Competitors have quickly signed up for contingents at a former Robinson Club, an accommodation portal is changing hands, and closer airline cooperation is in the air.
Schauinsland-Reisen and FTI have both secured capacity in the former Robinson Club on Crete at short notice for this summer. As reported on fvw.com last week, the owner of the five-star Kalimera Kriti on Crete cancelled the contract with TUI’s Robinson Club just weeks before the planned summer season opening on April 24 following a complex legal dispute. The popular 408-room resort will operate this summer as a Helios Hotel instead.
Schauinsland said it has secured contingents in the five-star resort for the summer season “as one of the first large German tour operators”. It highlighted the hotel’s extensive offering for active and family holidays, wellness centre and other features. FTI said it is offering the resort for holidays between April 24 and November 6. FTI’s product manager for Greece and Cyprus, Nicole Bethke, commented: “We’re delighted we can offer our customers a top resort like the Kalimera Kriti. We’re convinced that with such an ace we can further increase our current positive booking figures for Greece.”
DER Touristik’s Cologne-based package holiday unit is starting to take bookings for winter 2016/17. More than 500 hotels offered by its mainstream brand ITS and up-market brand Jahn Reisen can now be booked by German travel agents. The complete winter programme will be bookable from June 16 onwards.
Accommodation rental firm ‘@LeisureGroup’, which already owns the Belvilla and Casamundo portals, has expanded its portfolio with a majority stake in ‘Traum-Ferienwohnungen.de’ (‘Dream holiday apartments’), which offers up-market holiday homes. But the portal’s two founders and managing directors Nicolaj Armbrust and Sebastian Mastalka will continue to lead the business and to hold shares in the company. @LeisureGroup is 51% owned by leading German media group Axel Springer.
Tobias Wann, CEO @Leisure Group, said: “The two founders of “Traum-Ferienwohnungen” and their team have developed the company into one of the leading providers for vacation rental services in Germany. We are very impressed by this achievement and are looking forward to our future collaboration, by which we are able to complement our present offering in an ideal way.” Nicolaj Armbrust added: “We are very happy about being part of @Leisure Group from now on. Together, we can work on new opportunities for growth, on a national as well as an international level.”
Air Berlin and Alitalia are cooperating more closely by expanding their code-sharing to more than 1,400 weekly flights on 91 routes between Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Italy. The German airline will launch a new route with three daily flights from Düsseldorf to Bologna on May 2 and add capacity from Düsseldorf to Florence and Venice by increasing services to three a day. Overall, there will be a 25% increase in weekly nonstop flights to Italy.
Air Berlin CEO Stefan Pichler said: “This greater commercial collaboration with Alitalia should pave the way for increased competition and choice in the European aviation market which will greatly benefit the flying public.” Cramer Ball, Alitalia CEO, added: “Thanks to this strengthened cooperation, we will be able to offer more competitive fares, a wider choice of flights and better schedules to our passengers, with benefits for both free competition and consumer choice. Italy, Germany, Austria and Switzerland, already tied by strong economic relationship, will now be even closer.”