News Briefs, Week of June 21, 2010

London's Savoy sets reopening day
London's Savoy hotel will reopen Oct. 10 following a nearly three-year renovation. Reservations begin on Aug. 10. New to the 268-room hotel, which is operated by Fairmont, will be a two-bedroom Royal Suite and the Beaufort Bar. The hotel will also have a fitness gallery and rooftop pool. The Savoy Grill will also return.

NCL takes delivery of Epic megaship
Norwegian Cruise Line took delivery of the 4,200-passenger Norwegian Epic, its largest ship at 153,000 tons. After visits to Rotterdam, Netherlands, and Southampton, England, the ship will be named by singer Reba McEntire on July 2 in New York, where it will host NBC's telecast of Macy's July 4 fireworks display. Its inaugural Caribbean season starts in Miami on July 10.

DOT: Disability law applies to cruises
Three years after issuing formal proposals, the Transportation Department issued final rules governing cruise ship compliance with the Americans With Disabilities Act. The rules pertain to general policies and procedures and the accessibility of landside facilities. Physical access issues for foreign-flagged ships are excluded because architectural guidelines are being developed separately.

Fairfield Inn opens near Notre Dame
White Lodging, a regional operator with 150 hotels, opened a 119-room Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott in South Bend, Ind., near Notre Dame University, in the Eddy Street Commons, a shopping and entertainment area.

Judge will hear Starwood spy case
A federal judge in New York rejected Hilton's request to dismiss a corporate espionage case brought by competitor Starwood Hotels & Resorts. Starwood alleged that former executives Ross Klein and Amar Lalvani improperly accessed and used confidential Starwood information after they went to Hilton. Dismissing Hilton's claim that the evidence was insufficient, Judge Stephen Robinson said, "This is the case of the 'corporate spy,'" involving "trickery and deceit."

Houston-Lagos is Dreamliner route
Continental disclosed plans to launch a nonstop route linking Houston with Lagos, Nigeria, on Nov. 10, 2011, using Boeing's new 787 Dreamliner. The carrier recently named Houston-Auckland, New Zealand, for Dreamliner service, beginning Nov. 16, 2011.

Alaska Airlines to serve St. Louis
Alaska Airlines plans to launch a Seattle-St. Louis route with one daily 737 flight in competition with Southwest and American, beginning Sept. 27. An introductory one-way fare of $109 is available until July 1.

IHG inks deal for Cartagena hotel
InterContinental Hotels Group agreed to manage a 280-room InterContinental hotel in Cartagena, Colombia. Opening in early 2013, the hotel will be one of the anchors of a 215,000-square-foot, mixed-use development that includes a casino, upscale retail shops, movie theaters and restaurants in the Bocagrande district.

Friends & Colleagues

AMR Corp. named Daniel Garton president and CEO of American Eagle, one of the world's largest regional airlines. Garton returns to American Eagle after 12 years with American Airlines, most recently as executive vice president of marketing, a role that gave him responsibility for American's reservations, its AA.com website, flight service, sales, the AAdvantage travel awards program, advertising and corporate communications. • • • ARC's long-time director of strategic communications, Allan Muten, has left the company. ARC indicated it expected to fill what it called "this important position." In the interim, ARC's director of marketing and business intelligence, Jeannine Rahe, is filling in. • • • Jeff Pinneo is retiring from the role of president and CEO of Horizon Air after eight years at the regional carrier's helm and more than 28 years working at Horizon and sister carrier, Alaska Airlines. Glenn Johnson, formerly Alaska Air Group's CFO and executive vice president of finance, was elected president of Horizon Air. Brandon Pedersen, previously Alaska Air Group's vice president of finance and controller, was elected CFO of Alaska Air Group. Johnson has more than 28 years of experience at Alaska Air Group. Pedersen has been with the company since 2003.

This column appeared in the June 21 issue of Travel Weekly.

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