Week in Review: Travel Industry News

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Travel News 02 May 2016

For week ending 29 April 2016.

In last week's travel news read about Air Canada's premium economy which has hit the runway ahead of schedule. Marriott adds rewards to program and find out about new and revamped airport lounges worldwide.

All this and more in our weekly news round-up brought to you by FCM Travel Solutions.

China Eastern daily to Brisbane

China Eastern Airlines plans to launch a year-round operation to Brisbane from 16 December. The carrier will also raise frequency from three times weekly to a daily service on its Shanghai Pudong-Brisbane route.

New and revamped airport lounges

Qatar Airways has unveiled its new premium lounge at Dubai International Airport. Located near Gate 15 in Concourse D. Meanwhile, Malaysia Airlines plans to revamp its Golden Lounges starting with its regional and domestic Lounges at Kuala Lumpur International Airport. Guests can expect faster Wi-Fi and new food options including a demonstration kitchen. The full rollout is scheduled for completion by mid 2017.

Qantas ups Sydney to Christchurch

Qantas will add a second daily weekday service on its Sydney-Christchurch route. The seasonal increase between 27 June and 28 October will see the current daily service rise to 12 weekly services operated on B737-800 aircraft.

Canberra Airport international fit out

Canberra Airport has revealed plans for its new international facilities. The international departure lounge will feature business and media lounges as well as private meeting rooms, duty-free shopping and new food and beverage options. Both the departure lounge and arrivals hall will feature folding ceiling panels and skylights to offer natural light. The first international service to the airport will a Singapore Airlines flight scheduled to land on 21 September.

China Airlines TPE-BNE-AKL service brought forward

China Airlines plans to launch its new Taipei Taoyuan-Brisbane-Auckland service ahead of schedule. The four times weekly service will now commence on 18 September.

Air NZ domestic schedule changes

Air New Zealand has plans for schedule changes across its domestic network from 30 October. Capacity will be boosted on some routes thanks to changes in aircraft, while others will see a rise in frequency, including three weekly services added to the Auckland-Dunedin route, raising the total to 17 per week, five weekly services added to the Christchurch-Rotorua, route bringing the total to 20 per week, and the Wellington-Queenstown route rising to a daily service.

Twin Waters rebranded

AccorHotels plans to rebrand the Grand Mercure Apartments Twin Waters. From 2 May, the property will be known as the Sebel Twin Waters, making it the fourth Sebel-branded property on the Sunshine Coast.

Cathay Pacific take control of Hong Kong lounges

Over the coming week, Cathay Pacific will take over the management of its airport lounges at Hong Kong International Airport. Previously, the carrier’s The Wing, The Pier and The Cabin lounges were operated by Peninsula Clubs and Consultancy Services.

Qantas Emirates fare changes

Qantas and Emirates have made adjustments across their UK/Europe, Singapore, Thailand and Malaysia routes. Among the changes announced are the addition of low shoulder and high shoulder seasons to economy cabin seasonality, the revision of Q surcharge dates, day and charges, adjustments to ticketing time limits for business class seats on advanced purchased year-round I- and D-class fares to seven days after reservation and a revision of fare levels for selected cabins. The move comes following an international fare review of their joint agreement, with proposed changes coming into effect from 28 April.

Marriott adds rewards

Marriott International’s Rewards program has added three new benefits. They include guaranteed late check-out for Gold and Platinum Elite members, a dedicated concierge service for Elite members and access to the brand’s experiences marketplace. Changes come into effect from mid-May.

Hobart Airport Extension

Hobart Airport’s runway extension plan has been approved. Building work to lengthen the runway is set to begin in four to six weeks, with completion scheduled for 2018.The addition will enable larger aircraft with greater flight ranges to operate from the airport, opening up the possibility direct flights between Hobart and Asia, as well as one-stop flights to Europe.

Air Canada’s Premium Economy rolls out early

Air Canada’s Premium Economy class will debut on its Sydney-Vancouver route from 11 May. The roll-out comes a week ahead of schedule, with the daily non-stop service on the carrier’s new-look B777-200 aircraft offering premium economy seating with more legroom and recline, wider seats and higher definition personal entertainment screens in addition to 40 lie-flat ‘Executive Pods’ in business class and 236 seats in economy.

China Southern Toronto-bound

China Southern’s Guangzhou-Toronto route is now open for sale. The non-stop service will operate on B777-300ER aircraft from 3 August.

Starwood expands

Starwood Hotels and Resorts is expanding across North America and Indonesia. The group plans to add 22 Element-branded hotels across the US and Canada by the end of 2018, including one at Toronto Airport. Meanwhile, Starwood also has plans for a 180-room Aloft property in Jakarta, Indonesia, which is scheduled to open on 1 Jan 2020.