American to add route to Moscow

American is adding a route to Moscow's Domodedovo Airport from its Chicago hub on June 2, operating six weekly flights. It will be the only service to Moscow by a U.S. carrier aside from Delta's New York service. American said Oneworld partners British Airways, Iberia and Royal Jordanian use Domodedovo and  that JAL would soon join them.

Ensemble rolls out more technology

Ensemble Travel Group, at its annual conference in Cancun, Mexico, said it would offer members a cruise-booking engine, a first for the group, in the first quarter of 2008. Ensemble will charge users a booking fee. The group also announced upgraded Ensemble-hosted consumer Web sites, set for release in January.

Sovereign shifting to Pullmantur unit

Royal Caribbean International's Sovereign of the Seas, launched in 1988, will move to the line's Spanish affiliate, Pullmantur, next year. After its last cruise from Port Canaveral on Oct. 31, 2008, it will be replaced by the Monarch of the Seas, now based in Los Angeles.

Lindblad buys ship for polar exploring

Lindblad Expeditions acquired the 150-passenger Lyngen, a polar expedition ship, from Norway's Hurtigruten. It will join the fleet next summer as the National Geographic Explorer, visiting Greenland, Iceland and the Canadian Arctic. Planned renovations include a spa, new dining venues and other passenger amenities plus new technology such as high-definition underwater cameras and a remotely operated vehicle.

Ritz-Carlton plans Sonoran desert spa 

Ritz-Carlton agreed to manage a 250-room golf and spa resort, the Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain, opening late in 2009 near Marana, Ariz., in the Sonoran Desert northwest of Tucson. The project includes single-family residences.

Eos adding routes and aircraft in '08

Eos, a premium-class-only airline, will launch Newark-London Stansted service next spring and New York-Paris service next fall. The delivery of its seventh and eighth aircraft next year will enable Eos to add more routes.

Mexico finds buyer for Aeromexico

The Mexican government agreed to sell its controlling stake in Aeromexico for $249 million to an investment group headed by Banamex, a Citigroup subsidiary, ending an intense bidding war for the carrier. Among the rejected suitors was Mexicana.

Regent Seven Seas extends Gauguin

Regent Seven Seas extended its contract to operate the 330-passenger Paul Gauguin through January 2010. Regent has operated the ship from Papeete, Tahiti, since its launch in 1997.

Nation's capital to get taxi meters

Washington taxis must abandon a controversial zone fare system and install meters next year under an order issued by Mayor Adrian Fenty. The unique zone system in the nation's capital has befuddled visitors for decades. 

Amtrak sets return for Talgo trains

The four train sets manufactured by Talgo that are normally used on Amtrak's Cascade service in the Pacific Northwest will return to service in early November after being sidelined since August for repairs.

Amtrak substituted Superliner equipment on the route after inspections uncovered cracks near the suspension mechanism on one of the Talgo cars.

Priceline offers supplier option

Priceline added what it called "enhancements" to its PriceBreakers service that offers last-minute deals to bargain hunters. A new advertising option for suppliers enables them to redirect consumers to the supplier's Web site for booking.

The new option enables suppliers to pay a placement fee and deal directly with the consumer.

Verandah Resort opens on Antigua

Antigua's newest property, the all-inclusive, 200-suite Verandah Resort & Spa, opened on Dian Bay on the island's northeast coast.

The property is a member of Elite Islands Resorts, which has 11 properties in the Caribbean.

Friends & Colleagues

Benchmark Hospitality International promoted Renee Brenner to the controller position at the Turtle Bay Resort on Oahu's North Shore. Brenner came to Turtle Bay Resort last year as assistant controller. " " " Barcelo Hotels & Resorts expanded its U.S. sales team with the appointments of Suzanne Dulaney, based in Philadelphia, overseeing sales for the Mid-Atlantic region, and Courtney Flanagan, based in Chicago, in charge of Midwest sales. Dulaney was a district manager for SuperClubs. Flanagan was a sales manager at Paradise Village Resort in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. " " " The European Tour Operators Association named Adam Buckmaster European operations manager. Prior to joining the ETOA, Buckmaster worked for EF Educational Tours as a tour manager and in product development. " " " Laura Veglia, vice president of sales for BookIt.com, will assume responsibility for the Caribbean region in addition to her current management responsibilities for U.S. and international market destinations. " " " Adam Weissenberg, vice chairman and U.S. leader of Deloitte & Touche's Tourism Hospitality & Leisure group, is joining the advisory board for Cornell University's Center for Hospitality Research. " " " MGM Mirage made management changes in preparation for the 2009 opening of CityCenter on the Las Vegas Strip. Bill McBeath, president of Bellagio, was appointed president of the 4,000-room resort at CityCenter, scheduled to open in November 2009. He also will oversee the Vdara Condo Hotel. Randy Morton, president of the Monte Carlo Resort, will take over as Bellagio president. Morton will be replaced by Anton Nikodemus, Bellagio's senior vice president of hotel operations.

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