US test airline missile defense systems — In an airplane hangar north of Fort Worth, technicians are preparing to mount a fire-hydrant-shaped device onto the belly of an American Airlines Boeing 767. It is an effort that could soon turn into a more than $10 billion project to install a high-tech missile defense system on the nation’s commercial planes. The Boeing 767 — the same type of plane that terrorists flew into the World Trade Center — is one of three planes that, by the end of this year, will be used to test the infrared laser-based systems designed to find and disable shoulder-fired missiles. (The New York Times)
Aloha! Hawaiian Airlines is back from the brink — Hawaiian Airlines’ bankruptcy was just beginning to unfold when Boeing Capital Corp. attorney Steve Hedberg stood before the court in early 2003 and said he would tell a story not even Hollywood would believe. More than two years later, the script’s final chapter will be written when the carrier emerges Wednesday from reorganization.
Online travel: all grown up? — Online companies feel compelled to point out that they are still – yes, still – growing faster than their offline counterparts, you know times have changed. Some online travel executives and a few of the remaining bullish securities analysts resorted to this line of reasoning last week, pointing out that Internet travel bookings in the first three months of this year grew about 20 percent in the United States from a year earlier, compared with about 4 percent for travel bookings over all. Wall Street’s response? Sell. (The New York Times)
Surprise! Orlando turns opulent — Cindy Nachman-Senders was duly impressed when she opened the door to her Ritz-Carlton suite. Inside, she found a 27-inch flat-screen TV, marble floors, and a private balcony overlooking a 4,000-square-foot pool. For dinner, the corporate meeting planner from Potomac, Md., supped on sea bass at Norman’s, the hotel’s “New World Cuisine” restaurant. She spent her spare time shopping for shoes at Neiman Marcus in the nearby Millennium Mall. “Orlando,” she decided, “has really grown up.” In a town where cheap motels have been the standard, the arrival of new luxury hotels and services is perhaps as significant as the opening of another major theme park. (US News & World Report)
A floating Four Seasons? Yes, and it’s a condo, too — A Miami-based development firm has joined forces with a luxury hotelier to create a seagoing condominium that will offer high-end units — and the prospect of luxury travel — to its residents. Ocean Development Group International Corp. recently started selling residences on the Four Seasons, a 42,500-ton ship that will offer 96 fully furnished units. (Sun-Sentinel)
In New York, the Wi-Fi on the bus goes on — The trip to New York City just got more productive for businesspeople who make frequent trips to the Big Apple. Beginning today, commuters have a choice of two buses heading from Albany International Airport and the Pepsi Arena to Penn Station, and JFK and LaGuardia airports, and they can remain online while they’re on the road. (MSNBC)