Airline & Airport News.
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.
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 New Zealand or Australia 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.
In-flight Wi-Fi trials for Air NZ
Trials have commenced for Air NZ’s in-flight Wi-Fi service, with one Boeing 777-300 fitted and others to follow suit in the coming months. The airline has announced the Wi-Fi will be available across the 777-300 fleet by June 2018, with the 777-200s to begin roll-out from April 2018.
Air NZ appoints new eco panel members
Keeping future sustainability objectives front of mind, Air New Zealand has appointed two new members to the airline’s Sustainability Advisory Panel. The additions include ecological economist Professor Tim Jackson and carbon emissions specialist Dr Suzi Kerr, who have joined the committee as of 4 October 2017.
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.
New advancements in Air NZ sustainability
As part of a new trial for increased sustainability, Air New Zealand is powering its aircraft by electricity in New Caledonia and Fiji. The move is expected to reduce carbon emissions by more than 4,500 tonnes each year. In the first month of trials, its Boeing 777 and 787-9 fleet saved 188,00 litres of fuel, which is equivalent to the amount used to fly AKL-LAX.
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.
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.
Rydges voted best hotel group in New Zealand
Rydges Hotels and Resorts has taken out the title of ‘Best Hotel Group’ at the TAANZ National Travel Industry Awards in New Zealand. The votes are pulled from a national online travel agent poll, and are announced at a black-tie annual event with over 600 guests.
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.