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April 18, 2014 - 11:10 AM ET

BridgeStreet Global Hospitality is partnering with Amsterdam-based Short Stay Group to aid the latter in attracting more corporate business, the companies announced on Wednesday. Under the terms of the 10-year agreement, select locations with the Short Stay Group—which has about 400 serviced apartments in Amsterdam, Paris and Barcelona—will adopt BridgeStreet's ApartHotels, Living, Places and Stüdyo brands. The agreement increases BridgeStreet's international footprint while providing a corporate client base to Short Stay Group, which currently focuses primarily on leisure guests and averages a length of stay of four days, according to BridgeStreet.

April 17, 2014 - 10:20 AM ET

The number of international airline passengers flying in premium classes in February rose 4.1 percent year over year, the smallest growth rate since September 2013, according to the International Air Transport Association. On North Atlantic and intra-North America routes, the increases were 3.8 percent and 2.6 percent, respectively, both down compared to growth reported for January. Regarding the North Atlantic, IATA noted performance "is consistent with improving business conditions in the U.S. and Europe," and added that "momentum in advanced economies has helped negate some of the slowdown in emerging market growth seen over recent months." Overall, the association said the outlook for premium travel "is broadly positive," although March data indicates that global economic growth has slowed.

April 17, 2014 - 09:35 AM ET

American Express for the first quarter reported a 1 percent increase in global corporate travel sales versus the same period last year, to $4.7 billion. It marked a third consecutive quarter of growth. Including corporate travel and commercial cards, the company's Global Commercial Services unit posted quarterly net income of $184 million, down 4 percent. GCS revenue rose 3 percent to $1.2 billion, which "primarily reflected higher [cardholder] spending, partially offset by lower travel commissions and fees," according to Amex. GCS expenses also rose, up 2 percent primarily due to costs associated with the planned business travel joint venture still expected to close during the current quarter. GCS billed business increased 6 percent to $45.5 billion, average cardholder spending grew 5 percent to $6,429 and total cards in force edged up 1 percent to 7.1 million. Across the full company, Amex net income jumped 12 percent to $1.4 billion.

April 17, 2014 - 12:10 AM ET

Sabre on Thursday officially launched the TripCase Corporate app and identified General Electric and Hogg Robinson Group as among its 'first users.'  First announced last summer, the business version of the TripCase consumer mobile app enables travelers to "make travel bookings and reservations from their smartphones and identify which trips are for business reasons," according to Sabre. "This lets a company better track travel spend, safety and security."

April 16, 2014 - 12:30 PM ET

Direct Travel announced that it acquired Travel Destinations Management, a business travel management firm based in the Baltimore area, via a stock purchase agreement. According to Direct Travel, TDMG claims business "totaling more than $100 million" across its corporate travel, meetings, incentive, trade show and vacation services. It has "more than 80" clients and focuses on the pharmaceutical industry. This marks the latest in a string of Direct Travel acquisitions, including the recently announced purchase of Nashville-area Caldwell Travel. According to a statement from Direct Travel CEO Ed Adams, the TDMG deal "demonstrates our determination to continue to drive our expansion through both acquisitions and organic growth. We anticipate much more to come." As a result of the acquisition, 80 TDMG employees are joining Direct Travel. Terms were not disclosed.

April 16, 2014 - 09:20 AM ET

Lufthansa from April 28 will charge €25 for advance seat selection for long-haul passengers ticketed in certain economy classes. The charge will apply to those opting to select their seats who have booked in W, S, T, L and K classes. The airline in November began levying a €10 fee for advance seat selection on short-haul flights. Lufthansa does not charge for seat selection within 23 hours of departure and waives the fee for elite-level members of its loyalty program.

April 15, 2014 - 11:40 AM ET

Loews Hotels & Resorts has appointed three new executive sales directors on the East and West coasts. Kerri Metcalf, formerly a key account director with InterContinental Hotels Group, now is Loews' executive director for Northern California and the Northwest. Former Dolce Hotels & Resorts global account director Ramel Kelly joined Loews as executive director for New York and Connecticut. Brigitte Lundrigan, formerly vice president of sales for Krisam Group and Global Event Partners, joined as executive director for Southern California and the Southwest. The appointments were designed "to provide laser focus on some of our most important, strategic points of sale," according to Loews senior vice president of sales David Wiener.

April 14, 2014 - 12:15 PM ET

Economy extended-stay brand Value Place appointed as CEO former Choice Hotels International executive Bruce Haase, the company announced on Friday. As CEO, Haase is charged with accelerating the growth of the U.S. brand, which currently has 190 hotels across 32 states. Haase joins Value Place after 12 years at Choice, most recently as executive vice president of global brands marketing and operation

April 14, 2014 - 11:40 AM ET

The average daily rate at China Lodging Group properties increased 0.6 percent in local currency year over year during the first quarter, the company reported on Monday. Occupancy decreased by one percentage point to 90 percent. The group consists of more than 1,500 economy, midprice and upscale hotels throughout China.

April 14, 2014 - 11:20 AM ET

Direct Travel announced the acquisition of Caldwell Travel, a Nashville-area travel management company with '$33.5 million in annual air volume.'  Caldwell claims 140 corporate clients, including "several publicly traded health care companies, publishers, music industry record labels, manufacturers, as well as smaller companies in various industries." Direct Travel indicated that the acquisition through a stock purchase agreement "furthers its established growth strategy, which includes increased growth in the small and medium enterprise market and targeted acquisitions, along with sales to new and existing clients." Terms were not announced. Fifty Caldwell employees are joining Direct Travel. Previously called Directravel Intermediate Holdco, the company this month officially was renamed Direct Travel Inc. Its three brands—Directravel, CTS (acquired in 2011) and Travel Management Corporation (acquired in 2013)—will "begin operating under the company's new name, effective May 14, 2014," according to a statement.