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Corporate Newsletter: Issue #8

Welcome to Edge Intelligence for May 2008

Letter from the Editor

Executive Edge Travel and Events announces that Edge Intelligence will become a bi-monthly newsletter as of this month. We will still bring you the latest industry, business hotel news and current conferences and events information but every other month. Therefore the next issue will come out July 1st.

This month we recommend avoiding Heathrow's new Terminal 5 which officially opened last month but continues to experience major problems with delays, flight cancellations and luggage system dramas. British Airways hopes the problems will be remedied soon.

As always, we are pleased to have you as valued clients and we thank you for your business.

Kimberly Rosbe
Editor at Large


 
   

INDUSTRY NEWS

BUSINESS HOTEL NEWS

EVENTS AND CONFERENCES

EDGE INTELLIGENCE

   

INDUSTRY NEWS

Open Skies for Transpacific Flights to lower fare prices
V Australia launch new LA route
New StarClass service on Jetstar international flights
Delta aims for direct flights to OZ from East Coast
Terminal 5 opens at Heathrow to major problems

BUSINESS HOTEL NEWS

Featured business hotel: Hotel Realm Canberra
Michelin chefs showcase at Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong
Luxury Regent brand expanding to Kuala Lumpur

EVENTS AND CONFERENCES

Bangkok Convention Centre receives Green honour
Vietnam to host ASEAN Tourism Forum 2009
Upcoming Conventions and Incentives in New Zealand

EDGE INTELLIGENCE

Buyer Beware: The pitfalls of booking online


INDUSTRY NEWS

Open Skies for transpacific flights to lower fare prices

Recently a policy change to Australia's restrictive transpacific flights will go a long way to opening the skies for greater competition and inevitable fare price drops for the route. Under the Open Skies Agreement, non-stop flights between Australia and the US will be liberalised, allowing new airlines and additional flights onto the route. Qantas has previously enjoyed special rights on this route which allowed the national carrier to command premium fares. Now, however, the Open Skies agreement will increase competition on the route and provide a catalyst for a new wave of US tourists into Australia due to the cheaper fares.

V Australia launch new LA route

Virgin Blue seem to be the frontrunners for Qantas's new competition under the Open Skies Agreement. Sir Richard Branson has just announced that V Australia will fly from Sydney to LA starting December 15th. Daily services will commence on December 15th with flight VA001 departing Sydney at 9:45pm and arriving in the US at 4:30pm the same day. Return flights depart from LA at 11:30pm local time and arrive 9:20am two days later. The flight will operate a 3 class service designated as international economy, business class and premium economy.

Two more V Australia destinations will be unveiled soon, accordingly to Sir Branson.

New StarClass service on Jetstar International flights

Finally Jetstar is offering a premium cabin for its international flights. StarClass offers a distinct change from economy for its 38 passengers aboard their Airbus 330-200s. Leather-upholstered seats similar to Qantas's business version are wide and soft with all the benefits of the best seats in the industry inclusive of in-seat cinema system. Says flight service manager Michael Kay, "We offer Aussie service without the pretentiousness invading most premium class cabins." Best of all, the upmarket cabin is offered at the price of an equivalent economy fare on a full-service airline.

Delta aims for direct flight to Oz from East Coast

Glenn Hauenstein, Delta's Executive Vice President for network planning and revenue, has announced its plans for a 777 that can reach Australia non-stop from US East Coast hubs. Currently all flights from New York, Washington, Boston and Atlanta have to stop in LA to refuel adding hours to the long-haul trip from the East Coast of the States to Australia. The US carrier Delta wants the manufacturer to create modifications to the 777-200LR model, which is already the longest range aircraft in the skies today. Hauenstein said the aircraft could be fitted with extra fuel capacity to achieve the additional distance.

Although still in the research and development stage, this new aircraft could change travel for Australians drastically.

Terminal 5 opens at Heathrow to major problems

The March 27th opening of Heathrow was plagued with problems. Not only were delays abundant and dozens of flights cancelled, the new baggage system isn't working and has been suspended indefinitely. Adding to the bedlam, British Airways, who is the only occupant of Terminal 5, said passengers were unable to check-in hold luggage due to a glitch in the system.

BA reps aren't accepting all blame and claimed that the carrier is embarking on "one of the most complex and largest airport moves in history."

Meanwhile, Air New Zealand and United Airlines will become the first airlines to move from Heathrow's Terminal 3 to the revamped Terminal 1. Qantas will move from Terminal 4 to Terminal 3 along with Virgin Atlantic until Terminal 2 is refurbished.

BUSINESS HOTEL NEWS

Featured business hotel: Hotel Realm Canberra

Canberra's shortage of 5 star hotel rooms has been remedied with the recent opening of the city's second luxury hotel, Hotel Realm. Officially opening its doors in March, the Hotel Realm's designers aimed to exceed expectations and provide more than just a place to rest your head. The Hotel Realm offers the comforts of home with the support of an offsite office and the lifestyle of a leisure hotel. Located a short distance from Parliament House, the hotel has 158 suite-style accommodation as well as an exclusive executive floor and a choice of three restaurants. The property is well-timed to meet the needs of the business traveller to Canberra.

Michelin chefs showcase at Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong

Connoisseurs of French cuisine will be provided a rare chance to experience the culinary creations of two of the finest two star Michelin chefs at The Landmark Mandarin Oriental in Hong Kong in May. In celebration of Le French May, the hotel has invited Jean-Francois Piege from Le Crillon Paris and Thierry Marx from the equally distinguished Chateau Cordeillan-Bage to showcase their fine food at the Mandarin's signature Amber restaurant.

From May 7-10th Jean-Francois Piege will conduct four dinners and two unique private lunches. Then from May 26-29th, Thierry Marx will unveil his inventive cuisine during four dinners and two lunches.

For bookings please contact the Amber restaurant or The Landmark Mandarin Oriental's concierge.

Luxury Regent brand expanding to Kuala Lumpur

Carlson Hotels Worldwide, one of the world's largest privately-owned hotel companies, is continuing the expansion of its luxury Regent brand into key gateway cities across the Asia Pacific region with the opening of The Regent Kuala Lumpur. The 250 room hotel will feature an additional 102 exclusive luxury apartments which will be branded as The Regent Residences. The hotel will occupy a prime city-centre location in the heart of the city's Golden Triangle with breathtaking views of the iconic Petronas Twin Towers and KLCC Park just 200 metres walking distance away.

This new property adds momentum to the global expansion of Regent Hotels Worldwide and the company has recently announced that 5 additional resorts are also under development in the Asia Pacific region including a Regent in Bangkok, Phuket and Manila Bay in the Philippines.

EVENTS AND CONFERENCES

Bangkok Convention Centre receives Green Honour

The Bangkok Convention Centre has achieved the prestigious Green Globe Benchmarked Bronze status under the globally recognised Benchmarking program. This program honours commitment to the Green S tandard – the world's highest environmental standard. In achieving Benchmarked Bronze status, Bangkok Convention Centre promises to benchmark its energy and water consumption, total waste production and community commitment along with implementing an integrated environmental and social Green policy. Most notably, the convention centre has ensured progress in energy saving which will lead to large cost savings and help create a path to securing a sustainable future for the environment.

Vietnam to host ASEAN Tourism Forum 2009

The Vietnam tourism industry is gearing up for next year's ASEAN Tourism Forum 2009 which will give the country a unique chance to showcase its people, culture and history to international investors. The eight day event will be held in Hanoi from January 5-12th with the opening ceremony at the National Convention Centre. Vietnam's National Administration of Tourism (VNAT) is organising the event and will be hosting a website to register soon.

Upcoming Conventions and Incentives in New Zealand

A new initiative in New Zealand has just been announced called 'Meetings 2008' which is a two day business tourism event to be held at Westpac Arena in Christchurch on July 30-31st. Meetings 2008 showcases over 180 of New Zealand's key destinations, venues, products and services for conventions, meetings, exhibitions, events and travel incentive programs. Hosted buyers are invited to attend the event and will receive complimentary registration, air fare, accommodation and enjoy the renowned Meetings social events.

EDGE INTELLIGENCE

Buyer Beware: The pitfalls of booking online

Australians are among the world's most prolific users of the Internet, with 20 percent of all travel sales booked online. However, quite often the risks and pitfalls far outweigh the rewards. Horror stories are abound about people booking their holiday online only to find that the property doesn't even exist. When it comes to buying travel on the internet, mistakes are made at your own peril. Once the terms and conditions box has been ticked and payment transactions completed, any errors become solely your responsibility, rendering refunds highly unlikely. You should also be aware that when you book with an overseas entity, you leave the safety of Australian consumer protection laws making recourse virtually impossible.

 
   
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