Aviation

Big Fat Airline Wrap

Tuesdays are for two things; our Airline Wrap and calling our mum for our weekly phone chat. And we usually forget the second one.

Qantas expands Melbourne to Sunshine Coast services over summer season

Surfers at Alexandra Headland Sunshine Coast

Qantas has delivered an early Christmas gift for Melbourne travellers looking to escape to the Queensland Sunshine Coast over the holiday season by scheduling five return services each week from December 16 until January 28.

The dual-cabin, 110-seat 717 jet will operate services to the Sunshine Coast on Monday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, an increase on the four return flights offered last Christmas season.

“Our direct flights between Melbourne and the Sunshine Coast proved really popular last year, so we’re pleased to offer them again for a second summer with even more services,” QantasLink CEO John Gissing said.

The extra Melbourne services builds on QantasLink’s year-round direct services between Sydney and the Sunshine Coast.

Qatar Airways Launches Pre-Select Dining Service for Premium Passengers

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Qatar Airways is rolling out a bespoke service for its premium class passengers on selected flights to Europe, North and South America, Australia and New Zealand.

Passengers travelling in First and Business Class will have the opportunity to pre-select one main course from the à la carte on-board menu, as far as 14 days in advance and up to 24 hours before take-off. This is in addition to the existing and exemplary Dining-on-Demand service already available for valued First and Business Class passengers.

To pre-select a premium class meal, customers log into ‘My Trips’ on the Qatar Airways website and choose from the seasonal menu available on their flight. Meals can also be ordered through the Qatar Airways mobile app.

Launching on flights departing from Doha, Qatar Airways plans to extend premium Pre-Select Dining to other regions later this year.

Emirates One-Off A380 Lands in Colombo

An Emirates A380 aircraft landed at Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) Katunayake, helping Sri Lanka and the airport achieve an aviation milestone.

Sri Lanka’s Minister of Transport & Aviation Hon. Nimal Siripala de Silva M.P. was at the airport to greet H.E. Abdul Hameed Abdul Fattah Kazhim Al-Mulla, UAE Ambassador to Sri Lanka and Emirates’ Senior Vice President Commercial (West Asia & Indian Ocean) Ahmed Khoory who were among the VIPs on the flight, the first A380 commercial flight to the country.

Arranged to celebrate the BIA’s recently resurfaced and upgraded runway, the special one-off A380 flight operated as EK654 from Dubai, replacing the B777 aircraft usually deployed by Emirates on flights to Sri Lanka. The iconic aircraft was on ground for more than six hours to enable airport executives, VIPs, trade partners and media to enjoy guided static tours of its cabins and unique amenities like the First Class Suites, Shower Spas and the On-board lounge.

Customers in Sri Lanka can experience Emirates’ double-decker aircraft by connecting through the airline’s Dubai hub when they travel to A380 destinations in North and South America, Europe, Australia and New Zealand, the Middle East, Russia, and the Far East.

Brisbane achieves largest international passenger growth in a decade

International passengers through Brisbane Airport (BNE) grew by nearly 364,300 to more than 5.6 million in FY17, representing a 7 per cent increase on FY16, the greatest growth for BNE in a decade.The top growth markets for Brisbane in FY17 were Canada (+97 per cent), Taiwan (+31 per cent), the United Kingdom incl. Ireland (+7 per cent) and Japan (+13 per cent).

Overall passenger numbers, including domestic traffic, saw an increase of nearly 2 per cent year-on-year, to more than 22.8 million travellers for the financial year. BNE’s domestic network will further grow however, with the addition of flights to Inverell and Wollongong in coming months.

An additional 42,500 passengers took BNE’s domestic traffic to more than 17.2 million in FY17, a 0.2 per cent increase on FY16.

“The real gains this year have been made through the increase in international travel which has been stimulated by a 7.9 per cent boost in overseas flights, two new destinations and the addition of more than 425,700 seats to and from Brisbane in FY17,” Julieanne Alroe, Brisbane Airport Corporation (BAC) CEO and Managing Directo

“The number of domestic destinations on offer also increased from 44 to 50 in FY17, making BNE the most domestically connected airport in Australia,” Ms Alroe said.

Pepper the Robot Helps LAX and HMSHost roll out new dining app

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Pepper the robot was greeting Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) travellers in Terminal 4 and introducing them to Host2Coast, global restaurateur HMSHost’s free airport dining app.

The app offers travellers the ability to find the nearest HMSHost-operated eats and drinks, view select menus, and even pre-order food and pay for their meal directly through the app at more than a dozen HMSHost restaurant locations throughout LAX.

Over the course of the past few days, Pepper the robot showed LAX travellers how the Host2Coast app works and texted them a link to download the app.

The Host2Coast app puts information directly in travellers’ hands, providing a new, convenient way to choose what and where to eat while at LAX. Host2Coast is available for download in the Apple App Store and Google Play Store.

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