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Welcome to Edge Intelligence for November 2008

Letter from the Editor

A new era in long-haul air travel has at last arrived on our soil. On October 20th the inaugural Australian commercial flight for Qantas of the Airbus 380 took off from Melbourne bound for Los Angeles, closely followed by a Sydney-LA flight on October 24th. The cutting-edge, double decker megaliner able to carry 450 passengers in 4 classes is the single most advanced, spacious and eco-efficient plane in history - a true engineering feat. The hype is all justified. Bookings are now available through your Edge consultant.

One of our Directors, Sally Bird, is embarking upon her own first this month - having a baby. In fact, she is due any day now. During her maternity leave simply email travel@executiveedge.com.au and her replacements Dana Michael and Sonia Ware will handle your travel requests. It's business as usual, rest assured. Please see Industry News for further details.

How is air travel integrating the latest mobile technology? A mobile version of the qantas.com website has been launched for the Apple iPhone 3G. To access the service go to qantas.com/mobile from the iPhone Safari browser and select '+' and 'Add to Home Screen' to save the URL as a Qantas icon on your iPhone's home screen..

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

Kimberly Rosbe
Editor at Large


 
   

INDUSTRY NEWS

BUSINESS HOTEL NEWS

EDGE INTELLIGENCE

EVENTS AND CONFERENCES

   

INDUSTRY NEWS

Edge Director Sally Bird takes maternity leave
Despite recent string of incidents, air travel is safer than ever
The best way to fly economy
Virgin unveils new enhancements for business market

BUSINESS HOTEL NEWS

Featured business hotel: Strings Tokyo
Demand for airport hotels increases

EDGE INTELLIGENCE

AAirpass allows prepaid unrestricted travel
Avis offers GPS for car rentals
World Cars' merge grants 7 free days for Europe rentals

EVENTS AND CONFERENCES

Special rates at Hilton Melbourne for conference delegates
Hyatt Regency Sanctuary Cove leads country in iconic conference destinations


INDUSTRY NEWS

Edge Director Sally Bird takes maternity leave

Sally Bird, one of the Directors of Executive Edge Travel & Events, is currently on maternity leave. She has arranged for a smooth transition and business as usual in her absence. Her replacements are a team of three - Dana Michael, Sonia Ware and Debra Chalmers, Sally's long-time dedicated assistant. If you are one of Sally's existing clients, simply email one address - travel@executiveedge.com.au for your corporate or leisure queries and either Dana, Sonia or Debra will handle all your travel arrangements. Sally will be keeping in close contact with the office throughout her time away.

It's business as usual, rest assured.

DANA MICHAEL
Direct Line: (03) 9519 -7731
Email: travel@executiveedge.com.au
Working Days: Monday & Tuesday 9am-5pm

SONIA WARE
Direct Line: (03) 9519-7731
Email: travel@executiveedge.com.au
Working Days: Wednesday, Thursday & Friday 9am-5pm

DEBRA CHALMERS
Direct Line: (03) 9519-7719
Email: debrac@executiveedge.com.au
Working Days:Tuesday through Friday 8:30am-4:30pm

Despite recent string of incidents, air travel is safer than ever

Despite the recent string of incidents involving Qantas aircrafts that have made Australian travelers uneasy, air travel is the safest mode of transportation. Qantas has refused countless media requests to answer questions about its safety leading many travelers to wonder. However, the reality is that Qantas maintains one of the world's most impressive safety records. Their safety premise reflects a larger trend that air travel in general is safer than ever before in history - a fact that recent statistics for 2007 confirm.

On an average day 6 million people are in the air and flying is 22 times safer than traveling via car. To put this figure in perspective, in a typical 6 month period in the United States 21,000 people are killed on their roads which equates to the world's total loss of life in commercial airline accidents since 1960.

Since 1960, the worldwide tally of fatal accidents has decreased from 45 per million departures to less than 1 death per million departures due to improved aircraft, drastically more reliable engines and computerized cockpit technology. These factors coupled with the industry's relentless oversight has led to an all-time low for accidents in 2007, with 25 fatal crashes accounting for 744 fatalities.

The primary factor in reducing aircraft accidents can be attributed to cockpit automation. Most large aircrafts such as the Boeing 747, 777, 717 as well as the Airbus 330 and 340, have fully computerised glass cockpits accounting for the unblemished safety records.

The countries which contain the worst records for 2007 are Africa, Indonesia, Latin American and Russia.

The best way to fly economy

If business or first-class is not an option, there are ways to maximise the pleasure of an economy flight. Seating is the first and foremost consideration in booking an economy flight. Secure preferred seating in advance through the airline or your travel agent. The golden rule is to be as far forward in an aircraft as possible - the further back you are, the noisier and bumpier the ride will be and the most likely you will be served last for meals. The forward seats also mean faster disembarkation, shorter immigration queues and you are most likely to be away from the toilets. The best seats of all are the emergency exit rows in economy but these cannot be reserved in advance, so you will need to check-in early to secure the spots. Bulkheads are also an advantageous and spacious selection but keep in mind families with infants and small children often book these seats as well. Pre-ordering special meals can also have a huge impact on your travel experience.

In international flights, there is a new trend towards premium economy cabins. These cabins generally offer bigger seats, increased recline and more leg room and the in-flight entertainment and food is often better as well. Some airlines also offer priority check-in, additional hand baggage and priority disembarkation for premium economy cabins.

Increased security has doubled the amount of time needed to spend in airports before your flight, so where you spend your time is paramount. Airport lounges, normally reserved for first and business class passengers, also open their doors to independent VIP lounge programs such as American Express. Check out www.prioritypass.com for various ways to get lounge access without the expensive price tag. With the right preparation, and the help of your Edge consultant, an economy long-haul flight can still be a pleasurable experience.

Virgin unveils new enhancements for business market

Long haul flights aboard V Australia continue their product line advancements. For the business client, new international size lie-flat business class beds have been installed as well as a new in-flight bar. The flat-bed seats feature multi-adjustable seats that convert to a fully flat bed with padded mattress and yet all seats still boast direct access to the aisle. For all trans-Pacific flights, V Australia has added an in-flight bar to all business class and premium economy cabins so you can mingle and stretch your legs.

Virgin Blue chief executive Brett Godfrey has conveyed that the airline intends to market to the corporate sector in particular and aims to meet the needs of the business traveler beyond those of its competitors.

Virgin Blue has also announced plans for a major expansion of its international network with new flights to and from Sydney. Under the new program which commenced October 14th, the Virgin network will have nine weekly return services operating the key Sydney-Auckland route. Daily direct flights between Melbourne and Auckland have already been launched.

BUSINESS HOTEL NEWS

Featured business hotel: Strings Tokyo

Next time your business takes you to Tokyo, we recommend the Intercontinental Strings hotel. This oasis occupying the top seven floors of an office building is conveniently located across the road from Shinagawa station which is one of the stations for the bullet train to Kyoto. The hotel's heightened perch allows for a peaceful respite with all the virtues of a world-class business hotel in a boutique atmosphere.

The interior is a blend of contemporary and traditional Japanese design with the extensive use of dark wood and warm colours intended to convey serenity and well-being. The spacious rooms all have spectacular views over Tokyo Bay and the futuristic Rainbow Bridge. The hotel boasts a 24-hour gym, business centre and complimentary internet access in every room as well as a spa and two restaurants serving Chinese and French fare.

26-32 Floors Shinagawa East One Tower
2-16-1 Konan, Minato-ku
www.intercontinental-strings.jp

Demand for airport hotels increases

According to industry experts, the demand for airport hotels continue to grow as a result of expanded leisure services (such as spas), state-of-the-art meeting facilities and the increasing number of companies based in industrial areas near airports. Airport hotels, in fact, are now one of the most popular leisure, corporate and meetings markets. Business and leisure travelers report that the convenience of being so close to to the airport when on an early flight alleviates any concerns about taxis and public transport to make connections. For those flying in for corporate purposes, many groups are choosing an airport hotel to base themselves. Many companies, including governmental agencies have been selecting airport hotels for meetings as well. In addition, businesses who preferred not to hold a conference or exhibition within a CBD have found airport hotels an attractive alternative. Although airport hotels across the board are exhibiting increased demand at present, Sydney's airport hotels have performed the strongest levels of occupancy and growth rate. Only a few years ago, 90% of airport stays were for one night and today corporate travelers in particular are extending their stays to take advantage of jetlag spa centres, prepare presentations, arrange meetings or just relax before the next part of their journey.

EDGE INTELLIGENCE

AAirpass allows prepaid unrestricted travel

American Airlines is now offering a program called AAirpass - a travel card, with the appearance of a credit card, which provides superb benefits. Not only does the AAirpass program protect travelers from fare changes but it also provides unrestricted air travel at a fixed rate. With the card's privileges, you can travel anytime, even at a moment's notice, to any of the 250 plus worldwide destinations served by American Airlines, American Eagle and American Connection including the United States, Canada, Europe, India, Japan, China, the Caribbean, Latin America and Mexico.

AAirpass membership also includes the VIP privileges of Admirals Club membership, First-Class Check-in, and priority wait-list for upgrades. For up to date program details visit www.aairpass.com

Avis offers GPS for car rentals

Avis is now offering the high-tech version of Garmin's latest GPS technology to its rental clients in the US. The device is called Where2 GPS and is the perfect travel companion. The device is extremely user friendly and offers a touch screen for ease of handling as well as voice handling. With a mere touch of the screen, it can look up addresses, restaurants, hotels, ATMS and any other points of interest for the disoriented traveller. Then a clear voice guides you verbally announcing streets and exits by name. It even provides MSN Direct to give you access to local traffic reports, local events and weather.

World Cars' merge grants 7 free days for Europe rentals

Car rental giant World Cars has merged with Citroen in Europe creating a new leasing package that provides seven free days for every booking of 21 days or more. The offer is also extended to repeat clients who shall receive an additional bonus of a further three days free. Additionally, all customers will be offered a 50% discount for pick up or drop off outside France. For all vehicles that are brand new with unlimited kilometers, bookings must be made prior to 31 December.

EVENTS AND CONFERENCES

Special rates at Hilton Melbourne for conference delegates

The Hilton Melbourne Airport's 16 state-of-the-art meeting and conference rooms are proving to be a hit with event organizers, according to the General Manager of the hotel Chris Partridge. The meeting rooms have been so well received because of the convenience factor - simply fly into Melbourne and within minutes step into your meeting/conference saving valuable time and money.

The hotel is spread out over six floors above the airport car park and features direct pedestrian access to both the domestic and international terminals via a covered walkway. Currently, the Hilton is offering a Melbourne Airport Meetings Daily Delegate Package which costs a mere $85 per delegate. The cost includes arrival tea or coffee, room hire, morning and afternoon tea, lunch and basic audio visual equipment.

The 276 rooms feature in-room flight information as well as Broadband internet access. The hotel also includes a lounge bar, ballroom, gym and heated indoor pool, spa, sauna and steam room. A fully serviced Business Centre is available on the Hilton Meetings floor.

Hyatt Regency Sanctuary Cove leads country in iconic conference destinations

The aesthetic appeal of the Hyatt Regency Sanctuary Cove on the northern tip of the Gold Coast in Queensland remains the greatest draw for conference attendees. Half of the hotel's bookings derive from conferences as business guests most appreciate the ultra-modern facilities set amongst beautiful grounds perched on a rise overlooking the marina. Many conference functions and events are held outside as a result, which lends a more relaxed and holiday-like quality to the business trip.

Sanctuary Cove is well-positioned between Coolangatta Airport on the Gold Coast and Brisbane International Airport. The hotel has 247 rooms and suites, three restaurants, a sand-edged lagoon pool and a separate 25-metre heated pool. Rates start at $245 per night but ask your Edge consultant for information on packages and conference and events deals and specials. www.sanctuarycove.hyatt.com

 

 
   
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