Week in Review: Travel Industry News

Travellers on tarmac
Travel News 14 Sep 2016

For week ending 9 September 2016.

There is plenty of activity happening in the travel industry around the world as we move through September. In Airline news, American Airlines have commenced flying from Hong Kong to Los Angeles, Australia have announced changes to how status credits will be earned and many airlines have announced bans to in-flight charging of the Samsung phones. In Hotel news, Beijing will see a new Hotel Jen property open in early 2017 and IHG have opened a new InterContinental Hotel in Shanghai.

All this and more in our weekly news round-up brought to you by FCM Travel Solutions.

Cathay Pacific seals meal deal

Cathay Pacific is planning to introduce new in-flight meal options. Designed in collaboration with Hong-Kong based Chinese fine dining restaurant Mott 32, the new menu items will be offered to travellers in all classes on selected long-haul routes from Hong Kong, including Australia, Europe and North America. Meanwhile, the carrier is also upgrading its operations to Melbourne, with daily wi-fi enabled A350 flights from 1 February next year as well as switching to a B777- 300ER on the second of its three daily Melbourne services from 1 March.

Cathay Pacific, Qantas & Singapore Airlines Samsung charge ban

Qantas, Singapore Airlines & Cathay Pacific have all announced bans for in-flight charging of Samsung Galaxy Note 7 phones. The move is a safety measure following a global recall of the device, with fears that devices containing the faulty battery could catch fire on board.

Austrian Airlines’ launches new flights from Hong Kong

The airlines first direct flight from Vienna touched down at Hong Kong International Airport this week, marking the start of a new scheduled service that will operate five times a week. This becomes Austrian’s second new Far Eastern route of 2016, following the start of direct flights to Shanghai in April.

Austrian’s new flights will depart five times a week and operate a Boeing 777-200ER aircraft with a two-class capacity of more than 300 passengers.

New InterContinental Shanghai

InterContinental Hotel Group has opened its latest China property. The 536-room InterContinental Shanghai NECC is located in the heart of the city’s National Exhibition and Convention Centre and features a choice of dining venues and lounges and more than 2200sqm of flexible meeting and event space.

Hotel Jen Beijing

Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts plans to open a new Hotel Jen-branded property in Beijing. Set to open in January next year, the 450-room Hotel Jen Beijing will be part of the China World Trade Centre development in the city’s Chaoyang CBD. The property will feature a gastro pub, fitness centre, indoor swimming pool and meeting and event space for up to 300 guests.

American Airlines starts flying Hong Kong to Los Angeles

Commencing last week, American Airlines has launched a new daily flight from Hong Kong to Los Angeles. The flight will be operated by their flagship B777-300ER and is the second destination that AA serves for their Hong Kong network. The new service offers connections to more than 220 daily flights reaching over 70 destinations from Los Angeles Terminal 4.

Cathay A350 Gatwick-bound

Cathay Pacific has launched its new Hong Kong-London Gatwick route. The four-times weekly service will operate on the carrier’s new A350 aircraft, which features business, premium economy and economy class seating options.

China Eastern Airlines to launch to flights to Abu Dhabi

The carrier intends to operate three weekly flights from Shanghai to Abu Dhabi, with a stop in Kunming in both directions. If approved, the new route would commence in January 2017. The airline has also filed for permission to launch a new trans-Pacific flight linking Vancouver with Nanjing. The Nanjing service would also continue onwards to Kunming.

Cathay Pacific boosts North American routes

In March 2017, Cathay Pacific will raise the frequency of its Hong Kong-Boston route to daily flights, with the addition of three more weekly services. Cathay will also increase the number of Vancouver flights it offers from 14 to 17 per week. Cathay’s brand new Airbus A350 aircraft will operate the additional Vancouver flights.

New World Millennium Hong Kong Hotel revealed

The revamp of the New World Millennium Hong Kong is complete. The Hotel has unveiled its refurbished guestrooms, lounge and meeting facilities.

Most of the 464 guestrooms now feature contemporary décor. Each guestroom comes with a Handy smartphone that offers guests’ unlimited local and international calls to the USA, UK, Germany, Australia, Japan, Singapore and China, as well as 3G mobile internet access.

Korean Air enters into new agreement with Delta

The airline has expanded its alliance with Delta Air Lines, with an expansive new codeshare partnership covering more than 100 destinations in North and South America and 30+ cities across Asia.

Korean Air will place its ‘KE’ code on 156 of Delta’s including domestic and Canadian flights and services to Sao Paulo. In return, Delta will add its ‘DL’ code to Korean Air’s flights to 32 cities from Seoul’s Incheon International Airport. Korean Air will also codeshare on Delta’s new flight from Atlanta to Seoul, which is due to commence on 3 June 2017.

Starwood introduces two more brands to Singapore

Starwood launches its luxury collection in Singapore with The Duxton Club  and Hotel Vagabond. Set across multiple colonial buildings, The Duxton House features 50 rooms in eight adjoining three-storey buildings, plus a restaurant, bar and a cigar room. The Duxton Terrace is set in 14 adjoining three- and four-storey colonial-era buildings dating back to 1929. This part of the hotel will feature 138 rooms, five F&B outlets, a swimming pool and fitness centre.

The Duxton House will open in early 2017 while The Duxton Terrace is expected to launch next July.

Hotel Vagabond opened in January, and in October, will rebrand as a Triubute Portfolio Hotel. This property is a 41-room boutique property designed in an opulent Parisian style.