Author Archives: Breaking Travel News

International Airlines Group sees profits rise during financial 2017

International Airlines Group has reported pre-tax profits of €2.49 billion for the year ended December 31st, up 5.6 per cent on the figure of €2.36 billion recorded the year before.The group - which controls British Airways, Iberia, Vueling, and Aer Lingus - said revenue for the year was up 1.8 per cent to €22.97 billion.Following the results, the airline group said it would launch a €500 million share-buyback program and declared a dividend of 14.5 cents a share.IAG chief executive Willie Walsh said: “All our airlines performed extremely well with their best-ever individual financial results, strong operational performances and commitment to customer service. “The turnaround in Vueling, following the challenges of 2016, has been particularly outstanding.ADVERTISEMENT“In quarter four we reported an operating profit of €585 million, down from €620 million last year. “Our strong performance continued with passenger unit revenue up 2.4 per cent at constant currency. “The operating profit was impacted significantly by changes in the employee bonus provision in the quarter compared to the previous year.”Fuel costs before exceptional items were down 7.8 per cent over the year. However, fourth-quarter fuel costs before exceptional items were up 1.2 per cent.At current fuel prices and exchange rates, IAG expects its operating profit for 2018 to show an increase year-on-year, the company said in a statement.Both passenger unit revenue and non-fuel unit costs are expected to improve at constant currency.IAG saw its share price fall by nearly five per cent following the release of the results, with quarter four revenue of €5.47 billion falling short of market expectations of €5.6 billion.OlderCapacity increase sees profits rise at Norwegian Cruise Line HoldingsLet's block ads! (Why?)

Capacity increase sees profits rise at Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings

Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings has reported GAAP net income was $756 million for financial 2017, up from $633 million the previous year.Earnings per share for the period stood at $3.31 compared to $2.78 in the prior year.  The company generated adjusted net Income of $908 million or adjusted earnings per share of $3.96, compared to $776.3 million or $3.41 in the prior year, despite unprecedented weather-related headwinds experienced in 2017. “The strong, record performance we delivered in 2017 was the perfect end to a historic year as we celebrate the five-year anniversary of our initial public offering. “Over the last five years we have continued our track record of consistent financial performance with a more than six-fold increase in earnings per share, a doubling of revenue and the expansion of adjusted ROIC to double-digit levels,” said Frank Del Rio, president and chief executive officer of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings.ADVERTISEMENT“It has been a remarkable journey for our company with more major milestones to come and an amazing trajectory of profit growth for 2018 and beyond. “Our solid revenue and earnings performance will continue in 2018, having entered the year in the best booked position in our Company’s history with pricing above prior year across all three of our brands.”Revenue at the group - which operates the Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises - increased 10.7 per cent to $5.4 billion, compared to $4.9 billion in 2016. Net revenue increased 11.2 per cent to $4.2 billion, compared to $3.8 billion in 2016. These increases were primarily attributed to a six per cent increase in capacity days due to the delivery of Norwegian Joy in April 2017, Regent’s Seven Seas Explorer in June 2016 and Oceania Cruises’ Sirena in April 2016 and strong organic pricing growth across all core markets.OlderAirbnb rolls out plans for next decade of growthNewerInternational Airlines Group sees profits rise during financial 2017Let's block ads! (Why?)

Airbnb rolls out plans for next decade of growth

Airbnb has revealed that it will add four new property types to its platform - Vacation Home, Unique Space, B&B and Boutique - in order to allow hosts better showcase their product.The rental company argues the move will give greater choice of accommodation options to guests and provide more transparency over the types of accommodation available. The new options will be in addition to the existing Shared Space, Private Room and Entire Home listings.From today, Airbnb is making tools available to hosts to categorise their listings to a new level of detail, not only making it possible to organise everything by these seven core property types, but also opening the door to sophisticated search capabilities that will allow any traveller to find a host. All seven property types will launch to guests this summer.Airbnb revealed the change as it looks to the next decade of growth. Ten years ago, Airbnb co-founders Brian Chesky and Joe Gebbia inflated three airbeds in their San Francisco apartment and started what has become a global travel platform.Today, Airbnb is one of the world’s largest accommodation providers, offering 4.5 million places to stay in 81,000 cities.Chesky said: “Ten years ago we never dreamed of what Airbnb could become. ADVERTISEMENT“In fact, people thought the idea that strangers would stay in each other’s homes was crazy. “Today, millions of people every night do just that. “But we want to go further by supporting and expanding our community so that in ten years time, more than one billion people per year will experience the benefits of magical travel on Airbnb.”To broaden the appeal of Airbnb to even more guests, the company is also launching a new tier of homes that have been verified for quality and comfort. Starting with 2,000 homes in 13 cities available to book right now, Airbnb Plus is intended for guests looking for beautiful homes, exceptional hosts, and added peace of mind. These homes have been inspected and verified in person against a 100+ point checklist covering cleanliness, comfort, and design. These hosts benefit from top placement, in-home services such as design consultation and expert photography, and premium support.Following last year’s acquisition of Luxury Retreats, Airbnb also today previews a new standard in travel – Beyond by Airbnb.Launching this spring, the service will offer custom designed trips of a lifetime, including the world’s finest homes, custom experiences, and world-class hospitality.Airbnb was initially designed mainly for solo travel, but over the years millions of people have found the platform suited to a range of different types of travel, whether that be families who want extra space and a place to cook or adventurers who are looking for somewhere to stay off the beaten track. To meet the needs of such a diverse range of travellers, Airbnb is launching Collections – perfect homes for every occasion. Launching today are Airbnb for Family and Airbnb for Work with Collections for social stays, weddings, honeymoons, group getaways and dinner parties coming later this year.OlderIATA reports further improvements in airline safety for 2017NewerCapacity increase sees profits rise at Norwegian Cruise Line HoldingsLet's block ads! (Why?)

IATA reports further improvements in airline safety for 2017

The International Air Transport Association has released data for the 2017 safety performance of the commercial airline industry showing continued strong improvements in safety.The ‘all accident rate’ (measured in accidents per one million flights) was 1.08, an improvement over the all accident rate of 1.68 in 2016.The figure is also a marked improve on the rate of 2.01 recorded for the previous five-year period (2012-2016).The 2017 rate for major jet accidents (measured in jet hull losses per one million flights) was 0.11, which was the equivalent of one major accident for every 8.7 million flights. Again, this was an improvement over the rate of 0.39 achieved in 2016 and also better than the five-year rate (2012-2016) of 0.33.ADVERTISEMENT“Last year was a very good year for aviation safety,” said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA director general.“Some 4.1 billion travellers flew safely on 41.8 million flights. “We saw improvements in nearly all key metrics - globally and in most regions.”There were six fatal accidents with 19 fatalities among passengers and crew in 2017.This compares with an average of 10.8 fatal accidents and approximately 315 fatalities per year in the previous five-year period.In 2016 there were 9 fatal accidents and 202 fatalities.None of the six fatal accidents involved a passenger jet. Five involved turboprop aircraft and one involved a cargo jet. The crash of the cargo jet also resulted in the deaths of 35 persons on the ground, as well as the crew of the jet.IATA member airlines experienced zero fatal accidents or hull losses in 2017 with jet or turboprop Juniac added: “Our determination to make this very safe industry even safer continues. “In 2017 there were incidents and accidents that we will learn from through the investigation process, just as we will learn from the recent tragedies in Russia and Iran. “Complementing that knowledge are insights we can gain from the millions of flights that operate safety. “Data from these operations is powering the development of predictive analytics that will eventually enable us to eliminate the conditions that can lead to accidents. “The industry knows that every fatality is a tragedy. “Our common goal is for every flight to take-off and land safely.”OlderSilver Spirit to undergo lengthening project in ItalyNewerAirbnb rolls out plans for next decade of growthLet's block ads! (Why?)

Silver Spirit to undergo lengthening project in Italy

Silver Spirit has made her final port call before undergoing an extensive lengthening project in Italy. Docking in Dubai, the ship completed an eight-night cruise from Mumbai.Silver Spirit will enter dry dock at the industry-leading Fincantieri shipyard in Palermo on March 5th, where she will remain until May 1st.She will undergo large-scale refurbishment works, which will include the insertion of a prebuilt 15-metre-long (49-feet-long) segment into the ship’s midsection, making her the first luxury ship to be lengthened in this manner. ADVERTISEMENTWith the aim of augmenting the onboard experience for Silversea guests, the project will dramatically enhance each of the ship’s public spaces with beautiful interior design, taking inspiration from the cruise line’s flagship vessel, Silver Muse.“Based on the wonderful feedback from guests sailing aboard our beautiful Silver Muse, we believe the comprehensive makeover we have planned for Silver Spirit will enrich the onboard experience and be equally appreciated by guests. “They will see many of Silver Muse’s innovations and elevated comforts embodied by our reimagined Silver Spirit,” said Christian Sauleau, executive vice president of fleet operations for Silversea.OlderStobart confirms interest in Flybe acquisitionNewerIATA reports further improvements in airline safety for 2017Let's block ads! (Why?)

Stobart confirms interest in Flybe acquisition

Stobart Group has confirmed an interest in acquiring part or all or regional airline Flybe following press speculation. The logistics group and Flybe have a range of shared interests arising from Stobart’s ownership of London Southend Airport and the growing franchise arrangements between the two groups’ airlines.“As previously disclosed in October 2017, we have been reviewing alternative structures for our airline and leasing business that can play an important part in the consolidation of the regional airline sector,” Stobart Group said in a statement. “A number of potential structures have been considered including taking a non-controlling interest in a vehicle to acquire 100 per cent of Flybe likely to be in cash. “It is not possible to say, at this stage, whether a transaction will take place, whether a firm proposal will be made or, if it is, the form a transaction to combine the airlines might take.”ADVERTISEMENTA further announcement will be made in due course, the company added, with market rules dictating a decision on a possible move must be made by March 22nd at the latest.Flybe urged its shareholders to take no action at this stage, however stock prices rise more than 30 per cent following the release of the statement.“There can be no certainty that any firm offer will be made nor as to the terms on which any firm offer might be made,” the airline said. Flybe is Europe’s largest regional airline and flies more UK domestic flights than any other airline –more than half of all UK flights within mainland Britain. Flybe currently operates 211 routes serving 15 countries from 80 departure points in the UK and Europe and is the largest scheduled airline by air traffic movements at Aberdeen, Belfast City, Birmingham, Cardiff, Exeter, Isle of Man, Jersey, Newquay and Southampton airports. Flybe operates a fleet of 81 aircraft – 56 Bombardier Q400, nine Embraer E195, 11 E175, and five ATR 72s.OlderTitan to welcome second ship, MS Bellejour, to charter fleetNewerSilver Spirit to undergo lengthening project in ItalyLet's block ads! (Why?)

Titan to welcome second ship, MS Bellejour, to charter fleet

Following the success of its exclusive charter of MS Serenade 1, Titan has revealed it will exclusively charter a second river cruise vessel, the elegant MS Bellejour. Having enjoyed their successful partnership with Select Voyages since 2017, Titan will be working with them again, enabling them to offer the same superb onboard food and customer service that their clients have enjoyed on the MS Serenade 1.  The four-star, 180-passenger ship MS Bellejour will be offered in the new 2019 river cruise collection, with a series of cruises on the Danube, while the MS Serenade 1 will offer a selection of itineraries along the Rhine. The MS Bellejour offers luxurious design and comprehensive facilities to ensure that all guests enjoy every aspect of their river cruise. The 127-metre-long vessel has 90 cabins, plus an impressive entrance hall with a welcoming reception and grand staircase leading to the upper deck. ADVERTISEMENTAll Titan river cruises offer a door-to-door travel service, a Titan tour manager, and free connecting flights to London or direct regional flights where available.Travel agents will receive copies of the new Titan 2019 River Cruise brochure in April, along with an opportunity to win a place on the very first MS Bellejour FAM trip.Commenting on the news Andy Squirrell, managing director, Titan, said: “We are delighted that in our 40th anniversary year we are able to expand our river cruise programme with a second exclusive Titan ship. “Our trade partners have been so important to the success we’ve had with MS Serenade 1, and our customers have really appreciated the special touches we know they have come to expect from Titan. “MS Bellejour will be no exception and we are anticipating strong demand for both ships when we go on sale in early April.”OlderRas Al Khaimah Tourism launches new Dubai shuttleNewerStobart confirms interest in Flybe acquisitionLet's block ads! (Why?)

Ras Al Khaimah Tourism launches new Dubai shuttle

Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority has launched a new shuttle service from DXB International Airport (terminals one and three) to Ras Al Khaimah. It is hoped it will help visitors experience the destination and aid residents journey home. The move comes in support of the emirate’s aim to attract one million visitors by the end of 2018.  It will also aid tour operators from key international source markets bringing holidaymakers to the destination to experience the 64 kilometres of stunning beaches, Arabian culture and adventure sports activities on Jebel Jais, the UAE’s highest mountain. The shuttle service can be booked online at and will take customers from DXB airport and drop them at all the main hotels in Ras Al Khaimah.ADVERTISEMENTIt will launch with inaugural price of AED20 one way.  Haitham Matter, chief executive of the Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority, said: “With our unique combination of authentic Arabian hospitality, pristine beaches and outdoor adventure pursuits we have plenty to offer and wanted to make it even easier for visitors to enjoy the destination.  “At just 45 minutes from Dubai International Airport, customers can sit back, relax and enjoy the view on our new shuttle service for a relaxing start to their trip.”OlderEtihad Airways to go double daily on Rome routeNewerTitan to welcome second ship, MS Bellejour, to charter fleetLet's block ads! (Why?)

Etihad Airways to go double daily on Rome route

Etihad Airways has announced the addition of a second daily direct flight from its Abu Dhabi hub to Rome.The new service, set to launch on March 25th, will take the total number of Etihad Airways’ flights on the route to 14 a week.The additional frequencies will be introduced in phases, with five extra weekly flights, rising to a twice-a-day service from May 1st.The double-daily schedule will provide greater choice to local passengers travelling between the capital cities of the UAE and Italy, and further increase connectivity to and from both countries.The new early morning departure from Abu Dhabi and midday return service from Rome will offer links to popular cities across Australia, China, Japan and Korea.ADVERTISEMENTWith the additional service, Etihad Airways’ frequency between Abu Dhabi and its two Italian gateways of Rome and Milan will increase from two flights to three flights a day.Peter Baumgartner, Etihad Airways chief executive, said: “Ensuring our guests have greater flexibility and more travel options is a focus for Etihad Airways. Since we launched the Abu Dhabi – Rome route in 2014, it has become one of our most popular services for business and leisure travellers. “We are therefore delighted to further develop the route with additional services.”Etihad Airways’ codeshare partner Alitalia has announced that it will discontinue the operation of its daily flight between Rome and Abu Dhabi from March.Alitalia will however continue to codeshare with Etihad and will also place its code on the new Etihad flights. Guests holding reservations on Alitalia flights between Rome and Abu Dhabi and beyond will be re-accommodated on services operated by Etihad Airways.OlderHotel Indigo The Hague – Palace Noordeinde takes brand into The NetherlandsNewerRas Al Khaimah Tourism launches new Dubai shuttleLet's block ads! (Why?)

Hotel Indigo The Hague – Palace Noordeinde takes brand into The Netherlands

IHG has opened its first Hotel Indigo in The Netherlands, Hotel Indigo The Hague – Palace Noordeinde.The new 63-room boutique hotel is located in the centre of The Hague – a city with a history of prestige and power – and is just steps away from the Royal Palace, home of the Dutch royal family. With tourists keen to discover alternative city breaks in 2018, Hotel Indigo The Hague – Palace Noordeinde, opens up the opportunity for the curious traveller to discover the inspiring and historic Dutch city.Housed in the former Dutch National Bank building, the hotel is situated on The Hague’s most prestigious shopping avenue, lined with beautiful art nouveau buildings housing imaginative boutiques, designer fashion stores and high-end galleries.Guests can explore nearby cultural venues and museums, such as the Royal Picture Gallery Mauritshuis, home to the famous Vermeer painting ‘The Girl with the Pearl Earring.’Taking inspiration from the local area and the building’s heritage and architecture, the hotel’s design creates a sense of power, prestige and exclusivity.ADVERTISEMENTThe boutique hotel’s design takes its cues from the building’s unique past with thoughtful details including pop art-style portraits of the Royal family, luxe fabrics and colours, and motifs inspired by The Netherland’s historic currency, the Dutch guilder.Linda de Jong, general manager of Hotel Indigo The Hague – Palace Noordeinde, said: “Hotel Indigo The Hague – Palace Noordeinde is like no other hotel of its kind in the city. “Its inspiring design and quirky homage to the history and culture of the city makes it’s the perfect location for local and international guests alike.”The Hotel Indigo brand is set to increase its footprint in 2018 with upcoming openings also including Hotel Indigo London – 1 Leicester Square, Hotel Indigo London – Aldgate, Hotel Indigo Milan – Corso Monforte, Hotel Indigo Bath and Hotel Indigo Stratford-upon-Avon. There are currently 24 Hotel Indigo properties open in Europe with 20 due to open over the next three to five years.OlderEuropcar roles out Drive & Share product across Germany and DemarkNewerEtihad Airways to go double daily on Rome routeLet's block ads! (Why?)