As another year begins, Travel Daily looks at the major trends that could impact the Asian travel industry in 2014…
Boeing 787-9 – Problems solved?
The new extended version of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner is expected to enter service this year with Air New Zealand. Boeing has already sold almost 400 of the new planes, but have the problems experienced with the Boeing 787-8 all been fixed?
In-flight Wi-Fi – A better connection?
In-flight Wi-Fi services will be expanded in 2014, and as new technology is rolled out, connection speeds should start improving. And with the recent announcement that Thailand’s Nok Air will offer the service free-of-charge, can we expect other airlines to follow suit?
Myanmar – emerging giant or expensive luxury?
The emergence of Myanmar was a major news story in 2013, but what does the future hold? We can expect a surge of hotel development and increased air lift next year, but how will the country’s authorities manage its rapid development, and will customers by put off by high prices?
Space tourism – finally reaching the final frontier?
Two space tourism companies – Virgin Galactic and SXC – are planning to make their first commercial flights in 2014. Many wealthy and famous people have already signed-up for the flights, which will reach the very edge of Earth’s atmosphere. But will they launch on time, and will they be worth the money?
Indonesian hotel sector – Enough demand to meet new supply?
Hotel development in Indonesia is booming, with international companies like IHG, Accor and Best Western, and domestic chains like Archipelago and Tauzia, opening multiple new hotels. How will this huge upswing in new supply impact existing hotels, and what will be the hot new markets in 2014?
Airline mergers and joint ventures – Who’s next?
In recent years we’ve seen an unprecedented level of cooperation and expansion in the Asian aviation sector, most recently including Scoot joining forces with Nok Air and Tigerair tying up with China Airlines. Will these new ventures be successful, or will they go the way of AirAsia Japan?
Chinese airports – Greater choice or rising tempers?
China’s aviation industry will expand next year with multiple new passenger carriers entering the market. But with capacity at China’s major airports already pushed to the limit, will Chinese air passengers face further delays and frustrations?
Etihad Airways – The next steps to world domination?
The UAE national carrier continued its strategy of buying half the world’s airlines in 2013, taking stakes in Jet Airways, Air Serbia and Darwin Airline. So who’s next on Etihad’s radar, and can we expect to see the airline taking a greater interest in Asia’s rapidly growing aviation sector?
Island wars – How will Asia’s territorial rows develop?
With China casting its net across vast swathes of the East and South China Seas, could we see heightened tensions in the region in 2014? If it tries to impose another ‘air defence zone’ in the South China Sea, China would be on a potential collision course with the Philippines and Vietnam.