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OpenSkies Airline Approved for Launch
OpenSkies, a transatlantic airline from British Airways, has just received approval from the U.S. Department of Transportation to begin operations. The new airline will offer flights between Paris’ Orly Airport and New York’s JFK Airport starting in June. This formal approval by the DOT enables OpenSkies to start selling tickets for its services. The company will start taking bookings next week via its website www.flyopenskies.com or by phone. OpenSkies will also be available for booking through BA.com and by travel agents using the global distribution systems (GDS) as British Airways codeshare flights.
OpenSkies says it plans to provide six-foot, fully flat beds and personal entertainment units in business class. Service will initially operate using a Boeing 757; a second Boeing 757 is scheduled to join OpenSkies later this year from the British Airways fleet. There will be six OpenSkies aircraft in total by the end of 2009, according to plans. OpenSkies says it plans to service additional routes from European cities including Amsterdam, Brussels, Frankfurt and Milan to New York.
The DOT also approved OpenSkies’ codeshare arrangement with French airline L’Avion, whose code will be placed on OpenSkies’ flights between Orly and JFK.
OpenSkies is the first to be created as a result of the Open Skies agreement, which allows airlines to fly between any U.S. and E.U. destination.
Air One Launches Service to Italy with $491 Intro Fares and Special Incentives for Travel Agents
Air One, Italy’s first independently owned airline, is inaugurating its first transatlantic service to the U.S. with the only nonstop flights from Boston and Chicago to Milan on June 14 and June 21, respectively. The new service, which operates daily except Tuesdays and Thursdays from Boston and every day except Wednesdays from Chicago, has convenient connections from Milan to Athens, Bari, Brussels, Lamezia Terme, Naples, Palermo, Rome and Thessaloniki on Air One and other European and Middle East destinations with other carriers.
To celebrate its arrival, Air One is offering a $491 roundtrip economy air fare sale on its new transatlantic flights to Milan with taxes and fees of $308. There is also a special roundtrip fare of $664 for travel beyond Milan to the Italian cities of Bari, Lamezia Terme, Naples, Palemo and Rome which includes the taxes and fees of $335. These special non-refundable fares require a 14-day advance purchase with a Saturday overnight stay and are non-changeable. Tickets must be booked by June 13, 2008 for travel through 2008 excluding travel in August.
Introductory booking incentives are also available for travel agents throughout the U.S.
Air One’s transatlantic service features Airbus A330-200 aircraft with two classes of service—38 business class fully adjustable lie-flat beds and 201 economy seats. Passengers can earn miles on Air Canada, US Airways and Lufthansa frequent flier programs when flying on Air One.
Still Time to Book Wimbledon
Have clients who want to get into the action at Wimbledon, which takes place in London from June 23 to July 6? Travel packager, Keith Prowse, still has availability for tickets and hotels and is offering a program that includes a reserved seat for one day at the Championships; one night accommodations with full English breakfast daily; round-trip transfers from Southfields Underground Station to the Championship Club; admission to the Championship Club for ticket collection; complimentary tea, coffee and pastries; an information pack containing one-day London Travel-card with underground map, itinerary, event card and travel information; and admission to The Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Museum.
Pricing per person (based on double occupancy) for the package ranges from $730 for a three-star hotel to $900 per day for a four-star hotel to $1,295 per day for a five-star hotel, including all taxes. Price varies according to dates and location of seats at Wimbledon, with top prices for Centre Court seats. Other programs are also available. Visit www.keithprowse.com.
Speeding Through London Immigration
If you end up sending a group to London, here’s a helpful hint: Groups arriving at London Heathrow Airport can speed through immigration and skip the lines by heading to a dedicated area in the Immigration Arrivals Hall designated "group travel." The service is a free one offered by the U.K. Border Agency. Members of the group are processed by a dedicated Immigration Officer, who fast-tracks them through Immigration and Passport Control.
Another hint: Groups do not need to make pre-arranged requests for the service. However, it’s advised that groups of 100 or more contact the airport prior to arrival. For arrivals into Heathrow terminal three, call 011-44-208-745-6900; for terminal four, call 011-44-208-745-4700. VisitBritain offers information and planning assistance for meeting planners and group travel organizers at www.visitbritain.com/trade.
Trafalgar Announces 2008-2009 Europe Value Season
Trafalgar's Value Season (November 2008 through April 2009) means saving as much as 20% off summer travel to Europe. Enjoy a multi-destination vacation for less than $135 per person per day, including transportation, accommodations, most meals and sightseeing.
During Trafalgar's Value Season travelers have the choice of 29 first class vacations, a variety of travel styles and hundreds of departures. Enjoy an eight-day City Breaks vacation to London from $820 per person or our Christmas Spectacular holidays, including the nine-day Christmas in Paris starting at $999 per person. The value continues throughout exciting European countries such as Italy, Ireland, and Spain and fascinating Eastern Mediterranean destinations such as Egypt, Israel, Turkey, and Greece. To launch the Value Season, Trafalgar is offering a complimentary pre- or post-night for passengers booked and deposited by July 31, 2008. Trafalgar Past Passengers booking and depositing by July 31, 2008, will have the choice between the complimentary pre- or post-night OR a Double Past Passenger Discount of 10% (restrictions and conditions apply).
Adventures by Disney Offers Special Rates
This spring, travel agents can help their clients plan a family vacation to some of the world's greatest destinations - and help them save money too.
For a limited time, Adventures by Disney is offering savings on select departures. Clients can save up to $650 per adult and $600 per child off the regular rate on these select Adventures by Disney itineraries available on select dates. Agents will want to be sure to book clients by May 31, 2008.
Clients aren't the only ones who will benefit when agents book an Adventures by Disney vacation this spring. In conjunction with this offer, a $200 Bonus Commission is available to travel agents for booking select Adventures by Disney vacations by May 31, 2008.
For additional information, valid dates and details, travel agents may visit www.disneytravelagents.com.
Fall for Celebrity's Mediterranean
Celebrity Cruises is offering travelers discounts on select sailings in the Mediterranean in late 2008 with its "Fall for Celebrity's Mediterranean" sales promotion. Booking certain Mediterranean cruises makes travelers eligible to receive up a $300 per person air or cruise credit for the first two guests in a stateroom and a $100 air or cruise credit for each additional guest in that stateroom.
The promotion is valid for all Mediterranean cruises departing in October or November 2008 on Celebrity Century, Celebrity Galaxy, and Celebrity Summit. Booking window is May 19 through June 1. Itineraries include 10- and 11-night eastern and western Mediterranean cruises, as well as 14-night "Classical Mediterranean" and "Mediterranean Legacies" itineraries.
Celebrity Cruises offers comfortably sophisticated and upscale cruise experiences with highly personalized service. Go to www.celebritycruises.com
"Gastronomic Walk in Tuscany” Features Free Bottle of Tuscan Wine with Each Evening Meal
Breakaway Adventures has teamed up with Hotel Locanda Senio in Palazzo sul Senio to offer the upcoming "Gastronomic Walk in Tuscany" tour, which features a complimentary bottle of delicious Tuscan wine with each evening meal for each party.
The week-long tour is offered May 3 through October 11 and is set in northern Tuscany between Bologna, Faenza and Florence. Participants will see a sun-kissed landscape of sunflower fields and timeless hill towns set below the majestic Apennine hills. Departures range from $2,057 to $2,360 per person based on two people sharing a double room.