BONUS: Rail Europe and DER are celebrating Eurostars 10th
anniversary with a limited-time offer of first-class travel between
London and Paris and Brussels at standard-class rates. The birthday
fares, which offer savings of up to 20%, can be booked through Nov.
30 for travel from Oct. 15 to Dec. 15. First-class fares range from
$90 one-way for travel Monday through Thursday, between 11 a.m. and
3 p.m., to $150 for one-way travel at
any time, on any day of the week. Agent commissions are 5% to 7%,
depending on method of booking. To book or for more information,
contact Rail Europe at http://agent.raileurope.com or call (888)
382-7245; or DER at www.der.com or (800) 838-3903.
TAP: The European Travel Commission (ETC) tapped former
U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Richard Holbrooke as keynote
speaker at its 2004 Europe Unlimited Transatlantic Conference in
New York later this month. Other speakers lined up for this third
annual conference -- set for Oct. 29 at Ciprianis restaurant in New
York -- include: Lionel Barber, managing editor of the Financial
Times; Roger Cohen, foreign editor at The New York Times; travel
editor Peter Greenberg of NBCs Today Show; Stelios Haji-Ioannou,
founder of low-fare U.K. airline EasyJet; and Michelle Peluso,
chief executive of Travelocity. Interested attendees can register
through Oct. 15, at a cost of $275 per person. Contact Spring, OBrien & Co. at (212) 620-7100
or [email protected].
ARRIVEDERCI: Longtime Chicago-area F.I.T.
operator to Italy Touritalia is effectively out of business, now
that new owner Private Label Travel shut down last week after the
loss of its Amtrak Vacations contract. Private Label, based in
Downers Grove, Ill., bought Tourtalia from owner Gino Di Nallo just
last August. A recorded phone message at Touritalias headquarters
does not mention the sale or shutdown, although the
www.touritaliainc.com Web site was still up and running at press
time. As Private Label Travel was not a member of the U.S. Tour
Operators Association (USTOA), its customers are not covered by
USTOAs consumer protection plan.
HO: The British Incoming Tour Operators Association
(BIATOA) in London marked a full year of
growth in overseas arrivals to the U.K. as of August, when BITOA
tallied a 3.8% jump in leisure visitors. However, growth in visitor
spending, continue to lag, in particular due to a sluggish U.S.
dollar, according to the monthly BITOA Business Monitor. But the
forecast for 2005 looks much better, with strong expectations of a
revitalized North American market, said BITOA.
" Continental Airlines will launch daily nonstops from its Newark
hub to Belfast, May 26, the first such scheduled service to operate
from the U.S. to Northern Ireland. Frequency will drop to four
flights a week during the winter.
" LTU International Airways will add New York as its fifth U.S.
destination in May, operating six nonstops a week between Kennedy
Airport and Dusseldorf, Germany. LTU -- celebrating its golden
anniversary in 2005 -- now flies to Los Angeles and Fort Myers,
Orlando and Miami, Fla. For more, call (866) 266-5588 or visit www.ltu.com.
" Delta Air Lines will stop code sharing with SNCF-French Rail on
Dec. 1. The two companies began code-sharing in 2001 on rail
service between Charles De Gaulle Airport in Paris and 12 other
destinations in France.
" Icelandair will open a sixth North American gateway May 18 with
its first direct service from the West Coast, seasonal San
The service, bookable now, will operate twice-weekly from May 18
to June 1 and Sept. 1 to Oct. 15, and four times a week from June
" Budget carrier Virgin Express will merge with SN Brussels
Airlines in a stock-swap deal valued at $70 million. The
Belgium-based airlines will operate separately but coordinate
schedules, marketing and purchasing; the two have teamed to
confront Ryanair, which is making inroads into the local
" Estonian Air reported its passenger
loads grew 36% in 2004. The carrier -- which ferries travelers to
Estonian capital Tallinn from Copenhagen, London and 14 other
European cities -- doesnt fly to the U.S., but maintains a sales
office in Miami. Call (800) 397-1354 or e-mail [email protected].