Emirates starts flights
Brisbane, state capital of Queensland, is the airline’s
fourth destination in Australia after Sydney, Melbourne and Perth.
Emirates’ new service will boost tourism and trade ties. Initially, the
flights will be operated with an Airbus A330-200 in three-class
configuration, offering 18 First class seats, 42 in Business and 183 in
From 1 December 1st , a Boeing 777-300 will be operated
on the route, which will increase the number of available Economy seats to
320, with the same number of First and Business class seats. Thus, an
additional 2,660 Emirates seats per week will then be available into
Brisbane. The Boeing 777-300 can also carry 23 tons of cargo.
Lufthansa flies to sunny climes - Rio, Dubai, Johannesburg and Miami
From 8 December, Lufthansa is again laying on a daily
flight to Rio de Janeiro. The route from Frankfurt through Sao Paulo will be
operated by a Boeing 747. Flights to the Brazilian east coast will be on
offer initially for the duration of the winter timetable up to the end of
March 2004. More frequencies will also be available from Frankfurt to Sao
Paulo; instead of the previous seven flights weekly, Lufthansa is offering
ten weekly initially up to mid-December.
Travelers seeking warmer climes will be tempted by
flights to popular destinations on offer from Munich to Dubai, Johannesburg/
Cape Town and Miami: five weekly flights to Dubai, six weekly to
Johannesburg and beyond to Cape Town and seven flights weekly to Miami.
Flights to these sun-blessed destinations are available only in the winter
SWISS renews long-haul fleet
Swiss International Airlines (SWISS) has started the
gradual renewal of its long-haul fleet and is replacing its Boeing MD-11s
with the new Airbus 340-313.
The first of the new aircraft has been in operation on
the Singapore/Bangkok/Zurich route since the beginning of October. The new
aircraft has eight first class, 48 business class and 172 economy class
seats as compared to the previous aircraft, which had 12 first class and 180
economy class seats.
SWISS Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Brunei &
Australia general manager, Heiny Rohrer, said, “We are waiting approval
for a new marketing campaign. Meanwhile we will concentrate on selling the
new features of the aircraft - mainly the flatbed and the enhanced
The new SWISS Business Class features a generous seat
pitch of about 152 cm and the lie-flat seats. Passengers can enjoy
audio-video-on-demand in all the classes. (TTG Asia)
TAT launches Thailand
Privilege Card Company
The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) has officially
launched the Thailand Privilege Card Company which will operate services
under the Thailand Elite Card Scheme to build up the numbers of VIP
tourists, and to promote Thailand as a tourism hub in Asia. Businesspeople,
celebrities and high-end tourists are the major targets group of the card.
TAT Governor Juthamas Siriwan said, “After the cabinet
gave the green light to the Thailand Elite Care Project with a resolution to
set up Thailand Privilege Card Company to run the services, the company was
immediately established. Under the cabinet’s resolution, the company will
be responsible for the card management and membership.”
Thailand Privilege Card Company Limited (THPC) was
established with the registered capital of 500 million baht, with TAT being
the company’s sole shareholder.
Juthamas said that the executive board and the management
team were handpicked from a group of people who have renowned performances
and abilities in various fields related to tourism.
“This project does not belong to TAT, but it is the
business of all Thais. Everyone can participate in and get benefits as a
host to welcome VIP tourists from all over the world to stay happily in
Thailand. The project can help upgrade targeted groups of travelers to the
high-end clusters with more purchasing power who can generate more income to
the country. Thailand is the first country in the world to initiate this
scheme; so I am confident that all Thais will support the project,” said
the TAT Governor. (TNA)
TAT pushes for ‘Loy Krathong’ to become global festival
The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT)’s office in the
historic province of Kanchanaburi is pushing for Thailand’s annual Loy
Krathong Festival - the festival of lights - to become a ‘Festival of the
World’, hoping to create a romantic atmosphere for the festival by
creating 100 ‘moons’ floating in the sky above the Sri Nakharin
Reservoir on November 8th.
The office’s director Pramet Amatayakul said, “The
TAT is joining up with the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT)
and a concert organizer Ninja Return to organize the festival to be entitled
‘100 Full Moons: A New Fantastic Experience’ on the Sri Nakharin
Reservoir on Loy Krathong night.”
Participants can float their krathongs on the reservoir,
soak up the romantic atmosphere of 100 ‘moons’, and have a chance to
listen to a concert given by Thai popular singers. The occasion will end
with a grand ‘Moonlight Firework’ finale, with the fireworks lit from
under the water.
Tickets will cost 3,600 baht per couple, which includes
one night’s accommodation in a luxury hotel or resort and a barbeque
increases flights to Europe, KL
With two new A340 aircraft, SriLankan Airlines is
increasing flights to London, Zurich, Frankfurt, Paris, and Kuala Lumpur for
its new winter schedule.
Services to Kuala Lumpur will be increased from the
existing five per week to a daily frequency.
The number of flights to from Colombo to London’s
Heathrow Airport will be increased from nine to eleven, with flights on
Monday, Friday and Saturday returning via Male, and the rest being direct
Paris, which presently has three direct flights, will
receive an additional flight making it four services per week.
Frankfurt, which currently receives one direct flight and
another via Zurich, will have three direct flights. Zurich, which presently
has four direct flights and one linked to Frankfurt, will have five direct
flights. (TTG Asia)
Probing the Chinese travel psyche
Capturing the Chinese outbound traveler can be a long and
expensive process, but ultimately they are no different from other travelers
with the same wants and needs. This was the message from a session entitled
‘China Outbound - Catch the Wave’ at the Hotel Investment Conference
Asia Pacific recently held in Hong Kong.
Despite hopes by five-star brands, the panel confirmed
the majority of Chinese outbound were still leisure travelers on packages
tours predominantly staying in lower-grade hotels.
Travel Industry Council of Hong Kong executive director,
Joseph Tung, said, “Fifty percent are leisure travelers whose first
priority is shopping. For the moment it will still be a tour group market.
And while we are seeing tours being offered that use four and five-star
hotels, the operators report that these do not sell as well.”
Six Continents vice-president marketing brands, Asia
Pacific, Lucinda Semark, said, “We are looking at improving the Chinese
language ability in the hotels in the same way that a few years ago having
Japanese speakers was an advantage. We are reaching out to the high-end
traveler with TV advertisements and working with ground handlers who tend to
influence where people will stay.”
But Hong Kong Disneyland vice-president marketing and
sales, Roy Tan Hardy, cautioned the process of targeting the Chinese market
could be expensive. “It is possible to spend one million dollars on
research that has a shelf life of three months,” he said. “Our research
shows simply that the Chinese traveler is looking for good service, quality
and variety. These are three things they don’t get at home.” (TTG Asia)
Chiang Mai’s OTOP goods worth 420 mio baht this year
Chiang Mai Governor says, “Give your boss an OTOP”
Chiang Mai Governor Suwat Tantipat said that during the
September OTOP exhibition held at Muangthong Thani, Bangkok, OTOP products
from Chiang Mai realized 140 million baht in sales. He added, “We hope
that we will bring in about 600 million baht by the end of this year, and in
2004 maybe we can get up to 800 million baht.”
He also asked for cooperation from government officials
and regular, everyday people to support OTOP products by using them as
presents and/or gifts on special occasions, such as New Year and birthday
Responding to policy set by the Ministry of Interior, he
said that if someone wants to give a present to their boss, they should
choose an OTOP product first. It is unknown if this was meant as a hint to
his staff. He said that that there are almost 200 kinds of products to
choose from, with 74 types of 5 star OTOP products, and 94 types of local
The governor also said that there are currently orders
for OTOP products totalling more than 30 million baht.