Singapore Airlines, giving a boost to the Las Vegas hotel-gambling industry, is planning the first nonstop flights between Hong Kong and Las Vegas beginning in August.
A spokeswoman for the company, which has a U.S. office in Los Angeles, said flights would begin Aug. 2. The company already has begun offering seats for sale on computer systems used by travel agents.
The airline, operated by the SIA Group of Singapore, plans three flights a week originating in Singapore, stopping in Hong Kong, then flying directly to Las Vegas’ McCarran International Airport. The return flight would go directly to Hong Kong and continue to Singapore.
The news is important to the Southern Nevada tourism sector, which includes the hotel, gambling and retail industries. The sector saw a dramatic decline in visitation from Asian customers after the terrorism in September.
Las Vegas Strip casino executives have said this business is starting to recover, but the slowdown has taken a heavy financial toll already, most notably in baccarat play. Win from baccarat — the chosen game of Asian high-rollers — fell 28 percent on the Strip in October, then plummeted more than 80 percent in November. In November, the plunge in baccarat play was the cause of nearly all of the state’s 7 percent-plus decline in gaming win.
With its proximity to China, Vietnam, Taiwan, the Philippines and other Southeast Asia nations, Hong Kong is a key international finance and trade center. With a population of more than 7 million, the former British colony was turned over to Chinese control in 1997.
Harry Kassap, manager of air service development at McCarran, said although he has not officially been notified of Singapore’s service plans he is enthused with the prospect of the airline beginning service …Read more