For week ending 24 February 2017
This week we share a sneak peek of Qantas’ next-gen Premium Economy seating and Emirates’ new A380 onboard lounge. There’s some upgrades and revamps on the way for leading Australian hotels The InterContinental Sydney and Pullman Melbourne and Novotel Hotels launched a new meetings initiative - InBalance Meetings.
All this and more in our weekly news round-up brought to you by FCM Travel Solutions.
New Qantas 787 Premium Economy seating
Qantas has released images of its next-gen Premium Economy seating. Rolling out on its B787-9 aircraft from October, the seats will be 10% wider and offer more functional space with five storage compartments. They also feature a unique recline motion, where several sections of the seat shift to offer support as the seat reclines, and an integrated pillow headrest. Configured in a 2-3-2 layout, the 28 seats will include 25% larger seatback in-flight entertainment screens. See photos.
Emirates revamps A380 onboard lounge
Emirates plans to unveil a new-look onboard lounge that will feature on its A380 fleet. It will offer a more social seating arrangement, plus more open space for passengers to mingle in. Expect calm mood lighting and a 55-inch LCD TV screen on which to watch major live events. See photos.
Qantas wi-fi test a success
The first live test of the new Qantas wi-fi system has been completed. The test saw 200 devices connected to the system simultaneously, well above usage expected on a normal flight. Download speeds of 7-12MB per second were recorded, enough to comfortably stream movies. More tests are planned ahead of the fleet-wide roll-out from mid this year.
InterContinental Sydney upgrade
The InterContinental Sydney hotel is about to be transformed. All 509 guestrooms, public spaces and function rooms will be refreshed in a $200+ million upgrade, that will include a new 900sqm event space overlooking Sydney Harbour.
Pullman Melbourne revamp
The Pullman Melbourne on the Park is set to undergo a $6 million revamp of its ground floor. Guests can expect a new bar area as well as an open-plan restaurant and updated reception area. Works are due for completion in July.
Aloft Perth opening soon
The Aloft Perth hotel is set to open on 26 May. The 224-room property will feature flexible meeting spaces as well as a sky-rise ballroom and outdoor terrace catering for events with up to 300 guests.
Novotel Hotels has launched a new meetings initiative. Dubbed InBalance Meetings, the program includes a virtual 30-minute work-out session and a Nurture Yourself food menu. The aim is to promote health and wellbeing for conference and event guests. InBalance Meetings are now available at seven properties and will continue to roll out across Australia.
Four Points New York
Marriott International has opened a new hotel in Manhattan. The 148-room Four Points by Sheraton Manhattan Midtown West is located near the High Line and features a 24-hour fitness centre.