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Business Travel News: December 2019


Virgin Australia suspends Darwin-Alice Springs service

Effective from the 29 January 2020, Virgin Australia will suspend its Darwin – Alice Spring and Alice Spring – Darwin route.

Qantas launches new priority boarding system 

Qantas has introduced a new boarding procedure,Premium Boarding. The new procedure sees business class passengers and top-tier Qantas Frequent Flyers (Gold status and above, and Oneworld Sapphire and Emerald equivalents) take boarding priority. General boarding will not open until all queued priority customers have boarded the aircraft. Travellers eligible for premium boarding who arrive once general boarding has commenced will be able to skip the queue and fast-track through the priority boarding lane. It will be implemented in the domestic terminals of Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Canberra, Adelaide and Perth airports. Qantas aims to have premium boarding across all domestic terminals in 2020.

Virgin buys back 100% stake in Velocity Frequent Flyer

Virgin Australia has acquired a 35% minority investment in Velocity Frequent Flyer and now owns 100% of the program as a result.

Qantas opens new lounge

Qantas has officially opened its newest First Lounge, a luxury space spread over 1,000sqm at Singapore’s Changi Airport. Providing capacity for 240 customers and a bespoke offering for Qantas passengers travelling in First and top tier frequent flyers, the lounge is Qantas’ fifth First Lounge across its global network, joining Sydney, Melbourne, Auckland and Los Angeles.

Auckland International Airport second Park & Ride facility

Auckland Airport has announced plans to open a second ‘Park & Ride’ facility to boost options for access to terminals and reduce the number of vehicles on the road network. The new facility will have 3200 places, a multi-storey car park and pick up/drop off area connected to the international terminal, as well as increased valet parking services.

World’s best airlines 2020

The world’s best airlines for 2020 have been named by! Congratulations to our partner Air New Zealand who took out the Airline of the Year title. Also making the top ten list is Singapore Airlines in second, Qantas in fourth, Cathay Pacific Airways in fifth, Emirates in sixth and Virgin Australia in tenth! Congratulations to all of our valued partners for making the top ten list for 2020!


Event Hospitality & Entertainment open new property

Event Hospitality & Entertainment Limited has announced the opening of their latest property, Rydges Sydney Harbour. Located in The Rocks, the property will be open from 15 January 2020, with 176 rooms on offer, free Wi-Fi and 24-hour reception. Guests will also have access to one of the best views of Sydney Harbor from the rooftop.

Accor opens Novotel Christchurch Airport hotel 

Conveniently located across from the airport’s domestic and international terminal, the NZ$80 million new-build hotel spans six-floors offering 200 guestrooms including 10 suites. Many of the rooms, including the meetings and function spaces, offer views toward the airport including the terminals, control tower and departure gates. Guests can take advantage of an on-site gym, car parking, a lobby bar and multiple hotel restaurant options.

Rydges Camperdown full refurbishment 

Rydges Camperdown, in Sydney’s Inner West, has unveiled the refurbishment of its guest rooms. The project saw all 144 rooms updated, plus the addition of two new accommodation rooms. The update includes new contemporary fixtures and fittings, including modern bathrooms with walk-in showers, new air conditioning units, upgraded work stations, new LCD flat-screen TVs, Rydges Dream Beds and a full minibar. Complimentary WiFi is also available to guests throughout the hotel.

Next Story Group launch its Ink Hotels

Melbourne’s Southbank will be the launch location of Next Story Group’s Ink Hotels brand. With 162-rooms, the property will be situated at 167 City Road in the heart of Melbourne’s waterfront hub. The new Ink Hotels brand is on track to open its second hotel in Singapore in 2021. Featuring free and unlimited barista coffee whilst you stay, 24-hour reception, lounge and common spaces and is single-use amenity free!

Perth Novotel to open this month 

With the soft launch scheduled for 19 December 2019, the Perth Novotel will feature a 12th-floor fitness and spa facility including a pool, steam room, day spa and sauna, as well as four bars and restaurants, four meeting rooms, a conference room for up to 120 people, and spacious modern rooms. Set to be Accor’s 13th hotel in Perth CBD, it brings the total room count to over 2400 rooms and suites. The hotel will be fully opened and operational by Q1 2020.