Airline & Airport News.
Qantas boosts Queensland services
From 31 March 2019, Qantas will add more than 2600 extra seats and increase its frequencies across Queensland to meet the growing demand for business travel. The announced network changes are as follows:
• Eleven additional return flights per week between Brisbane and Cairns
• Six additional return flights per week between Brisbane and Townsville
• Increase to double daily flights between Sydney and the Sunshine Coast, bringing total flights from 8 to 13.
• Use of larger Airbus A330s on selected flights from Cairns to Sydney and Melbourne.
• Double-daily service between Brisbane and Mount Isa, operated by QantasLink and increasing weekly return services from 9 to 13.
Virgin Australia launches Darwin-Bali service
Virgin Australia has announced plans to launch a seasonal three times weekly Darwin-Bali Denpasar commencing 10 April 2019 to October 2019. The airline will be the sole full-service operator on this route, utilising a Boeing 737-800 aircraft.
Qantas to launch Sydney to Bendigo link
Qantas will launch direct flights between Sydney and Bendigo from 31 March 2019 with six flights per week and a daily service over the peak period between late 2019 and early 2020. The 50-seat all-economy service will operate on a refurbished Bombardier Dash 8 Q300 turboprop aircraft, with new leather seat covers, refreshed interiors and integrated tablet holders for the BYO video set.
Qantas codeshares on Jetstar services to Hawaii
Qantas has expanded its Jetstar codeshare options for customer travelling between Australia and Hawaii. The move allows customers between Sydney or Melbourne and Honolulu to travel on the Qantas codeshare in one direction and a Qantas service on the return journey. Frequent Flyer members can earn points and status credits on all sectors as well as access to the Qantas Lounge in all three airports for eligible customers.
Air New Zealand launches new Brisbane routes
Air New Zealand has launched its inaugural Brisbane-Queenstown and Brisbane-Wellington flights from Brisbane Airport. The services, operating on an A320, will run up to four times a week from Queenstown and five times a week from Wellington, increasing annual capacity to Brisbane by 40%. The carrier has recently expanded its international capacity and expects to ramp up its Australian operation next year, with a boost to the Gold Coast come February 2019.
Virgin Australia changes Geraldton services
Effective 28 January 2019, Virgin Australia will reduce its services from 12 return services per week to a daily return flight. The service change is in response to customer demand and will allow for guest connections to and from Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide to Geraldton. Virgin Australia will be in communication with affected guests and attempt to re-accommodate them on alternative flights where possible.
United Airlines expands South Pacific network
United Airlines has announced plans to expand its service in the South Pacific region with several service additions for Australia and New Zealand. These include:
• San Francisco-Melbourne: Launch of three times weekly nonstop service with Boeing 787-9 equipment, effective 29-Oct-2019. United offers nonstop service from Houston, Los Angeles and San Francisco to Sydney and provides nonstop service from Los Angeles to Melbourne;
• San Francisco-Papeete: Extend three times weekly nonstop service to year-round with 787-9 equipment, effective 30-Mar-2019;
• San Francisco-Auckland: Extend three times weekly nonstop service to year-round, effective 30-Mar-2019 on a Boeing 777-200ER equipment.
Queensland airport tops on-time rankings
Cairns, Adelaide and Brisbane have all been named as Australia’s top airports for punctuality by analysis for aviation analysis provider OAG. The worldwide rankings were based on scheduled on-time performance with Cairns Airport earning the top spot for Australia and New Zealand and ninth internationally overall. The announcement comes as the airport prepares to undergo a $55 million revamp to transform it into a world-class facility by completion in 2020.
Perth Airport installs sleeping pods
Perth Airport has become the first Australian airport to trial sleeping pods within its terminals. Eight of the sleeping pods are currently installed in the T1 precinct in partnership with Smarte Carte and Finnish company GoSleep. Starting at $12 an hour, it is ideal for travellers in transit or with a short stopover.
New proposal for US entry
The Australian Department of Home Affairs is examining the feasibility of joining the US’ Global Entry programme. If successful, the initiative will allow for expedited clearance for pre-approved, low-risk Australian travellers upon arrival in the US, entering through automated kiosks at selected airports.
Special offer: Join KORU for free during January!
Until 31 January 2019, Air New Zealand is waiving its $255 joining fee for its Premium lounge and member benefits programme, Koru Club. You will only need to pay the annual membership rate to enjoy the benefits of a Koru membership including:
• Access to Air New Zealand Lounges and Partner Lounges
• Access to complimentary frequent flyer seating
• Priority check-in, priority boarding and priority checked baggage
To register, click the link here and enter the promo code: JOINKORUAU. More information about Koru membership can be found here.
Adina Coogee reopens after refurbishment
The TFE Hotels-managed Adina Apartment Hotel Coogee has unveiled a spectacular new look after a multimillion-dollar refurbishment across 86 studios, one, and two-bedroom apartments. Drawing on its unique beachfront location, the hotel’s lobby and conference rooms also boast a new look of earthy tones and a photography display of its surrounding area by WeThree. The Adina Coogee is located in the eastern suburbs, only a short drive away from Sydney Airport, making it ideal for business travel, meetings and leisure stays.
IHG announces voco Hunter Valley hotel
IHG announced a refurbishment and rebrand of its colonial style Kirkton Park property into its fourth Australian signing since the upscale brand was announced in June 2018. The voco Kirkton Park Hunter Valley will boast 70 rooms, guest entertainment areas, indoor heated pool, gymnasium and on-site restaurants and bars in one of the wine region’s most desirable destinations. Following IHG’s global commitment to sustainability, the property will also offer genuine, sustainable and paddock-to-plate focused mindset while embracing its local surroundings.
New look for Holiday Inn Melbourne event spaces
Holiday Inn Melbourne has completed the multimillion-dollar redesign of its event spaces to compliment the property’s existing aesthetic features. The hotel owner enlisted architects Wilson & Hill of New Zealand, to reinvent each individual space with the floor-to-ceiling windows, allowing more natural light and providing views of the city or the hotel pool. The spaces are built to embody the joy to business travel and assist their guests in making meaningful connections.
Oaks acquires QT Port Douglas
Oaks Hotels & Resorts has expanded its Tropical North Queensland network with the addition of the former QT Port Douglas boutique resort. The 170-room property will now be called the Oaks Resort Port Douglas is ideally positioned close to the Port Douglas’ main attractions, shopping and dining. The Resort is also home to a dedicated events, conferencing and wedding precinct. Along with its sister property Oaks Lagoons, each property will provide guests with a unique offering in the in the seaside town.
Ibis Sydney World reopens with new look
The $4 million refurbishment of the ibis Sydney World is now complete, featuring new looks for the property’s 166 guestrooms. Guests can enjoy the property’s heritage-listed iBistro or the ground-level iBar which, in addition to the lobby, have also been redesigned. Other features available at ibis Sydney World Square include a 24-hour gym and business centre.