Business Travel News Australia – December

Airline & Airport News.


New rules for U.S. travellers

Australian travellers to the U.S. are recommended to apply for the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) at least 72 hours prior to departure. While an approved ESTA does not guarantee entry, it is a prerequisite to travel to the United States by air or sea carrier. Real-time approvals will no longer be available and arriving at the airport without a previously approved ESTA will likely result in being denied boarding. For more information, click the link here to find out more.


Service adjustments for Qantas in 2019

Qantas has announced several changes on its Northern Territory services early next year based on demand for selected services. These include the addition of new services to Ayers Rock Connellan Airport and the adjustment of several network services across both Qantas and Jetstar. A full list of services changes can be found here: http://bit.ly/2Pr5nGp


Qantas service updates for Hong Kong and Singapore

From 31 March 2019, Qantas will start offering overnight flights to Hong Kong. The flight will take off at 10:20pm and land at 5:00am local time the following day. The return service will depart Hong Kong at 10:35pm to arrive in Sydney for 10:00am, both on an Airbus A330. The airline has also scrapped its plans to increase its Perth-Singapore service to a twice-daily frequency from 31 March 2019. The airline will maintain a daily Perth-Singapore A330-200 service on/after the date instead.


Virgin Australia opens valet service in Perth

Virgin Australia is currently trialling a Premium Valet service for guests at its Perth Airport. The service is available on demand; seven days a week, 60 minutes prior to the first flight departure until 30 minutes after the last arrival. It is located directly adjacent to Terminal 1 with direct access to the Virgin Australia terminal.


Qantas increases Sydney to Hobart service

Qantas has announced that from 1 April 2019, it will increase its Sydney to Hobart frequency to 17 times a week. The airline will utilise a Boeing 717 aircraft providing an additional 34,000 return seats annually.


Cathay Pacific bring A350 to Sydney

From October 2019, Cathay Pacific will bring the Airbus A350-900 on its overnight flight between Hong Kong to Sydney and the Sydney-Hong Kong return leg. The aircraft offers the latest Business Class beds with the 38 seats, more storage and extra legroom in its Premium Economy Class The A350 already flies to Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth, however, this will be demoted to a Boeing 777-300ER during the same period.


Singapore Airlines voted top airline

Singapore Airlines has been voted ‘World’s Top Airline’ by AirlineRatings.com. The airline was commended for its product, aircraft and innovation, especially the introduction of its Singapore-New York non-stop flight. It has also been noticed for its six-suite offering on the upper deck of its A380.



Perth Airport releases redevelopment details

Perth Airport will bring all airline services into a single hub as part of a proposed international terminal upgrade and integration of its domestic terminal. The project will be completed in two phases, the first by 2024 and the second dependant on passenger numbers and airline requirements. As part of the upgrade, the airport will incorporate new lounges with better views and proximity to boarding gates as well as improved bag drop and boarding facilities.


Cabin baggage to be weighed on domestic flights

Passengers travelling on all domestic services will have their carry-on luggage weighed in compliance with aviation rules of 7kg per person. Bags weighing more than 7kg will have to be stowed in the cargo hold with other checked luggage. In addition to the carry on limit, passengers on Virgin Australia can also board with laptop bags, handbags or suit bags. Qantas passengers are entitled to board with up to two carry-on baggage pieces, as long as they are not over the weight limit.


Singapore Airlines launches new menu

First Class passengers on Singapore Airlines will be treated to a new four-course menu from January 2019 developed in collaboration with Australian chef/restaurateur Matt Moran. The dishes include lobster with asparagus/tomato, grilled beef with chimichurri sauce and coconut panna cotta. Business Class guests can also enjoy dishes by American chef Alfred Portale including braised pork ribs in noodle soup and opera cake with coffee ice cream for dessert. The service will be available in the first quarter of 2019 from January until March.


Air China upgrades Sydney-Beijing aircraft

From 1 January until 28 February 2019, Air China will upgrade its Sydney-Beijing service to a Boeing 777-300ER. The aircraft offers eight first-class suites and 42 business class seats that can fully convert to a lie-flat bed, a step up from the current Airbus A330. Star Alliance Gold frequent flyers can make use of the Air New Zealand or Singapore Airlines lounges at Sydney Airport.



Hotel News.

voco Gold Coast opens

The world’s first voco branded hotel has officially opened on the Gold Coast, just five months after its global launch. The upscale property, a collaboration between IHG and SB&G Group, offers 389 rooms at the heart of Surfers Paradise in addition to a 800sqm meeting space, day spa and dual swimming pools. Guests also have a choice of three vibrant dining options and can take in expansive views of the ocean and Gold Coast hinterland from the hotel.


Howard Smith Wharves to welcome first hotel next year

AccorHotels will open its eighth Art Series luxury property at the Howard Smith Wharves in March 2019. Carved into the cliff face under the iconic Story Bridge, The Fantauzzo hotel will feature 166 guest rooms, four food and beverage outlets, three conference options and a rooftop pool.


Melbourne’s Savoy Hotel opens

The Savoy Hotel on Little Collins has reopened following a multi-million-dollar refurbishment. Formerly known as the Vibe Savoy Hotel Melbourne, the new 163 room-property is part of the TFE Hotels Collection brand and designed in tribute to the Art Deco of the original Hotel Alexander built in 1928. In addition to two on-site restaurants, the renovated boardroom is an ideal location for both private dining experiences or business meetings, while the ballroom has a cocktail capacity of up to 200 guests.


AccorHotels wins at tourism awards

AccorHotels has picked up six accolades at the 2018 NSW Tourism Awards at Luna Park last month. The group took home awards in the Deluxe Accommodation and Unique Accommodation including two gold awards for the Elements of Byron in the Luxury Accommodation and Business Event Venues categories. All winners from the evening will now progress to the Qantas Australian Tourism Awards to be held in Launceston in March 2019.


Santai resort acquired by Oaks

Oaks Hotels and Resorts has purchased the former Santai Retreat in Casuarina, on the NSW North Coast. The Balinese-styled property is made up of 100 individual studio, one- and two-bedroom apartments and will be rebranded to the Oaks Santai Resort Casuarina. Other facilities include an onsite restaurant, wellness spa and private lounge. The resort also provides two event spaces as well as a meeting room and break out spaces for MICE visitors.


AccorHotels extends AFL partnership

AccorHotels has extended its partnership with the AFL as its ‘Official Hotel Partner’ for another four years from 2019. In addition to providing accommodation, the group is also able to utilise its network of over 380 hotels across Australia and the Pacific in delivering its off-field initiatives. These include assisting the Women’s League with career opportunities in hospitality and its indigenous traineeship programs.


Pan Pacific to open PARKROYAL Bangkok

Pan Pacific Hotels Group has signed its first PARKROYAL Serviced Suites in Bangkok, taking over the current Phachara Suites. The hotel will be refurbished and expected to open in Q2 2019 in the centre of the city’s tourist, commercial and residential areas. It also marks the group’s first property in the local market offering 194 spacious suites.


Car Hire News.

Hertz partners with Netball Australia

Hertz Australia and Netball Australia have signed a three-year sponsorship deal. The agreement will see the car hirer sponsoring a range of teams and events including the Samsung Australian Diamonds national team, the Suncorp Super Netball league and the Fast5 Netball World Series.