Big Fat Airline Wrap

Stepping knee-deep into a puddle this morning has us dreaming of flying somewhere warmer. Luckily, today’s airline wrap day!

AirAsia flights operating to Sri Lanka

AirAsia is aware of the current State of Emergency declared in Sri Lanka and is actively monitoring the situation.

At present, AirAsia flights to Sri Lanka are operating as per scheduled.

AirAsia will continue to observe the situation and keep guests informed on the latest updates.

Australians who are due to travel or are visiting Sri Lanka should register and continue to monitor advice of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade at www.smartraveller.gov.au.

Emirates gives centre stage to women

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On the occasion of International Women’s Day, Emirates is highlighting the integral role played by its female employees through a special video which documents the breadth and diversity of the operational and technical roles performed by women in the Group. The video gives the audience a behind the scenes look at women employees from various Emirates Group business units, carrying out all key activities for the operation of flight EK 225 from Dubai to San Francisco.

The Emirates A380 aircraft was piloted by Captain Patricia Bischoff from Canada and First Officer Rebecca Lougheed from the UK with cabin crew led by the purser Weronica Formela from Poland.In addition to the flight crew, an all-woman team worked on all ‘above wing’ and ‘below wing’ activities in the lead up to flight departure. This included women in roles spanning customer service in the airport such as the Passenger Duty Service Manager; ramp operations monitored by the Ramp DutyController and Ramp Operations Team Leader; technical services carried out by Licensed Aircraft Engineers and Technicians; and a myriad of other roles within the flight dispatch, aircraft appearance, crew operations, catering and security teams.

In total, a team of over 75 women from more than 25 nationalities worked on the flight. This mirrors the overall diversity within the Emirates Group which employs staff from over 160 nationalities. The operational team for EK 225 also included Emirati women working in the Engineering, Flight Dispatch, Security and Cargo operations teams.

Extended food selection: Lufthansa introduces “A la carte dining“ meals in Economy and Premium Economy Class


From summer 2018 Lufthansa Economy and Premium Economy Class passengers will be able to order one of seven selected “A la carte dining” meals on long-haul flights for an extra charge.

Whether gourmet menu with grilled steak, Bento Box with a selection of classic Japanese sushi specialities, hearty Bavarian snacks, Asian vitality menu with quinoa, Mediterranean pasta with shrimp or exotic Thai curry: there are different menu variations to choose from, depending on your taste and preference. They are served to the passenger on stylish porcelain.

The multi-course menus are offered on almost all Lufthansa intercontinental flights from Frankfurt and Munich and are served on order instead of the regular first meal. They cost between 19 and 33 euros and are expected to be available from May 2018. The “A la carte dining” meals can be booked on lufthansa.com up to 24 hours before departure.

The “A la carte dining” meals do not replace the existing food and drink offerings in Economy and Premium Economy Class, but complement them at the passengers’ individual request. Availability per flight is limited.

British Airways women fly the flag for the next generation

More than 60 British Airways women have shown off their aviation skills and expertise during the UK’s biggest ever all-female flight – to inspire others and mark International Women’s Day.

BA1484 from Heathrow to Glasgow on Monday, March 6 brought together women in roles including baggage handlers, pilots and cabin crew, flight managers, loaders and push back teams, security, check in and airport teams. There were even two teenagers on work experience in the terminal, helping with the flight. Together there were 61 women who ensured the flight with 204 customers departed on time.

Customers travelling on British Airways’ short-haul flights on International Women’s Day will be able to watch a video as part of the in-flight entertainment showing the all-female team in action. The video can be viewed here.

Getting a behind-the-scenes view of what goes into every flight were seven young women, aged between 16 and 18, who were joined by UK TV star and pilot, Carol Vorderman. The young aviation-enthusiasts said they had been inspired by the experience.

Members of the travel industry gathered at the new Sofitel Darling Harbour on Friday for a taste of Tahiti in Sydney

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Over a French Polynesian-inspired lunch of poisson cru (raw fish salad) and poulet fafa (chicken with taro), guests were dazzled by colourful Tahitian dancing and a hypnotic display of Robert Wan pearls while receiving updates on the destination, South Pacific Management’s collection of Polynesian hotels and the airline with Air Tahiti Nui revealing its new Dreamliner fleet would feature a three-class cabin configuration including premium economy.

Air Tahiti Nui regional manager Alan Roman, Tahiti Tourisme director Robert Thompson, SPM business development manager Alain Campignon, and Atout France director Patrick Benhamou hosted the event, along with representatives from Robert Wan.

All guests who attended the ‘Dejeuner Tahitian’ received a piece of Tahiti to take away with them –a gift from Robert Wan and a bottle of Monoi – while Booking.com’s Guillaume Wolf won the lucky door prize – a trip to Tahiti.

AirAsia Revamps Customer Care for Digital Era with Salesforce

AirAsia today announced it has chosen Salesforce (NYSE: CRM), the global leader in customer relationship management, to be its strategic technology partner as the airline revamps its customer care for the digital era across eight countries including Australia and New Zealand.

The airline, which has renamed its customer care team to Customer Happiness, will deploy Salesforce Sales Cloud, Service Cloud, Marketing Cloud and Community Cloud as part of its strategy to create faster and more personalised service for its customers.

AirAsia service agents now have a single view of all cases from all support channels – web, phone, email, live chat, airport communications – and their complete history, allowing them to provide higher levels of personalised service.

The Salesforce Community Cloud powers the AirAsia support community in eight different languages and empowers guests to self-serve with a knowledge database, allowing AirAsia to boost service standards and service agent capabilities.

Qatar Airways reveals aggressive expansion plans and 16 exciting new destinations on the opening day of ITB Berlin 2018


Qatar Airways once again stole the limelight on the opening day of ITB Berlin, the world’s largest international travel fair, as Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, His Excellency Mr. Akbar Al Baker, announced the airline’s aggressive expansion plans and 16 new destinations for 2018 -2019 at a full press conference.

On the same day, the award-winning airline also unveiled a brand new interactive exhibitionstand. Hosted by H.E. Mr. Al Baker, the unveiling was attended by the Qatari Ambassador to Germany, His Excellency Sheikh Saoud Bin Abdulrahman Al Thani, as well as a host of international media and VIPs. At the Qatar Airways press conference, attended byalmost 200 members of the international media, H.E. Mr. Al Baker announced a raft of forthcoming global destinations for the airline in line with its expedited expansion plans, including the announcement that Qatar Airways will be the first Gulf carrier to begin direct service to Luxembourg.

Other exciting new destinations to be launched by the airline include London Gatwick, United Kingdom; Cardiff, United Kingdom; Lisbon, Portugal; Tallinn, Estonia; Valletta, Malta; Cebu and Davao, Philippines; Langkawi,Malaysia; Da Nang, Vietnam; Bodrum, Antalya and Hatay, Turkey; Mykonos and Thessaloniki, Greece; and Málaga, Spain.

Escape to Bali with Club Med and Virgin Australia from $1,740


Club Med is helping travel agents book clients a hassle-free escape to Club Med Bali with exclusive Virgin Australia flight prices and free airport transfers combined with Club Med’s premium all-inclusive packages when booked before 31 May 2018.

This comprehensive travel package will allow Aussies to fly to Bali with one of Australia’s most loved airlines, Virgin Australia, and transfers from the airport for free to spend seven nights at Club Med’s Nusa Dua beachfront location with prices starting from $1,740 per adult, for travel until 30 June 2018.

Plus, the first 20 confirmed travel bookings for a Club Med Bali with Virgin Australia flights package that travel prior to 30 June 2018 will receive a one way Economy X upgrade!

INCENTIVE FOR TRAVEL AGENTS: Win 2 x Economy Class tickets to DPS on Virgin Australia and four nights’ accommodation at all-inclusive Club Med Bali. Simply be the top selling QLD or NSW retail agent of Club Med Bali packages with Virgin Australia flights during incentive period.

Emirates to Mandate Banks for Investor Meetings


Emirates, the world’s largest international airline, has mandated Citi and Standard Chartered Bank as Global Coordinators and Joint Lead Managers, along with Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank, BNP Paribas, Dubai Islamic Bank, Emirates NBD Capital, First Abu Dhabi Bank, HSBC, J.P. Morgan and Noor Bank as Joint Lead Managers to arrange a global invest or roadshow to meet fixed income investors, commencing on 8 March. A benchmark Sukuk (Islamic bond) issue, the proceeds of which to be used for general corporate purposes, may follow subject to market conditions.

Emirates has always taken a diversified approach to financing its new aircraft deliveries and business growth. The airline operates a solid business model, which is combined with a track record of profitability, steady growth and strong credit history. E mirates continually looks for innovative financing opportunities in the global markets, and is looking forward to working with lead bank partners on this latest transaction.

Emirates has tapped the debt capital markets with four corporate issuances since 2 011 raising over USD 3.65 billion (AED 13.4 billion), over 50 per cent of which has been in the Sukuk format. Since 2010, Emirates has fully repaid six bonds, including sukuks, totalling AED10.4 billion (U.S.$2.8 billion).

British Airways celebrates awards season with new in-flight entertainment category boasting films with 87 nominations

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To celebrate the 90th Academy Awards ceremony (the Oscars), and the British Academy Film Awards (the BAFTAs) last month, British Airways has added a collection of award-winning films to a newly-created category in its in-flight entertainment.

The category, called Award Worthy, features films which won 12 Oscars and 12 BAFTAs in this year’s awards season, as well as receiving 87 nominations across the two ceremonies.

Films in the category include The Shape of Water, which led the Oscar nominations with 13 and scooped up four awards including ‘Best Picture’ at the ceremony. This builds on the 12 nominations received at the BAFTAs, and the subsequent three awards it won.

The star performer at the BAFTAs, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, is also in the category, having received nine nominations with five awards last month.


Road & Rail

Is New South Wales getting a fast rail?!

Fancy getting from Sydney to Canberra in just one hour? It could soon be a reality. Let’s just hope it doesn’t face as many setbacks as Sydney’s light rail.




Toxic chemicals found at popular south coast tourist hotspot

Tourists are being warned about to steer clear of certain parts of Jervis Bay after toxic chemicals have been found in the water ahead of peak holiday season.




This massive Amsterdam tourist attraction is gone for good

BREAKING: the I amsterdam sign has been removed! We’ve also been removed from the cafe downstairs after emptying the entirety of their chocolate powder onto our cappuccino.




Big Fat Wholesaler Wrap

Start getting excited, because there’s only two more Mondays until Christmas Eve! Which means this is our second last wholesaler wrap of the year – and boy, is it a goodie.




Overtourism should be “front of mind” says Insight Vacations Travel Director

by Lauren Croft

Insight Vacations’ Jake Stewart talks sustainable travel, overtourism, and life as a travel director. He sold the last one so well, we’re handing in our resignation today.




Is this destination the new Galapagos Islands?

Have you got clients who are interested in the Galapagos Islands but are put off by the prospect of travelling the 40 + hour slog? We’ve got just the thing.



Travel Agents

Helloworld-owned business wins major government contract

Big congratulations are in order for QBT for taking out a new contract with the South Australian government! We’re using this as an excuse to have cake for lunch again.




Royal Caribbean partners with WWF to protect Hawksbill turtles

Monday morning got you down? Here’s a feel-good story to give you a nice little pick-me-up. And if this doesn’t work, you have our permission to indulge in an extra coffee or two.




Hotel slammed after staff make creepy effigy of guest’s dead son

You can bet your butt this article is just as cringy and awful as the headline suggests. We actually feel better about every embarrassing misunderstanding we’ve had after reading this.




Qantas accused of “wage theft” over Christmas volunteer program

Qantas is being accused of “wage theft” and “Grinch” behaviour after launching a new program asking workers to volunteer at the airport over the busy period.




The top destinations for honeymooning Aussies

Japan has just been crowned top trending destination for Aussie honeymooners! We’re considering marrying ourself as an excuse to take an impromptu trip.




Eiffel Tower and the Louvre forced to close as Paris riots continue

Meanwhile, we’re very close to forcing our office to close if our boss doesn’t change his policy on midday naps and early marks.