Airline & Airport News.
New routes announced for Air New Zealand
From November 2018, 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 service in conjunction with Singapore Airlines.
New Zealand departure cards ditched
The New Zealand Government has announced that it will phase out departure cards for outbound travellers from November this year. The move follows Australia’s lead, which came into effect in July this year, as part of efforts to make travel with both countries easier. Inbound passengers are still required to complete an arrival card.
Wellington’s new ‘tilted’ traffic tower
On 26 August, Wellington Airport celebrated the opening of its new $20 million ‘tilted’ air traffic control tower. Standing at 32-metres high, the 8-storey building leans to the north at a 12.5-degree angle. The tilt is a tribute to Wellington’s prevailing wind. It has been labelled as one of the safest building in the country, being constructed to withstand a 10-metre wave in the case of a tsunami.
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.
Auckland Airport records huge numbers for 2017-2018
Auckland Airport has announced that its total domestic and international passenger numbers increased by 5.7 % to 20.5 million over the last financial year. The airport has attributed the growth to major infrastructural developments including its recently completed Pier B project and new operational initiatives. Queenstown Airport also recorded exceptional passenger growth of 13.1% over the FY18 financial year.
Malaysia Airlines incorporates WhatsApp system
Malaysia Airlines 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.
Christchurch Airport to allow Uber pickups
Uber has reached an agreement with Christchurch Airport to allow the ridesharing company to pick up passengers at the airport. As part of the agreement, passengers will pay a $5.50 surcharge to be picked up from the airport’s Express Park facility, located approximately 100m from the terminal.
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
Gisborne Airport to be redeveloped
The New Zealand Government will set aside $5.5 million in funding as part of the redevelopment of Gisborne Airport on the East Coast of the North Island. The money will be used to develop a better-equipped road network that can transport the regional community’s produce to the airport and support its local tourism industry.
IHG flagship in Auckland
In 2022, New Zealand will open its second InterContinental- branded flagship hotel. Headlining the $1billion Commercial Bay retail and lifestyle mix-use precinct, InterContinental Auckland with feature 244 rooms. There will also be a 39-storey office tower and a wide range of high-end retail and dining options throughout the waterfront development.
QT wins best hotel group
QT Hotels & Resorts has been voted the number one hotel brand in New Zealand at the TAANZ National Travel Industry Awards. The awards were announced over the weekend during a Gala Dinner held at the SKYCITY Convention Centre in Auckland.