For week ending 8 September 2017
Changi’s T4 opening soon
Changi Airport in Singapore is set to begin operations at its new Terminal 4. Effective from 31 October, the nine airlines that will fly from this terminal will slowly transfer to their new base of operations. These airlines include Cathay Pacific, Vietnam Airlines and Korean Air among others.
Virgin boosts Hong Kong
Virgin Australia plans to boost the frequency of its Melbourne-Hong Kong route. Effective from 12 November, the carrier will add two weekly flights between the city pairs, raising frequency to a daily service. Operating on A330s, the two new weekly services will fly on Fridays and Sundays, departing Melbourne at 12:40 and 11:30 respectively.
China Eastern boosts Brisbane
China Eastern Airlines is upping the frequency of its Shanghai-Brisbane route. Three additional weekly services will result in a daily operation from November this year.
Etihad loyalty program rejig
Etihad Airways is making changes to its frequent flyer program. From next month, the carrier will align all status tiers to have the same one-year validity period. Then, from January the Etihad Guest program will rejig the miles required for seat redemption on certain routes as well as increase the miles required for upgrades.
New Hyatt Regency for India
A new Hyatt hotel has opened in India. Located in the capital of the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, the 206-room Hyatt Regency Lucknow is positioned in the city’s corporate hub of Vibhuti Khand. The property features a choice of dining venues, a 24-hour fitness centre, swimming pool and spa as well as flexible meeting and event facilities.
United adds Sydney-Houston
United Airlines plans to introduce a new route between Sydney and Houston, USA early next year. Subject to regulatory approvals, the carrier will operate 3-class B787-9 Dreamliner aircraft on what will be its second longest route, which commences on 20 January. Travellers will have the choice of Polaris business class, Economy Plus or United Economy seating. The 17.5-hour flight will complement the airline’s existing services from Los Angeles and San Francisco.
New Sofitel for Singapore
AccorHotels is set to open its third Sofitel-branded hotel in Singapore. The 223-room Sofitel Singapore City Centre is located amid shop houses and skyscrapers in the heart of historic Tanjong Pagar. Just 20 minutes from Changi Airport, the property features several dining outlets, a SoFit gym, infinity swimming pool and 1,850sqm of meeting spaces across 10 flexible venues including a 600sqm ballroom. Guests also have access to a Handy Phone, which provides free local and international calls as well as free wi-fi. The hotel opens in October.
Ibis Styles USA
AccorHotels has debuted its ibis Styles brand in the USA. The 93-room ibis Styles New York Laguardia Airport offers budget accommodation less than half an hour from Manhattan. It offers a restaurant and bar as well as a shuttle service to the airport.
Sofitel expands in China
AccorHotels has opened a new Sofitel-branded hotel in China. Located in the south-western province of Guizhou, the 274-room Sofitel Guiyang Hunter is located in Guiyang’s CBD and is the tallest hotel in the city. The property boasts three restaurants, a bar, spa, swimming pool and fitness centre as well as 13 meeting rooms, with event capacity for up to 500 guests.
New Radisson Blu Vietnam
Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group has signed a management deal for new property in Vietnam. The 522-key Radisson Blu Resort Phu Quoc is set to open later this year. The new build resort will boast a convention centre and a 27-hole golf course among its attractions.
Japan direct daily from MEL
Japan Airlines has commenced direct flights between Melbourne and Tokyo’s Narita Airport. The new daily service operates on B787-9 Dreamliner aircraft.
BA Transfer Drive
British Airways is launching a new service at London’s Heathrow Airport. Dubbed Premium Transfer Drive, the service is for Business or First class travellers at risk of missing their connecting flight. Cabin crew will inform affected travellers that an airside car transfer will be waiting to take them directly to their next flight.