Daily Digest: Today’s Asia travel news at a glance – March 7

TODAY’S travel news round-up takes you all around Asia from Sydney’s beautiful harbour to flying with kittens over Taipei, a missing penguin in Tokyo and an imploding iceberg in Antarctica. For all the details, photos and videos read on.

Flying with Hello Kitty…
If you’re a Hello Kitty fan you’ll be pleased to note that Eva Airways is continuing to dedicate some of their fleet to the iconic Japanese brand.

Three airbuses are now decked out in Hello Kitty signage and there’s a distinct kitten theme on everything from check in terminals, phones, boarding passes and lounges to the inflight food and entertainment. If you’re a fan or have a child that loves the cute brand, the flights from Hong Kong to Taipei are an absolute must.

There’s a full slideshow of images of a flight here from The Washington Post.

Pic: Eva Air

Wanted: one missing penguin in Tokyo…
In scenes reportedly reminiscent of the movie Madagascar, a Humboldt penguin has made a daring escape from a Tokyo zoo. It was last seen swimming in a river running into Tokyo Bay.

Officials from the zoo remain puzzled about how the bird climbed a rock wall twice its size to get out of the enclosure it shares with 134 other penguins, but they hope to catch it when it lands to sleep.

Pic: ThinkStock

Titanic-style liner berths in Sydney before 100 year anniversary…
As the hundred year anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic approaches in April, another enormous ship berthed in Sydney Harbour on March 7. In fact the luxury cruise ship the Queen Mary 2 is currently the world’s largest ocean liner. Fortunately Sydney is usually well clear of icebergs but the 345-metre, 151,4000-tonne ship is certainly of titanic proportions.

In fact she was just five metres off the highest point of the Sydney Opera House and 10 metres above the navigational clearance for the Harbour Bridge. She can carry 25000 passengers and sits 62 metres above the water line.

See the impressive video of the Queen Mary 2 docking at Circular Quay here.

Pic: Getty

Qantas Internet access for favoured few…
Qantas introduced Internet on flights between Melbourne and Sydney and Los Angeles on March 7 as part of an eight-week trial for first and business class passengers. The service is not actually free but Qantas is the first airline in the world to trial it between Australia and the US. After eight weeks it will be reviewed to see if it will be a long term application.

It wasn’t the only headline grabbing news for Qantas this week. Passengers flying from Sydney to Melbourne were forced to turn back when a bird flew into one of its engines. The outcome for the bird is unknown but the 272 passengers landed safely back in Sydney a short time later.

Pic: news.com.au

Ski season starts early in New Zealand
Keen Kiwi skiers were given a rare taste of off season sport when a dump left 50cm of snow on Mt Hutt. The ski season normally runs from June to October so the falls were a huge novelty but gladly welcomed by snowboarders and skiers who enjoyed runs largely clear of the usual crowds.

Pic: Mt Hutt.

Tourists witness an icy implosion
Continuing the theme of Titanic and icebergs in today’s news, tourists in Antarctica were treated to a rare glimpse of a berg imploding on itself.

From their boat in Wilhelmina Bay they filmed footage of icy chunks falling from the iceberg before it collapsed completely, showering them in ice and water.

To see the video click here.

Bangkok reopens second airport
The Thai capital’s second largest airport finally reopened on Tuesday after a four month closure following heavy flooding in the country.

Don Mueang International Airport in the north of the city suspended operations in late October as waters rose and finally flooded the runways. However facilities have now been restored and flood protection walls will be built around it.

Daily travel digest compiled by Jo Lane