Week in Review: Travel Industry News

Airport Gate Lounge
Travel News 23 May 2016

For week ending 20 May 2016.

There was a lot of activity in the travel industry last week – you can catch up on the top stories below and search our news hub for more detailed updates. This weekly round up brought to you by FCM Travel Solutions.

Asian LCCs create world's first low-cost alliance

The eight LCCs – Cebu Pacific (including its Cebgo subsidiary), Jeju Air, Nok Air, NokScoot, Scoot, Tigerair Singapore, Tigerair Australia and Vanilla Air – will bring their networks together, enabling passengers to book flights from any of the airlines in a single transaction, directly from each carrier's own website.

This cooperation has been made possible by new technology developed by Air Black Box (ABB), which also allows passengers to book a range of ancillary services, such as seat and meal selection, extra baggage and other in-flight features, across a number of different airlines in a single itinerary.

Cathay Pacific to revamp Dragonair's G16 lounge at HKIA

Cathay Pacific's overhaul of its home ground lounge network will continue this year with a total makeover for the Dragonair G16 lounge. The lounge is getting an all-new look as well as a new name to reflect the rebranding of Dragonair to Cathay Dragon. The new G16 will also share the design of Cathay's newest lounges and will re-open in early June after extensive renovations.

Hilton opens first hotel in the historic city of Suzhou.

The new DoubleTree by Hilton Suzhou is located close to the China-Singapore Suzhou Industrial Park. It is 2.5km from Suzhou Park Railway Station, which provides connections to Shanghai's Hongqiao International Airport.

Designed by architect Hiroshi Miyakawa, who also was also responsible for Osaka's Kansai International Airport, the new DoubleTree offers 357 rooms and 181 one-, two- and three-bedroom suites, which come equipped with kitchens and separate living areas. Hotel facilities include three restaurants, a bar, spa, indoor pool, 24-hour fitness and business centre, as well as extensive meeting space including a 1,000m² ballroom.

New bag rules for Air China

Air China has reduced its long-haul economy class baggage allowance on most long-haul routes. Travellers are now entitled to just one piece of check-in luggage up to 23kg, down from two pieces. Passengers travelling to/from China as well as gold and silver Phoenix loyalty members will receive one extra bag.

ANA goes West

ANA has unveiled plans to launch two major new routes linking Tokyo Haneda Airport with the US. Having been awarded three new daytime departure slots at Haneda, the Japanese airline has confirmed that it will use two of these to connect to New York and Chicago – two of the three largest cities in the US. The new trans-Pacific services will commence at the start of 2016 winter schedules in late October.

Hilton allows you to choose your room view with the help of Google Maps

Guests staying at Hilton hotels now have the ability to choose their exact room, and what views they can expect, following the integration of Google Maps into the online booking process. Members of the Hilton HHonors loyalty programme using the HHonors app will now be offered more details about the hotel's surroundings and their room's potential view, before making a room selection. Members can select their room from 6am on the day of arrival and some hotels also allow guests to check-in automatically, using their smartphone as their room key.

KrisFlyer adds premium economy options

Members of Singapore Airlines' KrisFlyer frequent flyer program will be able to redeem miles for Premium Economy class travel from 24 May. Upgrades from economy to premium economy and premium economy to business will be available from 1 June

Start-up airline, Hongtu Airlines launches first flight

China's Hongtu Airlines embarked on its inaugural flight between Kunming and Nangchan. Based in Kunming, the airline, which uses the 'A6' code, will operate a fleet of 220-seat Airbus A321 aircraft on domestic routes from Kunming's Changshui International Airport. Following the start of flights to Nanchang, it plans to start flying to Zhengzhou, the capital of Henan province.