Airline & Airport News.
New mobile phone rules for travellers
Passengers flying into New Zealand airports who are subject to being detained or searched may be required to provide their mobile phone passwords if requested or face a penalty of up to AUD$4580, confiscation and prosecution.
Code sharing to begin for Qantas and Cathay Pacific
Qantas and Hong-Kong based Cathay Pacific will begin a new codeshare agreement from the end of November 2018. The agreement covers long-haul services from Hong Kong to Perth and Cairns as well as 13 domestic routes on the Qantas network. The airlines have agreed to include the international regional Cathay Dragon brand from Hong Kong to cities across India, Myanmar, Sri Lanka and Vietnam.
Perth-Gold Coast link on the horizon for Virgin Australia
Virgin Australia is set to introduce a new twice-weekly direct service between Perth and the Gold Coast from 13 December 2018. The service will run until 26 January 2019 utilising a Boeing 737 jet. The airline also plans to provide an additional 27,000 seats on services to and from the Gold Coast over the 2018/2019 summer holidays.
Virgin Australia invests in sustainable fuel
Virgin Australia has successfully completed a trial to deliver Australia’s first sustainable aviation fuel supply. The biojet fuel project, delivered through Brisbane Airport’s general fuel supply system, has been used to fuel 195 flights (or more than 430,000 kilometres) across Australia and internationally. Virgin Australia hopes the trial will pave the way for more sustainable fuel sources in the future.
Qantas USA Business Sale
USA-bound travellers are advised to take advantage of current deals on Business Class seats with Qantas. The sale is valid for travel between 10 December 2018 and 27 January 2019 to Los Angeles, San Francisco and New York, departing from Melbourne and Sydney. Sale ends 31 October 2018.
Air New Zealand to take delivery of new aircraft
The first of Air New Zealand’s A321neo aircraft will be taking off from 12 November 2018, the airline confirmed today. The new engine option aircraft will replace the current A320 fleet and allow the airline to grow its short-haul network to Australia and the Pacific Islands. Customers will be able to experience a new in-cabin experience including larger overhead space, screen size and WiFi connectivity. Tickets are on sale now for the service.
THAI Airways reduces flights to Australia
Due to ongoing aircraft maintenance and rotations, Thai Airways will reduce its services between its Bangkok hub and Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane from 28 October. Flights from Perth will be maintained as usual however the aircraft will be swapped for an A330.
Qantas launches on Qunar
Qantas has become the first Australian airline to launch a flagship store on the Qunar travel website. The China-based platform will allow customers to make bookings for on the airline via its website and mobile app.
Virgin Australia renews football partnership
Virgin Australia has renewed its five-year contract with the Australian Football League (AFL). The agreement provides all teams with access to a range of Virgin Australia services, including benefits, baggage allowances, lounge access and team travel.
Emirates swaps out aircraft
From 2 November until and 20 November 2018, Emirates will operate a B777 on flights between Singapore and Melbourne and Bangkok to Sydney instead of its current A380 equipment. The airline will again change aircraft from 15 January 2018 on the Singapore to Melbourne route.
Cathay Pacific increases Adelaide frequency
Cathay Pacific will increase its Hong Kong-Adelaide to six times weekly from the end of this month on an A330-300 aircraft. The airline will also introduce a new three times weekly services departing Hong Kong in the evening and three in the morning.
New bedding options for British Airways’ Club World
British Airways has partnered with luxury lifestyle retailer The White Company to introduce a new bedding and amenity kit for its long-haul business class guests. The Club World options include a 230 thread-count pillow cover, duvet, mattress topper and blanket to give travellers the most comfortable experience yet.
China Southern Airlines introduces QR codes
Passengers on China Southern Airlines services from Melbourne Airport will be able to scan QR Code to board their flights. This brings the total number of airports utilising the services with the airline to 37.
Qantas announces new pilot academy in Toowoomba
Qantas Group has announced Toowoomba West Wellcamp Airport as the first of two regional sites for its new Qantas Group Pilot Academy. The school will open in mid-2019 and have the capacity to train up to 250 domestic and international pilots a year. Several other regional cities are still under consideration for the second location.
Western Sydney Airport starts construction
Construction of the new Western Sydney Airport has officially broken ground in Badgerys Creek. Virgin Australia and Qantas plan to commence full “premium domestic” services upon the opening of the airport in 2026. In addition to the airport, the area will also house a hi-tech business district.
British Airways taps Ozwald Boateng for new uniforms
Savile Row tailor and designer Ozwald Boateng OBE has been confirmed to design the next British Airways uniform, celebrating the airline’s centennial next year. Boateng will work closely with personnel to understand their roles and how the garments need to perform ahead of its global debut on 32,000 uniform-wearing employees.
Adelaide’s Hotel Indigo to open in Central Market neighbourhood
The Hotel Indigo brand is set to be introduced to Adelaide in 2020 within one of the city’s most iconic and exciting precincts. The 16-storey property will offer 137 rooms along with a neighbourhood café and rooftop bar in the landmark Central Market area. The food market has been one of Australia’s largest fresh produce markets for nearly 150 years and complements the Hotel Indigo brand’s commitment to incorporating local culture as part of its developments.
Dual-branded hotel to be opened in Melbourne CBD
AccorHotels’ leading midscale and economy hotel brands will come together in one property this December for the opening of the Novotel and ibis Melbourne Central. Located on Little Lonsdale Street, this one of a kind 35-floor complex will host the Ibis Melbourne Central on the lower floors and the Novotel branded rooms from level 20 upwards. In total there will be 483 rooms offering the latest in-room technology and a range of onsite culinary delights for guests.
Crown rooftop ready for summer event season
Located on its Level 3 rooftop, Crown Towers has unveiled its one-of-a-kind, outdoor event space against the backdrop of Melbourne. The Crown Aviary boasts incredible city views for up to 400 seated guests, with the option of 550 standing cocktail-style. The venue is fully heated and air-conditioned for the comfort of all guests.
The Chen opens in Melbourne
Art Series has opened its eighth hotel, The Chen, in Melbourne’s Box Hill suburb. The art inspired property takes its name from Chinese-Australian Artist Zhong Chen and marks the final step in one of the biggest portfolio acquisitions of the year. The hotel boasts 100 luxury self-contained open-planned and apartment-style suites, two dining options as well as meeting and event facilities.
EVENT Hotel Group adds three properties from 8Hotels
Last month, Event Hospitality & Entertainment (EVENT) signed a deal to take over the management of three hotels in Sydney and Perth from the end of October. The Ultimo Sydney, The Pensione Hotel Perth and All-Suites Perth will also be open to members of EVENT’s Priority Guest Rewards program to earn and redeem points. It is still unclear if they will be rebranded under the Event hotel titles.
1000th hotel for AccorHotels
AccorHotels has opened its 1000th property in the Asia Pacific region with plans to open a new one every two days by 2020. The Pullman Tokyo Tamachi is the latest addition to the hotel chain’s Asia-Pacific network which has doubled in size to 200,000 rooms in the past three years. This has been particularly bolstered by the purchase of the Mantra Group, adding 19,000 rooms to its portfolio.
Gold Coast Airport to get onsite-hotel
Rydges will open a new $50-million hotel within the Gold Coast Airport aimed at both locals and travellers. The proposed 192-room property will also feature a rooftop bar and viewing deck, providing its guests with views over Kirra Beach and across the runway. Construction is expected to begin by the end of the year.