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
DARWIN – The rebranded DoubleTree by Hilton Darwin, DoubleTree by Hilton Esplanade Darwin, and DoubleTree by Hilton Alice Springs have opened for bookings from May 1, along with the new Hilton Darwin hotel. DoubleTree by Hilton Darwin and DoubleTree by Hilton Esplanade Darwin are close neighbours, both located waterfront on The Esplanade. DoubleTree by Hilton Alice Springs is close to the Convention Centre and Lasseters Casino. Lead in rates start from AUD$225 at DoubleTree by Hilton Darwin, AUD190 at DoubleTree by Hilton Esplanade Darwin and AUD150 at DoubleTree by Hilton Alice Springs.
SUZHOU – The Shangri-La Hotel, Suzhou is offering a weekend package starting at RMB1,100 (plus 15% service tax) for a one-night stay in a Premier Room. The package, available till mid-November 2013, includes access to the Health Cub and heated swimming pool, free broadband and Wi-Fi, a dining credit of RMB200 at Shang Palace, and a tour of Suzhou – guests can choose from a night tour to Master-of-the-Nets Garden or to Taihu Lake Wetland Park and Candy Land.
MANILA - Further strengthening its alliance with Philippine Airlines (PAL), low-cost carrier Airphil Express is aligning its service standards and product offerings with the flag carrier. Effective March 15, Airphil Express has rebranded as “PAL Express” and will use the familiar “sunriser” PAL livery and logo on the tail and fuselage of its aircraft. PAL Express passengers will now be offered the same inflight amenities (including complimentary snacks, drinks and reading material) available on full- service, and can earn miles through their membership in Mabuhay Miles.