Capital flight News that Singapore Airlines is to start flights to Canberra later this year might otherwise have been overlooked were it not for the fact that this will be the first-ever scheduled international air service to or from the Australian capital's airport. The new Capital Express route, due to start in September, will continue on to Wellington, in New Zealand, giving Canberra two international air links in one fell swoop. It seems remarkable that it has taken so long for Canberra Airport to achieve scheduled international links, with even Myanmar's new ghost-capital, Naypyidaw, having two overseas connections, to Bangkok and Kunming. The new four-times-weekly service will also no doubt be welcome news at the Vibe Hotel Canberra Airport (above), which opened for business a couple of months ago.
All change Airlines will likely be none too pleased about a new app that lets passengers buy and sell their seat locations. Not yet available in the Hong Kong App Store (and you'll need a United States-based credit card if you use the US App Store), Seateroo (right) lets passengers with desirable seats put them up for sale for any price from US$5 before or during (assuming there's onboard Wi-fi) a flight. Arrangements take place on board, as boarding passes cannot be legally exchanged beforehand. Potential sellers need simply enter their flight number, seat location and asking price up to five days in advance, and those looking to upgrade can search accordingly. Changing seats in the same class is generally allowed on airlines, but changing between classes can be problematic, as outlined in the FAQ section at seateroo.com. It's a great idea, but it probably won't be long before at least some airlines - especially those that have been charging extra for legroom and window seats in recent years, and selling upgrades during flights - find a way to curb such convenience.
Deal of the week A cheap package to Siem Reap, near Cambodia's Angkor Wat, is up for sale at Swire Travel, starting from HK$2,420 for two nights at the Angkor Riviera Hotel, with breakfast, airport transfers and flights with Dragonair. Top of the price list is the old Raffles Grand Hotel D'Angkor, where State Rooms are on offer from HK$4,390. Half a dozen other mid-range and upscale hotels are offered in between. This package will be available until the end of October, with high-season flight surcharges from February 4 to 11, March 23 to 27 and July 8 to August 27. Visit www.swiretravel.com for further details and reservations.