Big Fat Airline Wrap

This airline wrap makes us both happy and sad. Happy, because it’s no longer Monday, but sad because we’ve still got four days until the weekend.

First Embraer E190-E2 for Air Astana arrives in Kazakhstan


The first new generation Embraer E190-E2 for Air Astana arrived at Nursultan Nazarbayev International airport in Astana today, following ferry flights from the manufacturer’s factory in São José dos Campos, Brazil. This is the first of five Embraer E190-E2 aircraft scheduled to be delivered to Air Astana following an order originally placed in August 2017.

Air Astana currently operates a fleet of nine Embraer E190 aircraft on domestic and low-density regional services, with the first aircraft having entered service in 2011. The new generation Embraer E190-E2 aircraft will gradually replace older Embraer E190s in the fleet.

The new aircraft features a special Air Astana “Snow Leopard” livery, which is intended to draw global attention to the threat of extinction faced by this large wild cat, which is a native of the mountain ranges in southern Kazakhstan. Air Astana seeks to improve ecological protection for endangered species, like the Snow Leopard, as well as more widely preserving the environment.

The twin-engine, single-aisle Embraer E190-E2 belongs to the family of upgraded E-Jets, which offer lower operating costs, emissions and noise levels, with a range of more than 5,000 km.

American Airlines introduces premium A321T Aircraft to transcontinental service between Los Angeles and Boston

American adds more comfort as the only airline to offer first and business class on the transcontinental route FORT WORTH, Texas — American Airlines will introduce its unmatched premium travel experience twice daily on a three-class Airbus A321T between Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) and Boston Logan International Airport (BOS) beginning April 2, 2019.

American already offers more flights between LAX and BOS than any other airline, and with today’s announcement, becomes the only airline to offer both first and business class on this route. Customers travelling from coast to coast on the A321T in Flagship First and Flagship Business will experience fully lie-flat seats and a chef-curated menu, as well as premium wines and amenity kits.

Those travelling in Main Cabin can stay connected with power at every seat, high-speed Wi-Fi and seatback entertainment. And, as part of American’s new collaboration with Zoës Kitchen, Main Cabin customers can purchase new light and healthy menu options.

LATAM Airlines launches Sao Paolo to Munich route starting June 2019


LATAM Airlines, Latin America’s leading airline, has announced that it will commence a non-stop service to Munich (Germany) from São Paulo on 25 June 2019 with tickets now on sale. LATAM will operate four weekly flights using Boeing 767 aircraft with capacity for 191 passengers in Economy and 30 in Premium Business.

The Bavarian capital will become LATAM’s second destination in Germany after Frankfurt and its ninth European city. Located north of the Alps, Munich is a leading centre for business, art, education, sports and tourism. Home to leading multinational companies, an internationally renowned football team and the annual Oktoberfest beer festival, it attracts both tourists and business travellers from around the world.

Starting 25 June 2019, LATAM Airlines flight LA8212 will depart São Paulo/Guarulhos on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday at 23:25, arriving in Munich at 17:15 the next day. The return flight (LA8213) will operate on Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday, departing from Munich Airport at 20:15, arriving in São Paulo at 04:35 the following day (all times local).

The flight has been scheduled to conveniently connect with cities throughout South America including 23 destinations in Brazil, Santiago (Chile), Buenos Aires (Argentina), Montevideo (Uruguay) and Asunción (Paraguay).

Virgin Australia international sale

Virgin Australia is thrilled to launch a sale for flights between Australia and New Zealand, with sale flights available for purchase from today until the 12th December.

The average discount for these fares is 30 per cent from our year-round lead-in fares, so provides guests with a wonderful opportunity to travel to Fiji, Bali, Vanuatu or the Cook Islands at substantially discounted rates.

The airplane seat that is the closest to your bed at home

Flying out of Australia often includes long hours on a plane and while there are plenty of tips for surviving a long-haul flight, there is one that beats all others – getting a comfortable seat for some quality sleep.

Spending those extra pennies on extra legroom doesn’t always ensure a good rest, therefore it’s important to do your research before booking your seat. Qatar Airways’ Qsuite is the first ever lie-flat double bed in Business Class and allows you comfort like your own bed, if not more! Key features of the revolutionary Qsuite include:

  • Quad configuration and movable panels to create a private room
  • The first ever fully lie-flat double bed with a turndown service
  • Premium sleepwear that ensures you get a well-deserved sleep
  • A-la-carte menu: restaurant-style quality meal from a specially designed menu
  • World-class entertainment with 4,000 options to choose from

The Qsuite is available on flights to and from Canberra via Sydney to Doha with connections to Qatar Airways’ global network of more than 150 destinations from 1 July 2018.

Emirates invests in latest bus fleet to enhance on-ground comfort for Economy Class passengers


Australian passengers travelling through Dubai will be able to enjoy even more comfortable transfers when they arrive, depart or transit at Dubai International Airport, Emirates has taken the initiative to bring in a fleet of new high tech buses for airside passenger operations.

These new dedicated buses will ferry Emirates’ passengers between the terminals and its aircraft at remote stands. Ten of these new buses are already in service. 30 more will be delivered by January 2019, with the entire fleet to comprise 128 buses by 2020.

Emirates is the first airline in the world to introduce airside buses that have equal standing and seating capacity, a significant improvement on standard airside transfer buses which usually prioritise standing room and offer minimal seating.

The new fleet of buses also have convenient ramp access and fold-up seats to make travel more comfortable for customers who use wheelchairs or are travelling with baby strollers. Other customised features include: ambient lighting, an intercom facility to contact the driver, microphones for announcements, and flight information systems inside the buses which display the latest information to customers. Clear messaging will also appear outside the buses to alert customers quickly and easily on the direction the bus is going.

First non-stop air service between New Zealand and Chicago takes flight

Air New Zealand’s inaugural flight between Auckland and Chicago has taken off from Auckland International Airport this afternoon.

Flight NZ26 departed around 5pm and is scheduled to land at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport around 1.00pm local time. With a flight time of approximately 15 hours northbound and just over 16 hours southbound, the flight is Air New Zealand’s longest, taking over from Auckland-Houston which has a flight time of 13.5 hours.

Chicago is an exciting destination with a lot to offer from its fascinating history, world-class museums and stunning architecture to internationally-renowned jazz and blues scene, and famous dishes including the iconic deep dish pizza.

Air New Zealand’s direct Auckland-Chicago service, operated by its Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft, will depart Auckland on Wednesday, Friday and Sunday.

Hamad International Airport, Qatar Airways and Qatar Duty-Free to host the Trinity Forum 2019 


The world’s most influential airport commercial revenues conference, the Trinity Forum, will be held in Doha in 2019, the first time the event has ever been hosted in Qatar. The conference, organised by The Moodie Davitt Report, ACI World and ACI Asia-Pacific, will be hosted by Hamad International Airport (HIA), Qatar Airways and Qatar Duty-Free (QDF) and will take place in Doha from 30-31 October 2019.

Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, His Excellency Mr. Akbar Al Baker and The Moodie Davitt Report Founder and Chairman, Mr. Martin Moodie, signed the partnership agreement for the event in the presence of Hamad International Airport Chief Operating Officer, Engr. Badr Mohammed Al Meer and Qatar Duty Free Vice President Operations, Mr. Thabet Musleh.

The second-largest duty-free operator in the Middle East, QDF boasts more than 90 elegant boutiques and luxury, high-end stores, as well as more than 30 restaurants and cafés covering an area of 40,000 square metres at HIA, providing travellers with a world-class shopping experience under one roof.

New Tamworth lounge

Qantas is set to open a new Regional Lounge at Tamworth Airport. Announced at Qantas’ Full-year Results in August 2018, the lounge will be redesigned with more seats and 20 per cent more space than the current facility.

Located in a new airside location (after security), the lounge will feature tarmac views, contemporary furnishings, complimentary refreshments and beverages, Wi-Fi, and comfortable seating.

Development on the new lounge will begin on Monday 3 December and open to customers on 22 December. During this period, the previous facility will be closed and customers will be offered vouchers to redeem at the food outlet in the airport terminal.

Separately, the interiors of the airline’s Bombardier Q200, Q300 and Q400 aircraft are being upgraded at QantasLink’s maintenance facilities, including at Tamworth Airport, the airline’s hub for regional aircraft maintenance. The improved turboprop experience includes new ergonomic seat cushioning, leather upholstery, tablet device holders, a refreshed interior colour palette and new floor coverings.

China Southern Airlines celebrates first anniversary of the Cairns-Guangzhou Route

On December 4, 2017, China Southern Airlines officially launched the “Cairns -Guangzhou” route. The route has now been operating for one year.

To recognise and show appreciation of the support from the community and our customers, China Southern Airlines held an Appreciation Dinner on November 30th, 2018, to celebrate the one-year anniversary of the ‘Cairns-Guangzhou’ route at the Riley Hotel in Cairns.

Over 110 guests including Counsellor of Consulate-General of People’s Republic of China in Brisbane, Lan Yuqiang; Mayor of Cairns, Bob Manning; CEO of Tourism Tropical North Queensland, Pip Close; CEO of Cairns Airport, Norris Carter; International Director, Greater China of Tourism and Events Queensland, Mr. Charley Shen; representative of Tourism Australia and other VIP guests attended the dinner.

During the event, Zhang Yubin, General Manager of China Southern Airlines Australia and New Zealand, reviewed the achievements of the Cairns-Guangzhou route over the past year and expressed his gratitude on behalf of China Southern Airlines.


Road & Rail


Kiwi rail journey provider closes outdoor carriages due to dangerous selfies

Passengers’ risky behaviour in search of the ultimate selfie has forced the closure of some iconic train viewing platforms.




Travel Agents

Afterpay expands into travel with lay-by holiday offering

by Christian Fleetwood

Travel Weekly’s editor is planning to lay-by a holiday as soon as he finishes paying off a Hot Wheels Corkscrew Crash Track Set from Kmart.



Road & Rail

At least 29 people killed in Madeira tourist bus crash

by Ali Coulton

The driver reportedly lost control of the bus before it plunged off the road and rolled down a hill.




India’s Jet Airways collapses due to funding shortage

by Huntley Mitchell

It’s turning out to be a day of collapses this fine Thursday, with the office chair of Travel Weekly’s editor having just given way to his posterior.




Etihad to operate entirely plastic-free flight for Earth Day

This Earth Day, Travel Weekly is committing to slapping single-use coffee cups out of the hands of at least three commuters on our way to work. They’ll thank us when they recover from the burns.




Expedia to no longer be a controlled company following new acquisition

Online travel behemoth Expedia has broken the shackles and surfaced from its parent’s basement looking rather healthy, rather than malnourished and disheveled.




One in five Aussies admit to missing their pets more than their kids when they go away

Pet owners across Australia are no doubt preparing to say tearful goodbyes to their furry life partners before going away this Easter, while simultaneously flipping off their kids.



Travel Agents

Agent wrap: Qantas Holidays rewards premium agents, Bench Africa famil + more!

Does seeing all the famil pictures in our agent wraps make you green with envy? Take comfort in the fact that you don’t have to come into work for the next four days. We know we are.




Hotel wrap: Preferred hotels & resorts new members, Australia gets a second voco + more!

We took a 10-minute break from scoffing Easter eggs to bring you up to date with all the latest hotel openings and deals. You’re welcome.





Travel Agents


Why you need to attend the Amazing Tastes of Thailand roadshow

The Amazing Tastes of Thailand roadshow is just around the corner! Here’s why YOU need to be there.




Carnival cruise ship rescues dozens of people adrift at sea

A Carnival cruise ship has gone all Baywatch and saved the day by helping rescue a vessel carrying more than 20 passengers adrift in the Gulf of Mexico.




WTF? Air stewards are selling unwashed uniforms on eBay

Inspired by this story, Travel Weekly’s editor is attempting to sell a pair of his unwashed Calvin Klein briefs on Gumtree, all for a low, low price of $1.25 plus shipping.