Eclipse in the air: Delta’s exclusive Flight 1218 takes you to the heart of totality

Buckle up for a celestial adventure with Delta as the airline unveils an exclusive opportunity for umbraphiles – those enamoured by total solar eclipses.

On 8 April 2024, Delta is set to operate a special flight, Flight 1218, from Austin to Detroit, offering passengers a unique chance to witness the total solar eclipse from the sky.

Scheduled on an A220-300 aircraft, renowned for its extra-large windows, this flight promises an unparalleled viewing experience for eclipse enthusiasts. Departing from Austin at 12:15 p.m. CT and landing in Detroit at 4:20 p.m. ET, the timing has been meticulously planned to provide passengers with the best opportunity to observe the solar eclipse at its peak.

Eric Beck, Managing Director of Domestic Network Planning, expressed the collaborative effort behind this unique flight, stating,

This flight is the result of significant collaboration and exemplifies the close teamwork Delta is known for — from selecting an aircraft with larger windows to determining the exact departure time from Austin and the experiences at the gate and in the air.

But the celestial spectacle doesn’t end there. Even if you miss the special flight, Delta offers prime eclipse-viewing opportunities on five additional routes on 8 April.

Don’t forget your protective viewing glasses if you’re on these flights:

  • DL 5699, DTW-HPN, 2:59 pm EST departure, ERJ-175
  • DL 924, LAX-DFW, 8:40 am PST departure, A320
  • DL 2869, LAX-SAT, 9:00 am PST departure, A319
  • DL 1001, SLC-SAT, 10:08 am MST departure, A220-300
  • DL 1683, SLC-AUS, 9:55 am MST departure, A320

For ground-based spectators, Delta flies to many destinations within the path of totality, including San Antonio and Little Rock.

Warren Weston, Delta Air Lines Lead Meteorologist, highlighted the significance of the upcoming eclipse, stating,

The April 8 eclipse is the last total eclipse we’ll see over North America until 2044. This eclipse will last more than twice as long as the one that occurred in 2017, and the path is nearly twice as wide.

It’s important to note that while Delta’s plans are designed to maximise time within the path of totality, factors beyond their control, such as weather and air traffic control, could impact timing and aircraft.

As the rare celestial event draws closer, those eager to book this astronomical adventure should contact their Global Travel Management Account Manager.

IHG expands luxury footprint: Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants debut in Sicily

Leading hotel company IHG Hotels & Resorts has revealed its latest venture, signing its inaugural Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants property in Italy.

The announcement, part of IHG’s rapidly expanding luxury & lifestyle portfolio, positions it as the second-largest globally.

The Kimpton hotel in Sicily is set to welcome guests in the latter half of 2025 through a management agreement with partner Società Turistica Alberghiera Taorminese.

In a strategic move, IHG has intensified its focus on the Italian market, evident with six luxury and lifestyle openings and signings in 2023 alone.

This includes noteworthy properties like the first urban expression of Six Senses in Rome, InterContinental Rome Ambasciatori Palace and Hotel Indigo Florence.

The next few years should see the addition of Hotel Indigo properties in Turin and Trieste, along with IHG’s inaugural Vignette Collection property, Hotel Alexandra, in Rome next year.

Situated in the charming hill-top town of Taormina on Sicily’s east coast, the 59-boutique bedroom Kimpton hotel will blend heritage with Kimpton’s signature style, irreverence and design-led experiences.

Guests can anticipate a destination dining experience with panoramic views from the breakfast room and bar terrace spanning from Calabria to the Bay of Isolabella.

The Kimpton brand’s unique approach to wellness, extending beyond the expected, will be embodied in the Sicilian property. An outdoor Mediterranean garden, a 20-metre swimming pool, and a tennis court are among the features designed to enhance the guest experience.

Willemijn Geels, VP Development, Europe, IHG Hotels & Resorts, expressed excitement about the partnership with Società Turistica Alberghiera Taorminese. She said,

Italy has long been known for its reputation of luxury travel, breath-taking coastal locations and vibrant communities – and our growth strategy in the country has been designed to complement this.

Following a surge of activity in 2023, which saw us more than double our luxury and lifestyle offerings in this market, we’re now excited to be partnering with Società Turistica Alberghiera Taorminese to expand our presence in Italy with this boutique lifestyle property on the picturesque island of Sicily.

This expansion underscores the demand and trust from our owners to embed IHG’s luxury and lifestyle portfolio in one of Europe’s most coveted leisure destinations.

We look forward to delivering exceptional experiences to our guests and helping them create unforgettable memories once we open our doors in the second half of 2025.

IHG acquired Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants in 2018, continuing the brand’s expansion into Europe and beyond.

The Sicilian property joins a global portfolio that includes Kimpton Vividora Barcelona, Kimpton St Honoré Paris, and Kimpton Fitzroy London.

Raffaele Ranucci, Owner, Società Turistica Alberghiera Taorminese, shared his delight in partnering with IHG to introduce the first Kimpton-branded hotel to Italy. He said,

We are delighted to be partnering with IHG Hotels & Resorts to bring the first Kimpton branded hotel to Italy, in Sicily. This new and exciting chapter means we will welcome visitors to this one-of-a-kind destination once we open our doors in 2025, and provide guests with the unparalleled service, amenities, and experiences the Kimpton brand is known for.

Every Kimpton Hotel & Restaurant aims to foster genuine connections through unexpected, personalised touches, creating an authentic and unscripted guest experience. The Sicilian property is set to embody this ethos, introducing the brand’s culture of heartfelt hospitality and design-forward hotels to Italy.

The Kimpton in Sicily marks IHG Hotels & Resorts’ 30th hotel in Italy and contributes to a portfolio of eight Kimpton hotels across the UK and continental Europe. This is part of Kimpton’s global portfolio of 78 hotels across 12 countries, with a projected addition of 54 hotels by 2025, surpassing the 100-hotel milestone and extending its presence to 20 countries.

For further information about IHG hotels and to make bookings in any of the company’s hotels worldwide, please contact your Global Travel Management Account Manager.

BT Tower makeover: MCR and Heatherwick Studio join forces for London landmark

MCR, the third-largest hotel owner-operator in the U.S., has successfully secured an agreement to acquire the BT Tower, one of London’s tallest and most iconic buildings, from BT Group.

This strategic move positions MCR as the owner of the 620-foot Tower and its accompanying podium, spanning a full city block in Fitzrovia, London.

BT Tower: one of London’s tallest buildings

The historic BT Tower, opened in 1965, holds Grade II importance as designated by England’s Historic Buildings and Monuments Commission.

MCR aims to breathe new life into this landmark by repurposing it into a hotel, allowing the public to experience its rich history and architectural significance.

To achieve this vision, MCR will collaborate with London-based Heatherwick Studio, known for their innovative and transformative designs.

Tyler Morse, CEO and owner of MCR, expressed pride in becoming the custodian of the BT Tower, emphasising the commitment to developing proposals that honour its legacy and make it accessible to everyone.

He said,

We see many parallels between the TWA Hotel and the BT Tower. Both are world-renowned, groundbreaking pieces of architecture.

It’s been a privilege to adapt the TWA Flight Center into new use for future generations, as it will be the BT Tower.”

However, the transition will be a gradual process, as BT Group will require several years to vacate the premises due to the intricate task of relocating technical equipment. This extended timeline provides ample room for design development and community engagement before unveiling the finalised proposals.

MCR’s notable portfolio includes owning and operating renowned hotels in New York, such as The High Line Hotel and the TWA Hotel at JFK Airport.

TWA Hotel: MCR’s portfolio includes the iconic hotel at JFK

The latter, a reimagining of Eero Saarinen’s 1962 landmark Flight Center, received a national Architecture Award from the American Institute of Architects. Morse draws parallels between the TWA Hotel and the BT Tower, both being globally acclaimed architectural masterpieces.

Thomas Heatherwick, Founder and Design Director of Heatherwick Studio, expressed excitement about partnering with MCR to reimagine the BT Tower.

Recognising the extraordinary opportunity to revive this important piece of the city’s living heritage, Heatherwick said,

My team and I are thrilled to partner with MCR to reimagine the BT Tower.

This is an extraordinary building and an amazing opportunity to bring it back to life.

We’re excited at the prospect of working with Fitzrovia’s residents and with many thousands of Londoners, to repurpose this important piece of the city’s living heritage.

The BT Tower, a Grade II listed communications tower, has been an integral part of London’s skyline since 1964, dominating the cityscape until 1980.

Besides serving as a communication hub, the tower was open to the public until 1971, featuring a revolving top-floor restaurant.

Since 1984, BT Group has operated the tower, hosting various corporate and charity events on its top floor, with its iconic “infoband” screen regularly displaying messages across London.

As MCR embarks on this transformative journey with Heatherwick Studio, the collaboration promises to rejuvenate the BT Tower, blending history with contemporary design.

For hotel bookings in London, New York and elsewhere, contact your Global Travel Management Account Manager.

Luxury takes flight: Etihad Airways introduces new inflight collection

Etihad Airways, in a groundbreaking collaboration with Italian design house Giorgio Armani and luxury beauty brand ESPA, has introduced an exquisite collection of amenity kits and loungewear, elevating the inflight experience for guests flying in The Residence, First, and Business class.

This exclusive partnership brings together the refined elegance of Giorgio Armani with Etihad’s renowned Emirati hospitality, promising an unparalleled journey for passengers.

The new range, set to debut at the end of February, includes bespoke amenity kits for each premium cabin, designer loungewear, and slippers.

For guests in The Residence and First class, a covetable Giorgio Armani and Etihad-branded large folio bag will be presented, available in four collectible colours.

This spacious accessory is not only fashionable but practical, perfect for carrying documents, tablets, or a 13″ laptop post-flight.

In Business class, Giorgio Armani has designed two unisex styles for amenity kits – a clutch bag and a cube. The clutch bag features a contemporary print inspired by the Liwa desert, while the cube boasts a geometric shape for easy packing, ideal for tech products or personal items post-flight.

Packed with luxury ESPA skincare products, plush slippers, eyeshade, earplugs, and a dental kit, these kits cater to the travel wellbeing of Business class passengers.

Luxurious Giorgio Armani and Etihad loungewear and slippers will be gifted to guests flying in The Residence and First class. Crafted with soft, anti-wrinkle fabric, the modern silhouette of the loungewear is inspired by the Abu Dhabi skyline, offering comfort for both relaxation and sleep during and after the flight.

For Economy passengers on flights over six hours, Etihad introduces complimentary tote bags containing inflight essentials, including Beekman hand cream, eyeshade, and earplugs.

The branded tote, available in three collectible designs featuring Etihad’s iconic aircraft liveries, serves as a useful and sustainable gift, as each bag is made from a recycled 500ml PET bottle.

Turky Al Hammadi, Head of Product and Hospitality at Etihad Airways, expressed the airline’s commitment to offering not only convenience and luxury but also sustainable and stylish solutions.

As well as offering convenience, style and luxury inflight, our guests will take home their own co-branded Giorgio Armani amenity bag for use when travelling or at home. These sought-after bags come in collectable colours and styles meaning frequent flyers can build their personal Giorgio Armani collection.

We’re also very proud to introduce a complimentary range of stylish and functional tote bags to our guests on longer flights in Economy. Not only will these bags be a handy gift, but they’ll help us to further reduce single-use plastic.

Etihad Airways continues to redefine the standards of luxury travel, ensuring an unforgettable journey for its discerning clientele.

In conclusion, Etihad Airways invites its passengers to indulge in this elevated inflight experience and build their personal Giorgio Armani collection.

For information on Etihad flights, please contact your Global Travel Management Account Manager.

Emirates Flight Catering invests in vertical farm pioneer, Bustanica

Emirates Flight Catering, a global leader in aviation hospitality and one of the world’s largest catering operations, has successfully completed the acquisition of Emirates Bustanica, formerly known as Emirates Crop One.

This strategic move solidifies Emirates Bustanica as a fully UAE-owned company, aligning with the nation’s commitment to enhancing food and water security while advancing its agricultural capabilities.

Vertical farm: Bustanica quality control checks in progress

The acquisition positions Emirates Bustanica to capitalise on local expertise and cutting-edge technology, addressing the escalating demands of the market and contributing to the UAE’s vision of agricultural sustainability.

Situated near Al Maktoum International Airport at Dubai World Central, the 330,000sqft facility of Bustanica stands as the world’s largest indoor vertical farm.

With a remarkable capacity to grow over 1 million kilograms of top-quality leafy greens annually – equivalent to 3 tonnes daily – Bustanica achieves this feat while utilising 95% less water than traditional agriculture.

Under the Bustanica brand, the farm-fresh produce is widely available in major retailers across the UAE, including Spinney’s, Waitrose, Carrefour and Choithrams.

Additionally, airline passengers, including those flying with Emirates, are treated to this exceptional produce in their salads and meals.

Launched in July 2022, Bustanica has rapidly become a prominent player in UAE’s culinary landscape. The brand offers a diverse range of leafy greens, herbs, and microgreens that are designed to be consumed straight from the box. Notably, all produce is grown without pesticides or herbicides, ensuring it remains 100% clean, fresh and nutrient-rich. The selection includes various lettuce varieties, spinach, parsley, and kale.

Leafy greens: Emirates Bustanica uses a hydroponic method to grow salads

Bustanica’s success is attributed to its integration of powerful technologies such as machine learning, artificial intelligence, and patented agricultural methods.

The dedicated in-house team, comprising agronomy experts, engineers, horticulturists, and plant scientists, contributes to the brand’s commitment to excellence.

In a recent development, Emirates Bustanica earned recognition as the preferred produce supplier for COP28, underscoring its dedication to sustainability and environmental responsibility.

Emirates Flight Catering, operating the world’s largest flight catering facility at Dubai International Airport, leads the aviation hospitality sector globally.

The company provides a comprehensive range of services, including airline catering, airport dining, private dining and event catering, alongside food supplies to the HORECA and hospitality industries.

Renowned for excellence, innovation, and sustainability, Emirates Flight Catering consistently delivers exceptional culinary experiences tailored to global consumer preferences.

For information on flights on Emirates, contact your Global Travel Management Account Manager.

American Express unveils largest Centurion Lounge at Atlanta Airport

American Express marked Valentine’s Day with the grand opening of its newest Centurion Lounge at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, north America’s busiest airport.

Boasting an impressive 26,000 square feet, the lounge becomes the largest in the Centurion Lounge network.

Centurion Lounge: A 50-year-old olive tree graces the main seating area

Positioned conveniently in Concourse E near gate E11, it offers a wealth of amenities to cater to the discerning needs of frequent flyers.

Audrey Hendley, of American Express, expressed excitement about the strategic location of the new lounge, stating,

The new Centurion Lounge at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport will serve travelers in one of the airports our Card Members visit most.

Hendley highlighted key features such as outdoor terraces and ample space for relaxation, emphasising the incorporation of local touches in design and menus.

The lounge’s design draws inspiration from Atlanta’s moniker as “the city in the forest.”

A 50-year-old olive tree graces the main seating area, accompanied by a custom light sculpture representing a forest canopy.

Outdoor terraces, a first for the Centurion Lounge network, provide panoramic views of the airfield. Meticulously landscaped, these areas are equipped with heaters and fans for year-round comfort.

Local artists contribute to the lounge’s aesthetic, with commissioned works including a textural interpretation of the iconic American Express watch dog by Lucha Rodríguez and a multimedia piece by Michi Meko inspired by Georgia’s landscape.

A 60-foot mural by Evan Blackwell Helgeson adorns the interior and exterior spaces, depicting abstracted leaf-like shapes.

Renowned Atlanta-based Chef Deborah VanTrece, known for her local restaurants, brings her take on modern, global soul food to the lounge.

The menu features dishes such as Black Eyed Pea Biryani, Za’atar Grilled Chicken Thighs with Green Tomato Chimichurri and Twisted Soul Salad with Strawberry Peppercorn Vinaigrette.

VanTrece’s culinary offerings blend her travel experiences as a former flight attendant with family traditions and fresh, local ingredients. The lounge also provides gluten-free and vegan options, including protein bites, salads, smoothies, and immunity booster juice shots.

She said,

The collaboration with American Express allows me to share my creative vision for food and hospitality with travelers from around the world

The Reserve: a bespoke whiskey bar serving signature cocktails designed by Jim Meehan

A highlight of the new lounge is The Reserve by American Express, the first dedicated whiskey bar in the Centurion Lounge network.

Curated by award-winning mixologist Jim Meehan, the menu features five speciality whiskey cocktails, including Drink a Peach with peach-flavored whiskey and bitters, and Mayme, Tailored, highlighting an American whiskey with ginger beer.

The bar offers a modern take on a classic whiskey bar, connecting to an outdoor lounge area. The lounge also features a fully stocked main bar, offering a selection of over twenty classic and new American whiskeys, along with wines handpicked by sommelier Anthony Giglio.

In addition to the culinary and beverage offerings, the lounge provides signature Centurion Lounge amenities, including dedicated workstations, phone booths, premium restrooms and shower suites.

Multiple seating areas and complimentary high-speed Wi-Fi cater to the diverse needs of all types of traveller.

American Express, the credit card issuer with the most extensive airport lounge options, continues to prioritise the travel experience for Card Members.

The Global Lounge Collection™ includes access to 28 Centurion Lounges and over 1,400 lounges worldwide.

Plans for further expansion of the Centurion Lounge Network include new locations at Reagan National Airport in Washington, D.C., and Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey.

For information about flights serving Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta Airport – or any of the airports served by Amercian Express lounges – please contact your Global Travel Management Account Manager.

Transport for London releases new names for Overground lines

In a groundbreaking move to enhance the navigational experience and celebrate the rich cultural tapestry of London, each of the city’s six Overground lines will now boast a unique name and colour, marking a historic shift in the iconic Tube map.

The transformation aims to simplify the network for commuters, drawing inspiration from London’s diverse history and communities.

Transport for London (TfL) conducted extensive research revealing that some passengers found the London Overground network confusing due to its single colour and name. The revamp addresses this concern by assigning distinct names and colours to each line, facilitating a clearer understanding of the system.

London’s Transport Commissioner, Andy Lord, expressed enthusiasm for the change, emphasising the growth of the Overground, which now carries over three million customers weekly. He stated,

The network, which has grown quite considerably since 2007, is currently shown as a complicated network of orange on route maps. This can be confusing for customers less familiar with the network and could be a barrier for some wanting to use the London Overground. These new names and line colours will simplify the maps and routes for our customers, and it is hoped it will encourage more people to make the most of our services. It is also a great way to tell the stories of some important parts of London’s cultural diversity.

The Lioness line

Euston to Watford Junction

Mark Bullingham

The Lioness line, which runs through Wembley, honours the historic achievements and lasting legacy created by the England women’s football team that continues to inspire and empower the next generation of women and girls in sport.

It will be yellow parallel lines on the map.

Mark Bullingham, Chief Executive Officer for The Football Association, commended the decision, saying:

We’re so pleased to see the Mayor of London and Transport for London recognise the historic achievements of our England women’s team with the newly named Lioness line.

The line honours the incredible victory in the UEFA Women’s EURO in 2022 at Wembley Stadium connected by EE, and the lasting legacy this team is creating in inspiring the next generation.

The Mildmay line

Stratford to Richmond/Clapham Junction

Geoff Coleman

The Mildmay line, which runs through Dalston, honours the small charitable hospital in Shoreditch that has cared for Londoners over many years, notably its pivotal role in the HIV/AIDS crisis in the 1980s, which made it the valued and respected place it is for the LGBTQ+ community today.

It will be blue parallel lines on the map.

Geoff Coleman, Chief Executive Officer for Mildmay Mission Hospital, conveyed his gratitude, stating:

We are deeply honoured that the Mildmay line was chosen as one of the new London Overground lines names in recognition of the work of the dedicated doctors, nurses and support staff at the Mildmay Hospital.

From its humble origins in the 1860s – serving the poorest people of the East End – to its pivotal role during the HIV/AIDS crisis in the 80s and 90s, Mildmay has evolved into an internationally renowned rehab centre, and our dedicated team continues to serve people from across London.

The Windrush line

Highbury & Islington to Clapham Junction/New Cross/Crystal Palace/West Croydon

Arthur Torrington

The Windrush line runs through areas with strong ties to Caribbean communities today, such as Dalston Junction, Peckham Rye and West Croydon and honours the Windrush generation who continue to shape and enrich London’s cultural and social identity today. 

It will be red parallel lines on the map.

Arthur Torrington CBE, Co-founder and Director of the Windrush Foundation, expressed his organisation’s congratulations, saying:

Windrush Foundation congratulates Transport for London for creating a new interest in travel on the Windrush line as part of the London Overground line naming project.

We are reminded of the iconic journey of Empire Windrush and the contributions the Caribbean community have made to the capital over many decades.

The Weaver line

Liverpool Street to Cheshunt/Enfield Town/Chingford

James Gaselee

The Weaver line runs through Liverpool Street, Spitalfields, Bethnal Green and Hackney – areas of London known for their textile trade, shaped over the centuries by diverse migrant communities and individuals.

It will be maroon parallel lines on the map.   

James Gaselee, Clerk for Worshipful Company of Weavers, highlighted the historical significance, stating:

We are delighted that one of the newly named London Overground lines will be called the Weaver line in recognition of the silk weaving trade that was centred on Spitalfields; this is not however purely historic as the name of the line will also shine a light on the silk weaving, textile and fashion industries that continue to flourish in London and across the country.

The Suffragette line

Gospel Oak to Barking Riverside

Jemima Olchawski

The Suffragette line celebrates how the working-class movement in the East End, fought for votes for woman and paved the way for women’s rights. 

The line runs to Barking, home of the longest surviving Suffragette Annie Huggett, who died at 103.

It will be green parallel lines on the map.  

Jemima Olchawski, Chief Executive of the Fawcett Society, applauded the recognition of women’s rights, saying:

The naming of the Suffragette line is a wonderful way to pay tribute to the women who have gone before us and to inspire the next generation of feminist campaigners, as our work isn’t yet done!

The Liberty line

Romford to Upminster

Julie Frost

The Liberty line celebrates the freedom that is a defining feature of London and references the historical independence of the people of Havering, through which it runs. 

It will be grey parallel lines on the map.

Julie Frost, BID Director for Romford Business Improvement District, expressed local support, stating,

The Romford BID welcome the announcement that the Romford to Upminster branch line now has a new name; the Liberty line. This is a very fitting name as it speaks to our Borough’s centuries old status as a Royal Liberty. What better way to keep alive the spirit of this association than by renaming a key piece of our local transport infrastructure.

Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, hailed the transformation as a pivotal moment, simplifying navigation and celebrating London’s local history and culture. Commuters are encouraged to explore the unique stories behind each line, fostering a deeper connection with the city.

The rebranding process, led by creative agency DNCO, will involve updating the Tube map, the London Overground network map, and various on-network assets.

Careful consideration has been given to inclusivity, with validation and testing conducted to ensure the line colours are as accessible as possible, including those with visual impairments.

The entire rebranding process is expected to be completed by the end of the year, culminating in a refreshed and more user-friendly London Overground experience.

For information about travel around London, contact your Global Travel Management Account Manager.

Love is in the air: British Airways sweetens the skies for Valentine’s Day

British Airways is set to make this Valentine’s Day unforgettable for its passengers with a range of love-themed offerings, creating an enchanting atmosphere for travellers. From delightful inflight entertainment to exclusive city break offers, love will be in the air for all those flying with British Airways.

To celebrate the most romantic date of the year, British Airways Holidays has curated city break offers starting from £142 per person.

Destinations include the ever-romantic Paris, cultural Copenhagen, historic Dublin, picturesque Turin, charming Edinburgh, sunny Nice, magical Prague, stylish Stockholm, and the timeless Verona.

Valentine’s Day: British Airways making 14 February unforgettable

Regardless of whether the journey is short-haul or long-haul, every passenger departing from Heathrow and Gatwick on the 14th of February will be greeted with a complimentary heart-shaped chocolate upon boarding.

First and Club class passengers are in for an additional treat with exclusive Valentine’s themed desserts, such as the exquisite white chocolate mousse heart with passion fruit and mango for First class travellers.

For those seeking a touch of romance at 30,000 feet, British Airways has relaunched its ‘Love is in the air’ inflight entertainment category.

Passengers can enjoy classic rom-coms like Marry Me, Along Came Polly, and Music and Lyrics on long-haul flights.

However, for those not inclined towards Valentine’s Day, suspenseful options like Birds of Prey, Nocturnal Animals, and The Meg are available for a limited time.

British Airways lounges will also reflect the love-filled ambiance, offering heart-shaped gingerbread in the Heathrow Club and First lounges, complemented by fresh flower arrangements.

Rosé lovers can indulge in an exclusive wine tasting at the Whispering Angel bar in the Club Lounge at T5B from 12:00.

Travellers from the USA can experience the sweetness of Valentine’s Day in all British Airways lounges, including San Francisco, New York, and Boston, with a pink gin-based cocktail called ‘Strawberry Aviation.’

Short-haul travellers have the opportunity to elevate their journey with the High Life Café.

Customers can pre-order a Champagne and chocolate celebration set, or choose from a selection of Valentine’s gifts available at the High Life Shop, including Tom Ford’s Café Rose Eau du Parfum and Hot Diamonds’ ‘The Romantic Pendant.’

For those looking to book a romantic getaway, British Airways offers a special city break deal for travel in March 2024, available for booking between 12th and 19th February 2024.

As British Airways continues to make flying an extraordinary experience, passengers are encouraged to contact their Global Travel Account Manager for further details on these Valentine’s Day offerings.

Istanbul Airport unveils visionary plans for 2024: a year of transformative investments

iGA Istanbul Airport, a key global transfer hub, has set its sights on a groundbreaking “Year of Investments” in 2024, pledging a remarkable 656.5 million Euros in strategic developments.

Selahattin Bilgen, CEO at iGA Istanbul Airport, revealed these ambitious plans during the annual press conference, outlining the focus on passenger experience, infrastructure, and sustainability.

Selahattin Bilgen: Istanbul Airport CEO

In a bid to enhance its status as Europe’s Busiest Airport, iGA Istanbul Airport plans to cater to 85 million passengers in 2024, a 12.77% increase from the previous year.

Bilgen highlighted the intention to elevate the number of flights to 532,000, a testament to the airport’s continued growth and influence.

Bilgen underlined iGA’s commitment to its role as a global aviation leader by welcoming eleven new airlines by the end of 2024, bringing the total to an impressive 101.

This move solidifies iGA Istanbul Airport’s position among the top three airports globally in terms of served airline companies.

In a bid to optimise operations, iGA Istanbul Airport is set to implement Europe’s first triple parallel runway system in 2024.

Bilgen emphasised,

We will break new ground among ICAO member nations with our triple independent runway operations, targeting the highest efficiency and capacity.

Underscoring their dedication to sustainable practices, Bilgen announced an extensive investment plan for 2024, with a particular focus on renewable energy. Notably, iGA Istanbul Airport aims to become the world’s first airport to meet all its electricity needs through a 199.32 MWe unlicensed Solar Power Plant in Eskişehir, with an anticipated annual energy production of 340,446,833 kWh/year.

iGA Istanbul Airport’s cargo expansion is noteworthy, with a cargo area now three times the size of Hong Kong Airport’s. The collaboration with FedEx Express and Trendyol adds another dimension to their global reach, positioning iGA Istanbul Airport as a hub connecting Asia and Africa.

In line with its commitment to environmental responsibility, iGA Istanbul Airport is striving for ‘Net Zero CO2 Emissions’ by reducing emissions by 45% in six years.

Bilgen revealed plans to achieve a 73% emission reduction by 2040 and reach Net Zero Emissions by 2050, showcasing the airport’s dedication to sustainable practices.

Highlighting their success in the ACI Airports Carbon Accreditation program, Bilgen noted achievements such as a nearly 11% decrease in energy consumption, a 5% reduction in water footprint, and 35% waste recycling, reinforcing iGA Istanbul Airport’s commitment to environmental stewardship.

Closing the conference, Bilgen expressed confidence in the airport’s continuous improvement in passenger satisfaction. GfK Research Company reported a 89% appreciation rate in 2023, a figure expected to rise further with the completion of ongoing projects.

For further information about flights to, from and via iGA Istanbul Airport contact your Global Travel Account Manager.

Natalie Pawley clinches Travel Businesswoman of the Year 2024

Global Travel Management is thrilled to announce that Natalie Pawley, Director and Founder, has been awarded the title of Travel Businesswoman of the Year 2024.

This accolade, part of the nationwide Women in Business Awards 2023, recognises Natalie’s exceptional leadership and invaluable contributions to the business-to-business travel sector.

Natalie Pawley: Winner, Businesswoman of the Year; finalist, Leadership Award

Nominated by her Global Travel Management colleagues, Natalie emerged as a finalist in the “Leadership Award” category, ultimately securing the Travel Businesswoman of the Year 2024 honour.

The judging panel, comprised of business experts with diverse industry knowledge, commended Natalie’s outstanding leadership qualities.

Established in 1997 by Natalie, Global Travel Management has thrived under her guidance.

As the company’s first employee and Director, Natalie played a pivotal role in overcoming industry challenges, including navigating downturns post-9/11, Icelandic volcano disruptions, and the recent global business travel shutdown during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Natalie has been a driving force behind the creation of a groundbreaking carbon offset programme aimed at mitigating the environmental impact of business travel.

Her commitment to sustainability aligns with Global Travel Management’s dedication to responsible business practices.

Scott Pawley, GTM Managing Director and Natalie’s husband said,

We are immensely proud of Natalie’s achievement as Travel Businesswoman of the Year. Her resilience and strategic vision have been instrumental in steering Global Travel Management through challenging times

Expressing her gratitude, Natalie Pawley stated,

I am honoured to receive the Travel Businesswoman of the Year award. This recognition is a testament to the collective efforts of the entire Global Travel Management team and our commitment to innovation and sustainability in the travel industry.

The Women in Business Awards celebrate outstanding women leaders across the UK, with over 4,800 travel agencies qualified to be for recognised. Natalie’s win underscores her remarkable contributions to the travel industry and her commitment to excellence.