DUBAI – Emirates is increasing capacity on its Bangkok and Hong Kong services. There will be a second daily, non-stop Airbus A380 service to Bangkok and a fourth daily service from Dubai to Hong Kong from October 27. Emirates currently has five flights daily to Bangkok, including one A-380. The second A-380 will replace a smaller aircraft. www.emirates.com (ATI).
GENEVA - The International Air Transport Association (IATA) says global passenger traffic results for March show strong demand growth led by emerging markets, with all regions showing gains. Total traffic rose 5.9% compared to March 2012. Part of the rise may be attributed to traffic related to the Easter holiday, but the seasonally-adjusted trend continues to show strong growth, with demand expanding at an 8% annualised rate in the six months since October 2012. Capacity rose 3.5% compared to the year-ago period, pushing up load factor 1.8 percentage points to 80.3%.
SYDNEY – China Southern Airlines will begin a daily A380 service from Guangzhou to Sydney effective October 27. The airline’s new A300-300 and A300-200 aircraft with flat beds in Business Class will also be deployed onto Australian services – to Melbourne and Sydney – by the end of October. The new A300-223 aircraft entered service on routes to Brisbane and Perth from the beginning of April.
BANGKOK – Thai International subsidiary THAI Smile has adopted Phuket as its second hub after Bangkok, with new services from Phuket to New Delhi (twice weekly), Phuket to Mumbai (twice weekly) and Phuket to Kuala Lumpur (four weekly). New THAI Smile services have also been launched from Bangkok to Mandalay, Burma, (five weekly) and Bangkok to Ahmedabad, India (twice weekly). The airline operates 11 new A-320 aircraft in two classes – Economy and Smile Plus (short-haul Business class). From Bangkok it services Macau, Surat Thani, Krabi, Phuket, Chiang Mai, Ubon Ratchatani and Udon Thani.
GUANGZHOU - China Southern Airlines has opened a new red carpet check-in area at Baiyun International Airport for First and Business Class passengers following a 30% increase in front-end travellers from 2011 to 2012. The airline has seen a big spike in front-end travel since it launched A380 services from Guangzhou to Los Angeles last year (A380 aircraft will service Guangzhou-Sydney flights from October). www.flychinasouthern.com
SINGAPORE – Now the world’s largest serviced residence owner-operator Ascott is now offering free internet at its Ascott, Citadines and Somerset brand properties worldwide and is rolling out Wi-Fi access progressively to cover all apartments by the end of this year (Wi-Fi is also available in common areas). Singapore-based Asc ott operates more than 22,000 serviced residence units in Asia-acific, Europeand the Gulf region, and has more than 9,000 units under development. www.the-ascott.com