Hotels and accommodation
QT Perth now open
Located in the city’s CBD, the 184-room QT Perth is now open. The hotel features a restaurant, rooftop bar, cafe and a variety of meeting and event spaces that can accommodate up to 230 people.
Marriott Rewards merger
Marriott International’s planned merger of its Marriott Rewards, Ritz-Carlton Rewards and Starwood Preferred Guest loyalty programs is going ahead on 18 August. Members of all three programs will have their points merged into one unified loyalty program. As part of the merge, Starwood Preferred Guest members will see their Starpoints triple.
AccorHotels is further expanding its Mercure brand. The brand has four new hotels on the horizon including - the 125-room Mercure Canberra Belconnen and the 96-room Mercure Auckland Queen Street, which are both opening in 2019. Also set to open the doors to business, but not until 2021, are the 130-room Mercure Southport on the Gold Coast and the 190-room Mercure Melbourne Doncaster.
The Sheraton on the Park, Sydney has plans to upgrade its meetings and events floor. The $3 million revamp will be completed by early September.
Adina Brisbane opens
TFE Hotels has opened a new property in Brisbane. Located in the CBD, the Adina Apartment Hotel Brisbane is housed in a restored Heritage-listed building offering views over the Brisbane River. Within walking distance of the Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre it is ideally suited to business travellers and event delegates. The property features 220 luxurious rooms and suites, a restaurant, bar, gym and heated swimming pool. Spacious apartments combine a kitchen, laundry and living room with 24-hour hotel services.
Auckland – Adelaide flight reduction
Air New Zealand is rejigging its Auckland to Adelaide route. Effective from 28 October, service frequency will drop from six times weekly to four to five flights per week, with all flights operating on B787-9 aircraft.
China Southern boosts Adelaide services
China Southern is boosting services on its Guangzhou-Adelaide route. The seasonal boosts will see flight frequency rise from three times weekly to a daily service between 11 December and 4 January and 29 January to 21 February, after which it will drop back to five times weekly.
Qantas 787 to HKG
Qantas plans to operate its latest B787-9 aircraft product on its Hong Kong routes from December. The Dreamliner, which features the carrier’s next generation economy, premium economy and business class cabins, will initially fly the Melbourne-Hong Kong route up to six times weekly between 13 December and 29 March. It will operate once a week from Brisbane from 19 December, rising to twice weekly from 30 January. It will operate on Sydney-Hong Kong services six times weekly from 30 March. Other services will continue to operate on existing A330 and A380 aircraft.
VA upgrades trans-Tasman services
Virgin Australia has announced a range of enhancements to its trans-Tasman services, including the rollout of in-flight wi-fi. Effective from 28 October, travellers flying from Australia to Auckland, Christchurch, Wellington, Queenstown and Dunedin will enjoy a substantial meal and drink, and at least 23kg of luggage included in their fare. They will also receive 15 minutes of free wi-fi access and increased Velocity Frequent Flyer Points and Status Credits. Additional wi-fi access can be purchased for a small fee. Velocity members will also receive additional points on other short-haul international destinations, such as Bali, Fiji and Samoa, with red members earning a minimum of five points per dollar spent, while Platinum, Gold and Silver members receive up to 10 points per dollar spent.
Virgin ups Tamworth
Virgin Australia is expanding its regional services. Effective from 28 October, the carrier will operate 12 flights weekly between Sydney and Tamworth.
Virgin Australia short-haul boost
Virgin Australia plans to boost its short-haul international services this summer. The carrier will add more than 65 return flights on its South Pacific and New Zealand routes between 28 October and 24 March. The move will see 18 return services added on its Sydney-Queenstown and Melbourne-Queenstown routes, while Brisbane-Christchurch will be boosted with nine extra flights. Frequency on the Sydney-Apia route will rise to three per week between 28 Oct and 21 Jan, while its Brisbane-Port Vila route will offer 10 return services per week between 28 Oct and 11 Jan.
3D luggage scanners
The US Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is trialling new 3D security scanning technology at New York’s JFK International Airport. Located at Terminal 8’s security check-point, the machine provides greater visibility, which could enable travellers to leave liquids and laptops in their hand luggage for faster scanning. A similar trial is being conducted at London’s Heathrow Airport.