News Briefs, Week of July 9, 2007

AA adding Stansted to London lineup 

American will begin daily service from New York (Kennedy) to London's Stansted Airport on Oct. 28 in a direct challenge to Eos and Maxjet, the premium-class carriers that launched their first service on the same route in 2005.

American plans to add a second daily flight to the route next spring, offering two-class service on 767 aircraft.

American also plans to move one of its two daily Dallas/Fort Worth flights and its daily flight from Raleigh-Durham, N.C., from Gatwick to Heathrow next year when the U.S.-E.U. open-skies accord takes effect.

Second jury awards $15M to Celebrity

A New York federal jury awarded Celebrity Cruises $15 million in a partial retrial of its case against the Essef Corp. regarding a 1994 outbreak of Legionnaires' disease on the Celebrity Horizon.

Celebrity claimed that several passengers contracted the disease because of a defective water filter in a whirlpool spa that Essef built. A previous jury awarded Celebrity $183 million, but in January a judge tossed out all but $10.4 million of that amount and ordered a new trial on the jury's finding that Celebrity should receive compensation for lost profits. Essef's parent, Pentair, said it might appeal.

RockResorts to add St. Lucia resort

RockResorts will expand its international portfolio with the addition of the Landings St. Lucia, a development slated to open in four phases, beginning in December, on Rodney Bay on St. Lucia's west coast.

In addition to managing the resort's 231 suites, spa facilities and restaurants, RockResorts will manage the private yacht harbor and beach club. 

Carnival sets first South America trip

Carnival Cruise Lines will operate its first South America itineraries in 2009, as its sends its newest ship, the 113,300-ton Carnival Splendor, on a three-leg positioning cruise to the West Coast.

The first leg leaves Fort Lauderdale on Jan. 31, ending 17 days later in Buenos Aires. A 14-day sailing takes the ship to Santiago, Chile, where the final cruise leaves for San Francisco on March 3.

RailAgent to add Amtrak in U.S. 

Amtrak agreed to begin U.S. distribution through, starting with agencies. Craig White, Amtrak's senior director of travel industry sales, said Amtrak hoped to sign up the first participants in the fourth quarter. The portal will be part of's AgentNet intranet. Amtrak already distributes through RailAgent in Canada.

Sandals Antigua opens Med Village

Sandals Grande Antigua Resort & Spa will unveil its 180-suite Mediterranean Village on July 15, a $70 million expansion to the resort's existing 193-room Caribbean Village. The new pool and whirlpool are said to be the largest in the eastern Caribbean.

Fred. Olsen plans another stretch

Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines plans to stretch its 727-passenger Braemar next spring, adding a 102-foot midsection extension plus extended fore and aft sections on Deck 8, increasing capacity to 977. The Norwegian Crown, which will transfer to Fred. Olsen from Norwegian Cruise Line in September and be renamed the Balmoral, will also be lengthened.

Friends & Colleagues

Maybourne Hotel Group appointed of Philippe Leboeuf general manager of Claridge's in London. Le-boeuf was vice president of operations for Rosewood Hotels and Resorts. " " " SeaDream Yacht Club named Bert van Middendorp to the newly created position of senior vice president, hotel operations and quality assurance. Van Middendorp has been with SeaDream since its inception in 2001, most recently as vice president, shoreside operations. Nils Lindstad will take over Van Middendorp's duties in his new role as director, shore-side operations. Lindstad is currently manager, revenue reporting and database management. " " " Crescent Hotels & Resorts named Pamela Suhr COO. Suhr was senior vice president, operations and development for HEI Hotel & Resorts. " " " The Westin St. John Resort and Villas in the U.S. Virgin Islands appointed Toya Frazer-Ellis the property's first-ever director of fun. Frazer-Ellis' responsibilities include greeting families upon arrival and providing information about the kids' club. Frazer-Ellis has been part of the Westin St. John team for the past two years as director of romance, the title given to the resort's wedding manager. " " " ResortQuest Hawaii named Cara Okawavice president of sales and revenue development. Okawa most recently served as vice president of sales and revenue management for Aqua Hotels & Resorts, a chain of 10 properties in Waikiki.


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