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March 2015 Travel & Industry News

25 March 2015

FCm shows they CAN with Foodbank Australia “Can-Castle” competition

Nearly one quarter of all Australians live in low economic resource households and 10% live in actual poverty. To do their bit in supporting this cause, employees of FCm around Australia collected tins of food at their offices to build fun and creative structures. The result was more than 4,700 cans of food collected which will provide just under 3,000 meals.

The winning “Can-Castle” was a replica of the Sydney Harbour, including mini Harbour Bridge and Sydney Opera House created by the FCm team based in Sydney!

Foodbank Australia is the largest food relief organisation in Australia and is one of six charities proudly supported by the Flight Centre Foundation and FCm Travel Solutions. 

FCm Nominated in 2015 National Travel Industry Awards

FCm has been nominated in the National Travel Industry Awards (NTIA) by the Australian Federation of Travel Agents (AFTA) for 2015 in the category of Best National Travel Management Company.

We at FCm Travel Solutions are very excited to have been nominated for this award and appreciate the support of all our customers and suppliers. 

To support us in winning this award, please vote by Monday 13th April, 5pm at http://www.afta.com.au/events/ntia/nominations-and-voting

FC global hotels shines a light on selection of Hotel Amenities

Ever wondered how much thought and research hotels put into the selection of room products? You may be surprised to learn that it’s a detailed process – one that often spans different countries and regions – of researching, testing and producing amenities.

In a recent “toiletry” survey conducted by Hilton Worldwide, 73% of business travellers admitted to taking the odd bathroom amenity for future use in their private home, polishing shoes before a meeting and for some, re-gifting after a business trip.

“We understand the importance of quality toiletries in ensuring guests stay revitalised during and after their travels,” said Chris Naylor, Vice President Brand Operations for Hilton Worldwide.

So next time you stay in a hotel, don’t feel guilty if you want to take the hotel provided toiletries home. Many properties will see it as proof that they’ve done their homework and provided the products that will keep you coming back.

For the full blog article: http://www.au.fcm.travel/blog/hotel-amenities-the-science-in-the-selection

Open up a world of “Big Data” with FCm ClientBank Connect

Unique to FCm Travel Solutions, ClientBank Connect is a scalable reporting solution that gives customers more insight into their company travel. With more than 150 content fields, users can slice and dice their data in new ways for more in-depth analysis of travel spend and behaviour.

ClientBank Connect gives customers access to third-party sources to run cross-platform analytics on travel and non-travel expense data. Made possible via data 'connectors' that draw on intelligence from external sources such as iJET International and Concur, this functionality simplifies the analysis of external data sources.

ClientBank Connect has an extensive range of dashboards that provide critical analysis that can be used by you or your FCm account manager to facilitate travel program change and improvement.

Clients can drill down on data elements for deeper analysis and analyse everything from supplier management contracts to traveller behaviour or savings and policy exceptions. Users can also build their own customised reports and dashboards.

ClientBank Connect is currently being rolled out to FCm's customers in Australia throughout 2015.

SkyTrax reveals world’s best airports for 2014

SkyTrax’s passenger choice awards were held this month in Paris and with a winner to be decided from a customer satisfaction survey on 550 global airports with submissions by more than 13 million passengers around the world – deciding a winner is no small task.

Unsurprisingly to many, Singapore’s Changi Airport came in as the world’s favourite airport followed by Incheon International Airport (Seoul) with Munich Airport coming in third place. The top five was rounded out with another two Asian hubs; Hong Kong International and Tokyo International Haneda in fourth and fifth respectively.

Looking at Australian airports in the overall ranking, Brisbane Airport got the highest spot, ranking at number 20 overall with Sydney Airport just one place behind at 21. Melbourne lost one ranking on last year, closing at number 25.

More information on all your favourite airports worldwide and their rankings can be found by checking out the Skytrax World Airport Awards results here: http://www.worldairportawards.com/

SIA extends Changi Transit Program

SINGAPORE Airlines and SilkAir passengers will be able to take advantage of the Changi Transit Program for longer, with an extension of the scheme until 31 Mar 2016.

Available to transiting guests of both airlines, and in partnership with Changi Airport Group, the program provides pax with a Changi Dollar Voucher of SGD$20 or SGD$40 value (based on point of origin) which can be cashed in at over 500 retail, food & service outlets at Singapore Airport’s T1, T2 and T3.

Vouchers can also be redeemed for one-time access to the Ambassador Transit Lounge at T2 and T3 for up to four hours.

The program, which launched in Oct 2012, has now been extended to SIA guests connecting on select Air New Zealand-operated flights to/from Auckland.

Qantas initiates auto check-in

Qantas has introduced its new automatic check-in system across the majority of its domestic network. The only exceptions are a few remote ports in Queensland and WA. The new system sends travellers an SMS to initiate check-in, allowing them to view or change their seat or flight. Travel agents must submit customers’ mobile phone numbers at time of booking for them to access the service.

Langham Sydney revamp complete

Four months of renovation work at The Langham, Sydney is now complete. The five-star property offers 98 rooms and suites and is situated in the historic Rocks district of the city, just a five-minute drive from Circular Quay and the CBD. It boasts a day spa, health club, swimming pool and tennis court as well as a choice of dining venues and meeting an conference spaces for up to 200 people.

Mantra refurbish plan

Mantra Group plans to spend $6 million on upgrading and building new conference and meeting facilities at key properties around Australia over the coming year. Peppers Manor House in New South Wales will receive a new 200-seat indoor/outdoor venue as well as a new reception area, pool, tennis courts, car park and road access. Mantra Lorne in Victoria will benefit from a new conference facility, foyer and breakout rooms, while Mantra Legends on Queensland’s Gold Coast will get improved meeting spaces and the hotel’s 400-person ballroom will have a revamp of its decor, furniture and AV equipment.

Air Canada executive pods

Air Canada’s has launched a new business class cabin on its transcontinental routes. New executive pods featuring lie-flat seats have been rolled out on the carrier’s B787 Dreamliner aircraft as well as B787, B777, B767 and A330 fleet, with a slightly narrower version dubbed the Studio Pod to be introduced on its longer range B777-300ER aircraft. The new product will be available on routes between Toronto and Vancouver, Calgary and Montreal as well as Los Angeles and San Francisco.

Delta speeds up wi-fi

Delta Air lines is planning to upgrade its onboard wi-fi. The carrier has signed a deal to fit out 250 of its existing narrow-body aircraft with satellite-based technology to provide passengers on its long-haul domestic, Latin American and Caribbean routes with faster and expanded wi-fi coverage in 2016. The new system is expected to offer peak speeds of 70Mbps, which is 20 times greater than the current bandwidth of its ground-to-air technology. The airline will also fit its new international fleet with this faster technology offering as they enter service.

JFK gets The Residence

Etihad Airways has named New York City as its next A380 destination. The carrier plans to upgrade one of its two daily services to the superjumbo from 1 December this year. The upgrade in aircraft means that the route will benefit from the carrier’s new three-room Residence product.

Virgin add Tamworth route

Virgin Australia plans to introduce six weekly return services between Sydney and Tamworth. The new route will launch on 25 May and will operate on a 68-seat ATR-73 turboprop aircraft.

REX expands in TNQ

Regional Express is launching scheduled flights between Cairns and Bamaga. The new service will commence from 30 March.

Cathay brews illy

Cathay Pacific has signed a new partnership deal. The deal means the carrier will be serving freshly brewed illy espresso, cafe latte and cappuccino coffees to its premium travellers.