While Etihad has announced that all 14 weekly flights on the popular Abu Dhabi – Sydney route will be operated with its flagship A380 aircraft, effective 29 October 2017, Emirates will also provide an all-A380 service from Melbourne when it upgrades its third daily flight, EK408 and EK409, from a Boeing 777-300ER to an A380 operation.
Etihad Aviation Group has appointed Robin Kamark as chief executive officer, Airline Equity Partners, responsible for leading and developing the Group’s minority equity investment strategy, which includes stakes in airberlin, Alitalia, Jet Airways, Air Serbia, Air Seychelles, Etihad Regional and Virgin Australia.
Reporting to the group president and CEO, Kamark takes over from Bruno Matheu (who has held the role since May 2016, and is leaving for personal reasons) in October 2017, and will lead strategic developments to optimise business performance, revenues and cost synergies between Etihad Airways and its equity partners across the world. He will also provide strategic leadership for airline partners where Etihad Airways has management responsibility.
Kevin Knight, group strategy and planning officer, will also work with Bruno Matheu to provide continuity across Airline Equity Partners as the group manages the transition over the coming months.
Kamark will become one of the five key business unit executives within the Etihad Aviation Group, joining Peter Baumgartner, CEO of Etihad Airways; Jeff Wilkinson, CEO of Etihad Airways Engineering; and Chris Youlten, Managing Director of Airport Services. Hala, the company’s destination marketing and global loyalty unit, will announce a permanent CEO shortly.
A 17-year veteran of the airline industry, Kamark has previously held a range of strategy, commercial and general manager roles at SAS Group, rising to become chief commercial officer. For the last five years, he has been executive vice president and chief commercial officer of Storebrand ASA, a leading Nordic financial services business.
H.E. Mohamed Mubarak Fadhel Al Mazrouei, chairman of the Board of the Etihad Aviation Group, said: “Etihad Aviation Group continues to invest in world-class talent at the most senior level, building our executive team to lead the business into the next stage of its development.
“Robin is a well-respected leader in global aviation, with wide-ranging experience at SAS Group. He performed important roles in the restructuring of that airline and has broadened his experience more recently in financial services.
“Our equity partner strategy continues to be an important element of our business model, and Robin will drive the strategy by adjusting and progressing our approach.
“We would like to thank Bruno for his sterling efforts over the last two and half years, as we have built and consolidated our equity partner approach.”
The EAG Board is currently involved in a search for a new Group CEO. Long-serving president and CEO James Hogan announced that he would step down from the company later this year.
Etihad has released the following statement regarding the airline’s services to and from the USA.
Etihad Airways has experienced no significant change in demand on flights to and from the United States in recent weeks.
Demand continues to remain strong on all 45 weekly services between Abu Dhabi and its six US gateways of New York, Washington, Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Dallas.
Effective 1 June, Etihad Airways’ second daily Abu Dhabi – New York service will be upgraded to an A380, making its twice-daily flights on the route an all superjumbo operation.
This demonstrates our ongoing commitment to the US market regardless of recent developments.
Virgin Australia has begun a three-month testing period of inflight wireless internet access on one of its Boeing 737-800 aircraft.
Passengers on the Wi-Fi enabled aircraft will be able to use the service free of charge during the testing period and enjoy access to popular streaming services Netflix, Stan and Pandora on their devices while in the air.
Virgin Australia has partnered with inflight connectivity provider Gogo and satellite provider Optus to provide customers with inflight Wi-Fi.
John Thomas, group executive Virgin Australia Airlines, said: “We want to ensure that guests can stay reliably connected in the air while also enjoying the fantastic entertainment and customer service for which Virgin Australia is well known.
“We’re looking forward to receiving guest feedback about our inflight connectivity over the next three months to ensure we are able to offer the best possible service in the sky,” Thomas said.
Guests who travel on the Wi-Fi-enabled aircraft during the testing period will be notified that it is is available on their flight and provided with access instructions.
Network Ten’s ‘The Living Room’ will screen the first leg of Dr Chris Brown’s journey through Vietnam, arranged in partnership between Insider Journeys and Vietnam Airlines, at 7.30pm on Friday 21 April.
Dr Chris was escorted by Insider Journeys’ experienced guides, who helped him delve deeper into the ‘real’ Vietnam –
travelling through Ho Chi Minh like a local, riding on the back of a Vespa, being tempted by local delicacies and trying his hand at the martial art of vovinam. He learnt about the country’s recent history with trips to the Cu Chi Tunnels and the haunting War Remnants Museum, before heading north to the UNESCO World Heritage historical city of Hoi An.
“Through Chris, his viewers can experience Vietnam in all its glory, from the thriving energy and bustle of Ho Chi Minh City through to the spiritual Marble Mountain and historic town Hoi An, all with Insider Journeys’ guides there to provide an extra layer of insight along the way,” said MD of Insider Journeys, Tony Mayell.
Follow in the footsteps of Dr Chris with Insider Journeys’ 11 day Discover Vietnam in Luxury itinerary from $2995* per person twin share.
*Dates are subject to availability and prices vary according to time of travel.
IMAGE: Halong Bay
Cebu Pacific Air’s Seat Sale is on now until Saturday 22 April, offering all-in, one-way tickets for as low as $110. Travellers just need to ensure they’re booking tickets for travel between 1 September 2017 – 31 March 2018.
“The Philippines is fast becoming an alternative, affordable luxury destination to rival Aussie favourite Bali. Operating a direct flight from Sydney to Manila, taking only approximately eight hours, it’s easy to see why so many people are deciding to visit the unspoilt tourist hotspots of the Philippines,” says Atty JR Mantaring, vice president for corporate affairs of Cebu Pacific.
“Our popular seat sale enables us to offer Australian travellers the opportunity to immerse themselves in a world of paradise and we look forward to flying them to our shores.”
The Seat Sale tickets can be booked directly by visiting cebupacificair.com
Emirates Official Store is offering tips for smarter travel with its recently updated Urban Travellers Collection.
The Urban Travellers range makes holiday packing more organised and efficient. Comprised of different pouches in a variety of sizes, styles and colours, the collection aims to accommodate almost every packing essential. The entire range includes everything from the “My Health Bag”, to keep vitamins and medications safe and easily accessible, to the “My Extra Bag”, which expands to offer an additional luggage for extra holiday souvenirs and shopping.
All Emirates merchandise, including the Urban Travellers Collection can be purchased online at emirates.store and shipped for a flat rate of $7 in the UAE or $25 worldwide. Emirates merchandise can also be purchased across the 10 Emirates Official Stores across Dubai and Abu Dhabi, including its flagship outlet at The Dubai Mall. Emirates Skywards members receive a 10% discount on their purchases both online and in stores.
From June, Air Canada will add new flights that will seamlessly connect Brisbane and Sydney to Boston.
Between June and September 2017, Air Canada will operate daily non-stop Airbus A319 services between Vancouver and Boston, scene of the famous Boston Tea Party.
General manager Australia and New Zealand Paul McLean said the new non-stop flights are timed to connect with Air Canada’s services between Sydney/Brisbane and Vancouver.
“This is a wonderful opportunity to further reinforce our popularity among Australian business and leisure travellers as a convenient, low-stress gateway to the US north-eastern seaboard,” said McLean. “For travel agents it’s also another chance to promote a two-nation vacation that combines the best of Canada and the US into one unforgettable itinerary.”
Air Canada plans to maintain momentum in 2017, with the launch of new international services between Toronto-Mumbai, Toronto-Berlin, Montreal-Shanghai, Montreal-Algiers, Montreal-Marseille, Vancouver-Taipei, Vancouver-Nagoya, Vancouver-Frankfurt, and Vancouver-London Gatwick.
We love a good meme and nobody can deny that United Airlines are being thrashed at the moment. Here at TM we are still shaking our heads at their concept of customer service, along with the worst public relations response in quite some time.
Over at Travel Agent Memes Facebook page, they are featuring some crackers that mean people won’t be forgetting the over-booking fiasco for some time.
Head over and check them out – it’s a great way to ease back into the work week after an extended long weekend.
Cathay Pacific has announced an Economy Class sale on flights to Shanghai AND launched a competition to support Port Adelaide Football Club (AFL) with their historic, inaugural AFL game in Shanghai this year.
Across all Economy flights from Australia to Shanghai, departing 1 May to 30 November 2017, with flights starting from AUD$675 and must be booked by 24 April 2017.
See T & Cs
As part of their Port Adelaide Football Club Sponsorship, the airline is offering fans the chance to see the Power play in the historic, inaugural AFL game in Shanghai this year.
Port Adelaide is set to make history as the host of the first AFL Premiership season game in China. The Club will travel to Shanghai’s Jiangwan Stadium to play the Gold Coast Suns on Sunday 14 May, in a game that will be broadcast back into Australia by host telecast partner Channel 7.
As Port Adelaide’s official international airline & Premier Partner in 2017, Cathay Pacific is offering flights, tickets to the game and accommodation for three lucky winners to support the Power at this memorable event.
The competition ends on 27 April.
AirAsia X was the first low-cost carrier to introduce flatbed seats, which have standard business class specifications of 20” width, 60” pitch and stretch out to 77” in full recline position.
The seat also features universal power sockets, adjustable headrests and built-in personal utilities such as tray table, drink holder, reading light and privacy screen.
Guests travelling on Premium Flatbeds can also enjoy premium complimentary products and services, including priority check-in, priority boarding, priority baggage, 40kg baggage allowance, complimentary meal, pillow and duvet, and access to the AirAsia Premium Red Lounge at KLIA2 (Kuala Lumpur International Airport 2).
TripAdvisor has announced the winners of its first annual Travellers’ Choice® awards for airlines, recognising Qantas as the top airline in Australia and Emirates as the world favourite.
The awards honour 50 airlines overall, including top lists for the World, Europe, North America, the Middle East and Africa; as well as 16 regional winners. The awards also highlight top airlines by level of service, covering First Class, Business Class, Premium Economy and Economy.
Award winners were determined using an algorithm that took into account the quantity and quality of airline reviews and ratings submitted by travellers worldwide, over a 12-month period. The hallmarks of Travellers’ Choice award winners are outstanding service, quality and value.
TripAdvisor reviewers like Qantas for its ‘fantastic service’ and ‘good value, making it ’a pleasure to fly with’, with the airline scoring an average review rating of 4 out of 5 bubbles.
“We are proud to announce the inaugural Travellers’ Choice awards for airlines, to help travellers make the most well-informed air travel decisions, based on the experiences of the global TripAdvisor community,” said Bryan Saltzburg, senior vice president and general manager for TripAdvisor Flights.
“The airline industry is investing billions of dollars in new aircraft and service enhancements to differentiate the flying experience and these awards recognise the carriers offering the very best experiences and value to the traveling public.”
Class of Service Global Winners:
- Best First Class: Emirates, United Arab Emirates
- Best Business Class: Aeroflot, Russia
- Best Premium Economy Class in the World: Air New Zealand, New Zealand
- Best Economy Class in the World: Emirates, United Arab Emirates
Top 10 Airlines in the World:
- Emirates, United Arab Emirates
- Singapore Airlines, Singapore
- Azul, Brazil
- JetBlue, United States
- Air New Zealand, New Zealand
- Korean Air, South Korea
- Japan Airlines, Japan
- Thai Smile, Thailand
- Alaska Airlines, United States
- Garuda Indonesia, Indonesia
Top 10 Major Airlines in Asia Pacific:
- Singapore Airlines, Singapore
- Air New Zealand, New Zealand
- Korean Air, South Korea
- Japan Airlines, Japan
- Garuda Indonesia, Indonesia
- All Nippon Airways, Japan
- EVA Air, Taiwan
- Asiana Airlines, South Korea
- Thai Airways, Thailand
- Cathay Pacific, Hong Kong
Air Tahiti Nui has put some of French Polynesia’s stunning destinations on sale until 24 April 2017, with return economy flights from Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane to Tahiti priced from $1209* per person.
Return economy flights to Huahine and Raiatea are priced from $1609* per person, with Bora Bora return economy fares starting from $1729* per person.
The deals are valid for travel between 21 April 2017 and 31 March 2018, with some blackout periods over the summer holidays.
*The special fare is in Australian dollars and not available on all services. Terms and conditions apply.
TOP IMAGE: The pearl farm on the Poe Island tour, Huahine/Sandy Brinsdon
The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA) has created a Snapchat geofilter targeting Melbourne travellers who would rather be flying to Las Vegas!
The special graphic overlay is aimed at showcasing Las Vegas as a leading holiday destination, allowing Snapchat users at Melbourne Airport to open the app and create a ‘snap’ using the geofilter, a fun visual that states where they would rather be: in Las Vegas, of course.
The geofilter launched ahead of Virgin Australia’s inaugural service from Melbourne to Los Angeles, which started yesterday (4 April 2017) and will be available throughout April.
“Vegas is synonymous with innovation, and our geofilter provides social media users with additional creative power to capture and share their affinity with Las Vegas,” said Cathy Tull, senior vice president of marketing for the LVCVA.
“Australia is an important market for Las Vegas. We recognise and understand our Australian guests, and this filter reflects their personality and sets the tone for ongoing visits to our destination.”
The LVCVA encourages all passengers passing through Melbourne Airport in April to use its geofilter and share where they would rather be travelling.
American Airlines recently took Helloworld’s top AA sellers for a week in the snow. The group flew economy class on the airline’s new flagship 777-300 aircraft, which boasts 300 movies on demand at every seat, Wi-Fi, four live tv channels and an enhanced meal service.
Some lucky agents were treated to a seat in main cabin extra, which gives 15 centimetres more legroom.
The group was greeted with a historic year of snowfall in the Californian Sierra Nevada Mountains, with the first few nights spent at Mammoth Mountain Inn.
Next stop was Tahoe City, where it was time for ice skating and walking around crystal clear Lake Tahoe. A cosy night was then spent at Granlibakken Resort, and then straight back on the slopes at Homewood, with the most amazing views of the lake before heading to Squaw Valley – then off to Reno to fly home via LAX.
Jenni Carey – helloworld Ringwood, Marlene Abikhalil – PlanetBlue Travel, Melodie Sorbello – Tripaway Cruise & Travel Tweed City, Tammy Savill – 1000 Mile Travel, Marora Marama – Arivo, Naomi Stephens – Reho Travel SYD, Noel French – Castle Hill Travel, Russell Wilke – helloworld Waverley Gardens, Chris Buwalda – helloworld Horsham, Daniel O’Donoghue – helloworld Parkdale, , Penny Brand – destination representative Gate 7, Vic Naughton – American Airlines national sales manager