Air France-KLM carried 5.3m passengers last month, 1.8% more than in February 2013. Traffic in revenue passenger kilometres grew by 2.9% on capacity in available seat kilometres up 1.1%, resulting in a 1.4 percentage point improvement in load factor to 81.9%. Click here to see the full figures.
The Stobart Group is selling 51% of its famous trucking division to pay off debts and concentrate on its energy, air and rail businesses. The group is selling the stake in Eddie Stobart to Isle of Man investment manager DBAY for £280.8m. Its air division includes Southend and Carlisle airports. Click here for more details of the deal.
London & Partners, the official promotional organisation for London, has launched a new convention bureau website providing a one-stop-shop for event planners. The website offers improved venue listing services and an all-new search and shortlisting tool. Created using feedback from the events industry, the new site aims to provide an efficient and easy-to-use service for event planners around the world.
Entrepreneur Lara Morgan will join producer-songwriter Pete Waterman OBE and chef Levi Roots as speakers at The Global Travel Group’s annual conference later this month. Morgan built up her business, Pacific Direct Ltd, which manufactures and sells brand licensed toiletries and amenities to the hotel industry, before selling a majority stake in the company for £20m in 2008. Click here for more.
Serenity Holidays is adding webinars to its training activities, giving agents the opportunity to interact with its trade team without leaving their offices. Corsica and Sardinia will be the focus of the operator’s first webinar, which will offer essential destination information, product updates on its Corsican Places and Sardinian Places brands, recommendations and tips. For more details click here.
The Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority reports the emirate’s 149 hotels and hotel apartments increased guest numbers by 36% year-on-year to 276,970 in January. Guest nights, meanwhile, were up 26% at 855,651. Occupancy rose by ten percentage points to 77% and average room rate by 2% to AED462 (£75).
European specialist tour operator, Fred.\, has launched its first standalone river cruise brochure, featuring 11 itineraries, all of which may be packaged together with its air and tailor-made ground and city break product. Prices lead in at £1,065 per person for a seven-night ‘The Tulip Cruise’ on the Rhine.
Advantage Travel Partnership is supporting the Government’s gender equality in the workplace initiative, Think, Act, Report. The voluntary initiative aims to drive greater transparency on women’s workforce issues and help companies think about gender equality in recruitment, retention, promotion and pay. Click here for more details from Advantage.
SriLankan Airlines will become a full member of oneworld on Thursday 1 May – the first carrier from the Indian subcontinent to become part of any global airline alliance. SriLankan was sponsored into oneworld by Cathay Pacific Airways. For more details click here.
And finally…a couple from Kansas City, Missouri, are putting their lives on hold to fulfil a dream of visiting all 59 US National Parks in 59 weeks. Don and Shelly Hafner have left their jobs, rented their home out and purchased an RV to undertake their ‘ultimate bucket list’ journey. The couple’s tour will begin on 1 April 2014 at Hot Springs National Park in Arkansas and end on 4 July 2015. Click here for more details of their trip.
The Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee yesterday voted to maintain the UK base rate of interest at 0.5%. Meanwhile, the European Central Bank (ECB) kept its benchmark interest rate at its record low of 0.25%. eurozone interest rates have remained unchanged since November 2013.
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Travel management company Hillgate Travel has appointed Antoine Boatwright to the new role of chief technology officer.
Boatwright has more than 20 years’ experience in global software and services across consulting, sales, operations and product management.
Previously he was at Dell Computers, where he worked for the last ten years in several strategic service, product marketing and operational roles. He has also worked for Oracle and Logica Space and Communications.
Anthony Rissbrook, managing director of Hillgate Travel, said: ‘Antoine has a proven track record of leading teams and delivering performance improvement.
‘Having someone with his credentials join the team is testament to the investment we are making in the field of travel technology development for the business traveller and their companies.’
His appointment follows the recent arrival of James Amos, online travel and expense solutions manager, as Hillgate Travel focuses on continued growth in 2014.