Preparing for take-off

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 26 October, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 26 October, 2011, 12:00am


Airlines are adding new flights from Hong Kong to regional destinations and pairing them with hotel packages to promote leisure travel.

United Continental Holdings will launch a flight linking Hong Kong with Tokyo on October 31.

To be operated by Continental Airlines, it is the first new service from Hong Kong to be launched by United Airlines since the two airlines merged in 2010. The daily flight will be operated on Boeing 737-800 jetliners.

In addition to special introductory fares, the airline is offering two- and four-night packages from Hong Kong. Some travel agencies are offering add-ons such as travel insurance and meal discount coupons.

From October 31 until November 3, the two-night Tokyo packages will start at HK$1,999, After that, they will start from HK$2,699.

Meanwhile, Garuda Indonesia has doubled its number of flights linking Hong Kong with the Indonesian capital, Jakarta, to two per day.

It has also launched a daily service to the ever-popular island resort of Bali, a long-favoured travel destination for people in Hong Kong. The Jakarta service is operated on Airbus A330-200s, the Bali service on 737-800s

To develop inbound tourism from Hong Kong, the southern mainland and Taiwan, the airline has launched a package tour arm in Hong Kong, which will be managed locally by Aerowisatra, a subsidiary of Garuda Indonesia.

Garuda Orient Holidays (GOH) is developing packages to various destinations in Indonesia. Adventure travel, cultural attractions, eco-tourism, the premium market and special interest are among the key sectors that will be promoted.

Similar regional GOH branches have already been established in Australia, Japan, New Zealand and South Korea.

'As Garuda undergoes an historic transformation and modernisation, our new package tour operation is committed to supporting both Indonesian tourism and this new era for the airline,' says Muhammad Arif Wibowo, Garuda Indonesia executive vice-president, marketing and sales.

The mainland represents a relatively new tourism market for Indonesia.

Before the country entered the World Trade Organisation, few people from the mainland travelled to the archipelago.

It now represents one of Indonesia's top sources of inbound travel.