For week ending 5 August 2016.
In travel news last week, Uber merges with China rival Didi, Etihad brings the Dreamliner to Shanghai and Hyatt returns to Xian with a new luxury hotel.
All this and more in our weekly news round up brought to you by FCM Travel Solutions.
Tibet Airlines plans first European flights
The airline, which is backed by Air China, has applied to the Civil Administration of China (CAAC) for permission to launch a daily flight to the Russian resort destination of Sochi. Flights would operate from Sanya, the Chinese beach resort in Hainan province, via Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan province. Pending approval, daily flights could commence as early as November 2016.
Etihad flies Dreamliner to Shanghai
Etihad Airways has deployed the new Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft to Shanghai. The new aircraft, which is adorned in Etihad’s new livery, comes equipped with a total of 299 seats – 28 in business class and 271 in economy. The aircraft is also equipped with Wi-Fi and the flight times on the route remain unchanged. Shanghai becomes the seventh Dreamliner destination for Etihad.
Uber merges with Chinese rival Didi
Didi has agreed to acquire Uber’s Chinese business in a deal that could value the merged entity at US$35 billion.
As part of the deal, Uber’s global business will take a 5.89% stake in Didi, and Uber’s founder Travis Kalanick will sit on the Didi’s board of directors. In return, Didi’s founder Cheng Wei will take a seat on Uber’s board.
Ascott expands its portfolio in Hong Kong
Ascott has expanded in Hong Kong with the launch of two Citadines properties. The new Citadines Harbourview Hong Kong is located close to Sai Ying Pun MTR station. All 52 serviced apartments offer more than 92m² of space and overlook Victoria Harbour. Facilities include a 24-hour fitness centre and a rooftop terrace. The newly-rebranded Citadines Mercer Hong Kong meanwhile, is located in Sheung Wan and offers 55 apartments, a fitness centre, outdoor swimming pool and lounge.
Sichuan Airlines announces flights to New Zealand.
The carrier has applied to the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) for permission to launch direct services to Auckland.
Pending approval, the airlines hopes to operate three weekly flights as early as December 2016, using its two-class Airbus A330 aircraft.
EVA Air boosts Singapore route ahead of schedule
EVA Air has brought forward the date of its planned increase in services between Taipei and Singapore. They had initially intended to move to two daily flights on 10 October 2016, but due to what its calling overwhelming demand, this rise in frequency will now take place on 22 August. From that date, EVA will offer two daily departures on the route. Three of the 14 weekly flights will be operated using EVA’s Hello Kitty-themed aircraft.
Hyatt returns to Xian
Hyatt has returned to Xian with the launch of a new Hyatt Regency Hotel.
It is located in the city’s Qujiang district and offers 298 rooms and suites, ranging in size from 50 to 258m². Most rooms feature a private balcony overlooking Qujiang Lake, and some offer access to the Regency Club lounge. F&B offerings at the hotel include international and Chinese restaurants, plus a lakeside lounge and poolside bar. Other facilities include a spa with eight treatment rooms, a 176m² glass-walled fitness centre, yoga room and large heated indoor swimming pool. The Hyatt Regency Xian also features more than 4,000m² of function space, including the vast 1,220m² Regency Ballroom, the 405m² Regency Salon and a standalone Pavilion area containing nine meeting rooms set around a central atrium. There is also a lakeside wedding chapel.
China Express to launch first International flights
China Express Airlines will launch its first ever international flights later this year, revealing plans for several new routes including Guiyang-Hanoi, Hohhot-Ulaanbaatar and Beihai-Hong Kong. The airline commenced operations in 2006 and recently received an upgraded Air Operator’s Certificate, allowing it to expand its route map to Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan and international destinations. Currently China Express operates a fleet of Bombardier regional jets.