Alaska swaps Miami for Fort Lauderdale
Alaska Airlines is redirecting its South Florida service from Miami to Fort Lauderdale in mid-July. After serving the Seattle-Miami route for a decade, the carrier will switch airports and offer Seattle-Fort Lauderdale nonstops beginning July 16. The carrier described Fort Lauderdale as a "low-cost" airport that is popular with cruise passengers. Separately, the airline will launch a new Seattle-Philadelphia route on June 11, in direct competition with US Airways.
Frontier adding Colorado routes
Frontier Airlines is adding a batch of routes from its Colorado hubs. Starting in May, the airline will operate new nonstops from Colorado Springs to Los Angeles, Phoenix, Portland, Ore., and Seattle using 138-seat Airbus 319s. Also in May, the airline will launch year-round regional jet service from Denver to Bloomington, Ill., and Cedar Rapids, Iowa, along with seasonal service to Bellingham, Wash., Great Falls, Mont., and Harrisburg, Pa.
OpenSkies opts for 3-class service
British Airways is moving to a three-class configuration for its OpenSkies unit, which operates 757 aircraft in a premium configurations between Newark Airport and Paris Orly. On June 19 the airline will introduce an economy cabin with 66 leather seats. The Biz Seat cabin will be reduced in size to 28 seats and renamed Prem Plus. Up front, the Biz Bed cabin will accommodate 20 lie-flat beds, yielding a total passenger capacity of 114. Service upgrades include individual iPads for all and BA lounge access for Biz Bed passengers.
Carnival swaps Splendor, Miracle
Carnival next spring will pull the 3,000-passenger Carnival Splendor from Los Angeles and move it to New York for year-round Caribbean cruises, replacing it with the smaller Carnival Miracle for Alaska, Mexico and Hawaii itineraries. The Carnival Spirit is already slated to leave the West Coast for Australia this year. The Splendor will offer three cruises around South America as it transitions from West to East in February and March, and the Miracle will offer a Panama Canal itinerary as its repositions from New York in March.
Marriott aims high with Dubai opening
Marriott will open its JW Marriott Marquis Dubai in phases beginning in the fourth quarter, with 807 of the property's planned 1,608 rooms. At 1,164 feet, the building is said to be the tallest dedicated hotel building in the world. When completed, it is expected to have nine restaurants and nearly 55,000 square feet of event space.
Chicago property dons Waldorf name
Hilton formally rebranded the 188-room Elysian Hotel in Chicago as the Waldorf Astoria Chicago, the brand's 23rd property. The Elysian was an independent hotel that opened in 2009 in the Gold Coast area near Lake Shore Drive.
DoubleTree arrives in Panama City
Blue Star Hospitality, a Hilton franchisee, opened the 213-room DoubleTree by Hilton in Panama City, the brand's first in Panama and seventh in Latin America.
Friends & Colleagues
Palace Resorts named Sandor Winkler as COO. Winkler joined Palace Resorts in 2004 and served as director of tourism for the resort company, which operates nine all-inclusive properties in Mexico and the Dominican Republic. • • • Steven Cernak, port director and CEO of the Port of Galveston, Texas, since 1999, was named CEO and port director of Broward County's Port Everglades Department. Cernak is replacing Phillip Allen, who retired on Feb. 3. Previously Cernak was the manager of port development for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. • • • Freddy Muller was named to the newly created position of director, corporate, incentive and charter sales for Prestige Cruise Holdings, parent of Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises. Prior to joining Prestige, Muller was the corporate and incentive sales director at Silversea Cruises. • • • Paul Gauguin Cruises named Nancy Iovino director of sales, Southwest region, which comprises Southern California, Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico and Hawaii. Iovino has held sales and administrative positions with Princess Cruises, Braniff Airlines, Crystal Cruises and Oceania Cruises. • • • CLIA named Michael McGarry senior vice president of public affairs. He previously was managing partner at R2M Solutions, a risk- and reputation-management firm he founded in Washington.