Airline & Airport News.
Sydney Airport Master Plan revealed
Sydney Airport has unveiled its infrastructure Master Plan to accommodate for an expected growth in passenger numbers to 65.6 million by 2039. Among the solutions outlined is a plan to move some international flights into domestic terminals, widening Qantas Drive to four lanes and the redevelopment of its P1 carpark.
Virgin Australia to get MAX 10s in 2022
Virgin Australia will take delivery of its first Boeing 737 MAX 10 in 2022, after announcing that it would convert 10 of its current MAX 8 order to the newer aircraft model. According to Boeing, the MAX 10 delivers the lowest cost per mile of any commercial aircraft and a longer range than existing 737s on the market. The first Boeing MAX 8 will be delivered in November 2019.
Air Niugini suspends Townsville route
Following the termination of its codeshare with Qantas and a decrease in passenger numbers, Air Niugini is reducing its service to Australian cities. The announcement that the PNG carrier will suspend services to Townsville leaves the city without any international connections after it’s Bali route was also suspended by Jetstar earlier this year. Air Niugini’s change will come into effect from the beginning of October 2018.
Qantas and China Eastern solidify partnership
The existing strategic partnership between Qantas and China Eastern Airlines has been upgraded with the signing of a new business agreement. In it, both airlines have agreed to co-operate across various aspects of their operations meaning a consistent travel experience for passengers.
New routes announced for Air New Zealand
From this November, New Zealand’s flag carrier will launch direct services to Chicago and Taipei. Also in the pipeline for the end of the year are new connections for Brisbane to Wellington and Queenstown as well as a third daily Auckland-Singapore in conjunction with Singapore Airlines.
Albury Airport reopens after upgrade
Albury Airport has officially completed its multi-million-dollar upgrade to enhance its traveller experience. The $5.7 million price tag has expanded the arrivals hall and passenger lounge areas, added two new baggage carousels, a larger departure area and upgraded its food and beverage offering.
Qantas opens new Melbourne lounge
Last month, Qantas opened its new Domestic Business Lounge at Melbourne Airport. The refitted space takes over part of the current Qantas Club, offering guests its own entry point and full-height views. It will also follow similar lounges around the country by offering a unique dining option, set to open in November, in the form of a fresh Asian street food bar.
Singapore Airlines health kick
Singapore Airlines is launching a new ‘healthy’ menu for its non-stop, long-range flights, starting with their 19-hour non-stop flight from Singapore to New York on 11 October 2018. In partnership with Canyon Ranch, the focus will not only change the meals but also introduce flexible meal times along with relaxation, rest and general well-being.
Melbourne domestic upgrading to international capability
Melbourne Airport plans to upgrade its existing domestic terminal infrastructure to also handle international flights within the next five years. The addition of new swing gates will allow airlines to minimise the use of buses to transport passengers to their gates. Furthermore, the move will also save time and money when switching out wide-body aircraft between routes.
Qantas to get new ULR jets
Qantas will replace its anticipated purchase of Airbus A350-900ULR in favour of the A350-1000ULR aircraft. The extended capability of the larger jets also allows for special fit-outs including inflight lounges, bunk beds and relaxation zone in the cargo hold. It is expected that the ultra-long-range aircraft will be utilised routes from Australia to London and New York by 2022.
Lotte Duty-Free to acquire first ANZ stores
Korean retailer Lotte Duty-Free will take over five duty-free stores in Australia and New Zealand, making its entry into the regional market. The company will acquire the JR Duty-Free businesses – including locations in Brisbane, Canberra and Wellington – as part of a strategic move to expand into markets outside of Asia.
China Eastern opens Cairns flights
Travellers can now book flights for the seasonal Shanghai Pudong-Cairns service. The route will be operated by China Eastern Airlines three times weekly from 9 December 2018 until 1 March 2019, on an A330-200 aircraft.
Qantas International Sale
Qantas Business Rewards members can save up to 15% on the base fare (excluding taxes, fees and surcharges) of eligible flights* to Bangkok, Beijing, Hong Kong, Japan, Johannesburg, New Zealand, San Francisco, Santiago, Shanghai, and Singapore, right up to the day of departure with no advance purchase requirements. Discounts are available in Business, Premium Economy and Economy cabins. Speak to your CTM consultant for details.
Emirates wins best in business
Readers of the Conde Nast Traveller have voted Emirates as both the ‘Best Business Airline’ and ‘Best Airline – Long Haul Holiday’ for 2018. The prestigious awards were bestowed to the airline at the magazine’s annual awards ceremony in New York earlier this month.
Qantas lounge upgrades coming soon
Accompanying the release of their FY18 financial results last month, Qantas has also announced major upgrades to a series of its lounges over the next year. These include the Qantas Sydney First Lounge, Qantas Sydney International Business Lounge, Qantas Brisbane International Lounge, Qantas Auckland Lounge, Qantas Tokyo Narita Lounge, Hobart Qantas Club and the Tamworth Regional Lounge.
Malaysia Airlines incorporates WhatsApp system
Malaysia Airlines has become the first airline in Malaysia and the fifth in the world to integrate with the WhatsApp Business solution. The new feature will enable customers to receive their flight booking confirmation and flight status directly through the popular messaging app. WhatsApp is currently used by over 1.5 billion people worldwide. Passengers can access the channel here.
Holiday Inn Express Newcastle opening Dec 2018
IHG has announced the opening of its Holiday Inn Express in Newcastle in December 2018. The new 170-room hotel offers a free breakfast, business centre, meeting rooms and an onsite gym. It will be conveniently located close to prime social and lifestyle precincts less than 25kms from Newcastle Airport.
New hotels for Sydney Airport
A number of brand-new hotels have been earmarked for Sydney Airport over the coming decades as part of its recently released Master Plan. According to the proposal, approximately 200 to 500 rooms have been offered on plots near the current T1 International terminal. The developments will also be environmentally friendly and sustainable, requiring a four-star Green Star Design rating to be approved.
Event opens first South Australian hotel
The seven-storey Atura Adelaide Airport hotel has opened on 1 September, establishing the first South Australian presence for the Event Hospitality and Entertainment group. The 165-room property is directly linked to the Adelaide Airport’s terminal plaza via a walkway, offering a 24-hour reception and accommodation for some of the eight million annual visitors to the city.
Accor rolls out digital assistant
AccorHotels Australia has launched AccorBot, a completely integrated Facebook chatbot to assist Facebook followers with all aspects of their online experience with the brand. The feature will assist guess in choosing and comparing all properties within the company’s Australian portfolio as well as provide travel inspiration and complete city guides. AccorBot is designed to assist guests in real time and speeds up response time.
New look planned for Adina Coogee
The Adina Apartment Hotel Coogee will undergo a complete refurbishment from early September with a grand reopening planned for December. During this time all 86 apartments will be closed from Sunday 14 October until Saturday 3 November. The project will renovate the hotel’s interior décor to reflect the local area and beach with light blues and driftwood coloured furnishings.
Mantra inks lucrative entertainment deal
Mantra Hotels has partnered with UK-based Nestival for the upcoming 2019 Adelaide Fringe Festival and Melbourne Comedy Festival. Under the agreement, artists and comedians performing at both major festivals will be hosted in properties under the Mantra Hotels and Serviced Apartments brand, bringing great exposure along with a range of talent under its roofs.
Hyatt Hotels introduces new wellness options for guests
Business travellers staying with Hyatt Hotels in Australia will have access to a range of wellness options after the company announced a business partnership with Skye Lifestyle. The activities include yoga, meditation, Zumba, Pilates and boxing sessions. The programs are aimed at encouraging guests to balance their workload with exercise and mindfulness.