Airline & Airport News.
Air NZ & Virgin Australia partner with Alexa
Air New Zealand and Virgin Australia passengers will soon be able to access their flight status details via Amazon’s digital assistant Alexa. Launching in February 2018, the new technology allows passengers to find out more flight information through voice commands on Amazon Echo and Alexa-enabled devices. VA Velocity members will also be able to link their account with Alexa, with other integrations soon to follow.
Virgin Australia to operate Christchurch–Rarotonga winter service
Virgin Australia will offer another year of its weekly Christchurch–Rarotonga seasonal service, the third time the carrier has operated the route. The service will run throughout the winter months from 30 June 2018 to 12 October 2018.
Etihad’s new baggage policy
Etihad Airways is introducing a new checked baggage policy effective from 31 January 2018. The new global baggage policy will be based on the total weight of checked baggage, rather than the numbers of pieces. For more information on the new baggage allowances, click here.
Cathay Pacific close Christchurch–Hong-Kong
Cathay Pacific temporary closed reservation for the three-times-weekly Hong-Kong – Christchurch route in the northern winter 2018/19 season. Operational schedule is still available under the airline’s flight information section in the GDS but the service is not available for booking. The carrier is the sole operator on the route, according to OAG.
Air New Zealand named among top 20 safest airlines
Perth-based AirlineRating.com has ranked Air New Zealand among one of the top safest airlines. Other airlines include Virgin Australia, Qantas, Singapore Airlines and Emirates.
South Africa visa requirements
New Zealand passport holders will now require a visa to enter South Africa, with the new changes taking effect earlier this month. New Zealanders who have permanent residency in Australia can apply through the South African Commission in Canberra, while those who do not will need to apply through the Wellington office.
SQ’s A380 to London and Hong Kong
Singapore Airline’s newest A380 aircraft will commence operation on SQ’s London and Hong Kong routes from mid-February. From 16 February to 5 April, the A380 will operate on flight SQ322 to London, and will later switch to the SQ317 London service from 7 April 2018. Meanwhile, another A380 aircraft will take over the SQ860 service to Hong Kong from 18 February to 6 April, later switching to the SQ861 flight from 8 April.
New ‘stretch-jets’ for Qatar and Singapore Airlines
This year will see the launch of Boeing and Airbus’ latest passenger jets, designed to carry even more travellers in a streamlined body from tip to tail. Later this month Qatar Airways will start flying its Airbus A350-1000, fitted with 327 seats across two cabin classes, including 46 Qsuites in business class. In March, Singapore Airlines’ Boeing 787-10 will be delivered, with capacity for 330 passengers across two cabin classes. The newest addition to the Dreamliner family will see the debut of a brand-new business class seat, featuring a pod-like design with a fully lie-flat bed and direct aisle access.
Boeing shifts focus to seats
Aircraft manufacturer Boeing has announced a recent partnership with Adient, to enter the airline seating industry. A new range of seating products will be available for installation on new aircraft produced by Boeing and others.
BA catering revamp
British Airways passengers travelling in World Traveller Economy class have a new menu to dine on. The multi-million-dollar investment upgrades the usual three course meal to four courses. Magnum ice-creams will be available on daytime flights from London and a Tuck Box on inbound and overnight flights.
United Airlines to launch Premium Plus
United Airlines is due to release a ‘premium economy’ seat to international flights under the Premium Plus label. The premium service will include wider seats with more recline and legroom with the promise of an upgrade to china dinnerware, free alcoholic beverages, a Saks Fifth Avenue blanket and pillow, an amenity kit and more.
Emirates US$16b Airbus deal
Emirates have just placed a huge order for 36 of the Airbus A380 aircraft, worth US$16 billion. The contract adds to Emirates 101-strong A380 fleet and will be replacement for some of the oldest superjumbos.
IHG and CTM offer double points on stays
Nothing is more productive than business travel that comes with rewards! Ramp up the year now with IHG and CTM’s Accelerate double points offer. Book your stays through CTM to earn double points starting from the second stay. Best of all, there’s no cap on points, so earning towards free nights and gifts is now faster than ever. Simply book through CTM for stays at IHG® Hotels and Resorts in Asia Pacific (excluding Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan, and China), the Middle East, and Africa between now and 30 April 2018.