For week ending 23Sep 2016
September is coming to a close and we are all talking about the new mega hotel group, Marriott Starwood. More airlines have announced new international routes from China and Hong Kong airlines adds Seoul to its network.
All this and more in our weekly news round-up brought to you by FCM Travel Solutions.
Marriott completes Starwood Hotel’s acquisition
Marriott & Starwood hotels have overcome the final hurdle, receiving regulatory approval from the Chinese Ministry of Commerce for their merger, to create the world’s largest hotel company. Following the US$13.6 billion cash and stock deal, the merged company will now have a combined collection of more than 5,700 properties and 1.1 million rooms, covering 30 brands in more than 110 countries. The deal has also doubled Marriott’s combined portfolio in Asia, the Middle East and Africa.
Xiamen Airlines takes off to Seattle
Xiamen Airlines’ inaugural flight to Seattle takes off today, marking two milestones in the development of air connectivity between China and the US. This is Xiamen Airlines’ first ever flight to the US and it is also the first flight operating direct to the US from Shenzhen. The airline will operate three weekly flights on the new Xiamen-Shenzhen-Seattle route, using its Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft.
Air Canada to launch first flights between the Montreal and China
Starting in February 2017, Air Canada will launch its first ever direct flights from Montreal to Shanghai. The route will be operated using Air Canada’s brand new Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft, which features the airlines latest cabin products including flat-bed seats in business class and a premium economy cabin.
British Airways to launch First Wing at Heathrow T5
Effective from Apr 2017, the First Wing will be opened at Heathrow T5 which will be located next to the existing First check-in at the terminal.
This is to be designed to improve Fast Track entry and to speed up the journey for all customers in Terminal 5.
First passengers, Gold Executive Club customers and Oneworld Emerald members are entitled to use the First Wing.
Lufthansa and Air China expand code share agreement
Lufthansa and Air China have announced a new commercial joint venture that is scheduled to commence at the start of the 2017 summer flight timetable. Under the Joint Venture framework, both airlines will further expand their network coverage in China and Europe, and enhance flight connections and optimize flight schedules for passengers. The agreement extends to the Lufthansa subsidiaries Austrian Airlines and Swiss International Air Lines.
Guangzhou Baiyun airport starts Female-only Entry Channel
Commencing on 19Sep 2016, Guangzhou Baiyun airport started its Female-only entry channel, which is located in the 5th channel in A area China domestic, the 7th channel in A area International, the 14th channel in B area China domestic. The dedicated channel is estimated to allows passengers a 15% time saving when passing through customs.
Air China to close its boarding gate earlier at Beijing Capital International Airport
Air China will close its boarding gates 15 minutes prior to the departure, 5-minute earlier than before. The new timing will be effective from 28Sep, 2016.
Hong Kong and Seoul, a new choice from Hong Kong Airlines
Commencing on 16 December, Hong Kong Airlines will offer daily direct flights between HKIA and Seoul’s Incheon International Airport with its twin-aisle A330 aircraft.
Jinan South welcomes the first international hotel
The Hilton Jinan South Hotel & Residences announced the launch of its new full-service residence. Travelers staying in an executive room will be offered complimentary breakfast, afternoon tea and happy hour canapés and cocktails. Jinan is located in the Shandong provincial capital, a destination both leisure and business guests are traveling.
Singapore Airlines’ new Capital Express is here to stay for Canberra-Wellington
The Capital Express service is serving between Singapore, Canberra and Wellington. The new route developed to enhance business traveler’s experience, whom are able to book the entire 13 hour journey or just the Singapore-Canberra or Canberra- Wellington legs.