For week ending 6 January 2017
We hope that our travellers and colleagues enjoyed the Christmas and New Year break. Last week was another big week full of travel industry news which you can read about below. Top stories include new hotel openings in China, Hong Kong and Hanoi, changes to aircraft on the Dubai - Perth route and a sneak preview of Qatar's new First and Business Class sleepwear.
All this and more in our weekly news round-up brought to you by FCM Travel Solutions.
Emirates aircraft rejig for Perth
Emirates plans to switch aircraft on some services on its Dubai-Perth route. Effective from 26 March, the carrier will replace the current A380 aircraft with a B777 on flights EK424/5. Flights EK420/1 will continue to operate on the A380 superjumbo.
Hilton opens in Ningbo, China
The 264-room Hilton Garden Inn Ningbo is now open. Located in China’s Zhejiang province, the property features a restaurant, fitness centre, 24-hour business centre and a range of meeting and event spaces catering for up to 220 people.
Kerry Hong Kong
The Kerry Hotel Hong Kong is set to open in April this year. Located on the waterfront of Hung Hom Bay, the 546-room hotel and features a choice of dining venues, a bar, 24-hour gym and 25-metre swimming pool as well as meeting and event spaces for up to 640 guests.
Kazakhstan lifts visa requirements
Travellers from the EU, OECD countries, including Australia, the UAE and Singapore can now enter Kazakhstan for up to 30 days without a visa. In December, neighbouring Uzbekistan announced a similar visa-free period for 15 countries, including Australia.
Qatar introduces new sleepwear
Qatar Airways have partnered with The White Company to provide new luxury sleepwear for its First and Business class travellers. The 100% cotton men’s and women’s pyjamas come with matching cotton slippers. Already available in first class on board A380 flights to London, Bangkok, Paris, Sydney and Guangzhou, the new sleepwear will be offered in business class early this year.
Cathay/Air Canada codeshare expansion
Cathay Pacific and Air Canada have expanded their codeshare partnership. Effective from 19 January, Cathay Pacific flights from Hong Kong to Vancouver and Toronto will connect with Air Canada services to Winnipeg, Victoria, Ottawa, Montreal, Quebec and more. Meanwhile, Air Canada services from Vancouver and Toronto to Hong Kong will connect with Cathay Pacific’s Asia network including Manila, Kuala Lumpur and Bangkok. Travellers will also be eligible for reciprocal frequent flyer benefits.
Hilton Hanoi on the cards
Hilton Worldwide has signed a management agreement for a new hotel in Vietnam. Scheduled to open in 2020, the 610-room property in Hanoi will be dual-branded. The Hilton Hanoi West Lake will offer 240 rooms/suites and 50 serviced residences, while the remaining 320-rooms will make up the DoubleTree by Hilton Hanoi West Lake. Together the properties will feature 3,000sqm of meeting and event space.