Week in Review: Travel Industry News

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Travel News 18 May 2016

For week ending 13 May 2016.

In the week that was Qatar Airways announced that their A380 product would be China bound later this year. Hong Kong Airlines announces new NZ route and British Airways announced their new in-flight Internet service.

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

Cathay to re-open its flagship The Pier Business Class Lounge in Hong Kong

After almost a yearlong make over, Cathay will re-open the new look The Pier Business Lounge this month. The Pier will adopt a similar design to the recently refreshed The Wing First Class Lounge and will be divided into several spaces to approximate the concept of rooms. Features include a new concept called The Teahouse, along with a sitting room and relaxation room. The Noodle bar returns and for the solo traveller the solo seats are noticeably more spacious, plushly padded and more comfortable. Re-opening before the end of May Cathay Pacific business class passengers, Marco Polo Gold and Silver cardholders and their Oneworld Sapphire equivalents will be able to enjoy the new facilities.

Accor Hotels has expanded its luxury portfolio in China with the launch of the highest hotel in Kunming

The new 400-room Sofitel Kunming occupies the 27th to 52nd floors of a new tower in the centre of the city and features a 49th floor restaurant with 360-degree views of the city. One level above on the 50th floor is the Parisian Voyage Bar, and an open-air rooftop Sky Garden overlooks the mountains and lakes that surround the city.

Hong Kong Airlines to launch direct flights to New Zealand

Hong Kong Airlines has announced plans to launch daily direct flights between Hong Kong and Auckland. Commencing on 10 November 2016, the carrier will deploy its 283-seat, two-class Airbus A330-200 aircraft on the new route.

Qatar Airways reveals first A380 destination in China

Qatar Airways plans to upgrade its daily Guangzhou-Doha service to an A380. Commencing on 1 July, the carrier will replace the B777-300ERs currently operating the route with the A380 superjumbo.

United launches new direct service launched between San Francisco and Xian

Commencing on 8 May, United will now operate the route three times a week with services departing San Francisco every Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday at 1325 and arriving at Xian's Xianyang International Airport at 1730 the following day. The return flights will then leave Xian every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday at 0930 and arrive back in San Francisco at 0635 the same day.

Raffles Hotels & Resorts China expansion

Scheduled to open in 2020, Raffles plans to bring its brand of Asian luxury to Suzhou. The Raffles Suzhou will be a brand new 150-room hotel located in the Suzhou New District Hi-Tech Industrial Development Zone (SND). The new hotel will offer five food & beverage venues, including the brand's signature Writer's Bar and Long Bar, plus a Raffles Spa and more than 1,400m² of function space.

British Airways to launch in-flight Internet

British Airways will bring high-speed inflight Internet to its long-distance international flights from and will debut on one of BA's refreshed Boeing 747-400 jumbo jets in early 2017. BA expects that passengers will experience in-flight internet speed like they would sitting at home. Over a hundred BA jets will be upgraded to inflight Internet and it's expected that a two-tier pricing scheme will be rolled out.

China Eastern to begin daily direct flights between Shanghai and Brisbane

After a successful thrice-weekly summer service across January/February, China Easter will begin a daily direct service between Shanghai and Brisbane. The new service will begin on 16 December 2016. The daily service will be operating the carrier's latest Airbus A330 'A33E' and depart Brisbane at 11.45am to reach Shanghai's Pudong International Airport around 7pm, with an overnight return leg arriving into Brisbane at 9.45am.