For week ending 7 July
Emirates offers more free wi-fi
Emirates expands free wi-fi offering. Skywards rewards program members are set to benefit most, with Platinum and Gold members now given unlimited free in-flight wi-fi regardless of which cabin class they are travelling in and Skywards Silver and Blue members travelling in economy receiving a 50% discount on wi-fi charges. However even non-Skywards members will receive a boost, with the carrier now offering double the amount of free wi-fi at 20MB per flight.
Etihad paid transfers
Following the axing of its free premium chauffeur services, Etihad Airways has partnered with conxxe to provide a paid airport transfer service for its passengers.
Accor grows Myanmar
AccorHotels is expanding in Myanmar with the addition of three new hotels. The 206-room Mercure Mandalay Hill Resort will open later this year along with the 300-room Pullman Yangon Centrepoint while the 150-room Mandalay Hill Resort and MGallery by Sofitel is set to open in 2020.
US lifts laptop bad for select carriers
The US Department of Homeland Security has now lifted its laptop ban for Etihad Airways, Emirates, Qatar Airways and Turkish Airlines. ATAR Airways. Passengers travelling to the US with these carriers can now carry personal electronic items in the cabin. The changes come after the carriers adjusted their security measures and protocols to include enhanced inspection procedures to meet the US Government’s strict guidelines.
MGallery by Sofitel Leicester Square
AccorHotels has opened a new hotel in London’s West End. The 86-room Victory House, London Leicester Square, MGallery by Sofitel features a bistro and bar as well as in-room dining.
Emirates boosts Brussels
Emirates is adding a second daily service on its Dubai-Brussels. Commencing on 29 October, the new service will operate on a three-class B777-300ER aircraft. Meanwhile, the carrier is also launching daily flights from Dubai to Phnom Penh, via Yangon.
Qantas expands in-flight wi-fi
Qantas has fitted a second B737 aircraft with its latest wi-fi technology in an expansion of its free wi-fi trial. The carrier plans to add the technology to up to eight more aircraft by September, as part of a broader rollout of the service.
Virgin debuts MEL-HKG
Virgin Australia has commenced services on its new Melbourne-Hong Kong route, with the carrier now considering adding services from Sydney and Brisbane.
Cathay boosts Adelaide
Cathay Pacific has reinstated its fifth weekly service between Hong Kong and Adelaide, adding 2,500 weekly seats to the route.
Mantra Group has signed a management deal to operate a new hotel in the Melbourne suburb of Epping. The 214-room Mantra Epping Hotel is set to open in mid-2019 featuring a cafe/restaurant, brewhouse, fitness centre and conference and meeting facilities.
Emirates A380s Nice-bound
Emirates has added Nice as its latest A380-serviced route. The carrier now operates the superjumbo to 47 destinations worldwide.
China Southern year-round to Cairns
China Southern Airlines plans to operate a year-round service between Guangzhou and Cairns. Thrice-weekly services will begin in December this year.
IHG NSW expansion
InterContinental Hotels Group has added two former Sebel properties to its NSW portfolio – The Crowne Plaza Hawkesbury Valley and the Kirkton Park Hunter Valley.
W Shanghai Bund
Marriott International has opened a new W Hotel in China. The 374-room W Shanghai – The Bund overlooks the Huangpu River and features five restaurants and bars and 6,000sqm of meeting and event space.