News Briefs, Week of Aug. 11, 2014

Frontier adds routes to winter sunspots


Frontier Airlines is adding 10 routes to sun spots this fall and winter, including a weekly service from Washington Dulles to Cancun beginning Nov. 22. The other nine routes are domestic services, launching on various dates between Oct. 26 and Jan. 8 with three, four or five weekly flights. Operating with a mix of A320 and A319 aircraft, the new routes will serve West Palm Beach, Fla., from Denver, Washington and Trenton, N.J.; and Orlando from Chicago, Atlanta, St. Louis and Milwaukee. St. Louis-Fort Lauderdale and Milwaukee-Fort Myers routes are also planned.

Mexican airline seeks Houston-Cancun route
Mexican low-fare airline VivaAerobus requested rights from the Transportation Department to begin serving the Houston-Cancun market as early as this week, saying it will offer five weekly flights on a year-round basis. The carrier, owned in part by the founders of Ireland's Ryanair, operates throughout Mexico and serves a route from Houston to its base in Monterrey.

Louis Cruises creates Greek cruise unit
Louis Cruises plans to launch a Greek-themed brand this fall, Celestyal Cruises, to offer cruisers "an authentic Greek experience." The Cyprus-based line said it chose the name to honor the ancient Greeks, "who were among the first people to use celestial navigation."

Sofitel brand plans Mexico City debut
Sofitel, Accor's luxury hotel brand, plans to open its first hotel in Mexico in 2017. The new 290-room Sofitel Mexico Reforma will be in Mexico City's financial district and will sport a rooftop lounge.

Peninsula Hotel opens in Paris landmark
Hong Kong-based Peninsula Hotels opened its first hotel in Europe, the Peninsula Paris, in the 1908 building near the Arc de Triomphe that once housed the Hotel Majestic, where George Gershwin stayed as he composed "An American in Paris" in 1928. As restored, the hotel has 200 rooms and six food and beverage venues, plus a spa, fitness center and indoor pool. The building was most recently used by the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and was the site of the signing of the Paris Peace Accords that ended the Vietnam War in 1973.

German yard, Finland to acquire Turku site
German shipbuilder Meyer Werft and the Finnish government agreed to acquire the STX Finland shipyard in Turku, Finland, from South Korea-based STX Corp. Meyer Werft will hold a 70% stake, the Finnish government 30%. The plan is to rename the company Meyer Turku Shipyard. The Turku yard, previously operated by Kvaerner and Aker, built a number of notable ships over the years, including Royal Caribbean's Oasis of the Seas and Allure of the Seas, but Finland lost the bid for the third ship in the series.

Kazakhstan: Marriott opens, St. Regis builds
Kazakhstan's first hotel under Marriott International's flagship brand opened in the capital city of Astana. The 271-room Astana Marriott Hotel is the company's fifth in the country, which also has two Renaissance hotels, one Ritz-Carlton and a Marriott Executive Apartments property. Starwood, meanwhile, plans to enter Kazakhstan with the 120-room St. Regis Astana, opening in 2017 when the city will host the Expo 2017 international exhibition. The property will also have 50 branded residential units.

Friends & Colleagues
American Airlines promoted Don Casey to senior vice president, revenue management, responsible for all of American's passenger pricing and yield management activity. Casey previously served as vice president of revenue management. He joined American in 2000 as managing director of capacity planning. • • • Accor appointed Dominique Colliat executive vice president, hotel services, North and Central America and the Caribbean. A 27-year veteran of Accor, Colliat previously served as senior vice president of operations for Sofitel Europe, Middle East and Africa. She also was with Club Med for eight years. • • • Hyatt Hotels has promoted Chuck Floyd to the newly created position of global president of operations. Floyd, who has worked for Hyatt for 33 years, served as COO of Hyatt's North America region before being promoted to group president of Hyatt's global operations center in October 2012. Additionally, Pete Sears, who had been senior vice president of operations for Hyatt's Asia-Pacific region, was promoted to group president of the company's Americas region, effective Sept. 1. • • • Tania Rydon has been named director of sales and marketing for the Malliouhana, an Auberge resort that is slated to open Nov. 1 on Anguilla. Rydon's prior experience included serving as co-general manager at the Amanyara in Turks and Caicos and Amanwella in Sri Lanka, along with posts at Caribbean resorts, including Little Dix Bay, Caneel Bay and the Four Seasons Nevis. • • • Alaska Air Group has named Veresh Sita vice president and chief information officer for Alaska Airlines. Sita previously served as CIO for Seattle-based Colliers International, a commercial real estate services company. • • • David Kirken has been appointed managing director of the Omni La Costa Resort & Spa in Carlsbad, Calif., returning to the property where he worked at the bell stand as a teen. Most recently, Kirken served as general manager of the Arizona Biltmore in Phoenix.

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