HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]:

Qantas opens new First and Business Class lounges at Bangkok International Airport

TAT launches website for booking tourism services

Phuket spa teams up with Bangkok Airways in special promotion

Lauda Air expands destinations in Portugal - Lisbon, Oporto, Faro and Funchal (Madeira)

Shangri-La and Air China offer special member benefits

Qantas opens new First and Business Class lounges at Bangkok International Airport

Qantas Airways introduced its new, grand and more convenient First and Business Class Qantas Club lounges at Pier 5, Terminal 2 at Bangkok International Airport on January 23.

Jane Furber (4th left), manager of Qantas Airways Thailand and Phillip Hood (4th right) airport manager of Qantas Airways in Don Muang Airport welcomed the press on the Qantas Club’s First and Business Class lounge visit, which was recently completed.

Qantas/British Airways manager Thailand, Jane Furber, said “Qantas Airways has constructed a new First and Business Class Qantas Club lounge at Bangkok International Airport. The lounges can accommodate 45 First Class and 140 Business Class customers.”

Qantas/British Airways Airport Manager Thailand, Phillip Hood, said “The lounges which opened early this month, will allow Qantas Airways First and Business Class passengers, together with First and Business Class passengers traveling with OneWorldTM global airline alliance members to use the services and relax before departure.”

Qantas Club First and Business Class lounges blend the best of contemporary Australian design offering new levels of comfort and luxury, with Eastern influences such as traditional Thai artwork and Thai silk-paneled feature walls.

Features of the new Qantas Club lounge include: Four First Class and eight Business Class showers; self-service bars and buffets offering complementary light refreshments and snacks; dining areas where customers can sit at tables and enjoy light refreshments; television lounges with plasma screen television and satellite television; reading areas with a selection of magazines and newspapers; and a fully equipped Business Center with private work stations, computers with internet access and photocopying equipment.

The highlight of the lounges is the integration of technology, in particular for the business travelers, with telephone and power connections throughout.

“The new Qantas Club lounges also show our business commitment in the Thai market, which Qantas has been operating to Thailand for some 49 years,” said Furber.

Qantas Airways currently operates daily flights from Bangkok to Sydney and Sydney to Bangkok with daily flights also from Bangkok to London and London to Bangkok (14 flights weekly).

Bangkok continues to be an important gateway for Qantas Airways between Australia and Europe. Currently, Qantas has 32 Qantas Club lounges across the airline’s worldwide network. A further six lounges are jointly owned and operated by Qantas and British Airways.

TAT launches website for booking tourism services

The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) in cooperation with the Advance E-commerce company has launched an online service for travelers who can now make tour and hotel reservations on its website.

The homepage of currently offers B2C (Business to Customer) services to more than 400 entrepreneurs.

Accommodation providers, tour operators, airline businesses, car rental services are the target groups. TAT’s web-site is aimed to boost SME operators by allowing payment transactions to be performed via the Internet.

To cater for the need of worldwide users, a call center is also on hand to give information and reply to any inquiries from worldwide business operators. (TNA)

Phuket spa teams up with Bangkok Airways in special promotion

As a promotion for its new direct flights to Phuket, Bangkok Airways in cooperation with Evason Phuket Resort & Spa is launching a new discount campaign.

Starting now until April 20, passengers who fly from Bangkok to Phuket with Bangkok Airways will receive a 50% discount on accommodation at the Evason Phuket Resort and Spa, including a voucher for one free night’s stay, valid until November 30.

The special program targets Thais, and resident expatriates living in Thailand only. For more information please call (02) 265 5678.

Lauda Air expands destinations in Portugal - Lisbon, Oporto, Faro and Funchal (Madeira)

Lauda Air - the holiday flight specialist - is focusing on Portugal this coming summer season. Four great holiday flight destinations - the capital Lisbon, Oporto on the Costa Verde, and Faro on the Algarve and Funchal on Madeira - offer something for everyone. Whether you’re interested in a beach holiday, city tour, golfing break or cultural program, variety is guaranteed.

Lauda Air will be flying to Lisbon three times a week from 30 March (Monday, Wednesday, Friday), two of which will depart directly from Vienna. The flights to Faro on the Algarve will operate every Wednesday throughout high-season, from 18 June to 17 September.

The service to Portugal’s second city of Oporto will operate in the periods directly before and after summer season. The new Portuguese program is completed by a once-weekly flight to Funchal (Madeira), a service launched at the beginning of February.

Situated at the western tip of mainland Europe, Portugal has grown to become one of the continent’s most popular tourist destinations, while the national capital of Lisbon is certainly amongst the most strikingly beautiful cities in the world. The “white city” on the banks of the Tejo River rests on seven hills and will mesmerize you with its Baroque architecture, church cupolas and lively atmosphere.

Oporto, the country’s second city and home to the world-renowned Port wine, is an established port and commercial center and a must-see for lovers of high culture. To truly experience Oporto’s ambience, visit the countless Baroque churches and beautiful winding alleys of the old town.

Situated on the Algarve coast, Faro is a striking center built around a historic old town. The coast nearby is dotted with wonderful beaches and the huge Ria Formosa nature reserve. The Algarve itself is a strong candidate for the most beautiful coast in Europe - its wildly jagged, mustard-colored cliffs, bizarre rock sculptures in the middle of the marine blue-green Atlantic and over 3,000 sun hours a year have combined to make the Algarve a winner with holidaymakers.

Madeira, the “floating garden” in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, offers holidaymakers a wide variety of experiences that includes golf, walking, swimming and sightseeing. With its mild climate, the summer season is a full twelve months long.

The four destinations can be booked with immediate effect around the clock at a travel agency of your choice or over the Internet at

Shangri-La and Air China offer special member benefits

To mark Shangri-La’s successful fifth year partnership with Air China, its first mainland Chinese airline alliance and now one of its top frequent flyer partners, the group is offering Air China Club members a number of attractive benefits at the group’s China properties.

From now until 31 May 2003, Air China Club members paying ‘China Executive Plan’ rates at any of the 16 Shangri-La or Traders hotels in mainland China will be rewarded with 50% Air China bonus mileage, as well as entry into a lucky draw. The top five prizes include three-day trips to any city where there is a Shangri-La or Traders hotel in China and Singapore, with air tickets sponsored by Air China.

Members will also be invited to join Shangri-La’s award-winning guest loyalty program, Golden Circle, so that they can enjoy additional benefits during their stay.

Air China Club’s Gold card members will also benefit from a 15% discount at all restaurants and bars at Shangri-La’s mainland China properties between 1 March and 31 August 2003. Air China Club’s Silver card members will receive a 10% discount.

Giovanni Angelini, Shangri-La’s chief executive officer and managing director, said, “Airline partners are an integral component of our international marketing activities. We are proud to have been Air China’s first hotel alliance in China and that its frequent flyer program is now one of our top producers.”

Shangri-La signed with Air China Club in 1998, at which time the number of Air China Club members was only 40,000. With China’s fast growing economy, membership has increased rapidly to over 800,000 worldwide.