DHS OKs Onboard Laptops from Doha
Following a security inspection, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security has lifted the ban on large electronic devices aboard U.S.-bound flights from Doha's Hamad International Airport, Qatar Airways announced. The DHS already has lifted restrictions from Abu Dhabi, Istanbul and Dubai and could lift restrictions for Saudi Arabian airports later this month. Royal Air Maroc expects the restriction to lift from Casablanca's Mohammed V International Airport by July 19, according to Reuters. The ban also is in place for Kuwait International Airport, Cairo International Airport and Amman, Jordan's Queen Alia International Airport. Source: Business Travel News
The Trump Effect on Inbound U.S. Travel Has Not Materialized
International travel to the U.S increased 5.2 percent year over year in May as business travel growth "rallied" during the month, according to the U.S. Travel Association's Travel Trends Index. The growth came in spite of feared policy effects, including the ongoing fight over President Donald Trump's travel ban. "There is widespread talk of daunting challenges to the U.S. travel market—perception of the country abroad is mentioned most, but the strong dollar and slowing global economy are factors, as well—yet the resilience of our sector continues to astound," USTA president and CEO Roger Dow said. The organization projects that overall U.S. travel for the period from June through November will grow 1.8 percent year over year, though the growth rate in forward-looking domestic bookings is "markedly slower than this time last year." Source: BTN
On Oct. 29, United Airlines will consolidate the 10 flight banks at George Bush Intercontinental Airport into eight. Banking flights means scheduling them to arrive and depart in clustered time periods rather than pacing them throughout the day. Reducing the number of banks at the airline's Houston hub will decrease connection times and increase connection opportunities, United chief commercial officer and EVP Andrew Nocella said. A United spokesperson said the move should not change the average size of the aircraft operating in Houston. Next year, the carrier expects to open the new C North concourse following a $277 million investment, which will include larger gates and new dining options. Source: BTN
Amtrak Hires Longtime Delta CEO Richard Anderson as New Leader
Former Delta CEO Richard Anderson will take the chief executive position at Amtrak on July 12. Anderson will work alongside current CEO Wick Moorman, whom Amtrak appointed as a transitional CEO in September 2016, through the end of the year, at which point Moorman will move into an advisory position, according to Amtrak. Besides serving as Delta's CEO from 2007 through 2016, Anderson also was CEO of Northwest Airlines from 2001 to 2004, prior to its merger with Delta, and was an EVP at United Healthcare for the years in between. Source: BTN
IHG Will Launch New Midscale Brand
InterContinental Hotels Group soon will launch a new midscale brand. IHG did not reveal the name, instead calling it Project Horizon in promotional materials.
The price point will be $10 to $15 less than IHG's Holiday Inn Express. The properties are intended to be new construction with 95 to 100 guest rooms. The properties will feature "intimate and inviting" public spaces built for both working and socializing and may include a pool. The guest rooms will focus on restful sleep, including quality mattresses and bedding. Each room also will feature a built-in work space, open closet, smart TV and quality shower. The hotels will offer mobile check-in and IHG Connect enhanced Wi-Fi. Source: BTN
North American Hotels See Drop-Off in Occupancy for Q3
Bookings at hotels in North America during the third quarter are down from this same time last year in almost every segment except leisure transient, according to TravelClick. Committed occupancy for the group segment for the third quarter is down 5.1 percent. Multiple hoteliers, including Hilton and Hyatt Hotel Corp., warned investors during first-quarter earnings calls to expect flat or declining group bookings for the remainder of the year. Average daily rate for the segment is up 3.5 percent.
Bookings for the business transient segment are down 3.8 percent for the third quarter, and ADR is up a tepid 0.3 percent. Source: BTN
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