Continental wins Beijing route award

The Transportation Department finalized a decision to award Continental new rights to serve Beijing this year. The carrier plans to begin nonstops from its Newark hub by early June.

Still pending is the DOT's decision on which new route to add in 2006. It tentatively decided to add American to the market with service from Chicago to Shanghai.

Lufthansa spreads its wireless act

Lufthansa expanded its FlyNet inflight wireless Internet service and expects to have the service operating on 11 transatlantic services by March 27, including flights serving the New York, Boston, Washington, Chicago and San Francisco gateways.

TAP joins Star Alliance

TAP Portugal joined the Star Alliance. The addition gives Star 16 members, and, with the addition of a Lisbon hub, "10 strategically placed connecting airports across the Continent."

Star said TAP also brings some unusual destinations and routes into the network, such as Madeira and the Azores, the Cape Verde Islands, Guinea Bissau, Sao Tome and Principe, Angola and Mozambique.

Nassau property renamed

During its recent $500,000 refurbishment, the 185-room Holiday Inn Nassau (Bahamas) on Bay Street emerged with a new name: the Nassau PalmResort and Conference Center.

Property manager Driftwood Hospitality, which also handles the Holiday Inn Sunspree Resort on Paradise Island and Nassau's Hurricane Hole Marina, said it may bring back the Holiday Inn name at a future date.

Eurofly seeks U.S.-Europe routes

Eurofly, a European charter carrier, asked the Transportation Department for approval to launch scheduled service between Italy and the U.S. in June.

The airline plans to offer seasonal service from New York (Kennedy) to Bologna, Naples and Milan, Italy, and Palermo, Sicily. Eurofly is Italian-owned but is incorporated in Luxembourg.

A new brand for Bal Harbour
Starwood and the Related Group of Florida agreed to form a joint venture to develop a St. Regis Resort & Residences on the site of the Sheraton Bal Harbour which, after 50 years, is slated to close in June 2006. The Sheraton plans promotional activities prior to the closing. Nardi sentenced in fraud case
Riccardo Nardi, former lead attorney for the Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA), was sentenced to four-and-a-half years in jail, according to a report from Travel Weekly U.K., after admitting he defrauded the association out of nearly $1.8 million.

Nardi pleaded guilty to charges that he made false claims against a consumer-protection fund operated by the trade group.

People in the news...

Harrah's Entertainment said Gary Loveman will remain as chairman, CEO and president of the company following the planned merger with Caesars Entertainment. Additionally, Charles Atwood will continue as Harrah's senior vice president and CFO and Tim Wilmott will retain his position as Harrah's COO. Under the merger, to be completed in the second quarter, Harrah's will operate three regional divisions, each headed by a president: Tom Jenkin, West, Anthony Sanfilippo, Central, and Carlos Tolosa, East. Hilton's co-chairmen, William Barron Hilton and Stephen Bollenbach, both of whom are Caesars directors, will join Harrah's board of directors ... JetBlue appointed Andrea Spiegel vice president of sales and marketing. Spiegel spent the last year developing a brand identity and marketing plan for Virgin America, Richard Branson's much-delayed U.S. venture. Previously, Spiegel ran her own travel and luxury goods marketing firm, AKS Communications ... Bob Malmberg, president of Boston's Malmberg Travel, received the Certified Travel Industry Executive Certificate, an accreditation established last year by the Travel Institute for senior-level travel executives. Malmberg has been in the business for 50 years and has held a CTC designation for 26 of them ... The Lee County (Fla.) Visitor and Convention Bureau hired Elizabeth Dane as its Northeast sales director based in the new Lee County VCB office in Washington. Dane, who has been in the industry for 25 years, also will attempt to generate media coverage of Fort Myers and Sanibel Island. She most recently worked for the Turtle Bay Resort in Hawaii ... Apple Vacations named Dennis Cossidente partnership marketing manager, working with hotel, tourism board and agency consortia partners on marketing strategies for Apple's Mexico and Caribbean products. Cossidente, a 23-year industry veteran, is a former national account manager in specialty sales for United Airlines ... Clive O'Donoghue was named general manager of the El Encanto Hotel & Garden Villas in Santa Barbara, Calif.

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