Week in Review: Travel Industry News

Travellers at Airport
Travel News 21 Aug 2017

For week ending 18 August 2017

Pre-order food at LAX
If you are travelling through LAX and are short on time, there is a new dining app that will help you grab a bite on the run. The Host2Coast dining app enables travellers to view menus, pre-order and pay for food directly through the app at more than a dozen HMSHost restaurant locations throughout LAX.

Qantas aircraft switches
Qantas is switching aircraft on select routes from Sydney to meet increased demand over the peak summer period. Flights QF117/118 between Sydney and Hong Kong will operate on B747-400 and A380 aircraft between 29 October and 24 March 2018 instead of the A330-200/300s currently used on the route. Similarly, flights between Sydney and Bangkok will operate on A330-200 aircraft instead of A330-300s on select days between 4 November and 2 March.

Sofitel KL now open
AccorHotels has debuted its Sofitel brand in Malaysia. The 312-room Sofitel Kuala Lumpur Damansara features a choice restaurants and bars, a 24-hour fitness centre and a range of meeting rooms and a ballroom catering for events of up to 800 guests.

Air NZ digital boarding passes
Travellers flying with Air New Zealand on trans-Tasman services can now access digital boarding passes on their mobile devices. Available via the Air NZ app, the new system enables those who do not have checked baggage to head directly to their boarding gate after passing through immigration and security in Australia. Passengers who are eligible for Express Pass services, will have an Express Pass logo embedded in their digital boarding pass.

InterContinental adds two in Dubai
InterContinental Hotels Group is expanding its property portfolio in Dubai. The two new properties will both be located in Business Bay, the planned business capital of the region. The 290-key Crowne Plaza Dubai Business Bay, set to open in 2019, will feature all-day dining options, a gym and swimming pool as well as a range of meeting and event spaces, while the InterContinental Residence Suites Dubai Business Bay will offer studios, one-, two- and three-bedroom suites suitable for longer-term stays in close proximity to business areas such as the Dubai International Financial Centre and Business Bay’s commercial centres.

Colombo Shangri-La
Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts is set to open a new property in the Sri Lankan capital, Colombo. Located a 40-minute drive from the airport, The Shangri-La Hotel, Colombo will house 500 guestrooms and 41 serviced apartments. It will also feature five restaurants, bars and lounges, a 24-hour fitness centre, swimming pool and a CHI, The Spa. For those organising large conferences and events, it offers more than 4,500 square metres of event space, including two ballrooms, an outdoor lawn and several function rooms catering to over 1500 guests. Bookings open from 1 September for the property’s 1 December launch.

Malaysia Airlines trims Perth
Malaysia Airlines plans to operate B737-800 aircraft on its daily Perth-Kuala Lumpur route. The seasonal capacity reduction from an A330-300 is effective from 29 October.

SQ A350s BNE-bound
Effective from 16 October, Singapore Airlines will phase in its new three-class A350-900 aircraft on flights to Brisbane. The aircraft feature the carrier’s new generation business and economy class seats and will also see a premium economy option available on the route for the first time. Flights SQ235/256 will be the first to switch to the new aircraft, followed in December by flights SQ245/246 and in January by flights SQ255/236.

QantasLink boosts Hobart
QantasLink is increasing capacity on select flights from Sydney and Melbourne to Hobart between mid-December and late March. The carrier will replace the B717s currently used on the routes with larger B737s to accommodate increased demand of the peak holiday period.

QantasLink upgrades B717s
QantasLink is reconfiguring two more of its B717 aircraft to include a business class cabin. The refit also includes refurbished interiors and in-flight entertainment for all passengers. The move means that 12 out of the carrier’s 20 B717 aircraft will have received the upgrade.

Malaysian hotel tax
Effective from 1 September, hotel rooms in Malaysia will be subject to an additional tax. It will take the form a flat fee of RM10 (about A$3) per room, which will be levied on all foreign visitors.