Week in Review: Travel Industry News

Male business travel
Travel News 09 May 2016

For week ending 6 May 2016.

In the week that was Qatar Airways announced that their A380 product will be Australia bound later this year. Virgin Australia's new A330 business product has been launched and Delta announced their new premium economy launch.

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

Qatar A380s Sydney-bound

Qatar Airways plans to upgrade its daily Sydney-Doha service to an A380. The carrier will replace the B777s currently operating the route with a superjumbo from 15 September.

New Aloft for Seoul

Seoul will soon boast a second Aloft-branded property. The 223-room new-build Aloft Seoul Myeongdong will be located in theJung-gu sub-district and is schedule to open in February next year. The property will feature an all-day dining restaurant; a 24-hour grab and go outlet for light meals; the brand's signature bar and a well-equipped gym.

Delta adding premium economy

Delta Air Lines plans to roll out a new premium economy cabin from next year. The new product will feature on new A350 aircraft operating long-haul international flights.

Emirates expands China network

Emirates has added two new cities to its China network. The carrier has launched four times weekly tag-on services from Dubai to Yinchuan and Zhengzhou in Midwest China.The route operates on B777- 200LR aircraft.

Sofitel Wellington opening soon

The Sofitel Wellington is due to open in June this year, with the property now available for bookings. Located in the CBD and government hub, the 129-room hotelwill feature a restaurant, bar and 24-hour room service as well asa fitness centre and a range of meeting rooms.

Accor Australia expansion

AccorHotels has revealed plans fornew Australian hotels. Two new-build properties include a 238-room Novotel hotel on Brisbane’s South Bank and a 240-room Mercure hotel in Bankstown, Sydney. The hotel group also plans to expand its ibis Budget hotel brand, with the ibis Budget Sydney Central due to open in 2017.

Emirates up Bangkok

Emirates is adding a seventh daily service between Dubai and Bangkok. The new service launches on 1 July operating on B777-300ER aircraft.

Etihad A380s Mumbai-bound

Etihad Airways has addedMumbai to its list of A380 destinations.They will operate on daily EK203/204 flights between Abu Dhabi and Mumbai.

China Southern in-flight Wi-Fi launch

China Southern Airlines now offers in-flight high-speed wi-fi. Currently only available on flights CZ301/302between Sydney and Guangzhou, thecarrier hopes to roll the service out across its fleet of 10 A300-series aircraft by June. Until a pricing scheme is adopted, the service is being offered free of charge.

Qatar Adelaide route launch

Qatar Airways’ new non-stop service between Doha and Adelaide launched today. The route operates on an A350-900 aircraft.

New Virgin Australia A330 Business Class

Virgin Australia’s new business class product is now available on select long-haul route operated on B777-300ERs.The retro-fittedaircraftfeature 37 ‘The Business’ seats in a 1-2-1 configuration.Sydney-Los Angeles was the first route to benefit from the upgrade.

New Emirates A380 routes

Emirates has added Taipei and Prague to its list of A380 destinations. The superjumbos will replace the B777s and A330s currently used on the routes.

Delta adds RFID

Delta Air Lines is planning to offer Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) bag tracking technology. The carrier’s US$50million investment will replace barcode hand scanning and provide customers with real-time baggage tracking. Travellers will receive push notifications when their bags are loaded onto and off their aircraft, via the Fly Delta mobile app. RFID usage is expected to roll out by the end of the year.

New Melbourne ibis

AccorHotels has opened a new Melbourne CBD property. The 235-room ibis Melbourne Swanston Street features a restaurant, fitness centre and onsite parking facilities.

Virgin cuts back regional routes

Virgin Australia is planning a fleet restructure that will cut group capacity by 5%. Domestic reductions will focuson regional routes, with the fleet restructure centred on the carrier’s ATR aircraft. The move comes after Qantas announcedsimilar capacity reduction plans last monthdue to a downturn in the resources sector and weak consumer demand.