For week ending 12 May 2017
In airline news, Emirates plans to add a third daily service on its Dubai-Brisbane route from 1 December and Alliance Airlines is set to take over the operation of a number of Virgin Australia’s turboprop routes in regional Queensland. Construction is underway for a new international wing at Perth Airport within the existing T3/T4 area. Air New Zealand has also opened its new lounge in Melbourne.
All this and more in our weekly news round-up brought to you by FCM Travel Solutions.
Emirates boosts Brisbane
Emirates plans to add a third daily service on its Dubai-Brisbane route. Operating on a B777-200LR aircraft, flights EK430/431 will commence on 1 December, providing a significant boost to capacity on the route.
New DoubleTree Xiamen
Hilton Worldwide has opened its second DoubleTree-branded hotel in Xiamen. The 301-room DoubleTree by Hilton Xiamen - Haicang features a choice of dining venues, a fitness centre and indoor swimming pool as well as 1600sqm of flexible meeting and event space catering to up to 950 guests.
Virgin Australia/Alliance codeshare expands
Alliance Airlines is set to take over the operation of a number of Virgin Australia’s turboprop routes in regional Queensland. Affected services include flights from Brisbane to Bundaberg, Gladstone, Port Macquarie and Moranbah, which will be operated by Alliance from 17 July. Virgin Australia will codeshare on the routes with network connectivity and Velocity frequent flyer benefits remaining unchanged. The move will see travel times reduced, as Alliance plans to operate a jet aircraft on the routes. Travellers with existing bookings will automatically be reaccommodated onto Alliance services.
Element debuts in Melbourne
Marriott International’s Element brand will make its Australian debut in Melbourne. The 168-room Element Marriott Richmond will be a newbuild hotel within the Botanicca Corporate Park, three kilometres from the CBD. The property will feature 250 square metres of flexible meeting space and is expected to open in 2019.
Air New Zealand boosts Americas
Air New Zealand is boosting capacity on Houston and Buenos Aires routes. From December, the carrier will switch from a five-times weekly B777 service from Auckland to Houston to a daily B787-9 Dreamliner operation. The move adds more premium economy and business class seats. Meanwhile, the airline will also raise frequency on its Buenos Aires route from four-times weekly to five-times weekly from November.
New Holiday Inn Express for Melbourne
InterContinental Hotels Group plans to open a new Holiday Inn Express property in Melbourne. The 299-room Holiday Inn Express Melbourne Little Collins is slated to open in 2020 and will feature a fitness centre, meeting facilities, complimentary guest breakfast buffet and a grab-and-go-style market pantry.
Qantas upgrades to Perth Airport underway
Construction is underway for a new international wing at Perth Airport. Located within the existing T3/T4 area it will offer streamlined immigration and customs to enable a faster transfer experience. Once completed, all Qantas domestic flights as well as international services to London, Singapore and Auckland will operate from the new wing. Qantas is also planning to add a new International Transit Lounge with shower suites and a wellness facility to refresh and relax guests between flights. Works are scheduled for completion by March 2018 when the carriers launches its new non-stop Perth-London Heathrow service.
New Air New Zealand lounge in Melbourne
Air New Zealand has opened its new International lounge at Melbourne Airport. Located on the ground floor, it offers 50% more seating than the old lounge, with capacity for nearly 250 guests. The facility includes a self-service food buffet and barista station. The carrier also confirmed plans for a new Perth lounge in the near future.
Hertz’s new Christchurch City location is set to open in August this year, with the company now accepting bookings for this location.