Industry News: Travel News for 27-31 May
Air Canada add premium economy route
Air Canada plans to utilise its new three-class 777-300ER product on the Vancouver-Hong Kong route from 31 October this year. This means travellers will have the option of travelling in premium economy as well as the standard economy and business class options.
New JAL seats
Japan Airlines (JAL) plans to install its new Sky Wider seats throughout its B767-300ER fleet. The refit schedule will see the new seating available on some services by the end of this year
Qantas flight retime
Qantas’ QF1 flight from Sydney to Dubai will leave at the earlier time of 3.50pm each day. The change, effective from 1 June, aims to improve on-time performance by avoiding inbound holding delays over Dubai.
Air France and KLM trial in-flight wi-fi
Air France and KLM are trialling new Panasonic in-flight wi-fi. Initially operating on two AF/KLM B777-300 aircraft airplanes on a number of long-haul routes, the move is part of a six-month trial. The service is charged at EUR10.95 per hour or EUR19.95 for the entire flight and users will be able to send text messages, emails and surf the internet.
WA regional route capacity boost
Qantas plans to operate larger aircraft on routes within WA. Both Qantas and QantasLink capacity will be increase on services to Learmonth and Karratha as well as two early morning flights to Perth from Geraldton. Karratha will also see the introduction of business class seats on some services.
Pullman target “bleisure” travellers
Accor is repositioning its luxury Pullman brand to appeal to those travelling for both business and leisure, a mix they dub “bleisure”. This includes a new logo and a new slogan, “work hard, play harder”. Pullman is expected to expand its portfolio from its current 79 hotels across 23 countries to around 150 properties by 2020. Australia is currently home to 11 Pullman hotels, with a new location in Melbourne opening this year.
Virgin Australia’s Velocity frequent flyer program has added new partners. Members can now accrue 1000 Velocity points per qualifying stay at the newly opened Doubletree by Hiltonproperties in Darwin and Alice Springs.
Qantas Perth investment
Qantas is preparing to build a new lounge at Terminal 3 and will also improve gate access and upgrade security screening and check-in areas. More arrivals and departures will operate from Terminal 3, where there new Qantas Club is being built and from late 2014 Qantas Domestic, QantasLink, Jetstar and some Network Aviation flights will operate from the same terminal providing Qantas customers with a seamless airport experience.
Emirates retrofit lounges
Emirates is planning to revamp its 35 global airport lounges to match the interior design of its newest lounge at Concourse A of Dubai International Airport. The carrier predicts the updates will take 18-24 months to complete, with Paris’ Charles de Gaulle Airport the first outside Dubai to be updated. The Paris lounge’s capacity was also boosted by 67% to cater for up to 157 travellers.