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The Scan – New TSA Pre-check airports, Greyhound goes Big Brother and more travel tech news

New TSA Pre-check airports, eRevMax expands, cameras go Greyhound, AirAsia lands in India and new jobs all make our shortlist in the Scan for February 22, 2013.

US airports get additional Pre-check lanes

In the US, the Transportation Security Administration has announced an additional 5 airports in the TSA Pre-Check program, bringing the total participating airports to 40. Qualified travelers leaving from Austin-Bergstrom International (AUS), Cleveland Hopkins International (CLE), Memphis International (MEM), Nashville International (BNA), and Raleigh-Durham International (RDU) will soon be able to benefit from the expedited screening process,which allows travelers to keep their shoes, belt and outerwear on, and leave laptops and liquids in their carry-on bags.

New hires and new markets

Orbitz has announced another change to the CFO position, marking the 4th change in less than 2 years. Michael O. Randolfi has been appointed the Company’s Chief Financial Officer, effective March 11, 2013. From the announcement:

Mr. Randolfi succeeds David Belmont, who has served as Interim Chief Financial Officer since January 8, 2013 and who will return to his position as group vice president, financial planning and analysis upon Mr. Randolfi’s start date.

Global domination in its sights as eRevMax expands into the Middle East, Africa, Latin American and Thailand. The RateTiger brand has recruited executives for each and other markets, including Hicham Diab (ME), Alex Moura (LAM), Patrick Eger (APAC), Clinton Du Toit (South Africa), Rose Adegite (Americas), Olivia Robinson (Americas) and Audley Sommers (London).

Cape Air appoints Linda Markham as President and Chief Administrative Officer effective March 18, 2013. Markham previously served as Executive VP and Chief Administrative Officer of Cape Air. The preceding President and COO, Dave Bushy announced retirement in January 2013.

Michael Kistner, former CEO of Pegasus joins as a Board Member of RezNext, a B2B distribution company for hotel rooms.

Precision Air, Tanzania’s airline has appointed Sauda Said Rajab as its new CEO. Ms Rajab will be the first woman executive to lead an airline in Tanzania.

American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA) appoints Zane Kerby as its new President and CEO. Kerby was previously with Global Business Travel Association (GBTA).

Partnerships lead to more technology, data and services for all

STAY WYSE and Hostelbench are buddying up for a data partnership for budget accommodation. STAY WYSE, the global association representing youth travel properties, will work with Hostelbench to provide members with performance tools such as occupancy, bed rate and RevPAB analysis.

Greyhound Lines has deployed video cameras across its entire fleet after a successful trial with millenial-targeted Bolt Bus.  In partnership with DriveCam, Inc., the cameras increase safety and driver compliance by combining data and video analytics with real-time driver feedback and coaching. The technology also helps reduce fuel consumption and increase profitability for the company.

FlightView has partnered with OAG Aviation, the market leader in aviation data and analysis, to offer comprehensive real-time flight status data for flights everywhere in the world. This technological linkup will increase the reliability of the flight information provided by FlightView, in addition to providing even more data points for airline, airport and travel technology partners. In addition to offering customers flight status information on the planes they operate, airlines can offer real-time information on flights flown by international partners.

Southeast Asia’s biggest low cost carrier AirAsia has announced plans to partner with Tata Sons Ltd to launch a new low cost carrier that will operate out of Chennai, India. After Etihad, AirAsia is the second foreign carrier venturing into India. In the new carrier, AirAsia will own 49 percent, Tata Sons Ltd will control 30 percent. AirAsia Group Chief Executive Officer Fernandes says,”We couldn’t have picked a better partner. We have a product which will have extremely low costs, have extremely low fares and will stimulate the market.”

This new LCC will compete with India’s biggest LCC Indigo (27% marketshare) and other players like Go Air, Spice Jet and JetKonnect. Also, Captain Gopinath, founder of Air Deccan (acquired by Kingfisher Airlines) has secured no objection certificate from the Indian government to launch a new LCC. Looks like 2013 will be the year of low cost carriers in the Indian air space.

GTA partners with Santika Indonesia Hotels & Resorts to offer 50+ accommodation options throughout the islands.

US-based hotel booking platform Getaroom has opted for Opscode, the cloud transition provider, to automate configuration management for 100 Amazon EC2 servers — moving away from a Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) provider.

In India, Hyderabad Metro Rail (HMR) will be introducing futuristic Near Field Communication technology (NFC) to transact train tickets.

Google has launched indoor maps for Android users, covering 22 shopping spots in Singapore. List of these 22 shopping centers here.

Beach.com, the online lifestyle resource for people who vacation or live by the beach, has selected Viator, Inc. as its preferred partner for tours and activities. Through Beach.com’s “Activities” tab, its users can access thousands of pre-screened tours and activities that meet high standards for quality and price in beach destinations around the world.

Numbers, awards and other miscellany

ARC, the financial settlement link between airlines and travel sellers, reported that airline tickets sold by U.S.-based travel agencies increased 4.77 percent YOY in the January 2013 compared to the same period last year, totalling $7.6 billion vs. $7.2 billion in 2012.

India’s leading metasearch and trip planning company iXiGo.com was awarded ‘Travel Site of the Year’ at the WATAwards 2013. iXiGo’s investors include Saif Partners and MakeMyTrip, the country’s biggest OTA.

Mumbai International Airport Limited, operator of Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport (CSIA), has signed a 10-year agreement with SITA to provide passenger handling technology that includes AirportConnect Open, a common use check-in and boarding along with self-service kiosks. Also, CSIA will get SITA’s baggage reconciliation system and the world’s first airport to get Airport iValidate – to process passengers at terminal entry points and prior to boarding.

Hong Kong-headquartered startup Appy Hotel says that, after launching six months ago, it has signed up 500 hotels worldwide, including franchisees of the Marriott and Starwood chains, for its app management service. The company makes it easy for individual properties to create mobile apps using content they already have.

Hotel.info has launched Price Calendar in its website that helps travellers to know hotel prices for several weeks in advance.

Have a fantastic weekend!

 
 
Karthick Prabu

About the Writer :: Karthick Prabu

Karthick is general manager for Tnooz in Asia, based in Bangalore.

He has previously worked for Port of Singapore Authority, SITA, TravelCLICK, Rezopia, Travelocity, MindTree and Happiest Minds Technologies.

Follow him on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and Google+.

 

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