Aviation wrap: Airlines call for end to monopoly airports, Air NZ celebrates Maori language, Syd Airport’s major milestone + MORE!

This week’s aviation wrap is full of good news stories and huge sales – perfect for those in need of a Tuesday afternoon pick-me-up.

Airport users call on government to adopt ACCC recommendations on monopoly airports

Retailers, operators of rental cars, commercial passenger vehicles, off-airport car parking, and ride-share drivers, have joined with major airlines in warning that the Government’s productivity agenda will be held back if they don’t act on the important issue of monopoly airports.

Leading the call was Airlines for Australia and New Zealand (A4ANZ) chairman, professor Graeme Samuel AC, who said today that it was well understood that Australia’s monopoly airports were now the only privatised infrastructure assets in Australia not appropriately regulated for the protection of consumers.

“For decades now, Australian travellers have felt the impact of monopoly pricing at our airports, and the ACCC has repeatedly said that we have a problem. But while other sectors have caught up with regulatory regimes that better reflect consumer interests and expectations, the Productivity Commission (PC) – inexplicably – seems intent on retaining the status quo for airports,” professor Samuel said.

“In practice, this means inefficient, protracted negotiations, disputes that end up in court, costing millions of dollars, and creating uncertainty over investment. The system has passed its use-by date; it’s neither efficient nor effective.”

The collective group of airport users are calling on the Government to consider a more appropriate regulatory approach, for the good of Australian consumers and the economy.

Singapore Airlines marks milestone with Sydney Airport + expands non-stop US services with first Seattle flight 

sydney airport singapore airlines

Singapore Airlines (SIA) today joined in Sydney Airport’s centenary celebrations carrying the airport’s one billionth arrival on Singapore Airlines flight SQ231 from Singapore.

Singapore Airlines today joined in Sydney Airport’s centenary celebrations carrying the airport’s one billionth arrival on Singapore Airlines flight SQ231 from Singapore.

Ten year old Katinka, who had flown from Amsterdam to Sydney with a stopover in Singapore, was greeted upon arrival by Sydney Airport CEO, Mr Geoff Culbert and Singapore Airlines Regional Vice President, Philip Goh.

To help celebrate the milestone, Katinka, who was travelling with her mother and younger brother, were upgraded to Business Class for their journey from Singapore to Sydney. The family enjoyed a relaxing sleep on the overnight flight before partaking in Warm Brioche French Toast with Bananas and Butterscotch sauce for breakfast, along with a special “1 in a Billion” cake.

Upon arrival into Sydney Katinka was treated to a special tour of the flight deck by Singapore Airlines Captain Kimsong Chew before making history as Sydney Airport’s 1 billionth arrival.

Meanwhile, the airline also expanded its non-stop US services with the departure of SQ28 from Singapore to Seattle last week.

Air New Zealand kiosks, bag drops and IFE go te reo Māori

IFE Te Reo translation

Air New Zealand has introduced te reo Māori as a language option on its New Zealand check-in kiosks and bag drops.

The airline is also starting to rollout te reo Māori as a language option on its Inflight Entertainment system, starting with its A321 and A320 neo aircraft.

As the country celebrates Māori Language Week, the airline will also engage with some followers in te reo through its various social media channels during the week.

Air New Zealand’s Cultural Development Manager Henare Johnson says the airline has been working closely with its digital team and translators to make te reo available on its check-in and bag drop kiosks.

No1 Lounges opens new gateside airport lounge concept at Brisbane Airport


British airport lounge operator No1 Lounges has launched its latest airport lounge together with airline partner Virgin Australia at Brisbane Airport’s International Terminal. This follows the opening of The House at Sydney and Melbourne in 2018.

The innovative My Lounge – Home of Virgin Australia boasts a unique social lounging experience and is the closest lounge situated by the departure gates in the airport. Guests can walk from the lounge to most departure gates in just five minutes.

No1 Lounge’s created My Lounge – Home of Virgin Australia in close collaboration with its partner, Virgin Australia, to provide the airline’s guests with a unique co-branded experience. Complimentary and guaranteed access to the lounge will be available to all eligible Virgin Australia Business Class guests, and Platinum and Gold members of the Velocity Frequent Flyer Program, as well as Virgin Australia Lounge Members travelling to New Zealand.

Checked-in passengers from other airlines will also be permitted to use the lounge on a pay-per-use basis. Guests can pre-book access online or in-person on the day of travel, for $60 and $70 respectively.

Delta relief flight to Bahamas evacuates Dorian survivors, delivers 4,700 pounds of supplies


Delta Flight 9994 departed Ft. Lauderdale Sunday morning, landing at 10:59 a.m. at the Marsh Harbour Airport to deliver 4,700 pounds of critical supplies. Once supplies were unloaded, the flight departed for Nassau with 59 evacuees.

Supplies delivered onboard the MD-88 include non-perishable food, water, diapers, formula, underwear and socks for survivors. In coordination with the U.S. Marine Corps, Bahamian Police and British Marines on the ground in Marsh Harbour, supplies were unloaded by Delta employees assigned to assist the mission. Employees then helped load passengers already identified by authorities before departing for Nassau, Bahamas.

United Airlines launches online campaign for Hurricane Dorian relief efforts

United Airlines launched a Crowdrise fundraising campaign for those affected by Hurricane Dorian.

Donations will support the airline’s relief partners that provide assistance in the United States and internationally: American Red Cross, Airlink, Americares and Global Giving.

United is working directly with these partner organizations, as well as engaging with community leaders to assess disaster impact and provide aid to rebuild affected communities. United will match the first $100,000 raised and provide up to a total of 5 million bonus miles to give to individuals who make donations of $50 or more.

TAP Air Portugal now flying from Munich to Porto


Effective immediately, the Portuguese airline TAP is offering a daily flight from the Bavarian capital to the northern Portuguese metropolis of Porto, departing from Munich at 3:55 pm and landing in Porto at 5:45 pm.

The return flight will take off in Porto at 11:30 am and touch down in Munich at 3:10 pm.

Fly Malaysia airlines business class to London and Enrich Gold/Oneworld Sapphire status


For a limited time, earn a 12-month Malaysia Airlines Enrich Gold status when you book any Business Suite or Business Class return flight.

Benefits that come with Enrich Gold status:

  • 25 per cent Elite Tier Bonus
  • Priority reservation waitlist and priority airport standby
  • Priority check-in and priority boarding
  • Priority baggage handling, 50 per cent extra baggage allowance
  • Access to over 600 oneworld lounges worldwide, including our own Golden Lounges

Enrich Gold also comes with the extensive oneworld Sapphire privileges across all member carriers, including key oneworld partners in Australia (Qantas) and the United Kingdom (British Airways).

If you are already an Enrich Gold or Platinum member, you’ll enjoy 50,000 bonus Elite Miles to help fast track your Gold status to Platinum or retain your Platinum.

All you need to do is book a return flight before 16 September for travel before 30 July 2020 to be eligible for either of these great rewards.

Fares start from $5,724 and depart from Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Brisbane and Perth.

Cebu Pacific’s lowest fare to the Philippines 

Credit Jorden Tually

Cebu Pacific’s Crazy Seat Sale, which is for one day only (9th September) until seats sell out. With flights to Manila from Melbourne for just $139 and from Sydney just $159 one way, you’ll have to book online now.

Line up next year’s winter escape today, seat sale tickets are valid for travel between 1st April 2020 to 31 August 2020. Don’t be caught out having to survive the chilly season in Sydney or Melbourne.

Etihad global sale frenzy 

Holiday-makers can take the opportunity to explore more than 15 destinations from 1 October 2019 to 20 June 2020 for less, with fares from Sydney to Athens starting from just $1,220 Economy return via Abu Dhabi.

Aussies can wake up in London for as little as $1,235 return, or indulge their love of Madrid from $1,250 return.

Travellers who want to head to Zurich can get there for $1,272 return or visit Paris for only $1,301. The sale extends across all of Etihad’s cabins, with return Business fares starting from $6,340 out of Melbourne to Zurich.

For travellers looking for a free stopover, Etihad is now offering an incredible two-nights free stay in Abu Dhabi no matter what the booking.

Etihad’s sale fares are available from 9 September 2019 at etihad.com and from 15 September via travel agents and runs until 20 September for travel between 1 October 2019 until 20 June 2020.

Emirates unveils Early Bird fares and special deals

As part of the Early Bird offering, Emirates is offering Economy Class travellers regular seat selection for only $1 per sector. For example, a family of four could save around $400 for a flight if travelling from Sydney to London Heathrow. The deal is valid when departing Australia to the UK, Europe and Dubai.

Economy Class return fares for travellers start from $1,099 to Dubai, $1,299 to United Kingdom, $1,259 to Spain and $1,199 to Portugal. While Business Class return fares start from $6,599 to Dubai, $6,999 to United Kingdom, $6,699 to Spain and $6,699 to Portugal.

Travel consultants who book Emirates tickets departing Australia to destinations part of the sale will also be eligible to win a share in one million Skywards Miles over the course of the promotion.

The highest selling individual at the end of each week will also be awarded 250,000 Skywards Miles. Terms and conditions apply.

Finnair announces its first Signature Menu Chef in the United States

Finnair_Signature_Chef_David_Posey 1

Finnair has teamed up with Chicago-based chef David Posey for its newest Signature Menu collaboration. The Chef-Owner of Elske partnered with Finnair to curate dishes of Nordic-inspired flavours which are to be served in business class on all long-haul flights departing the United States starting today.

Qatar Airways introduces exclusive global offers 

Passengers can enjoy exclusive offers on bookings made between Monday 9 September and Sunday 15 September 2019.

The airline invites customers to plan early for their next journey and explore one of its over 160 global destinations by taking advantage of exclusive individual fares, special rates for companion fares when booking two or more tickets, as well as a range of other offers with Al Maha Services, Discover Qatar, Qatar Airways Holidays and Qatar Duty Free (QDF).

Fly to Europe, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Africa, and the Middle East with companion fares starting from $1,069 per person in Economy Class.

Qatar Airways Privilege Club members can also earn double Qmiles on all bookings during the promotional period. The airline invites all travellers to enroll in the Privilege Club today at qmiles.com to benefit from this promotion when booking their next trip during the offer period.

20th-anniversary celebration for the world’s only airport brewery

September 9, 2019 marked the 20th anniversary of Airbräu, the Munich Airport restaurant with its own onsite brewery.

The world’s only airport brewery was born from the idea of offering passengers and visitors a unique, Bavarian-themed dining experience. Airbräu, which features Europe’s largest covered beer garden, quickly became a popular spot, beloved among staff on the airport campus, residents from the surrounding area and travelers from around the world.

Over the past 20 years, Airbräu has brewed 10 million liters of beer. Complementing the perennially popular year-round brews (lager, weissbier and märzenbier), Jacobsen creates seasonal and festive beers.


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Review: Le Farnatchi is a truly boutique beauty in the heart of Marrakech

by Nancy Hromin

Hidden in plain sight in the middle of the Medina, Le Farnatchi is a truly boutique beauty with only 10 suites offering a quiet and peaceful reprieve.




Sydney’s Great West Walk extended by 80km

Hikers, rejoice! This iconic trail has been extended to cover a whopping 140km, making it possible to walk from Parramatta to Katoomba.




Hilton and Carnival named among Australia’s best workplaces

Travel Weekly unfortunately missed out on the list, though we do often hold up balloons that spell out our company name like in the featured image. It really boosts team morale!




ACCC raises concerns over Qantas’ acquisition of Alliance Airlines

The ACCC is also concerned about whether Alan Joyce’s volunteering on the tarmac has affected productivity, with workers beginning to raise eyebrows after his eighth morning tea break.




Virtuoso reveals hottest bounce back trends at Travel Week

Are you living it up at the fashion week of travel in Vegas this year? Or are you sitting at home suffering from FOMO? Either way, we’re sure these insights will tickle your fancy.




Tourism New Zealand seeks to attract “high-quality visitors” in new campaign

Nothing says ‘adventure’ like ziplining through a forest in New Zealand. Zipliners are up there with Marco Polo in our opinion.




Azamara rolls out luxe bar championing destination immersion

The line will launch its new bar concept across the entire Azamara fleet, with delicious destination-themed cocktails to get passengers in the zone.




Aurora Expeditions announces new Patagonia treks

Travellers are set to weave their way through the remotest parts of South America with these new itineraries, in their Patagonia gear of course.




New expert sessions announced for Cruise360

These new sessions have us so excited we went out and booked a cruise, only for us to realise the date overlapped with Cruise360 so we had to cancel.




Club Med’s flash sale has 30% off Asian resorts

Just to clarify, it’s 30% off resort deals, not the actual resorts themselves. Although that would be quite the sale.



Midweek Interview

Midweek catch-up with Visit West Hollywood’s Tom Kiely

This week we caught up with the CEO of Visit West Hollywood Tom Kiely who kept praising Australia and our travel industry. We just couldn’t stop blushing!




Corona announces its own tropical island destination in South America

If drinking beer on the beach is one of your favourite holiday activities then there’s no better destination for you!