Airline & Airport News.
JQ new NZ services
Jetstar will introduce a new service from Wellington to Queenstown in late March this year. Due to operate three times weekly on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, the new service will run from 27 March 2018 using an Airbus A320.
NZ departure cards
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has flagged concerned about the necessity of departure cards at airports. She has plans to scrap departure cards by the end of this year, with them being referred to as unnecessary and a barrier to a seamless trans-Tasman travel.
Emirates has announced it will launch a new Auckland-Dubai via Denpasar (Bali) route from 14 June 2018. Operating on a Boeing 777-300ER aircraft, the new service will run daily and offer 42 seats in business class and eight private first-class suites. In line with EK’s ‘Fifth Freedom’ flights, passengers have the option to fly solely between Auckland and Bali, or Bali and Dubai without having to complete the full leg.
Qatar plans new Qsuite product
Qatar Airways has announced that it is shifting its focus to the next generation of its business class Qsuite product. The updated product will be designed for the airline’s A380 superjumbos and world-first Boeing 777X jets due in 2020. Fitted in a 1-2-1 configuration, the new Qsuites will be at least 22% lighter than the current seats.
Qantas to launch Pilot Academy
With estimates showing that 640,000 additional pilots will be required world-wide over the next 20 years, Qantas is taking a proactive approach by establishing a pilot academy in 2019. The academy will initially accept 100 pilots a year, with hope to grow to 500 pilots a year. One of the major initiatives of the new facility will be working towards a more balanced gender ratio, with males currently taking up 97% of the professional globally.
SkyBus will introduce a new direct airport service between the North Harbour region and Auckland Airport in late 2018. The service will include free Wi-Fi, kerbside drop access and luggage storage.
Cathay Pacific ‘The Deck’ to open this month
Cathay Pacific’s new lounge, The Desk is set to open 22 March 2018. The new lounge is located near Gate 16 in Terminal 1 of the Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA) and has been designed in line with their signature lounge style. The space will allow travellers to enjoy signature dan-dan noodles, drinks and a view from The Terrace and a relaxing and refreshing space for pre-flight prep.
Obama down under
Former US President Barack Obama is set to visit New Zealand and Australia in March to speak at an event held by the New Zealand-United States Council. The event will take place in Auckland on 22 March and Sydney on 23 March with Air New Zealand a major event supporter.
All-women Emirates crew
An Emirates crew made solely of women has completed a flight service from Dubai to San Francisco, made possible by over 75 women from more than 25 nationalities. Labelled the ‘Superwomen flight’, the world’s largest plane was piloted by Canadian captain Patricia Bischoff and British first officer Rebecca Lougheed. Along with the cockpit and crew being entirely female, all aspects involved were run by women from technicians and engineers to security officers. The special service ran in tribute to International Women’s Day.
Inspired by Her
MGallery by Sofitel has released its Inspired by Her initiative in New Zealand and Australia. To push the brand towards catering to the needs of female travellers the additions will include offering make-up mirrors, complimentary beauty items, hairdryers, fashion and lifestyle magazines, makeup accessories and access to health and beauty appointments.
ACCC gives Accor go-ahead for Mantra acquisition
The ACCC has announced it will not oppose the planned purchase of Mantra Group by AccorHotels, citing sufficient competition from the other hotel groups in the local market. There are over 125 Mantra properties in Asia Pacific area set to join AccorHotel’s portfolio, giving it the Peppers, Art Series, Mantra and Breakfree brands.