October 2014 Travel News & Alerts

01 October 2014
Embassy Closures for the Month of October

Please be informed that the following embassies will be closed in October on the specified dates:

1. China Embassy: 1st – 7th October 2014

2. Indian Embassy: 2nd October 2014

                             6th October 2014

                             23rd October 2014

3. Israel Embassy: 3rd October 2014

                            8th – 10th October 2014

                            15th – 17th October 2014

4. Korea Embassy: 3rd October 2014

                            9th October 2014

5. Japan Embassy: 6th October 2014

                            22nd October 2014

6. Thailand Embassy: 6th October 2014

                                22nd October 2014

                                23rd October 2014

7. Myanmar Embassy: 8th October 2014


No visa applications will be processed during this period.

For further information please contact your travel manager.

Cathay Pacific Now at Manila’s Ninoy Aquino Terminal 3

Cathay Pacific check-in counters at Manila's Ninoy Aquino International Airport will be moved from Terminal 1 to Terminal 3 on 1 October 2014.

Dragonair check-in counters will remain in Terminal 1.


For further information please contact your travel manager.

Increase Thai Airways Baggage Allowance

Thai Airways is pleased to announce that the new Baggage Allowance under the weight concept will be increased by 10kg per passenger in all cabin classes on all TG operated flights departing from 23 September 2014.

Cabin Free Baggage Allowance
Royal First Class 50kg

Royal Silk Class (Business Class)                  

Premium Economy Class

Economy Class 30kg

The new Baggage Allowance is applicable to all worldwide TG destinations and will be valid for tickets issued from 23 September 2014. However, the new Baggage Allowance will also apply to tickets issued before 23 September 2014. There is no change to the baggage allowance for piece concept.

For further information please contact your travel manager.

Marriott's new addition on Hainan Island

Marriott will launch its first ever business-focused city hotel on the Chinese resort island of Hainan next month.

Scheduled to welcome its first guests on 13 October 2014, the Haikou Marriott Hotel will be located in the capital of Hainan province, overlooking the sea.

The hotel will offer 386 rooms, all with sea views, including two luxury villas. Catering mainly for the corporate market, the new Marriott will feature 4,000m² of meeting and event space, including a grand ballroom, seven meeting rooms and a business centre, plus an outdoor lawn and terrace with sea views.

Other facilities at the new hotel include three restaurants, four bars, adult and children’s swimming pools, a spa with six hot spring pools, plus steam rooms, saunas and jacuzzis.


For further information please contact your travel manager.

Luftansa Now Flying Premium Economy

On 2Oct, Luftansa flew its first Boeing 747-8 with a Premium Economy Class cabin. The 747-8 is the first in the German carrier’s fleet to be fitted with Premium Economy Seats and the first time in 35 years that the airline introduced a new travel class.

From as early as 1 December – nine days earlier than scheduled – Lufthansa passengers will be able to enjoy Premium Economy Class on all flights on the Boeing 747-8 fleet. The “dash-8 fleet” will then offer by far the most cutting-edge and exclusive travelling experience available at Lufthansa.

Premium Economy Class seats will make up some ten per cent of the entire seating capacity on each wide-bodied aircraft.

By late summer of the following year, Lufthansa will have modified First, Business and Premium Economy Class on its entire long-haul fleet according to schedule and as part of its quality campaign. 

For further information please contact your travel manager.

Hotel Nikko Guangzhou

Nikko Hotels International will open Hotel Nikko Guangzhou, its new luxury hotel in Guangzhou, the capital city of China’s Guangdong Province this November. The hotel will be their ninth property in China.

Hotel Nikko Guangzhou is located in the Software Park of the Guangzhou Tianhe Intelligence City in the Tianhe District. It is a 20-minute drive to the Guangzhou International Exhibition Center where the Guangzhou Fair, China’s biggest trade fair, is held annually. It's also a 50-minute drive to Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport. There is also easy access to Guangzhou Science City, one of China’s leading technology centers, hence making the hotel an ideal base for business travellers.

Guangzhou is China’s third largest city after Beijing and Shanghai. It is a manufacturing hub, home to numerous MNCs. Hotel Nikko Guangzhou will cater to both business and leisure clientele. The brand new 15-story building will offer 400 guest rooms, including multiple types of suites and an apartment. Facilities will include banquet rooms; business center; spa and fitness club; and six dining facilities, including elegant Japanese and Chinese eateries. The all-day dining restaurant and some guest rooms which opened on September 25th.

JAL Hotels Co., Ltd., an international hospitality company, is a subsidiary of Hotel Okura Co., Ltd., which has extensive business operations in hospitality and related industries and also manages Okura Hotels & Resorts, a network of 25 hotels in and outside Japan. JAL Hotels manages 48 hotels with a total of 15,157 guest rooms in two groups: Nikko Hotels International, an international luxury hotel group with properties on three continents; and Hotel JAL City, mid-priced business hotels in Japan. The company will open its 10th property in China this year, also, the 478-room Hotel Nikko Suzhou.


For further information please contact your travel manager.

Edinburgh Airport starts Google Glass trial

Edinburgh Airport is the latest airport to embrace wearable technology. The airport has equipped its concierge with Google Glass on a trial period to test its viability as a customer service tool.

From now and the end of the year, staff will use the device to provide passengers with real-time flight information, to translate foreign language documents and to answer general questions about the airport and the city of Edinburgh.

The airport’s management view the Glass as mode that enables staff to be fully mobile and well-equipped with information useful to the visitors.

Edinburgh Airport is the second UK airport to host a trial of Google Glass, following a successful pilot by Virgin Atlantic at London Heathrow’s Upper Class Wing earlier in 2014.

Travel Notice to Hong Kong

The Singapore Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) has updated its travel notice for Hong Kong as of 1 October 2014.

Protestors have gathered outside Hong Kong’s Government Headquarters since 27 September 2014. Some protestors continue to remain in the areas around the Government Headquarters at Admiralty, as well as at Mong Kok and Causeway Bay, but the situation is calm. There are still some disruptions to traffic and public transport services in certain areas.

For further information please contact your travel manager.

Ebola Screening Measure at Changi Airport

Singapore intends to step up additional screening measures at arrival halls in Singapore Changi Airport with effect from 15 Oct, 12 noon. Nationals and travellers from countries with reported Ebola Virus Disease activity (currently Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Nigeria, Senegal and Democratic Republic of Congo) will be directed to a screening station, where they will be screened for temperature and exposure to Ebola through a questionnaire. There will be signs at the airport to direct them to the screening stations.

These passengers will be required to fill in the Health Declaration Card, which will include their contact details in Singapore. Travellers who are cleared will then be directed to the duty desk at the arrival hall, where they will clear immigration control. Those who are found to have a fever will be transported in an appropriate ambulance transport to Tan Tock Seng Hospital for further medical assessment. Travellers who are well but who are identified as having possible exposure to Ebola virus infection will be quarantined or put under surveillance depending on the risk assessment.

Aside from Singapore Changi Airport, the Health Declaration Card will also be implemented at land and sea checkpoints, as well as at Seletar Airport.

Before travelling to West or Central Africa, members of the public are encouraged to refer to the MOH web page on Ebola for the latest Health Advisory. They should consider postponing travel to countries with reported Ebola Virus Disease activity, if it is non-essential. Persons who need to travel are advised to adopt the necessary precautions, which includes the following:

• Practise frequent hand washing (e.g. after going to toilet, or when hands are soiled); when soap and running water are unavailable, an alcohol-based hand rub can be used instead. The virus is not hardy and can easily be destroyed by such disinfectants.

• Avoid direct contact with blood or other body fluids of infected living or dead persons or animals, as well as objects that may have become contaminated with these infectious fluids, such as soiled clothing, bed sheets, or used needles;

• Avoid participating in burial ceremonies which require direct contact with the body of a deceased infected person.

• Avoid contact with wild animals, including bats, monkeys, apes, chimpanzee and gorillas, whether alive or dead, including their raw or undercooked meat;

• Returning travellers from countries with reported Ebola Virus Disease activity or travellers who suspect that they have been exposed to Ebola virus should seek immediate medical attention, if they develop any disease symptoms (i.e. sudden onset of high fever, stomach pains, diarrhoea, vomiting, rash or bleeding) within 3 weeks of their return. They should inform their doctor of their recent travel or contact history.

MOH continues to maintain close contact with the World Health Organisation (WHO) and our overseas counterparts to monitor the situation closely and ensure that public health is safeguarded.

If you are planning on travelling to an affected country, we strongly recommend you register your details with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs here and stay informed of any change in the situation.


For further information please contact your travel manager.

Garuda Indonesia Baggage Allowance Changes

With immediate effect from 17 Oct, Garuda Indonesia would like to inform that all International route tickets on/after 01 December will have a baggage allowance increased from 20kg to 30kg in the Adult Economy Sector and in the Labour Economy Return Sector.

International Services:

Passenger Cabin  Free Allowance Baggage
Adult First 50kg
Business 40kg
Economy 30kg*
Labour (DL) Economy

EXSIN to Indonesia 40kg

Return will be 30kg*

Student (SD) Economy 40kg
Ship’s Crew (SC) Economy 40kg
Children First 50kg
Business 40kg
Economy 30kg*
Infant First 50kg
Business 40kg
Economy 30kg














Additional Free Baggage Allowance for GarudaMiles Member:

• Silver Card : Max 5 kg

• Gold/EC Plus Card : Max 15 kg

• Platinum Card/GIC Card : Max 20 kg

This additional baggage not applicable during Hajj Period.


Additional Free Baggage Allowance for SkyTeam Member:

• SkyTeam Elite : Extra 10 kg

• SkyTeam Elite Plus : Extra 20 kg

There will be no changes to the Domestic Route baggage allowance.


For further information please contact your travel manager.

Ascott opens 2 new properties in China and Indonesia

Ascott has opened new serviced residences in China and Indonesia, reinforcing its position as a major international owner-operator of serviced residences in Asia.

The 104-unit Citadines Intime City Hangzhou is Ascott’s first property in the city and its 35thproperty to operate in China. The new property provides guests with a range of studios to two-bedroom apartments as well as facilities such as a gymnasium, café, billiard room, launderette, mini cinema, children’s play area, breakfast lounge, business centre and meeting rooms.

In addition, the company has opened its second premier Ascott-branded serviced residence in Jakarta, Indonesia. The 185-unit Ascott Kuningan Jakarta is the company’s eighth property to open in the country.

Located in Jakarta’s Central Business District, Ascott Kuningan Jakarta is part of Ciputra World 1, a large integrated development that consists of an upscale shopping centre. The property offers one-, two-, and three-bedroom apartments with a fully-equipped kitchen and separate living and dining. Other facilities include a swimming pool, tennis, basketball and badminton courts, a fully-equipped gymnasium, garden terrace, café, resident’s lounge and meeting facilities.

Ascott has also opened a new serviced residence in Hamburg, Germany, and signed a new management contract on a property in Dubai. Globally, Ascott has about 60 properties to be opened over the next few years.

Accor expands reach in Indonesia and Myanmar

ACCOR has opened the 266-room Novotel Tangerang, the group's first Novotel branded property in the Banten area, Indonesia.

Located on top of Tangcity Superblock in Tangerang City, the hotel is expected to cater to family, business and MICE travellers. Strategically located, a 25 minutes drive from the airport, Novotel Tangerang has easy access to Jakarta. The hotel’s soft opening begun at back in March with 150 rooms and upon its official opening, 266 rooms.

Novotel Tangerang joins other Accor hotels in Banten, including Mercure Serpong Alam Sutera, ibis Style Jakarta Airport and ibis Gading Serpong. Ibis Budget Jakarta Airport will be built adjacent to the existing airport hotel and is scheduled to open early 2015.

Meanwhile in Myanmar, Accor also opened the third international brand hotel in the capital, The Lake Garden Nay Pyi Taw, last month.

Part of the MGallery Collection, the hotel is five minutes away from the Myanmar International Convention Centre and 20 minutes from the international airport. It offers 165 rooms, a 250-pax conference room, six meeting rooms and two boardrooms.

For further information please contact your travel manager.