AIRLINES applied to the Department of Transportation (DOT)
for approval to operate nonstop flights from Newark to Shanghai. If
approved, the company intends to introduce flights in March 2007
using 283-seat Boeing 777 aircraft, with 48 BusinessFirst seats and
235 economy seats. Continental's nonstops between Newark and
Beijing are scheduled to start June 15.
ADDITION, the DOT granted American the authority to launch
Chicago-Shanghai service as soon as March 25, 2006. The DOT already
had authorized Continental to start Newark-Beijing service this
year. The airlines will become the first new passenger carriers in
the U.S.-China market since 1986, thanks to a new aviation
agreement signed by the U.S. and China in July.
BEGAN to widen the runway at the Melbourne Airport by 49
feet to accommodate the double-decker A380 Airbus in 2006. The
renovation will make Melbourne the first Australian city that can
accommodate the aircraft, which was unveiled in Toulouse, France,
in January. Five of the airport's 23 international carriers have
placed orders for A380s. The airport remains operational at all
hours during construction.
INTERCONTINENTAL HOTELS GROUP (IHG)
intends to sell 10 wholly owned properties in Australia, New
Zealand and Fiji while retaining management agreements. IHG said
the sale would not include its joint ventures in the region, such
as the InterContinental Burswood Resort Perth, the Crowne Plaza
Christchurch and InterContinental resorts in French Polynesia. The
decision to sell the Pacific Asia assets is in keeping with IHG's
strategy of growing its management and franchise businesses while
reducing its asset ownership.
PACIFIC TOURING (APT) and Qantas Airways are joining
forces to conduct a series of travel agent seminars about Australia
and New Zealand for U.S. travel agents. The shows will be held in
eight American cities: Denver, April 12; Colorado Springs, Colo.,
April 14; Salt Lake City, April 19; Tucson, Ariz., April 21; New
York, May 3; Boston, May 5; Cleveland, May 24; and Detroit, May 25.
Light refreshments will be served at 6:30 and the seminars will be
held from 7 to 8 p.m. A drawing for two tickets to Sydney will be
held the end of the series; agents attending each event will be
entered in the drawing. For information, call (888) 299-1428 or
e-mail [email protected]. The Web site is www.aptouring.com.