Hilton to open India’s first Conrad next year

Hilton Worldwide will open India’s first Conrad hotel in Pune next year.

The 310-guestroom Conrad Pune is now accepting reservations from May 1. It is located on Mangaldas Road, within the city’s central business district.

Facilities will include an executive lounge and 1,510 sqm of meeting and event space featuring a 780 sqm ballroom, four boardrooms and a 24-hour business centre.

Conrad Pune

Elsewhere, there will be three restaurants, a cocktail bar, a 24-hour fitness centre, an outdoor swimming pool and pool bar, and a spa.

John TA Vanderslice, Hilton’s global head of luxury and lifestyle brands, said: “Pune is a key gateway destination and we are delighted to establish our brand’s presence in India, one of the key strategic growth markets for Hilton Worldwide.”

Hilton has signed a management agreement with Palm Grove Beach Hotels to open Conrad Pune.

In August, a new Conrad hotel in the Chinese city of Shenzhen was announced (see news, August 7).


Graham Smith

Air Canada adds second Vancouver-Heathrow frequency

Air Canada will add a second daily service on to its Vancouver-London Heathrow route next summer.

The airline will roster a B787-9 Dreamliner on to the second service, which will operate between June 1/2 and September 29/30.

Outbound service AC896 will depart Vancouver at 2110 and arrive in London at 1420 the next day. Return leg AC897 will leave Heathrow at 1615 and land in Vancouver at 1745.

The current daily service, AC854/855, will be operated by a 450-seat B777.

Benjamin Smith, Air Canada’s president of passenger airlines, said: “Air Canada is strategically increasing its international flights at YVR with a second daily flight to London Heathrow next summer in response to seasonal travel demand…

“Both London flights will feature our newly designed International Business Class product, and offer customers a choice of three cabins of service and industry-leading amenities.”

Air Canada has also announced it will launch its B787-8 service between Vancouver and Brisbane two weeks earlier than planned.

It had scheduled to commence the three-times weekly route on June 17 (see news, July 9), but will now start it on June 1. Air Canada hopes to increase it to a daily service at some stage.


Graham Smith

Eurowings to fly to Tehran


Eurowings is the latest airline to announce it will launch a service to Tehran.

The Lufthansa Group subsidiary, formerly Germanwings, will commence a once-weekly service from Cologne Bonn airport on March 29, increasing to twice-weekly on May 6.

The route will initially operate on Tuesdays/Wednesdays, and then also on Fridays/Saturdays.

Outbound service EW124 will depart Cologne Bonn at 2105 and arrive at Imam Khomeini International at 0440 the next day. Return leg EW125 will leave Tehran at 0625 and land in Germany at 0925.

Eurowings will roster an A330 on to the route.

Last week, fellow Lufthansa Group carrier Austrian Airlines announced it will add a second service on to its Vienna-Tehran route next year (see news, October 20).


Graham Smith

Geneva’s Hotel de la Paix to join Ritz-Carlton

Ritz-Carlton will add Geneva’s Hotel de la Paix as a partner hotel in December.

The lakeside property, which is owned by Manz Privacy Hotels Switzerland and this year celebrates its 150th anniversary, is currently undergoing an extensive renovation.

It will relaunch on December 16 as The Ritz-Carlton, Hotel de la Paix Geneva.

The Ritz-Carlton, Hotel de la Paix Geneva

The refurbishment will reduce the number of guestrooms to 75. Facilities include a business centre, free wifi and a fitness centre.

Herve Humler, Ritz-Carlton’s president and COO, said: “Geneva is an extremely desirable destination for travellers and we will now be able to offer a sensational travel experience to complement the full portfolio of Ritz-Carlton properties around the globe.”

Manz Privacy Hotels Switzerland owns six hotels in Switzerland and holds an interest in luxury and first class hotels in South America.

Ritz-Carlton will open a property in Budapest next year (see news, May 5).


Graham Smith

Air Canada to launch Toronto-Seoul B787 service

Air Canada will add a nonstop daily service between Toronto and Seoul next year.

The carrier will launch the year-round route, which will be operated by a B787-8 Dreamliner, on June 17.

Outbound service AC61 will depart Toronto Pearson at 1335 and arrive at Seoul Incheon at 1620 the next day. Return leg AC62 will leave Seoul at 1500 and land in Toronto at 1450.

Benjamin Smith, Air Canada’s president of passenger airlines, said: “This new route will provide some of the fastest travel times for customers travelling to and from South Korea and eastern Canada, the US north-east and South America via our main hub in Toronto.

“Together with our Vancouver-Seoul service, Air Canada will operate the most flights of any airline between Canada and South Korea with up to 14 flights per week.”

Air Canada took delivery of its first B787-9 in August (see news, August 5).

It will roster the aircraft on to its four times-weekly Toronto-Delhi service from November 1, followed by its Dubai service from November 3.

The airline will also fly the B787-9 between Toronto and Istanbul from May; from Toronto to Copenhagen, Zurich, Tel Aviv and Tokyo Narita next summer; and “select Toronto and Vancouver flights to London Heathrow as well as Vancouver to Tokyo Narita, Seoul and Brisbane”.

And, it add the B787-9 on its international flights from Calgary to Tokyo Narita, London Heathrow and Frankfurt next year.


Graham Smith

Cathay’s Asia Miles partners with Hotels.com

Cathay Pacific rewards programme Asia Miles has partnered with online accommodation booking platform Hotels.com.

The move means members can now earn two Asia Miles for every HK$10 spent (or the equivalent amount in any foreign currency) at Hotels.com, excluding taxes and handling fees.

Those who choose to sign up to the Hotels.com Rewards programme will also receive benefits such as one free hotel night for every ten nights booked and browsing “secret prices”.

Abhiram Chowdhry, Hotels.com’s vice president and managing director, said: “By partnering with Asia Miles… and launching the newly rebranded loyalty programme, Hotels.com Rewards, earlier this year, we are giving our customers what they want – an even more rewarding experience.”

asiamiles.com, hotels.com

Clement Huang

Hotels.com partners with Asia Miles

Online accommodation booking platform Hotels.com has partnered with Asia Miles, providing more options for members of the rewards programme to earn miles. 

Eight million Asia Miles members worldwide are now able to earn two Asia Miles for every HK$10 spent (or the equivalent amount in any foreign currency) at Hotels.com, excluding taxes and handling fees.

Those who choose to sign up to the Hotels.com Rewards programme will also be able to enjoy benefits such as browsing “secret prices” and receiving one free hotel night for every ten nights booked.

“By partnering with Asia Miles, a very popular rewards programme in the region and launching the newly rebranded loyalty programme, Hotels.com Rewards, earlier this year, we are giving our customers what they want – an even more rewarding experience for our most loyal customers” said Abhiram Chowdhry, vice president & managing director, Asia Pacific for the Hotels.com brand. 

“We will continue to look for new, exciting partnership opportunities that can further enhance our offerings in the future.”

For more information, visit hotels.com and asiamiles.com

Clement Huang

Changi Airport offers online duty free purchase

Changi Airport has introduced the iShopChangi’s collection-on-arrival service, which allows travellers to enjoy duty free shopping online before they get to the airport.

In the same way that duty free purchases at the airport are exempt from any duties and the seven per cent goods and services tax (GST), travellers can now enjoy the same discounts for online purchases.

After an order has been placed online, the items are packed for passengers to collect at the respective duty free stores upon arrival. Purchases can be made from as early as two weeks to 18 hours before the scheduled departure. 

Both DFS (wines and spirits) and The Shilla Duty Free stores (cosmetics and perfumes) are part of the new initiative.

“The digital revolution has changed the way many browse, shop and purchase products, resulting in online shopping becoming more popular among shoppers,” said Ivy Wong, senior vice president, Airside Concessions, Changi Airport Group.  

“Our extension of iShopChangi’s service to arriving passengers provides shoppers with even greater convenience, value and variety when they shop with Changi Airport.”  

For more information, visit changiairportgroup.com

Clement Huang