10 Million Velocity Points available
What could you do with a share of 10 Million Velocity points?* 10 single entry Virgin Australia Lounge passes, 5 $100 iTunes Wave gift cards or 10 Business Class upgrades from Sydney to Melbourne or Brisbane. This month Virgin Australia accelerate members can win one of 100 prizes of 100,000 Velocity Points when they register below, book an eligible flight through CTM and travel by 31 March 2019. *T&C’s apply. Register here.
Qantas to increase its carry-on limit
From Monday 25 March 2019, Qantas will increase the per-bag weight limit for cabin baggage on domestic flights, with passengers now able to bring a carry-on bag as heavy as 10kg. Total cabin baggage will remain at 14kg across two standard-sized bags, plus a small ‘personal item’ bag such as a satchel or slim briefcase. The policy applies to all Qantas passengers regardless of the cabin or frequent flyer status, although the 7kg/bag limit remains in effect for certain QantasLink services.
Qantas announces seasonal Melbourne to Queenstown services
Qantas will launch new seasonal flights direct from Melbourne to Queenstown over the peak ski season from 21 June until 27 August 2019. The flights will operate three times a week – Tuesdays, Fridays and Sundays – between Melbourne and Queenstown offering more than 10,000 seats in addition to the 33 existing Queenstown services available each week throughout winter. This has been achieved by Qantas reducing its Melbourne-Christchurch schedule to four services per week over the winter while demand for this route is lower.
Virgin Australia’s new Brisbane international lounge to open in May 2019
Operated by UK-based No1 Lounges, the new My Lounge is due to open in May 2019 and will be located adjacent to Gate 77. The lounge will be open to Virgin’s business class passengers, and Platinum and Gold members of the Velocity Frequent Flyer scheme on Virgin flights to New Zealand, Los Angeles, Bali and the Pacific islands including Fiji.
Qantas’ new Singapore first class lounge
Due to open in late 2019, Qantas’ new first-class lounge in Singapore will cater to 240 guests including Qantas Platinum, Platinum One and Chairman’s Lounge frequent flyers and first-class passengers. Situated in Terminal 1 D-wing it is separate from the existing Qantas Singapore Lounge (business class) which is located by the C gates.
Delta upgrades seating
Delta Air Lines’ upgraded Boeing 777 aircraft will launch on the Sydney to Los Angeles route flying daily from 5 April 2019. The Boeing 777 has been fitted with the Delta One Suites – the world’s first all-suite business class and Delta Premium Select premium economy cabin, bringing travellers more luxury, comfort and choice. The aircraft also features the widest Main Cabin seats of Delta’s international fleet, amongst other interior upgrades. For more information, click here.
Perth Airport goes passport-free
Perth Airport has installed new Vision-Box ‘SmartGates’ allowing passengers to pass through immigration without a producing a passport. The technology uses facial recognition biometrics in its arrivals area to identify passengers and is planned to be rolled out across the country in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, Gold Coast, Cairns and Darwin airports. The system has already been utilised at Canberra Airport since early 2018.
Western Sydney International Airport Named
Prime Minister Scott Morrison has unveiled the official name of the new Western Sydney International Airport after one of Australia’s greatest aviators, Nancy Bird-Walton. Its official name will be Western Sydney International (Nancy-Bird Walton) Airport. The airport is on track to open in 2026 with a second runway expected to be required in the 2050s.
Adelaide Airports achieves Platinum status again
Adelaide Airport has achieved its second Platinum level status from the ACI (Airport Councils International) Asia-Pacific for its sustainability efforts. The airport was awarded Platinum in 2018 for its waste program and Gold in 2017 for its energy management program. The latest results from the Green Airports Recognition 2019 puts Adelaide Airport at the top of its passenger category for its SMART building analytics initiative, which is aimed at improving building energy efficiency.
Perth named Best Airport in Australia
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) monitoring report has named Perth Airport as the best major airport in Australia according to airlines. This marks the second consecutive year the facility has topped the list.
Qantas Frequent Flyer Rewards Room for Melbourne Airport
Qantas has opened a pop-up Frequent Flyer Rewards Room concept at Melbourne Tullamarine Airport which, will be open until 30 June 2019. You can earn 100 Qantas Frequent Flyer point just by visiting the pop-up located near Gate 1 from 7AM – 8PM.
United Airlines updates schedule
United Airlines will reschedule its Sydney services from 30 March 2019 on the following routes:
- Houston-Sydney: Decrease from seven to four times weekly with Boeing 787-9 equipment
- Los Angeles-Sydney: Decrease seven to three times weekly, also with a Boeing 787-9.
Qantas to suspend Canada services
Qantas will temporarily suspend its Sydney-Vancouver service in June/July 2019 until 12 December 2019. The airline will resume the service from 12 December 2019 to 25 January 2020.
Northern Territory Airports first to install CT
Northern Territory Airports has awarded a contract to Smiths Detection for the supply of advanced Computed Tomography (CT) checked baggage and passenger screening systems. The contract will see Smiths Detection install seven HI-SCAN 6040 CTiX units at Darwin Airport and Alice Springs Airport.
Qantas delays A380 refurbishment
Qantas will unveil the latest refurbishment of its A380s in August after the project commencement was pushed back from March to July. The upgrade will see the superjumbo’s business class and premium economy seats upgraded to those of the Boeing 787, although the premium economy seats will retain the same pitch as on the Boeing 787 Dreamliner.
Upgrade for Emerald Airport
The Queensland Government has announced a $1.5 million upgrade for Emerald Airport. The works will be conducted to the airport’s general area, refuelling area and taxiway apron.
Airbus announces an end to production of A380
The giant A380 “superjumbo” will end production after only a quarter of the expected orders came to fruition. The factory will be closed in 2021 after the final 14 planes are delivered to Emirates Airline.
AAA welcome NAIF loan for Townsville Airport redevelopment
Australian Airports Association (AAA) has announced an AUD$50 million Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility (NAIF) loan for the redevelopment of the Townsville Airport. The redevelopment will create new tourism and trade opportunities for the North Queensland region.
Accor Summer Offer
AccorHotels is offering a $25 off each night on all bookings before 30 August 2019. Stay dates are until 31 January 2020 at all participating Sofitel, Pullman, MGallery, Quay West, The Sebel, Swissotel, Grand Mercure, Novotel, Mercure, ibis, ibis Styles and ibis Budget hotels across Australia and New Zealand.
Adina Apartments Hotel Melbourne Northbank has a major facelift
Located in Melbourne’s CBD, the Adina Melbourne Northbank has reopened following a recent multi-million-dollar refurbishment with the modern traveller in mind. In true Melbourne style, a playful combination of historical décor and contemporary art has been integrated throughout, with designers ‘In Design International’ seamlessly merging the style and sophistication of the city with all the modern luxuries of home. With 108 guest rooms, the new look is contemporary with semi-industrial features using concrete, black steel and timber elements. The new facilities also include Samsung Smart TVs, high-speed Wi-Fi, digital headend and a new working hub in the lobby.
IHG acquires Six Senses
IHG has announced the acquisition of the entire Six Senses hotel brands and operations, taking its global portfolio of luxury hotels to 400 properties or 108,000 rooms worldwide. Six Senses Hotels Resorts Spas manages 16 hotels and resorts (1,347 rooms), with a further 18 management contracts signed into its development pipeline. The brand also has a further 50 deals under discussion, with IHG expecting to accelerate the business’ growth to more than 60 hotels over the next 10 years.
Best Western acquires WorldHotels
Best Western Hotels & Resorts has acquired more than 300 boutique hotels under the WorldHotels brand into its property portfolio in a deal completed in March 2019. As a result, Best Western now competes in every chain scale segment of the hotel market.
New loyalty program from AccorHotels
AccorHotels’ new lifestyle loyalty programme, ALL (Accor Live Limitless), has been formally unveiled featuring a range of benefits for the brand’s guests. These include entertainment, dining and culinary, and sports options formed in conjunction with selected partners including AEG, IMG and the French football club Paris Saint-Germain of which ALL will become the official jersey sponsor from next season. The million-dollar programme is also accompanied by an app and website for easy accessibility.
QT eyes Adelaide property
EVENT Hospitality and Entertainment will open a 200-room hotel in Adelaide, marking its first property under the QT brand in South Australia. Starting construction in late 2019, the $180m development will also feature food and bar offerings, extensive conference and events facilities, all said to be “unlike anything seen before in Adelaide”.
The Fantauzzo opening date announced
Brisbane’s highly anticipated $100 million flagship Art Series Hotel, The Fantauzzo, will open on 26 March 2019 at the Howard Smith Wharves precinct. Located directly under the impressive Story Bridge, the hotel hugs the contour of the cliff, fusing the organic geometry of the natural rock face with the structured aesthetic of the bridge. The six-storey hotel will offer four distinct food and beverage outlets as well as an impressive rooftop pool boasting spectacular views of the Brisbane River and CBD, bar, gym and three conference rooms, fully equipped with state-of-the-art audio-visual technology.
More details for Hotel Chadstone Melbourne announced
Accor’s MGallery by Sofitel has announced the opening of its new Hotel Chadstone Melbourne this November 2019 as well as several details for the $130m project. Across 12 stories, the 250-room property will feature a rooftop conservatory bar, swimming pool and wellness centre. Panoramic views from Port Phillip Bay to the CBD and across the Dandenong Ranges are promised to guests while a pedestrian walkway will connect the property to the retail centre and commercial office tower. Hotel Chadstone Melbourne also aims to be the first hotel in Australia to target a 5 Star Green Star rating using the version 1.1 As Built rating tool.
Accor acquires TRIBE brand
Australian hotel brand, TRIBE has been acquired by Accor and has been officially added to Accor’s lifestyle hotel portfolio. Offering business and leisure guests smart design, artistic furniture finishes, and service focused on the essentials, the brand is distinctly targeted towards an international clientele of regular travellers. With their debut location of Perth remaining under TRIBE founder’s ownership, Accor has plans for another 10 openings by 2022 across Europe and the Asia Pacific.
TFE begin construction of Travelodge Hotel Hurstville
The 124-room Travelodge property will be conveniently located just 7km from Sydney Airport. There will also be access to a ballroom and meeting areas, providing an alternative location to the Hurstville Business District and the Rhodes Business Park precinct. There will also be a multi-level carpark extending the length of the site for added convenience.
Huge jump in attendance for Darwin
Darwin has just experienced its highest number of event delegates and conventions to the city in its recent history. Several national conferences from the property, medical and port industries over the past six months have brought a record-breaking number of attendees to the Northern Territory capital disproving common misconceptions about Darwin as a world-class business event destination.
AEG Facilities and SMG to merge
AEG Facilities and SMG have announced a merging to create a global management company called ASM Global. The new company will jointly manage a portfolio of over 310 properties across five continents. AEG Facilities’ local venues include International Convention Centre Sydney, Qudos Bank Arena and Brisbane Entertainment Centre all managed by the Australian arm of AEG.
Melbourne lands largest conference event ever
Melbourne will host the 2023 Rotary International Convention, a massive international event expected to draw tens of thousands of visitors from 200 countries to the state. The bid for the event was led by the Melbourne Convention Bureau (MCB) and supported by the Victorian and Australian Governments for the largest conference to ever grace the state. An estimated $88 million will be injected into the economy through direct and economic spinoffs across four days.