International Flight supply updates: More new routes link China to Europe’s second tier cities. Air China links Shenzhen with Frankfurt with thrice weekly flights; Italian flag carrier Alitalia will launch direct flights from Rome to Beijing; Hainan Airlines promotes Manchester-Beijing route; Tianjin Airlines will fly to London from Tianjin via Chongqing; China Eastern Airlines will launch a new direct service to the Czech Republic this summer.
Construction of the new Chengdu Tianfu International Airport is given the approval from the National Development and Reform Commission. The airport will be the largest one in West China, covering 1.26 million square meters and is expected to accommodate 90 million passengers each year.
Singapore Airlines and Lufthansa Group have announced a series of new codeshare flights from Asia, connecting Munich and Zurich with passengers in Jakarta, Australia, KL and New Zealand.
Chinese conglomerate HNA will buy US-based Carlson Hotels, owner of the Radisson brand and its Belgium based Rezidor hospitality group. In February, HNA bought US technology distributor Ingram Micro for $6.0 billion and earlier this month it made a $1.5 billion offer for Swiss airline catering company Gategroup.
Foreign destinations make strong bid to lure Chinese travelers at the COTTM Beijing. At the China Outbound Travel and Tourism Market held in Beijing over April 12-14, a total of 400 exhibitors displayed their latest travel products. Red-wine tours, cruise trips, shopping, hiking and adventure holidays were the highlights of the event’s high-end travel section. Greece, Israel, Namibia, Ukraine and Andorra made their debuts at the expo.
New Zealand wins Amway China incentive worth USD35 million after securing a bid to host 10,000 Amway China delegates in Queenstown as part of the company’s 2018 Leadership Seminar. The five-day incentive trip is expected to generate NZD50 million (approximately USD35 million) for the local economy.
The Singapore Tourism Board (STB) is extending its In Singapore Incentives & Rewards (INSPIRE) rewards programme beyond China and India to target corporate meeting and incentive groups from Europe and North America. The newly extended programme will feature discounted group airfares, a choice of six cocktail experiences hosted in historic venues or rooftop bars, and a choice of six themed business tours around the Lion City.
The Singapore Tourism Board (STB) will be getting S$700 million (US$520 million) to support its destination promotion activities over the next five years, and a part of it will be channelled into the Business Events in Singapore (BEiS) fund to provide organisers, corporations and associations greater support for their events.