US regulator triggered by HNA management change
>> Although there has not yet been a change of ownership, the recent change in management of HNA Group could initiate a national security review of the group’s U.S. holdings, according to a Bloomberg report. Changes of ownership or control can trigger jurisdiction of the Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S. (CFIUS) with respect to U.S. entities.
OYO’s Chinese rivals merge amid outbreak
>> OYO’s Chinese rival H Hotel, a budget hotel chain backed by Shanghai-based hospitality group Huazhu and venture capital firm IDG Capital, has now been merged with Huazhu’s economy hotel brand Elan.
Huazhu agreed in 2017 to make a USD 10 million equity investment to become a minority shareholder (with less than 5% share) of OYO, the Indian budget hotel chain that has been heavily funded by Japan’s Softbank.
Beijing airport handles 100M passenger trips
>> Beijing Capital International Airport remained the top of all Chinese airports in terms of passenger throughput, handling more than 100 million passenger trips in 2019, according to the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC).
Shanghai Pudong International Airport and Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport recorded around 76.15 million and 73.38 million passenger trips in 2019, respectively.
Airlines won’t need to keep flying empty planes
>> New rules introduced by the European Commission in response to coronavirus means airlines will no longer have to operate “almost empty” flights. At the moment, airlines have to operate at least 80% of scheduled flights or risk losing their airport slots to competitors.
In a press conference, European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen announced that these rules will be temporarily relaxed to help the aviation industry cope with the impact of coronavirus.
Cathay Pacific expects substantial loss
>> Cathay Pacific said it expects a "substantial" loss in the first half of this year as the impact of the coronavirus takes it toll. The Hong Kong carrier also saw a 28% drop in 2019 profits as it struggled during the city's political protests.
After UK-based airline Flybe went into administration last week, analysts are warning of more failures to come for the embattled airline industry. Earlier this week, Korean Air warned the coronavirus outbreak could threaten its survival, in a memo sent to employees.
Hilton pulls earnings forecast
>> Hilton is pulling its guidance for 2020, joining other companies in the hotel industry that are taking a hit from the coronavirus outbreak. Hilton is the latest travel company to withdraw guidance this week, following Booking Holdings, JetBlue and hotel owners including Host Hotels & Resorts Inc. and Pebblebrook Hotel Trust.
Tokyo Disney extends shutdown to April
>> The Tokyo Disney Resort shut its doors on Feb 27 in response to the worsening worldwide coronavirus crisis. The temporary closure was scheduled to conclude after just two weeks, but the local operator of Disney's Tokyo parks said Wednesday that the suspension would be extended until the start of April.
Trip.com joins group to announce virtual banking service
>> Trip.com Group has partnered with Standard Chartered, PCCW and HKT to launch a new virtual banking service and Asia’s first all-in-one numberless bank card, Mox. The new virtual banking service will offer a comprehensive suite of retail financial services, as well as unique telecom, entertainment and travel products, all in one place.
ReviewPro launches Guest Experience Automation
>> ReviewPro, a Shiji Group brand, is now making a decisive move into AI-powered automation with its new product Guest Experience Automation. The product launches with an offer of free service in 2020 to the first 500 qualifying hotels up to a value of 1.2 million euros.