Virgin Atlantic eyes Scotland service
Virgin Atlantic confirmed plans to expand short-haul flying within Britain next March by launching service from London Heathrow to Edinburgh and Aberdeen, Scotland. The line already has plans for its first short-haul service, also in March, to Manchester. The Scotland flights are made possible by a regulatory decision to award Heathrow slots to Virgin as a "remedy" for the increased concentration that resulted from British Airways' takeover of BMI. Virgin said it plans to lease aircraft and crews for the new service from another airline.
US Airways gets Heathrow slot
US Airways said it received slots at London's Heathrow that will enable it to operate from Charlotte beginning in March. The airline already serves Heathrow from Philadelphia, but its Charlotte services has been limited to Gatwick.
JetBlue puts move on Alaska route
JetBlue is boosting service to Alaska next year with daily nonstop service in the Seattle-Anchorage market, a key route for rival Alaska Airlines. JetBlue plans to launch the seasonal service on May 16, the same day it resumes seasonal Long Beach-Anchorage service.
Alaska adding San Diego routes
Alaska Airlines opened reservations for two new San Diego routes: daily service to Boston starting March 29, and daily flights to Lihue, Kauai, starting June 7. The service to Kauai, complementing existing flights to Oahu and Maui, will drop back to four weekly flights on Aug. 24.
Done: Hertz buys Dollar Thrifty
Hertz Global Holdings completed its acquisition of Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group five days after receiving Federal Trade Commission approval and following some 28 months of stalking its smaller rival and fending off a competing bid by Avis Budget. As agreed in August, the deal is valued at $2.6 billion. To resolve antitrust issues, Hertz agreed to sell its Advantage division to Macquarie Capital, which owns Rent-a-Wreck and U-Save Car & Truck Rental.
Starwood develops Aloft in Germany
Starwood reached an agreement to develop Germany's first two properties under the hotelier's Aloft brand, both opening in 2015. The 184-room Aloft Munich will be located next to Munich Central Station. The Aloft Stuttgart, part of the Milaneo mixed-use project in the city's European Quarter, will have 165 rooms.
DoubleTree brand arrives in Zagreb
Hilton opened its first DoubleTree in Croatia, the 152-room DoubleTree by Hilton Zagreb, in a shopping center near Zagreb's old town. It's the second Hilton-branded property in Croatia, after the Hilton Imperial Dubrovnik.
Fairmont sets date for Manila opening
Fairmont set Dec. 3 as the opening date for the 280-room Fairmont Makati in the financial center of metro Manila. The hotel is sharing a modern glass tower with the Raffles Makati, a 32-room, all-suite hotel, and the 237-unit Raffles Residences.
Friends & Colleagues
Ron Vlasic, Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants' regional vice president for the Midwest and Northwest, has been named 2013 chairman of the board of the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AH&LA). He succeeds Nancy Johnson, executive vice president, development, of Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group's Americas region. Vlasic has served as AH&LA vice chair and executive committee member for its Education Foundation. Vlasic also advises Mayor Rahm Emmanuel's department on environmentally friendly business practices in their hometown of Chicago. • • • InterContinental Hotels Group tapped former Rezidor Hotel Group executive Philippe Bijaoui as its new vice president of development for the Europe region. Bijaoui's most recent role was as vice president, business development for Rezidor's Southern and Eastern Europe regions. • • • AdTrav Travel Management has promoted James Keller to president of its vacation division, which operates under the name of Adventure Travel. Keller has been with AdTrav since 1994 and most recently served as senior vice president. AdTrav is ranked 35th in Travel Weekly's 2012 Power List. • • • Jim Buddendorf has joined Worldview Travel as vice president of corporate travel East. He previously served as vice president of humanitarian travel at Key Travel, with a focus on the not-for-profit travel sector.