Week in Review: Travel Industry News

business travellers on tarmac
Travel News 19 Jul 2016

For week ending 15 July 2016

It's that time of the year again, as Skytrax announced award winners for 2016 with Emirates taking the number one spot as World's Best Airline, read on for the rest of the top 10. Vietnam extends their visa free policy, Eva Air launches daily flights to Paris and United extend their direct services from Mainland China. Meanwhile in Tokyo, the Four Seasons have announced a second hotel and Fraser Suites will open a new hotel, both in 2020.

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

United begins flights to Hangzhou

Hangzhou, China, has become United Airlines’ fifth city in Mainland China and its 14th destination in the Asia/Pacific region from United’s premier West Coast gateway – San Francisco. San Francisco International Airport, United’s Asia/Pacific hub, offers more nonstop trans-Pacific service to and from the United States than any other carrier hub. United will operate the three-times-weekly nonstop flights with the Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner and compliment United’s existing services to Shanghai.

Four Seasons to add second luxury hotel in Tokyo

Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts and Mitsui Fudosan have announced plans for a new luxury hotel in Tokyo’s Otemachi business district. Part of a mixed-use development, the Hotel is set to open in the spring of 2020 with approximately 190 guest rooms, occupying the upper six floors of a 39-story office tower. The new Four Seasons Hotel in Otemachi, Tokyo will complement the Four Seasons Hotel Tokyo at Marunouchi.

Skytrax award winners

Emirates won ‘World’s Best Airline’ and ‘Best Inflight Entertainment’ at the 2016 Skytrax World Airline Awards. Fellow Gulf carrier Etihad Airways won ‘World’s Best First Class’, while Qatar Airways was voted ‘World’s Best Business Class’ and Asiana was awarded ‘World’s Best Economy Class’. Closer to home, Qantas was rated ‘Best Airline in Australia/Pacific’, ahead of Air New Zealand, Virgin Australia. The awards are as voted by air travellers.

Top 10 airlines 2016:
1. Emirates
2. Qatar Airways
3. Singapore Airlines
4. Cathay Pacific
5. ANA All Nippon Airways
6.Etihad Airways
7. Turkish Airlines
8. EVA Air
9. Qantas Airways
10. Lufthansa

Vietnam extends visa free policy

The Vietnamese Government has announced their decision to extend the visa exemption policy for British, French, German, Italian & Spanish citizens travelling to Vietnam. The visa exemption policy has been updated and the following changes now apply:

  • Single entry for up to 15 days
  • Eligible travellers can only enter Vietnam once in a 30-day period.

If you wish to enter Vietnam at least two consecutive times within 30 days, you will require a visa for the second trip.

W Hotel for Sydney

Sydney’s Darling Harbour will soon be home to a new luxury hotel. To be built on the site of the current IMAX building, it will feature a 25-storey building, housing a hotel, serviced apartments and retail and entertainment offerings. The hotel will operate under the luxury W Hotels & Resorts brand and will feature 402 rooms. The property is slated to open in 2019.

EVA Air launches daily service to Paris

EVA Air has announced an increased service on its Paris-Taipei route, which will now operate daily, non-stop flights from Monday 10 October.

Increasing from three-times-weekly, EVA Air will continue to operate its existing service with the Hello Kitty Hand-in-Hand Jet, introducing a livery Boeing 777-300ER for the additional four flights to the City of Light.

Hong Kong Airlines lands at Tokyo (Narita) for the first time

Hong Kong Airlines announced its first daily direct service to Narita Airport in Tokyo, Japan, last week. To mark the official launch of the route, Hong Kong Airlines held celebrations at both Hong Kong International Airport and Narita International Airport. 

CZ A330s Perth-bound

China Southern Airlines plans to switch aircraft on its Guangzhou-Perth route. Between 30 October this year and 25 March next year, the carrier will replace its current B787 Dreamliner service with a wide-body A330-200 aircraft.

SQ/UA codeshare

The US Department of Transportation has approved a US domestic codeshare between Singapore Airlines and United Airlines. This means that the SQ code will feature on a select UA routes departing Houston, including to Atlanta, Austin, Dallas Fort Worth, Fort Lauderdale, Miami, New Orleans, Orlando and Tampa. The change comes into effect from this month.

Shilla Stay announces new property in South Korea

Shilla Stay has announced the opening of a new property in Cheonan, South Korea. Shilla Stay Cheonan includes 309 guest rooms, three customisable meeting rooms, and a fitness centre. On the third floor is 'Café', a 120-seat restaurant providing buffet service for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Given its proximity to Seoul and access to Busan and Daegu, Cheonan serves as a central transportation hub.

New Hilton Hotel in Wuhan

New Hilton Wuhan Riverside hotel opens in China. The hotel offers 338 guest rooms, western and chinese restaurants, and lobby bar + executive lounge for HHonors Diamond members, fitness centre, indoor heated swimming pool and a 10 flexible meeting rooms and a pillar-less grand ballroom with space for up to 1,000 guests.

Fraser Suites Tokyo hotel planned for 2020

Frasers Hospitality will spread its wings into Tokyo, Japan with the opening of a Fraser Suites Tokyo property in time for the 2020 Summer Olympics.

Redeveloped from an existing four-storey commercial building, the hotel will ultimately span 23 storeys to host 223 unit-style serviced residences in studio and one-bedroom layouts, amidst the Minato-ku, Akasaka district.

Each will feature separate living, dining and bedroom areas with guests having access to a 24-hour fitness centre and a golf simulator, along with an alfresco dining restaurant with a beer garden and Fraser Hospitality's signature 'Retreat' zone in a tranquil setting.