FCM Travel Solutions latest roundup of travel industry news for August.
The future of Auckland Airport
The new international Pier B has now formally been completed and is seen as a key construction milestone for the development of the “airport of the future”. The $120 million pier is 190m long and its gates can handle the Boeing 777X, the next generation of aircraft.
Click here for an interactive map of the “airport of the future”.
No more departure cards when leaving New Zealand
Travellers will no longer have to fill out departure cards when leaving the country. Effective from November 2018. “The removal of departure cards will align with international best practice” and “will improve the experience of all travellers departing New Zealand” says Immigration Minister, Iain Lees-Galloway.
Hotel pays $31m for former New Zealand Herald site
The Auckland City site, previously home to the New Zealand Herald has sold for $31m. Pro-Invest Developments is planning on building a 37 storey dual-branded hotel with 490 rooms. This will be the first EVEN Hotel outside of North America, and one of the first 10 to 15 EVEN Hotels Pro-Invest plan to own in Australasia, in partnership with IHG.
Virgin Australia announces inclusive features with all fares
Virgin Australia has announced they will include meals and at least a 23kg baggage allowance with all fares. Additionally, trans-Tasman services will offer limited Wi-Fi to trans-Tasman services across all their planes, effective from 28 October. This will include 15 minutes of free Wi-Fi and additional Wi-Fi access can be purchased at a small fee.
Air New Zealand offer new direct flights
In November, Air New Zealand will begin to offer new direct services to Chicago and Taipei. They will also be introducing new services to Brisbane from Wellington and Queenstown in December. A third daily service will be added to the Auckland to Singapore route, in partnership with Singapore Airlines.
Qantas reaches record profit
Qantas reaches a record profit of $1.6 billion (AUD), up 14 per cent on last year. This amounted to $67 million in bonuses for 27,000 employees.
New Mercure Hotel for Auckland
A new Mercure Hotel is set to open on Auckland's Queen Street in 2019. This hotel will feature a conference room, restaurant and fitness centre and is being created within an existing commercial building retrofitted as a hotel.
IHG set to open hotel in Auckland City’s waterfront
InterContinental Auckland is set to open in 2022 on Auckland City’s waterfront, located down the end of Queen Street opposite Britomart. The hotel will have 244 guest rooms, offering 90% with water views.
Vibe Savoy’s Melbourne transformation
The final steps of the Vibe Savoy Hotel Melbourne multi-million refurbishment are underway. All guest rooms have been refurbished and the hotel lobby is under current renovations. The hotel will unveil in October 2018 as The Savoy Hotel on Little Collins, as part of the TFE Hotels brand.
FCTG and Serko announce partnership - Introducing Savi
Flight Centre Travel Group and New Zealand-based technology specialist Serko are transforming the online booking experience for business travellers. A whole new generation of ideas, insight and imagination has arrived, and it will change how you book travel forever. It’s beyond smart. It’s beyond intelligent. It's Savi. Savi is coming soon.
Emirates latest technology in first-class
On Emirates A380 and Boeing 777 aircraft, you can fly in your own first-class private suite. Emirates latest technology allows you to control the temperature, mood lighting as well as an industry first with virtual windows to enjoy HD projections of the outside world.
3D luggage scanners
The US Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is trialling a new 3D security scanning technology at New York’s JFK International Airport. This machine provides greater visibility, enabling travellers to leave laptops and liquids in their carry-on luggage for faster scanning. This technology is located at Terminal 8’s security check-point. A similar trial is being conducted at Heathrow Airport in London.
Air New Zealand’s partnership with Magic Leap
Air New Zealand partners with United States company, Magic Leap, to develop a technology pioneering the travel industry. They are working to develop augmented reality entertainment, showcasing the diverse landscape and activities that make New Zealand a unique tourist destination. This technology will debut this year and is part of the long-term programme aimed to redefine travel experiences.
Full body x-ray scanners coming to New Zealand airports
Full body x-ray scanners are set to be installed in Auckland Airport’s international terminal next year. Wellington, Christchurch, Queenstown and Dunedin airports will follow by late 2020.
New Zealand aviation authorities to monitor US 3D scanners with plans to implement the technology
The idea of implementing 3D scanners in New Zealand airports is an idea that is being watched carefully as the US are currently trialling them. This technology has already made waves in other sectors such as the medical industry, and this may just see it become apparent in the travel industry also.
Nelson Airport's new air traffic tower to open as technology takes off
Airways around the country will be shifting towards digital tower technology which allows controllers to direct traffic from a remote location. The switch in technologies from radar to digital is linked with the $120 million investment in air traffic management upgrades.