For week ending 26 May 2017
British Airways disruption
An IT malfunction resulted in the majority British Airways flights being cancelled out of Heathrow and Gatwick on 29 May 2017. This has had a significant flow-on effect with flights cancelled today due to the failure of the BA aircraft to arrive in the various ports around Europe and the world. British Airways has released detailed information on the airline's website including flight status updates. The airline is offering customers refunds or the opportunity to defer travel.
Virgin launches Economy X
Virgin Australia has introduced a new Economy X product on domestic and international services. Travellers can expect an additional three inches of leg room and preferred overhead locker space as well as priority boarding and security screening. The first three rows of the economy cabin have been reconfigured to create this new option, which will also include over-wing exit rows, on the majority of the carrier’s B737 fleet. Economy X is free of charge for Velocity Platinum members.
VA Business Class additions
Virgin Australia has introduced business class on direct Brisbane-Launceston services operated by B737 and Embraer 190 aircraft.
Etihad Europe aircraft changes
Etihad Airways plans to operate a year-round A380 aircraft on its Abu Dhabi-Paris route. The superjumbo service will begin on one of its twice-daily frequencies to Charles de Gaulle Airport from 1 July. Meanwhile, the carrier is introducing B777-300ER aircraft on its Abu Dhabi-Munich route from 2 June.
China Airlines Melbourne changes
China Airlines is making seasonal adjustments to its Taipei Taoyuan-Melbourne route. Between 20 August and 28 October, the carrier will drop its Monday service, reducing frequency to twice weekly.
Hotel Jen Beijing
Shangri-La Hotels & Resorts has opened a new property in Beijing. Located in the China World Trade Center complex in the Guomao Central Business District, the 450-room Hotel Jen Beijing features a choice of dining options and bars, a fitness centre and swimming pool as well as a co-working hub and 1,200 square metres of meeting and event space.
AccorHotels has plans for a new Sydney hotel. The Porter House Hotel, MGallery by Sofitel will be part of a new mixed-use development on the corner of Bathurst and Castlereagh streets in the CBD. It will feature 121 hotel rooms, two restaurants, a bar, fitness centre, swimming pool and meetings facilities as well as a bar, business centre and valet parking. Construction will commence early next year with completion scheduled for December 2020.
New Air NZ lounge for Palmerston North
Air New Zealand’s revamped lounge in Palmerston North is now open. The updated facility offers seating for up to 100 guests, doubling its previous capacity.
Emirates network changes
Emirates is adding a second daily A380 service between Dubai and Birmingham. Effective from 29 October, the superjumbo will replace the existing B777 aircraft operating flights EK39/40.
Emirates boosts Beijing
Emirates plans to boost its Beijing route to an all A380 service from 1 July. Flights EK308/309 will switch from their current B777- 300ER operation.
St. Regis Shanghai
Marriott International has opened a new property in China. The 491-room St. Regis Shanghai Jingan is located in Jingan District, the city’s cultural and business centre. It features six restaurants and bars, a spa, swimming pool and 24-hour fitness centre as well as 11 meeting rooms and two executive boardrooms. It also boasts event space catering for up to 1300 guests.
Kimpton Amsterdam debut
InterContinental Hotels Group has debuted its Kimpton brand in the Netherlands. The 274-room Kimpton de Witt Amsterdam, located in the city centre, near Central Station, features three restaurants and bars, a 24-hour fitness centre and eight meeting rooms.
Fairfield by Marriott Phnom Penh
Marriott International has plans for a new property in Cambodia. The 300-room Fairfield by Marriott Phnom Penh is set to open in 2021. Located in the administrative centre of the city, it offers easy access to corporate and government offices and will feature an on-site restaurant and fitness centre.