News Briefs, Week of May 19, 2014

United sets date for Tokyo's Haneda


United set Oct. 26 as the launch date for daily nonstops between San Francisco and Tokyo's Haneda Airport, transferring one of its two daily San Francisco-Narita flights to the close-in Haneda, which was opened on a limited basis to U.S. carriers in 2010. United received a Haneda designation that was previously allocated to American for New York service.

Frontier sets sights on Washington Dulles
As part of the realignment of its route system, low-fare Frontier Airlines is adding Washington Dulles to its system with routes to 14 destinations, beginning with Atlanta, Charlotte, Orlando, Minneapolis and Tampa on Aug. 19, followed by nine other cities on Sept. 8: Chicago O'Hare, Cincinnati, Detroit, Fort Lauderdale, Las Vegas, Memphis, St. Louis and Fort Myers and St. Augustine/Jacksonville, Fla.

New Eastern orders new Boeing planes
The company hoping to revive the Eastern Airlines name as a charter carrier said it "placed deposits" with Boeing for 10 737-800 aircraft and for 10 737-Max aircraft, a new version due in 2017. Eastern's bid for airline rights remains pending at the Transportation Department.

New York to boost state travel funding
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo unveiled a celebrity ad campaign featuring Meryl Streep, Robert De Niro and other show business stars and pledged a $15 million increase in the state's contribution to tourism promotion, to $45 million. Last year's outlay was $30 million, boosted by another $30 million in Hurricane Sandy relief grants from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

General Tours is now Alexander+Roberts
General Tours World Traveler, the tour operator founded by the late Alex Harris in 1947, is changing its name to Alexander+Roberts, a brand that joins the first names of the founder and of its current owner and president, Robert Drumm. A new Web address (www.AlexanderRoberts.com) went live over the weekend. Drumm said the name "General" didn't convey the essence of a brand that offers upscale, small-group itineraries to less-frequented destinations.

Aloft brand to arrive in South Beach in '15
Starwood plans to bring its Aloft lifestyle brand to Miami Beach early next year. The Aloft South Beach will offer 235 rooms in what the company calls "an adaptive reuse of the historic Motel Ankara" on Collins Avenue.

Hyatt brand returns to Almaty, Kazakhstan
Hyatt agreed to manage a 270-room hotel in Almaty, Kazakhstan, under its Hyatt Regency brand. Opening in 2017, the hotel will offer 16,000 square feet of meetings space and mark the return of the Hyatt brand to Almaty. It previously operated the Rahat Palace as a Hyatt Regency.

Wyndham inks deal for Ramada in Kenya
Wyndham signed a franchising deal to bring its Ramada brand to Kenya, beginning with the opening later this year of the 89-room Ramada Nairobi in the city's Parklands neighborhood. The four-star property will have a rooftop meeting room, plus pool, spa and fitness center in addition to all-day dining and specialty restaurants. The owner-manager, Global Hotels Management, is a Ramada franchisee in the United Arab Emirates.

Friends & Colleagues
Grace Hotels appointed Marco Novella as COO and named Felipe Espinoza head of Americas. The two positions are new to Grace Hotels. Novella joins Grace from Belmond (formerly Orient Express Hotels), where he held the position of general manager of the Villa San Michele in Florence, Italy. He has spent 20 years in the industry, nearly half of those with Starwood Hotels & Resorts, including a stint as general manager of the renowned Gritti Palace in Venice. Espinoza joins from Rocco Forte Hotels where he was general manager of the Verdura Golf & Spa Resort in Sicily. His experience includes roles with Mandarin Oriental, the Peninsula Hotels group and Orient Express. • • • The New York Hilton Midtown appointed Laurens Zieren general manager of the 1,985-room property. A Hilton employee for almost 20 years, Zieren heads to the Big Apple after five years as general manager of the Hilton Chicago O'Hare International Airport. • • • The Caribbean Hotel & Tourism Association appointed Jose Antonio Rivera Campos regional vice president responsible for outreach in the Mexican Caribbean, Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico. Campos currently is the vice president of development for AMResorts in Cancun. • • • Rob Andrews has been named director of New York City operations for Kimpton Hotels and Restaurants. Andrews currently serves as general manager of one of those four Kimpton properties, Eventi. Previously, Andrews was the regional general manager for GrandLife Hotels in New York. • • • Alan and Helene Fine have left United Travel and Epic Travel & Cruises in Hillsborough, N.J., to start a travel agency of their own, FineTime Travel in Somerset, N.J. Alan Fine has spent almost 20 years as an agent and nearly half a century in the travel industry. • • • Tzell Travel Group named Jose Ferreira, Travel Leaders Group's technology and marketing leader, to the newly created position of vice president of business solutions. Ferreira joined Travel Leaders Group (now Tzell's parent company) in 2006 in an information technology role.

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