Airline & Airport News.
Tasman revamp brings Queenstown and Wellington options.
From 28 October 2018, Virgin will introduce two new trans-Tasman routes. Beginning with up to five flights per week between Sydney and Wellington and up to four flights per week between Melbourne and Queenstown Sydney-Auckland flights will increase to three times daily on weekdays and two times daily on weekends, with Melbourne-Auckland increasing to two times daily and Brisbane-Auckland to as many as three flights per day on peak days. Frequencies will be reduced between Melbourne and Christchurch and from Brisbane to Wellington.
Qantas to increase Dreamliner Fleet
Qantas are set to increase their Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner fleet to 14 by mid to late 2020, with the announcement of six new 787-9’s to begin arriving from late 2019. This move will facilitate Qantas ability to retire their current fleet of ten Boeing 747-700 jumbo jets.
Virgin offer high-speed in-flight internet
Virgin Australia has begun offering passengers paid access to high-speed in-flight Internet on domestic flights on their Wi-Fi enabled Boeing 737s, although slower connections will remain free of charge. Prices will start at $8.99 per flight on shorter routes such as the Brisbane-Sydney and Sydney-Melbourne.
Qantas to boost Sydney-Osaka
From 9 December 2018, Qantas will increase its frequency on the Sydney-Osaka Kansai route from three-times-weekly to four-times-weekly. The airline announced that it came to this decision based on strong demand from leisure and business travellers since it commenced operation in December last year.
Qantas is expected to launch non-stop flights to Johannesburg from Perth to continue the expansion of its international footprint in Perth. The route is due to launch in December 2018. It is predicted that the direct flight would run four times per week from 7 December on an Airbus A330-200.
Virgin offer up to 40% bonus points in Velocity Points transfer promotion
Valid until 31 May 2018 you’ll receive 20% bonus points for points transfersfromANZ Rewards, ANZ Business Rewards, Flybuys, Shangri-La Golden Circle, Le Club Accor, Hilton Honors, Starwood SPG, IHG Rewards Club and Choice Privileges. You’ll receive an EXTRA 40% of bonus points when transferring from Australian-issued American Express Cards, NAB Rewards, Citibank, HSBC Rewards (Platinum and Premier credit card holders only), Diners Club Reward, Card Services Rewards, Bank of Queensland and Q Rewards (Platinum credit card holders only) and Suncorp Bank Rewards.
Qantas and Air Niugini codeshare knock back
Qantas’s plans to expand its codeshare partnership with Air Niugini on Papua New Guinea routes has been set back due to the Australian regulator ruling that the arrangement would not be of benefit to the public.
Etihad to suspend PER-AUH
As of 1 October 2018, Etihad Airways will be suspending all flights between Perth and Abu Dhabi. Etihad Airways are offering alternative options for guests who have purchased tickets on/before 10 April 2018 for travel on/after 1 October 2018. For more information, please see contact your dedicated CTM consultant.
Etihad suspends Edinburgh route
In an ongoing review of network performance, Etihad has suspended all flights from Abu Dhabi to Edinburgh City as of 1 October 2018. For more information, please see contact your dedicated CTM consultant.
Emirates’ new Airbus A380 2021
Emirates Airbus A380 is set to receive new first-class suites that will include bathrooms and shower spa suites. They have been confirmed to be the same as the Mercedes-Benz inspired cribs of its Boeing 777-300ERs. The suites aren’t due to debut until 2021.
United Airlines opens Polaris lounge at SFO
United Airlines opened its new Polaris Business Class airport lounge at San Francisco on 30 April 2018. The split-level lounge features a dining room and bar incorporating the old United Club as well as the former Singapore Airlines and EVA Air lounges. The lounge fits a capacity of 440 and spans a space of 2,600 m².
Air Canada debuts new Business Class experience
Air Canada has recently undergone improvements to its business class offering. The new ‘Signature Class’ is an end-to-end premium product now available on all Air Canada international flights. The upgrade includes: a new dine-on-demand meal service with revised drinks menu, mattress pads fitted on the carrier’s flatbeds and refreshed amenity kits with Canadian brands such as Want Les Essentiels and Vitruvi.
New Cathay Pacific business class meal service
Cathy Pacific will soon offer a new restaurant-style meal service to its business class passengers. The new service includes an upgraded menu, restaurant-style food presentation and a more personalised dining experience. Cathay Pacific will debut the meal service on flights between Hong Kong and Chicago in July, followed by London Gatwick in August.
Air New Zealand adds trans-Tasman flights
Air New Zealand are set to launch additional services on the Sydney-Auckland, Melbourne-Auckland and Brisbane-Auckland routes from October 28, 2018. Flights between Melbourne-Christchurch and Brisbane-Christchurch will increase to two times daily on peak days and Sydney-Christchurch will be offered two times daily from Monday to Friday. From December 2 there will be flights up to five times a week Brisbane-Wellington and four times a week Brisbane-Queenstown.
Jetstar Brisbane-Uluru tourism
Jetstar has announced that it will now operate three times weekly between Brisbane and Uluru from August. In conjunction to this announcement, Ayers Rock Resort has confirmed that their refurbishment of their 100-room Lost Camel property at Yulara is due to relaunch on 1 July 2018.
Singapore Airlines launch fifth Sydney-Singapore
Singapore Airlines has announced that they will add a fifth daily flight from Sydney to Singapore, in conjunction with their Sydney-Canberra-Singapore Boeing 777-300ER service. The flight will depart Sydney at 9:20pm and arrive in Singapore at 5:15am, this will be their first overnight service from Sydney.
Boeing sky-high double bed
Boeing has uncovered their all new business class seat to be offered on new aircraft and as a retrofit during upgrades. The seat, which converts into a life flat bed with the ability for the paired middle seat to become a double bed, is intended for twin-aisle jets such as the Boeing 777 and 787 Dreamliner family. There are few further details available, but the released images allude to plenty of space for work and personal items as well as potentially offering wireless charging.
Sydney Airport International traffic boom
Sydney Airport has announced that they have experience an exceptional international passenger traffic growth of 11.1 per cent following the March holiday period. In a statement on the ASX they identified that the nationalities with the greatest were Indian, with a 28.2 percent increase, Chinese, with a 19.9 percent increase, South Korean, with a 15.2 per cent increase and the USA with a 14.3 per cent increase.
New Cross rail to London Heathrow Airport
A section of the new Cross rail tube service to Heathrow Airport is set to launch in Q3 this year. The Paddington to LHR sector of the new Elizabeth Line will take over the current Heathrow Connect service, operating four times an hour to begin, later increasing to six trains an hour in 2019. The Elizabeth Line is set to rival the existing Heathrow Express, by charging almost half the price of the competing airport link service.
CTM Australian acquisition and ANZ leadership changes
Corporate Travel Management have announced the acquisition of SCT Travel Group Pty Ltd, trading as Platinum Travel Corporation (PTC) in QLD and NSW, effective 1 July 2018. This acquisition brings the opportunity to adopt a founder of SCT, industry veteran Greg McCarthy. Greg will be appointed CEO of ANZ, based in our Sydney office, reporting into Laura Ruffles.
Novotel South Wharf opens in Melbourne
The $150m Novotel Melbourne South Wharf “golden tower” has opened, offering 347 rooms and suites adjacent to the Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre. Novotel Melbourne South Wharf is ideally suited to the corporate & conference traveller but is also targeting the intra- and interstate leisure visitors.
Crown Perth’s Great Lawn
Corporate conferencing just got a whole lot more exciting with Crown Perth’s newly opened ‘The Great Lawn’ event space. The outdoor concept covers 1,800m2 of pool-side event space, featuring stunning views of the Swan River and Perth City. Combined with Crown Perth’s resort offering, the space can cater for up to 3,500 delegates.
NSW Airbnb scheme
The NSW Government has released a pilot incentive offer to the state’s Seniors Card holders, a $100 cash reward for becoming Airbnb hosts. The government says the scheme will create economic opportunities for seniors while keeping them socially connected.
Accor and Invictus
Accorhotels has been announced as the Official Accommodation Supplier of Prince Harry’s Invictus Games Sydney 2018. The Pullman, Novotel and ibis Sydney Part will be host to over 500 competitors from 18 nations from 20-27 October.
Melbourne Airport Rental Returns
Melbourne Airport’s refurbishments are now finished. Access to the Hertz rental car area have changed. The rental car lane is now through the short-term car park entry, keep an eye out for the signage to follow.