Airline & Airport News.
Fast-lane introduced at Auckland Airport
New Zealand and Australian travellers can now access their own bio-security lane at the Auckland International Airport, bypassing x-ray screening if they have nothing to declare. The lane is available for passengers with an eligible New Zealand or Australian passport, who aren’t carrying any risk items such as food – typically, trans-Tasman business travellers.
Air New Zealand wins Innovation of the Year award
Air NZ has been awarded the Innovation of the Year award at this year’s CAPA Asia Pacific Aviation Awards in Singapore, for its revolutionary Airband. The Airband was designed in-house for unaccompanied minors, allowing their parents and guardians to track the young one’s journey with text notifications sent at each step along the way.
Auckland to Ho Chi Minh City
A second season of non-stop flights between New Zealand and Vietnam will operate next year with Air New Zealand. The thrice weekly service between Auckland and Ho Chi Minh City will run between 24 June 2017 – 25 October 2017, on the new 787-9 Dreamliner .
Air New Zealand boosts connectivity to Asia
Air New Zealand will split its Tokyo services between two airports to accommodate up to 10 times weekly flights. From July 2017, Air NZ will start flying into Tokyo Haneda Airport as well as Narita International Airport, boosting connectivity to Japan.
Perth to London in only 17 hours?
Qantas has confirmed it will commence non-stop flights from Perth to London in 2018, making business travel between Australia and Europe a whole lot easier. Passengers can purchase Business, Premium Economy and Economy seats from April 2017, with the first services taking off in March 2018.
SQ reduces Jakarta route due to runway maintenance
Runway maintenance at Jakarta’s Soekarno-Hatta International Airport has forced Singapore Airlines to reduce its operations to Jakarta by five weekly flights, effective 1 December 2016. The airline will instead operate 58 weekly services, and will accommodate affected passengers on other flights. The maintenance has also caused SQ to postpone its new Singapore-Jakarta-Sydney route, which was ready for launch on 23 November.
SQ adds new routes for A350
In mid-December, Singapore Airlines is expected to begin operation of its new A350-900 aircraft on selected flights from Singapore to Tokyo Haneda and Moscow.
Emirates welcomes arrival of A380s
The first of Emirates’ next generation Airbus A380s have been delivered, featuring higher ceilings and larger overhead cabin storage for Business class. The carrier is expecting seven of the new super jumbos to be delivered this financial year.
Delta’s bag tracker
Passengers on Delta flights will be able to track their luggage with Delta’s new bag tracking system. Those who have downloaded the Fly Delta app, will receive push notifications tracking their bag’s movements post flight.
Air Canada reopens Maple Leaf Lounge
Air Canada’s international Maple Leaf Lounge at Montreal-Trudeau airport has reopened, following renovations that started a year ago. The revamped lounge features a cyber work counter, live food station with a chef, and an exclusive private area for special guests.
British Airways’ $110m upgrade
A revamp of BA’s First and Business class lounges at JFK airport is on the cards as British Airways unveils its $110m investment plan. The investment plan seeks to improve the customer’s entire journey, beginning with upgrades to the check in process and airport security gates in US airports.
China Eastern opens reservations for XIY-SYD
China Eastern Airlines has opened reservations for its new Xi’an-Wuhan-Sydney route, which will take to the skies from 18 January 2017. The new service will operate thrice-weekly on an Airbus A330-200.
QF Frequent Flyer bonus
Qantas is offering five Qantas Frequent Flyer points per dollar spent on gift vouchers purchased before 31 December. Vouchers between $50 – $2000 can be bought online, with a customised personal message included. Quadruple points are on offer for purchases of activities until the end of the month.
QR Privilege goes digital
Members of Qatar Airways’ Privilege Club can now access their loyalty card in digital form, via the QR mobile app, website or Apple wallet.
Canada reinforces eTA for travel
Those travelling to Canada must now have an electronic Travel Authorisation (eTA) before entering the country. Applications for eTAs are made online for a fee of CA$7. Responses are received within minutes, meaning last minute applications can be made from devices with an internet connection, even at the airport.
Currency alert in India
Following India’s demonetisation reforms introduced in late November, travellers are advised to carry cash and consider using an electronic currency card. The new reform seeks to reduce corruption in the country by devaluing existing 500INR and 1000INR notes.
Mantra expands AU/NZ hotel network
Mantra will introduce five new hotels across Australia and New Zealand at locations including Melbourne, Perth, Airlie Beach,
Port Macquarie and Queenstown. The new properties will add a total of 900 new rooms to its network, adding to the record 3000 rooms that recently opened in FY2016.
Upgrades for Quality Hotel Elms
A series of upgrades continue for Quality Hotel Elms, including air conditioning being installed throughout the entire hotel. Further upgrades will see new beds and furniture for the rooms and an extension to the restaurant.
Quality Hotel Wellington win industry recognition
Quality Hotel Wellington took home some great wins a this year’s NZSL Awards. The Wellington hotel was awarded both Best Employer and Accessible Accommodation Awards, a great achievement for the hotel staff.
Sofitel Wellington remains closed until July 2017
Sofitel Wellington will remain closed until 15 July 2017, as the hotel restaurant undergoes a complete rebuild due to a fire that broke out earlier this month. Sofitel has closed the hotel during the rebuild to ensure a minimum level of disruption to its guests and clients, and is looking forward to welcoming back guests in 2017.