Airline & Airport News.
Changes to ANZ and VA partnership policy
Air New Zealand and Virgin Australia have revealed changes to their partnership policies concerning the cross-earning of frequent flyer points. From 1 November 2017, VA Velocity members will no longer earn Velocity frequent flyer points and status credits on international Air New Zealand operated flights, the same changes also apply to Air NZ’s passengers who are earning Airpoints Dollars and status credits with Virgin. The changes do not apply to trans-Tasman and domestic flights, where members will continue to earn points with both carriers. Furthermore, top-tier Virgin passengers and those with Gold or Platinum card will no longer be eligible for business class check-in, extra baggage and lounge access on international Air New Zealand flights. Please contact your dedicated CTM consultant for further assistance.
Air NZ adds capacity on domestic services
An additional 180,000 seats will be offered on domestic Air New Zealand services over the 2017-2018 summer months. Between November 2017 and March 2018, seat capacity will be increased on flights between Auckland and Queenstown, Christchurch, Palmerston North and New Plymouth to say a few. The extra seats are a response to growing customer demand.
Auckland-Honolulu capacity increased by 75%
An additional 94 return services between Auckland and Honolulu will operate from April 2018 to October 2018, with Air New Zealand deploying its Boeing 787-9 and 777-200 aircraft on the route. The services will run daily through to July, and nine times weekly during the July school holiday period, increasing capacity on the route by 75%.
SYD to replace passports with biometrics
Plans to introduce facial recognition systems at Sydney Airport will speed up the check-in process for international travellers. The first phase of the plan will require passengers to scan their passports at automated check-in kiosks and have their photograph taken, which will then be linked to their travel documentation. Passengers would then pass through the terminal and boarding gates by simply scanning their face at each stage, a concept already in action at Brisbane Airport for certain Air New Zealand passengers. SYD is in the process of partnering with an airline to secure the deal.
EK & BMW business class ride
Emirates and BMW Group have recently joined forces to provide Business Class passengers with a luxurious ride to and from airports in the UAE. The upgraded Chauffeur Drive Service will soon feature a fleet of 520i Touring cars, which will be progressively rolled out over the remainder of the year.
Fast track at HKG
Hong Kong International Airport will introduce a ‘fast track’ security screening service this September with the first phase of the service dedicated to departures. The new security service will incur a HK$20 fee to be paid by airlines, but it is likely to become a cost to passengers. Prior to the official launch in September, three carriers are currently undergoing a test run of the new facilities, including Cathay Pacific, Cathay Dragon and Hong Kong Airlines.
SQ to refurbish 14 A380s
Singapore Airlines will reconfigure and refurbish 14 A380 aircraft across all cabin classes. First class seats are expected to be reduced from 12 to between six and eight, and may be relocated to the aircraft’s upper deck.
Apple Watch 3 to have 4G connection
Set to launch later this year, the series 3 Apple Watch is said to have the ability to connect to cellular 4G networks, reducing the device’s reliance on iPhones. Featuring LTE chips, the new smart watches will allow users to use apps and download songs without needing an iPhone in range, a large step in the right direction for wearable technology.
Qantas Business Rewards – 50% Status Credit Offer
Qantas is offering CTM clients 50% more Status Credits when they take off with Qantas Business Rewards (QBR)! Register your business for QBR and book eligible Qantas flights with CTM before 14 August, for travel until 30 September 2017. Register for Qantas Business Rewards here: qantasbusinessrewards.com/CTMFREE
New NZ MGalleries
AccorHotels has confirmed plans to expand the MGallery by Sofitel brand in New Zealand by offering franchise agreements with two Auckland-based properties. From October 2017, the heritage-listed Hotel Grand Windsor will rebrand under the MGallery brand, offering 69 rooms and 10 suites. Furthermore, 91-room property Eden Crescent Hotel Auckland will join AccorHotels’ MGallery by Sofitel brand late next year. Refurbishments are planned to begin at both hotels to bring them in-line with the MGallery standard. They will join the group’s other NZ-based MGallery property, Hotel St Mortiz in Queenstown.
Auckland confirmed as home to first EVEN Hotel
Auckland has been confirmed as the home of the first ever EVEN Hotel, signed by InterContinental Hotels Group and Pro-invest Group as EVEN Hotel Auckland. The world-first wellness dedicated hotel is expected to open in 2020, offering guests a range of wellness initiatives such as nutritionally-designed menus, plush bedding and aromatherapy amenities to assist with a good night’s sleep.
Hertz introduces new loyalty program for business travellers
Hertz has introduced a new free-to-join loyalty program for business travellers. The Gold Plus Rewards scheme offers a range of benefits, including priority and personalised car rental services, the ability to earn points for future redemption of upgrades, add-ons and free rental offers. As an extra perk, members who join the scheme before 30 September can enjoy a complimentary vehicle class upgrade on their next rental. For more information, contact your dedicated CTM consultant.