The business of travel
Chinese take 10% stake in Heathrow
The Chinese government, in the form of the China Investment Corporation, has taken a 10 per cent state in Heathrow Airport Holdings, formerly BAA, for £450 million. The value of their stake will mean a seat on the 14-member board. CIC’s investment will see it joining shareholders as diverse as the Singapore Sovereign wealth fund, Quebec’s investment agency and US Alinda Infrastructure.
Virgin back on Mumbai route after four years
Timing is right for Virgin Atlantic’s entry back onto the Heathrow-Mumbai route after a break of four years. The lucrative corridor carries more than one million passengers a year and Virgin has tweaked the schedules for daily connections to New York. Indian Airlines Kingfisher has suspended all flight bookings for the foreseeable future. It pulled out of Heathrow in March and is now in liquidation.
Plane food at pop-up park
Grab a picnic at the pop-up park in Heathrow’s Terminal 5 and you can be dining alfresco while you wait for your flight. The indoor green zone will be serving food that is known to help people unwind, including smoked chicken and mango salad from Gordon Ramsay Plane Food and crab maki rolls from Isu.
Airline shake-up in Aussie skies
In more news from Virgin, its Australia arm is bidding to acquire 60 per cent of Tiger Airways’ Australia operations along with endeavoring to purchase the regional carrier, Skywest. The acquisition would have the potential to create a duopoly with Qantas in the Australian market. Singapore Airlines’ purchase of 10 per cent of Virgin Australia has been given the go-ahead by the Australian Foreign Investment Review board.
Travel award for Conrad Dublin
The Conrad Hotel in Dublin is celebrating beating off competition from five other five-star hotels in the city to scoop the accolade of Ireland’s leading business hotel at the World Travel Awards held in Portugal last month.
CWT moves into mobile technology
Carlson Wagonlit Travel has acquired WorldMate Inc, the mobile travel technology firm which provides itinerary management systems and on-the-road services for travellers. CWT will invest in WorldMate to provide a broader range of services for business travellers and corporate customers, including hotel and restaurant reservations, ground transportation, airport parking, security tracking and in-flight internet.