JetBlue, Southwest win some of AA's slots
JetBlue and Southwest said they were winning bidders for some of the 52 slot pairs at Washington's Reagan National Airport that American is divesting under its merger settlement with the Justice Department. JetBlue won 12 slot pairs and said the move would enable it to boost its Reagan service from 18 to 30 daily roundtrips and add destinations that it does not now serve from the capital's close-in airport. The airline also obtained permanent rights to eight slot pairs that it has been leasing from American. Southwest obtained 27 pairs, which will enable it to boost its Reagan service from 17 to 44 daily flights, beginning in the third quarter.

American sets date for Dallas-Shanghai
American set June 11 as the launch date for its planned Dallas-Shanghai nonstop service, to operate under its joint venture with Oneworld partner Japan Airlines. Reservations were slated to open Feb. 2. The flight will use 777-200 aircraft, complementing Shanghai routes from Chicago and Los Angeles. June 11 is also the launch date for the carrier's previously announced Dallas-Hong Kong service.

International debut set for Southwest
Southwest began taking reservations for its first international service, set for July 1 when it begins to take over AirTran's international routes, a major step in the integration of the two lines. The carrier will serve Aruba and Montego Bay, Jamaica, from Atlanta, Baltimore-Washington and Orlando plus BWI-Nassau. By the end of the year, Southwest expects to add AirTran's Atlanta-Nassau and Chicago Midway-Montego Bay service as well as its flights to Cancun, Los Cabos, Mexico City and Punta Cana, Dominican Republic.

Carnival sets return to Baltimore in 2015
Carnival Cruise Lines plans to return to Baltimore in the spring of 2015, offering year-round Florida/Bahamas and Eastern Caribbean cruises on the 2,124-passenger Carnival Pride. The ship is slated for a major makeover this fall that will include Fun Ship 2.0 upgrades and other improvements.

Marriott AC brand coming to Chicago
Milwaukee hotelier Marcus Hotels disclosed plans to convert its Four Points by Sheraton in downtown Chicago to the new AC by Marriott brand in 2015, making the Rush Street property one of the first U.S. hotels under Marriott's new lifestyle brand, launched in Europe in 2011 as a joint venture with Spain's AC Hotels. The Chicago property is to have 226 rooms and 6,000 square feet of meetings space.

Hilton adds another to its New York lineup
Hilton opened the seventh Hilton Garden Inn in Manhattan, a 401-room property south of Columbus Circle on West 54th Street. Dubbed the Hilton Garden Inn New York/Central Park South-Midtown West, the hotel offers 1,300 square feet of meetings space and an Empire Steak House restaurant.

Hyatt Place opening airport sites in Europe
Hyatt opened the 330-room Hyatt Place Amsterdam Airport -- the first Hyatt Place hotel to open in the Netherlands -- while unveiling plans for another airport property in London in 2015. The planned Hyatt Place London Heathrow/Hayes will offer 170 guestrooms and 1,809 square feet of meetings space. Hyatt is also developing an airport location in Zurich.

Friends & Colleagues
J.D. O'Hara has been named president of Tzell Travel Group, the New York-based travel agency owned by Travel Leaders Group. O'Hara takes over the role from Barry Liben, who continues as Tzell's CEO as well as Travel Leaders Group's CEO. O'Hara joined Travel Leaders Group at its inception in 2008 to lead its corporate development efforts, with one of his first accomplishments being the acquisition of Tzell. He most recently served as Travel Leaders Group's senior vice president of corporate development. • • • Red Lion Hotels has hired Greg Mount as its CEO. Mount is the former president of hotel management company Richfield Hospitality. Mount took over the post on Jan. 27. Prior to Richfield, Mount had worked for Sage Hospitality and Starwood Hotels & Resorts. He succeeds interim CEO Jim Evans, who replaced Jon Eliassen last August. • • • Cap Juluca resort in Anguilla named John Hector national sales manager. Hector will serve as the primary liaison to travel agents and wholesale providers. He formerly was travel liaison for the Real Madrid Football Club and worked as a sales manager for the Beverly Hills Hotel prior to that. • • • Peter De Wilde has been elected to a three-year term as president of the European Travel Commission. De Wilde replaces Manuel Butler, who resigned in September. De Wilde has been CEO of the Tourist Office for Flanders-Visit Flanders since 2009. • • • Viator, online seller of tours and activities, has hired Laura Saum as vice president and general manager of global sales and account management. Saum spent more than a decade at Travelocity. She most recently held the position of regional director of partner marketing, leading a team that managed Travelocity's hotel, destination and activity partnerships in Mexico, the Caribbean, Central America, Hawaii and Canada.

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