News for Asia

Thailand's CCSA approves simplified Thailand Pass registration

23 May, 2022

Thailand's Centre of COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) approved (20-May-2022) the simplified Thailand Pass registration and entry rules for international arrivals from 01-Jun-2022. Foreign nationals are still required to apply for a Thailand Pass but will only need to provide passport details, vaccination and a USD10,000 health insurance policy. The system will then automatically issue a Thailand Pass QR code for the applicants. Thai citizens will no longer be required to apply for a Thailand Pass. [more - original PR]

Northern Pacific Airways requests US DoT authorisation to operate international scheduled services

20 May, 2022

Northern Pacific Airways submitted (17-May-2022) an application to the US Department of Transportation requesting Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity and exemption authority to operate scheduled passenger, freight and mail services between the US and all countries with which the US has an Open-Skies agreement. Northern Pacific, a proposed LCC to be based at Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport, is also requesting blanket route integration authority. The carrier plans to operate scheduled services to South Korea and Japan from Anchorage using Boeing 757 equipment. [more - original PR]

Visitor arrivals to South Korea up 30% in Mar-2022

19 May, 2022

Korea Tourism Organisation reported (29-Apr-2021) the following tourism highlights to South Korea for Mar-2022:

  • Visitor arrivals: 96,768, +29.7% year-on-year;
    • US: 16,968, +37.7%;
    • China: 14,726, -22.4%;
    • Philippines: 11,397, +23%;
    • Vietnam: 5096, +137.7%;
    • Myanmar: 4781, +0.2%;
    • Indonesia: 4234, +17.8%. [more - original PR - Korean]

Japan Airlines to operate 44% of planned intl schedules in Jul-2022, 68% in Aug/Sep-2022

19 May, 2022

Japan Airlines (JAL) announced (18-May-2022) its international flight network for Europe, Melbourne and Taipei in Jul-2022, as well as flight plan for North America, Europe, Southeast Asia, Oceania and Hong Kong in Aug-2022 and Sep-2022. During Jul-2022, JAL's international operation rate will be 44%, increasing to 68% in Aug-2022 and Sep-2022. Key highlights are as follows:

  • Tokyo Haneda-Sydney: Additional frequencies in Jul-2022;
  • Tokyo Narita-Boston, Tokyo Narita-Vancouver, Tokyo Narita-Bengaluru: Resuming in Aug-2022, including daily on Boston service;
  • Europe: Continue to operate detours due to the situation in Russia and Ukraine;
  • Tokyo Haneda-Helsinki: Increase to four times weekly in Jul-2022;
  • Tokyo Haneda-London: Increase to 11 times weekly in Aug-2022. [more - original PR]

Malaysia Airlines and Qatar Airways expand codeshare partnership

18 May, 2022

Malaysia Airlines and Qatar Airways expanded (17-May-2022) their codeshare partnership, with plans to add 34 destinations to the existing 62 from 25-May-2022. Customers flying on Malaysia Airlines' new Kuala Lumpur-Doha service will have access to 62 codeshare destinations within Qatar Airways' network to the Middle East, Africa, Europe and North America. Qatar Airways customers travelling from Doha to Kuala Lumpur can transfer to 34 Malaysia Airlines' destinations, including their entire domestic network and key markets in Asia, subject to governmental approval. The enhanced cooperation will also include reciprocal loyalty benefits, allowing Qatar Airways' Privilege Club members to earn and redeem Avios points when flying on Malaysia Airlines, with similar benefits for Malaysia Airlines Enrich members when travelling on Qatar Airways' services. [more - original PR]

Singapore Changi Airport recovers to 35% of Apr-2019 levels in Apr-2022

18 May, 2022

Singapore Changi Airport, via its official website, reported (17-May-2022) the following traffic highlights for Apr-2022:

  • Passengers: 1.9 million, -65% compared to Apr-2019;
  • Cargo: 141,000 tonnes, -10.0%;
  • Aircraft movements: 15,100, -52%.

Queenstown Airport to resume international services on 23-May-2022

16 May, 2022

Queenstown Airport announced (16-May-2022) after 330 days without a scheduled international service, Qantas plans to resume Sydney-Queenstown service on 23-May-2022. Qantas is the first airline returning to the Queenstown trans-Tasman route, followed by Jetstar on 02-Jun-2022 and Air New Zealand on 24-Jun-2022. Virgin Australia is planning to re-start services to Queenstown in Nov-2022. Queenstown Airport CEO Glen Sowry says the airlines are seeing strong demand from Australia and activity into Queenstown was predicted to ramp up significantly as winter approaches. Mr Sowry says winter capacity on domestic routes is similar to 2021. [more - original PR]

Air Busan to increase frequency on five domestic services in Jun-2022 as demand surges

13 May, 2022

Air Busan plans to temporarily increase frequency on the following domestic services in Jun-2022, to serve increased demand for domestic airline seats due to the lifting of social distancing requirements on aircraft in South Korea (Yonhap News, 13-May-2022):

  • Seoul Gimpo-Busan: 64 additional frequencies;
  • Seoul Gimpo-Ulsan: 58 additional frequencies;
  • Seoul Gimpo-Jeju: 52 additional frequencies;
  • Jeju-Ulsan: 42 additional frequencies;
  • Jeju-Busan: 16 additional frequencies.

The LCC noted domestic business travel demand is surging in South Korea, resulting in increasing passenger traffic on Seoul Gimpo-Busan service, while domestic leisure travel to Jeju has also significantly increased within the last month.

Cook Islands Tourism Corporation outlines amendments in travel restrictions

12 May, 2022

Cook Islands Tourism Corporation, via its official website, stated (10-May-2022) from 01-May-2022, pre-departure testing has been removed for arrivals, as well as pre departure testing for Rarotonga-Aitutaki service. In addition, requirements to be vaccinated on the Rarotonga-Aitutaki service was also removed on 01-May-2022, with domestic travel resuming between Rarotonga and the Outer Islands resuming on 01-May-2022.

flydubai launches new business class recliners for 737 fleet

11 May, 2022

flydubai launched (10-May-2022) its new HAECO business class recliner seat at Arabian Travel Market 2022. flydubai CEO Ghaith Al Ghaith stated the new product is "particularly well suited to medium and short haul flights" and will support "a more homogenous look and feel onboard our fleet". The carrier plans to gradually retrofit a number of existing Boeing 737 aircraft with the new cabin product, following its introduction on one aircraft in Nov-2021 as previously reported by CAPA. The seat will also be fitted on future aircraft deliveries, while the existing business class flatbed will remain available on a number of 737 MAX 8/9s. flydubai operates a fleet of 63 737 type aircraft, with plans to receive a further 18 737 MAXs and retire seven 737-800s by the end of 2022. [more - original PR

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