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Industry News 26 June - 3 July

05 July 2013

United roll out mobile boarding

United Airlines plans to introduce its mobile boarding pass technology at all the 220 US airports its services by the end of 2013.

 

New roaming standards

Telecommunication companies offering global roaming services will soon be required to provide more information to consumers on how much such services will cost, with rates for data up to 150 times more than those at home. From 27 September, providers will be required to offer SMS alerts, opt-out arrangements and tools for limiting and managing the service once preset spend limits are reached.

 

IHG launch new club

Elite members of the new InterContinental Hotels Group Rewards Club will enjoy benefits including free wi-fi internet. Other changes will see members reach Elite status faster by staying at three or more IHG properties. Reward nights are also eligible for points and unused free nights will roll over to subsequent years.

 

Mantra regional expansion

The Mantra Group is expanding its regional presence in Australia. The Mantra Frangipani Broome will open later this month, The Pavilion Hotel Wagga Wagga (formerly All Seasons Pavilion Wagga Wagga) is slated to join Mantra’s portfolio later this year and the Mantra Townsville in 2015.

 

Qantas lounge for Tamworth

Qantas has opened a new Regional Lounge at Tamworth Airport. Catering to 34 guests, it offers refreshments, alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks as well as wireless internet.

 

Mercure growth plans

Accor’s Mercure brand has outlined plans to expand globally to 1000 hotels in the next five years. It will also launch a new visual identity early in the new year and roll out new hotel communication tools.

 

Singapore add flights to Australia

Singapore Airlines has added a fourth daily service on its Melbourne-Singapore route. The carrier is also boosting its Adelaide-Singapore route, raising frequency between the two cities to 12 per week.

 

Newcastle Airport hotel

Newcastle Airport will soon boast a new 95-room hotel. The Mercure Newcastle Airport is expected to open in late 2014 and will feature conference facilities for 200 people.

 

Paperless bag tagging

British Airways plans to trial a new paperless bag tag system. Passengers will be required to hold their smartphone over an electronic tag at bag drop, which will add flight details via a unique barcode, before heading through security to their flight as normal. If bags go missing, information about the bags can be extracted from the phone.

 

Brindabella/Qantas codeshare

Qantas will soon codeshare on five Brindabella Airlines regional services. The QF code will feature on Brindabella’s Sydney-Moree, Sydney-Newcastle, Brisbane-Tamworth, and Brisbane-Coffs Harbour routes from 1 August, with Sydney-Orange services added from 1 September. Qantas frequent flyers can also earn and redeem points on Brindabella Airlines Maxi Saver and Fully Flexible fares on all routes.

 

Perth-Jakarta boost

Garuda Indonesia have launched daily nonstop flights between Perth and Jakarta. The flights add 2184 seats to the route each week, which previously offered limited direct services. The airline’s codeshare deal with Etihad also opens up new travel options to Abu Dhabi and Europe. Flights will operate on two-class B737-800 aircraft.

 

Langham Velocity pact

Langham Hospitality Group has partnered with Virgin Australia’s Velocity program. From 1 July, Velocity members will receive three points for every $1 of qualifying spend at Langham Hotels in Melbourne and Sydney and 1000 points for each stay in other Langham Hospitality hotels.

 

BA chauffeur service

British Airways has launched its new door-to-door chauffeur drive service in Sydney. The free service is available to first class passengers on flights BA15 and BA16.

 

Hertz 24/7 goes global

Hertz plans to roll its Hertz 24/7 car hire scheme out globally. Already available in Australia, the scheme works by customers signing up to the service, receiving a key fob that is activated with each car hire reservation. The key fob gives access to the car, which has the keys inside. Thirty-five thousand cars, mini-vans, vans and 4WDs are already equipped with the new system.

 

Virgin heading to Weipa

Virgin Australia plans to launch a daily direct service between Cairns and Weipa in 2014. QantasLink currently has a monopoly on the route, but with demand rising over the past two years, it is now being opened up. Virgin Australia plans to offer airfares on the route starting from $129 one-way.

 

Singapore fresh brew

Singapore Airlines is now serving freshly brewed coffee. Passengers in suites, first class and business class can now enjoy both original illy blend coffee on flights across its global network.

 

CZ reduces Brisbane

China Southern is temporarily dropping its Tuesday night service from Guangzhou to Brisbane, as well as its Wednesday return service between the two cities. The change is effective from 22 July to 23 October after which the fifth weekly service will be reinstated.