New visa rules for New Zealand
International travellers visiting New Zealand will soon be required to obtain an Electronic Travel Authority (ETA) like that of the US ESTA-style visa waiver in order to enter the country entering the country. The system will take effect from 1 October 2019, with applications open from July 1 2019. Australian citizens on an Australian passport will be exempt from the ETA requirement.
Qantas Frequent Flyer and Aer Lingus to dissolve their partnership
Qantas’ frequent flyer programme and Irish flag-carrier Aer Lingus will end their partnership from 1 July 2019, including flights already booked. Qantas Frequent Flyer members will still be able to book Aer Lingus services until 30 June 2019 for travel until June 2020.
Virgin Australia partners with Hawaiian carrier
Virgin Australia has signed an expansion on its codeshare agreement with Hawaiian Airlines which came into effect on 10 April 2019. The partnership will update its current codeshare offering to include four weekly Brisbane to Honolulu services with Hawaiian Airlines. This will expand on current codeshare services to include the following destinations:
- Brisbane (BNE) – Honolulu (HNL)
- Sydney (SYD) – Honolulu (HNL)
- Honolulu (HNL) – Koa Kona (KOA)
- Honolulu (HNL) – Maui (OGG)
- Honolulu (HNL) – Kauai (LIH)
Qantas resumes Sydney-Nadi service
Qantas has resumed a four times weekly Sydney-Nadi nonstop service, aiming to meeting the growing demand for a full service product to Nadi from Sydney.
First class investment for British Airways
From 31 March 2019, British Airways will deliver a £6.5bn investment in a product and service experience for its First cabin customers. The changes include new bedding, amenities and menus served on an exclusively designed bone china crockery set. It will also be introducing a new signature afternoon tea service.
Qantas launches second Sunshine Coast flight
Qantas has launched its second direct service between Sydney and Sunshine Coast. The flight departs Sydney at 10:30 AM, arriving at 12.05PM. The return flight leaves at 12.45pm and lands at 2.30PM. It complements an existing Qantas flight from Sydney which arrives on the Sunshine Coast in the evening and departs in the morning.
Air New Zealand takes off to Korea
Air New Zealand will introduce direct flights to Seoul’s Incheon International Airport flying three times weekly from 23 November 2019 and up to five times a week during the peak holiday period from late December to mid-February. The new service will be operated on a Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner with a flight time of around 12 hours outbound and just over 11 hours inbound.
Qantas connect Adelaide and Darwin to Uluru
Launched on 3 April, Qantas now has a twice-weekly Adelaide – Ayers Rock – Darwin service with 737 equipment. The service will offer almost 700 seats to Uluru.
Singapore Airlines to deploy A350 to Brisbane
Singapore Airlines will operate all of its four daily Singapore-Brisbane services on an A350-900 aircraft, from 1 May 2019. Brisbane is the only destination in the carrier’s global network to have multiple daily frequencies operated by A350 equipment.
Customer service investment for Air New Zealand
Air New Zealand will introduce several new service offerings to its fleet as part of a two-year future investment in customer service. Other key details of the plan include upgrades to nine network lounges and the rollout of a Business Premier product from the end of 2019. Free WiFi will be made available with immediate effect on all capable international services.
Dedicated rideshare for Auckland Airport
From Wednesday 20 March a dedicated Uber rideshare area will be available at both the domestic and international terminals of the Auckland Airport. Uber will also launch new digital billboards directing customers to the dedicated rideshare pick-up zones at both terminals, which are designed to complement in-app messaging and Auckland Airport’s signage.
Air New Zealand upgraded business class seats
Air New Zealand is set to debut its new upgraded version of its Business Premier international business class seat by the end of 2019, with their all-new business class seat to be launched in early 2020. The upgrade is set for rapid roll out in their 777 and 787 jets, due for completion at the end of 2020.
Sydney Airport launches new ‘lifestyle precinct’
Sydney Kingsford Smith Airport has launched a new ‘lifestyle precinct’ in the T2 domestic terminal. It features retailers such as JB Hi-Fi, Bonds and Lego as part of ongoing improvements to create a contemporary shopping and dining experience for passengers.
Opening special from Shadow Play by Peppers
Shadow Play by Peppers is offering a $199* per night opening special on bookings made by 30 September 2019. This includes breakfast for two people and WiFi and valid for travel dates between 16 April and 30 September 2019. *Terms and conditions apply. Subject to availability
List of works for Accor hotels
Accor is currently undertaking works for some of its BreakFree, Mantra and Peppers hotels. Click here for a complete list and timeline of affected hotels.
Gold Coast Airport approves Rydges hotel
The Federal Government has approved plans to develop a new 4-4.5 star Rydges hotel and conference facility in the Gold Coast Airport’s terminal precinct. The hotel will feature up to 200 rooms and suites over seven levels, as well as integrated conference facilities.
Holiday Inn Wagga Wagga announced
An agreement has been announced that will see IHG work with developer Interlink Group (Australia) to manage the 148-room Holiday Inn Wagga Wagga in the form of a six-storey building. The property, opening in 2021, will be situated next to the iconic and heritage-listed Murrumbidgee Flour Mill and Grainstore and it set to be the largest hotel in the regional city. Wagga Airport is also a short 11-kilometre drive away.
Holiday Inn Dandenong due for 2021 open
A brand new 160-room Holiday Inn & Suites has been signed to open in Dandenong in 2021. Located a short stroll from Dandenong train station and the business district, the hotel will also enjoy a boost from the State Government’s $290-million ‘Revitalising Central Dandenong’ (RCD) initiative by creating demand for a world-class hotel to cater for growing business travel in the ‘capital’ of Melbourne’s south-east. Other features expected to draw business travellers are an all-day dining and bar experience, retail shopping via separate access and a long stay suite component targeting the travellers looking to stay for extended periods.
Mantra Epping opening soon
Opening May 2019, The Mantra Epping hotel will open to service business travellers to Melbourne’s growth corridor. The hotel will offer contemporary rooms, one bedroom and two-bedroom interconnecting apartments as well as conference facilities for up to 5000 delegates all within 15 minutes of Melbourne Airport. The Mantra Epping also offers business facilities and a fully equipped gym.
Pullman named our top APAC airport hotel
Pullman Brisbane Airport has taken out the Best Airport Hotel Australia/Pacific award at the Skytrax World Airport Awards 2019 in London. The hotel was also successful in securing fifth place in the World’s Best Airport Hotels 2019 list. The Skytrax awards are based on 13.73 million airport customer surveys completed during the survey period.
Novotel Melbourne celebrates its first birthday
Novotel Melbourne South Wharf has celebrated its first anniversary, welcoming over 125,000 guests to its 347-room hotel in Melbourne’s burgeoning South Wharf precinct. The expansion of the adjoining Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC) has benefitted the property, offering guests a high-quality accommodation option right on the Yarra River.
Accor welcomes 21c Museum Hotels to portfolio
Accor has announced the official addition of the 21c Museum Hotels into the MGallery Hotel Collection, a global network of more than 100 storied boutique hotels located in 26 countries. Operating under the 21c Museum Hotels – MGallery name, the brand will offer guests with individual styles and stories at each property. Each MGallery hotel is remarkable for its singular personality and is deeply rooted in the destination’s history. The announcement also marks the arrival of the MGallery brand into North America.
New Christchurch Best Western
Best Western has announced the addition of the Best Western Alpine Hotel in Upper Riccarton, Christchurch. The property, located just 7 km to Christchurch Airport and the CBD offers free WiFi, undercover parking and an onsite restaurant, making it ideal for business and corporate travellers.