Airline & Airport News.
QF fast-tracks Boeing 787 order ahead of second non-stop route to Europe
Qantas has fast-tracked its second delivery of Boeing 787s, with an additional four Dreamliners to take flight in the second half of 2018. This is well ahead of its intended roll-out plan of mid-2019. The revised schedule is to accommodate the launch of another non-stop route to Europe in 2018, with Paris tipped as the most likely destination.
Trials commence for VA’s in-flight Wi-Fi
Virgin Australia’s in-flight Wi-Fi service has commenced its testing period, which will run for three months on a Boeing 737-800 aircraft. Passengers will enjoy the service free of charge during its trial, with access to streaming services such as Netflix, Stan and Pandora.
Qantas daily to ZQN
Qantas will offer a daily direct service between Sydney and Queenstown from October this year. The route will operate with Boeing 737s, and supports QF’s winter service to ZQN in July and August.
SQ announced as VA’s newest Accelerate program partner
Virgin Australia has announced a new addition to its Accelerate corporate air travel program, with Singapore Airlines now listed as a partner carrier. Small and medium sized businesses can purchase discounted fares to Asia and Europe through the VA/SQ codeshare.
In a response to growing demand from travellers, Qantas has scheduled a direct service between Brisbane and Broome. The flights will operate from 11 June to 27 August 2017, using a Boeing 737-800 aircraft. QF1030 departs BNE on Sunday at 0915 and lands at 1225. The return trip, QF1031, leaves the same day at 1310 and arrives into BNE at 1915 local time.
Virgin launches Perth-Canberra
Passengers can now purchase tickets for Virgin Australia’s twice-weekly services between Perth and Canberra, which will commence in August this year. The flights will run on Thursdays and Sundays during Parliamentary sitting weeks and will be operated by a Boeing 737 aircraft.
QF opens new lounge at Coffs Harbour
Qantas has revealed its new lounge at Coffs Harbour Regional Airport on the north coast of New South Wales. The lounge has the capacity for 40 passengers, an increase of 25% compared to the previous lounge.
CTM clients can earn double with QF Business Rewards
Qantas is waiving the joining fee for all CTM clients who join Qantas Business Rewards between 1 May and 30 June 2017, saving $89.50. In addition, CTM customers can earn Double Qantas Points on all eligible flights booked and travelled from 1 May to 30 June. Already a member? Take advantage of this great offer: https://goo.gl/ImFoh8 OR join now for free with CTM: qantasbusinessrewards.com/CTMFREE.
CX Dine on Demand
Cathay Pacific’s new ‘dine on demand’ service will start trials next month, allowing business travellers more flexibility to eat what they want, when they want. The service commenced trials on 1 May 2017, on CX’s London Gatwick route CX343/CX344, and will later commence on Chicago flights CX806/CX807 from 1 June 2017. The full roll out will take place gradually from late Q3 2017, and will be offered on the airline’s international routes.
Etihad upgrades Sydney-Abu Dhabi
From October 29 2017, Etihad will upgrade its Sydney-Abu Dhabi service by deploying a second Airbus A380 on its twice-daily flights. All services between the two business capitals will now feature an upgraded business class experience, with Etihad’s latest ‘Business Studio’ fitted in a 1-2-1 configuration.
Qatar releases details of Canberra route
Qatar Airways will commence its Doha-Canberra service in February 2018, with the airline’s latest A350 deployed on the route. The 15+ hour flight will offer 36 business class seats with direct aisle access and a full lie-flat bed.
Air Canada launches new direct service to Australia
From 3 December 2017, Air Canada will launch a new seasonal direct service between Melbourne and Vancouver. The new route aims to tap into the high travel demand for Canada’s skiing season, operating four-times weekly through to 4 February 2018. Flights AC38/37 will run on a Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner offering 30 lie-flat ‘executive pods’ in business class.
SYD releases indoor Google Maps
Sydney Airport has released an indoor Google Maps feature that enables passengers to navigate their way through the airport via their mobile device. The app delivers up-to-date terminal location information for both T1 International and T2 Domestic terminals and incorporates Google’s intuitive search capabilities. Read more: https://goo.gl/PA07TK
Singapore visa validity
The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade has issued an advisory on its Smartraveller platform regarding passport validity in Singapore. The update advises that Singapore authorities require all travellers (including those transiting) to have at least six months’ validity remaining on their passports (entry and exit).
ADL body scanners
Adelaide Airport has commenced a month-long trial of a high-speed full body scanner. Aimed at speeding up the central security screening, the new scanner will operate in addition to the current four screening lanes.
BA launches in-flight W-Fi
British Airways is now offering in-flight Wi-Fi on select international flights, with one Boeing 747 having completed its fit-out and another scheduled for July. Prices for the service range from £4.99 (approx. $8.74 AUD) for 1 hour, to £23.99 (approx. $42.01 AUD) for a full flight pass of high-speed internet.
Mantra’s $800,000 upgrade complete
Mantra Group’s BreakFree Adelaide property has just completed a $800,000 renovation, with significant upgrades to its guest rooms, common areas and meeting facilities. The property’s 142 apartments now feature modernised kitchens and new living room furniture, and The Hindmarsh Conference Room now boasts a fresh new look. BreakFree Adelaide is located within walking distance to the CBD and Adelaide Convention Centre.
Ibis Sydney Airport refurb
AccorHotels’ Ibis Sydney Airport hotel has completed a $4.5 million refurbishment including full modernisation of all guestrooms. Each of the 200 rooms now feature the new Ibis Signature Sweet bed, plus new bathrooms with updated fixtures, vanities and amenities.
Brisbane opens Holiday Inn Express
Intercontinental Hotels Group (IHG) has celebrated the opening of its second Holiday Inn Express in Australia. Following the launch of Sydney’s Macquarie Park hotel last year, Holiday Inn Express Brisbane Central offers 226 guest rooms with free wi-fi throughout.
Mantra SYD soon to open
Mantra’s 136-room hotel at Sydney Airport is expected to open in late June 2017, with the property now in its fit-out phase. The hotel is located at 3 Ross Smith Avenue, only a short distance from SYD’s T2 & T3 domestic terminals.
Avis introduces new SUV range
Given the increasing popularity of SUVs in Australia, Avis has increased their range of SUVs. Bookings for the new SUV car groups opened on 1 May 2017, with the range now incorporating small, mid-size and large SUV sizes.