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Corporate Travel Services
December 2016
Dear Customer,
Our December 2016 Newsletter is here. We hope you find our monthly newsletters which cover a review of what’s happened as well as what's coming up across the travel industry useful and interesting. Our newsletters are aimed at keeping you updated with the latest travel news from the UK and other parts of the world, as well as developments in the corporate travel domain and how these benefit travel management and decisions related to business travel. In this edition, we cover news about new flight routes, new hotel launches, business lounges, developments at Gatwick, and much more. Season's Greetings!
Yours Faithfully,
Applehouse Travel Media Team
Aer Lingus adds Miami to its transatlantic routes
  • As part of its strategy to expand its transatlantic operations, Aer Lingus has announced a new route to Miami from Dublin. The Irish airline will operate the new route three times a week from September next year. Aer Lingus’s current transatlantic routes are Boston, Chicago, New York, Orlando, San Francisco, Washington and Toronto via Dublin and Boston and New York via Shannon, as well as the new routes to Los Angeles, Newark and Hartford.

Air New Zealand named Airline of the Year by AirlineRatings.com
Air New Zealand has been announced as the Airline of the Year 2016 for its record-breaking financial performance, award-winning in-flight innovations, operational safety, environmental leadership and employee motivation by the airlines rating website Airlineratings.com. AirlineRatings.com Editor-in-Chief Geoffrey Thomas said: "In our objective analysis Air New Zealand came out number one in virtually all of our audit criteria, which is an exceptional performance."

American Airlines & British Airways offer flyers the opportunity to earn more Miles
  • Travellers can now earn more award miles when they fly a roundtrip to the USA on American, British Airways, Finnair or Iberia, between 18 November and December 11, 2016. American Airlines AAdvantage® members can earn up to 30,000 bonus award miles, while British Airways Executive Club members can earn Triple Avios. Members of either frequent flyer programme who belong to the On Business programme can earn three times the On Business Points.
Ethiopian steps up Cape Town flights, giving boost to London service
  • From 2nd December, Ethiopian Airlines will boost its service from Addis Ababa to Cape Town to 10 flights per week, out of which seven are non-stop with Boeing 787s.  With the new schedule, the connecting time for the London service is around 2 hours in both directions. Ethiopian Airlines operates out of Heathrow Terminal 2, with Business Class passengers able to access the United Airlines' Club Lounge.
Boeing, Gatwick work together
  • Gatwick and Boeing will jointly build a multi-million pound commercial aviation maintenance hangar at the airport. Subject to approval, the construction of the facility will begin next year and will be open for operations in 2018.  The maintenance hangar will also add engineering capacity at Gatwick to support airlines as the airport continues to grow.
Oman Air announces daily Manchester service
  • Oman Air has announced the launch of a daily service to Muscat from Manchester. From 1st May 2017, A330-200 aircraft will be deployed to operate daily services on the Muscat-Manchester route, connecting beyond to over 80% of the Oman Air network, including Bangkok, Singapore, Saudi Arabia and 11 destinations in India.
British Airways travellers to pay up to £20 for making flight bookings with a credit card
  • From December 14 2016, British Airways' customers paying by credit card will be charged a 1 per cent fee of their total ticket price, up to a maximum of £20. The current fee is a flat £5 per person per booking for both consumer and trade credit cards. This change does not affect payments made by debit cards.
Singapore Airlines launches non-stop routes from Manchester
  • Singapore Airlines has started a new five times weekly service from Singapore to Manchester to Houston. Flight SQ52 departs Singapore at 2:35 am and arrives at 9:00 am in Manchester. It departs at 10:15 am for Houston and arrives in the city at 3:35 pm. Flight SQ51 takes off from Houston at 7:15 pm, touching down in Manchester at 10:05 am. It then departs for Singapore at 11:35 am and arrives in the city at 8:20 am the next morning.
Richard Branson reveals prototype for supersonic passenger jet
  • British entrepreneur and boss of Virgin Atlantic, Sir Richard Branson, has unveiled a new prototype supersonic jet airliner which would carry passengers between London and New York in just three and a half hours. This exciting new jet (nicknamed Baby Boom), is being touted as a replacement to Concorde and according to developers, the cost of a return flight would be in the region of $5,000 (£4,052). The XB-1 Supersonic demo aircraft was presented by Branson at the launch event in Denver and the first flight test is expected next year in California.
Manchester and Stansted airports report record passenger numbers
  • Manchester and Stansted, two of the biggest airports in the UK, have both reported record numbers of passengers. Manchester Airport, which is the UK’s third busiest in terms of passenger numbers achieved 11.8% year-on-year growth in passenger numbers over the past 12 months, whilst London Stansted saw a jump of 6% overall.
Hotel & Lounge Openings
NH Hotel Group expands
Following the launch of its premium brand, NH Collection in America, Spain's NH Hotel Group has opened two luxury properties in two key Spanish cities - Gran Hotel Calderón in Barcelona and Hotel Suecia in Madrid. The Gran Hotel Calderón offers 255 rooms, including 14 junior suites, plus 10 rooms for events and meetings totalling 700sq m and capacity for 350 people. The historic Hotel Suecia has been completely renovated to offer 123 rooms, including 11 junior suites.
City Suites to open first property in Manchester
  • In January 2017, City Suites will inaugurate its 237-unit apartment development in Manchester. Located on Chapel Street in the city centre, it features an array of studios and one and two bedroom options. The property comes with a pool, on-site gym, valet parking and fully-manned reception. Guests will be able to stay on a short-term basis, with options up to 12 months.

Ritz-Carlton to open in New Zealand
New Zealand will soon welcome its first Ritz-Carlton Hotel after the company signed a management agreement with NDG Asia Pacific (NZ) for a 300-room new-build property in Auckland. The hotel will be located in the downtown area, close to the prominent city landmarks. There will be two restaurants offering fine dining and two Ritz-Carlton ballrooms which can be used for international conventions and business meetings as well as showcasing events and weddings.
SkyTeam's lounge opens in Beijing

SkyTeam has unveiled a new luxury lounge at Beijing Capital International Airport. It is the second such lounge in the Greater China region and the sixth worldwide. The airline alliance’s new lounge is open to First and Business Class passengers and Elite Plus members flying on any of the 12 SkyTeam airlines serving the airport. The lounge has seating capacity for more than 150 guests.

Jumeirah Al Naseem opens 1 December
Jumeirah Al Naseem will open its doors to the public on 1 December 2016. The latest addition to the Jumeirah portfolio is located on a 2 km stretch of sand, from the Jumeirah Beach Hotel to the Jumeirah Al Qasr and overlooks Burj Al Arab Jumeirah. The rooms will have walk-in rain showers, floor-to-ceiling windows and private outdoor terraces.

Christmas News
Sydney Airport launches gift card in time for Christmas
Sydney Airport recently launched the first Australian airport gift card. The card can be used across a range of retail stores at the Sydney Airport and offers a unique and convenient gifting option this Christmas. The card can also be used to access the airport's different food and dining services.
World's largest indoor light display at USS Christmas event
Universal Studios Singapore (USS) will be home to the world's largest indoor light display this Christmas. A total of 824,961 light bulbs have been used for the display, which is a Guinness World Record. The display has eight thematic zones and a section decorated with large Christmas presents.
A 94-foot Rockefeller Christmas tree arrives in New York City
A 94-foot Christmas tree recently made an impressive arrival at the Rockefeller Center, in New York. Hundreds of people gathered on the streets as workers positioned the tree using a crane. It will be the 84th tree to decorate the Rockefeller Center.
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