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Meet Hawai‘i
to exhibit at IMEX for the first time.
business intelligence
Passenger volumes at Helsinki Airport
increasing faster than at other Nordic main airports.
business intelligence
Meet in Reykjavík signs a partnership agreement with the University of Iceland,
Reykjavík University and the Iceland University of the Arts.

Munich Airport
reports record net annual profit of €155 million for 2017.
business intelligence
Prague:
Multifunctional Congress and Cultural Centre O2 universum is being built.
business intelligence
Dubai immigration process
to be cut to just 10 seconds.
business
Forenom acquires Apartment HS
– becomes Sweden’s leading serviced apartment provider.
Business intelligence
New education offering insight and inspiration for all
- legacy, security and equality among hot topics at IMEX in Frankfurt.
meetings means business
danubeSAIL
set to become a new landmark in the Austrian capital.

The 2018 Skytrax World Airport Awards:
Helsinki Airport is the Best Airport in Northern Europe.
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Meet Hawai‘i to exhibit at IMEX for the first time

Meet Hawai‘i, Hawai‘i Tourism Authority (HTA), MICE brand will be exhibiting at IMEX, Frankfurt from 15-17 May 2018 for the first time. Meet Hawai‘i will be exhibiting alongside partners including Hawai‘i Convention Centre, MC&A, Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikīkī Beach Resort and Hilton Waikoloa Village, as part of its ongoing strategy to becoming a leader within the MICE marketplace.

Located at stand number C250, Meet Hawai‘i and its partners will be available to offer insight into Hawai‘i’s meeting, incentives, conferences and exhibition offerings, help plan and book high-level incentives, meetings and association conferences, whilst also looking to reinforce existing relationships and generate new contacts.

AlohaConnects, an exclusive Meet Hawai‘i marketing and sales initiative has been designed to put Hawai‘i on the world stage as a competitive destination for world congresses and international conferences. Their aim is to emphasise Hawai‘i’s strategic location, relevant industries and HTA’s extensive activities in the business events space.

Pris Texeira, Hawai‘i Tourism Global MCI’s Managing Director, said: “Meet Hawai‘i is thrilled to be exhibiting at IMEX Frankfurt for the first time. We look forward to showcasing Hawai‘i as a leading destination for hosting world-class meetings and conventions, liaising with global decision makers in the MICE sector and forging new relationships.”

Hawai‘i has celebrated a recent spate of successes. The destination has been selected to host the Association for Computing Machinery in 2020, including over 3,000 computing educators, researchers and professionals visiting Hawai‘i.

Furthermore, Honolulu hosted the leaders from 21 APEC economies for the 2011 APEC Leaders Week and in 2010 Hawai‘i also hosted 8,000 attendees for IUCN’s World Conservation Congress. Additionally, Hawai‘i will be hosting Rotary International in 2020 with over 10,000 attendees. This demonstrates Hawai‘i’s standing as a major contender in the MICE sector.

IMEX is Europes leading trade exhibition for meetings, conventions, events and incentive travel. For further information about Hawai‘i, please visit https://www.meethawaii.com/.

 

Passenger volumes at Helsinki Airport increasing faster than at other Nordic main airports

IN MARCH, the growth of passenger traffic at the main Nordic airports was the fastest at Helsinki Airport for the eleventh consecutive month. The increase in passenger volumes also continues at other Finnish airports. In the first quarter of 2018, Finavia’s airports were visited by a little over 5.9 million passengers.

“We carry out a monthly comparison of the growth rate of Helsinki Airport’s international passenger traffic to the reported growth of passenger volumes at other main airports in Northern Europe. In a long-term comparison, we surpassed Oslo in Norway and Copenhagen in Denmark in October 2017. Now, in March 2018, we also overtook Arlanda in Sweden,” says Joni Sundelin, Airport Director of Helsinki Airport.

Sundelin’s responsibilities include Finavia’s route development, and he understands the competitive setting in the international airport business. Getting new airlines, opening new routes and taking larger aircrafts into use require plenty of work. The prize for the winners will be growth in passenger volumes and a quicker growth rate compared to competitors.

 

Helsinki Airport expects the milestone of 20 million annual passengers

In the first quarter of the year, Helsinki Airport was visited by almost 4.7 million passengers. The growth from the previous year was 12.3 per cent. International air traffic at Helsinki Airport included almost 3.8 million passengers, which is 13.0 per cent more than the previous year. Significant growth came from several European and long-haul destinations. The actual passenger numbers grew the most from Qatar, Spain and the Netherlands. Most passengers arrived at Helsinki Airport from Spain, Germany and Sweden. The number of passengers on domestic flights increased by 9.5 per cent.

“If the development of passenger volumes continues as in the first quarter of the year, we will reach the milestone of 20 million passengers this year. The key is to keep up the good work with our customer satisfaction and customer experience development when we at the same time are getting ready to serve over 30 million annual passengers, says Sundelin, and refers to Finavia’s ongoing EUR 900 million development programme at Helsinki Airport.

In 2017, Helsinki Airport was visited by a total of 18.9 million passengers. Read more how the expansion of Helsinki Airport will affect passengers in the next few years.

 

Lapland continues to enthrall – Rovaniemi has been catching up to Oulu this year

Finavia administrates 21 airports in Finland. Almost all of these airports experienced an increase in passenger volumes in the first quarter of the year compared with the same period in 2017. In addition to Helsinki Airport, Finavia was especially happy with the growth of the airports in Northern Finland and Lapland.

“The difference in the number of passengers between the second and third largest airports in Oulu and Rovaniemi was only a little over 50,000 passenger in the first quarter of the year. Passenger volumes grew at both airports but the official airport of Santa Claus in Rovaniemi experienced a significantly quicker growth than Oulu Airport,” says Sundelin.

Finavia classifies the Lapland airports in order of passenger volumes as follows: Rovaniemi, Kittilä, Ivalo, Kuusamo, Kemi-Tornio and Enontekiö. The lure of Lapland – that has been covered widely in international media – reflects also in the number of air passengers. In the first quarter of the year, the growth in Kittilä, for instance, was more than a tenth more compared to the corresponding period of last year, in Ivalo more than a quarter and in Kuusamo more than a third.

Every month, Finavia publishes the passenger statistics of its airports on its website.

Meet in Reykjavík signs a partnership agreement with the Universities of Iceland,

On 9 April, an agreement was signed between Meet in Reykjavík and the University of Iceland (HÍ), Reykjavík University (HR) and the Iceland University of the Arts (LHÍ). The object of the agreement is to increase the number of international academic meetings and conferences held by universities in Iceland.

The rectors of the three universities, Jón Atli Benediktsson from HÍ, Ari Kristinn Jónsson from HR and Fríða Björk Ingvarsdóttir from LHÍ, signed the agreement together with Þorsteinn Örn Gunnarsson, the Managing Director of Meet in Reykjavík and Dagur B Eggertsson, the Mayor of Reykjavík.

Meet in Reykjavík will assist the staff of the universities and their collaborators in preparations, information collection and contract preparations for international meetings and conferences, involving the universities in some respect. In addition, Meet in Reykjavík will provide information and hold presentations on the meeting and conference facilities of the universities for international associations and organisers of meetings and conferences.

Þorsteinn Örn Guðmundsson, the Managing Director of Meet in Reykjavík says that the agreement is an important step in strengthening Reykjavík as an international conference destination. "We have had good relations with the universities in recent years and are interested in expanding on our collaboration and making greater efforts to seek suitable projects for the destination and the university community here in Iceland."

Dagur B Eggertsson, the Mayor of Reykjavík, says that a dynamic meeting and conference service supports the goals of the city to provide a diverse and vibrant trade sector. "We wish to develop the city as a higher education city and as a knowledge based community. An environment where enterprises are given excellent opportunities to grow and prosper. One can say, therefore, that many objectives coalesce in the agreement that has now been signed."

Discussions following the signing of the agreement revealed that Iceland has been focusing on formulating policies on issues pertaining to equal rights, geothermal energy and the Arctic region. This, for example, has resulted in increased interest in holding meetings and conferences on these matters here in Iceland. Iceland is fully able to play an important part in a range of other issues and the agreement is a step toward such a role. Academic conferences are a significant way to attract attention to the research work carried out by the universities, strengthen their reputation and form relationships with overseas academics. In addition, academic conferences play an important part in determining the order in which universities are placed in international comparison lists.

 

Munich Airport reports record net annual profit of €155 million for 2017

With consolidated earnings after taxes at around €155 million, Munich Airport achieved the best result in its history in 2017. The Group again achieved a year-on-year increase of €100 million in annual revenues to around €1.5 billion – hanks in large part to a substantial 5.5 percent rise in total passengers to 44.6 million. The airports strong economic performance also paid off for the neighboring communities, which will again take in business tax revenues of €35 million.

In view of the record figures, Dr. Michael Kerkloh, the President and CEO of Munich Airport, is confident that the company is well prepared for the challenges that lie ahead: "This ensures that Munich Airport will be able to make the necessary investments to handle its future tasks with its own financial resources." Kerklohs outlook at todays annual press conference in Munich: "All the signs point to a continuation of our very satisfactory performance, so that we fully expect to report earnings at around the same level for 2018."

A look at the current traffic trends in the recently launched summer timetable period confirms this assessment. With five Lufthansa Airbus A 380 aircraft now stationed in Munich, the Bavarian hub has become just the fourth European airport – after London, Paris and Frankfurt – to serve as a home base for the worlds largest passenger aircraft. Lufthansa will operate daily services to Los Angeles, Hong Kong and Beijing with the superjumbo. In addition, the German carrier has added four plans from the Airbus A320 to its Munich fleet for medium-haul flights. This has further improved the connectivity of the Munich hub.

Another important component enhancing Munich Airports hub status is the upgrade of the Lufthansa fleet with modern Airbus A350 long-haul jets. The airline has already eight of a total of 15 of these widebody jets in service. The Munich Airport 2108 summer timetable includes a more extensive range of intercontinental flights and destinations than ever before. CEO Kerkloh called this "a further step in solidifying Munich Airports hub function." He added: "The new long-haul services have greatly strengthened our airports global network. Munich is becoming more and more attractive as a springboard for travel to other continents."

The Lufthansa subsidiary Eurowings is also helping to maintain the momentum of this trend: From the beginning of next week, Eurowings will be launching new long-haul services to and from Munich. The airline will offer scheduled services from Munich to 15 intercontinental destinations – including such holiday hotspots as Cancun, Fort Myers, Mauritius, Montego Bay and Las Vegas. As a result, travellers will have the option of flying with low-cost airlines on long-haul routes for the first time. Thanks to Eurowings, the share of low-cost carriers in total traffic in Munich is expected to increase to around 11 percent in 2018.

Multifunctional Congress and Cultural Centre O2 universum is being built in Prague

New multifunctional and congress centre is being built in Prague. Bestsport company which owns and operates the O2 arena will construct a complex in so-called “small arena.” The centre will be named O2 universum. The construction budget is about 1.2 billion CZK.

“The O2 arena has proved the ability to host successfully the world’s greatest musical or sporting events, however we have been aware for a long time that there is an extensive space in the building that is not being used efficiently,” says Robert Schaffer, the chairman of board and CEO of Bestsport company and O2 arena. “In addition we have perceived the interests of promoters and organizers who wanted to place attractive events into arena but there was a question about appropriate space. In the second half of the year 2015 the first serious reflection about rebuilding has come to our minds and we have decided to complete the ‘small arena.’”

The multifunctional centre is being built in the space of so-called “small arena” which was built at the same time as the O2 arena – from 2003 to 2004. The intention was to have a training area next to the O2 arena, originally designated as the second area for the 2004 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championships. There had to be established other areas for sport and commercial use. However, at the time of construction of the O2 arena, the completion of the “small arena” was stopped and the space was used only for storage purposes.

The new complex which is directly linked to the O2 arena from the south has four floors and total area of almost 50 000 m2. “Small arena” will have 21 halls of different sizes at disposal in total capacity of 10 000 visitors. The largest hall with a capacity of up to 4.5 thousand people will be used as a space for organizing medium-sized concerts and sporting events. On every floor of the complex there will be created 13 000 m2 for exhibitions and commercial use.

O2 universum should serve as a modern centre especially for organizing large international congresses and corporate events. “Our main goal is to bring together congress events that have not been in Prague before – either because of the number of participants or due to the requirements for exhibition area associated with the congress. The aim is to host corporate events, Christmas parties, but of course there will be cultural events or concerts for which the O2 arena is too large,” explains Marek Chmátal, business development director who is responsible for corporate events and congresses.

“O2 universum will be the place for international congresses which has not existed in the Czech Republic before. Thanks to the possibility of linking the newly completed complex with existing O2 arena on all four planned floors, we have a space for up to 28 thousand visitors with plenty of exhibition space, restaurant of all categories and almost unlimited possibilities for any client’s wishes,” adds Schaffer.

The new congress centre O2 universum has been designed by ATIP company (architects Martin and Vladimír Vokatý) as well as the O2 arena. The architectural design has been developing more than a year and half, partly it was determined by the existing building and finally it follows the original perimeter walls. The reconstruction of the building has begun in October 2017. Currently most of the demolition works are done and design goes into the construction phase.

The multifunctional complex is named O2 universum. “The name ‘universum’ perfectly reflects the essence and main characteristics of the object – we offer both clients and visitors universal space and seemingly unlimited, compact, yet very extensive,” explains Schaffer. The opening of the O2 universum is scheduled for the summer 2019.

Bestsport, the operator of O2 arena – one of the most modern multifunctional halls in Europe with the capacity up to 20 thousand seats – is a member of the PPF group. It invests in a range of industries from banking, financial services over telecommunications, biotechnologies, insurances, real estates to agriculture. PPF operates in Europe, Russia, Asia and North America. The group owns assets exceed of 27 billion euro (to 31 December 2016).

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Facts

O2 universum

13 000 m2 of commercial space

10 000 people

3 halls with a capacity of more than 1000 people

14-21 halls in total (according to configuration)

Halls and capacities

Hall A 4500 seats 1800 m2 area

Halls B 1, 2, 3 1830 seats 1400 m2 area

Halls C 1, 2, 3 1140 seats 1000 m2 area

Halls D 1, 2, 3 340 seats

Halls D 5, 6 340 seats

Halls D 7, 8 210 seats

Halls D 9, 10 340 seats

Halls D 11, 12, 13 340 seats

Halls E 1, 2 960 seats

2019 opening year

O2 arena

2004 opening year

5400 m2 area

20 000 capacity for concerts

17 400 capacity for sporting venues

15 000 capacity for corporate events (seating on site)

90 - 120 venues per year

3500 seats in 10 restaurants

700 000 - 1 000 000 annual attendance

Hotel

Hotel ****, capacity 300 rooms

Hotel connected with O2 arena

2020 – planned opening year

Parking

Parking Arena, capacity 1400 cars

Parking Harfa, capacity 1600 cars

Dubai immigration process to be cut to just 10 seconds

Senior official says new Smart Gate system has undergone testing and will go live next month, writes Arabian Business AM newsletter this morning. Dubai is soon to launch the "Smart Gate", a quicker alternative to the standard manual passport control counters and e-gates across the emirates airports.

Major General Mohammed Ahmed Al Marri, director-general of the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs-Dubai (GDRFA-Dubai) said that the new gate will enable each passenger to pass through immigration "within only 10 seconds".

The announcement came as part of the initiatives unveiled by the department at Dubai International Government Achievements Exhibition.

"The new system successfully underwent the experimental stage and we are planning to put it into action by the end of this May," Al Marri said.

Unlike the e-gate, which requires an e-gate card, the smart gate does not require a dedicated card. It can identify a traveller by either their passport, Emirates ID, e-gate card or QR barcode generated via the GDRFA smartphone app.

"It is seven seconds faster than the e-gate when processing a passengers credentials and provide the quickest way through passport control," he said.

The e-gates across the immigration checkpoints served more than 6,500 million inbound passengers from January to March 2018 and more than 6,800 outbound passengers during the same period, more than 13,500 million in total, he added.