Aviation

Big Fat Airline Wrap

Fly away from your problems with this fab airline wrap. And please take us with you, we can’t believe how many problems we have this early in the week.

Qantas announces major lounge investment program

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Qantas has today announced an extension of its global lounge improvement program. The multi-million dollar program will see the national carrier upgrade six lounges in Auckland, Brisbane, Hobart, Sydney, Tamworth and Tokyo.

The lounge locations are:

  • Sydney – The flagship Sydney International First lounge will be refreshed and expanded by 15 per cent.
  • Auckland – The First and Business Lounges in Auckland will be redesigned into a single lounge based on the format of Qantas’ international lounges in London and
  • Hong Kong. Regional inspiration from New Zealand will be incorporated throughout.
  • Tokyo – The Narita lounge will be refreshed with a new design and improved dining options.
  • Brisbane – The Brisbane International Lounge will be expanded to cater for an additional 100 guests and completed in early 2019.
  • Hobart and Tamworth – Both lounges will be completely redesigned with more space and seating.

The Melbourne Qantas Club and Domestic Business Lounge are currently being redeveloped. The first phase of the redesigned Melbourne Domestic Business Lounge opens tomorrow, and once complete will feature a Spice Bar serving freshly made Asian street food. Both lounges will be completed by November this year. Qantas is also building a new Sydney International Business Lounge with 35 per cent more seating.

GOL introduces SITA self bag-drop at Rio de Janeiro International Airport

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GOL, Brazil’s largest airline, is introducing new self-service bag-drop technology to speed up the airport experience. Passengers of the carrier, can now use SITA’s Scan&Fly to check in their bags when flying domestically from Rio de Janeiro International Airport and will soon be able to do so at São Paulo–Guarulhos International Airport as well. This self-service option halves the time it takes to check in a bag and gives passengers more control over their journey.

Each year, GOL flies around 32 million passengers. Providing significant reductions in the time it takes to check in is a major bonus for passengers, as well as helping GOL reach the targets set as part of the IATA Fast Travel program.

SITA is retro-fitting Scan&Fly units at each airport. Using them, passengers will be able to check in their baggage in just 40 seconds. As well as the units themselves, SITA also provided consultancy to develop the optimized processes in both airports, integrating the solution into the airlines’ and airports’ infrastructures.

Qatar Airways partners with George Calombaris to create new Greek-Inspired in-flight dining options for passengers travelling from Australia

Qatar Airways is delighted to announce its expanded collaboration with renowned Australian chef and restauranteur, George Calombaris, who will create a new edition of Greek-inspired in-flight dining options for the airline, starting 1 September 2018.

The new menus will be available to First and Business Class passengers travelling from Qatar Airways’ four gateways in Australia (Adelaide, Melbourne, Perth, Sydney) to Doha, Qatar. Qatar Airways is also working with Chef Calombaris to feature his signature touch in the Economy Class menu, due to debut in the first quarter of 2019.

This marks the second time Qatar Airways has partnered with Calombaris to present his signature dishes at 30,000 feet. In 2017, Qatar Airways and Calombaris jointly presented an exclusive in-flight menu to celebrate the introduction of the A380 service on the Melbourne-Doha routelast year.

Ethiopian Airlines partners in launching of Chad National Carrier

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Ethiopian Airlines, the largest Aviation Group in Africa and SKYTRAX certified Four Star Global Airline, is pleased to announce that it has finalized agreements with the Government of Chad for the launch of Chadnational carrier.

Ethiopian has 49 per cent stake in the joint venture while the Government of Chad retains 51 percent. The newChadnational carrier is planned to go intooperation as of October 1, 2018.

Through its multiple hubs strategy in Africa, Ethiopian currently operates hubs in Lomé (Togo) with ASKY Airlines and Malawian in Lilongwe (Malawi), while having the already acquired stakes in Zambia’s and Guinea’s national carriers and making preparations to launch Ethiopian Mozambique Airlines.

Air Canada advances its product distribution capabilities with NDC exchange connection

ATPCO and SITA today announced that launch customer Air Canada processed its first NDC (New Distribution Capability) production transaction via NDC Exchange, a platform that simplifies the adoption of the International Air Transport Association’s (IATA) NDC standard.

NDC is a new standard aimed at enabling the travel industry to transform the way services are retailed to corporations as well as leisure and business travelers. It provides greater product differentiation, quicker time-to-market, access to full and rich content and delivers a more transparent shopping experience.

NDC Exchange is a community platform that facilitates the real-time NDC connectivity between airlines and sellers (GDSs, travel agents, aggregators, OTAs, and TMCs) so that they can exchange NDC messages easily and cost effectively. NDC Exchange supports shopping, booking, and servicing workflows and enables the cross-selling of ancillary services between airlines, and airlines and sellers. It normalizes messages regardless of version or format, creating interoperability across the distribution ecosystem. Travel sellers can access multiple airlines via NDC Exchange, hence lowering the cost of their implementation.

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