Feds keep mulling Dollar-Thrifty case

Hertz gave the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) more time to review its $2.6 billion offer to acquire Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group, extending the existing Oct. 31 deadline through Nov. 16. Dollar Thrifty's board approved the Hertz offer in August, subject to FTC and shareholder approval.

AA.com offers online menu picks
American Airlines is offering first-class and business-class travelers the opportunity to review menu options and select in-flight meals in advance on AA.com. The program began on service between New York Kennedy and Los Angeles and between Dallas-Fort Worth and New York LaGuardia. More routes will be phased in beginning in November.

NYC bolsters office in Mexico City
New York's tourism marketing arm, NYC & Co., upgraded its representation in Mexico, its 10th largest international market, with an expanded tourism and promotion office managed by Connect Worldwide Mexico. New York expects to host nearly 400,000 visitors from Mexico in 2012.

Airport upgrade proceeds in Nassau
The Bahamas opened a new international arrivals terminal at Lynden Pindling Airport in Nassau, the second stage of a three-stage, $409 million redevelopment. The 226,000-square-foot facility includes retail and food service sites and a new baggage system. When completed, the airport will be able to handle 5 million annual passengers, up from 3 million.

MGM gets approval for Macau project
MGM China Holdings Ltd., which is 51% owned by MGM Resorts, received approval from the Macau government to build a $2.5 billion, 1,600-room hotel-casino on an 18-acre site on Macau's Cotai Strip that will offer 2,500 slot machines and 500 gaming tables. MGM China Holdings, which also owns the 600-room MGM Macau, said construction will take about three years.

Sandals reverses resort closure
Sandals Resorts International will reopen the Grand Pineapple Beach Negril on Dec. 15, reversing a decision made last August to close the family-oriented resort. Reservation books opened on Oct. 16. Chairman Butch Stewart cited customer disappointment as the reason for the move.

Monaco arrives in Philadelphia
Kimpton opened the 268-room Hotel Monaco Philadelphia in the Lafayette building, an architectural landmark near Independence Mall. The property offers 13,000 square feet of meeting space plus the Red Owl Tavern, a restaurant with a rooftop lounge.

AMResorts plans Breathless brand
AMResorts unveiled its sixth brand, Breathless. The first property under the new adults-only brand will be the Riviera Cancun, to open in October 2015. The resort will feature 24-hour room service, no-reservation dining and pool and beach waiter service. AMResorts has seven properties in Cancun under its Secrets, Dreams and Now brands.

Norwegian goes 'Plus' sized
Norwegian Cruise Line has reached an agreement with Germany's Meyer Werft shipyard to build a new ship, seen here in a rendering. The "Breakaway Plus" project, at 163,000 gross tons and about 4,200 passengers, will be the line's largest ship to date. It is scheduled for delivery in October 2015.

Friends & Colleagues

The Association of Corporate Travel Executives hired consultant Greeley Koch as its next executive director, replacing Ron DiLeo. Koch's appointment is effective Dec. 1. DiLeo is leaving to become AirPlus International USA's president and CEO. Koch currently is Acquis Consulting Group strategy development director. • • • St. Maarten named Romeo Pantophlet minister of tourism, economic affairs, transport and telecommunications. Pantophlet formerly served as CEO of the Central Bureau of Statistics and deputy director at the St. Maarten Academy. • • • Cunard Line has appointed Stanley Birge to the newly created position of vice president, North America. In the role, he will lead Cunard's commercial operations, customer service, marketing and public relations for North America. Most recently, Birge served as director of commercial operations at Cunard's sister company, Princess Cruises. • • • Southwest Airlines has hired former FAA administrator Randy Babbitt as senior vice president of labor relations. Babbitt will have responsibility for all negotiation and communication between the airline and the unions that represent 87% of Southwest employees. Babbitt began his aviation career as a pilot, flying 25 years for Eastern Airlines. In the 1990s, he served as president of the Air Line Pilots Association. • • • Seattle-based expedition company Zegrahm Expeditions has appointed Edwin Blythe president. Blythe previously served as finance director of Quark Expeditions. Jon Nicholson, former president of Zegrahm, will transition to director of product development. Both Zegrahm and Quark are owned by British travel conglomerate TUI Travel.

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