DOT Gives Virgin America Go Ahead
The Transportation Department has recently issued U.S. domestic
airline rights to Virgin America, the new entrant funded in part by
Virgin Group chief Richard Branson.
The airline, based in San Francisco, intends to link the city to
New York (JFK) in “mid-summer” for its inaugural route. They are
also planning to seek DOT approval to begin accepting reservations
before the start-up. The company can’t fly until it meets all the
DOT’s conditions, which were imposed to ensure compliance with the
legal requirement that U.S. carriers remain under the “actual
control” of U.S. citizens.
To resolve concerns about the influence of Branson and other
foreign investors, the DOT is requiring the airline to make a
number of changes in its capital structure and corporate
governance, including the trademark licensing agreement under which
the company uses the Virgin brand. It also insisted on the removal
of its CEO, Fred Reid, who was initially hired by Branson.
According to the DOT’s final order, Reid will be allowed to stay
on as CEO for six months and to remain with the company in a
consulting capacity for three months after that.
Virgin America is assembling a fleet of Airbus A320 and A319
aircraft for what it calls a “low-fare, high-value” service in
major domestic markets. The carrier plans to expand to as many as
10 U.S. cities in its first year, including Los Angeles, Washington
(Dulles), San Diego and Las Vegas.
Tickets to TheTradeShow
TheTradeShow, set for Sept. 9-11 in Las Vegas, is encouraging
agents to register early and take advantage of the networking and
educational event. Conference fees are $25 through June 1, and $35
afterwards. Complimentary tickets to one of five Las Vegas shows
are available according to registration date and ticket
availability and includes “Le Reve,” “The Scintas,” “Jubilee!,”
“Blue Man Group” or “The Rat Pack is Back.”
Nemo Goes On a Roadtrip
As the new Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage is getting the final
touches for its June 11 premiere at Disneyland, travel agents in
the West might just catch a glimpse of the Nemo Dream Mobile coming
out of the water and onto the roads.
This road-tripping submarine-on-wheels brings some of the magic
of Disneyland Resort and its new summer attraction to cities in the
western U.S. and Canada. Designed to resemble one of the yellow
submarines in the Disneyland fleet, the Nemo Dream Mobile has
surfaced and is setting course to visit Sacramento, Fresno, Salt
Lake City, Las Vegas, Albuquerque, Tucson and Phoenix.
Along for the voyage and appearing atop the Nemo Dream Mobile in
select locations, is Nigel, the friendly pelican from the
Disney/Pixar film “Finding Nemo,” along with the scavenging
seagulls from the movie. The vehicle converts into an “aquarium on
wheels,” featuring surprise appearances by Crush, the cruisin’
turtle from “Finding Nemo,” who can take questions and chat with
small groups of guests in a road-show version of “Turtle Talk With
Crush,” the interactive experience from Disneyland Resort.
At Disneyland, the all-new Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage
attraction debuts June 11, featuring enhanced versions of the
original 1959 Disneyland submarines. The new adventure takes
submarine voyagers on an underwater expedition featuring
cutting-edge imaging technology.
The Grand Opening of the Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage is part
of the Year of a Million Dreams celebration at Disneyland
The Nemo Dream Mobile sets sail according to the following
|May 24-30||Sacramento, Calif.|
|May 31June 1||Fresno, Calif.|
|June 4-6||Salt Lake City, Utah|
|June 13-15||Las Vegas, Nev.|
|June 17-18||Albuquerque, N.M.|
|June 21-22||Tucson, Ariz.|
|June 26-29||Phoenix, Ariz.|
IsramWorld Announces New Division
IsramWorld’s CEO and
executive chairman of the board, A. Ady Gelber, has announced the
opening of the new Inside Sales Development Division. The division
has been created to foster closer relations with agents and to
assist the travel agent community with special requests. Web-based
marketing support, sales incentives and customized collateral
material are offered.
Former regional sales manager for the company, Raffaella De
Luca, is the manager of the new division, and will use her
expertise in customer/client relations and her extensive knowledge
of IsramWorld’s destinations to act as a special assistance liaison
between travel agents and the following IsramWorld companies:
Isram, Orient Flexi Pax Tours, Latour Latin America, Escapade
Vacations and Holy Land Sun Tours.
Mayor Villaraigosa Names director of Los Angeles World
Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa joined El Segundo Mayor Kelly McDowell
and city councilmembers Bill Rosendahl and Janice Hahn to announce
the appointment of Gina Marie Lindsey as the new executive director
of Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA).
Lindsey has a proven track record of modernizing international
airports across the U.S. She brings 16 years of experience in
airport management and a record of renovating and expanding
international airports. Lindsey will be tasked with continuing
Villaraigosa’s modernization and regionalization efforts, as well
as developing new initiatives to update airport services.
In response to projections indicating that air traffic into Los
Angeles will double by 2030, the mayor announced that ExpressJet
and United Airlines would add flights and divert some routes to
LA/Ontario International (ONT) and LA/Palmdale Regional (PMD)
airports in an effort to ease overcrowding at LAX. Villaraigosa has
also implemented an in-line baggage-screening system.
Jurni Announces 2007 Annual Conference
Jurni, the marketing organization for leisure travel agencies, has
announced its fourth annual conference, Jurni Farther: Reach New
Heights, scheduled for Sept. 27-30 at the Wyndham Hotel in
The upcoming conference will offer attendees a look at
leading-edge tools for improving customer relationship management,
as well as offering creative solutions and best practices for
expanding agency marketing abilities.
Educational workshops, idea forums and team-building events top
the schedule. Jurni will also feature Stuart Ellis-Myers as the
keynote speaker for the event.