For week ending 12 August 2016.
Lots of activity around the world in the travel industry last week. In airline news, last week Virgin Australia launched their new fare types on 7 September while China Eastern plans to up services to Melbourne and Sydney. In hotel news, TFE hotels have announced plans for a new Adina Apartments in Macquarie Park while Hilton will open a new property in Edinburgh, Scotland overlooking the Royal Mile.
All this and more in our weekly news round-up brought to you by FCM Travel Solutions.
Emirates Asia expansion
Emirates has again expanded it network. The carrier has added a new daily linked service from Dubai to Yangon to Hanoi, operating on B777-300ER aircraft.
Cathay cuts Kuala Lumpur
Cathay Pacific plans to axe its Hong Kong-Kuala Lumpur in March next year. The four daily flights between the two cities will instead be operated by its regional subsidiary Dragonair.
Hilton Edinburgh Carlton
Hilton Hotels & Resorts has opened a new property in Scotland. The 211-room Hilton Edinburgh Carlton overlooks the Royal Mile and features a Marco Pierre White Steakhouse & Grill, a bar and lounge, a gym and meeting and event space for up to 200 guests.
Hilton Worldwide has opened a new property in Poland. The 189-room DoubleTree by Hilton Wroclaw is located in the heart of the city and features a restaurant and bar, a fitness centre and pool as well as flexible meeting space catering for up to 350 people. Another DoubleTree by Hilton-branded property is set to open in Lithuania in 2019, with construction on the 175-room DoubleTree by Hilton Vilnius City Center to begin this year.
Emirates boosts A380 services
Emirates plans to deploy an A380 on its Dubai-Guangzhou route. Flights EK362/363 will operate on a three-class superjumbo from 1 October. Meanwhile, the carrier will also deploy a third daily A380 on its Dubai-Manchester route from 1 January.
China Eastern Australia boost
China Eastern is boosting capacity on its Melbourne and Sydney routes. Over the 2016/17 Northern winter season, the carrier will operate thrice weekly B777-300ER services to Melbourne on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays as well as a fourth service on Sundays between 17 November and 17 February. Its Sydney route will operate the same aircraft on Thursdays.
New Jakarta terminal
Jakarta Soekarno-Hatta International Airport now has a new terminal. Initially servicing domestic Garuda flights, it will add overseas Garuda services in September and will see other airlines progressively move to the new hub, which should be fully operational by March next year.
Hilton US expansion
Hilton Worldwide has announced plans for a new Waldorf Astoria hotel in San Francisco. Located in the city’s new Transbay Center, the 171-room property will feature a choice of dining venues and a Waldorf spa when it opens in 2020 or 2021. The hotel group has also announced plans for a new east coast hotel in Miami. Expected to open in 2018, the 184-room Hilton Miami will feature a restaurant, wellness centre and a range of meeting spaces.
New Virgin Australia fare types
Virgin Australia will launch its new ‘Fares For You’ fare structure on 7 September. The changes apply across its domestic, short- and long-haul routes. All domestic fares include food, baggage and in-flight entertainment. Domestic and short-haul fare types range from the lowest priced ‘Getaway’ fare to an ‘Elevate’ fare offering some flexibility and a fully flexible ‘Freedom’ fare. Two new economy fare types on Trans-Tasman and short-haul international routes include ‘Go’ fares for those with only cabin baggage and ‘Go Plus’, for those with checked baggage. Premium economy fare options include ‘Premium Saver’ and ‘Premium’, which includes two pieces of checked baggage, while Business fares include a ‘Business Saver’ and fully flexible ‘Business’ fare.
Adina Macquarie Park
TFE Hotels plans to open a new-build Adina Apartment Hotel in Macquarie Park, northwest Sydney. Featuring 154 rooms, the hotel is currently under construction and due to open at the end of next year. Located 150 metres from Macquarie Park train station, amenities will include a swimming pool, gym and bar on the top floor.
Cathay credit card fee changes
As a result of regulatory changes made by the Reserve Bank of Australia, Cathay Pacific will switch from a fixed fee to a percentage-based fee for credit card payments on bookings made in Australia. From 1 September, the current fixed fee of $30 will be replaced by a 0.99% of total ticket cost fee for Visa and MasterCard holders. American Express and Diners Club cardholders will be charged a higher rate of 1.3%, with fees capped at $70.
Mercure Singapore Bugis
AccorHotels has opened a new hotel in Singapore. The 395-room Mercure Singapore Bugis is comprised of a mix of rooms, lofts and suites and features a restaurant and bar as well as 24-hour room service. It also boasts a rooftop Sky Deck, gym and swimming pool as well as meeting facilities with an outdoor terrace.