Week in Review: Travel Industry News

Female Traveller at Airport
Travel News 10 Dec 2017
Artist's impression of Virgin Australia's domestic terminal at Melbourne Airport
Artist's impression of Virgin Australia's domestic terminal at Melbourne Airport

For week ending 8 December 2017

Air NZ opens Perth lounge

Air New Zealand has opened its new international lounge at Perth Airport. The move comes as the carrier launches non-stop Christchurch services this week in addition to its existing Auckland flights. Catering for up to 110 travellers, the facility is located on level 2 of Terminal 1. It features dining, working, lounging and quiet areas. Work areas offer wireless as well as USB charging technology. Bathroom facilities also feature showers.


Virgin revamps Melbourne

Virgin Australia plans to redevelop its domestic terminal at Melbourne Airport. Work on Terminal 3 will commence in 2018, with automated bag drop facilities and self-service kiosks being added to the check-in options.


Virgin Australia introduces two-tier in-flight wi-fi

Virgin Australia’s free in-flight wi-fi trial ends this month. Effective from 1 January 2018, the carrier will switch to a two-tier service. A standard connection for web browsing, email, social media and messaging will remain free of charge, but a paid high-speed option, which allows for video streaming, will also be on offer. Pricing is yet to be announced, bit is likely to vary based on flight duration. Virgin plans to extend its in-flight wi-fi service to include its New Zealand and Los Angeles routes as well as Fiji and Bali.

 

Virgin Australia free in-flight wi-fi to LA

Virgin Australia will offer in-flight wi-fi on selected Los Angeles services from this month. Its wi-fi-capable B777-300ER aircraft will be shared between its Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane to Los Angeles routes until May 2018, when all three LAX routes will be covered. Passengers will enjoy free w-fi as the carrier trials the service to ensure coverage for the duration of the flight.

 

Delta bans smart luggage

Delta Air Lines is introducing new baggage rules. Effective from 15 January 2018, the carrier will no longer carry ‘smart luggage’, unless the lithium batteries used to power them are removed before check-in. The policy applies to both checked and carry-on luggage.

 

Qantas stops duty-free

Qantas has announced that it will stop its in-flight duty-free service on all international flights at the end of the year.

 

Air China boosts Australian routes

Air China plans to add a fourth weekly service between Beijing and Melbourne from 26 March. The carrier is also upgrading its thrice-weekly Chengdu-Sydney service from an A330-200 to an A330-300 aircraft from 25 March.

 

China Airlines A350 Sydney-bound

China Airlines has upgraded its Sydney-Taipei route. The existing A330 service has been replaced with a three-class A350 aircraft, which features 32 flat-bed business class seats and 31 premium economy seats in addition to its economy offering.

 

Etihad ups Amman

Etihad Airways plans to launch a second daily flight between Abu Dhabi and Amman. Effective from 25 March 2018, the new service will operate on an A320 aircraft.

 

New Raffles Dubai

AccorHotels plans to open its first beachside Raffles-branded hotel in Dubai. The Raffles The Palm Dubai and Raffles Residences PALM360 will be located on Palm Jumeirah and is set to open in 2021. At almost 260-metres high it will be the tallest structure on Palm Jumeirah. In addition to unobstructed views, the property will feature 125 hotel rooms.

 

Andaz Singapore

Hyatt Hotels has opened its first Andaz-branded hotel in Southeast Asia. The 342-room Andaz Singapore is located five minutes from Singapore’s CBD and 20 minutes from the airport. Enjoy a range of dining options, including a rooftop bar offering 360-degree views of downtown Singapore. It also offers 1,375sqm of meeting and event space catering for up to 660 guests.


Autograph Expansion

A fourth German hotel has joined Marriott International’s Autograph Collection. Roomers Munich, features 281 rooms, a restaurant and bar as well as a spa. In addition, it offers a range of conference rooms and auditoriums catering for events of up to 300 people.


Le Meridien China expansion

Le Meridien Hotels & Resorts has opened new properties in Xian and Shenyang. The 291-room Le Meridien Xi’an, Chanba is located close to Xi’an’s city centre, while the 296-room Le Meridien Shenyang, Heping marks the brands debut in Northeast China. It features two restaurants, a lounge bar, fitness centre, swimming pool as spa as well as 1000sqm of meeting and event space.