A week in Asia business travel

New flights for Cathay, Silkair, Qatar and Etihad, while the Crowne Plaza looks to open in Australia’s Hunter Valley this August.CATHAY PACIFIC TO LAUNCH NEW FLIGHTS IN APRIL

From April Hong-Kong based carrier Cathay Pacific will operate three non-stop flights per week to the Malaysian destination of Penang. Four more weekly services will operate to Indonesia’s Denpasar and two more to the Philippines’ Cebu during peak season.

From June another two weekly flights will operate to the Australian destination of Adelaide. An additional three weekly services will fly to Paris and Frankfurt, taking both to 10 services a week.

SILKAIR FLIES CHARTERS TO CHRISTMAS ISLAND

Singapore-based SilkAir is offering direct charter services to Australia’s Christmas Island, with the flights chartered by Austasia Airlines. The service began on February 2nd and will run for 52 weeks. It departs from Singapore every Thursday at 4.50 p.m. and arrives in Christmas Island at 6.05 p.m. The return flight leaves Christmas Island at 6.50 p.m. and arrives in Singapore at 10.05 p.m. 7-night packages to Christmas Island begin from S$1154 (US$712) per adult.

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AUSTRALIAN BUSINESS CLASS AIRLINE OZJET SHUTS DOWN

Australia’s traditional preference for a two-airline system has proven insurmountable for budget business class airline Ozjet. Insufficient business forced the carrier Sunday to suspend scheduled flights between Melbourne and Sydney after only four months of operation, with OzJet to now concentrate on charter flights. Passengers who have travelled one leg of a journey with the airline and have a return service booked to fly with OzJet before March 24 can transfer to Qantas free of charge.

EVA AIR REWARDS FREQUENT FLYERS WITH AWARDS

Taiwan carrier EVA Air is offering its Evergreen Club frequent flyers a “Check-in for a Chance of a Million” program. From March 16-June 15, Evergreen Club members who book, buy and fly in the airline’s Super First, Super Business and Premium Laurel Classes will be automatically entered in an electronic lottery to win one million award points.

A winner will be chosen each month, with a total of three to be selected. The one million points will be awarded on the 20th of April, May and June to passengers who have traveled during each of the designated 30-day periods. Winners can redeem their special awards for EVA tickets and Evergreen Club Award Cheques that can be exchanged for upgrades and stays at Evergreen Laurel Hotels.

KOREAN AIR RECEIVES IN-FLIGHT MEAL AWARD

Korean Air has won the Mercury Award from the International Flight Catering Association for the development and service of Bibim Noodles (Spicy Korean Noodles) as an in-flight meal. The airline was awarded the Gold Prize in the Food and Beverage category. Korean Air offers the Bibim Noodle service on Korea-East Coast US flights (New York, Chicago, Washington, Atlanta), to soon be expanded to Europe and Oceania flights. Meanwhile, the carrier has announced it is enhancing its service between Los Angeles and Asia with an upgraded First Class and business class. From April, Korean Air will add three flights per week between Los Angeles and Seoul-Incheon for 24 weekly flights.

ETIHAD AIRWAYS TO LAUNCH FLIGHTS TO PARIS AND DHAKA

Abu Dhabi-based carrier Etihad Airways is planning to begin services to the new international destinations of Paris and Dhaka. From June 1 the carrier will start six weekly flights to Paris. From May 3 the airline will begin four weekly flights to Dhaka, rising to five weekly from June 5.

QATAR AIRWAYS TO LAUNCH DAILY FLIGHTS TO HONG KONG

Doha based Qatar Airways will commence flights to Hong Kong from March 26. This will the airline’s third Chinese destination after Beijing and Shanghai. The new service will feature business Class with up to 24 seats reclining 160 degrees in a 2-2-2 configuration.

TIGER AIRWAYS BOOSTS CAPACITY ON SINGAPORE-MANILA ROUTE

From April 26, Singapore-based budget carrier Tiger Airways will double its daily flights to Manila (Clark) from one to two flights daily. The new flight leaves Singapore at 7.10 a.m. and arrives at Manila (Clark) at 10.45 a.m. It will return from Manila (Clark) at 11.15 a.m. and arrive in Singapore at 14.45 p.m. Fares starts from S$49.98 one way.

MANDARIN ORIENTAL, TOKYO LAUNCHES BUSINESS PACKAGE PROMOTION

Until June 30, travellers can take advantage of Mandarin Oriental, Tokyo’s MO Business Package. It offers single occupancy accommodation in a Deluxe Room, complimentary continental breakfast, and daily choice of one of the following benefits: One-time complimentary use of the heat and hydro-treatment area within The Spa at Mandarin Oriental, Tokyo and Express dry cleaning (4-hour) of a 2-piece suit and one shirt or blouse. The package is priced at Y49,999 (US$424) per night for a two-night stay or Y46,999 per night for three or more nights.

CROWNE PLAZA HUNTER VALLEY TO OPEN IN AUGUST

Crowne Plaza Hunter Valley is scheduled to open in August, the Hunter Valley’s first internationally-branded hotel. It will offer meeting and conferencing facilities, along with hotel bedrooms and self-contained villas for group events in the Hunter.
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