Meituan launches Super Group-Buying for hotel advance purchase
>> Tencent-backed Meituan, a local lifestyle and travel consumer services platform, has put forward a new solution to combine group buying with hotel bookings. Meituan launched a hotel advance purchase product named “Super Group-Buying”, partnering with 12 hotel groups including Accor, Club Med, Wanda Hotels and Funyard Hotels to offer upscale hotel rooms at lower pricing.
WeChat app no longer being used at McCarran airport
>> WeChat, one of the apps President Donald Trump believes could be a national security risk, is no longer being used as a tourism guide for Chinese visitors arriving at McCarran International Airport. McCarran spokesman Joe Rajchel said the airport discontinued use of WeChat at McCarran in January, when Hainan Airlines discontinued service. Trump recently issued executive orders banning any "transaction" related to TikTok and WeChat. The ban is set to take effect in 45 days.
Passengers from mainland China allowed temporary transit through Hong Kong
>> Hong Kong International Airport said that passengers from mainland China would be able to transit through Hong Kong to other destinations from Aug 15 until Oct 15, in a boost for its dominant carrier Cathay Pacific. Transit in the other direction, inbound to mainland China, will remain banned at a time when China's aviation regulator has severely limited the number of international flights due to concerns over the spread of coronavirus.
Cathay Pacific and Singapore Airlines will ‘inevitably’ take longer to recover
>> Singapore Airlines and Hong Kong’s Cathay Pacific will “inevitably” take a longer time to recover from the coronavirus crisis, an aviation consultant told CNBC. That’s because these carriers are based in markets with no domestic demand for flights, in a time where international travel is still very limited, said Joanna Lu, Asia’s head of consultancy at Cirium.
Cathay forecasts weak passenger demand but stronger cargo
>> Cathay Pacific warned it did not expect a meaningful recovery in passenger demand for some time due to the coronavirus pandemic after posting a record first-half loss, but signalled a brighter cargo market outlook. The airline reported a HKD 9.87 billion (USD 1.27 billion) first-half loss, in line with a forecast it made last month, including HKD 2.47 billion of impairment charges as passenger numbers plummeted.
"Happy Flight" travelers crash Chinese airline's app with panic buying
>> China Southern Airlines' app crippled on Wednesday amidst the panic buying of one of its ticket discount offers branded as "Happy Flight." As a large number of passengers logged in to book tickets through "Happy Flight," the China Southern Airlines app crashed due to heavy traffic. "Happy Flight" is the latest in a series of similar schemes launched by nine major Chinese carriers, highlighting people's irresistible desire to travel as the COVID-19 situation gradually eases in China.
Corporate travel startup Z-Trip raises around $14 million
>> Z-Trip Business Management, a Chinese full-service business travel management company, announced it has raised around RMB 100 million (USD 14 million) in its Series A and A+ financing. Styling itself as China’s TripActions, Z-Trip is currently providing business travel management services to more than 800 medium and large scale enterprises and listed companies.
Beijing Universal theme park to open its doors next May
>> Universal Beijing Resort will start trial operation next spring, and formally open to the public in May, Beijing Daily reported. The project was announced in 2014 and will be the largest Universal theme park in the world after its construction is completed. Universal Studios now operates four theme parks - in Los Angeles, Orlando, Osaka and Singapore.