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By Joe Brancatelli


Another Huge International Expansion by Delta: You have to wonder what Delta Air Lines sees that no one else does in these depressing economic times. Even granting that Delta is now mixing and matching Delta and Northwest aircraft and hubs, the airline’s announcement it would add more than a dozen new international routes next year seems extremely aggressive. It’ll be intriguing to watch to see if this tranche of the expansion is an air bridge too far. Across the Pacific, Delta will link its Salt Lake City hub to Northwest’s Tokyo  hub for the first time. Delta will also launch a New York /Kennedy-Tokyo  route, which essentially reinstates the JFK-Tokyo run that Northwest dropped several years ago. Across the Atlantic, Delta will add flights from its Kennedy hub to Valencia, Spain; Gothenburg, Sweden andPrague. Also new: a seasonal Kennedy-Zurich flight. But the big boost comes in Africa, where Delta will add new flights from its Atlanta hub to Nairobi, Kenya; Cape Town, South Africa; Monrovia, Liberia; Abuja, Nigeria; Luanda, Angola; and Malabo, Equatorial Guinea. The airline is also adding a Kennedy-Lagos nonstop and an Atlanta-Johannesburg nonstop. This is all atop the previously announced new flights to Paris from Pittsburgh and Raleigh-Durham. But some routes are being cut, however. Northwest’s Seattle-London/Heathrow flights are gone effective January 9, just six months after the launch. Also going next year: Northwest’s Detroit-Paris  and Detroit-Osaka nonstops.


Guess What? More Hotels Are Opening: The sharp fall in business travel is driving down occupancy rates and nightly rates at hotels around the world. But the hotel industry, which has a huge number of new properties in the pipeline, has no choice but to keep pumping out new locations. This week’s notables include an 1,190-room Hilton on the San Diego  waterfront and the 92-room Four Points across the street from the Philadelphia Convention Center. Meanwhile, Hampton Inn has opened a 108-room branch in Mexico City, located in a 19th-century landmark overlooking the Centro Historico. And Shangri-La has opened a 316-room hotel in Tainan, Taiwan. … On the reflagging front, the 222-room Beachside Resort in Key West is adding the Marriott brand beginning on December 15. It was once known as the Holiday Inn, but do not confuse it with the current Holiday Inn in Key West, which is located across North Roosevelt Boulevard from the Beachside.

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Joe Brancatelli is editor and publisher of, a non-commercial Web site for business travelers. Copyright 2008 by Joe Brancatelli. Licensed by contract for Orbitz use.

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