Chinese travelers will impact global travel demand significantly during the next 10 years,
according to a report released by InterContinental Hotels Group and Oxford Economics. The report indicates that China’s travelers are trending toward long-haul international destinations for leisure travel and mixed business-leisure travel. Projections suggest the United States would experience the most Chinese demand outside Asia. New York City, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Washington, D.C. and Las Vegas all expect between 1 million and 2.4 million room nights from Chinese travelers in 2023. Other global cities predicted to see an uptick in Chinese demand include Sydney, Melbourne, London, Milan, Paris, Tokyo and Bangkok.
Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group reported Thursday systemwide revenue of $7.8 billion during 2014, a 4 percent year-over-year increase.
The company opened 57 hotels, a 16 percent increase from 2013, and signed 84 more properties. A brand-wide renovation of its more than 150 Radisson hotels is slated for completion during the first half of 2015. Carlson Rezidor also announced the first planned location of its select-service lifestyle brand, Radisson Red, in Shenyang Hunnan, China. The company continued to expand its global portfolio in 2014, building its pipeline in Africa, India, Russia and Turkey, and opening properties in Trinidad and Tobago, Sierra Leone, Gabon and Serbia. It also signed its first hotels in the Dominican Republic, Ghana, Moldova and Uganda.
Delta Air Lines plans to increase Wi-Fi speed and coverage
on long-haul domestic routes and service between the United States and the Caribbean and Latin America beginning next year, the carrier announced Wednesday. Gogo in 2016 will begin replacing air-to-ground Wi-Fi technology with satellite-based technology on Delta's long-haul domestic aircraft. Additionally, Delta will install Gogo's satellite-based 2Ku system on more than 250 aircraft that service long-haul domestic routes and routes to Latin America and the Caribbean, according to the carrier. Delta projects it will have Ku-band Wi-Fi on 85 percent of its international fleet by the end of this year and on its entire international fleet by mid-2016.
Hogg Robinson Group debuted an "end-to-end" software-as-a-service business targeted at the unmanaged travel sector.
Operating independently within HRG, the "out-of-the-box" Fraedom launched this week in the United Kingdom, with more regions to follow, offering what HRG called "simple and inexpensive software-based solutions" that incorporate booking, payment, expense and data reporting functionalities. "Fraedom will be aimed primarily at the nonmanaged and individual sector within the overall travel market," according to HRG CEO David Radcliffe, "whilst HRG global travel management will continue to focus on the managed sector within the corporate travel space." HRG last year set aside £5 million to develop, build and market the new software-as-a-service business, with sights set on blending HRG-owned booking technologies with its Spendvision expense system.
Air France-KLM reported earnings of €316 million for the fourth quarter of 2014
as the carrier continued to feel the effects of a 14-day pilot strike in September. The strike cut about €95 million from the company's earnings during the quarter. Total passenger revenues during the quarter increased 0.3 percent year over year to €4.86 billion. Capacity declined 0.2 percent, traffic increased 0.7 percent and the company's load factor increased 0.7 percentage points to 83.2 percent. Revenue per available seat kilometer declined 0.7 percent, and cost per available seat kilometer increased 0.3 percent. For the full year, Air-France KLM reported a loss of €198 million, compared with a loss of €1.82 billion in 2013. Executives said they plan to scale back investments by €300 million per year during the next two years.
December premium traffic on international routes increased 2.8 percent year over year,
according to the International Air Transport Association. Overall December international traffic increased 3.7 percent. International air travel passenger growth during the past several months has flattened, showing "a gradual slowdown in improvements in business confidence … with economic conditions in the Eurozone and China deteriorating," according to IATA. The largest year-over-year increase in December premium traffic was on mid-Atlantic routes (18.3 percent), and long-haul markets from the Middle East to Europe and Asia also performed well, the association reported. Premium traffic on North Atlantic routes in December increased 3.6 percent year over year.