Spirit to add BWI, Dallas routes
Spirit Airways continued its buildup at Dallas-Fort Worth, adding service to Baltimore-Washington on Sept. 6 and to Houston Bush on Sept. 30. The carrier will follow with new routes to Oakland and Los Angeles, Calif., and Cancun in April. The Cancun service, subject to government approval, would launch as a once-weekly flight, moving to daily service in June. The move into BWI, a Southwest stronghold, coincides with Spirit’s sale of its slots at Washington’s Reagan National to Southwest, and the transfer of its Washington-Fort Lauderdale service to BWI. Southwest intends to use the Washington slots for nonstops to St. Louis.
Hilton adds two to Egypt portfolio
Hilton plans to open two more hotels in Egypt under agreements with local developer Egyptian Touristic Resorts. First to open, at the end of 2013, will be the 195-room Hilton Alexandria King’s Ranch, some 25 miles west of the city. Following in 2016 will be its sixth in the capital, the 390-room Hilton Giza Pyramids south of Cairo, offering views of the pyramids and the Sphinx. The additions will bring Hilton’s portfolio in Egypt to 20 properties.
JetBlue seeks Cartagena route
JetBlue filed at the Transportation Department for the right to launch a new route from its base at New York’s Kennedy Airport to Cartagena, Colombia. The carrier is proposing to start service Nov. 2 with three weekly flights using 150-seat A320 aircraft.
Carnival restricts booking incentives
Carnival Cruise Lines is eliminating all cash-equivalent, value-added items — which can include onboard credits, prepaid gratuities and free or discounted shore excursions — as booking incentives beginning Aug. 1. Citing complaints from agents that the practice of using such value-adds as booking incentives is simply another form of rebating, the line said last week it would limit value-add booking incentives to items such as tote bags, beach towels or sunglasses that have a value of $25 or less per passenger.
Dubai revises QE2 hotel plan
The owners of the Queen Elizabeth 2 are proceeding with plans to turn the legendary Cunard liner into a 300-room dockside hotel in Dubai, but as part of a maritime attraction at its current mooring at Port Rashid rather than Palm Jumeirah, the artificial palm-shaped island off the coast of Dubai. Istithmar World, the state-owned company that bought the ship in 2007, said it will renovate the liner while preserving its interior. The company is talking to three hotel companies about managing the ship.
Four Points seeks LEED for Fla. hotel
Starwood renovated and reflagged a Holiday Inn in Tallahassee, Fla., as a Four Points by Sheraton and is seeking LEED certification from the Green Building Council for its energy and environmental profile. The hotel was built in 1969 as one of the cylindrical hotels designed for Holiday Inn known to some as “beer can” hotels. Starwood recently converted a similar Holiday Inn in San Diego to its Four Points brand.
Friends & Colleagues
The Hawaii Lodging & Tourism Association (HLTA) has named George Szigeti its new president and CEO, effective July 9. Szigeti has been the president and CEO of Better Brands, a national distributor of wine, beer and distilled spirits, since 1997, but he is a former HLTA board member and past president of the Hawaii Food Industry Association as well as a board member of the Hawaii Restaurant Association. Szigeti replaces Mufi Hanneman, a former Honolulu mayor, who stepped down to run for a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives. • • • Jeffrey Hentz has taken the helm as CEO of the Daytona Beach Area Convention and Visitors Bureau. Hentz recently served as executive director and CEO for California’s Destination Yosemite/Mariposa County Convention and Visitors Bureau. He has more than 20 years of sales and marketing experience in the travel and tourism industry. • • • Sandy Lane resort in Barbados named Randall Wilkie general manager. Wilkie formerly was general manager at Cobbler’s Cove Hotel in Barbados and prior to that served with several hotels in Jamaica and Antigua over a 26-year period. • • • Caribbean Airlines appointed Clive Forbes general manager, responsible for the airline’s Jamaican operations. Forbes, formerly general manager at the Caribbean Shipping Association, replaced Will Rogers, who has been acting general manager at the airline since February 2011.