January 2015 Travel & Industry News
Qantas world’s safest airline
Qantas has been awarded the title of world’s safest airline for the second consecutive year by airlineratings.com. Australia’s safety and product rating website bases its findings on analysis of audits from governments, the FAA and ICAO as well as airline fatality records. Joining Qantas in the top 10 safest carriers (in alphabetical order) were Air New Zealand, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Emirates, Etihad Airways, EVA Air, Finnair, Lufthansa and Singapore Airlines.
Qantas fare changes
Qantas plans to consolidate its domestic fare structure, dropping the number of fare types from four to three. The majority of Fully Flexible and Flexi Saver fare classes will merge into a newly named ‘Flex’ family, and Flexi Saver L and V class fares will move to Red e-Deals. The carrier said business customers that required 'some flexibility and freedom' to make flight alterations were most likely to be the main beneficiary of the fare structure changes. The restructure applies for tickets issued or reissued on or after 18 February. For more information please contact your travel manager.
Perth set to welcome A380s
Perth will soon welcome its first scheduled A380 service. Gulf carrier Emirates plans to upgrade one of its three daily Perth-Dubai flights (EK420/421) from a B777-200ER to a superjumbo from 1 May 2015. The move will raise capacity on the route by 1,834 seats per week. Emirates already operates A380 services to Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.
Skytrans ceases operation
Cairns-based regional airline Skytrans has ceased operations after 25 years. Regional Express (REX) is hoping to take over Skytrans' routes in the western and Gulf areas of Queensland and is applying for approval to takeover the routes previously operated by Skytrans. REX says it should commence services to the area by mid-March.
Accor has unveiled its first Ibis Styles property in Adelaide. The Mercure Grosvenor Hotel Adelaide will offer 64 rooms that match the three-star Ibis Styles room standards in the southern end of its central Adelaide hotel. The aim is to provide more choice and greater affordability by offering two accommodation options under the one roof.
New IHG property for Perth
InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) has signed a deal to manage a new property in Perth’s CBD. Located on the corner of King and Hay Streets, the former Rydges Hotel site will be converted into a luxury 240-room InterContinental property, complete with function spaces, boardrooms, meeting rooms, business centre, Club Lounge and a bar-restaurant concept. The property is due to open early in 2017.
Qantas auto check-in
Qantas is launching a new automatic check-in service. The new service will allow travellers to check-in, select a seat and receive a boarding pass via SMS and is currently rolling out on selected routes across their domestic network, including Sydney to Darwin, Adelaide and Perth. Selected customers who have given their contact details at time of booking will receive an SMS or email on the night before or on the day of travel asking if they are still planning to fly. Once confirmed, they will receive a boarding pass on their phone that can be scanned at the bag drop point and when boarding. Those who prefer can still check-in via the Qantas app or website 24 hours prior to departure or at airport check-in desks or kiosks.