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On Monday morning, a Lion Air plane carrying 189 people crashed into the Java Sea near Jakarta, Indonesia, Express reports. Since then, investigators have found the plane’s landing gear, black box, and part of the aircraft, CNN notes. Officials are still trying to determine what went wrong leading up to the crash.
According to the NZ Herald, Brazilian airline Gol is ditching middle seats in premium economy on its new Boeing 737s, which will be used for non-stop flights from Brazil to the United States.
Citizens from the US, Canada, New Zealand, Australia and Japan will be able to use automatic ePassport gates at the UK border starting in 2019, Buying Business Travel notes. Travelers must have passports with the biometric symbol on the cover in order to qualify.
Air France is preparing to launch a new platform that enables travelers to resell their non-refundable tickets, Lonely Planet writes.
In acquisition news, Travel Weekly reports that Fattal Hotel Group has acquired the 173-room Grand Harbour Hotel in Southampton for £29 million.
Also on the acquisition front, Hyatt is planning on formally closing its acquisition of Two Roads Hospitality within the next two to three weeks, Skift writes.
Business travelers say loyalty matters in the hotel booking process, HospitalityNet writes. According to new research, nine in 10 business travelers view rewards points and perks as a motivating factor in selecting a hotel. The research also reveals that travelers are willing to share their information for a more personalized experience.
According to Skift, the Italian government is renewing attempts to sell bankrupt Alitalia. The flagship carrier has attracted bids from Delta and EasyJet, and it’s possible the airline will gain multiple owners.
Emirates is launching the world’s first biometric path at DXB, which will allow travelers check in, go through immigration, enter lounges and board flights simply by walking through the airport, Business Traveler reports.
Fees and surcharges at U.S. hotels are expected to hit an all-time high of $2.93 billion this year, marking an 8.5% increase from $2.7 billion in 2017, Business Traveler notes.
According to USA TODAY, Southwest Airlines will begin offering free in-flight movies for passengers to watch on their mobile devices.
Los Angeles has approved a $2 billion contract for a consolidated car rental facility near LAX, Los Angeles Business Journal reports. The project is expected to be completed in 2023.