All the latest business travel headlines. By Jenny Southan.
Lufthansa Group launches hand-baggage-only transatlantic fares
This summer, Lufthansa, Swiss, Brussels Airlines and Austrian Airlines are launching more affordable fares for those willing to travel with hand luggage only on flights to North America. Known as “economy light”, the fares will be “the least expensive option for price-conscious passengers who do not require any ticket flexibility”. Travellers will continue to receive free food and drink onboard.
Delta to reinstate India flights
The recent Open Skies alliance between the US and the UAE and Qatar has prompted Delta to announce the reinstatement of flights to Mumbai in 2019. The airline is yet to make a decision on where the flights will depart from, but New York and Delta’s home base in Atlanta are both in the running. Delta said: “The framework created by the agreement allows Delta to move forward with service to India, a market long impacted by government-subsidised Middle Eastern airlines.”
Frasers boosts China presence
Frasers Hospitality is planning to almost double the number of properties it has in China to 25 by 2021. The Singaporean company’s chief executive, Choe Peng Sum, said: “China is our fastest-growing market. The upcoming openings across tier one and tier two cities in China reinforces Frasers Hospitality’s confidence in the country’s long-term growth potential.” Locations will include Nanchang, Heifei, Chengdu, Nanjing, Shanghai and Wuhan.
Virgin flies to Las Vegas from 2019
From March 31 next year, Virgin Atlantic will be flying Sin City services from London Heathrow instead of Gatwick, moving the flight to its Terminal 3 Heathrow hub. There will also be a change in aircraft; the route will be operated with newer B787-9 aircraft rather than ageing B747s. One of the reasons it cites is growing demand from corporates travelling for business.
Marriott and IHG drop mini bottles
Over the next six months or so, Marriott is to replace mini bottles of shampoo, conditioner and shower gel with large dispensers at 1,500 of its properties across five brands (including AC Hotels) most geared towards business travellers. Intercontinental Hotels Group is taking similar steps at Holiday Inn Express, Staybridge Suites, Candlewood Suites and Avid Hotels.