|News from around the Asia Pacific region, Sept 6.|
Friday, 6th September 2013
Source : HVS
Hotel industry and travel news from around the Asia Pacific region; this week: Yangon gets second airport, ONYX, Vietnam upgardes rail system and more....
Yangon to Develop Second Airport
Yangon is set to develop a second airport to help the city cope with the expected increase in visitors over the coming years. The Hanthawaddy International Airport will be located on the outskirts of Yangon and is understood to cost approximately US$1.1 billion. The new airport is expected to have an annual capacity of approximately 12 million passengers and is anticipated to be completed by 2018. The existing Yangon International Airport is currently able to handle 2.7 million passengers annually and upon completion of its planned expansion, is expected to handle six million passengers by 2017.
ONYX to Make Debut in Malaysia
ONYX Hospitality Group will make its debut in Malaysia with the OZO Penang. Scheduled to open in 2016, the OZO Penang will be the group and brand's pioneer property in Malaysia. The property will be located in the centre of Georgetown and will feature 132 guestrooms, meeting rooms, all-day dining, fitness centre and a grab-and-go food outlet. OZO recently opened its first property in Hong Kong earlier this year and management agreements have been signed for projects in Thailand and Sri Lanka.
Mantra Group Plans Expansion in Indonesia and Thailand
Australian-based Mantra Group is planning to expand its portfolio in Asia Pacific, with focus on Indonesia and Thailand. Mantra intends to open 20 hotels in Indonesia within the next three years and to operate another 20 properties in Thailand in the next six years. Mantra recently opened its first property in Asia, Mantra Nusa Dua Bali, in March and is understood to be in talks to run a hotel in Jakarta. Mantra also plans to continue developing its Australian portfolio and is expected to rebrand, expand and open at least five properties by 2015.
New Airline to Launch in Bali
NAM Air, a new airline is set to be launched in Bali and will serve both domestic and international routes. Jakarta-based Sriwijaya Air, Indonesia's third largest carrier after Garuda and Lion Air, has received permission for its new airline, NAM Air, to operate 300 domestic and international routes, including East Timor, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines and Singapore. NAM Air is anticipated to start operations by 2013 and is expected to offer low-cost fares and a limited range of services.
Vietnam Plans Major Rail Upgrade
Vietnam's Ministry of Transport has released a draft blueprint for the development of the country's railway infrastructure. The development plans are understood to comprise of three main elements - upgrading the country's existing railway lines, the development of a new double-track broad gauge line connecting Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City and the development of two express railway sections. Currently, a train ride between Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City takes about 30 hours on the single-track gauge railway line. By improving the existing track, it is anticipated that the train ride will be shortened to 21 hours. The total cost for upgrading the current railway line is understood to be an estimated VND40 trillion (US$1.9 billion).