Road warrior


The business of travelling for work

New hotels open in London

NEW HOTELS opening in London in time for the Olympics will also be of interest to business travellers.

The Café Royal Hotel, in the classic venue on Regent Street, will open in June with 159 bedrooms and will be part of the Set Hotels, which includes the Lutetia in Paris (

In the boutique class, South Place Hotel will open near Liverpool Street. It is a first venture into the hotel business for restaurant group DD ( It operates well-known restaurants such as Butlers Wharf, Paternoster Chop House, the Blueprint Café, Pont de la Tour, Carom and Quaglino’s.

Budget Asian group Tune Hotels will open its third hotel at Paddington in early July.

Based on a low-cost model, the room price can be as low as the introductory sale rate of £9, although more usually about £55 a night with guests paying extra for Wi-Fi, towels, toiletries, television and cleaning (

The other two Tune properties are at Spitalfields and Westminster.

Air traffic is still flying high but profits come back down to Earth

IATA, the International Airline Transport Association, has announced that despite growth in airline traffic, profits are expected to fall by $500 million due to the cost of oil.

This year is expected to show industry wide global profits of $3 billion while average oil prices are expected to rise from $99 a barrel to $115. News for European airlines is not good, with an expected loss of $600 million, due mainly to the recession, increases in taxation and the cost of the emissions trading scheme.

“2012 continues to be a challenging year for airlines. The risk of a worsening euro zone crisis has been replaced by an equally toxic risk – rising oil prices,” said IATA director general Tony Tyler. “Already the damage is being felt with a downgrade in industry profits to $3 billion.”

Load factors and an increase in premium traffic will support yields – January saw an increase of 2.9 per cent in premium cabins.

The Asia Pacific region is expected to maintain strong growth due to robust economies, although Indian carriers are facing tough times. Kingfisher Airlines last week reduced capacity to just 25 per cent of its 64-aircraft fleet, affecting internal and international services.