Airline & Airport News.
VA’s new business class menu
From 7 March, Virgin Australia will be introducing a new business class menu on domestic flights, with international flights to follow in June 2018. The new menu has been designed by the airline’s consulting chef, Luke Mangan, and offers lighter, healthier options in line with today’s business travellers’ needs. Some of the new dishes include: a tender lamb moussaka with eggplant, broad beans, peas and oregano; steamed barramundi with sweet potato curry, basmati rice and herbs; and a beetroot, caramelised pear and goat’s cheese salad with walnuts.
CTM teams up with Uber in Australian first
Corporate Travel Management (CTM) has become the first travel management company in Australia to enter into a partnership with ride-sharing company, Uber. The agreement will allow CTM customers to incorporate Uber for Business into new and existing travel programs, streamlining their travel and reporting processes, and saving time and money. READ MORE.
Qantas announces opening date for PER lounge
Qantas has confirmed the opening date of its brand new international lounge at Perth Airport T3. The lounge, known as the Qantas Perth International Transit Lounge, will open its doors on Saturday 24 March 2018, the same day the Qantas Perth–London Dreamliner flights commence operation. While Qantas is investing in upgrades at Perth Airport to facilitate the new service, the Western Australia State Government has also committed to a $14 million investment to go towards the airport’s quarantine and Australian Border Force facilities.
Virgin Australia launches pop-up check-in
Virgin Australia has become the first Australian airline to offer its passengers pop-up check-in and baggage drop services, as an attempt to reduce congestion at major Australian airports. The first of the pop-up counters have been installed at two of Sydney’s biggest cruise ship terminals, with hotels, conference venues and sports stadiums also on the cards. Once checked-in, baggage is conveniently transported to the correct airport securely. A list of locations to receive the technology will be released following the initial pilot program.
Enjoy 5,000 bonus Etihad Guest Miles with BusinessConnect
Etihad Airway’s signature loyalty programme, BusinessConnect, is offering 5,000 bonus Etihad Guest Miles for SME businesses who sign up now!* Earn Etihad Guest Miles from your employees’ travel, which can be redeemed through flights, seat upgrades, products from EY’s Reward Shop or even donations to a charity of your choice. Registration is free, and you can easily manage your account through an online portal. Join now at https://www.eapbusinessconnect.com/ and start saving on your business travel. *T&Cs apply. CLICK HERE for more information.
Qantas Brisbane–Los Angeles–New York flights from September
Tickets are now on sale for Qantas’ daily Boeing 787-9 Brisbane–Los Angeles–New York flights, with the first flight scheduled for take-off on 1 September 2018. Once arriving at LAX, the Dreamliner will have a two-hour layover before continuing to New York.
VA’s next-generation 737s
Virgin Australia is counting down to the delivery of its new Boeing 737 MAX aircraft. The first of the next-generation jets are due at the end of 2019, with a total of 40 on order. The MAX 8 jets are the same size as the Boeing 737-800, and feature an eye-catching wingtip which has been designed for aerodynamic purposes and greater fuel efficiency.
Enjoy 500 bonus Qantas Points on eligible flights for a limited time
Qantas Business Rewards members can enjoy 500 bonus Qantas Points when travelling for business on eligible Qantas flights. Register and book until 28 February 2018 for travel by 31 March 2018. T&Cs apply. CLICK HERE to find out more.
Qantas Dreamliner for MEL-PER
Qantas’ newest 787-9 Dreamliner ‘Quokka’ has been deployed on the airline’s Melbourne-Perth route for the next few weeks. The 236-seat aircraft is operating the early morning QF775 flight from Melbourne, and returning as flight QF772.
VA adds podcasts to IFE
Virgin Australia has partnered with Australian audio on demand company, Whooshkaa, to offer podcasts as part of its in-flight entertainment system. Selected podcasts including Business Insider, Meshel Laurie’s Australian True Crime, myBody+Soul’s Healthy-ish and Rachel Corbett’s You’ve Gotta Start Somewhere, became available to passengers on 1 February 2018.
Qantas and British Airways extend codeshare
Qantas has extended its codeshare agreement with British Airways to include new European short-haul routes from London. Berlin, Basel, Edinburgh and Aberdeen routes will feature the QF code, with eligible passengers offered access to each airline’s lounges, oneworld lounges, and priority check-in and boarding.
Singapore Airlines increases frequency to ANZ
From 1 May 2018, Singapore Airlines will commence a daily Singapore–Sydney–Canberra service, operating on a Boeing 777-30ER featuring 48 seats in Business Class. The airline will also start a Singapore–Melbourne–Wellington service from 3 May 2018, operating four-times-weekly on Boeing 777-200. The new routes will replace the existing Singapore–Canberra–Wellington service, and come in response to increased demand for international travel to and from Canberra and Wellington.
SQ’s SYD lounge extends opening hours
Singapore Airline’s SilverKris business class lounge at Sydney Airport will extend its opening hours from 1 May 2018. The current 6:30pm closing time will be extended to 9pm to accommodate passengers on the new SQ288 9:20pm flight to Singapore via Canberra. The extended hours will also apply to Star Alliance airline passengers with late night departures.
Air NZ to boost CHC-SYD
From 25 March 2018, Air New Zealand will increase frequency on its Christchurch–Sydney service. The current six-times-weekly service will operate up to 12 flights per week.
Qatar Super Wi-Fi
Qatar Airways is currently undergoing testing for a new high-speed internet system, Super Wi-Fi, to be offered for Boeing 777-300ER Qsuite passengers. The service uses the Inmarsat satellite network in partnership with Qatari telco Ooordeoo, and is currently offered for free.
Qantas biofuel flight
Qantas has made history with the world’s first dedicated biofuel flight between the United States and Australia. Flight QF96 flew from Los Angeles to Melbourne on a Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner, and used approximately 24,000kgs of blended biofuel, saving 18,000kg in emissions.
Qantas & Tourism Western Australia pop-up
Qantas and Tourism Western Australia are collaborating to give Victorians a taste of WA’s scenery, culture and food and wine without leaving Melbourne. A three-day pop up event will be held in Federation Square on Tuesday 13 February to Thursday 15 February. The attractions will include a workspace, a chocolatier, as well as free beer, wine and food. The initiative aims to promote QF’s new MEL/PER/LHR route.
Tiger BNE service suspension
Tigerair has announced the suspension of its Brisbane to Perth and Brisbane to Whitsundays services as they continue to transition their fleet from A20s to Boeing 737s. The routes will cease as of 1 March 2018 however, Tiger have clarified that it is a suspension and not a termination of the routes.
Qantas’ Chairman Lounge changes access policy
The Qantas Chairman Lounge will end its ‘anytime access’ policy from 19 February 2018. The new rules state that members visiting the lounge will be allowed access only if they are flying on a Qantas, Jetstar, Emirates, China Eastern or oneworld partner airline flight with that airline’s flight number on your ticket.
Bitcoin at BNE
Brisbane Airport has partnered with TravelbyBit, to facilitate decentralised block chain enabled payments among its terminal retailers. Passengers will be able to use TravelbyBit’s cryptocurrency payment system, including Bitcoin, Dash and Ethereum at selected retail and food & beverage outlets.
MEL T2 luxury dining precinct
Melbourne Airport’s T2 luxury dining precinct has opened, after a $50 million development of its F&B and retail outlets. The precinct features 11 retailers and five new hospitality venues.
Western Sydney Airport site cleared
The site for the new Western Sydney Airport has been cleared, with the last remaining building removed on 24 January 2018. Preparatory works are now underway, with early stage earthworks to commence in 2018. The world-class airport is on track to open by 2026.
Avalon Airport AirAsia deal
Avalon Airport in Victoria has stuck a deal with AirAsia, creating their first overseas service. With a timetable soon to be announced, this will mean direct flights from Malaysia’s capital, Kuala Lumpur into Avalon which will lead to an influx of Malaysian tourists. The flights are due to begin operation in late 2018.
Cathay Pacific to close The Cabin lounge at HKG
Cathay Pacific’s The Cabin lounge at Hong Kong airport will shut its doors in April 2018, following the opening of The Deck business lounge scheduled for March. The Cabin first opened in October 2010, and features floor-to-ceiling windows with stunning views over the tarmac.
EY closes Style & Shave
Etihad Airways has closed its Style & Shave facilities at the airline’s business and first-class lounges at Abu Dhabi International Airport. The salons offered wet shaves, haircuts, beard trims, shoe shines, blow-drys and nail treatments for passengers, but have been closed as part of cost-cutting measures.
Sunshine Coast Event Funding
If you were considering the Sunshine Coast for your next conference, meeting or incentive, now is the perfect time to book! The Business Events Assistance Program is offering funding support for eligible business events on the Sunshine Coast. For more information about whether your event is eligible, contact Event Travel Management (ETM) at 1300 040 934. Applications close 1 March 2018.
EVENT takes over Melbourne’s ‘The Vic’
EVENT Hospitality & Entertainment Limited has acquired Melbourne’s historic The Victoria Hotel. ‘The Vic’, as it is affectionately known, is located on Little Collins Street and is currently branded as ibis Styles Melbourne, The Victoria Hotel. The 370-room hotel dates back to 1880, and offers a rooftop fitness centre, plunge pool, spa, sauna and various function spaces for meetings and events.
New Mercure for Albury
AccorHotels’ Mercure brand is taking over a 60-room hotel in Albury, in regional New South Wales. Previously known as Hotel on Olive, Mercure Albury will join Mercure’s sister-brands in Orange, Tamworth and Mudgee. The hotel recently underwent an extensive refurbishment to the landscape, guestrooms and restaurant.
Goat Island hotel
In a bid to turn Goat Island in Sydney Harbour into a cultural drawcard for tourists, AccorHotels has been flagged as a potential accommodation supplier for a boutique hotel. The Metropolitan Local Aboriginal Land Council will hold talks with the NSW Government to potentially takeover the island.