Business travel in Asia this week

American, Etihad, Tiger, AirAsia and British Airways are breaking new routes in the Asia-Pacific region. InterConti is opening up the world’s tallest hotel in Asia.  AMERICAN AIRLINES TO LAUNCH DAILY CHICAGO-SHANGHAI SERVICE

American Airlines will from early April commence a daily nonstop service to China.

Flight AA289 will depart Chicago O’Hare International Airport at 11.05 a.m. on April 2nd and arrive at Shanghai Pudong International Airport at 2.15 p.m. on April 3rd.

The return flight, AA288, will depart Shanghai at 4.25 p.m. on April 3rd and arrive in Chicago at 5.00 p.m. the same day.

BRITISH AIRWAYS OFFERS RETURN FLIGHTS TO LONDON FROM HK FOR US$526

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British Airways is offering a return airfare from Hong Kong to London in World Traveller class from HK$4,080 (US$526).

It is also offering as a bonus a 15 per cent online discount for land bookings, with savings on hotel rates starting from HK$419.

Travellers must book online at ba.com before March 31st, and travel from Hong Kong must commence by this date.

A minimum purchase of HK$2,000 per adult is required for land bookings, and the above fare does not include tax and airport surcharge.

ETIHAD AIRWAYS TO FLY TO JAKARTA
 
Abu Dhabi-based carrier Etihad Airways will start flights to Jakarta on March 16th. The airline will operate four services per week to the Indonesian capital, with flights leaving Abu Dhabi International Airport at 1.45 a.m. and arriving in Jakarta at 13.30 p.m. local time.

On the return leg, EY 424 departs from Jakarta at 15.20 p.m. and arrives in Abu Dhabi at 20.45 p.m. local time.

TIGER AIRWAYS BOOSTS SINGAPORE-BANGKOK ROUTE TO 11 FLIGHTS WEEKLY

Tiger Airways is boosting its Singapore-Bangkok route to 11 flights per week from April 15th, up from seven flights per week. The extra flights will operate on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays.

In other news, the Singapore-based low-cost carrier has begun sales to the three Chinese destinations of Haikou, Guangzhou and Shenzhen. Tiger Airways will begin services to Shenzhen on April 15th, while flights to Haikou and Guangzhou starting from April 26th and April 27th, respectively.

Fares for all flights start from S$49.98 (US$30.88) (excluding taxes) one way. The airlines is initially operating four flights per week to Haikou and three flights per week to both Guangzhou and Shenzhen.

CHINA SOUTHERN AIRLINES OPENS SKY PEARL CLUB SERVICE CENTER IN VIETNAM

China Southern Airlines has opened its first frequent flyer program centre in Vietnam.

The new Sky Pearl Club Ho Chi Minh City Branch offers varied travel services to members of the Sky Pearl Club frequent flyer program including new card issuance, retro mileage claims, mileage review, award ticketing and flight class upgrades.

AIRASIA TO LAUNCH DAILY FLIGHTS BETWEEN MEDAN- PENANG AND SURABAYA-KUALA LUMPUR

Indonesia AirAsia, AirAsia’s associate in Indonesia, is from March 10th introducing daily flights between Medan-Penang, and Surabaya-Kuala Lumpur.

The airline currently operates 3 daily Jakarta-Surabaya services for 21 flights per week, with this recent addition to the number of Jakarta-Surabaya flights to 28 per week.

INTERCONTINENTAL TO MANAGE WORLD’S TALLEST HOTEL IN NANJING

InterContinental Hotels Group has signed four new management contracts with Shanghai Greenland Group, a leading real estate and property management company in China.

They include an InterContinental hotel in Nanjing, one Holiday Inn property in Xi’an and two Express by Holiday Inn hotels in Shanghai, representing over 1,400 rooms in total.

Slated to open in 2010, InterContinental Nanjing, a 450-room luxury hotel, will be the world’s tallest hotel, offering conference and business facilities, three food and beverage outlets, spa and pool.

Scheduled to open in 2007, Holiday Inn Greenland Xi’an, a 380-room mid-scale hotel, will offer meeting facilities, food and beverage outlets, health club and pool.

Express by Holiday Inn Putuo Shanghai, a 230-room convenience-sector hotel, is slated to open late this year. Express by Holiday Inn Minghang Shanghai, a 350-room convenience-sector hotel, is scheduled to open early 2007.

NEW MELBOURNE CONVENTION CENTRE SCHEDULED TO OPEN IN 2009
 
The Victorian government has appointed Multiplex/Plenary Consortium as the successful tenderer for the Melbourne Convention Centre contract.

The proposal includes a 5,000 seat, six-star energy rated convention centre, a five star Hilton Hotel, an office and residential tower, a riverfront promenade of retail shops, and a retail complex.

Construction is slated to begin after the Melbourne 2006 Commonwealth Games, with the centre set to to start operations in 2009.

The Convention Centre will also feature a ball room, a gala seating system in the Plenary Hall for flexible seating configurations, 32 meeting rooms and a ground foyer for 11,000 guests.

SHANGRI-LA’S BARR AL JISSAH RESORT AND SPA OPENS IN OMAN
 
Shangri-La’s Barr Al Jissah Resort and Spa grand opened on February 27th.

The three-hotel luxury resort includes the Al Husn “the Castle” with 180 suites and guestrooms, Al Bandar “the Town” with 198 rooms and meeting facilities, and the family-oriented Al Waha “the Oasis” with 302 rooms.

The resort and spa is located some 40 minutes from the international airport and 20 minutes from downtown Muscat.

RENAISSANCE KOH SAMUI RESORT & SPA CELEBRATES GRAND OPENING

The Renaissance Koh Samui Resort & Spa celebrated its grand opening Celebrations on February 25th and 26th, following its soft opening on September 1st lat year.

The hotel, Marriott International’s first Renaissance property in Thailand, was rebranded from Buriraya Resort & Spa in July 2005.

The resort houses 78 rooms, including 43 deluxe rooms with private terrace with an outdoor whirlpool tub, two one-bedroom suites, 32 villas and the Royal Lamai villa.

Other facilities include three main restaurants, two bars, a meeting room, two outdoor swimming pools, Quan Spa and a fitness centre.
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