News Briefs, Week of Feb. 6, 2012

Amadeus creates interline EMD

Amadeus created the first interline Electronic Miscellaneous Document (EMD), which facilitates the payment and delivery of ancillary services across airline partnerships and alliances. The launch customers were Finnair and EgyptAir. Interline EMD processing gives agents the capability of booking ancillary services for multiple segments of interline and intra-alliance itineraries. Amadeus said that up to 20% of its air bookings involve interline partnerships.

San Francisco port to get new terminal
The San Francisco Port Commission voted to begin construction of a 88,000-square-foot cruise terminal and a 2.2-acre public park, a $92 million project that is to be completed in 2014. The Pier 27 James R. Herman International Cruise Terminal will serve as the primary cruise ship terminal, while an existing facility at Pier 35 will be used as a secondary terminal if two cruise ships are in port at the same time. The site is named for the late James Herman, a former port commissioner.

REIT completes Sonesta acquisition
Hospitality Properties Trust, a real estate investment trust based in Newton, Mass., closed on its acquisition of Sonesta International Hotels, a transaction valued at $174 million. Sonesta manages and franchises hotels in the U.S., South America and Egypt. Hospitality Properties Trust owns some 290 properties in the U.S. and Canada, which are managed and branded by various operators, including Marriott, InterContinental, Hyatt and Carlson.

G Adventures woos AARP members
Canadian operator G Adventures, traditionally an active travel brand for younger travelers, is pushing into the 50-plus market by partnering with AARP. In addition to offering AARP discounts on selected tours, the operator is expanding its comfort category of tours with G-Plus, a lineup of more than 150 soft adventure-style trips that include transfers, breakfasts, enhanced transportation and accommodations with upgraded amenities.

United to add D.C.-Hawaii route
United plans to launch daily, nonstop service to Honolulu from its Washington Dulles hub on June 7 using 767 aircraft, three days after Hawaiian Airlines' planned entry into the New York market.

Steamboat line to prefer Signature
Signature Travel Network agreed to become the sole preferred seller of the Great American Steamboat Co., the Memphis firm that is relaunching the 436-passenger American Queen on the Mississippi in April. The company and Signature will develop sales and marketing initiatives that include cooperative marketing and travel agent education.

DoubleTree brand headed for Jakarta
Hilton signed a management agreement with an Indonesian company to operate a 261-room hotel in Jakarta under its DoubleTree brand. Opening in 2014, the DoubleTree by Hilton Jakarta-Diponegoro will offer all-day dining, a business center, a spa and an outdoor pool.

Friends & Colleagues

Lee Robinson, vice president of sales for Princess Cruises and Cunard Line, is retiring at the end of March. A successor has not yet been named. Robinson, a 27-year veteran in the cruise industry, joined Princess Tours in 1988 as director of group sales, and in 1992 was named western regional sales director for Princess Cruises. A year later, he was promoted to vice president of field sales. In 2000, he left Princess to serve as vice president of sales for American Classic Voyages. In 2002, Robinson moved to Cunard and Seabourn, where he oversaw sales. Princess and Cunard combined sales functions in 2005. The cruise lines consolidated all sales functions under Robinson in 2010. • • • Eben Peck has been named vice president of government affairs for ASTA. As part of his new job, Peck will be responsible for all of ASTA's federal and state lobbying efforts as well as its political action committee, AstaPac. Peck joins ASTA after seven years with the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, where he served most recently as senior director of government affairs. Prior to that, Eben served for five years on the staff of U.S. Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-Maine), acting as the lawmaker's policy adviser and representative for several legislative issues, including transportation, homeland security, labor and appropriations. • • • The USTOA has appointed Peggy Murphy vice president. A seven-year veteran of the organization, Murphy previously held the position of director of operations. Prior to joining USTOA, Murphy was sales manager for meetings and conventions at the Long Island (N.Y.) Convention and Visitors Bureau.


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