Airline & Airport News.
EK suspends Australia-Auckland services
From March 2018, Emirates will stop flying from Melbourne and Brisbane to Auckland, following the carrier’s previously announced suspension of Sydney-Auckland services. The move comes as Qantas and Emirates make further changes to their partnership, with EK shifting its focus to its non-stop Auckland-Dubai service. Qantas will soon increase the frequency of its trans-Tasman flights, with seven new return services between Melbourne and Auckland, and two additional return services between Brisbane and Auckland. Emirates will retain its existing daily A380 flights from Dubai to Christchurch via Sydney. Contact your dedicated CTM consultant for more information.
Air New Zealand wants to lead the digital revolution
Air New Zealand chief revenue officer Cam Wallace has voiced Air New Zealand’s focus and key priority to lead the digital revolution at CAPA-ACTE New Zealand Aviation and Corporate Travel Summit recently in Auckland. The airline has a major focus on four key digital innovations: Chip, the robot personal assistant, in collaboration with Commonwealth Bank of Australia; HoloLens, a personalised tool for crew to assist with traveller personal preferences; Oscar, an AI bot recently launched and receiving about 1000 requests per day; and further personalisation of IFE.
Emirates may launch second daily Dubai-Auckland service
In a submission to the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC), Qantas and Emirates are seeking a five-year renewal of their existing partnership. Emirates may launch a second daily nonstop Dubai-Auckland service as part of a re-examination of its New Zealand strategy.
CHC plans to expand
Christchurch Airport has revealed plans to increase its capacity to accommodate 12 million passengers annually. The expansion includes extensions to many of the airport’s terminals, runways, control towers and exhibition spaces. The plan takes into consideration the airport’s expected traffic through to 2040, which will see flights increase by 65% to 111,000 annually and passenger numbers to almost double in that time.
ANZ 787s to Adelaide
Air New Zealand has commenced it’s first Boeing 787-9 route to Adelaide, connecting the city with both New Zealand and the Americas. The larger aircraft increases the seat capacity by 23% and provides significantly more cargo space. The 787-9 fleet is proving to be popular with customers including a lower cabin altitude, larger windows and an exclusive New Zealand in-flight offer.
UA resumes seasonal service to AKL
United Airlines’ seasonal service between Auckland and San Francisco has resumed, operating six times weekly through to 17 December and then daily through to 22 March 2018. UA has teamed up with Star Alliance partner Air New Zealand to launch a new microsite, which provides information on both carriers, destination inspiration and travel tips.
Air New Zealand opens new lounge at Dunedin Airport
Air New Zealand and Virgin Australia passengers will now have access to a new lounge space when departing Dunedin Airport. The new lounge will be host to over 120 guests who will have access to a variety of areas including, a working space, self-service food and beverage areas. AirNZ’s Gold, Elite and Elite Priority One members as well as Virgin Australia Velocity Gold, Platinum and The Club cardholders will have access to the lounge with flights to Auckland, Christchurch and Wellington.
Singapore Airlines reveals A380 Business Class
After much anticipation, Singapore Airlines has revealed its new Airbus A380 business class seats at Singapore’s Suntec Convention Centre. The second-generation seats will be fitted in a 1-2-1 configuration, and convert into fully lie-flat beds spanning 1.98m. Special features include a ‘sun deck’ reclining position for watching entertainment, a 45cm touchscreen monitor, and for seats 11D/F, 91D/F and 96D/F, the ability to convert into a double bed layout. The upgrades come as a result of a four-year development program, and will be deployed across 19 of SQ’s A380 aircraft.
CX to open its Hong Kong lounge in January
After a year-long makeover, Cathay Pacific will re-open its Hong Kong lounge, The Deck, in January 2018. Located above gates 16 through to 19, The Deck will feature Cathay’s signature Noodle Bar and an L-shaped terrace for guests to relax ‘outside’. The announcement came after the opening of CX’s new Singapore T4 lounge.
JFK facial recognition
New York’s JFK airport has begun a 30-day trial of facial recognition biometric technology at a TSA international checkpoint in Terminal 7. The US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) are conducting the tests, which are similar to those being used at other US airports. Terminal 7 is used for Qantas JFK-LAX flights and British Airways flights.
Best Western new brand
A new brand has been announced for Best Western Hotels & Resorts, becoming the eleventh brand under the Best Western name. BW Signature Collection by Best Western hopes to see plans for at least 100 hotels added to the portfolio by 2020, and will be positioned as an upper mid-scale offering. The first two hotels to join the collection are the Killington Mountain Lodge in Vermont and Brooklyn Way Hotel in Brooklyn, New York.
IHG LA opening
InterContinental’s Los Angeles Downtown hotel has opened its doors, offering 889 guests rooms spanning across 39 levels. The hotel is part of the Wilshire Grand Center – the tallest building west of Chicago and is located in the city’s historic financial and arts district.