For week ending 14 October 2016.
It's been a busy week for the airline industry with carriers announcing new routes, increased capacity and upgraded in-flight configurations, not to mention the total ban of Samsung Galaxy Note 7 phones on some airlines and routes. In hotel news, read about the newly opened Hilton Chicago and plans for Novotel on Queensland's Gold Coast.
All this and more in our weekly news round-up brought to you by FCM Travel Solutions.
Samsung Galaxy Note 7 - banned on flights
Qantas, Jetstar and Virgin Australia have announced a total ban on the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 due to a recent recall of the phones. The ban is effective immediately and a result of potential fire risk after a number of reported incidents worldwide.
Also effective immediately, the US Department of Transportation (DOT) has imposed a total ban on the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 on all aircraft travelling to, from and within the US.
The total ban means that these phones cannot be carried in check-in luggage, freight or hand luggage.
New Sydney-China route
China Eastern Airlines will launch new thrice-weekly flight between Kunming and Sydney on 24 November this year. Operating on A330-300 aircraft, the service to Western China will joining existing routes to Shanghai, Nanjing and Hangzhou.
Hilton Worldwide has opened its new dual-branded property in Chicago. Guests at The Hampton Inn by Hilton and Homewood Suites by Hilton Chicago Downtown West Loop will share common facilities including fitness centre, indoor pool and garden terrace.
Etihad boosts Dallas
Etihad Airways plans to increase the frequencies of its Abu Dhabi-Dallas/Fort Worth route. The carrier will add four new weekly services from 2 February, raising frequency to a daily service.
Qantas ups Auckland
Qantas is boosting capacity on its Sydney-Auckland route over the Christmas/New Year period. The carrier will switch from B737s to A330 aircraft from 15 December to 30 January. The carrier has also added extra services from Melbourne and Sydney to Wellington.
Delta adds LA/Washington
Delta Air Lines is introducing a new daily non-stop service between Los Angeles and Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport. The route launches on 24 April and will operate on B757-200 aircraft featuring fully flat-bed seats in First class.
Qantas resumes Beijing
After a seven-year hiatus, Qantas will resume flights to Beijing from 25 January next year. The carrier plans to operate daily A330-200 services between Sydney and the Chinese capital. The move will also see the expansion of the codeshare agreement between Qantas and China Southern to incorporate Sydney-Hangzhou, Sydney-Kunming and Brisbane-Shanghai flights as well as the new Sydney-Beijing service.
Sinagpore Airlines flat beds Brisbane-bound
Singapore Airlines plans to operate its B777-200ER aircraft on its Singapore/Brisbane route from 30 October. The aircraft, featuring 26 Business Class seats that recline to fully flat beds, will be deployed on flights SQ245/246, which includes the carrier’s overnight flight from Brisbane.
Novotel on the Gold Coast
AccorHotels has taken over management of the Hotel Grand Chancellor on the Gold Coast. The property will be re-branded as the Novotel Surfers Paradise, joining existing AccorHotels in the area including the Sofitel Gold Coast Broadbeach, The Sebel Coolangatta and Mercure Resort Gold Coast.