Airline & Airport News.
Qantas three-class configuration
Qantas has revealed the seat configuration for its new 787-9 Dreamliners to be released in October next year. The aircraft will accommodate 236 passengers across three cabin classes, including Economy, Premium Economy and Business. The business seat, being the next generation of the popular Qantas A330 product, has the added ability to adjust the divider between each seat and a 1-2-1 configuration giving all business passengers aisle access.
Virgin’s business lounges now offer post-flight privileges
Late-night/early-morning jet setters are rejoicing over Virgin Australia’s new business lounge offering. Business class passengers flying domestically with Virgin now have the option to pop in for a barista made coffee and warm shower post-flight, with VA’s new business lounge access rules. The post-flight access is offered to all domestic business class passengers regardless of their frequent flyer status or flight time.
Qantas to commence direct flights between Sydney and Beijing
Qantas will commence direct flights between Sydney and Beijing just in time for Chinese New Year. From 25 January 2017, travellers will be able to fly direct between the cities on an Airbus A330-200. In partnership with China Eastern, QF will also add SYD-HGH, SYD-KMG and BNE-PVG. Platinum and Gold Qantas Frequent Flyers will now enjoy priority check in, priority boarding and lounge access when travelling on selected China Eastern flights.
Qantas announces increased capacity on PER-SIN route
QF has announced it will increase capacity on the Perth-Singapore route on flights QF71/72 from 15 December to 22 January by upgrading from Boeing 737- 800s to Airbus A330-200s. Furthermore, QF flights on the MEL-LAX route will be scaled back from nine per week to daily (A380) services beginning 30 January, but will increase to 10 per week during the March – April and June – July holiday periods.
Virgin to install In-Seat Power
VA and BAE Systems are partnering together to bring individual power and charging stations for passengers on its Boeing 737-800 aircraft. Each seat will be fitted with a IntelliCabin In-Seat Power system, complete with 110vAC and USB charging. The airline is expecting the systems to be installed during the first half of 2017.
Upgrades to SQ’s A380s
Singapore Airlines has revealed that a cabin upgrade will be carried out on five new Airbus A380s, to be delivered late next year. Specific details of the new cabins are yet to be released, however, the airline has indicated they will demonstrate the latest, state-of-the-art design.
Qantas’ new baggage fees
Qantas has announced higher fees have been set in place for passengers travelling with additional baggage on domestic flights. The changes come after Qantas reviewed its fee structure for the first time in two years, with extra luggage charges ranging from $5 to $30. For more information contact your dedicated CTM consultant.
Samsung ‘swap & drop’ airport booths
In response to the wide-spread ban on Samsung’s Galaxy Note 7 device on flights, the electronic manufacturer has opened a series of ‘swap & drop’ booths in International and Domestic airports across Australia. Passengers will be able to exchange their Galaxy Note 7 device for Samsung’s Galaxy S7 Edge before boarding their flight.
MEL Terminal T2 upgrade underway
Melbourne Airport has revealed plans for its upgrade of International Terminal T2. The transformation seeks to mimic the city’s world-renowned shopping, food and beverage and cultural experiences, with an iconic laneway-style layout. Construction is now underway, with a staged opening expected from early 2017 and completion in early 2018.
Thai delay MEL A350
Thai Airways has pushed back its planned Airbus A350 service on the Bangkok-Melbourne route from 30 October until 01 December. TG will utilise the A350 on select flights to Singapore, Chiang Mai and Dubai, exiting Bangkok, from 01 to 30 November.
China Eastern to launch new direct route SYD-KMG
China Eastern Airlines will launch its new route from Kunming to Sydney this month. The service will run thrice-weekly on an Airbus A330-200.
QT delays launch of super business class
Qatar Airways has pushed back the launch of its new ‘super business class’ from November 2016 to March 2017. The delay is said to be tied to the delivery schedule for new Boeing 777-300ER aircraft, which the suite is set to debut on.
New SYD fx partner
Sydney Airport has named Global Exchange as its new financial services partner. The arrangement will see Global Exchange offer foreign exchange and banking services at 21 sites at the T1 International terminal.
London City Airport welcomes state-of-the-art security scanner
London City Airport has successfully introduced a new millimetre-wave full-body scanner to help speed up the security screening and detection process at the airport. The Quick Personnel Security Scanner R&S QPS200 from Rohde & Schwarz completes a scan in a matter of seconds and can automatically detect potentially dangerous items.
EY double daily flights to Dublin
From 01 April 2017, Etihad Airways will add an additional daily year-round service between Abu Dhabi and Dublin, increasing the frequency on the route to 14 flights a week. Operating with a two-class Airbus A330-200 offering 22 Business and 240 Economy Class seats, the extra daily service will give guests more travel options at convenient timings.
BA suspends Chengdu route
British Airways will suspend its thrice-weekly Heathrow-Chengdu route from 12 January 2017. After three years of operations the carrier announced that unfortunately the route was no longer commercially viable.
Changes to EY international routes
Etihad Airways will reduce the frequency of its Abu Dhabi-San Francisco route from daily to thrice weekly on board Boeing 777-200LRs from 01 February 2017. The carrier will however, add three Abu Dhabi–Madrid flights per week operated on Airbus A330-200s on 01 June, bumping the frequency up to daily.
Plaza Premium LHR offer
London Heathrow’s first independent arrivals lounge in Terminal 2, Plaza Premium is currently offering travellers access for £14 (AU$17.23). The fee includes an all-day cooked breakfast, Wi-Fi, newspapers magazines and TV.
United Airlines to launch new Polaris business class next month
The all-new Polaris business class will be first introduced on United Airline’s Boeing 777-300ER from late December 2016. The new seats will offer passengers fully-flat beds, direct aisle access for all seats and bedding from Saks Fifth Avenue. The launch of the new Polaris business class will also see United Airlines phasing out the carrier’s first class offering.
Government approval for Heathrow expansion
London’s Heathrow airport has received government approval for its expansion plans to deliver a brand new runway. The new runway will increase capacity for the airport, welcoming up to 40 more long-haul destinations. The expansion project is estimated to be completed by 2026.
LAX T6 expansion
The new US$70.5 million Terminal 6 expansion made its debut at Los Angeles International Airport mid last month. The terminal hosts 21 new dining and retail concepts with common areas designed with the city’s Sunset Boulevard in mind.
Mantra Richmont opening
VIP guests were invited to attend a traditional ribbon-cutting ceremony that heralded the opening of Brisbane’s newest property, the Mantra Richmont Hotel. The $28 million, 108-key property is located in the historical suburb of Spring Hill situated just 1km from the CBD.
Accor partners with LinkedIn
AccorHotels has partnered with LinkedIn to present Business Check, a brand new feature within the AccorHotels app which enables professionals to create and facilitate business opportunities while on the move. Users will be able to connect to their LinkedIn accounts and share their next business trip destinations with their network and find out which of their contacts reside in the city they are currently staying in.
Mantra 2 Bond Street’s new ‘New York’ style makeover
Sydney’s Mantra 2 Bond Street is sporting a fresh look, with over 120 rooms renovated in sophisticated ‘New York loft’ style. The reshaped rooms have been opened up and now enjoy a more flowing floor plan with loft touches, such as large windows and pendant lighting features.
Cypress Lakes upgrades
Oaks Cypress Lakes Resort has embarked on a further $4m in upgrades, targeting its villas, golf course, conference facilities, common areas and dining venues. The renovations come on top of $6m already spent at the Hunter Valley property since it was acquired by Oaks Hotels and Resorts in 2013.