News Briefs, Week of May 14, 2007

NWA creditors approve exit plan

Northwest Airlines said a preliminary tally of votes indicated that its plan of reorganization had been approved overwhelmingly by its creditors, with more than 96% of them voting in favor.

A confirmation hearing on the airlines plan is scheduled to begin in bankruptcy court on May 16, with Northwest hoping to emerge from Chapter 11 in June.

ACTE tweaks regional structure

ACTEs international board of directors has changed the organizations regional structure. Both Latin America and Middle East & Africa will now have their own representatives on the ACTE board of directors. ACTEs six regions now are Asia Pacific, Canada, Europe, Latin America, Middle East & Africa and the U.S.

Wyndham to rep Grupo Mayan

Mexicos Grupo Mayan chose Wyndham to provide marketing and reservations services for four Grand Mayan properties and five Mayan Palace resorts, one of which is under development in Los Cabos.

Wyndham Worldwides RCI Global Vacation Network already handles reservations for Grupo Mayans timeshare properties.

Rearden T&E tool maps restaurants

Rearden Commerce introduced a T&E tool that directs employees to approved restaurants and enables them to send confirmations to Microsoft Outlook or Lotus Notes calendars. The tool, called Total Dining Experience, uses content from dining guides in tandem with Google Maps and Maponics.

W adds Buckhead to Atlanta plan

Starwood plans to open a second W hotel in Atlanta next year, redeveloping the site of a Crowne Plaza hotel on Peachtree Road in the Buckhead district for a summer debut. The W Atlanta-Midtown, meanwhile, opens in the spring.

Helicopter service links Delta at JFK

US Helicopter, which offers eight-minute shuttle service from two New York heliports to Kennedy and Newark airports, signed deals to make its inventory available in Sabre and to replace American with Delta on May 14 as its airline partner at Kennedy.

The carrier is already in Worldspan and partners with Continental at Newark. 

Any traveler can use the shuttle, but with partner airlines US Helicopter takes passengers to an airport location where they can avoid a second trip through security.

TRX, MasterCard plan biz travel tool

TRX and MasterCard Worldwide said they would develop the MasterCard Travel Dashboard, a Web-based tool that would enable corporations to analyze and optimize travel programs. The dashboard would help companies monitor employee compliance, the companies said.

Radisson sets 08 for St. Martin debut

Radisson plans to open the $80 million Radisson Resort St. Martin next summer on the site of the former LHabitation de Longvilliers Resort on the northwest coast of the French-Dutch island.

The property will be Radissons second flagship hotel in the Caribbean, complementing the existing Radisson Resort on Aruba.

Carlson succession fuels court filing

A dispute over Curtis Nelsons future at Carlson Cos. erupted into a court battle as Nelson sued the company and his mother, CEO Marilyn Carlson Nelson. The board ousted him as president of operations last year, and he declined to be vice chairman. The firm terminated Nelson in January and banned him from the corporate campus.

Nelsons suit said he was denied a promised elevation to the CEO slot due to a hostile relationship with the board and his mother. The company countered that he made bad decisions and was addicted to alcohol and drugs.

A search team is working to fill the CEO slot, and Carlson Nelson has committed to stay on until a candidate is found.

Continental speeds up Mumbai route

Citing a strong market response, Continental is moving up the date of its proposed nonstop Newark-Mumbai service to Oct. 1, subject to government approval.

It had planned to launch on Oct. 30. The service will start with four weekly flights using 777 aircraft, moving to daily on Oct. 28. 

Riu resort to open on Aruba in July

Spains Riu Hotels & Resorts will open its first all-inclusive resort on Aruba on July 20, the $120 million, 450-room, Riu Palace Aruba on Palm Beach. Riu has five Caribbean properties in the Bahamas, the Dominican Republic and Jamaica as well as four in Mexico.

Friends & Colleagues

Four Seasons appointed Andrew Humphries general manager of the Four Seasons Resort Nevis, succeeding Martin Sinclair, who is now general manager at the Regent Singapore, a Four Seasons Hotel. Humphries was general manager of the Four Seasons Hotel Amman in Jordan. " " " Brian Deeson was named chairman of the Pacific Asia Travel Association. Deeson, who is Accors CEO of Greater China and senior vice president of Asia Pacific, takes over for Richard Beere. Janice Antonson, vice president of marketing for Nassau Airport in the Bahamas, was appointed PATA chair-elect. " " " Holland America Line added five business development managers. Gerald Bernhoft, most recently director of sales for Windstar Cruises, is the BDM for the greater Seattle area.Laura White, a former regional sales director at Silversea Cruises, is the BDM for Arizona. Rob Taylor covers the California regions of Sacramento, Northern California and the Central Valley as well as Reno and Northern Nevada, coming from HALs transportation division. Jim Keever, appointed to Northern Ohio and West Virginia, has been a business development representative since March 2006. Joan Serra manages San Gabriel, San Bernardino and Riverside counties and the southern San Fernando Valley in California. She came from Air Tahiti Nui, where she was director of sales for the western U.S. " " " Enterprise Rent-A-Car named Jay Hasler director of travel industry sales. Hasler has been with the company since 1997. " " " Karie Bergstrom was elected president of the Cayman Islands Tourism Association for a third two-year term. " " " Terry Warren was named manager of guest services at the Sterling Club at Bay Point in Panama City Beach, Fla.

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