British Airways Announces New Service to China

British Airways, the UK based airline, will be offering flights to Chengdu, in China, from London Heathrow airport.

The new three-times-weekly service commences from September 2013, and the airline will be the first carrier to offer a service between London Heathrow and Chengdu. Currently the airline’s services to china include flights to Beijing and Shanghai on the Chinese mainland, and to the island of Hong Kong.

Willie Walsh, the chief executive officer of IAG, the airline’s parent company, said, ‘I have visited China on many occasions and last year went to Chengdu to see for myself the progress that has been made at the airport. It is truly impressive and shows vision and ambition.

I am delighted to announce this new route which demonstrates the importance of mainland China to British Airways and our commitment to grow our presence here.

Economic growth in China is continuing to outstrip that of most other countries, and Chengdu is not only the capital of Sichuan Province in the South West of China but one of the country’s largest cities.

Since 1990, Chengdu’s economy has expanded rapidly, consistently delivering double-digit rates of growth. We are confident that the new route between Chengdu and London will prove popular with customers travelling between the two major economic hubs.

China is also a fascinating venue for leisure travellers, and the region is famed for its giant pandas, rich culture and excellent cuisine.’

To celebrate the new service, the airline is offering airfares to Chengdu for GBP508.00 on all bookings made by January 6, 2013. The service includes a four-cabin Boeing 777 aircraft with First, Club World (business class), World Traveller Plus (premium economy) and World Traveller (economy) seating.

The flight number for the inbound service is BA88, and BA89 is the number for the London outbound flight.


Thistle Hotels Offers Complimentary Wi-Fi at London Hotels

Thistle Hotels, the UK based hotel brand, is offering complimentary Internet access to its guests.

Introduced recently across its properties, the hotel brand is offering the free and unlimited Wi-Fi service at its London hotels.

The brand has recently upgraded its partnership with BT Wi-Fi, and the new service comes from the partnership, claiming to offer seamless and fast connectivity for hotel guests. The service is complimentary for unlimited usage at the London properties, and for half an hour daily at its other properties in the UK.

David Grosfils, the operations director for Thistle Hotels said, ‘We recognise the increasing importance of ‘staying connected’ and are fully committed to providing the very best experience for all our guests, whether they are business or leisure travellers.

We are confident this free, unlimited service will offer a seamless transition from either the home or office environment, with the quality and security one can expect from such a trusted partner.’

The offer is available at properties, including Bloomsbury Park, A Thistle Associate Hotel, Thistle City Barbican, The Kingsley by Thistle, Thistle Kensington Gardens, London, and Thistle Euston.

Complimentary hotel Wi-Fi connectivity often decides the choice of hotels for travellers these days. A survey conducted earlier by, a US-based travel company and a part of Expedia group, indicated that many more travellers are opting for hotels with Wi-Fi connectivity.

The hotel booking website has indicated that around 38 percent of people surveyed had decided on hotels based on complimentary Wi-Fi availability as the most important hotel amenity, while 31 percent of travellers have expressed a wish to have all hotels Wi-Fi enabled, so that they can remain connected even while on vacation and business travel.


Cardiff Airport to Be Acquired By Welsh Goverment

TGI Ltd, the owner of Cardiff Airport, has announced that it is selling the facility to the Welsh government.

The Welsh government has already entered into an agreement to buy the airport from TGI. Confirming the announcement, the airport website has reported, ‘Over the last few months, Cardiff Airport has engaged in positive and constructive discussions with the Welsh Government on how best to position Airport for challenges ahead. In the course of those discussions it emerged that a sale of the airport was one possible option.

To explore that option further, a process has been put in place which will allow the Welsh Government to undertake comprehensive due diligence. Depending upon the outcome of that due diligence and other related activities it is our understanding that the Welsh Government may decide to proceed towards a purchase.’

The Welsh First Minister, Carwyn Jones, has also announced the agreement, saying, ‘Over the past 12 months, I have repeatedly emphasised the importance to Wales of a dynamic international gateway airport in Cardiff.

During the course of the year we have developed a very constructive and positive relationship with TBI. Together we have been discussing how best to develop the airport to position it for the challenges ahead.

I can today announce that the Welsh Government has agreed with TBI to progress towards the purchase of Cardiff Airport. Such an arrangement would enable us to develop a more coherent approach to our national infrastructure planning, and integrate the airport into our wider economic development strategy.’

The airport currently serves around 1.6 million passengers a year.

The Wales business minister, Edwina Hart, said, ‘The message from business leaders and tourism operators across Wales are clear; strong, international transport links are vital to our prosperity, and key to future economic growth.

Subject to satisfactory due diligence, our investment in Cardiff Airport has the potential to create many exciting possibilities for the Welsh economy – boosting opportunities for international trade, and helping to increase visitor numbers to Wales.’