Weekly Travel Update October 21st

Travel News 21 Oct 2016

For week ending October 21st 

This week we all heard a lot of noise around Samsung Galaxy Note 7 banned by major airlines over fire risks, but there is plenty of exciting news rolling in from all around the globe in the travel industry: while Qatar Airways launches a new luxurious range of first class amenity kits together with Giorgio Armani, British Airways announces a new route from Heathrow to New Orleans and Marriot Hotels reopens in Athens expanding the brand in European capitals. All this and much more in our weekly news round-up!

Hong Kong International Airport to build a mega Skycity

Hong Kong Airport Authority (HKAA) has announced that it will develop a huge integrated complex near Terminal 2 at Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA). The 668,000 sqm mega integrated development, Skycity, will consist of a hotel offering 450 to 750 rooms, along with retail, dining and entertainment facilities. Five key concepts will be highlighted, including cybertainment, a gourmet kingdom, edutainment, action and excitement, and events.

Samsung Galaxy Note 7 banned by major airlines all across the world

Effective Saturday 15 October, the US Department of Transportation has imposed a total ban on the carriage of the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 phone on any aircraft due to incidents of the phones spontaneously bursting into flames. The current list of airlines to have a complete ban are Singapore Airlines, Qantas Airlines, Emirates, Etihad Airways, Virgin Australia, Cathay Pacific, Dragonair, Air Berlin, Lufthansa, all airlines in Japan and all US airlines. British Airways has a complete ban of these phones on flights to / from USA / Canada and HKG.

Qatar Airways partners with Giorgio Armani to launch new first class amenity kits

Qatar Airways has launched a new range of first class amenity kits available to its premium passengers on selected A380 services. Created in partnership with Giorgio Armani, the kits are designed in Armani’s signature black, with “golden accents reflecting the latest Giorgio Armani Fall-Winter 2016-2017 collection”. The ladies’ kit doubles as a make-up or jewellery bag post-flight, while the gentlemen’s kit has been designed as “a smart travel bag made with a ribbed fabric that reflects the latest trends in male style and luxury”.

British Airways to cease Chengdu route

British Airways is to drop its Heathrow-Chengdu route from mid-January. In a statement the carrier said: “We regret that we have decided to suspend the Heathrow to Chengdu route. We have a proud tradition of flying to China but despite operating this route for three years it is not commercially viable.” The last flight leaving Heathrow will be on January 12, 2017, with the final return flight departing Chengdu the following day.

Four Seasons to open Kuwait property in 2017

Four Seasons will open its first property in Kuwait early next year, housed within the mixed use Burj Alshaya development. The 284-room hotel will feature indoor and outdoor pools, spa facilities, a fitness centre and yoga studio, and events space accommodating up to 2,000 people, including two ballrooms. The property will also offer five food and beverage outlets, including a rooftop Pan-Asian restaurant, and an open kitchen Italian eatery.

Azerbaijan Airlines increases Baku-London service

Azerbaijan Airlines will increase the frequency of its flights between Baku and London Heathrow from October 30. The flag carrier currently offers a five times-weekly service between the two capitals, but will increase this to daily from the start of the winter schedules.

Etihad ups Dublin frequency to 14 flights a week

An additional daily year-round service by Etihad Airways between Dubin and Abu Dhabi will see frequency rise to 14 flights a week from next year. A second daily flight will run from April 1, 2017, to coincide with the UAE carrier’s 10th anniversary of flying to the Irish capital.

Non-stop flights to Manchester from Singapore

Singapore Airlines will fly non-stop between Singapore and Manchester from October 30 as part of its northern winter schedule. In addition, services to Adelaide, Christchurch and Kolkata will increase during peak periods, while seasonal services to Sapporo will be operated in December.

British Airways to launch Heathrow-New Orleans route

The new route from Heathrow to New Orleans will start next March with flights operating four times a week. It’s the first time the carrier has operated flights to The Big Easy since the early 1980s, when it served New Orleans from Gatwick airport.

Emirates could cut Africa flights in face of economic challenges

Emirates thinks about reducing the frequency of flights to Africa or cutting routes entirely if current economic and financial challenges on the continent continue. Emirates has expanded rapidly in Africa to benefit from increased demand that accompanied growing links between the Middle East and the continent, as well as cater to passengers flying to and from Asia. However, airlines flying to Nigeria have started to refuel abroad because jet fuel supplies have become more scarce and expensive as the West African nation contends with a shortage of hard currency.

Iberia joins oneworld partners in Japanese joint business

Iberia will join Japan Airlines, British Airways and Finnair in their joint business between Europe and Japan.The joint business means that the four airlines will share revenue and cooperate on scheduling and pricing between Japan and Europe, providing customers with more flexible routing options and an attractive range of fares.

WOW Air increases transatlantic service

WOW Air will increase its transatlantic services via Reykjavik, adding new routes to New York and Miami. Furthermore flights from Reykjavik to Los Angeles and San Francisco will now fly daily, up from four and five times a week respectively.

Marriott reopens in Athens

Marriott has announced that it will be returning to Athens in 2018, following a partnership agreement with Greek hotel group, Chandris Hotels. Located 40 minutes from Athens International airport, the hotel will have two restaurants, a rooftop bar, fitness facilities, a swimming pool and meeting space featuring Marriott’s customisable meeting service, Meetings Imagined.