From Uniglobe, KDS, ACTE, OpenSkies, Flyglobespan, Boeing and STR Global

Uniglobe expands into Russia and Australia

Uniglobe, one of the UK’s largest networks of independent travel management companies (TMCs), has new partners in Australia and Russia.

Alliance Avia of Moscow and St Petersburg is Uniglobe’s first partner in Russia, while Platinum Travel Corporation of Sydney and Melbourne marks the group’s initial expansion into Australia.

Derek Hearl-Maunder, COO of Uniglobe British Isles, said: “Corporate travel is about to explode in developing markets such as South Asia and the Pacific Rim. 

“Russia was one of the few gaps in our international network and with the growth of businesses across Europe and into neighbouring markets, combined with the rapid opening-up of Russia into the free market economy, an important area to fill.” 

The group now operates in more than 50 countries.


KDS and ACTE launch fifth global survey

Yves Weisselberger

French IT company KDS and the Association of Corporate Travel Executives (ACTE) has launched its fifth annual online travel survey.

The survey aims to analyse current trends in the industry, in particular corporate social responsibility (CSR).

Yves Weisselberger, chief executive officer of KDS, says: “We want to know how hard the business travel industry is working to be as environmentally-friendly as possible. The survey will help us promote the good work being done, as well as identifying the CSR failings in business travel that need to be addressed.

 “We are studying all aspects of the business travel experience, from company travel policies, through the booking process and on to the journey itself and the consequent expenses management. The survey will therefore provide an invaluable snapshot of the modern business travel experience.”

The KDS/ACTE online travel survey can be found at:

The results will be announced during the Business Travel and Meetings Show (BTMS) at Earl’s Court Exhibition Centre, London from February 9-10 2010.


OpenSkies moves to Newark

OpenSkies, BA’s all-business subsidiary flying out of Paris Orly to New York, is to switch from JFK to Newark Airport in the New Year.

The airline said that from January 4, it will operate out of Newark Terminal B with its check-in located on Level 1. 


Flyglobespan goes out of business

Scottish carrier Flyglobespan went out of business this week when its parent companies The Globespan Group and Alba Ground Handling called in the receivers.

It flights ceased on December 16 and three executives from PricewaterhouseCoopers appointed to administer the companies.

Flybe, easyJet and Ryanair have all offered to fly home passengers stranded by the collapse.

The group had 800 employees and operated 10 aircraft.

Bruce Cartwright, one of the joint administrator and head of business recovery services at PwC in Scotland, said: “Despite difficult trading conditions, the company has successfully implemented a number of steps to refine operations and focus on core profitable business.

Unfortunately a lack of confidence in the sector following the demise of other airlines resulted in a reduction of liquidity to fund the ongoing operations.

“The directors have sought to overcome this lack of liquidity by seeking additional funding from a third party in recent weeks but this has ultimately been unsuccessful.

“The Directors have therefore concluded with regret that the business can no longer continue to operate.”


Dreamliner’s maiden flight

The Boeing Dreamliner takes off

Dreamliner, Boeing’s long awaited new aircraft, made its maiden flight this week.

The Boeing 787 made a three hour test flight at the aircraft manufacturer’s headquarters in Seattle.

The aircraft, which is two years behind schedule, has a revolutionary design with about half of it made of materials, like carbon re-inforced resin, to improve fuel efficiency and cutting maintenance costs.

The Dreamliner now faces a ten-month programme of exhaustive tests before the first is delivered to ANA in the fourth quarter 2010. 


Europe’s hotel room pipeline totals 97,266

Europe has a total of 97,266 rooms in its hotel pipeline, STR Global said.

The city with the largest number was London with 5,154, followed by Moscow (4,837) and Berlin (4,493).

The segments with the two largest pipelines were the upmarket sector with 21,290 rooms – 21.9% of the total – and the economy sector with 19,452 (20%).

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