Five Boeing 717 aircraft will have upgraded interiors that will introduce business class, as well as in-flight entertainment for all passengers.
According to QantasLink general manager John Gissing, the five additional aircraft will be in addition to the existing fleet of thirteen B717 aircraft operating across Australia.
“QantasLink will introduce a full business experience on these aircraft, including market-leading seats, premium food and drinks and exceptional onboard service,” Mr Gissing said.
Emirates will operate flights EK434 and EK435 between Auckland, Brisbane and Dubai on the Airbus A380 superjumbo from 2 October 2013.
Adding the Airbus A380-800 to one of Emirates’ two daily Brisbane services will see an increase in capacity of 132 seats for sale per flight and 1,848 week, reinforcing Emirates’ commitment to Queensland passengers. The daily double service currently yields 354 seats on the Boeing 777-300ER aircraft.
One of the trickiest parts of the Qantas and Emirates alliance was the focus on the New Zealand end of the deal, with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission already limiting the airlines’ joint activity to pre-March levels.
However, both airlines have welcomed the decision by the New Zealand minister for transport to approve the partnership for five years, saying that it will provide the NZ market with stronger links to Australia, Europe, the Middle East, North Africa and the UK, along with frequent flyer benefits and “world-class travel experiences”.
Qantas CEO Alan Joyce said “This decision means that New Zealand consumers can tap into the lounges, frequent flyer benefits and destinations available under the joint Qantas and Emirates network.
JetBlue Airways, New York’s Hometown Airline™ and Emirates yesterday announced intent to expand their current partnership to include bilateral code sharing, pending FAA and DOT regulatory approval and subject to receipt of foreign government operating authority. Under the expanded agreement, JetBlue will place its “B6” airline code on all flights currently operated by Emirates between the U.S. and Dubai International Airport, as well as between New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) and Milan, Italy.
“As Emirates continues to expand its presence in the U.S. market, our partnership offering with JetBlue provides customers with convenient connections from its extensive network to our seven U.S. gateways, including our twice daily A380 service non-stop from JFK to Dubai,” said Thierry Antinori, Emirates’ Executive Vice President of Passenger Sales Worldwide. “Offering a boost to tourism and added convenience for inbound travellers, the codeshare also gives Emirates’ customers a new choice of destinations with the benefit of a single combined ticket.”
From 26 June China Southern will increase flights between Brisbane and Guangzhou from four to five each week and is hoping to offer daily and even daily double flights, if the market allows. The airline recently upgraded its Brisbane flights to new A330-223 aircraft.
“Our aim always is to be aspirational,” said China Southern regional general manager Australia/New Zealand, Henry He. “But how aspirational depends on the level of support we get from the industry and present growth rates continuing to increase.”
The man stepping into existing Air New Zealand chairman John Palmer’s role, after September’s annual meeting, was announced yesterday.
Tony Carter, who joined the carrier’s board two years ago, holds the chair at Fisher & Paykel Healthcare and is a non-executive director at ANZ Bank New Zealand and Fletcher Building.
Mr Carter paid tribute to Palmer’s role at the airline, saying he “ensured the board supported successive management teams under three outstanding chief executive officers to see the airline return to its place as one of the best in the world”.
For a limited time, Air Tahiti Nui, the international airline of Tahiti, and domestic partner Air Tahiti is offering a side trip from the main island of Tahiti to one of her hidden island paradises for just A$70* – a saving of up to A$392* per person. This special deal applies to new Air Tahiti Nui bookings to Tahiti, departing from Australia, which are booked and paid before 3 June 2013.
A study released last week that surveyed 1,629 adults who live in the US found that 30% of them accidentally left their tech devices turned on during flights in 2012.
The study also found that 59% of passengers complied with pre-lift off requests and completely turned their devices off while 21% put their device in “airplane mode,” which turns off radio signals. Of those who accidentally left their devices turned on, 61% said the device was a smartphone.
It was one gamble that didn’t pay off for Richard Branson but the Virgin Group founder and CEO paid up yesterday morning on AirAsia X’s D7 237 from Perth to Kuala Lumpur.
With shaved legs, and resplendent in his female flight attendant uniform, he/she spent the five and half hour journey pouring coffee and tea, serving meals, distributing goodies, entertaining and making in-flight announcements for the more than 300 lucky guests and international media on the flight which helped to raise money for the Starlight Children’s Foundation.
The event came more than two years after losing a bet to AirAsia Group Chief Executive Officer Tony Fernandes.
Fernandes commended Branson for honouring the terms of the wager.
Tourism and Events Queensland (TEQ) has launched its largest ever American tourism marketing campaign in conjunction with US carrier Delta Air Lines. The campaign will run through May and June and be promoted via Delta’s extensive network, highlighting the fact that Americans flying to Australia with Delta can seamlessly travel to other Queensland destinations through Delta’s alliance with Virgin Australia
“Queensland last year welcomed 160,000 Americans to the state, an eight per cent increase from 2011,” said tourism minister Jann Stuckey.
Qantas has stepped up the war for the hearts and minds of business travellers to Perth, announcing that trays would no longer be used in business class. Instead, flight attendants will take orders and serve meals to travellers on plates, rather than serving up pre-packaged food on plastic trays.
The Neil Perry menu will be available on all Sydney-Perth, Melbourne-Perth and Brisbane-Perth flights from late May.
As a complement to the traditional three course menu already available, the new dining service includes a range of small and main plates as well as ‘small bites’ to start.
Qantas Domestic chief Lyell Strambi said the airline would be delivering modern, restaurant-style experiences in the sky.
Hidden cameras in the cargo holds of planes belonging to Italian carrier Alitalia have caught baggage handlers stealing from customers’ checked luggage. Police, with the co-operation of Alitalia carried out the covert camera operation at Rome’s Leonardo da Vinci airport and at a handful of other Italian airports.
Media reports say all of the thieves were Alitalia employees with 29 handlers arrested and another 57 being questioned. If convicted, the accused handlers could be jailed for up to six years.
Caught red-handed. WATCH THE VIDEO.
The state-owned Air China announced on Tuesday that its board has approved a plan to buy 100 Airbus jets as well as dispose of six Airbus A340 jets to keep up with demand from the burgeoning Chinese traveller sector.
Following the acquisition of Skywest last month, the first two aircraft to be rebranded as ‘Virgin Australia’ were officially unveiled yesterday, representing the airline’s commitment to opportunities for regional and charter travel in Australia.
The regional entity will operate 32 aircraft over 800 services per week to 41 different destinations.
Outgoing Air Pacific managing director and CEO David Pflieger said FJD $600,000 was paid to the airline’s employees as a reward for hard work and commitment to delivering the best possible service as the national carrier.
“Nobody asked for it but it was something I felt I had to do and I got the support of our board of directors,” said Mr Pflieger.
“Our team is getting rewarded right away and we wanted them to share in the success of the airline.
“During our restructuring, it was a difficult time and once we addressed those issues we wanted to do something where we were able to give back to our employees.
“So at the end of our fiscal year we paid out close to $600,000 to our people.”