For week ending 22 July 2016.
In travel news last week, at the unveiling of their new international business class in LA, Virgin Australia announced plans to roll out in-flight Wi-Fi on specific aircraft across their fleet whilst Qantas will bring forward the end date of their low US season to 31 March. In hotel news, TFE Hotels have a new Brisbane property – The Calile – set to open in Fortitude Valley in 2018.
All this and more in our weekly news round-up brought to you by FCM Travel Solutions.
Virgin in-flight wi-fi
Virgin Australia has confirmed it will roll out in-flight wi-fi from next year. The service will be available on the carrier’s B737-800, B777 and A330 aircraft.
Emirates boosts Kuala Lumpur
Emirates plans to add a second daily A380 service on its Dubai-Kuala Lumpur route. The change comes into effect from 1 September.
Pan Pacific Beijing
Pan Pacific Hotel Group has plans to make its Beijing debut. Opening in the first half of 2017, the 223-room Pan Pacific Beijing will be located in the Xicheng district and feature a choice of dining venues, a swimming pool, spa, steam and sauna facilities and a state-of-the-art fitness centre as well as comprehensive conference and meeting space.
China Southern Adelaide-bound
China Southern Airlines plans to launch flights to Adelaide. The new thrice weekly service from Guangzhou will commence on 12 December on A330-200 aircraft.
New Brisbane hotel
TFE Hotels has plans for a new Brisbane property. The Calile is set to open in 2018 in James Street, Fortitude Valley. It will feature 178 rooms and suites, a swimming pool, restaurant, day spa, gym and business centre as well as meeting and event space catering for up to 300 guests.
W hotel for Scotland
Starwood Hotels & Resorts plans to debut its W Hotels brand in Scotland. The W Edinburgh is expected to open in 2021, as the centrepiece of the Edinburgh St James development in the city.
Qantas shortens US low season
Qantas is shortening its low season period on flights to North America. The carrier is bringing its shoulder season forward by two weeks to begin on 31 March, at which point return fares will jump $150. Seasonality changes impact economy class fares only on services to Los Angeles, San Francisco, Dallas/Fort Worth and New York JFK as well as seasonal services to Vancouver. Core tariff fares will also rise $30 return in economy across all seasons. The changes come into effect on 26 July.
China Airlines ups baggage allowance
China Airlines has amended the free checked baggage allowances on its Australia/New Zealand, Asia and Europe routes. Business class travellers are now entitled to 40kg per person and 30kg per person for economy travellers. Meanwhile, the carrier has also added another Friday night flight on its Sydney-Taipei route and plans to launch another Brisbane-Taipei service on Mondays from 19 September.
Singapore Airlines boost Sydney route
Singapore Airlines will operate a second daily A380 service on its Singapore-Sydney route from over the Northern winter. The carrier will substitute the B777-300ERs currently used on flight SQ231/222 with the superjumbo from 30 October.
Qantas Link suspends Barcaldine flights
QantasLink has suspended flights from Brisbane and Longreach to Barcaldine until 8 August due to runway works. Those with tickets for travel between Barcaldine and Longreach will be transported by bus. Passengers departing Barcaldine are asked to arrive at the airport at least 2.5 hours before departure.
Hilton Ho Chi Minh City
Hilton Worldwide will manage a brand new hotel in downtown Ho Chi Minh City. The 350-room Hilton Saigon features a choice of restaurants, a fitness centre and swimming pool as well as a range of flexible meeting spaces and a ballroom for functions. The property is scheduled to open in the fourth quarter of 2019.
Second Le Meridien for Qingdao
Starwood Hotel & Resorts has opened a second Le Meridien property in Qingdao, China. The 218-room Le Meridien Qingdao West Coast Resort is located in the Huangdao District with views of the Yellow Sea. It offers a choice of restaurants and bars, a pool and fitness centre as well as a range of meeting and event spaces, with the largest being 880sqm.