Asian air route updates: Malindo’s new Australian route, West Air flies to Japan, and more…

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CAANew Macau charters for Cambodia Angkor Air

Where? Sihanoukville (Cambodia) to Macau (China)
When? Twice a week, effective immediately
Who? Cambodia Angkor Air
Why? New charter service to tap Chinese demand for Cambodian beach holidays
Anything else? When President Airlines’ Antonov 24 landed at Sihanoukville Airport in 2004 it was the first commercial aircraft to do so since 1997

VJ crewVietjet Thailand develops fledgling domestic network

Where? Phuket to Chiang Rai (both Thailand)
When? Daily, effective 26 March 2017
Who? Vietjet Thailand
Why? New Thai carrier continues to expand domestic network. This latest route will allow passengers to fly from the northern Thai city to southern island without stopping in Bangkok
Anything else? Vietjet Thailand’s sister airline, Vietjet, was once prosecuted by Vietnamese authorities for dressing its female cabin crew in bikinis as part of a route launch

PhuketXiamen Airlines adds Southeast Asian summer service

Where? Fuzhou (China) to Phuket, pictured (Thailand)
When? Daily, effective 26 March 2017
Who? Xiamen Airlines
Why? Expanding Chinese carrier taps rising demand for Chinese travel to Thailand; this will be the first direct connection between Phuket and the capital of Fujian province
Anything else? Xiamen Airlines will become the 15th mainland Chinese airline serving Phuket

MalindoMalindo adds another Australian route

Where? Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia) to Brisbane (Australia)
When? Daily, effective 31 March 2017
Who? Malindo Air
Why? The new service will operate via Denpasar, allowing Malindo to tap the high-demand Australia-Bali sector as well as Malaysian traffic
Anything else? A so-called “hybrid” airline, Malindo offers low-cost services but with fares inclusive of baggage, in-flight entertainment and meals

SapporoChina West Air starts serving Japan

Where? Chongqing (China) to Sapporo, pictured (Japan)
When? Daily, effective 3 April 2017
Who? China West Air
Why? HNA’s Chongqing-based low-cost carrier is launching its first flights to Japan, with another service also planned to Osaka
Anything else? The Chongqing-Sapporo route will operate via Zhengzhou. Combined, these three cities have a population of more than 40 million people

PhuketOkay launches Thai flights from Xi’an

Where? Xi’an (China) to Phuket, pictured (Thailand)
When? Three times a week, effective 28 March 2017
Who? Okay Airways
Why? Chinese airline continues to add new links for tourists to visit popular Thai resort island
Anything else? Xi’an is home to the Terracotta Army – a collection of more than 8,000 ancient soliders, horses and chariots

EA B787Ethiopian expands links with China

Where? Addis Ababa (Ethiopia) to Chengdu (China)
When? Three times a week, effective 22 May 2017
Who? Ethiopian Airlines
Why? African national carrier continues to tap rising traffic to and from China, helped by its new fleet of fuel-efficient Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft
Anything else? Chinese companies invested more than US$14 billion in Africa in the first half of 2016 – more than the whole of 2015

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