Virgin Australia announced it would eliminate fuel surcharges on U.S. flights "sold and originating in Australia."
Consistent with pricing for the rest of Virgin Australia's network originating in Australia, "this will see fuel costs for those airfares treated in the same way as other operating expenses and incorporated into the base fare, rather than being charged separately as a fuel surcharge," according to the airline. Effective Jan. 23, Virgin Australia also is cutting U.S. roundtrip base fares on flights originating in Australia by A$40 (US$32.54) in economy and premium economy and by A$50 (US$40.67) in business class. The reduction reflects "the benefits of the decline in global oil prices along with the negative impact of the depreciating Australian Dollar," the airline noted.
InterContinental Hotels Group completed its $430 million acquisition of Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants,
the company announced Friday. Following the acquisition, first announced
in December, IHG now counts the 62 Kimpton hotels as part of its portfolio of more than 4,700 hotels. Additionally, Kimpton on Friday announced that COO Mike DeFrino has taken over as Kimpton's CEO. Former CEO Mike Depatie, along with a few other Kimpton top executives, now is managing KHP Capital Partners, which handles real estate investments that include 30 percent of Kimpton's portfolio and pipeline.
Sonesta International Hotels Corp. named Carlos Flores president and CEO,
effective next week, the company announced Thursday. An executive vice president at Sonesta since February 2012, Flores replaces retiring president and CEO Bill Sheehan. Sonesta, which currently has a portfolio of 55 properties in eight countries, has grown from three to 25 hotels in the United States since 2012, and Flores was instrumental in that growth, according to Sheehan.
Delta Air Lines eliminated second-checked-bag fees on many of its routes between the Americas and the Asia/Pacific region.
For tickets issued as of Wednesday, Delta passengers flying from the Americas to China, Japan, Guam, Hong Kong, Palau, Saipan, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan and Thailand now get a second free checked bag, whereas previously they were charged a fee of $100. Additionally, Delta has eliminated its $40 second-checked-bag fee on flights from Hawaii to Japan. Delta already allowed a free second checked bag on flights to the Americas from those destinations as well as travel to and from Brazil.
Cyprus Airways ended its operations on Friday
after the European Commission for Competition rejected the carrier's restructuring plan. The island nation's government is footing the cost to reaccommodate travelers who are holding tickets on Cyprus Airways, according to the carrier. Cypriot tourism organization and agency Top Kinisis Travel Public is handling rebooking for travelers with departure days up to Feb. 9. Arrangements for travelers with tickets for dates beyond that are pending.
Dubai International claims to have overtaken London Heathrow as the world's busiest airport for international travelers.
Heathrow on Monday reported a record annual total of 73.4 million passengers for 2014, but Dubai International chief executive Paul Griffiths told news outlets his airport handled 71 million international passengers, whereas a substantial though undisclosed proportion of Heathrow's passengers was domestic. Griffiths said he does not expect Heathrow to regain the number-one slot. Heathrow is effectively full, with most of last year's 1.4 percent growth resulting from airlines flying larger aircraft to the airport.