Thomas Cook has confirmed it is to start a 45-day consultation period with the 147 staff at its Birkenshaw office about a proposal to close the premises by the end of January 2015. The proposal includes a phased approach, where the back office and support functions would be transferred to its Peterborough office, or cease based on operational changes, or possibly outsourced. ‘As always, we will explore all options for those impacted by the proposals including possible relocation or redeployment opportunities,’ Thomas Cook said. Click here to read its full statement.
Carnival Corporation & plc has named Howard Frank chairman of its Italian division, Costa Crociere, which operates the Costa Cruises, AIDA and Iberocruceros brands. In his new role, Frank will support Michael Thamm, Costa Crociere chief executive. Frank stepped down as chief operating officer and vice chairman of Carnival Corp last November to serve as special advisor to the group’s chief executive Arnold Donald and chairman Micky Arison. Click here for more details of his new role.
TUI Travel has been given a seat on the Council for Sustainable Aviation following the company’s ongoing commitment to sustainability. Jane Ashton, group director of sustainable development, and Eddie Redfern, head of regulatory affairs (aviation), will jointly represent TUI Travel, the only tour operator on the council. For more from TUI Travel, click here.
Norwich Airport’s travel show, which is now in its fifth year, saw record visitor numbers last weekend, with 2,000 people attending. Andrew Bell, chief executive, said: ‘This year’s show was undoubtedly the best we have put on in the five years the event has been running, with record visitor numbers and bookings made on the day up 62% on the previous year.’ For details from the airport, click here.
Cruise & Maritime Voyages (CMV) has taken over the tour operation of TransOcean Kreuzfahrten, allowing it to enter into the expanding German market. As part of the deal with Munich-based Premicon AG, CMV will be responsible for the charter, operation and marketing of the premium rated Astor, and the charter of a four-vessel European river cruise fleet. Click here for details from CMV.
Dubai International Airport handled a record 66.43m passengers last year, 15.2% more than in 2012. Monthly passenger numbers exceeded 6m for the first time in December, at 6.05m, up 13.6% year-on-year. It was the 12th consecutive month in which the total had exceeded 5m.
Meliá Hotels International has opened its third INNSIDE property in Madrid. The INNSIDE Suecia, which has 120 rooms and seven suites, was built in the 1950s and was once Ernest Hemingway’s home in Madrid. Set up in 1993, the INNSIDE by Meliá brand currently has 12 hotels, with the other nine in Germany, and plans to open a further eight in the next two years, including its first in the UK (Manchester) in 2015. For more details click here.
Producer-songwriter Pete Waterman OBE and entrepreneurial chef Levi Roots have been announced as The Global Travel Group’s guest speakers at this year’s annual conference, taking place on 23–25 March near Chester. Andy Stark, The Global Travel Group’s managing director, said: ‘With both coming from widely different backgrounds and having taken extremely different paths to get to where they are today, we’re confident that they’ll impart some invaluable insight to delegates and demonstrate that there is no ‘one size fits all’ approach when it comes to entrepreneurial success.’ Click here for details.
Jet2holidays has visited Glasgow, Oldham and Nottingham with a special beach shack to test the locals’ stress levels to reveal those most in need of a holiday. Steve Lee, commercial director at Jet2.com and Jet2holidays, said: ‘January represents the busiest booking time of the entire year for us – 45% of all 2014 bookings have been made this month alone. Bookings have already increased by 35% based on 2013 so we wanted to give our loyal local holidaymakers a taste of what’s to come, whilst reminding those still to book just how good our beach holidays make us feel.’ For more from Jet2holidays, click here.
And finally…a survey of 4,000 members of ‘infidelity’ dating site Victoria Milan has found that a significant amount of working time worldwide is lost to cheating, with 68% of respondents admitting to interacting online with their paramour via their office PC or smartphone. A quarter said they spent an hour of their working day cheating online, 19% one to two hours and 18% more than two hours. Victoria Milan calculated that these illicit affairs were costing companies worldwide over $17m a day in lost working time. For more details click here.