Business Travel & Tech News AU – February

Airline & Airport News.


Need-to-know: Qantas Business Rewards

You’ve probably already heard, as of 1 February 2017, the Qantas Aquire program has been re branded as Qantas Business Rewards. We’ve summarised the need-to-know information, to help you earn and redeem points even faster:  READ MORE


VA Business ClassEven more travellers to get access to VA’s award-winning Business Class

From 1 March 2017, Virgin Australia will be offering its award-winning Business Class seating on select regional routes across Australia. Featuring eight luxury seats with a 38-inch seat pitch and gourmet inflight menu, VA’s Business Class will be offered on routes operated by a Boeing 737-800 aircraft. For a full list of the regional routes included: CLICK HERE 


Qantas fee changesUpdates to Qantas’ cancellation, flight change and name change fees

Qantas has announced changes to Qantas Domestic and QantasLink flight / name change and cancellation fees, taking effect from 14 March 2017. Passengers who book a Red eDeal flight fare will incur an $99 fee for flight changes, the same amount to be charged for Flex passengers who make a name change or cancellation. The new fees occur to tickets issued on/after 14 March. For more information: CLICK HERE 


QF and 3KQF adds 142 services to 3K codeshare

Qantas passengers now have access to an additional 142 services across Southeast Asia, thanks to QF’s expansion of its codeshare agreement with Jetstar Asia (3K).  The QF code is now available on a total 349 weekly services operated by 3K, giving customers even more flexibility when booking their itineraries. QF customers flying on Jetstar Asia will receive Qantas International baggage allowance, a hot meal on flights over 90mins and a snack under 90mins, plus water, tea or coffee, along with Qantas Club Lounge entry in Singapore (where eligible).


SQ DreamlinerSQ’s US$14b Boeing order As a part of Singapore Airlines commitment to its fleet modernization program, the airline has recently signed a letter of intent to purchase 39 Boeing aircrafts, including 19 new Dreamliners. The $US14 billion order is scheduled for delivery between 2020 and 2022, and is in response to Singapore’s further growth as an international hub.


QF FF Changes

Changes to QF’s frequent flyer upgrade rates come into effect this month

Passengers wanting to upgrade to Qantas premium economy, business class and first class seating, should do so soon to avoid increased rates from 20 February 2017. Frequent Flyers on shorter domestic routes such as Sydney-Melbourne, Sydney-Brisbane and Sydney-Canberra, don’t have to worry, as the rate increase only affects routes greater than 600 miles.


CX new A350CX’s newest Australian aircraft offers even more for business travellers Cathay’s new A350-900 to be based in Australia has recently commenced services, introducing new standards for corporate travel. Those flying in business class will be treated to an upgraded fully lie-flat bed, extra stowage space and do not disturb/wake up call capability on their entertainment system. Along with the newest cabins in Cathay’s fleet, the aircraft is the first to offer in-flight WiFi for Australian travellers.


QF and WA Govt.WA & QF confirm multi-million dollar deal

The Western Australia government has confirmed a $5.7 million agreement with Qantas to promote its new Perth-London route coming in 2018. The marketing deal includes a range of different activities and will endorse Perth as a new hub for international travellers.


CX ADLCX boosts ADL service Cathay Pacific will add a fifth weekly service between Adelaide and Hong Kong from 6 July 2017. The new flight will increase capacity by 25%, bringing the total number of weekly seats up to 2,500. 


QF Perth LoungeQF’s reveals plans for Perth Intl. Lounge

In preparation for Qantas’ non-stop PER/LHR flights launching in March 2018, QF has confirmed plans for the new Perth International Lounge, which include an outdoor area for guests to use without having to leave the terminal. Opening early next year, the lounge will cater for business class travellers, Qantas Club members and eligible frequent flyers.


Cathay’s new Michelin-star menCX Michelin-Star Menuu

Business class travellers are in for a treat, with Cathay Pacific’s new in-flight menu created by Michelin-starred Restaurant, Tosca. The new in-inflight dining options will feature on select CX flights from Hong Kong, to long-haul destinations including Australia and New Zealand, and will offered until 30 April. On the menu is octopus terrine, beef short ribs and lobster – just to name a few.


QF LAX FacilityQantas unveils LAX facility

Qantas has invested US$30 million in a brand new aircraft maintenance facility at LAX, boasting 50 per cent more space than the previous LAX hangar. The hangar is one of the largest of its kind, and is the first to be designed specifically for Qantas’ new Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner, set to enter service late this year.


China Eastern SYD WUHLaunch of WUH/SYD

Passengers can now fly direct between Sydney and Central China’s most popular city, Wuhan, thanks to China Eastern Airlines’s newly launched service. Operating thrice weekly on an Airbus A30-200, the WUH-SYD route is expected to bring 21,500 visitors to Australia this year.


QT & Accor HOtelsBig benefits for members of QT and Accor’s loyalty programs

Qatar Airways and AccorHotel have joined forces, allowing member to convert Qmiles into Le Club points and vice versa. Under the new scheme, 4,500 Qmiles can be converted to 1,000 Le Club AccorHotels points, which can be redeemed for free and discounted stays at Accor Hotel’s network of 3,400 hotels around the globe. Le Club members with 2,000 points are able to convert into Qmiles.  


QF Chat BotQantas’ new chat bot

Qantas is the latest airline to join the chat bot trend, introducing its new Qantas Concierge service last week. The AI initiative can be accessed through Facebook Messenger, and provides customers with information on the airline’s sales and destination information.


UA LHR_NYUA increases frequency on Heathrow – New York 

United Airlines will increase the frequency of its Heathrow – New York service to six-times daily, from 5 April through to 28 October this year. The additional daily flight will operate on a Boeing 763-300, offering 30 business class seats.


BA EuropeBA schedules new routes for Europe

Effective May 2017, British Airways will commence seven new routes from Manchester Airport, including; Alicante, Malaga, Ibiza, Palma, Mykonos, Nice and London City Airport. The airline will also introduce new flights from London Stansted, flying direct to Florence, Geneva and Nice. BA will operate the new direct flights throughout the summer period.


AirAsia HawaiiAirAsia announces Hawaii route

AirAsia will commence its four-times weekly Malaysia to Honolulu route from 28 June, 2017. The recently announced Hawaiian route will fly to Honolulu via Osaka, Japan.



Hotel News.


Mantra at Sharks Gold Coast to receive a new leading hotel for corporate travellers

Manta Group and Southport Sharks football club are working together to launch a brand new $25 million Gold Coast hotel, scheduled to open in early 2018. Mantra at Sharks is well positioned to become a leading corporate, meetings and leisure hotel, offering 120 guest rooms and 209 car parks.


EventhouseEventhouse launches as a new hotel brand for modern business travellers

Eventhouse Hotels has just launched as a brand new boutique hotel brand, offering modern business and leisure travellers a new option for accommodation in Cronulla. Taking over from Rydges Cronulla, Eventhouse offers 84 rooms and suites featuring Dream Beds, free WiFi and coffee pod machines. The conference area has stunning views overlooking the outdoor pool and beach, and can accommodate up to 175 guests. The next addition to the brand, Eventhouse Hobart is currently under development and is expected to open in mid-2017.


Quest Port AdelaideQuest opens sixth property in SA

Joined by the Premier of South Australia, The Hon Jay Weatherill and Port Adelaide Premiership player, Chad Cornes, Quest Hotels opened its sixth South Australian hotel last week. Quest Port Adelaide is located at 36 North Parade, featuring 103 one and two bedroom apartments, a gymnasium and conference room facilities.


Peppers FVPepper’s new $600million property in Brisbane

Mantra Group has recently bought the building management rights of Gurner’s AUD$600 million ‘FV’ project in Brisbane, which will come under the high-end Peppers brand. The project includes 970 apartments across three towers, with 4,000sqm of commercial and leisure facilities, including conference and business facilities, a gymnasium, private dining and luxury rooftop amenity. Construction is already underway, and expected to reach completion in 2019.  


Accors 200thAccor’s 200th hotel opens in Greater China

Located in the city’s ‘hi-tech zone’, the Fairmont Chengdu makes the lists as number 200 in Accor Hotels Greater China network. The hotel offers 11 meeting rooms and function spaces, and is only a 25-minute drive to Shuangliu International Airport, making it a perfect choice for business travel.


Mantra Observatory

The Observatory joins Mantra Group

Now re-branded as Mantra Observatory, the Port Macquarie Observatory hotel has recently joined Mantra’s hotel collection. Overlooking Town Beach, the hotel offers 85 hotel rooms and is only 400 metres from the town centre.