Airline & Airport News.
Wait time cut for Aussie travellers
From 2019 Australian and New Zealand e-passport holders will be able to use special gates fast-tracking them through immigration at Heathrow and other UK airports. The announcement was made by the Chancellor to the Exchequer Philip Hammond and welcomed by the High Commissioner to the UK, George Brandis. Currently, the e-passport lanes are available only to citizens of the United Kingdom and some European countries.
Qantas and KLM sign new agreement
Qantas passengers can now codeshare with KLM after a new deal was signed last month. The Dutch national carrier will codeshare on Qantas services between Singapore and Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth while Qantas will codeshare on KLM services between Amsterdam and Singapore.
New lounge network from Virgin Australia
Virgin Australia has announced the launch of several new international lounges across Australia and New Zealand from the end of October 2018. They will be located in Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Auckland, Christchurch, Queenstown and Wellington, in addition to the airline’s existing premium domestic network. The new spaces are designed in collaboration with award-winning British specialist, No1 Lounges, to create a unique experience for Virgin Australia guests.
Qantas scraps paper passes
Pre-checked in Qantas passengers are no longer be required to print boarding passes for domestic travel. Travellers will now be simply required to provide a digital copy at the airport. However, those presenting a Qantas membership card or with a changed seat will still be presented with a paper pass for cabin crew directions.
Virgin Australia launches double status credits promotion
SPECIAL OFFER: Velocity Frequent Flyer members who book a Virgin Australia flight to New Zealand by 10 December 2018 can earn double Status Credits on their account. Promotion is eligible only for travel by 9 October 2019. All trans-Tasman flights on Virgin Australia are inclusive of a substantial meal and drink, 23kg baggage and WiFi access regardless of fare. Activate the offer here.
Melbourne Qantas lounge upgraded
Qantas has completed the major upgrade of its domestic lounge at Melbourne Tullamarine Airport. The new space has the capacity for 880 seats across the business and Qantas Club lounges as well as amenities for Food and Beverage, children’s play areas, WiFi and wireless printing.
Virgin Australia terminal change at Los Angeles International Airport
Due to current upgrades on multiple terminals at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), Virgin Australia has moved the location of its check-in counter to Terminal 3. All arriving flights with connections to Delta Airlines will generally depart from Terminal 2 or 3. For flights departing LAX, guests are advised that once checked in at Terminal 3 to proceed to Tom Bradley International Terminal (Terminal B).
Upgrade to Qantas Sydney – Bali route
From 17 December 2018, Qantas will deploy an A330-200 aircraft on the Sydney-Bali Denpasar service until 29-Jan-2018. This replaces the current Boeing 737 equipment over the peak summer period.
Air Canada increases services to Australia
Air Canada plans to increase its frequency to Melbourne from the middle of next year. The airline will fly four times weekly year around from its base in Vancouver to Melbourne Tullamarine on a Boeing 787. Flights will begin operating on 3 June 2019.
New Singapore lounges for Qantas
Qantas will invest in a new multi-million-dollar First Lounge and expand its current Business Lounge at Singapore Changi Airport from next April. The new First lounge will accommodate up to 240 customers with premium a la carte dining and Asian-inspired menus. Also included will be a cocktail bar, open kitchen and shower amenities with the design incorporating elements of local Singaporean design and high-quality materials.
$500m upgrade for Melbourne Airport
As its international network grows, Melbourne Airport has announced plans to open a new hotel, pool and rooftop bar as part of a $500 million redevelopment of the airport. Other new features include five new airline lounges, viewing deck, and upgraded pick up and drop off areas. The hotel is expected to commence construction in early 2019 providing 464 rooms onsite.
New Virgin Australia pilot centre announced
Virgin Australia has announced that it will establish a pilot training facility in Tamworth, New South Wales to address the global skill shortage. More information on the forthcoming Aviation Centre of Excellence will be announced in the coming months.
THAI introduces Premium Economy
Thai Airways will trial a premium economy next year, joining the list of airlines incorporating such a product offering. The refit will be conducted in a 2-4-2 layout and include new lie-flat business class seats on its fleet of six Boeing 777-200ER aircraft.
United Airlines promotion
WIN: United Airlines is offering a free Economy Plus upgrade in one direction on flights from Sydney to Houston, Los Angeles and San Francisco or from Melbourne to Los Angeles. To enter, simply book an economy fare through your preferred CTM channel.
Etihad to launch A380 Premium Economy
From December 2018, Etihad Airways will introduce Premium Economy seats on 10 of its A380 aircraft, offering guests an increased 36-inch seat pitch, compared to 31 inches in the regular economy. The reconfiguration will increase the number of extra-legroom seats in economy from 20 to a total of 80. In addition to its A380s, the airline will also add Economy Space seats to 12 Boeing 777s and 21 of its Dreamliners by the end of 2019, increasing extra legroom seats by 560%.
Virgin Australia reduces Coffs Harbour services
From 17 December 2018, Virgin Australia will reduce its Sydney to Coffs Harbour services to a daily flight in response to customer demand. The airline will be proactively communicating with affected guests and re-accommodating them on to alternative flights as required.
Qantas launches Premium Economy to Perth
Qantas customers can now purchase Premium Economy fares on its Melbourne to Perth service starting from $1249. The service is operated daily as part of the non-stop route to London. Frequent Flyers can earn 2,700 points when travelling on a Premium Economy Saver fare and 2,900 points when travelling on a Premium Economy Flexible fare, along with 40 Status Credits.
Jetstar to increase Sydney to Nadi summer services
Jetstar Airways will add two services to its weekly Sydney-Nadi frequency weekly between 15 December 2018 and 19 January 2019. This will increase the frequency from four to six times, adding close to 2000 seats on the route.
AccorHotels announces new international brand for Malvern
AccorHotels, in collaboration with Dalmeera Group, has announced the opening of a new apartment-style hotel in Melbourne’s south-east for this November. The Sebel Melbourne Malvern will offer guests the choice of one, two- and three-bedroom suites, complete with kitchen and laundry facilities across 17 floors. The inner-city suburb is currently experiencing a revival of ultra-modern developments near the Melbourne CBD.
WIN four nights from Mantra
Mantra is offering guests who book two nights’ accommodation until 15 December 2018, the chance to go into the draw to win a two-person, four-night stay at any property in Australia and New Zealand. The prize is at valid for holiday or corporate travel and valid until 30 June 2019.
TFE plans for first Adelaide hotel
TFE Hotels plans to open a flagship glass-fronted hotel in Adelaide offering travellers and guests an unparalleled view across the entire city. The 118 room Vibe Adelaide hotel will be conveniently located near the convention centre, Rundle Mall and Adelaide Casino and is due to open in 2020. Other facilities include a spa, sauna, restaurant and rooftop lap swimming pool connected to the adjoining ONE Apartments Complex.
IHG to open Ringwood hotel
In 2020, Victoria will welcome another addition to the IHG Holiday Inn brand with the opening of the Holiday Inn & Suites Melbourne Ringwood. The 164-room hotel will be part of a mixed-use development in Melbourne’s eastern suburbs, famous for Australia’s second-largest Cadbury factory in Australia and the development of the “Pride of Ringwood” beer hop.
Art Series “Colour Your Stay” campaign
From 15 October until 30 December, three Art Series Hotels will be transformed into a collective art canvas, inviting guests to contribute to an onsite mural. The Colour Your Stay campaign at The Blackman (Melbourne), The Johnson (Brisbane) and The Olsen (Melbourne), will provide guests checking in with the tools needed and two minutes each to unleash their inner artist within. They can also go into the draw to win a night’s stay by uploading an Instagram photo with the #colouryourstay.
Exclusive deals from Peppers
SPECIAL OFFER: Until 10 December 2018, corporate travellers can book a stay at the Peppers Kings Square Hotel in Perth to receive a range of deals including:
• Complimentary upgrade to Executive Room* • Complimentary cocktail on arrival • 50% off* breakfast • Complimentary WiFi
Book through your regular CTM channel to redeem these exclusive rewards.
IHG launches ‘voco Melbourne Central’
IHG has signed its third voco hotel in Australia since opening in June this year. The 252-room voco Melbourne Central will be part of the under-construction ‘380 Melbourne’ skyscraper, with the Sky Lobby for check-in on level seven.
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.