American Airlines and British Airways unveiled plans for a new alliance that would boost competition, deliver significant benefits for international air travellers, and move towards a level playing field with other global airline alliances. The companies will file applications for antitrust immunity in the United States and clearance for their proposals in Britain and with the European Commission.
Two Web sites, Net-Roamer and IJet, offer frequent travellers improved connectivity and fast mobile information while on the road. Both charge fees. Net-Roamer provides worldwide dial-up access to the Internet, regardless of a user's Internet service provider (ISP). It apparently allows users to access any of 12,000 other ISPs in 150 countries for a reasonable rate. IJet also offers information on 150 destinations which can be supplied on a designated itinerary. Its WorldcueTraveler service delivers personalised travel intelligence reports, travel alerts which are e-mailed to the user. This advice can be viewed and printed from a personal Worldcue Web page through any Internet browser worldwide. www.net-roamer.com  www.IJet.com 
Star Alliance partners Air Canada and All Nippon Airways (ANA) have expanded their network between Canada and Japan. Effective for travel from August 16, the two carriers are expanding services on a codeshare basis to include more transpacific flights between the countries, as well as connecting flights within Japan and trans-border flights between Canada and the United States. In response to growing demand for service between Japan and Canada, the partners are extending their existing codeshare agreement on Air Canada flights between Vancouver-Nagoya and Toronto-Tokyo, to all Air Canada-operated flights to Japan including Vancouver-Tokyo and Vancouver-Osaka flights. ANA's code will go on select Air Canada-operated flights from Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto and Winnipeg, to Chicago and Los Angeles. Air Canada will have up to 18 daily flights between Fukuoka, Sapporo, Okinawa and Kagoshima. www.ana.co.jp 
Marriott International will open the 18-storey, 405-room Courtyard by Marriott in San Francisco in October. The new San Francisco Downtown Courtyard, at 299 Second Street in the South of Market convention district, is steps away from the soon-to-be-expanded Moscone Convention Centre, with convenient access to Pacific Bell Park, Union Square and the Embarcadero. Rates are from US$159 per night. The hotel has unique architectural features, including a multi-storey atrium with garden terrace, exposed brick walls and moving sculptures. It also has 7,000 square feet of meeting space including two boardrooms, three conference suites and seven meeting rooms.
Cathay Pacific Airways has launched a new season of its 'Best Chinese Food in the Air' promotion, offering passengers dishes from some of Hong Kong's most famous Chinese restaurants. The new menu began this month with a selection of dishes from three acclaimed Southern Chinese restaurants - Chiuchow Garden, Shanghai Garden, and Jade Garden. More than 30 dishes will be served next to Cathay's traditional menus on most flights departing Hong Kong until the end of October. Each restaurant brings a different style of cuisine to the menu.
Hyatt hotels and resorts across the United States are grilling up hamburgers and pairing them with refreshing brews until September 30. About 87 hotels and resorts will offer eight unique burgers paired with five beers. Budweiser, Corona Light, Heineken, Samuel Adams Boston Lager and other regional beers will be featured. www.hyatt.com 
Korean Air Aerospace division has manufactured its 100th nose section for the Boeing 717 aircraft with a seat capacity of 100. The division is responsible for the entire process from design and manufacturing to certification. In 1998, Korean Air received the Resident Award from Boeing as the top supplier for the production of the 717. There are 24 firms from 12 countries involved in the production, and the award recognises Korean Air's quality work and reliability. www.koreanair.com 
New York site
Mandarin Oriental New York will open in 2003. Ground-breaking has begun for the luxury hotel, which is being developed on a site in the heart of Manhattan as part of the Columbus Circle project. The property is being designed as a unique and city-centre hotel with about 250 guest rooms and suites, all of which will feature breathtaking views overlooking Central Park. The hotel will also feature a full service spa and a 5,500-square foot ballroom.