News Briefs, Week of Dec. 20, 2010

Splendor repairs delayed one month


The Carnival Splendor, disabled by an engine-room fire in November, will be out of service a month more than previously estimated. Carnival said the ship would not re-enter service until Feb. 20, citing additional repair issues and delays in getting parts, some of which are being manufactured in Europe. The Splendor was scheduled to resume its Mexican Riviera cruises from Long Beach, Calif., on Jan. 16. Instead, Carnival canceled five additional cruises (Jan. 16, 23, 30 and Feb. 6 and 13). The Splendor will move from San Diego to San Francisco in mid-January where repairs will be completed.

Refunds offered for Brilliance roll
Royal Caribbean offered full refunds to passengers on a 12-night Mediterranean cruise on the Brilliance of the Seas that rolled sharply during "extreme wind and sea conditions, including heavy seas and 70 knot winds" as it approached Alexandria, Egypt. Some 60 guests were injured and some public areas sustained damage, but it did not affect the ship's seaworthiness, the line said. The 2,110-passenger Brilliance skipped Egypt and proceeded to Valletta, Malta, its next port of call. Subsequent departures were not expected to be affected.

Hyatt opens in Dusseldorf
Continuing its European expansion, Hyatt opened its fifth hotel in Germany, the 303-room Hyatt Regency Dusseldorf. Situated in a new 19-story, waterfront tower in the city's Media Harbor area, the hotel offers four restaurants and 9,000 square feet of meetings space.

Southwest to boost Newark service Southwest laid out additional plans for Newark service next year, opening inventory for four new routes. Starting June 5 the carrier will offer three daily flights to Baltimore-Washington and to Denver and two daily flights each to Phoenix and Houston Hobby. The carrier's first service to Newark starts March 27 with routes to Chicago Midway and St. Louis. Separately, Southwest confirmed that it converted 20 of its upcoming Boeing 737 deliveries to the newer and larger 737-800 model and that all of them will be equipped for extended overwater operations, putting Hawaii within reach. The first deliveries are expected in March 2012.

Continental to add nonstops to Hilo Continental posted schedules for new nonstop routes to Hilo, Hawaii, from Los Angeles and San Francisco, beginning June 9. The flights, to be operated with 160-passenger 737-800 aircraft, will be Hilo's only nonstops from the Mainland. Los Angeles will get daily service, and the San Francisco service will operate on Saturdays.

Schrager to launch two new brands
Hotelier Ian Schrager sold his interest in New York's Gramercy Park Hotel and disclosed plans to launch another hotel company, Schrager Hotels, that will encompass two new brands. One will be a luxury lifestyle brand, and the other will feature stylish but less expensive properties. Schrager did not reveal the brand names but said Chicago's landmark Ambassador East hotel, which he acquired earlier this year, will don one of the new brands in September.

Friends & Colleagues
Lauraday Kelley has retired at Vacation.com after a 43-year career in travel. A key figure at Vacation.com since its inception, Kelley was a vice president in charge of education and training for the travel agent network, including the planning of Vacation.com's annual conference. Prior to assuming her role with Vacation.com, Kelley, along with her husband, owned and operated an agency specializing in group travel. Later, Kelley joined ARTA, where she served on the board of directors and was elected chair before being appointed the first female president in ARTA's history. Later, Kelley joined GEM/CruiseLink as vice president of education and training. Kelley has handed over her responsibilities for planning the annual Vacation.com show to longtime associate Bernadette Stark. • • • Carlson appointed Simon Barlow president of Carlson Hotels, Asia Pacific. Barlow has three decades of global hotel operations and development experience. Most recently he was with Millennium and Copthorne Hotels, where he was senior vice president, Asia, and COO for the USA. He replaces Jean-Marc Busato, who is becoming area vice president, Carlson Hotels, Latin America. • • • The Air Transport Association elected Delta CEO Richard Anderson chairman of the ATA Board of Directors. Southwest CEO Gary Kelly was named vice chairman. Anderson, who succeeds United's Glenn Tilton, and Kelly both will serve a two-year term.

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