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Business Travel News: November 2019


Virgin network changes

Virgin Australia is set to make several changes to its domestic and international network, with the announcement they’re suspending:

  • Melbourne – Hong Kong service from 11 February 2020
  • Canberra – Perth route from 6 December 2019
  • Sydney – Christchurch from 29 April 2020
  • Gold Coast – Perth route from 19 January 2020.

As well as reducing its Sydney-Tamworth service from two daily to six services per week, but adding four additional frequencies per week on the Sydney-Port Macquarie route. 

Air New Zealand increases regional service

Air New Zealand has announced plans to increase capacity on its regional services in December 2019. The routes include; Auckland-Napier: Additional 48 frequencies, increased capacity of 3120 seats; Auckland-New Plymouth: Additional 38 frequencies, increased capacity of 2404 seats; Auckland-Nelson: Additional 59 frequencies, increased capacity of 3940 seats; Auckland-Palmerston North: Additional 48 frequencies, increased capacity of 3120 seats; Wellington-Nelson: Additional 60 frequencies, increased capacity of 3072 seats.

Virgin announces new Japan route

Virgin Australia (VA) has been approved by the International Air Service Commission (IASC) to fly to Japan. From 29 March 2020 the airline will be operating a daily service between Brisbane and Haneda. They also welcome a new airline partnership with All Nippon Airways (ANA), which will allow the two airlines to codeshare and see loyalty program members earn points and receive other benefits.

Qantas completes first long-haul

Qantas has completed the first non-stop commercial airline flight from New York to Sydney. With 19 hours 16 minutes in the air, the 49 passengers and crew were used to run a series of experiments to assess health and well-being on board. Data from these experiments will be used to help shape the crew rostering and customer service of Qantas’ ultra long haul flights in future – including Project Sunrise. Emissions from all research flights will be fully offset.

Air New Zealand announces non-stop service Auckland – New York

Air New Zealand has announced the launch of a non-stop service between Auckland and New York using its 787-9 Dreamliner, starting October 2020. The route will fly between Auckland and its alliance partner United Airlines‘ New York hub Newark Liberty International Airport three times weekly, year-round, with a flight time of 15hr 40m northbound and 17hr 40m southbound. The 14,178 kilometre route will be Air New Zealand’s longest and the fifth-longest in the world by distance.

Air New Zealand extends Sunshine Coast-Auckland service

Sunshine Coast Airport announced that Air New Zealand plans to extend Sunshine Coast-Auckland service for an additional 10 weeks, effective 12-Apr-2020 to Jun-2020. The extended season will increase capacity by more than 2000 seats and has received support through the Queensland Government’s Attracting Aviation Investment Fund.

Melbourne Airport unveils plans for improved international arrivals hall

Melbourne Tullamarine Airport‘s international arrivals terminal is due to undergo a major refurbishment to cater to the airport’s increasing international passenger numbers. The multi-million dollar upgrade includes a significant expansion of the dwelling area with a larger link connecting Terminals 2 and 3, additional seating and escalators, an improved outdoor taxi pick up zone and better wayfinding, in addition to repositioned hospitality. The T2 arrivals hall expansion is due for completion at the end of 2020.

Renovation of KrisFlyer Gold Lounge at Changi Airport Terminal 3 

As a part of Virgin Australia’s alliance partner Singapore Airlines’ commitment to constantly elevate the customer experience, both in the air and on the ground, Singapore Airlines have confirmed they are upgrading their SilverKris and KrisFlyer Gold Lounges at Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 3. These renovations will double the lounge capacity, offer dedicated working spaces, larger alfresco seating and dining areas, as well as restrooms and showers within the lounges. Renovations have already commenced, with completion due by mid-2021.

Qantas opens pay as your go lounge access

Qantas has now opened paid access to select first-class and business class airport lounges. There are no requirements for travellers to be flying with Qantas or any partner airlines. The lounges include: Los Angeles first class lounge: US$150 (A$215); Los Angeles business class lounge: US$75 (A$108); London Heathrow lounge: £55 (A$103); Hong Kong lounge: HK$450 (A$83); Auckland business class lounge: NZ$60 (A$56); Wellington business class lounge: NZ$55 (A$51) and Perth T1 international lounge: A$70.

Qantas to remove frequent flyer numbers

To help customers maintain their privacy, Qantas has decided to removed Qantas Frequent Flyer numbers from boarding passes. Boarding passes will still show the passenger’s frequently flyer status, allowing them to still claim the perks that come along with their status – access to airport lounges, priority boarding lane, etc.

Wellington Airport announces 2040 Masterplan

Wellington Airport has released a new masterplan showing how the airport will cater for a doubling in traveller numbers from 6.4 million today to the 12 million that are expected to pass through every year by 2040. By 2040 the airport is expected to double its economic contribution to the region from $2.3 to $4.3 billion per year and facilitating more than 22,000 jobs


Event Hospitality and Entertainment opens Rydges Sydney Harbour

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.

TFE opens Vibe Darling Harbour

TFE Hotels has opened the doors to the fourth Vibe branded hotel in the NSW capital with Vibe Darling Harbour now open! The 145-room property is artfully designed by WMK and boasts a Manhattan theme throughout, a rooftop infinity pool and communal workspaces. In close proximity to the International Convention Centre, Vibe Darling Harbour Sydney is ideal for business or leisure travellers.

Hotel Chadstone Melbourne opens

From 1 November the latest property from MGallery Hotel Collection will have opened its doors to guests. Hotel Chadstone Melbourne will host 250-rooms and suites, two penthouses, a rooftop bar and dining, wellness retreat and day spa. The 5-star venue offers eight versatile spaces across more than 1,000 square metres, with plenty of natural light – ideal for incentives, board meetings, conferences, seminars, exhibitions, product launches, and team-building sessions.

The first Pullman property in Melbourne’s CBD

Accor has unveiled the new Pullman Melbourne on Swanston, the first Pullman property in Melbourne’s CBD. The hotel has undergone a complete rebuild and rebrand, being formerly known as The Swanston Hotel Grand Mercure. Rising 15 levels and offering captivating views of the CBD from its exceptional location, the hotel comprises 204 guestrooms and suites and is ideally positioned on Swanston Street at the gateway to the Little Bourke Street precinct.

Adina Apartment Hotel Brisbane opens

From 25 November 2019, TFE Hotels will open the doors of their Adina Apartment Hotel Brisbane property. Following a four-year restoration, the property celebrates the building’s Art Deco origins. In the perfect location, Brisbane’s CBD only 20 minutes from Brisbane airport, the hotel has ample conferencing facilities, free Wi-Fi and the choice of spacious studio, one, two and three-bedroom apartments.

Summer-themed upgrade coming to Novotel Cairns

Novotel Cairns Oasis Resort’s 15-month renovation and refurbishment program is nearing completion. The property has breathed new life into two of its food and beverage venues – Moku Bar & Grill and Moku Beach Club – with both receiving new colour schemes, modernised exteriors and new alfresco seating areas. The final stage, due to be completed by December, will see all 314 guest rooms receive a full refurbishment with new timer flooring and cabinetry, new tropic-inspired teal and purple colour scheme and improved technology including new Samsung televisions, mini-bar fridge and new-look bathrooms and showers. For the MICE market, five revamped meeting spaces have been revitalised with improved AV equipment suited to conferences and events of up to 200 delegates.