Week in Review: Travel Industry News

Woman waiting at airport
Travel News 08 Jun 2016

For week ending 3 June 2016.

There has been a lot of activity in the travel industry over the last coupe of weeks – so we have a supersized round up for you to read with the latest industry updates. You can catch up on the top stories below and search our news hub for more detailed updates. Read all Virgin Australia's plans to fly to Hong Kong and Beijing. United Airlines have unveiled their new business class offering "United Polaris" and find out which airlines are flying the latest A350 aircraft. All this and more in our weekly news round up brought to you by FCM Travel Solutions.

Cathay Pacific to fly the A350 to Auckland

Commencing 30 October, Cathay Pacific will launch daily Airbus A350 flights between Hong Kong and Auckland. Passengers will enjoy Cathay's latest inflight products including updated business class seats, all-new premium economy seats as well as free satellite TV plus inflight Wi-Fi available at $20USD for the entire 11 hours of the flight.

Virgin Australia plans to fly to Hong Kong and Beijing next year

As part of its new alliance with HNA Aviation Group, Virgin Australia plans to begin flights to Hong Kong and Beijing. Subject to approval from Australian and overseas regulators, Virgin would launch daily flights to both destinations from 1 June 2017.

New United "Polaris" business class

United Airlines has unveiled its new business class offering. Dubbed United Polaris, it will launch on international flights from 1 December. In the air, the suite-like pods feature 180-degree lie-flat seats and HD entertainment screens, a pullout table complete with tablet holder and charging points and coat and bag storage. Custom bedding has been designed by Saks Fifth Avenue and includes doonas, pillows and blankets. On the ground, United Polaris travellers will have access to nine United airport lounges that offer sleep pods, private daybeds, showers and hot meals. The first lounge opens at Chicago O'Hare on 1 December to coincide with the launch of the new business class product, with more lounges to follow in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Houston, Newark, Washington Dulles, Tokyo Narita, Hong Kong and London Heathrow airports.

Hyatt health focus

Hyatt hotels have teamed up with 'Be Well' by Dr Frank Lipman to offer healthy hospitality. Park Hyatt hotels in New York, Chicago and Washington DC will offer healthy refreshments on arrival, a wider range of fitness offerings and more nutritious menu options.

Malaysia Airlines to fly new Airbus A350 to London and across Asia

Malaysia Airlines will begin to replace their four double decker A380 fleet with the new fuel efficient Airbus A350. Starting in October 2017, MAS will fly the new Airbus A350 on routes to Long and across Asia.

Hong Kong adds ticket tax to fund airport expansion

Hong Kong's airport authority has announced that a new passenger fee will be introduced this summer, to fund the ongoing expansion of HKIA including the development of its third runway. The new Airport Construction Fee (ACF) will be applied to all outbound air tickets issued on or after 1 August 2016. The ACF will vary depending on the route and cabin class.

Langham Hospitality opens new property in China The Langham, Haikou

The new Langham, Haikou, is the 20th property for Langham Hospitality. Set in the Guomao district in Hainan province, it is a 30-minute drive to Haikou Meilan International Airport and Railway Station. The hotel offers 249 rooms and suites over 14 floors. All feature specially commissioned art pieces, plush textiles and are styled with creams and gold. Each room is equipped with the Langham signature Blissful bed, motorized drapes and separate rain showers. The hotel has Langham's signature Tang restaurant, Palm Court and a new all-day dining restaurant, function space covering over 1,564 square meters and their luxurious spa.

Rio visa waiver launch

From now until 18 September, select travellers can enter Brazil without a visa for a maximum number of days. The three and a half month visa waiver program, introduced for the Rio 2016 Olympics and Paralympics, is available to Australia, Canada, USA and Japan passport holders.

Hong Kong Airlines flying to Osaka Kansai

Starting 15 July 2016, Hong Kong Airlines will launch a daily service between Hong Kong and Kansai Airport in Osaka, Japan.

China's Capital Airlines flies to Australia

Commencing on 29 September 2016, the airline will operate 3 weekly flights from Shenyang, the capital of northeast China's Liaoning province, to Melbourne, via the port city of Qingdao, in eastern China's Shandong province. Flights will depart Shenyang's Taoxian International Airport every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday at 1525, arriving at Melbourne Airport at 0825 the next day. The return service will leave Melbourne on every Wednesday, Friday and Sunday at 1025 and get back into Shenyang at 2335. Capital Airlines will deploy its 211-seat Airbus A330 aircraft on the route.

Accor adds three Hotels in Nanchang

Accor Hotels has opened three new hotels in Nanchang, China. The 403-room Pullman Nanchang Wanda,481-roomNovotel Nanchang Wanda and 508-room Mercure Nanchang Wanda are all part of a single complex, Nanchang Wanda Cultural Tourism City, which also features four restaurants, three bars and 1310sqm of banqueting and meeting space.

Emirates launch seventh daily service to Bangkok

Emirates has announced its seventh daily service between Dubai and Bangkok starting from July 1st. The additional service, which will be operated by a Boeing 777-300ER aircraft, will help meet growing passenger demand, affirming Thailand's position as a popular destination for business and leisure.

It will make Bangkok one of the most served destinations on the Emirates network, on par with Kuwait and Doha.