Airline & Airport News.
QF launches mobile check-in for trans-Tasman flights
Qantas’ mobile check-in and digital boarding passes have launched for international travel between Australia and New Zealand. The new technology speeds up the check-in process by eliminating the need for passengers to queue up for printed boarding passes, as they can now move straight through to their boarding gates. The digital check-in capability can be accessed via QF’s website and will be available on the Qantas app in June.
VA trials ‘Buy Now’ business class upgrade
Virgin Australia is trialling a new expansion to its UpgradeMe service, offering passengers an on-the-spot upgrade to business class at a reduced price, an alternative option to the existing ‘Premium Bid’ service where passengers place bids for an upgrade. The ‘Buy Now’ service is available to purchase on domestic flights between Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane.
VA expands codeshare network to AC
A new codeshare agreement between Virgin Australia and Air Canada has been announced, with select codeshare services between Los Angeles and Canada now on sale. Customers travelling on VA services between Australia and Los Angeles will be able to book travel on Air Canada’s non-stop services between Los Angeles to Calgary (YYC), Montreal (YUL) and Toronto (YYZ). Business Class guests travelling on the codeshare services will receive complimentary entry into Air Canada’s Maple Leaf Lounges in Los Angeles, Calgary, Montreal and Toronto.
Changes to EK SYD-AUK
From 13 July 2017, Emirates will suspend its daily EK418 and EK419 Airbus A380 flights between Sydney and Auckland. Instead, the flights will be replaced by Qantas’ Airbus A330 services, which will depart each hub twice-daily and accommodate any passengers previously booked on the ceased Emirates services.
EK adds third daily flight to BNE
Emirates is growing its Australian network with a third daily flight to Brisbane to commence from 1 December 2017. The new direct DXB-BNE service will provide greater access to the Queensland capital ahead of the 2018 Commonwealth Games, offering 42 business class seats on the Boeing 777-200LR aircraft.
EK to offer free, unlimited Wi-Fi for business travellers
Free, unlimited in-flight Wi-Fi will soon be offered to Emirates’ business class and first class passengers. From 14 June 2017, members of Emirates Skywards frequent flyer program flying business or first class can access the unlimited Wi-Fi by entering their membership number at the login screen on their device.
Flight suspensions to Qatar
Emirates, Etihad and Qatar Airways are offering alternative travel arrangements to passengers who are affected by the Qatar flight suspension that came into effect on Tuesday 6 June 2017. Passengers impacted from the suspension can contact their dedicated CTM consultant for further assistance.
Air China Melbourne – Shenzhen
Air China has confirmed that its new direct service between Melbourne and Shenzhen will launch on 20 June 2017. Offering 30 business class seats in a 2-2-2 configuration, the service will operate thrice-weekly on an Airbus A330 aircraft.
Upgraded Boeing 777-300ER introduced on five AUK services
A newly refurbished Boeing 777-300ER has taken over five Air New Zealand services from Auckland, including Brisbane and Melbourne. The 777-300ER began operation on 1 June 2017, and will run during New Zealand’s peak season through to 5 September 2017. The refurbishment includes 44 refreshed Business Premier seats and 54 luxury leather seats in premium economy.
MU considers Perth-Shanghai direct
China Eastern Airlines has announced it is considering the possibility of direct flights between Perth and Shanghai, with the potential to launch by the end of the year. The flights would operate on an Airbus A330 which could run four times-weekly to daily if demand is high. The move comes as airlines take advantage of the Australia-China ‘open skies’ pact.
Perth Airport Central Station underway
Construction is underway for Perth Airport Central Station, which will provide passengers with direct access to T1 and T2 once completed in late 2020. The Forrestfield-Airport Link project will join three new stations, Belmont Station, Airport Central Station and Forrestfield Station – with a direct 18 minute journey to Perth’s CBD.
SYD plans new international terminal
A new international terminal has been proposed for Sydney Airport, which comes as a response to growing demand from Asian tourism. The new Terminal 4 would sit adjacent to the current domestic terminal 3, taking over the space currently used as Qantas’ jet base. No timeline for the project has been released, with Sydney Airport explaining that a great deal of planning and flexibility is required before construction can begin.
BNE commits to more sustainable ground transportation
Brisbane Airport will soon introduce 11 electric shuttle buses to operate its ground transportation for passengers. Supplied by Australian company Carbridge, the electric buses are powered by BYD electric engines and can drive for 600km on a single charge. The five-year contract between Carbridge and BNE comes into effect from 1 July 2017, with the bus fleet coming into full operation in February 2018.
Liquid ban on international flights could end with new airport scanners
International travellers may soon be able to pass through security without having to give up laptops, tablets or liquids, with newly advanced security scanners under development. Four major manufacturers of airport security equipment have announced that the new scanners are much better at detecting explosives and have a lower false-alarm rate, meaning that passengers could leave laptops and other items in their bags. Two of the new devices have been tested by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and will be installed in airports for further testing later this year.
Priority Pass Sleep Pods at DXB
Priority Pass members can now nap comfortably between flights at Dubai International Airport, with new ‘Sleep ‘n Fly’ pods joining the program. Each pod is equipped with a flatbed, foldable table, power socket, USB charger and storage compartment for luggage. Simply present your Priority Pass card to staff at the Igloo Sleep Pods located at Terminal 3, Concourse A.
Sydney to get new 5-star hotel
Sydney will welcome a new 5-star hotel, with AccorHotels today announcing an expansion of its MGallery by Sofitel brand. Set to open in 2020, the $120 million property will be located on the corner of Bathurst and Castlereagh Street, offering 252 hotel and apartment rooms across 34 stories. Branded as The Porter House Hotel, MGallery by Sofitel, the new property will complement the existing Harbour Rocks Hotel in the city.
Aloft Perth opens its doors
Aloft’s newest hotel in Perth officially opens its doors tomorrow, delivering an urban-inspired hotel experience designed with the global business traveller in mind. Guests will enjoy an ‘always on’ experience with free, high-speed wireless Wi-Fi available plus a range of tactic meeting rooms complete with state-of-the-art A/V equipment. Aloft Perth offers 224 sleek guestrooms featuring plush beds, airy ceilings, walk-in rainfall showers and more.
Another Holiday Inn Express for Melbourne
Intercontinental Hotels Group has confirmed plans to open a new Holiday Inn Express Melbourne Little Collins in 2020. The property will add 299 rooms to the city’s stock as the second Holiday Inn Express in Melbourne and the seventh in Australia.
Mantra SYD opening special
Offering guests exceptionally stylish premium accommodation, Mantra Hotel at Sydney Airport is running an ‘opening special’ to celebrate the hotel’s opening this month. From $159* a night, guests will receive free Wi-Fi and a complementary drink on arrival. Take advantage of this opening special by contacting your dedicated CTM consultant today. *T&Cs apply
Ibis Styles for Hobart
Hobart will soon welcome its first ibis Styles hotel which once completed, will be the largest hotel the city has to offer. A total of 296 rooms will span across 10 levels, with the $50 million AccorHotels project also boasting a rooftop indoor heated lap pool, free Wi-Fi, a meeting room and onsite car parking. The hotel is in its final stages of construction and is on track to open in July 2017.