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INFORM


WORDS MOLLY DYSON


United rolls out Polaris on all Heathrow-Chicago flights


UNITED AIRLINES’ POLARIS seats will be available on its three daily flights between London Heathrow and Chicago O’Hare from 15 November, on newly reconfigured Boeing 767-300ER aircraft.


This is in addition to five daily New York/Newark flights, which also feature the new seats. The extended cabin features 46 United Polaris business seats in the premium cabin and 22 United Premium Plus seats. Meanwhile, Bob Schumacher, United’s managing director for sales, UK and Ireland (pictured), told BBT a Polaris lounge at Heathrow was still on the cards. “We’re not in a hurry to do it; we’re doing Washington currently. It will be done in the next 18 months or so. What we’re trying to do is gauge the Polaris business class demand for a lounge, particularly when we have five flights a day [for New York] and three a day for Chicago. “At Heathrow, you can get on the plane and you’ve got eight or nine hours to luxuriate. How much time do you want to spend pre-dining in a Polaris lounge? We can work that out as this evolves and then fix it. But we will brand the lounge as Polaris at some point.”


FLYBE AND LOGANAIR REVIVE PARTNERSHIP


REGIONAL CARRIERS FLYBE (soon to be rebranded Virgin Connect) and Loganair have signed an agreement to renew their partnership – two years after a breakdown in relations. The airlines used to operate


together under a franchise deal, but the agreement came to a halt in 2017 after Flybe forged a new partnership with Humberside-based Eastern Airways. Scotland’s Loganair later blamed


a nearly £9 million loss on the break- up, saying it had to spend almost £3 million rebuilding its own brand and back-office systems in addition to competing with Flybe on routes in its home market. The new codeshare agreement


includes Loganair and Flybe routes to and from Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Inverness and Manchester. It will allow passengers to make a single booking for a connecting journey between the carriers’ flights.


ZENO ADDS QANTAS NDC CONTENT


SERKO’S ZENO PLATFORM now incorporates end-to-end NDC booking capability through the Qantas Distribution Platform (QDP) following a pilot programme with CT Connections.


The new capability means


travel and expense technology provider Serko’s partners now have the option to access Qantas airfares in Zeno through either their existing GDS connections or through the direct QDP solution.


28 NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2019


HEATHROW EXPRESS CUTS TICKET PRICES


HEATHROW EXPRESS has introduced a dynamic pricing structure to offer lower-priced tickets, and has also revamped its website and app. The new pricing structure is similar


to an airline-style yield management system, which increases the availability of discounted tickets beyond weekends. It claims new lower online fares start


from £5.50 for advanced purchases, with a guaranteed number of tickets released for every day of travel. Meanwhile, it has updated its website and app to offer faster booking, clear ticket


and pricing options, personalised suggestions using the customer’s location and booking history, and automated “next train” times. It is also releasing a new API developer portal to allow partners to co-create


and test their own integration to ensure Heathrow Express ticket sales work alongside their own platforms before launching the service to customers.


buyingbusinesstravel.com


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