News Briefs, Week of March 4, 2013

Insel Air Aruba seeks U.S. routes

Insel Air Aruba, an affiliate of Curacao's Insel Air, filed at the Transportation Department to serve the U.S. as a designated flag carrier of Aruba. The airline, organized as an Aruba corporation last year, proposed to start service June 1 with nonstop flights to Miami, followed in November by services from Aruba to Orlando and San Juan. All flights will operate with 152-seat DC-9-80 aircraft.

Frontier, Expedia part company
Frontier is no longer bookable in Expedia and Hotwire because the companies failed to reach agreement when their contract expired. Expedia said negotiations continue, but it pulled Frontier flights and fares from "select Expedia-brand and Hotwire sites." Frontier referred travelers to its website.

Delta sleepers get Westin bedding
Delta plans to bring Westin's Heavenly bedding to its Business-Elite cabins on all international and certain domestic routes, beginning in June with key transcon and Atlanta-Honolulu flights. Delta is reconfiguring its fleet to introduce full flat-bed seats in its BusinessElite cabins.

AirTran adds route to Los Cabos
Southwest's AirTran subsidiary will launch daily service to Los Cabos, Mexico, from Austin, Texas, on June 2. AirTran, which has been operating to Los Cabos from John Wayne Airport in Orange County, Calif., is slated to add a Denver-Los Cabos service March 10.

American to add Sao Paulo routes
American filed at the Transportation Department to add service to Sao Paulo from Los Angeles in 2013 and from the Chicago hub in 2014. The carrier already serves Brazil from New York, Miami and Dallas. Separately, American plans to launch a new transcon route June 12 with daily nonstops between Miami and San Diego.

Rosewood Hotels comes to London
The 306-room Rosewood London, set to open in October, will be the brand's first property in Europe. The hotel will be located in a century-old building on High Holborn in central London, currently undergoing a $130 million renovation.

La Quinta inks deal in Central America
La Quinta plans to open eight franchised properties in Central America, in a deal with an affiliate of Grupo Santos, a Honduran developer. The agreements will bring La Quinta hotels to the Honduran cities of Tegucigalpa, San Pedro Sula, Comayagua, Choluteca and Roatan; plus Managua, Nicaragua; Panama City; and Guatemala City. The first property will open in Tegucigalpa in 2014.

Panama project gets two Hyatts
Hyatt agreed to plans for a 168-room Hyatt Place and a 120-room Hyatt House in Costa del Este, a mixed-use development in Panama City. Construction will begin later this year; both properties are expected to open in early 2015.
The hotels will join the Hyatt Place Panama City, opening later this year.

Friends & Colleagues

The American Hotel & Lodging Association (AH&LA) named Katherine Lugar its new president and CEO, effective April 17. Lugar will take over for longtime CEO Joseph A. McInerney, who announced last year that he would be stepping down. For the past six years, Lugar has served as executive vice president of the Retail Industry Leaders Association. Prior to that, she was vice president, federal government relations, for Travelers Insurance. • • • Paul Pennicook, Caribbean marketing specialist, opened his own consulting firm, PDP Management Consultants, based in Fort Lauderdale. Pennicook formerly was president of International Lifestyles, SuperClubs' worldwide representative. Prior to that, he served as senior vice president sales and marketing at Air Jamaica, director of tourism for Jamaica and first vice president of the Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association. • • • Aruba Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino appointed Tom Calame as general manager. Calame most recently was general manager of the Renaissance Amsterdam Hotel. He joined Marriott in 1988 and served in a variety of positions over the years. • • • Tourism Fiji appointed Rick Hamilton as its CEO. Hamilton has more than 17 years experience in the travel industry, most recently serving for five years as managing director of Flight Centre New Zealand. He has also held roles as retail leader for Flight Centre South Africa and as retail leader for Student Flights Australia.


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