U.S. judge dismisses Baha Mar bankruptcy
Baha Mar Ltd., developer of the unfinished Baha Mar resort in the Bahamas, had its bankruptcy-protection case thrown out by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Delaware last week. Baha Mar Ltd., which filed for bankruptcy in late June, had hoped to operate under U.S. bankruptcy protection in order to finish the resort, which the developer says is 97% completed.
Dominica's airport to reopen after storm
Dominica's Douglas-Charles Airport was to reopen Sept. 18 with Regional Caribbean carrier LIAT resuming scheduled flights to and from the island. The airport had been closed since Aug. 27 because of damage from Tropical Storm Erika. LIAT plans to operate two daily flights to Dominica, one from Antigua and one from Barbados.
Oceania expands early-booking benefits
Oceania Cruises will apply its early-booking amenities package to all 2016 Alaska, Europe and Canada/New England bookings made before Dec. 31. The O Life package, which previously applied to bookings for veranda categories and above, includes free unlimited Internet, prepaid gratuities and free excursions. O Life benefits can be applied retroactively to lower category bookings made since July.
New Scenic ships for the Mekong, Europe
Scenic will launch two new river cruise vessels in Europe and two on the Mekong in 2016. The Scenic Amber will sail the Rhine, Main and Danube rivers On the Mekong, Scenic is launching two sister ships next year, the Scenic Spirit and Scenic Zen, slated to begin operations in April and September.
Airfares continued to slide in August
Airfares dipped another 3.1% in August, according to the Labor Department's Consumer Price Index, leaving fares 6% lower than one year ago. The drop followed a 5.6% plunge in July, the largest month-to-month fare decrease since December 1995, according to the index. The airfare analyst Hopper said the average domestic roundtrip airfare in August was $235.
Zoetry to open first Jamaica property
AMResorts' first Zoetry resort in Jamaica, the Zoetry Montego Bay, will open in December 2016 where the 45-room Coyaba Beach Resort & Club is now located. The Coyaba will close April 15 for an extensive renovation. The new resort will feature three restaurants, two bars, concierge service, a new spa, new pools and a wedding gazebo.
Royal puts self-serve beer taps on Freedom
Royal Caribbean International is piloting a self-service draft beer tap on the Freedom of the Seas for use by passengers who buy drink packages. An authorization card will connect to a radio frequency identification device (RFID) that will use a timer to ensure the tap does not pour continuously and to provide a time limit between refills. The taps will serve Stella Artois beer.
American, Delta end interline agreement
Delta and American are no longer cooperating with each other on ticketing, rebookings and baggage transfers. The airlines' previous interlining agreement expired last week.
Star Wars plane will take to the skies
ANA gave the world a first look at its new Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner, which features the likeness of beloved Star Wars character R2-D2, at the Boeing factory in Everett, Wash., on Sept. 13. This is the first time a Star Wars character has appeared on the exterior of a commercial aircraft. The plane, set to begin flying on Oct. 18, will feature Star Wars-themed decorations in its interior. Inset: A rendering of a trio of ANA Star Wars planes.
Friends & Colleagues
Jack Mannix will retire from his position as chairman of the Travel Institute's board of trustees, effective Oct. 1. Brian Robb will assume the role of chairman, and Gary Pollard will become the vice chairman. Mannix, founder and principal of consulting firm Jack E. Mannix & Associates, has been the chairman for five years. Mannix was the institute's CEO and president from 2000 to 2002. Robb, principal at the Robb Aspect, has been on the Travel Institute's board for 10 years and has been its vice chairman for the past four. He was the senior vice president of Mark Travel Corp. and Trisept Solutions. He previously led development and marketing efforts at Carlson Travel Group and managed SuperCities and Nordic America Travels. Pollard, CEO and president of Ambassador Tours, has been in the travel industry since 1981. His family-owned and -operated agency opened in San Francisco in 1955. • • • Ronald Nelson will step down as Avis Budget Group's CEO on Jan. 1, to be replaced by Larry De Shon. Nelson will continue as executive chairman, his role since the company was spun off from former parent Cendant in 2006. De Shon has been with Avis Budget since 2006 and has run its international operations since the beginning of this year. • • • Sabre Corp. has expanded the role Dana Jones plays with the company, appointing her senior vice president of new market development. Jones will lead an enterprise strategy aimed at software solutions in China and Africa. Jones will continue to serve as chief marketing officer and senior vice president of solutions management for Sabre Airline Solutions.