October 2014 Travel & Industry News
Rugby World Cup ... serious business on and off the field
- If you are keen to organise a corporate hospitality package for your company or a group trip to the Rugby World Cup 2015 plan ahead. This is not something you tackle last minute. People have busy schedules and may already be booked up months in advance. The earlier you plan ahead, the more your travel manager can tailor your corporate hospitality package to your preferences, in terms of the games you want to see, hotels you stay in, flight times and availability.
- Book as early as possible
- Think about what you want to get out of a trip - personally and professionally and relay that to your travel manager
- With the Rugby World Cup 2015, it's not just about going to the semi-finals or finals, there are many other games that are very accessible and probably cheaper, and you'll probably get the same benefits, if not more.
- When asked if a sports event was an appropriate time to do the 'hard sell', Eales said, "These are business judgements that a company, executive or traveller would need to make along the way. My personal opinion though is that these opportunities are more about building meaningful relationships.
Hear the latest updates on travel technology
Traveller pre-check coming to Canada
Australian travellers will soon require pre-arrival clearance to enter Canada. From April 2015 Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) will require all travellers who do not require a visa to enter the country, including Australians, to obtain an online authorisation before flying to Canada. The electronic Travel Authorisation (eTA) has been designed to replicate the US Electronic System of Travel Authorisation (ESTA). When applying for the eTA via the CIC website travellers will be required to give basic information, such as biographic data, passport and background info. Travellers planning to visit Canada should apply for an eTA before purchasing a ticket, as applicants may be refused entry due to fraud or a criminal history and airlines will be required to provide passenger information to Canadian immigration authorities before flight departure. Most applications, which cost CA$7 per person, will be processed within minutes and authorisations are valid for five years. Successful applicants will benefit from a faster service on arrival.
New Qantas lounge at Perth Airport
Virgin to fly DRW-ASP
Emirates adjusts Perth services
SQ seasonal upgauge
Singapore Airlines is temporarily reintroducing double daily A380 services on its Sydney route. The upgauge of flights SQ231 (inbound) and SQ222 (outbound) from a B777-300ER to an A380 will take place from 18 June to 9 July 2015 to meet seasonal demand. A number of supplementary A380 services are also slated to operate in mid-July.
Rex wins Govt regulated routes
From 1 January 2015, Regional Express will operate three new Queensland routes. The ‘Gulf Route’ flies from Cairns to Normanton, Gununa (Mornington Island), Burketown, Doomadgee and Mount Isa, while two western routes will see the carrier operate services from Brisbane to Toowoomba (Wellcamp), Quilpie, Cunnamulla, Thargomindah, Charleville, St George, Windorah, Birdsville, Bedourie, Boulia and Mount Isa. Existing Regional Express routes from Townsville to Longreach, Winton, Mt Isa, Hughenden, Julia Creek and Richmond have been renewed. The Queensland Government has also awarded two regulated routes to QantasLink, which will fly from Brisbane to Roma and Charleville and from Brisbane to Longreach, Barcaldine and Blackall. QantasLink plans to upgrade capacity to all ports, with Q300 aircraft to serve Charleville and Q400 to serve all ports.
Cathay raises weekend fares
Cathay Pacific Airways has introduced a weekend surcharge. Friday, Saturday or Sunday departures from Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney to all destinations across all cabins will now cost $25 more for a return fare than those on other days of the week. Promotional fares, such as Earlybird sales, are exempt from the new surcharge. Earlier this year, Qantas and alliance partner Emirates also adopted a $25 weekend surcharge for international travel on Fridays and Saturdays.
New Hilton brand
Hilton Worldwide has launched a new ‘lifestyle hotel brand’ called Canopy by Hilton. The new brand already has 11 new build and conversion projects in the pipeline for London, Miami, San Diego, Washington DC and New York. Canopy by Hilton aims to deliver four essential elements – great neighbourhoods, comfort and design, a ‘positively yours’ culture and more included value, such as free basic wi-fi, gourmet breakfast and evening beer and wine tastings. Hotel features will include a vibrant open plan design and members of the group’s HHonors loyalty program will earn points for stays.
Mantra on Edward
Mantra Group has opened a new property in Brisbane. Housed in the former residential Observatory Tower, the 24-storey Mantra on Edward currently offers 50 studio, two- and three-bedroom apartments, with this number set to expand to 114 upon completion of the refurbishment in March 2015. The hotel also boasts a large lap pool and a fully-equipped gym as well as a spa and sauna.
Qantas FF Platinum One perks update
Qantas Frequent Flyer’s Platinum One tier members can now access a suite of new benefits. These include Platinum membership for a spouse or de facto that allows access to Qantas International First Lounges and Domestic Business Lounges, free Qantas Golf Club Premium membership (expected to launch in coming months) and 75,000 bonus Qantas Points when members accumulate 5000 Status Credits in a membership year. In addition, Platinum One members travelling on flexible fares will have any fare differences payable at the airport when changing to an earlier QF domestic flight waived.
Virgin Australia now codeshares with South African Airways on its daily services from Perth to Johannesburg. The move follows the addition of South African Airways’ code on daily Virgin Australia services from Perth to Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney earlier this year. Velocity frequent flyers will be able to earn points and status credits on the new codeshare flights.
Virgin expands Delta alliance
Virgin Australia has expanded its alliance with US-carrier Delta Air Lines. Virgin is now able to issue through fares on Delta flights from Los Angeles to Nashville, Kansas City and Raleigh/Durham, which operate daily, double daily and 10 times weekly respectively. The Virgin/Delta alliance now spans over 245 destinations across North and South America.
Etihad B777s all connected
Etihad Airways now boasts mobile and internet connectivity across its entire fleet of B777 aircraft. The remainder of the airline’s 89-strong fleet will follow suit in the coming months. In-flight connectivity services include wi-fi and mobile services as well as Live TV as part of the carrier’s in-flight entertainment offering. Passengers will be able to surf the internet, make and receive phone calls, send and receive text messages and update social media.