Corporate Travel News – March 2019

Industry News.



BA Club WorldBritish Airways unveils all-new Club World Suites

British Airways today unveiled its brand-new business class product, Club Suite. Launching in July 2019 with the arrival of BA’s first A350 aircraft, the Club Suites will be fitted in a 1-2-1 configuration and offer an extra inch of space and privacy with sliding doors. Read more.


Virgin,Air France,KLMVirgin Atlantic, Air France and KLM launch codeshare partnership

Virgin Atlantic, Air France and KLM have announced their first codeshare agreement. This partnership makes it easier for customers to build their ideal trip across the Atlantic by combining flights operated by Air France, KLM, Virgin Atlantic and Delta. This means Virgin Atlantic now offers customers up to 58 new routes from 18 UK airports across the Atlantic via Paris and Amsterdam. Air France and KLM customers will have access to 24 new North America routes operated by Virgin Atlantic/Delta departing the UK, including connections via London Heathrow or Manchester.


BA first class upgradeBA to refresh First Class amenities

From 31 March, British airways will begin a roll-out of its new First-Class product offering. The ‘refresh’ includes a foam and microfibre mattress topper and 400 thread count bedding, Temperley London loungewear and a range of luxury Elemis skin care products.


VS Upper ClassVirgin Atlantic’s A350 Upper Class

On 8 April, Virgin Atlantic will reveal its A350 Upper Class seating, competing with the recently announced British Airways Club Suite. The business class product will also be configured in a 1-2-1 layout, and feature on VS’ flagship A350 from London/Heathrow to Newark on Monday 9 September.


EK second daily flight to LDNEmirates to launch second daily flight to London Stansted

Emirates announced the launch of a second daily flight from Dubai (DXB) to London Stansted (STN) starting 1st July, 2019. The additional flight means that Emirates customers will now have 11 daily flight options to and from three London airports. Read more.


BA DammamBritish Airways’ launches London Heathrow to Dammam

From 1 December British Airways is launching a daily route from London Heathrow to Dammam (via Bahrain). Dammam is the third addition to BA’s Saudi Arabia destinations, joining Jeddah and Riyadh. Read more.


Turkish airlines beddingNew business class bedding for Turkish Airlines

Turkish Airlines is promoting a better sleep experience for its business class passengers, with a brand-new collection of soft bedding to roll out on intercontinental flights. The bedding includes a lightweight quilt, comfortable sleeping mattress and two pillows designed for optimal comfort when seated or sleeping on the lie-flat beds.


Star Alliance Lounge AmsterdamStar Alliance Amsterdam lounge

Star Alliance have officially opened their new business class lounge at Amsterdam Schiphol Airport. Featuring tarmac views, a hot & cold food buffet and individual work booths, the lounge is available to passengers flying in first and business class on Star Alliance flights, Star Alliance Gold status members and travellers with paid membership to Air Canada’s Maple Leaf Club or the United Club programs.


BA wi-fiBA tests domestic in-flight Wi-Fi
Ahead of its expected in-flight Wi-Fi launch in mid-2019, British Airways has begun testing the service on some of its short-haul flights within the UK and Europe. There are currently two packages available to purchase, with a Messaging Only package for £1.99 per flight or Browse & Stream package for £7.99 per flight.


Air france panamaFly CO2 neutral with BlueBiz

With its new CO2ZERO compensation service, BlueBiz now offers its members worldwide the opportunity to fly CO2 neutral. By neutralising your flight’s carbon footprint, you contribute to a reforestation project in Panama named CO2OL. We can calculate your company’s CO2 emissions on flights with AIR FRANCE, KLM and Delta Air Lines over the past twelve months and send you a quotation. The actual level of CO2 emissions for each flight is calculated based on the type of aircraft used, the distance flown and the historical load factor of that specific flight. By contributing, your company will help to invest in planting new trees, maintaining existing forests and supporting the local communities in Panama.


The House airport loungeThe House at Australian Airports open for paid access

Originally owned and operated by Etihad Airways, The House business class lounge at Sydney and Melbourne airports has official opened its doors to paying customers of any airline. Entry starts at AUD$80 for online bookings and AUD$90 for walk-ins.


BA LandorBA unveils B747 in retro Landor livery

As part of British Airways’ centenary celebrations this year, a third retro-fitted aircraft has touched down in London, this time featuring the airline’s famous Landor livery. This particular design was used between 1984 and 1997, and now features on one of BA’s B747s (registration G-BNLY) which will sport the retro design until retirement in 2023.


Turkish Airlines Bangkok loungeTurkish Airlines Star Alliance lounge at Bangkok

Turkish Airlines has officially opened a new lounge at Bangkok Airport, giving Star Alliance passengers a comfortable stopover between flights. The lounge is open 24-hours a day and is located in Concourse D, near gate D8.


Boeing 777-9BA‘s Boeing 777X from 2022

British Airways will add the Boeing 777X to its fleet, with as many as 42 of the next-generation jets taking flight between 2022 and 2025. The airline has opted for the Boeing 777-9 version, offering 325 seats across four cabins – likely to include the new Club World Suites business class and potentially an all-new first-class cabin.



TribeNew lifestyle brand for Accor

Tribe has been announced as Accor’s newest lifestyle hotel brand, with one property already re-branded in Perth, Australia.  Tribe hotels are positioned as high-quality hotel experience at an affordable price, and will feature co-working and meeting spaces, gyms and bike rental. The first Tribe property for Europe will open in Glasgow mid-year, ten properties are scheduled to open globally by 2022.


Kimpton EdinburghIHG’s Kimpton open in Edinburgh

Kimpton Charlotte Square Hotel is Intercontinental Hotel Group’s second Kimpton property in the UK, and mark’s the group’s return to the luxury market in Edinburgh. The 184-room hotel offers free fitness classes, yoga mats in every room and a complimentary drinks hour at its BABA Bar.


TravelodgeTravelodge opens in Chester City

Travelodge’s 757th hotel, Chester Central Bridge Street Travelodge, has officially opened and is the first in the country to offer new ‘premium’ SuperRooms. The SuperRoom concept offers a more comfortable accommodation class for business and leisure customers, similar to an airline’s Premium Economy offering.


Industry News Section (40)Intercontinental Berlin refurb

Berlin’s Intercontinental property will undergo a €60 million refurbishment of its 558 guestrooms and public spaces. Work will commence in May 2019 starting with the ballroom, followed buy guest rooms and then the lobby. The hotel is expected to remain open during the project.


The BloomsburyThe Bloomsbury welcomes new Luxury Studio Suites

The recently refurbished Doyle Collection property, The Bloomsbury, has welcomed the addition of new Luxury Studio Suites. The hotel’s suite amenities include a complimentary daily à  la carte breakfast, mini-bar, and 2 complimentary cocktails in The Coral Room.


Voco OxfordIHG announces new Voco property in Oxford

Intercontinental Hotels Group will add a new Voco property to its portfolio in May this year. The current De Vere hotel in Oxford will be rebranded under IHG’s Voco brand, which is accepting bookings from 8 May. The riverside hotel is located three miles from Oxford city centre and offers an onsite spa and swimming pool, Crusaders Bar and Lounge, and River Room and Conservatory Restaurant.


Four SeasonsFour Seasons announces new openings in 2019

Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts is anticipating a huge year ahead in 2019, with nine new hotel openings around the globe. The additions will join the brand’s current portfolio of 111 hotels and resorts in 47 countries, with a number of renovations and expansions to also in the pipeline. To see the full list of new openings, click here.


Chrysler buildingNew York Chrysler Building under negotiation

New York’s iconic Chrysler Building has been purchased for US$151 million, with the buyer announcing they are considering turning parts of the building into a hotel. The 1930 skyscraper is located at the intersection of 42nd St. and Lexington Avenue in midtown Manhattan.