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Business Travel News: March 2020

It is recommended that travellers contact airlines directly in regards to their routes, flight updates and availability.  For a comprehensive list of airlines and their current flight updates please view COVID-19 Travel Updates.

Airlines/Airports.

Virgin upgrades Adelaide Airport lounge

Virgin Australia had advised that from 26 February their lounge at Adelaide Airport will close to allow construction to take place as part of a wider terminal expansion project being undertaken by the airport. A new state-of-the-art lounge will open in its place in April. A temporary lounge will be available for eligible guests to enjoy located near gates 15-16.

Air New Zealand Project Green

Air New Zealand has diverted more than 890 tonnes of in-flight waste from landfill two years on from the launch of Project Green, its glass recycling and product use waste reduction initiative. This is equivalent to the weight of five 777-300 aircraft. Project Green, launched in late 2017, means that unused items from a flight service that previously may have gone to landfill can be put onto a subsequent flight provided they come off the aircraft sealed and untouched.

New runway Sunshine Coast Airport

Sunshine Coast Council has announced plans to commission a new 2450m runway at the Sunshine Coast Airport. The runway will equip the airport to handle larger aircraft and is expected to support domestic and international route development.

Christchurch International diverts 46% of waste from landfill in 2019

Christchurch International Airport announced that in 2019, the airport diverted 46% of its waste from landfill, reduced total waste generated by 8%, and achieved a 5.3% energy efficiency increase through projects. The airport is on track to reduce per-passenger water consumption by 36% before 2030 and has recently installed telemetry to monitor real-time usage.

Air NZ releases sleeping pod

Air New Zealand has released a new prototype sleeping pod, a potential future option for putting lie-flat beds in the economy cabin for long-haul aircraft. The pod, called the “Economy Skynest” offers six full-length, lie-flat beds in an enclosed pod-like setting. The airline said it spent three years researching concepts and developing the prototype.

Qantas flies to Orange

From 1 May, QantasLink will fly 11 return flights between Orange and Sydney on a mix of Q300 and Q200 aircraft adding more than 45,000 seats on the route each year.

Singapore Airlines adds additional service

From 1 June, Singapore Airlines will add a fifth daily flight to its Perth route. The new flight is scheduled to leave Perth at 6:40 pm to reach Singapore at 12:10am the next morning. It will then depart Singapore at 12:20pm to land back in Perth at 5:20pm.

Qantas increases Kangaroo Island frequency

Qantas has plans to more than double Adelaide-Kangaroo Island frequency from July 2020. The airline will increase the frequency from five to 12 times weekly, on a QantasLink Q300 equipment.

Hotels.

Multi-million dollar makeover for Scenic Hotel Dunedin City

Scenic Hotel group have commenced plans for the multi-million dollar makeover of Scenic Hotel Dunedin City. Due to start later in 2020, the makeover will see a refreshed and more upbeat design and some key changes to enhance the customer’s experience. The hotel will remain open during this time with minimal disruptions to guests.

SO/Melbourne

Due to open in 2023, Accor has announced that they will be launching the SO/ Hotel brand in Melbourne. The SO/ Melbourne will be positioned between Level 11 and 34 of a mixed-use development located in the city’s business district. The hotel will feature 288 guest rooms and suites as well as, private meeting room, a speciality restaurant and bar with a sky deck, an all-day dining eatery with outdoor terrace, a lobby lounge and café, and a ballroom.

Mantra Chatswood Sydney gets a multi-million dollar makeover

Mantra Chatswood has a multi-million dollar refurbishment, transforming the hotel into a contemporary urban oasis. All of the 144-guest rooms have been refreshed combining guest comfort with modern and homely Scandinavian style. The hotel’s multifunctional public spaces also received a makeover and are filled with stone and timber detailing, which seamlessly connects with its onsite hotel restaurant. The hotel also features an indoor heated lap pool and spa, modern conference facilities and in-room high-speed internet.

Scenic Hotel Legacy Collection 

From 3 February, Scenic Hotel Auckland has become a part of Scenic Hotel Group’s newly created ‘Legacy Collection’ and will be rebranded as Airedale Boutique Suites. The property has undergone a two-year transformation in the lead up to the rebrand announcement. The 99-room property is now a New Zealand Historic Places Trust Category 2 listed building.

QT Gold Coast opens new event spaces

QT Gold Coast has opened two new event spaces, The Spring and neighbouring lawn and terrace The Green as a part of a hotel-wide refurbishment. The Palm Springs-inspired pool and bar features tropicana textiles contrast with a minimalist white and ivory palette and QT Gold Coast’s signature crisp black and white stripes, all set amongst an oasis of lush greenery. In a first for QT, the nine custom-designed cabanas that frame the pool are available for guests to reserve, with the option of bottle service through to mobile day spa treatments from QT’s renowned spa.

TFE Hotels announces reservations open

TFE Hotels has announced it is now accepting reservations and will welcome guests at Vibe Hotel Melbourne from April 16 as final preparations continue the newest addition to the brand. The 206-room property located on the corner of Queen and Flinders Street, across the street from the Yarra River and close to Southbank, Crown Casino, Federation Square, the Melbourne Convention Centre and the sporting complex of the MCG and Rod Laver Arena. Inside the hotel, guests will have access to a fitness centre and indoor swimming pool.

Accor teams up with Visa

Accor has teamed up with Visa to offer new “payment experiences” to its Accor Live Limitless loyalty members. Announced on Tuesday, the partnership will bring together Accor’s loyalty program and Visa’s global payment capabilities to create the new ALL Visa card. Members who apply for the new Visa card will be able to use it for everyday purchases everywhere Visa is accepted, while it will offer members tailored rewards based on customer preferences and the ability to earn more loyalty points when staying at an Accor property or when making purchases.

TFE Hotels reveal more detail about the new hotel

TFE Hotels has revealed more details about Adina Apartment Hotel Melbourne Southbank, due to open later this year. The 220-room hotel will become Australia’s first hotel constructed from cross-laminated timber and Australia’s tallest mass timber vertical extension, sitting on top of an existing concrete structure at ground level. The use of 5,300 tonnes of cross-laminated timber will serve to boost the hotel’s green credentials by offsetting around 4,200 tonnes of CO2 from the atmosphere. The timber used in the hotel was sourced from certified Forest Stewardship Council-approved suppliers, while an electric crane was used to limit noise. Bathrooms were assembled off-site and delivered in a prefabricated format ready to slide into place and connect to utilities.

Jucy Snooze joins Event Hospitality and Entertainment

Budget and backpacker accommodation brand, Jucy Snooze, has joined the Event Hospitality & Entertainment group, following the acquisition of a 50% stake in the company. Jucy is known for its pod-style micro accommodation popular with young and budget-conscious travellers. In addition to the dorm-style pod rooms, the brand also offers private ensuite rooms, family rooms and shared accommodation for smaller groups. Jucy Snooze is currently active in two New Zealand cities – Queenstown and Christchurch – with a third property due to open later this year in Auckland.