For week ending 5 May 2017
Sydney Airport last week shared that they now have a new indoor Google Maps feature to help travellers navigate the airport. In airline news, Air Canada is adding a new non-stop service from Melbourne to Vancouver and Qantas is upping frequency on its Sydney-Queenstown route.
All this and more in our weekly news round-up brought to you by FCM Travel Solutions.
Element Malaysia debut
Marriott International has debuted its Element hotel brand in Malaysia. The 252-room Element Kuala Lumpur is located within the Ilham Tower, which is one of the tallest and most iconic buildings in Malaysia. The property features an all-day dining restaurant and bar, a swimming pool, fitness centre and spa as well as meeting space for up to 48 guests.
Air Canada adds MEL-YVR
Air Canada is adding a new non-stop service from Melbourne to Vancouver. A seasonal B787-9 Dreamliner service will operate four times weekly from 3 December 2017 to 4 February 2018, with easy onward connections available to New York and other US cities. The aircraft features lie-flat Business class seating as well as a premium economy option.
New China routes
China Southern Airlines has been given approval to launch new routes between Qingdao and Sydney and Chongqing and Melbourne. Flight times and frequency have not yet been announced.
Novotel Melbourne South Wharf
Set to open in early 2018, the 347-room Novotel Melbourne South Wharf will be located close to the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, providing business guests with a high-quality accommodation option on the south bank of the Yarra River.
Hotel Indigo for Melbourne Docklands
InterContinental Hotels Group has announced it will open a second Hotel Indigo in Australia. The group will manage the 170-room Hotel Indigo Melbourne Docklands when it opens in 2019. The property will feature uninterrupted water views from all guest rooms, a restaurant and bar, a resort-style swimming pool and gym and a range of meeting spaces. It will be joined by the Hotel Indigo Brisbane Fortitude Valley, which is scheduled to open in 2020.
Four Points Hakodate
Marriott International has opened its first Four Points by Sheraton-branded hotel in Japan. The 199-room Four Points by Sheraton Hakodate is located 20 minutes from Hakodate Airport.
Qantas daily to Queenstown
Qantas is upping frequency on its Sydney-Queenstown route. The service will operate daily from Oct on B737 aircraft.
Google Maps at Sydney Airport
Sydney Airport has a new indoor Google Maps feature to help travellers navigate the airport. Up-to-date terminal location information via indoor Google Maps will allow passengers to travel through the airport with ease. The maps feature all facilities including gates, check-in counters, retailers and more across multiple floors in the T1 International and T2 Domestic terminals. There are plans to add Terminal 3 in the near future. Meanwhile, the airport has also introduced a real-time queue measurement system to advise travellers how long it will take them to pass through security and passport control.
Qantas Cash improvements
Qantas has improved exchange rates and Frequent Flyer benefits for those using its Qantas Cash currency card. Effective immediately, Frequent Flyer members will now earn 1.5 points for every dollar they spend in foreign currency, up from one point. The card operator is also promising “more competitive exchange rates” when pre-loaded with currencies.
New ibis Styles for Adelaide
AccorHotels has added a new property in North Adelaide. The 46-room Country Comfort Adelaide Manor is rebranding to become the ibis Styles Adelaide Manor. Located just 20 minutes from the city’s CBD, the hotel is currently undergoing an extensive revamp of its lobby, reception area, restaurant and bar. The property features a restaurant, swimming pool, spa and free parking.
Curio Washington DC
The Curio Collection by Hilton has added a new property to its US portfolio. The Darcy Washington DC is located just six blocks from the White House and offers a choice of dining venues as well as meeting and event space for up to 200 people.
Grand Mercure Wellington
The Mercure Wellington has been rebranded as the Grand Mercure Wellington. The move follows a NZ$12 million revamp of all guest rooms and suites as well as the addition of three executive guests rooms, which raised the properties room count to 114.
Emirates boosts Spain
Emirates is adding a second daily A380 service on its Dubai-Madrid route. From 1 September, the carrier will replace the B777 currently used on flights EK143/144 with the superjumbo.