Marilyn Carlson Nelson, chairman and CEO, Carlson describing how
companies can make the most of their people.

? Barry Sternlicht, chairman of Starwood, giving his personal views on
branding success

The Summit will be attended by the chairmen and CEOs of the world?s top
travel and tourism companies, over a hundred of the world?s leading
travel and business journalists and numerous government officials. The
quality of the speakers I am able to introduce speaks volumes for the
importance of the whole industry.?


AMERICAN VISITORS will travel to Europe in record numbers this year
despite the dollar's precipitous decline against the euro. Travel
agencies say bookings are stronger than they had expected and may
reflect pent-up demand from the post-September 11 2001 period in which
many Americans were reluctant to travel very far from home.

CHOICE HOTELS EUROPE has ended a run of five consecutive loss-making
years with a pre-tax profit for 2004 of £600,000. In 2003 it made a
£1.9m loss. Choice operates 56 owned, leased or managed hotels in the
UK, France, Germany and Belgium. It also holds the master franchise for
Choice Hotels brands across Europe, adding another 350 franchisees in 11
countries. Occupancy in the UK in 2004 was up by 1.5% to 65%.
The overall UK performance was affected by the group seeing no lift in
food revenues. In August, Choice raised just over £5m for refurbishments
and completed a programme of disposals designed to restructure its
balance sheet. http://www.choicehotelseurope.com

CSA CZECH AIRLINES has increased flights between the UK and Prague to
96 a week. Prior to launching its summer schedule last weekend, CSA
offered 83 flights a week between seven UK airports and Prague. The
regional airports have benefited most from the increased frequencies
with Birmingham flights going from 10 to 13 flights per week, Manchester
from 13 to 17, Edinburgh from six to 10 and Glasgow from seven to 10.
Flights with CSA out of Heathrow (20 per week), Gatwick and Stansted
(both 13 per week) to Prague will stay the same for the summer.

DEREGULATION by the European Commission of computer reservation systems
for air travel later this year is being decried by consumer groups and
companies such as Cendant and Galileo. Critics say the move could give
greater dominance to Amadeus, which controls much of the computer
reservations market in Western Europe, and could lead to higher prices
for consumers in France, Germany and Spain.

FATAL plane crashes of all types fell slightly last year in the US with
no major airline accidents recorded, the National Transportation Safety
Board has announced. Preliminary figures show total fatalities dropped
to 635 in 2004 compared with 695 in 2003. There were 1,715 accidents
compared with 1,864 over the same period. Most fatalities occurred in
crashes of general aviation aircraft. An overwhelming majority of
accidents are not fatal. There were 21 accidents involving scheduled
airline service, one of them fatal. A Jetstream 32 twin-engine plane
operated by Corporate Airlines, doing business as American Connection,
crashed in Missouri, killing 13 people. There were more than 10.5m
departures by scheduled airlines and their affiliates last year.

FLYBE has nearly doubled flights from Birmingham International to Spain
and Portugal. The carrier is basing two Boeing 737-300 aircraft at
Birmingham allowing an expansion to its summer schedule. Flights
launched include services from Birmingham to Alicante, Almeria,
Bergerac, Brest, Faro, La Rochelle, Malaga, Murcia and Palma. The
carrier now operates from 17 UK airports including Exeter, Southampton,
Belfast City, Birmingham and the Channel Islands.

GB AIRWAYS has signed a contract with Airbus for five A320 series
aircraft, one A320 and four A321s. This is the first time that the
airline is acquiring aircraft directly from Airbus. Delivery of these
five aircraft is expected from 2007 onwards. The aircraft will be
powered by IAE V2500 engines from International Aero Engines. GB Airways
is seen in public as a British Airways franchise partner and received
its first A320 in 2000. It currently flies 11 A320s and three A321s. The
airline operates out of its main base at Gatwick, and also from
Heathrow. Last week it introduced Manchester as a new UK departure
point. This summer GB Airways will operate British Airways flights to 30
selected destinations in Gibraltar, Croatia, Cyprus, France, Greece,
Malta, Morocco, Portugal, Spain including the Balearic and Canary
Islands, and Tunisia. http://www.gbairways.com

LUFTHANSA is not considering tie-ups with other airlines and is keeping
cost cuts very much on the agenda as it acquires Swiss International Air
Lines, chief executive Wolfgang Mayrhuber has said.
This quashes speculation Lufthansa could seek to expand further after
agreeing to take over Swiss. Mayrhuber added that spinning off Swiss'
regional network was an option for the airline.

MALEV is set to wait another two years before it is privatised after
Hungary's second attempt in less than six months to sell the loss-making
national airline failed as the three bidders all offered too little for
the carrier. As the bids were considered too low, the privatisation
agency APV is expected to declare the tender unsuccessful and attempt to
sell Malev through direct negotiations with potential investors. Malev's
recently appointed chairman, Peter Honig, said he would prefer the bid
to fail and would like up to two years to reorganise Malev before
another attempt to sell.

MALMAISON and Hotel du Vin owner Marylebone Warwick Balfour is looking
to raise £100m to expand its distinctively different UK regional chain
to 25 properties by 2007. MWB took full control of Malmaison in
September 2002 and paid £63.5m cash to add the Hotel du Vin chain to its
portfolio last October. It currently owns eight Malmaisons, with two
more scheduled to open in Oxford in October and in Liverpool next year,
while an MWB building in Reading will also be converted to a Malmaison,
subject to planning permission. Hotel du Vin has seven properties, with
an eighth development under consideration in Cambridge and is also
seeking further sites in Chester, Durham, Edinburgh and St Andrews.

MOSCOW?S SHEREMETYEVO AIRPORT, locked in a years-old debate over whether
to build a third terminal, has now said it wants to build a fourth one.
Sheremetyevo is stuck in complicated talks with the government and state
carrier Aeroflot over how to upgrade its two run-down terminals, last
expanded for the 1980 Moscow Olympic Games.
Another point of debate is whether to build Sheremetyevo-3, Aeroflot's
pet project. The government and Sheremetyevo initially opposed the idea
but they now see a third terminal as a step towards turning the airport
into a major hub between Europe and Asia. Aeroflot intends to start
building the third terminal in June but it is unclear how the $430m
project would develop after Sheremetyevo said it wanted a controlling
stake in it. In the meantime competitor Domodedovo continues to boom
with Oneworld partner Iberia the latest to introduce services.

MYTRAVEL has admitted that rebuilding profits to normal industry levels
in the UK will take another two years. At its annual general meeting,
the company said it was on course for making a profit across its three
operating divisions next year and an industry standard margin of 3.5% in
the UK in 2007. The company ? which last year won a battle with
bondholders to avoid bankruptcy with an £800m financial restructuring
after incurring massive losses over successive years ? revealed UK
capacity had been reduced by an unspecified amount this year,
improvements were being made to its product offering and there continued
to be a focus on cost control. The group revealed the impact of the
Asian tsunami disaster on Boxing Day 2004 is likely to cost £2m in the
UK and £10m in its Northern Europe division.

NATIONAL AIR TRAFFIC SERVICES is closing down its operation near
Heathrow as part of a £1bn modernisation program. NATS said it would
move 500 staff from West Drayton to its existing Swanwick operations at
Fareham by 2007. The move is part of NATS' plan to control UK airspace
from Swanwick and Prestwick by 2010 instead of the existing four. The
partly-privatised body is implementing a plan to modernise Britain's air
traffic control system and add enough capacity to deal with three
million flights per year by 2012, up from two million in 2003. NATS was
criticized in June last year after a computer failure briefly grounded
all aircraft in Britain at peak time in the morning, causing airport
chaos. NATS is 49% owned by the British government, 42% by a consortium
of UK airlines, 4% by BAA and 5% by staff.

NEW DELHI and Mumbai airports will be restructured and modernised
according to the Indian government. Nine bidders have been short-listed
and they have 12 weeks to submit their technical and financial bids, the
Ministry of Civil Aviation has announced.
Singapore's Changi Airport and Germany's Fraport are in the race for the
airports. The modernisation of the two airports is estimated to cost
more than $800m. The Indian government aims to set up two joint venture
companies to hold the leases to operate the two airports and is offering
a 74% stake in each to private firms. State-owned firms including the
Airports Authority of India, the umbrella body that operates India's 125
airports, will hold the remaining 26%.

RUSSIA has become an ATR customer for the first time in the form of
UTAir, based in Khanty-Mansiysk (which is deep into western Siberia).
UTAir is to take two second user ATR 42-300 aircraft from Continental
Express. Currently the airline operates around 60 aircraft for scheduled
domestic passenger services, charter flights and one of the largest
fleet of commercial helicopters in the world supporting oil and gas
industry in Siberia and relief operations for the UN. It ranks among
Russia?s top five carriers in terms of passenger traffic, with intra-
regional services in western Siberia accounting for the bulk of volumes.
UTAir says it has a requirement for up to 15 aircraft.

SONG, the Delta low-cost operation, has survived a strategic review and
will expand with 12 more jets this year. Song president Joanne Smith
said the airline's operating costs are lower than the Delta?s mainline
costs. Last year the airline lost money, but Smith said the airline is
on a "very short track and timeline" to post profits.

TAP PORTUGAL has posted 2004 net profit of E8.6m, significantly lower
than a year ago and below its own forecast due to high fuel prices.
The airline's 2003 net profit was E19.7m, but its 2004 forecast was for
net profit of E15.8m. The carrier said it spent E72m more than was
budgeted for fuel. TAP Portugal expects to post net profit of E14m for
2005, chief executive Fernando Pinto said. The airline is looking to
privatise and considering a possible partnership or merger with PGA-
Portugalia Airlines. http://www.tap.pt

US AIRWAYS is still searching for an investor who will provide the $100m
in financing it still needs to emerge from bankruptcy protection,
aviation insiders have revealed. Soaring fuel prices also make it
difficult for the airline to estimate future costs, and low employee
morale is hurting operations. The airline hopes to leave bankruptcy by
31 August. http://www.usairways.com

UNITED STATES legislators have rebuffed an EU request to delay rolling
out new high-security passports. The European Commission warned of long
visa delays for millions of transatlantic tourists and executives. The
US wants all countries whose citizens do not need a visa to enter the US
on a 90-day trip, to issue new passports containing a computer chip with
a digital photograph of the holder by
25 October. The EU says it will not be ready in time and to avoid
lengthy visa application delays it has asked Washington to extend the
deadline to 28 August 2006. "I must advise such an outcome is
unlikely," the chairman of the US House of Representatives Judiciary
Committee chairman James Sensenbrenner said in a letter to the EU,
rebuffing the request. "The increased awareness and concern, of both the
American public and most members of Congress, regarding continued
weakness in US border security, will make an additional extension
difficult to accomplish. The American travel industry has said the US
economy could lose $10bn to $15bn a year if the visa waivers no longer
apply. http://www.uscis.gov

VIRGIN ATLANTIC has signed an agreement with BAA to renew and expand the
carrier?s facilities at Heathrow?s T3. It will allow the airline to
carry nearly twice as many passengers through the building. The new
works will be designed by Foster and Partners and will be completed in
phases from 2007 to 2021. The first phase will be ready for the arrival
of Virgin?s first Airbus A380 in 2008. The carrier says Upper Class
passengers will be welcomed at a new dedicated Drive Thru area, while
the new facilities will be so compact that passengers will only have to
walk as little as 200m from check-in to the gate.


A reminder to readers that nominations for the OAG Best Marketing
Campaign and Outstanding Service awards close on Friday 22 April. The
OAG Airline of the Year takes place at the Park Lane Sheraton in London
on the evening of Thursday 19 May. More details from the web site


ON TOUR: Nashville, Tennessee - Paul Norris reports

Think of the country music capital of the world and what do you think

Well country music, and, er, not much else.

The home of Dolly Parton, the Country Music Hall of Fame and the largest
guitar in the world shouts about its country heritage, but the city has
so much more than twanging six strings and songs of disastrous love.

Arrival at the city is exciting if only because you immediately spy the
Bat Building. A huge skyscraper with the summit shaped like Batman?s
head. Actually it?s the Bellsouth Tower, but Nashvillians love it and
it?s seen from around Downtown and beyond. In fact the downtown area is
small and therefore easy to negotiate. It is dominated by shrines to
music and sport.

The best attraction in Downtown Nashville, the Country Music Hall of
Fame, is well worth a visit. Elvis? gold Cadillac is there, as is Johnny
Cash memorabilia and tributes to every major country star. And next to
the Hall of Fame is the Gaylord Entertainment Center ? home of the
successful Nashville Predators ice hockey team. Yes, they do play hockey
in the south!

But over the Cumberland River is the real home of sport in Nashville ?
the Adelphia Stadium. The Tennessee Titans NFL football team ply their
brutal trade here and it?s a mecca for sports fans on match days. The
team is not so good these days, but there is always hope for next

Naturally enough, where there are sports stadia you?ll find lots of bars
and fast food outlets and Nashville is no different. But to be fair to
Nashville, it is out of Downtown and away from its country and sports
tourism that you?ll find the best bits.

A short drive to the Vanderbilt University district is a must. The area
teems with boutiques, modern bars and chic restaurants and, for a large
US city, is easy to walk around and explore. The Belle Meade district is
also worth a visit. The upmarket area is home to the city?s great and
good and driving around ogling the million-dollar mansions is fun, but
it has great attractions like the old plantation site from where it gets
it name, Cheekwood Mansion built by the Maxwell House coffee people and
manageable malls at Green Hills.
Towards the airport is the Opryland complex of restaurants, bars and a
huge convention-style hotel. The Grand Ole Opry country theatre is also
there, with its live shows for the public. Out of the city notable
attractions include President Andrew Jackson?s (1829-37) mansion at The
Hermitage. This son of Tennessee is still revered in the state and his
home is a wonderful snapshot of life in his era.
Further afield is the Jack Daniel?s bourbon distillery at Lynchburg in
southern Tennessee and just three hours down I-40 is Memphis, but that
does involve more country music!

From this side of the pond Nashville is a tricky place to get to.
British Airways pulled its non-stop service some years ago and none of
the other European majors fly direct to the city. So it?s a change at
one of the east coast hubs, or Chicago or Toronto. American Airlines
through the Windy City is a good one, but cheaper deals are available
with Air Canada via Toronto and there are always connections on to the
Southwest Airlines network which takes in Nashville.

As someone once sang, Nashville is not all ?guitars, Cadillacs and
hillbilly music?, it is a testament to the wealthy south, has heritage
and attractions in abundance, fine shopping and beautiful countryside.

INCIDENTALLY: Sir Richard Boxes Clever

FOR a man not afraid to punch above his weight when needed, how apt it
is that Sir Richard Branson is now involved in the noble art of boxing.
But Branson, being Branson, is using the fight game in his never-ending
quest for promotion of his airline. Virgin Atlantic is sponsoring the
latest fight of Olympic silver medallist and great British boxing hope
Amir Khan. The young Olympic hero, who stunned fans with his bravery and
skill, will take on gold medal winner and Athens opponent Mario Kindelan
on 30 April. The fight will celebrate the start of Virgin services
between Gatwick and Havana this summer.
Sir Richard said: ?We are absolutely delighted to be the lead sponsor
for Amir Khan's rematch with the Cuban Mario Kindelan. Let's hope Amir
gains his revenge from his defeat in the Olympic final!? Virgin
Atlantic?s flights to Havana will operate from 27 June 2005 twice

And whilst we are on a mention of Cuba rumours that Fidel Castro?s
communist regime have banned tipping appear to be untrue. Visitors will
still be allowed to offer coinage (dollars preferred) for good service
and no doubt hotels and restaurants will continue to add 15% (Cuba of
course still under American 15% rather than European 10% influence). The
tipping rumour all stems from the Cuban Tourism Ministries now infamous
resolution 10 designed to stop government employees taking bribes. It
has been misunderstood says the ministry.
Tipping is allowed but bribing is not. It?s the same the world over!

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 04, 2005 6:04 pm    Post subject: Re: AIR & BUSINESS TRAVEL NEWS Reply with quote

"Jim Mason" <jim.mason (AT) spamtrappedukonline (DOT) co.uk> wrote

Lost access to the GLA newsgroup after the link you gave me wanted paying!

Back to top
Jim Mason

PostPosted: Mon Apr 04, 2005 7:38 pm    Post subject: Re: AIR & BUSINESS TRAVEL NEWS Reply with quote

In article <42518023$0$29524$c3e8da3 (AT) news (DOT) astraweb.com>,
[email]no.spam (AT) talk21 (DOT) com[/email] says...

"Jim Mason" <jim.mason (AT) spamtrappedukonline (DOT) co.uk> wrote

Lost access to the GLA newsgroup after the link you gave me wanted paying!

Only ¤15 a year!


Back to top

PostPosted: Mon Apr 04, 2005 9:45 pm    Post subject: Re: AIR & BUSINESS TRAVEL NEWS Reply with quote

"Jim Mason" <jim.moason (AT) mason26 (DOT) fsbusiness.co.uk> wrote

In article <42518023$0$29524$c3e8da3 (AT) news (DOT) astraweb.com>,
[email]no.spam (AT) talk21 (DOT) com[/email] says...

"Jim Mason" <jim.mason (AT) spamtrappedukonline (DOT) co.uk> wrote

Lost access to the GLA newsgroup after the link you gave me wanted paying!

Only ¤15 a year!


I know but I already pay for newsgroup access so I don't want to pay twice
just to pick up one extra group. Shame I can't find a newsgroup provider
that has access to all groups. Still there is always google!

Back to top
Jim Mason

PostPosted: Tue Apr 05, 2005 5:35 am    Post subject: Re: AIR & BUSINESS TRAVEL NEWS Reply with quote

In article <4251b40d$0$15155$c3e8da3 (AT) news (DOT) astraweb.com>,
[email]no.spam (AT) talk21 (DOT) com[/email] says...

"Jim Mason" <jim.moason (AT) mason26 (DOT) fsbusiness.co.uk> wrote in message
news:MPG.1cbba82473a0d82d9897f9 (AT) news (DOT) freeserve.com...
In article <42518023$0$29524$c3e8da3 (AT) news (DOT) astraweb.com>,
[email]no.spam (AT) talk21 (DOT) com[/email] says...

"Jim Mason" <jim.mason (AT) spamtrappedukonline (DOT) co.uk> wrote

Lost access to the GLA newsgroup after the link you gave me wanted paying!

Only ?15 a year!


I know but I already pay for newsgroup access so I don't want to pay twice
just to pick up one extra group. Shame I can't find a newsgroup provider
that has access to all groups. Still there is always google!

Can't you badger your existing server to provide it? After all if you
are paying for the service.


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