Travel Weekly's Asia-Pacific E-letter: Dec. 20, 2004

STAR ALLIANCE is gradually rolling out its global interline e-ticket system among member airlines. Air Canada and Lufthansa launched the system in November. All Nippon Airways and United adopted it this month, and Air Canada and Air New Zealand plan to launch the service in January. All other partners plan to roll out the e-ticket service by the end of August 2005.

THAILAND AIRPASS: Meanwhile, the Star Alliance introduced the Thailand Airpass, which allows passengers to explore the country at a cheaper rate than if the tickets were purchased individually. Passengers can purchase from three to eight travel coupons, paying $169 for the first three coupons and $59 thereafter. The airpass can be sold in conjunction with any type of international fare as long as the fares are for roundtrip or open-jaw trips. The airpass is valid for three months.

HILTON launched a promotion in Asia offering guests at select hotels complimentary breakfast, late checkout and a free children's meal. Through Feb. 28, the 13 participating hotels will offer room rates starting at $60 when guests book at least seven days in advance. The participating Hilton hotels are in Kuala Lumpur, Borneo, Beijing, Chongqing, Colombo, Hanoi, Kuching, Nanjing, Petaling Jaya, Shanghai, Shenzhen and Singapore.

EATTING WITH THE FISHES: Speaking of Hilton, what's being described as the "world's first undersea restaurant" is set to open at the Hilton Maldives Resort & Spa early next year. The aquarium-style restaurant will be encased in clear acrylic and sit below the surface of the Indian Ocean. The 14-seat restaurant will serve contemporary Maldivian food.

DELTA plans to launch daily service between New York (Kennedy) and Madras, India, with a stop in Paris, beginning May 9. Delta currently offers daily New York-Paris-Mumbai flights and daily seasonal service from New York-Frankfurt-Mumbai. The new service will be operated aboard a 767-300 aircraft.

PLEASANT HOLIDAYS named Amy Frank destination marketing manager for Asia and the South Pacific. Most recently, Frank was an account coordinator with J&A Advertising in Los Angeles. At Pleasant, Frank will develop cooperative marketing campaigns with the travel company's hotel and destination partners in the Asia-Pacific region.


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