Southwest to add
Puerto Rico flights
American to settle Sabre lawsuit,
extend agreement with Travelport
By Kate Rice
Carnival Corp. eyes
ships for two lines
Southwest on April 14 will take
over Air Tran’s service to San Juan
from Orlando and Tampa, marking
its first routes to extend beyond
the continental U.S.
AirTran will continue to offer
Two clouds were removed from the distribution
landscape last week when American agreed to
settle its lawsuit against Sabre and to extend an
expiring full-content agreement with Travelport.
In the case of the law-
suit, the parties offered few
details but announced that
they will renew their GDS
“for multiple years.”
Sabre, which had de-
preferenced its displays of
American’s content nearly
two years ago as part of the
dispute, will pay American
an unspecified sum of money, but neither party
would comment on the reason Sabre will make
In a statement, American said it will continue
pursuing its direct-connect initiative and that it
will negotiate with Sabre for additional technology services in the future.
Additional information will be announced at a
later date. Terms of the settlement and distribution agreements require review and approval by
American’s bankruptcy court.
For now, that appears to mean business as usual
for Sabre agents selling American and for users
of Travelport’s Apollo and Worldspan systems, as
Sabre will pay AA an
unspecified sum of money,
but neither party would
comment on the reason for
Southwest is headed to San Juan.
service between San Juan and
Baltimore, Fort Lauderdale and Atlanta. Southwest flight attendants
in September approved a contract
change allowing overwater flying.
Carnival Corp. ordered two new
ships for its Carnival and Holland
America brands, in each case creating a new class that will be the
line’s largest. The Carnival ship, at
135,000 gross tons, will carry 4,000
passengers and is expected to enter service in the winter of 2016.
In size it will eclipse the Carnival
Dream and Breeze, the line’s largest at 130,000 gross tons. Holland
America, which has not yet broken
the 100,000-gross-ton barrier, will
come close with a 99,000-gross-
ton ship in fall 2015. It will carry
Both ships will be built by Italy’s
Fincantieri yard. Carnival Corp. did
not provide an overall cost figure
but said the tab will be approximately $195,000 per lower berth,
or roughly $1.3 billion.
U.K. dept. stores
get Kuoni shops
Swiss travel giant Kuoni is opening retail travel concessions in
John Lewis stores, a major British
department store chain. The companies said the stores are the flagship John Lewis store on Oxford
Street in London, plus Reading
and Southampton. A fourth location, in Cardiff, Wales, was slated
to open Nov. 5. Kuoni said it will
also introduce John Lewis Travel
Insurance to its customers.
Hyatt brands grow
in U.S., Europe
U.S. Travel forecasts moderate growth
By Johanna Jainchill
Hilton launched a venture to develop a Hilton hotel and conference center in Istanbul’s Sisli
district. Adjacent to the Bomonti
Beer building, the hotel will offer
118,000 square feet of event space.
Travel will continue to set new records in 2013,
but the growth rate will decelerate, according to a
U.S. Travel Association forecast.
During a conference call with the media on
Nov. 1, David Huether, senior vice president of
research and economics for U.S. Travel, said that
the number of domestic trips taken in 2013 is expected to increase to a record high but that growth
will be slower than over the past few years.
U.S. Travel predicts that in 2013 the number
of trips will increase by an additional 23 million
trips for a 1.1% growth rate, down from the 1.8%
increase in 2012.
Huether said this year’s increase will boost the
number of domestic trips taken by about 36 million, to 2.04 billion, a 1.8% increase over 2011,
which was an all-time high. That number is 1.5%
better than the prior peak, reached in 2007.
Huether said the growth slowdown projected
See U.S. TRAVEL on Page 7
Hyatt opened its first hotel in the
Netherlands, the 122-room Andaz Amsterdam. Situated on the
Prinsengracht, one of the city’s
main canals, the hotel occupies a
former public library and features
a video-art collection and 4,300
square feet of meetings space.
Separately, Hyatt broke ground
on a 126-unit Hyatt House ex-tended-stay property in San Juan,
slated to open in 2014. It also
acquired a Comfort Suites hotel
in Minneapolis with the intent to
rebrand it as the Hyatt Place Minneapolis Downtown next summer,
after $20 million in renovations.
Total travel expenditures in the U.S.
for National Parks
Orbitz inks deal
to boost Brand USA
Brand USA, the U.S. public-private
tourism promotion company, unveiled a partnership deal with Orbitz and its European eBookers site
that will feature Brand USA advertising on the eBookers Explorer
iPad app. Brand USA said the deal
provides “significant in-kind media support,” meaning the Orbitz
contribution helps Brand USA to
qualify for federal matching funds.
The National Park Service put
out a reminder that Veterans Day
weekend (Nov. 10 to 12) is the last
of the designated “fee-free” days
for 2012, when entrance fees are
waived for all U.S. National Parks.
Source: U.S. Travel Association