For week ending 17 March 2017
Last week in travel news Frankfurt Airport opened MYCLOUD – the airport’s first transit hotel, plans for new lounges at Heathrow were shared, Qantas updated their exit row policy and Hyatt and AccorHotels announced new hotels in Japan and Auckland. Construction has also begun on Beijing’s new subway line which will connect the city with the new airport project at Daxing.
All this and more in our weekly news round-up brought to you by FCM Travel Solutions.
New lounges for Heathrow
The Plaza Premium Group has plans to open two new lounges at London Heathrow Airport. Both will be located landside. The lounge in Terminal 4 will cater for up to 75 guests and is set to open later this month, featuring a lounge and bar area, a healthy dining concept and 25 shower rooms. The second lounge in Terminal 3 will open later this year. Travellers can pay on entry with no prior booking or airline affiliation required.
Luton adds touchless tech
London’s Luton Airport has launched touchless T-Series bag drop kiosks. The kiosks automatically detect attached tags, check the weight is correct and dispatch the bag without the need to touch any button or screen. The new kiosks are fitted with audio prompts for visually impaired passengers.
Etihad A380 to Paris
Etihad Airways has added Paris to its A380 network. It will be used on one of the carrier’s twice-daily services to Paris between 1 July and 28 October, replacing the current B777. The aircraft switch means that Etihad will offer an all-A380 daily service from both Sydney and Melbourne to Paris, via Abu Dhabi.
Dubai Airports claim fastest wi-fi
Dubai Airports claims to offer the world’s fastest free wi-fi service. Amusingly dubbed ‘WOW-Fi’, the service operates at 100mbps.
Air NZ B787-9s to Adelaide
Air New Zealand plans to operate its flagship B787-9 aircraft on its Adelaide-Auckland route from October this year. The upgrade will boost capacity by up to 23% and add a choice of premium options, with Business Premier and Premium Economy available on the route for the first time. The B787-9 will operate flights NZ191/192 three times per week, with an A320 continuing to operate on flights NZ791/792.
Qantas update exit row policy
Qantas has amended its exit row policy. Effective immediately passengers seated in exit rows, who may be required to operate doors in the event of an emergency, who normally wear reading glasses, contact lenses or hearing aids must be wearing them during take-off and landing.
Qatar boosts Adelaide
Qatar Airways is boosting the frequency of its Doha-Adelaide route. From 2 December, the carrier will add 2 weekly service, raising frequency to a daily service operating on A350-XWB aircraft.
New Beijing subway line
A new subway line is under construction in Beijing. The subway will connect Beijing city with the new airport project at Daxing and will be the fastest of its kind in China, offering a journey time of just 19 minutes. The subway line is expected open by September 2019.
Frankfurt transit hotel
Frankfurt Airport now boasts its first transit hotel. Located at Gate Z-25 in Terminal 1, passengers do not have to clear security to freshen up at the MYCLOUD Hotel. The property features 59 rooms, free wi-fi and an infotainment system. Minimum stay is three hours.
Hyatt Place Japan debut
Hyatt has plans to open its first Hyatt Place-branded hotel in Japan. The 365-room Hyatt Place Tokyo Bay, which will be conveniently located between both of Tokyo’s airports, is expected to open in 2019. It will feature an all-day dining facility, a 24-hour gym and 180 square metres of meeting space.
Emirates adds another US gateway
Emirates has added another gateway to its US network. The carrier is offering daily services from Dubai to Newark International Airport, via Athens. The route operates on B777-300ER aircraft.
AccorHotels is to manage a new Pullman-branded hotel at Auckland Airport. Construction of the 250-room property will begin by the end of the year and is due for completion in late 2019. It will be located beside the international terminal, next to the current Novotel hotel.
Cathay anytime dining
Cathay Pacific plans to trial a dine-on-demand service. Passengers travelling on long-haul flights from Hong Kong to London and Chicago in May and June, will be able to eat when they choose.
BA domestic business class
British Airways plans to introduce a ‘Club Europe’ business class offering on all its domestic routes within the UK. Club Europe travellers can expect a separate cabin, larger luggage allowance, dedicated cabin crew and an upgraded food and beverage service. They will also earn a higher level of loyalty and status credits. The airline’s two-class service rolls out from 1 April 2017.