What the Saturday papers said
Lord Marshall of Knightsbridge, who has died aged 78, was the long-serving chief executive and chairman of British Airways; he was also president of the CBI, and held a clutch of other demanding boardroom appointments. For more from The Daily Telegraph’s obituary, see today’s e-tid.com.
Thomas Cook investors were dealt a blow after Standard & Poor’s downgraded the holiday company’s credit rating and warned that it could have to push through a debt restructuring given its ‘unsustainable’ capital position. Thomas Cook shares fell 0.19 to 15.06p as S&P cut the company’s credit rating from B to B-, with a negative outlook, and said the tour operator would find it difficult to stabilise cash flows (Telegraph).
Holidaymakers have been urged to continue visiting the Maldives, despite calls by the country’s former president for a tourist boycott. Friends of Maldives, a UK-based pro-democracy group, came out against a blanket boycott, even though it rejects the legitimacy of the current government (Telegraph).
The captain of the wrecked Costa Concordia, Francesco Schettino, is said to be negotiating two €50,000 interviews, one with a TV channel and another with a news magazine. The news follows unconfirmed rumours that a US publisher was looking into a book deal with him (Independent).
The number of tourist visitor arrivals from China to Australia in May hit 50,000, a rise of 17% on May 2011, underlining the importance of Chinese visitors to Australia’s tourism industry. In contrast, those from the UK rose just 0.4% to 48,800 (FT).
The euro hit its weakest level in two years and suffered its biggest weekly fall all year following short-lived optimism after last week’s EU summit. The UK pound rose to its highest level against the euro since the collapse of Lehman Brothers in 2008 on relative haven demand (FT).
International Airlines Group’s share price rose 3½p to 159¼p amid continuing enthusiasm after the strong traffic figures that it posted during the week (Times). Buyers checked into InterContinental Hotels on hearing that not only had leading broker Bank of America/Merrill upgraded but speculation suggests that activist investor Nelson Peltz had recently been adding to his 4.3% stake. Its share price closed 14p higher at 1555p (Mail).
What the Sunday papers said
A group of influential Conservative MPs says that creating a hub in west London is the cheapest and fastest solution to an impending ‘capacity crunch’ that threatens Britain’s economic future. The plan to build two more runways at Heathrow would destroy hundreds of homes and break a pledge in the Coalition agreement which ruled out a third runway (Telegraph).
Transport officials are to be ordered to draw up a business case for a new four-runway hub airport – news that will delight supporters of the proposed Thames estuary airport. The Government has decided that to compete with rivals on the Continent, replacing Heathrow as Britain’s largest airport has become ‘a case of when, not if’ (Times). A new four-runway airport in the Thames estuary could create insurmountable problems above London, warns Richard Deakin, the chief executive of the National Air Traffic Service (Telegraph).
Aer Lingus is considering an expansion into domestic flights in Britain in a clear signal to Ryanair that it is pursuing its own growth strategy and has no intention of submitting to a takeover. The Irish flag-carrier is lining up a bid for some of the 12 slots at Heathrow made available after the acquisition of bmi by British Airways in March (Telegraph).
Manchester Airports Group is prepared to mount a £1bn bid for Stansted as it edges closer to securing a new investment partner. Industry Funds Management (IFM), an Australian investment firm, is said to be closing in on a deal to grab a stake in Manchester Airports Group (Times).
Abu Dhabi and Qatar are battling to buy 42 Marriott hotels in Britain. The properties are being sold out of administration by Royal Bank of Scotland and are expected to change hands for between £600m and £700m (Times).
Boeing is set to win the battle for orders against Airbus at this week’s Farnborough Air Show. Farnborough is likely to bring confirmation that Boeing is ahead of Airbus in the annual duel for orders for the first time since 2008 (Times).
Sir Brian Souter, Stagecoach chief executive, is considering a move upmarket with ‘Megabus for the middle classes’. He has commissioned a 52ft double-decker prototype to carry passengers in luxury leather seats (Telegraph). A new London-Paris coach service launches on 23 July, called the iDBUS, which claims to have a more upmarket offering than existing services from Megabus and Eurolines (Times).
London hotels are slashing prices to compensate for a slump in bookings caused by the Olympics. Rooms in central hotels can be obtained for as much as 30% below the usual rates because many hoteliers had inflated prices – which meant long-haul tour operators spurned London in favour of other European capitals (Observer).
Authorities in Majorca have introduced a sliding scale of penalties for drinking on the beach as part of a drive to raise the tone of its tourist industry. According to the council, the Austrians are the worst culprits, the Germans are almost as bad, and the English come third in the misbehaviour league (Observer).
The strong pound means those visiting eurozone countries will get 12% more for their money than a year ago – an extra £52.63 for every £500 changed (Mail).
Abi Wright (33), founder of Spabreaks.com, is one of the 35 Women Under 35 from Management Today magazine. She worked in sales and marketing and set up a PR agency before spotting a gap in the spa market. This year she launched an industry first: Recovery Retreats, aimed at cancer patients (Times).
International Track 200: Private firms with the fastest growing international sales (Times)
56 Travel Counsellors; 59 Key Travel; 159 Jac Travel; 174 Air Charter Service
The Co-operative Travel appoints Tracie Burton to head its homeworking division, The Co-operative Travel Personal Travel Advisors (CoPTA), and Shirley Bell, interim head of CoPTA, will return to her previous role as operations manager of CoPTA…Zena Calderbank, head of sales for Hoseasons, is the new TIPTO chairman, supported by vice chairman, Claire Dutton, key account manager for Superbreak…former Kuoni boss Sue Biggs, Royal Horticultural Society director general, returns to travel as the society offers tours in partnership with Collette Worldwide Holidays…NYC & Company promotes Hills Balfour’s Paul Black to direct its European sales and marketing activity within the meeting and events industry…former TUI UK corporate communications director Christian Cull joins Vodafone…passenger services director for P&O Ferries, Simon Johnson, takes over from Peter Shanks, managing director and president of Cunard Line, as chairman of the Passenger Shipping Association; Christophe Mathieu, group strategy and commercial director for Brittany Ferries, takes on the role of chair of the PSA’s Ferry Section…Stuart Garrett becomes managing director of Serco NorthLink Ferries…
The Week Ahead
Tuesday 10 July
eyefortravel free webinar: Learn How to Drive Meaningful Engagement via Social Media
British Retail Consortium sales monitor
Wednesday 11 July
Travlaw LLP: Recoveries Conference, London
TIPTO Workshop, Norwich
Marriott International, Inc. second quarter 2012 results
Flybe AGM, London
Thursday 12 July
British Educational Travel Association (BETA), Summer Parliamentary Reception, London
The Tourism Society: Annual Conference, London
SKAL London Breakfast Club, London