Airline & Airport News.
Upgrades to QF MEL lounge
From mid-November 2017, Qantas will undergo construction for its new Qantas Club and Business Lounge in Melbourne. The construction is expected to continue until the second half of 2018, and will result in some temporary changes to the guest lounge access. For more information: CLICK HERE
VA offers double points for China and Hong Kong
Virgin Australia has partnered with Hainan Airlines, Hong Kong Airlines and Capital Airlines, and to celebrate, for a limited time you could earn double Velocity Points when travelling from Australia or New Zealand to 5 new destinations in Mainland China and Hong Kong. To receive double Points, simply book and fly before 15 December 2017 and enter your Velocity membership number when booking.
Qantas to launch Sydney-Osaka
From 14 December 2017, Qantas will commence year-round services between Sydney and Osaka, Japan. The operation will be an extension to the previously announced seasonal route, and will fly thrice-weekly return on an Airbus A330. The A330 offers QF’s latest Business Suite product with fully lie-flat beds and direct aisle access for every seat.
Air NZ doubles 787 business class
Air New Zealand’s newest 787-9 Dreamliner fleet will boast double the amount of business class and premium economy seats. The first ‘premium-ised’ aircraft will take flight from 15 October 2017 on the AKL-SYD route, offering 27 lie-flat business pods and 33 seats in premium economy. The revamped aircraft has a total capacity of 275 passengers, and will later be deployed on the AKL-IAH route from December 2017.
Qantas adds new EK codeshares to Europe
Following a new air services agreement between Australia and Cyprus, Qantas has announced that it will add new codeshares with Emirates to Europe. The new destinations include Bologna, Larnaca and Malta and will come in to effect from 29 October 2017.
Brisbane-Beijing direct with CA
Air China will commence direct flights between Brisbane and Beijing from 11 December 2017. The four-times-weekly service will also allow passengers to use Beijing as a visa-free stopover for up to 72 hours before continuing to CA destinations across Europe and North America. The flights have been introduced as corporate travel opportunities between Brisbane and China increase.
In-flight text messages on Delta
Delta Air Lines has become the first American airline to offer passengers a free, in-flight text messaging service. The service will go live later this month and will allow travellers to send real-time texts and utilise social media applications such as Facebook and WhatsApp.
Access global, in-flight Wi-Fi for $15 a month
Frequent travellers can now take out a monthly subscription for in-flight Wi-Fi across 28 airlines globally. The monthly subscription starts at $15 and provides unlimited internet access when you fly with carriers including Cathay Pacific (Airbus A350 flights), Delta, Etihad Airways, Singapore Airlines (select flights) and United Airlines (select flights). To activate, simply subscribe online to the ‘CPHTravelWiFi’ service provided by Copenhagen Airports and download the Wi-Fi app onto your smart device.
China Southern to operate record number of flights this summer
In celebration of its 20-year anniversary in Australian skies, China Southern is operating a record 68 weekly flights to Australia this summer. The increased capacity will start from the second week of December and run until the end of February 2018. The flights include 24 to Melbourne and Sydney, seven to Brisbane, five to Perth and Adelaide and three to Cairns.
Thai Airways deploys A350 to MEL
Thai Airways has increased capacity by 224 seats on its Bangkok-Melbourne service, by replacing its Boeing 777-200 aircraft with an A350-900. The A350 aircraft features 11 to 16 inch HD screens, more overhead cabin storage and 20% less aircraft noise.
United Airlines has announced a new nonstop service between Houston, Texas (IAH) and Sydney to launch from 18 January 2018. The new flight will be the first direct route between the two cities and will be operated by a 787 Dreamliner featuring 48 United Polaris Business Class seats.
Etihad launches European early birds
Business and economy class early bird specials for 2018 are now available from Etihad Airways. The deals include flights from Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth to European destinations such as London, Paris, Rome, Dublin, Berlin and Athens.
SQ brings Book the Cook to Brisbane
Brisbane business class travellers will soon be able to use Singapore Airlines’ Book the Cook pre-selection meal service. From 1 October 2017, the service will be offered to business class passengers on SQ’s four daily flights to Brisbane, and to Premium Economy travellers from 17 October. SQ earlier announced the service will also be offered to Perth business travellers from 1 October.
SQ’s first 787-10
Singapore Airline’s first 787-10 Dreamliner has completed its final assembly at the Boeing facility. It will now undergo painting of the airline’s livery and its system checks, fuelling, and engine runs. SQ is expecting delivery of the aircraft in the first half of 2018 and will operate it on medium-haul routes. SQ currently has 30 planes on order.
Biofuel at BNE
Brisbane Airport has entered an agreement with Virgin Australia and US-based biofuel producer Gevo, to source sustainable aviation fuel. The two-year trial is supported by the Queensland Government and will see Virgin Australia begin to use the “biojet” fuel before Christmas. The renewable fuel components are made from sugarcane products and agave and will be sourced from local Queensland providers.
UA Polaris Lounge delays
United Airlines has delayed the opening of its worldwide network of Polaris airport lounges, the second time the airline has pushed back the reveal. The airline’s San Francisco, Newark and London lounges are now expected to open by early 2018, rather than mid-2017 as originally stated. The Chicago Polaris lounge has been the first and only to open its doors, and offers business class travellers exclusive dining, work pods and day beds to relax in before their flights.
Travelodge SYD opens its doors
Located just 500 metres from the airport entrance, Travelodge Hotel Sydney Airport has officially opened its doors. With 209 guest rooms, 800 space car park and free Wi-Fi, business travellers have a comfortable and convenient option for their upcoming business travel.
InterContinental Hotel Sydney upgrade
A proposal has been put forward for a $200 million revamp of InterContinental Hotel Sydney, including a new 900m2 ballroom with sweeping views of Circular Quay and the Sydney Harbour Bridge. The proposal includes brand new meeting and event spaces and an extra floor of hotel rooms for guests.
FV by Peppers
Peppers’ has welcomed a new hotel to its Brisbane portfolio, with FV by Peppers opening late last month. The Fortitude Valley hotel offers free Wi-Fi, a heated u-shaped skyline pool, state of the art gym and yoga retreat. CTM’s Brisbane Client Value Management team were one of the first to be offered a tour of the new hotel, hosted by Sharon Campbell and Karly Hunt from Mantra Group.
New event space for Daydream
Daydream Island Resort and Spa will undergo a $65 million redevelopment of its facilities, including an expansion to its conference and events spaces. The revamp comes after the devastation caused by Cyclone Debbie earlier this year. The Whitsundays resort will reopen in late 2018 as a 4.5-star resort.
AccorHotels to develop Orient Express brand
A new deal between AccorHotels and SNCF Group will see Accor acquiring 50% of the Orient Express hotel brand, which until now, was fully owned by SNCF. The deal intends to strengthen the Orient Express brand in the luxury hospitality sector, through promotion of the brand’s heritage and connection to the legendary railway train.