Aviation

Big Fat Airline Wrap

This airline wrap is about to put all the other airline wraps out there to shame. Similarly, we ate a croissant this morning faster than we ever have before.

Finnair to fly new A350 route to Los Angeles in 2019

Finnair A350 Marimekko Livery

Finnair will commence three weekly frequencies to Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) from 31 March 2019. This will be Finnair’s first US route regularly operated with the new Airbus A350 aircraft.

Finnair Regional Manager, Australia, New Zealand & New Caledonia, Arnaud Michelin said Finnair would also be making some additions to its North American Summer program for the San Francisco and Chicago route.

Michelin confirmed both routes would begin next April with a fourth frequency to be added for San Francisco in May. With these changes, Michelin said Finnair would now offer a daily flight to California during the Summer season with the new three weekly flights to Los Angeles and the new fourth weekly service to San Francisco.

Los Angeles is best known for its beautiful weather, famous beaches, and as the home of the US television and film industry, including the world-renowned Hollywood neighbourhood. It is also one of the largest business travel and cargo hubs in the United States. Thanks to Helsinki’s geographical location, Finnair’s new northern route to Los Angeles will offer competitive and convenient travel times for customers from Scandinavia, the Baltics, Russia, Northern Germany as well as domestic routes in Finland.

Cathay Pacific, Boeing to donate world’s 1st 777 to aviation museum

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Cathay Pacific and Boeing announced today that they are donating the first-ever Boeing 777 aeroplane to the Pima Air & Space Museum in Arizona, one of the world’s largest facilities devoted to celebrating aerospace.

The iconic 777-200 aeroplane (line number WA001 and registered B-HNL) will fly from Cathay Pacific’s home airport in Hong Kong to Tucson, Arizona on 18 September. The jet will be displayed permanently at the museum alongside more than 350 other historic aircraft

Boeing first flew the 777-200 aircraft on 12 June 1994 and continued to use it as a test aeroplane for several years. The aircraft joined the Cathay Pacific fleet in 2000 and was retired in May after 18 years of service. During its time with Cathay Pacific, B-HNL operated 20,519 flights, recording 49,687 hours of flying time.

In the 1990s, Cathay Pacific was one of a handful of airlines to provide input for the 777 at the design stage, which gave Hong Kong’s home airline a unique opportunity to refine the aircraft’s features to suit its needs. Among the requests were a cabin cross-section similar to the 747 Jumbo Jet, a modern ‘glass’ cockpit, fly-by-wire system, and, crucially, lower operating costs. Today, Cathay Pacific operates one of the largest 777 fleets in the world.

Air New Zealand kicks off filming its next, Kiwi-as safety video with 500 strong cast of local talent

The largest cast in Air New Zealand safety video history will hit New Zealand’s streets this weekend as the airline starts filming a new homegrown edition, for release later this year.

Scenes starring Kiwi actor Julian Dennison, and local musicians Kings, Theia and Randa will be shot in central Wellington today. The population of the tiny township Naseby in Central Otago will triple when the action shifts south on Sunday.

The airline will also shoot at locations in Dunedin, Hokitika, Balclutha and South Auckland with more than 500 Kiwis from community sporting, performance and interest groups – including the Rewa Allstars dance crew, Mosgiel Brass Band and curlers from Dunedin and Naseby.

Air New Zealand’s safety videos have a phenomenal worldwide following and have collectively attracted more than 157 million views online, as well as coverage across the world’s top news outlets.

Singapore Airlines takes delivery of world’s first Airbus A350-900ULR

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Singapore Airlines (SIA) yesterday took delivery of the world’s first Airbus A350-900ULR (ultra-long-range) aircraft from Airbus. It is the first of seven A350-900ULRs on firm order and will enter service on 11 October 2018 – operating the world’s longest commercial flight between Singapore and Newark Liberty International Airport.

SIA is the launch customer for the new A350-900ULR, which is capable of flying up to 9,700 nautical miles (nm), or over 20 hours non-stop. The flight to New York will cover a distance of approximately 9,000nm (16,700km), with a travelling time of up to 18 hours 45 minutes. The aircraft is configured in a two-class layout, with 67 Business Class seats and 94 Premium Economy Class seats.

The A350-900ULR is designed for a more comfortable travelling experience with features such as higher ceilings, larger windows, an extra wide body, quieter cabins and lighting designed to reduce jetlag. Its carbon composite airframe also allows for improved air quality due to a more optimised cabin altitude and humidity levels.

The first two A350-900ULRs will be used for the launch of Singapore-New York services while subsequent aircraft will be used for Singapore-Los Angeles services commencing on 2 November 2018, as well as to increase frequency on the existing Singapore-San Francisco route. By the end of 2018, SIA will link Singapore and the United States with 27 weekly non-stop flights.

Qantas Frequent Flyer launches new shopping destination

Qantas Frequent Flyer has launched a new shopping website – Qantas Shopping – making it easier for members to earn Qantas Points when they shop online and instore. It’s the first time members have been able to visit one shopping destination to:

  • Earn points–by shopping online and instore at over 150 retailers
  • Use points–on 8,000 products through the Rewards Store
  • View and shop –with over 600 brands

To celebrate the launch of Qantas Shopping, more than60 retailers are currently offering bonus points of up to 10 points per $1 for purchases made through Qantas Shopping.

The new ‘Earn points’ site includes new features like the ‘Categories’ menu, making it simpler for members to find the retailers they want to shop and earn points with, and ‘Shopping history’ so they can see where they’ve earned their points.

AirAsia delivers summer boost for Gold Coast

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AirAsia will operate an additional 18 return services between Kuala Lumpur and the Gold Coast this summer, delivering more than 13,000 additional international visitor seats in and out of the region.

Operated by AirAsia’s long-haul affiliate, AirAsia X, the daily services will ramp up to 11 per week from mid-December to mid-January, offering holidaymakers and locals an affordable overseas getaway this Christmas and New Year.

The additional services between Kuala Lumpur and Gold Coast will operate on Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays from 13 December 2018 to 12 January 2019. A record 6.6 million people took to the skies to and from Gold Coast Airport in the past financial year, including more than 1 million international travellers.

Gold Coast Airport is currently Australia’s sixth busiest airport, with passenger numbers expected to reach 16.6 million annually by 2037.

LATAM Airlines Group is recognised as the leading airline in the Americas for sustainability practices for a fifth year running

LATAM Airlines Group today was named in the ‘World’ category of the Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI) for a fifth consecutive year.

The DJSI World comprises the leading 10 per cent of companies in the ‘S&P Global Broad Market Index’ in terms of sustainability, based on an annual independent assessment of economic, social and environmental criteria. LATAM is the only airline group in the Americas listed in this category.

Some of LATAM’s recent sustainability initiatives and milestones include:

  • In 2017, LATAM transported 438 tons of humanitarian aid (equivalent to nine cargo aircraft) and more than 2,000 people to support the disaster relief of forest fires in the south of Chile, floods in Brazil and Peru, the earthquake in Mexico as well as hurricane-hit Puerto Rico
  • In total, over 1.1 million people in Latin America benefited from LATAM’s social actions in 2017 including the Cuido mi Destino sustainable tourism program, in which volunteers help to repair or reconstruct tourist sites, restore green areas and promote local culture and traditions
  • In 2017, LATAM reduced its overall carbon footprint by 2.46 per cent – marking a 13 per cent reduction since 2012 – and LATAM Airlines Colombia achieved carbon neutral operations for its domestic flights
  • LATAM has also reduced the emissions of its ground operations by 36 per cent since 2012, achieving carbon neutral ground operations in Colombia and Peru. As part of its commitment to achieve this at a group level by 2020, LATAM Airlines Chile recently has signed a contract with Acciona to use 100 per cent renewable energy in its Santiago operations from November 2018

Emirates A380 lands in Riyadh for 88th National Day with one-off flight

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Emirates yesterday operated a special one-off A380 service to Riyadh in celebration of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s 88th National Day. Upon landing at 1550hrs at King Khalid International Airport, the aircraft was met with a ceremonial water cannon salute.

The A380 one-off service, which operated as a full flight of 519 passengers, was proudly operated by UAE National Captain Talal Johar, First Officer Richard Markey and First Officer Alessandro Anselmi.

Set in a three-class configuration, the Emirates A380 that flew to Riyadh features 14 First Class suites, 76 flatbed seats in Business Class on the upper deck and 429 seats in Economy Class on the lower deck. Passengers in all classes enjoyed Emirates’ multi award-winning ‘ice’ Digital Widescreen entertainment system, offering over 3,500 channels of on-demand entertainment, including over 300 Arabic channels. The largest selection of programming in the sky includes TV shows, the latest films, games, podcasts and Live TV.

Emirates has been serving the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia since 1989, and also operates to Jeddah, Dammam and Medinah Al Munawarah. Emirates currently serves the Kingdom with 91 flights a week.

Can my next flight stream Netflix?

Flight shoppers have become accustomed to knowing if Wi-Fi is available on flights they are booking, but it is not easy to understand exactly what type of Wi-Fi experience they will have onboard. In many markets, passenger expectation has shifted from “will this flight have Wi-Fi” to “how fast will the Wi-Fi on this flight be?” This was the driving force behind Routehappy by ATPCO updating its comprehensive Wi-Fi Amenities data to focus on consumer-friendly benefits, including if the Wi-Fi is capable of streaming Netflix.

Routehappy has introduced four new categorizations for Wi-Fi: Email & messaging, Basic web browsing, Fast web browsing, and Netflix streaming capable. With these new categorizations, passengers will now know what to expect from their internet connection on board, whether that means the ability to be productive and respond to work emails, or relax and stream Netflix.

The new Wi-Fi amenities data is live on multiple channels including Skyscanner, Sabre, Travix, and Upside. Routehappy’s Wi-Fi data is based on underlying technology and previously was categorized for consumers as Basic, Better, and Best.

Routehappy is the only company to offer complete and accurate data on in-flight Wi-Fi across worldwide flights. Routehappy tracks which airlines offer in-flight Wi-Fi, including its availability to consumers by chance, quality, coverage, and cost; tracked by cabin, sub fleet, airline, and flight.

Cathay Pacific’s Earlybird 2019 Sale is on now

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Today, Cathay Pacific launched its Earlybird 2019 Sale, an exciting promotion on fares from all Australian ports to over 20 popular cities across the UK, Europe, USA, Canada and Israel. The promotion offers Aussies the perfect opportunity to be prepared and lock in their 2019 holiday and New Year’s resolution early.

Travellers can be excited to visit a range of popular destinations including London, Madrid andNew York, and can also take advantage of Cathay Pacific’s new destination offering; Brussels, Dublin, Copenhagen, Washington DC and Seattle.

Fares start from just $1,165* return to Dublin and $1,482* return to New York. The sale is on offer from 17 September until 31 October 2018forpassengers departing from Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Brisbane, Adelaide and Cairns, and looking to travelbetween01 Marchand 30 November 2019.

Passengers can experience Cathay Pacific’s award-winning economy Class, Premium Economy Class and Business Class, which are designed to make the travel journey a comfortable and seamless experience.

Vietnam Airlines launches new Danang-Osaka route

Vietnam Airlines is delighted to announce the launch of its new seven times weekly flight between Danang and Osaka, starting October 28, 2018.

The service will be operated by Airbus A321 and depart from Danang Airport at 00:20 and from Kansai Airport at 09:30 (local time) with a flight time of around 4 hours and 30 minutes. This is the 11th route opened by Vietnam Airlines that connects Vietnam and Japan, following services between Hanoi/Ho Chi Minh City/Danang and Tokyo/Osaka/ Nagoya/Fukuoka.

On this occasion, from now until September 30, Vietnam Airlines will launch a promotional program with Danang – Osaka round-trip fares starting from AU$249 for departure period from October 28 to December 31 2018. The rates specified above do not include taxes, fees and surcharges.

For each non-stop flight between Danang and Osaka operated by Vietnam Airlines from October 28, 2018 to January 31 2019, LotuSmile members are eligible to receive a bonus of 2000 miles when flying on Business Class and 1000-1500 miles on Economy class. The promotion applies to all LotuSmile members whose tickets are issued at agents and official website of Vietnam Airlines.

Aviation

Air New Zealand CEO Christopher Luxon resigns

Christopher Luxon is stepping down from the top job at Air New Zealand amid reports he’s been called up to represent the All Blacks at the Rugby World Cup.

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Events

GET A MOVE ON: only a few tickets left for Women in Travel + UBER offer!

This is your final warning, folks: our Women in Travel Awards are on tomorrow night!

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Aviation

Boeing CEO admits “mistake” in handling of problematic 737 MAX aircraft

First an apology, now an admission. Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg has finally owned up to the manufacturer’s handling of the 737 MAX.

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Midweek Interview

Midweek interview with Aurora Expeditions’ Vicky Primrose

This week, Travel Weekly tried to coax secrets out of Aurora Expeditions’ global head of marketing over a few wines, but we had a few too many ourselves and forgot them all.

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Wholesalers

INCENTIVE ALERT: Excite launches ultimate US shopping guide

The wholesaler has partnered up with Simon Shopping Destinations to bring you every shopaholic’s dream.

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Wholesalers

CATO chairman takes aim at “deceptive and misleading” advertising by industry disruptors

Did you happen to miss Dennis Bunnik’s venom-filled address at CATO’s recent AGM? Consider yourself caught up with this.

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Tourism

Aussie family shocked by whopping $30,000 holiday phone bill

Please excuse us while we scream internally for the rest of the day as we process the concept of a $30K phone bill.

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Tourism

“A kick to the tourism industry”: NSW government slammed over $35m budget cut

Just like the fireworks in the accompanying photo, two prominent industry bodies have gone off about the NSW government’s big funding cut to its tourism agency.

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Cruise

Cruise wrap: Aurora teams up with NASA scientist, P&O’s Big Laugh Comedy fest returns + MORE!

Tired of your colleagues outsmarting you when it comes to the latest cruise brochures and deals? Get the upper hand right here.

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Aviation

MH370: Report sheds new light on suicide theory and Malaysian cover-up

A detailed report by a veteran journalist has exposed new details about how passengers may have met their end at the hands of a lonely pilot.

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Aviation

How Air Canada is making its mark on gender equality, locally and globally

With the Women in Travel Awards 2019 just days away, we wanted to shine the light on a company that truly values female representation across the board.

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Aviation

Aviation wrap: Qantas grows US network, Emirates reduces single-use plastics, Air Vanuatu’s new service + more

This week’s aviation wrap comes free of any mentions of flaperons, altimeters or horizontal stabilisers.

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