This week’s aviation wrap contains some good news and some bad news. But mostly good news.
Fiji Airways launches ‘Bula Spirit’ sale
Fiji’s national carrier has launched a massive global sale, slashing fares by as much as 53 per cent to the island paradise.
On offer are flights from Australia, New Zealand, the US, Hong Kong, Singapore, Samoa, Tonga and Vanuatu, including fares where Fiji acts as the stopover.
Travellers will need to act quick though, as the sale until 12 August 2019 or until sold out. More info can be found on Fiji Airways’ website.
Finnair announces commission changes
Finnair has decided to make changes to the standard BSP commission in Australia for tickets with an origin outside of Australia.
Effective from 2 September 2019, tickets with a point of commencement in Australia will attract five per cent commission, and tickets with a point of commencement outside of Australia will attract no commission.
All existing bookings for ticketing up until 1 September 2019 will attract 5 per cent commission.
Hawaiian Airlines boosts capacity for spring school holidays
Hawaiian Airlines is responding to increased demand for Hawaii during the upcoming spring school holiday period by increasing the number of flights each week between Brisbane and Honolulu from three to four.
The additional outbound services will depart Tuesday evenings at 9.45pm from 16 September until 13 October 2019. Hawaiian also offers year-round services between Brisbane and Honolulu on Mondays, Thursdays and Saturdays.
The additional Tuesday service adds another 18 Business Class, 68 Extra Comfort and 192 Main Cabin seats per week on Hawaiian Airlines flights between Brisbane and Honolulu during the period, which coincides with both Queensland and Victorian spring school holiday periods.
Kids fly free to New Cal with limited-time offer from Aircalin
New Caledonia is set to become even more enticing for families, with Aircalin allowing kids to fly free to the South Pacific destination.
The Kids Fly Free deal is on sale until 9 August 2019 for travel until (and inclusive of) 31 March 2020. Families can simply book an adult ticket and a child up to 11 years will travel for free.
The offer is available on flights out of Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne.
Air Vanuatu launches early bird deals for 2020 (and extends winter getaway deals)
Vanuatu’s national carrier has released super-special fares for the beginning of 2020, departing from Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.
Sydneysiders can fly to Port Vila from just $499 return, Melbournians can fly direct to Port Vila from $569 return, and Queenslanders can save on flights to Port Vila from just $469 return.
Fares are available until 20 March 2020 and are valid for travel in February and March 2020.
For those travellers seeking to escape the cold, Air Vanuatu has also extended its current special winter getaway deals from Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne – now on sale until 30 August 2019 for travel until 30 May 2020.
Etihad and Booking.com form rewards partnership
Etihad Guest, the loyalty program of Etihad Airways, has signed a frequent flyer agreement with Booking.com.
The partnership enables Etihad Guest customers to earn Etihad Guest Miles when booking accommodation through Booking.com on a special co-branded version of the website.
Depending on the accommodation booked, customers will earn between three and six Etihad Guest Miles for every US$1 spent.
Singapore Airlines expands codeshare deal with Vistara, unveils new-look mobile app
Following the recent announcement of Vistara’s first international flights to Singapore from New Delhi and Mumbai, Singapore Airlines and regional subsidiary SilkAir have signed an agreement with Vistara to expand codesharing to international routes.
Vistara will commence international operations from 6 August 2019 when it launches its Delhi-to-Singapore operations.
Under the expansion of an existing codeshare agreement which covers Indian domestic flights, Singapore Airlines will add its ‘SQ’ designator code to Vistara’s new international flights
In addition, Singapore Airlines and SilkAir will add nine new codeshare destinations within India on Vistara-operated flights. With this expansion, Singapore Airlines will codeshare on Vistara flights to more than 20 Indian destinations.
Similarly, Vistara will add its ‘UK’ designator code to Singapore Airlines- and SilkAir-operated flights between Singapore and eight destinations in India.
As part of the arrangement, Vistara will codeshare on services to more than 40 destinations in the Singapore Airlines and SilkAir network.
Singapore Airlines has also unveiled its all-new mobile app for Android and iOS smartphones, featuring innovative features to enhance the customer experience.
The new app is designed for faster performance and improved usability with the introduction of several new features, including:
- ‘Capture & Discover’ – a new search function that uses image recognition as well as speech and natural language processing to identify the user intent, match it to a Singapore Airlines destination, and present relevant destination content and fare deals.
- ‘Translation Assistant’ – a feature that uses real-time language translation by voice to help travellers communicate better when they are overseas.
- ‘Measure Your Baggage’ – designed to help travellers determine if the size of their bag is within cabin baggage limitations.
Amongst the many improvements in existing functionality, real-time information such as boarding gate details, the destination’s weather and currency, and baggage belt3 information have been added to the apps ‘My Trips’ function.
Singapore Airlines has also enhanced the app’s in-flight entertainment features, including extended access to e-Library magazine and newspaper content based on the KrisFlyer membership tier, as well as a new search and filter function to allow for easier content browsing in the e-Library and KrisWorld catalogue.
The new app also sees enhancements such as a newly designed KrisFlyer account dashboard and the introduction of an ‘Inbox’ feature, which stores push notifications as well as KrisFlyer messages for easy reference.
Celebs to greet guests at LAX
Beginning last week, guests at LAX are being greeted at their terminals with welcome messages from famous voices, including local entertainers, sports figures, musicians, actors, and chefs that echo the spirit of Los Angeles.
The first group of voices include: Jimmy Kimmel (host and executive producer of Jimmy Kimmel Live!), Justin Turner (baseball player for the Los Angeles Dodgers), Gustavo Dudamel (internationally renowned conductor), and Susan Feniger (chef, author, and radio and TV personality).
The messages are being rotated throughout the day and replaced on a regular basis with new voices on the overhead announcement system at the curb and inside each terminal.