Here are the latest travel news briefs to keep your plans on the go:

Budget airline group AirAsia is one of six bidders attempting to acquire cash-strapped Sri Lankan. Its unit AirAsia Consulting filed a request for qualification to acquire shares in Sri Lankan Airlines Limited, the Sri Lanka finance ministry said.

The flag carrier has been struggling for years and posted heavy losses of LKR 73.6 billion in 2023. The government acquired $510 million in bank loan liabilities to help make an acquisition more attractive and will also provide $70 million in short-term working capital.

Emirates has apologized to customers who experienced major disruption caused by historic floods and the airline’s ‘far from perfect’ response. Sir Tim Clark, President of Emirates, wrote an apology and outlined the current status at its Dubai air hub.

“Our most sincere apologies to every customer who has had their travel plans disrupted during this time,” Clark wrote. The airline had to cancel nearly 400 flights and delay many more due to the UAE’s highest rainfall in 75 years.

As many as 50 new flights are set to be launched in 2024, with SAS linking Copenhagen to Atlanta. The US city will become the ninth destination served by SAS in North America. The route is planned for June 17, operating daily during the summer months.

Air France has announced a link between Paris and Phoenix from May, while German carriers Lufthansa and Condor will also add new US points. Lufthansa will add nonstop flights to Minneapolis-Saint Paul and Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina, while Condor opens a new channel into San Antonio, the Texan city’s only transatlantic route.

Universal Orlando Resort has unveiled plans for two upcoming hotels, Universal Stella Nova Resort and Universal Terra Luna Resort. Universal Stella Nova Resort is set to open on January 21, 2025 with Universal Terra Luna Resort launching a month later.

The Universal hotels are co-owned and operated by hotel partner Loews Hotels & Co. The space-themed hotels will each have 750 guest rooms, and comfortably accommodate four guests. Stella Nova Resort and Terra Luna Resort will have dining options including Cosmos Cafe and Market at Stella Nova Resort and Omega Cafe and Market at Terra Luna Resort.

MSC Cruises has unveiled its 2024 ‘Stay & Cruise’ programme, which enables guests to extend their seven-night cruise into a nine or ten-night holiday on land and sea. The campaign includes add-ons such as an additional two-night stay with breakfast included at a four-star hotel in Athens, Venice and Rome. There is also a three-star hotel in Miami option as well as two or three nights at a four-star hotel in New York.

The InterContinental Singapore is taking wet days in its stride. The hotel is taking a gamble to ensure that rain doesn’t spoil its guests’ holidays by offering its “Rain Resist Bliss” package – which reimburses one night of a guest’s stay if one of their planned activities ends up getting rained out.

The package is only applicable to people staying in suites and the money comes in the form of a voucher, which must be spent at the InterContinental Singapore within six months.

And AI seems to be taking to the airways. Qatar Airways broke new ground at ITB Berlin 2024 with the successful launch of its holographic virtual cabin crew, Sama 2.0. Qatar is the world’s first airline to develop the Artificial Intelligence powered digital human cabin crew to assist its passengers in designing curated travel experiences.

Sama, meaning ‘sky’ in Arabic, is ready to answer questions in real time such as Qatar Airways FAQs, destinations, and support tips, and will be accessible through QVerse, Qatar Airways’ immersive digital platform, as well as through the Qatar Airways app.

Andy Probert - The Wise TravellerAndy Probert is an experienced freelance business travel journalist and PR specialist.