For week ending 1 July 2016.
This week's top stories include Qantas has announced a trial pay for access to lounges world-wide and in hotel news, Starwood announces plans for a Four Points in Parramatta and the Lanham in London will be upgraded to feature more rooms.
All this and more in our weekly news round-up brought to you by FCM Travel Solutions.
Qantas lounge passes for sale
Qantas plans to trial lounge pass sales. Invitations to purchase one-off guest passes to selected domestic and international lounges will be emailed to eligible Bronze and Silver frequent flyers three to five days before departure. Pass invitations, which will include any travel companions, will be limited non-peak travel periods and can be paid for with cash or Qantas points. Passes will cost $49 or 7000 Qantas Points for Domestic Qantas Club lounges, $69 or 9900 Qantas Points for International Business Class lounges and $99 or 14,500 Qantas Points for premium lounges in Hong Kong and Singapore. Passes must be purchased prior to check-in closure and will not be available at lounge entries.
Four Points Parramatta
Starwood Hotels & Resorts is adding a new Four Points by Sheraton-branded hotel to its Australia portfolio. The Four Points by Sheraton Parramatta will be a new-build property located in the heart of Sydney’s western suburb. Scheduled to open in 2018, it will feature 271rooms, a restaurant, bar and lobby lounge, snack kiosk, indoor swimming pool, fitness centre and parking.
Hilton Worldwide is adding a new property to its Curio Collection. The 114-room Ames Boston Hotel, located in the city’s financial district, will join the hotel group’s portfolio in July. It will undergo a multi-million dollar renovation to its guest rooms, restaurant, meeting and event spaces and lobby to raise it to Curio Collection standard.
Lufthansa rolls out wi-fi
Lufthansa plans to roll out broadband internet on its first short- and medium-haul aircraft in October this year, with the carrier’s entire A320 fleet set to be wi-fi enabled by mid-2018.
Langham London upgrades
The Langham, London will soon boast 115 new rooms, including 25 suites. Renovations to the property will see one-third of the overall hotel inventory reconfigured and five of the residences fitted with designer kitchens.
China Eastern to add Premium Economy
China Eastern Airlines plans to launch a new Premium Economy cabin in its long-haul fleet. The carrier will add 15 four-class B787-9s and 20 four-class A350-900s to its fleet between 2018 and 2021.
QantasLink suspends Barcaldine
QantasLink has temporarily suspended flights from Brisbane to Barcaldine and Barcaldine to Longreach, while Barcaldine Airport undergoes runway repair work.
Qantas/ Emirates fare increases
Qantas will be increasing selected airfares across its UK, Europe, North Africa and Middle East network. ‘Day of week’ and ‘weekend’ pricing will be introduced from 30 June, replacing the current weekend Q surcharge on Business, Premium Economy and Economy bookings following a review with alliance partner, Emirates.
Emirates aircraft switch
Emirates will operate its non-stop Dubai-Auckland route on B777-200LR aircraft. Despite operating the inaugural service on the route on an A380, the carrier then switched to the smaller aircraft, which it will use going forward.