Oct 13 2008

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AirTran adds Pittsburgh flights as US Airways cuts back

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Ontheroad
By Joe Brancatelli

US Airways continues to chop away in Pittsburgh, which was once its
most important hub. Effective January 5, it will drop all nonstop flights to Florida. That’s a total of 24 flights a week to Orlando,
Fort Lauderdale and Tampa. The Florida move will make it easier for
AirTran Airways, which will launch flights from Pittsburgh to Florida
next month. By Thanksgiving, AirTran will fly daily to Fort Lauderdale,
Tampa and Fort Myers. US Airways is "literally handing the competition
business," says Bradley Penrod, executive director of Pittsburgh’s
airport authority. It wouldn’t be the first time, of course. …
Internationally, Continental Airlines  is the latest U.S. carrier to
dump flights to London’s Gatwick Airport. Effective October 25,
Continental will drop flights to Gatwick from its Newark and Heathrow
hubs. In their place, it will now fly three times a day to Heathrow
from Newark and twice a day from Houston/International. … US Airways
says it will launch a daily flight to Tel Aviv from its Philadelphia
hub. The service is due to begin July 2.

INTERNATIONAL ITINERARY

The airline map of Europe will change again: Lufthansa is
buying Brussels Airlines, the de facto flag carrier of Belgium.
Formerly Delta Air Transport, SN Brussels was formed in 2002 from the
rubble of Sabena and then it merged with Virgin Express in 2006 to
become Brussels Airlines. It has a decent network in Europe and good
connections to Africa from Brussels. The purchase, to be completed by
2011, will cost Lufthansa about 250 million euros. Lufthansa purchased
Swiss International, the successor to Swissair, in 2005. Lufthansa is
planning to buy complete control of bmi and is talking to SAS about a
takeover of the Scandinavian carrier, too. And the European
consolidation is hardly finished. Austrian Airlines is looking for a
buyer and Lufthansa, the Air France-KLM consortium and Russia’s S7
Airlines are all in the running. Air France-KLM almost purchased
Alitalia earlier this year and now that the Italian carrier is near
collapse again, Lufthansa, Air France, EasyJet and British Airways are
all sniffing around Alitalia’s assets.

NEED TO KNOW

On-the-road intelligence to help you travel smarter: Clear,
the security-line bypass program, says it will open a facility at
Terminal A at Boston/Logan Airport. … Best Buy, the big electronics
retailer, has placed self-service product kiosks at 12 airports around
the country. The kiosks look like gigantic vending machines and sell
cellphone and computer accessories, MP3 players, gift cards and travel
adapters and chargers. … Qantas flyers take note: Effective October
1, the airline changes terminals in Los Angeles. Qantas flights to
Sydney, Melbourne and New York will move to the Tom Bradley
International Terminal. Qantas flights to Brisbane and Auckland will
use Terminal 4.

HOTEL HOT SHEET

Notable newbies in a crowded field: As hotel occupancy rates and
room rates continue to slump, new hotels just keep leaking out of the
pipeline. The newest hotel at Chicago/O’Hare Airport is the 446-room
InterContinental O’Hare. The property is in Rosemont and houses a
275-seat venue for live musical and comedy acts. … In Raleigh, the
new, 400-room Marriott City Center is attached to the
500,000-square-foot Raleigh Convention Center. The 16-story property
has about 30,000 square feet of meeting space. … A 143-room aloft
hotel has opened in Franklin, Tennessee. That’s a southern suburb of
Nashville. … Hilton has opened its first hotel in Moscow, the
273-room Hilton Leningradskaya. The hotel is in a renovated Stalin-era
building and now has an indoor swimming pool, a business center and
7,000 square feet of meeting space. The property is managed by
Interstate Hotels, the large management firm that already handles
several Moscow hotels for Marriott. … On Bali, St. Regis has opened a
resort with 79 suites and 42 private villas. The low-rise beachfront
property is near the Bali Golf & Country Club. … And two
conversion of note. The former Holiday Inn in Rocky Mount, North
Carolina, has become the 166-room Doubletree Hotel Rocky Mount. And the
first Hotel Indigo has opened in Miami. The 122-room property in
Kendall is 10 miles from Miami Airport and is a conversion of a Ramada
hotel.

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Joe Brancatelli is editor and publisher of JoeSentMe.com, a non-commercial Web site for business travelers.

Copyright 2008 by Joe Brancatelli. Licensed by contract for Orbitz use

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Posted on: October 13, 2008 | Tags: , , , , | Category: Business TravelCategory: FlightsCategory: On the Road

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