Week in Review: Travel Industry News

Traveller walking to plane
Travel News 24 Jan 2017

For week ending 20 January 2016

In industry news last week Emirates made it easier to access their lounges in Dubai and started offering eco-friendly blankets, Qantas upped US fares and is set to commence free in-flight WiFi trial in Australia and Aloft announced plans for Dublin, Ireland.
All this and more in our weekly news round-up brought to you by FCM Travel Solutions.

Emirates thrice daily to Nairobi

Emirates plans to add a third daily service on its Dubai-Nairobi route. The new service will commence on 1 June operating on three-class B777-300ER aircraft.

Qantas WiFi satellite

Qantas will soon begin a nine-month trial of free in-flight WiFi on select domestic B737-800 services between Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane. The aim is to assess whether the satellite service works well enough to expand further, with broadband speeds expected to be fast enough to stream video and live TV and up to 10 times faster than current onboard WiFi. The trial will also feature on one of the carrier’s domestic A330 aircraft from mid year. If successful, the airline will upgrade its entire domestic B737 and A330 fleet with the new technology.

Qantas ups US fares

Qantas airfares to the US are increasing. Both Flex and Saver return fares will rise by $50 from 20 January.

New Emirates eco-friendly blankets

Emirates is offering economy passengers new ‘green’ blankets to keep them warm during their flight (see pic below). The ecoTHREAD blankets are each made from 28 recycled plastic bottles and will be available on all long-haul flights. The move is part of the carrier’s commitment to product innovation and sustainability and by the end of 2019, making these blankets will have rescued 88 million plastic bottles from landfills.  

Aloft Ireland debut

Marriott will debut its Aloft Hotels brand in Ireland in early 2018. The 202-room Aloft Dublin City will be located in the city’s ‘Liberties’ quarter and will feature a bar and lounge as well as a 24-hour deli, a fitness centre and two meeting spaces.

Emirates thrice daily to Rome 

Emirates plans to reintroduce a third daily flight between Dubai and Rome. Effective 26 March, the route will offer two daily flights on B 777-300ER aircraft and one A380 service. 

Skye Hotel Suites Parramatta

The Crown Group is set to debut a new hotel brand in Sydney. The Skye Hotel Suites are set to open in Parramatta in May 2017, offering 72 studio, one- and two-bedroom suites in the new V by Crown Group development. Facilities will include a resort-style pool, fitness centre and sauna, business centre and conference facilities, as well as a range of dining options. 

Emirates ups lounge access 

More Emirates guests are now able to enjoy the carrier’s lounges at Dubai International Airport. Blue members of the Skywards frequent flyer program travelling in economy can access Emirates’ business class lounges for a fee of US$100, while Skywards Gold and Silver members, who are already entitled to entry, can now invite guests travelling with them on the same flight to join them for an additional cost. Alternatively, Skywards Gold and Silver members can purchase an upgrade to Emirates’ first class lounge for US$100.