• Air China plans to start a Hangzhou-Beijng-Frankfurt service and Nanjing-Beijing-New York services in October 2009.
• Budget carrier Air India Express takes over a 71 Air India’s international flights to Sharjah, Dubai, Kuala Lumpur and Colombo on October 25, 2009 as a cost-cutting measure for the cash-strapped airline company. Six Air India Airbus A-320 aircraft , with twin seat configuration, Economy and Business Classes, will be converted to an all-Economy class with 168 seats for these routes. Air India crew will still operate the Airbus A-320s.
• Low-cost airline Jetstar postpones the launch of its Osaka-Cairns four times weekly flights until April 2010, citing difficult negotiations as the obstacle.
• Members of Cathay Pacific Airways and Dragonair’s loyalty programme Marco Polo Club can now use the self-serviced Frequent Visitor e-Channels at Hongkong International Airport (HKIA) that eliminates the need for arrival or departure cards. Eligible are Marco Polo Club Silver tier and members aged 18 years and above, carrying valid travel documents and a multiple-visit Visa for Hongkong (if such a visa is required). Enrolment is free of charge and accomplished by presenting one’s Marco Polo Club membership card and travel documents in person at the Immigration Department Enrolment Office located in the HKIA Arrival Hall.
• Singapore Airlines will release an improved version of their inflight entertainment system, KrisWorld across all classes on October 1 on aircraft such as the Boeing B777-300ER, Airbus A330-300, A340-500 and A380. Additional content includes “live” concerts of well known performers like Sarah Brightman, Pussycat Dolls and Cantopop star Aaron Kwok and popular comedians such as Rowan Atkinson and comedy series Friends.
• V Australia will launch the first Brisbane-Phuket and Melbourne-Phuket return flights on November 22 and December 3, 2009 respectively, using a Boeing 777-300ER aircraft. The first service is twice weekly and the second is weekly. As announced recently, the carrier will also start up a twice weekly Melbourne-Los Angeles service from December 1, 2009 and a Melbourne-South Africa service on March 13, 2010, coinciding with the FIFA World Cup 2010 in Johannesburg, launching only on March 13 2010.
Special offers for one-way Phuket flights from Brisbane and Melbourne are going at AS$399 (US$350) until October 6 2009, or until tickets are sold out for flights between November 22 to December 17, 2009, and January 15 to May 31, 2010. Flights to Johannesburg are offered at AS$1,899 (US$1,660) from now until October 6, 2009 for flights departing on March 13 to May 31, 2010.
Until September 30, 2009, Tiger Airways is offering 50 percent off fares to Bangkok, Bangalore, Jakarta, Manila (Clark), Hanoi, Phuket, Krabi, Padang and Ho Chi Minh. This is for travel between November 1, 2009 and August 31, 2010. There is also an ongoing Buy-One-Get-One Free-Night promotion.