News Briefs, Week of Sept. 6, 2010

JetBlue sets sights on Boston-Newark
JetBlue nailed down plans to launch Boston-Newark nonstops four times daily beginning next May. The announcement followed the news that Southwest was acquiring Newark slots from merger partners Continental and United.

W's Aloft brand arrives in Europe
Starwood opened its first Aloft property in Europe. Owned by Thornsett Group, Aloft Brussels Schuman is located in the heart of Brussels' European Union district. The hotel has 147 rooms, including three Breezy Lofts, the brand's reinterpretation of a suite. Aloft has 40 properties in six countries.

Hyatt, Chase, offer co-branded Visa
Hyatt is partnering with Chase Card Services to offer its first rewards program credit card, the Hyatt Card. For Gold Passport loyalty program members, the Visa card will earn three points for every dollar spent at a Hyatt hotel and one point for every dollar spent elsewhere. After the first use of the card, which has a $75 annual fee, members will receive two nights at any Hyatt in the world, redeemable within one year.

Grounded ship cancels season
Adventure Canada canceled the remainder of the 2010 Arctic season for the Clipper Adventurer after the ship grounded on an uncharted rock on Aug. 27. The ship was en route to Kugluktuk, on the north coast of Canada's Nunavut territory. There were 128 passengers and 69 crew members onboard. No injuries were reported, and all were transported home.

Carnival tightens cancellation policy
Carnival Cruise Lines tightened its cancellation policy to make penalties increase closer to the sailing. Effective Sept. 11, for new FIT and group business, the policy sets 50% and 75% penalty windows and states that customers will forfeit the entire deposit if it is higher than the 50% or 75% penalty. For example, if a cancellation occurs during the 50% penalty window and the 50% penalty is less than the deposit, the cancellation penalty will be the higher of the two amounts.

Deals send a hotel to N.J. college
LaSalle Hotel Properties sold the Seaview Resort near Atlantic City for $20 million to the nearby Richard Stockton College, which said it intends to use the property, in part, as housing for students in its Hospitality and Tourism Management Studies program. Dolce Hotels and Resorts will continue managing the hotel. In two other deals, the real estate investment trust said it acquired the Hotel Monaco San Francisco from Kimpton for $68.5 million plus two Philadelphia hotels from HEI Hotels & Resorts: the Westin Philadelphia, for $145 million, and the Embassy Suites Philadelphia-Center City, for $79 million. Brand and management agreements will remain in place.

Virgin America set for Mexico launch
Virgin America nailed down the launch date for its first Mexico routes, setting Dec. 16 for the start of San Francisco-Los Cabos service, operating five times weekly. Five weekly Los Angeles-Cancun flights begin Jan. 19, and the San Francisco-Cancun route launches the following day with three weekly flights.

Friends & Colleagues

ASTA named Mary Clegg vice president of the National Association of Career Travel Agents. The move follows the resignation of Nacta President Scott Koepf. Clegg has served for 22 years in the travel industry following a career as a TV and radio news anchor in the Chicago area. She started her travel career as a sales manager with Funjet in 1987. Most recently she served as district sales manager in West Michigan with Norwegian Cruise Line. • • • United and Continental have selected most of the members of their senior leadership team in anticipation of an Oct. 1 closing of the Continental-United merger. Among the Continental employees slated to hold executive positions at the merged airline: Fred Abbott, flight operations; Mark Bergsrud, marketing; Greg Hart, network planning and scheduling; Dave Hilfman, worldwide sales. United employees who will fill posts include Scott Dolan, airport operations; Jim Keenan, technical operations; Alexandria Marren, system operations control and United Express; and Rohit Philip, corporate strategy and business development. • • • Norwegian Cruise Line has named Wendy Beck executive vice president and CFO. The CFO role had been filled by CEO Kevin Sheehan since he joined NCL in late 2007. Beck most recently served as CFO of Domino's Pizza.


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