Airline & Airport News.
Meet Air New Zealand’s virtual travel assistant
Introducing Bravo Oscar Tango (Oscar for short), Air New Zealand’s very first virtual travel assistant. Passengers can rely on Oscar for assistance with commonly asked questions such as Air New Zealand Lounge, Airpoints™ and baggage queries. Like other chatbots, Oscar uses artificial intelligence to learn from the conversations people have with him, meaning he becomes more helpful and user friendly through every interaction. Air NZ is encouraging customers to interact with Oscar in his early stages, to have active role in training him. Let us introduce you: CLICK HERE
The world’s longest commercial route lands in AUK
Qatar Airways has launched the world’s longest commercial route, connecting Auckland and Doha with one direct flight. The flight takes just under 18 hours in total, and is operated on a Boeing 777-200LR.
New South African Visa Centres to make life easier for New Zealanders
Two South African visa application centres have just opened in Auckland and Wellington, speeding up the visa application process for New Zealanders. Applicants will no longer have to visit the High Commission in Wellington, as the centres offer an appointment-based system with fee collection and secure dispatch. The centres opened today, 14 February 2017, and will be run by VFS Global.
QF adds 142 services to 3K codeshare
Qantas passengers now have access to an additional 142 services across Southeast Asia, thanks to QF’s expansion of its codeshare agreement with Jetstar Asia (3K). The QF code is now available on a total 349 weekly services operated by 3K, giving customers even more flexibility when booking their itineraries. QF customers flying on Jetstar Asia will receive Qantas International baggage allowance, a hot meal on flights over 90mins and a snack under 90mins, plus water, tea or coffee, along with Qantas Club Lounge entry in Singapore (where eligible).
SQ’s US$14b Boeing order
As a part of Singapore Airlines commitment to its fleet modernization program, the airline has recently signed a letter of intent to purchase 39 Boeing aircrafts, including 19 new Dreamliners. The $US14 billion order is scheduled for delivery between 2020 and 2022, and is in response to Singapore’s further growth as an international hub.
Changes to QF’s frequent flyer upgrade rates come into effect this month
Passengers wanting to upgrade to Qantas premium economy, business class and first class seating, should do so soon to avoid increased rates from 20 February 2017. Frequent Flyers travelling on routes greater than 600 miles will be affected from the rate increases.
Cathay’s new Michelin-star menu
Business class travellers are in for a treat, with Cathay Pacific’s new in-flight menu created by Michelin-starred Restaurant, Tosca. The new in-inflight dining options will feature on select CX flights from Hong Kong, to long-haul destinations including Australia and New Zealand, and will offered until 30 April. On the menu is octopus terrine, beef short ribs and lobster – just to name a few.
Big benefits for members of QT and Accor’s loyalty programs
Qatar Airways and AccorHotel have joined forces, allowing member to convert Qmiles into Le Club points and vice versa. Under the new scheme, 4,500 Qmiles can be converted to 1,000 Le Club AccorHotels points, which can be redeemed for free and discounted stays at Accor Hotel’s network of 3,400 hotels around the globe. Le Club members with 2,000 points are able to convert into Qmiles.
UA increases frequency on Heathrow – New York
United Airlines will increase the frequency of its Heathrow – New York service to six-times daily, from 5 April through to 28 October this year. The additional daily flight will operate on a Boeing 763-300, offering 30 business class seats.
BA schedules new routes for Europe
Effective May 2017, British Airways will commence seven new routes from Manchester Airport, including; Alicante, Malaga, Ibiza, Palma, Mykonos, Nice and London City Airport. The airline will also introduce new flights from London Stansted, flying direct to Florence, Geneva and Nice. BA will operate the new direct flights throughout the summer period.
AirAsia announces Hawaii route
AirAsia will commence its four-times weekly Malaysia to Honolulu route from 28 June, 2017. The recently announced Hawaiian route will fly to Honolulu via Osaka, Japan.
Accor’s 200th hotel opens in Greater China
Located in the city’s ‘hi-tech zone’, the Fairmont Chengdu makes the lists as number 200 in Accor Hotels Greater China network. The hotel offers 11 meeting rooms and function spaces, and is only a 25-minute drive to Shuangliu International Airport, making it a perfect choice for business travel.