EXECUTIVE JET BOOKINGS UP IN COUNTDOWN TO OLYMPICS
PRIVATE JET PROVIDER AIR CHARTER SERVICE reported that bookings for the Olympic Games doubled last month. Director Matthew Purton said: “We’ve been receiving enquiries since last summer but now clients are confirming their travel plans. We’re not only booking executive jets for private individuals, but also group travel on larger, commercial aircraft.” He added: “We have six offices in Europe and a further 10 on other continents, so we are helping them and their clients with local issues here in London, such as airport slots and advice on ground transportation and accommodation.” The company also says it is seeing increased business at its European offices due to the UEFA Euro 2012 football championships in June and July. • Executive aviation feature, p44
CHARITY IN BRIEF
■ HRG HAS SIGNED a deal to take on its first partner in Nepal.
The TMC has
appointed Zenith Experiences Travel Services (ZETS) as its associate partner in the Himalayan sovereign state. Zenith will trade as HRG Nepal following the agreement. The deal sees
ZETS owner Mihika Dhakhwa becomes managing director of HRG Nepal.
Huw Edwards CONFERENCE REPORT
ITM annual conference
THERE WILL BE a sporting theme to this year’s ITM Annual Conference in Manchester, with former Olympic middle-distance runner and TV presenter Steve Cram giving the main keynote speech, while former Olympic coach Frank Dick will also be among the speakers. The conference will be moderated by
BBC News presenter Huw Edwards, with sessions on subjects such as enhancing travel programmes, the latest travel gadgets and avoiding “meetings from hell”. Alongside educational workshops, there
will also be a Directors Roundtable for travel buyers to discuss industry affairs, including issues such as the implications of the Bribery Act.
The conference takes place from May 21-23 at the Palace Hotel, Manchester. More information at www.itmconference.org
THE LYCRA LADS… AND LASSES
320 MILES, FOUR DAYS, £25,000: the distance, duration and fund-raising target of a charity bike ride being organised by Bridgestreet Worldwide’s brand ambassador Gary Hurst. A travel industry team of 20-plus cyclists, including PwC’s
Mark Avery, Eurostar’s Sarah Gaze, Caroline Allen from ACTE, Deloitte’s Yvette Rudge and Mervin Moonien from Bank of New York Mellon will saddle up on August 30 to raise money for Forces Children’s Trust by pedalling from London to Land’s End. The team will start training next month in preparation for the ride. Led by Hurst – global accounts senior sales manager at
apartment specialist Bridgestreet Worldwide – the riders hope to raise at least £25,000 for the Forces Children’s Trust, which supports children whose parents have been killed or injured on active service with the armed forces.
Government to save £5 million in travel fees
SAVINGS OF MORE than £5 million a year in booking fees are expected by the government as a result of changing its policy on the TMCs it uses for travel. Redfern Travel
and HRG won the contracts to supply domestic and global travel, respectively, in November as part of the new
consolidated travel policy managed through the Central Government Travel Management Service.
The service has revealed that it expects this process to save the public purse more than £5 million a year on travel booking fees, and that it is already saving more than £80 million
in hotel, air and rail prices. Total central government spending on travel is more than £300 million annually. Previously,
central government used at least nine TMCs and the new process was criticised by several leading figures in the business travel industry.