Airline & Airport News.
Air NZ considers New York, Chicago direct
Air NZ has announced plans for direct flights between New Zealand and New York & Chicago, once an appropriate aircraft has been secured. The new routes would add to ANZ’s portfolio of long distance flights, maintaining its spot as one of the top five airlines in the world in terms of distance. ANZ CEO Christopher Luxon said Chicago was an obvious choice as it is ANZ’s partner United Airline’s main hub.
JQ reduces baggage fees at NZ airports
As of 15 August 2017, Jetstar has reduced its fee for baggage checked-in at New Zealand airports on the day of departure. The baggage fee for domestic flights is now NZD60 (previously NZD70) and NZD100 (previously NZD160) for international flights. Fees for Australian airports have since increased from AUD50 to AUD60 for any item up to 15kg and an additional fee of AUD15 for every extra kilogram.
HKA doubles AKL
A second-daily flight will be added to Hong Kong Airline’s Hong Kong-Auckland route, bringing up capacity to 14 weekly flights between the cities. The seven extra flights will operate over the Summer months from mid-December to mid-February, and come as a response to higher than expected demand for New Zealand-Asia travel.
Air NZ boosts Samoa
Air New Zealand will increase capacity on its Samoa route, with plans to deploy up to six-weekly Boeing 787-9 services to Apia during the peak season. The move to the larger Dreamliner aircraft comes as travel between Samoa and New Zealand increased by 6.4% in the last year.
Trans-Tasman goes digital
Air New Zealand passengers flying on trans-Tasman services can now board their flights with their mobile device. Digital boarding passes can be accessed via the Air NZ app, providing a more streamlined airport experience. The digital passes can be used on single itineraries from Australia to New Zealand as the final destination. Express Passes are embedded on the boarding pass for those that are eligible.
UA resumes Auckland-San Francisco direct
From 31 October 2017, United Airlines will recommence its Auckland-San Francisco direct service, operating on a new Boeing 777-300ER. The service will operate six days a week until December, then change to a daily route until 24 March 2018. As well as increased capacity, the new aircraft will also offer the latest United Polaris business class product.
AKL to launch online platform
Travellers will soon be able to purchase airport parking, loyalty and lounge access at Auckland Airport from their mobile device, following the announcement of a new partnership between AKL and global technology service provider, AOE. The partnership plans to develop a ‘multi-retailer mall’ offering international travellers an online platform to purchase retail products and airport services from their device at any stage of their journey, whether it be before they leave home or perhaps in-flight using their carrier’s Wi-Fi. The click and collect platform is expected to launch in mid-2018.
SQ to reveal all-new A380 Business Class
Singapore Airlines will reveal its latest business and first class products on 2 November 2017, ahead of the delivery of the airline’s newest Airbus A380s. The newly configured A380s will see first class relocated to the upper deck, with an extended business class area positioned behind and stretching all the way to the end of the upper ‘premium’ deck. Select top-tier KrisFlyers have already experienced the new design in a bid to fine-tune the more practical aspects of the seats. Sydney and London have been tipped as likely launch routes for the new Airbus A380s.
Introducing new preferred seating options for EY and EK
Emirates and Etihad Airways have both introduced new seating options for Economy Class passengers. ‘Preferred Seats’ are offered at a fixed fee for passengers who prefer to be seated at the front of the aircraft for a faster disembarkation, or at the back of the aircraft for more privacy in smaller cabin sections. Emirates has also introduced twin seating options for window and aisle only seats and extra legroom seats positioned in exit row aisles. Etihad Airways also offers these added-value Economy class options. READ MORE.
BA’s Premium transfer for business travellers
Business travellers at London Heathrow can stress less when it comes to connecting flights, with a new Premium Transfer Drive service offered by British Airways. The airside car transfer service is offered to BA’s business and first class passengers who are at risk of missing their connecting flights. Passengers will be informed by a cabin crew member if a car is waiting for them, to alleviate stress at the airport.
UA upgrades business class experience
Polaris business class is United Airlines most significant product transformation in more than a decade featuring a reimagined, sleep-enhancing, departure-to-landing experience for international travellers. United Polaris features the new in-flight food and beverage experience, new custom bedding from Saks Fifth Avenue, new amenity kits and new Polaris lounges. The new Polaris business class lounges will provide an oasis to relax and even enjoy a full pre-flight meal so customers have more time to sleep on board. Lounges also offer shower facilities featuring Cowshed products and private day beds for resting.
Events in the sky
If you’re looking for a unique venue for your upcoming conference, you may want to consider one in the sky, thanks to a new offering by Lufthansa. FlyingLab is a new on-board events concept that has been introduced by the airline as a pilot project. It has been designed to operate on commercial flights with large groups of delegates on board, and even involves a pre-conference program ahead of the main event. There is a special Wi-Fi network to stream presentations on-board and a system to allow viewers to ask questions in real-time. Although still a trial service, the airline hopes to expand the product into a commercial offering for event planners.
DXB offers free movie streaming service
Dubai Airport has recently signed a deal with content provider, ICFLIX, to allow passengers access to free movies and TV shows while they wait for flights. Movies can be streamed to laptops and smartphones using DXB’s free wi-fi service. The movies will remain free during the two-month trial period, after which the companies will reassess their options for future services.
Sofitel Wellington reopens
Sofitel Wellington will reopen next month following a temporary closure since December 2016. The hotel was closed after a fire broke out in the restaurant, only five months after its opening in July. Many of the hotel rooms have since been renovated.
New luxury hotels for Accor
AccorHotels will expand its luxury hotel offering with six upscale properties to open over the next six months. The new properties include Sofitel Sydney Darling Harbour, Pullman Brisbane Airport, Sofitel Wellington (re-launch), Sofitel Kuala Lumpur Damansara in Malaysia, Sofitel Singapore City Centre and Pullman Shenyang Ginza in China.