Partners to form new airline in India

India's Tata conglomerate, parent of Taj Hotels, signed an agreement with Singapore Airlines to jointly establish a new airline in India, with Taj owning 51% and Singapore 49%. Tata said the airline, to be based in New Delhi, will operate as a full-service airline. The partners said a name, strategy and other details will be announced "in due course."

Emirates to launch route to Boston
Emirates disclosed plans for launching a nonstop from its Dubai hub to Boston. Beginning March 10, the route will be flown with 777-200LR aircraft, operating daily. The carrier is expected to integrate the operation into its code-share and reciprocal frequent-flyer pacts with JetBlue. The route will be the carrier's 8th to the U.S. and 9th to North America.

Denver adds gates for Southwest
Denver International Airport began construction on a $46 million, five-gate addition to the C Concourse that will enable Southwest to consolidate its Denver operation, which has grown to 160 daily flights, into one area. The construction is expected to be completed in November 2014.

Las Vegas market gets Super Shuttle
SuperShuttle, the airport transfer/shared ride operator, brought its signature blue vans to the Las Vegas market and is offering service from the airport to hotels on the Strip and downtown. The company is also offering private sedan service under its ExecuCar brand.

Scandic rolls out "simplified" brand
Sweden's Scandic Hotels is launching a "streamlined" lifestyle brand called HTL for a "new generation of traveler" who values speed, simplicity and transparency. With a focus on "super-efficient hotels that strip away any unnecessary additions," the company said the brand will debut with a 275-room property in Stockholm next year. Scandic said HTL is expected to expand to 20 properties in "major Nordic cities" within five years.

Best Western eyes Indonesia growth
Best Western outlined an expansion plan for Indonesia, where it is opening its sixth hotel, the 274-room Best Western Premier Sunset Road Kuta, in Bali. Plans call for opening at least 25 more Best Western hotels by 2015, boosting its room count in the country to over 6,000, up from 700 today.

Dorchester Group buys Rome's Eden
The Dorchester Group acquired the 121-room Hotel Eden in Rome and immediately took over management from Starwood, which had placed the hotel in its Le Meridien group. The 5-star property, which was built in 1834 and became a hotel in 1889, is located midway between the Via Veneto and the Spanish Steps.

Hyatt Place opens in South Chicago
Hyatt opened the 131-room Hyatt Place Chicago-South, saying it's the first new hotel to open in the Windy City's Hyde Park neighborhood in 50 years. The hotel is a mile and a half from the University of Chicago Medical Center.

Friends & Colleagues
Carnival Cruise Lines promoted Mike Julius to senior managing director of U.S. trade sales. In his new role he will supervise Carnival's U.S. sales force and be responsible for trade support. A 24-year veteran of Carnival, Julius previously had been managing director of U.S. trade sales. • • • Brian Holmberg is the new regional sales manager and San Francisco team leader at Celebrity Cruises. He was previously director of strategic partnerships at Carnival Cruise Lines, where he had worked for 15 years. Holmberg has also worked for Holland America Line. • • • Signature Travel Network named Kimberly Waters vice president of national sales. Waters joins Signature from Carnival Cruise Lines, where she most recently served as business development director. Prior to Carnival, she worked for Premier Cruise Lines and for Passport Online. • • • Spirit Airlines appointed John Bendoraitis as its senior vice president and COO. Bendoraitis, a veteran of nearly three decades in commercial aviation, comes to Spirit from Frontier Airlines, where he had been COO since March 2012. • • • Lufthansa Group Chairman and CEO Christoph Franz is leaving to become chairman of Roche, the Swiss pharmaceutical company. His contract with Lufthansa expires May 31. Franz joined the airline in 1990 and has been CEO since January 2011.

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