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Posts by Sharon Evers

Laudamotion announces Ryanair acquires 100% shareholding

Laudamotion today (29 Jan) confirmed that Ryanair has completed the purchase of 100% shareholding in Laudamotion GmbH from NL Holdings in late December. Laudamotion now becomes a 100% subsidiary of Ryanair Holdings Plc, the Group which owns Europe’s largest airline.

With the support of Ryanair Holdings, Laudamotion today announces a series of exciting growth initiatives, which includes: Increasing Lauda’s fleet to 25 aircraft in summer ’19 (from 19 in S2018). Lauda today announces that it has signed LOI agreements with a number of lessors which will increase its Summer ’20 fleet to 30 – all Airbus – aircraft, which will allow Lauda to grow its traffic from 4m guests in year 1 to 6m guests in year 2 (FY March 2020) to 7.5m guests in FY March 2021.

This summer, Laudamotion will operate 4 bases as it grows in Vienna from 4 to 8 aircraft, Dusseldorf 7 aircraft, Stuttgart 3 aircraft, and Palma 2 aircraft. In winter 2019, the Vienna base will increase further to 11 aircraft, making Laudamotion Vienna’s No.2 airline, just behind Austrian Airlines. Laudamotion is releasing the first part of its winter 2019 flight schedules today, offering passengers lower fares and more frequencies, from Vienna in particular. Details of up to 20 new routes from Vienna, Stuttgart, Dusseldorf, and Palma, will be announced in the next month or two once airport and handling negotiations have been successfully completed.

Laudamotion today announced details of up to 400 new jobs for pilots, cabin crew, and engineers across its 4 bases. It also unveiled details of its new Head Office (at Concorde Business Park), which it will move into in March 2019, and released details of a 250,000 seat sale with fares starting from €19.99 one way for travel in Feb, Mar, Apr and May from Vienna, Stuttgart, and Dusseldorf bases.

Speaking in Vienna today, Laudamotion’s CEO, Andreas Gruber, said: “With the backing of Ryanair, Laudamotion is set to grow strongly over the next 3 years to carry 10m passengers p.a. We will release details of up to 20 new routes for winter 2019 once we have completed our airport and handling negotiations by the end of March. Our summer ’19 program will allow us to carry 6m passengers in year 2, a growth rate of 50% over the 4m carried in year 1, as we continue to offer our customers in Vienna, Stuttgart, Dusseldorf and Palma the lowest air fares on a fleet of young Airbus aircraft with widespread passenger appeal and great Lauda service.”

Laudamotion’s Deputy CEO, Colin Casey, said: “We are currently negotiating new routes and handling agreements with more than 50 new airports, all of whom want to share in Laudamotion’s exciting growth plans for the coming years. As other airlines falter, close bases or put themselves up for sale (as in the case of Germania recently), we are inundated with applications from pilots and cabin crew who wish to join Austria’s No.1 low fares airline as we embark on exciting growth plans, not just in Austria and Germany, but in other new countries as well. In winter 2019 we hope to announce at least one new base, which will be outside of Austria and Germany, and there are a number of new airports both in Central & Western Europe who are pitching to win this business. At a time when Austrian Airlines are carrying 13.9m passengers, we have exciting plans to grow to 10m passengers within next 3 years and become Austria’s No. 2.”

RIU Hotels & Resorts is coming to Canada

RIU Hotels & Resorts has announced the construction of a hotel in its Riu Plaza urban line, in Toronto, the largest city in Canada and the cultural, business and financial centre of the country. The Spanish company intends to invest around 100 million dollars in the project, that will establish the first RIU hotel in Canada and will add continuity to the hotel company’s plan to expand into the world’s great cities.

The project, designed in a sophisticated avant-garde style, as a part of the Riu Plaza line, is now near the end of the design phase and is set to open in 2021. The building, a newly-built modern tower block, will be located in the city’s financial district and is mixed use. RIU’s investment in the part intended for the hotel will have 350 rooms, meeting rooms, a gym, bar and restaurant; while the upper floors will be for residential use.

Luis Riu, CEO of RIU Hotels & Resorts, has made it clear that the opening of the first hotel in Toronto “is a big step forward in our commitment to expanding the Riu Plaza hotel line in the world’s key cities, establishing the RIU brand beyond more traditional vacation destinations. We hope this hotel attracts RIU customers around the world to discover the city of Toronto with us, and also hope that the loyal customers we have in Canada decide to discover our urban product. This project means a new drive to raise awareness of our brand within and beyond the country.”

RIU Hotels & Resorts has had a relationship with Canada for years, with the country being one of the main markets for RIU hotels in the Caribbean, Mexico and Central America, but it is only now with the opening of this new hotel that it is physically establishing its presence in the country.

The Riu Plaza line has important projects in store for upcoming years. The first to be opened, next spring, is Riu Plaza España, the first RIU urban hotel in the country, located in the iconic Edificio España in the city of Madrid. In London RIU has acquired a building in one of the best areas of the city, beside Victoria Station, in order to open a hotel in its urban line there in 2020, while in New York, Riu Plaza’s second hotel is already under construction and is set to open in 2021.

Toronto is the fifth largest city in North America and is considered one of the best large cities in the world to live in; it is famous for the CN Tower, that at 553 metres tall, lets you see the whole city, Thousand Islands and the Royal Ontario Museum are a couple of the attractions you can visit. The city is considered to be at the heart of Canadian culture and plays host to many national and international celebrations including the Toronto International Film Festival, one of the most important in the world; being close to Niagara Falls means visiting this natural wonder is a must.

RIU currently has six Riu Plaza hotels worldwide, as well as three under construction: Riu Plaza España, Riu Plaza Londonand a second one in New York. The first city hotel opened its doors in Panama in 2010 and has since been joined by the Riu Plaza Guadalajara hotel in Mexico, Riu Plaza Miami Beach and Riu Plaza New York Times Square in the USA, Riu Plaza Berlin in Germany and Riu Plaza The Gresham Dublin in Ireland.

TUI Blue plans third hotel in Austria

TUI expects another record year for winter sports in the Alps, and mountains are also becoming increasingly popular in the summer. Against that background, TUI Group is expanding the portfolio of its TUI Blue lifestyle hotel brand, planning its third hotel in Austria. With TUI Blue Fieberbrunn, the portfolio of the hotel brand, that is placing the experience at the core, will grow to a total of 12 hotels for the Winter 2019/2020 season.

TUI Blue Fieberbrunn is the perfect location for winter sports enthusiasts wishing to explore Skicircus Saalbach / Hinterglemm / Leogang / Fieberbrunn. For the summer, the valley alone offers around 400 km of hiking and mountain biking trails for sports lovers. The mountain hotel, located directly near the ski slope, will feature 144 double rooms, a restaurant and bar with outdoor terrace and a meeting room and spa area. It is scheduled to open at the end of 2019. The hallmarks of TUI Blue are its modern technology concept and the innovative Bluef!t concept for fitness, wellness and nutrition. The hotel brand focuses on authentic holiday experiences in the respective region.

“For TUI Blue Fieberbrunn, we will reposition an existing hotel in the style of our lifestyle brand this summer,” says TUI Blue Managing Director Artur Gerber. “Tyrol’s unique mountain landscape offers the perfect environment for our experience-centred brand. With the opening of our third hotel in the Alps, Austria, alongside Turkey, is one of the destinations in which TUI Blue has delivered its strongest growth.”

TUI Group celebrated the ground-breaking ceremony for the brand’s second hotel in Austria at the end of September 2018. The future TUI Blue Montafon hotel, also perfectly located for skiers and hikers, will feature 149 double rooms. The new hotel is scheduled to open in the Winter 2019/2020 season.

Alongside the two new TUI Blue hotels in Vorarlberg and Tyrol, TUI operates another TUI Blue hotel in Styria and four Robinson Clubs in Vorarlberg, Salzburgerland and Carinthia.

Airtrade strengthens its position in Belgium with the acquisition of Skyways

Airtrade Holdings BV, Dutch market leader in innovative travel technology and air broker services, announces the successful acquisition of the Belgian airbroker Skyways as of December 1st, 2018.

Airtrade already expanded its business activities to Belgium early 2018 but will accelerate its growth ambitions and international expansion with this acquisition. Skyways continues to operate under its own name. Sales Manager, Javier Equisoain Blanco, will become commercially responsible for Skyways.

Skyways customers will continue to work with the same dedicated service team and will now also benefit from the latest travel technology solutions, such as the travel agent booking tool FareFinder. FareFinder is the flight ticket reservation system for travel agents introduced by Airtrade in the Netherlands in September 2018, after extensive testing and is now also available to Skyways customers.

“The Skyways – Airtrade collaboration gives us the opportunity to attract new customers and strengthen our position. Skyways customers receive the service and customer orientation they are used to and at the same have access to the Airtrade technology solutions. In addition to FareFinder, Skyways will also introduce early 2019 the Airtrade whitelable solutions under which the Dynamic Packaging and Flight IBE to the Belgium market. The Flight API is already available in the market. Our unique innovative technology gives our customers access to the largest flight offer database in the Benelux. Skyways customers gain access to new content such as the Lufthansa Group and Brussels Airlines via NDC, low cost and international flight rates. I am looking forward to see how we can continue to develop in this combination ” says Jeroen Martron, CEO of Airtrade.

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