Aviation wrap: Qantas-American Airlines JV gets approval, Air Tahiti Nui’s new ANZ structure + MORE

Since last week’s aviation wrap, two things have happened: a cargo plane load of news has made its way to our inboxes, and green tea has been proven as no substitute for double-shot espressos.

Qantas and American Airlines joint business to deliver benefits for millions of travellers

Qantas has today welcomed the United States Department of Transportation’s (DOT) final approval of its joint business with American Airlines, to better serve customers travelling between North America, Australia and New Zealand.

This follows the DOT’s tentative approval of the joint business in early June.

Final approval means Qantas and American Airlines can now coordinate as part of a joint business to deliver new routes, more destinations, reduced travel time, lower fares, and additional benefits for frequent flyers.

Qantas has also launched its “Around the World in 8 Days Sale” covering its domestic and international network across all cabins.

The sale spans eight days (22 – 29 July 2019). Launching today with a domestic-wide sale, a new destination will be on offer each day over the next week.

Fares are available for select travel periods from August 2019 – March 2020, with most fares available over the summer period.

Domestic Economy one-way fares start from $99, including flights from Sydney to Gold Coast; Melbourne to Launceston; and Brisbane to Hervey Bay.

Air Tahiti Nui announces new marketing and distribution structure for ANZ region

Air Tahiti Nui has announced it will take on full management of its Australian and New Zealand distribution, sales and marketing activities.

The move will see the creation of three new jobs within the New Zealand operation and a change of location to Auckland’s CBD, reflecting the location of key customers and trade partners.

The reshaped structure of the New Zealand based team will take place over the next four months, enabling allocation of resources to grow the Australian market.

By the end of the year, the airline will also deliver an enhanced call centre service to customers and trade partners with 24/7 reachability.

Cathay Pacific acquires Hong Kong Airways and opens new Shanghai business lounge

Cathay Pacific has announced that it has completed the acquisition of Hong Kong Express Airways (HK Express). HK Express is now a wholly owned subsidiary of Cathay Pacific; however, it will remain a stand-alone low-cost carrier to “serve a niche value market”.

Cathay Pacific Shanghai lounge

Cathay Pacific is moving “beyond” with the re-opening of the newly renovated Shanghai Pudong lounge on 18 July.

Cathay Pacific is reopening its newly renovated Shanghai Pudong Cathay Pacific Lounge, marking the introduction of the airline’s awards-winning lounge design to mainland China for the first time.

Located near Departure Gate D69 in Pudong Airport’s Terminal 2 building, the new lounge occupies a space of 970 square metres and follows the warm, inviting style developed by Studioilse – the London-based studio led by Ilse Crawford – seen in Cathay Pacific’s newest lounges across its global network.

Singapore Airlines and Japan National Tourism Organization announce partnership to boost tourism to Japan

Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO) and Singapore Airlines (SIA) have signed a Memorandum of Cooperation (MOC) to enhance cooperation in the promotion of travel and tourism to Japan from five key markets.

As part of the partnership, JNTO and SIA will be making significant investments to boost marketing activities, promoting tourism to Japan from Singapore, Australia, India, Indonesia and Malaysia. These markets were identified by both JNTO and SIA due to the high volume of travellers flying to Japan in 2018.

Through the MOC, JNTO and SIA will work closely in joint promotional activities to help achieve Japan’s goal of welcoming 40 million inbound tourists in 2020. This is the first time JNTO is announcing a partnership with an airline.

SIA also announced it will increase the number of services between Melbourne and Wellington, and Melbourne and Singapore, from 1 January 2020, subject to regulatory approval.

From the start of 2020, SQ247/8 will increase from four times a week, to five times weekly catering for increased demand and offering customers more travel options.

Fiji Airways launches unique dining experience to tackle flight fatigue

Woman working at pc in the bar or airport vip lounge

Fiji Airways has announced a new luxury dining experience, ‘Dine on the Ground’, offering passengers a pre-flight gourmet meal to maximise rest while traveling.

The initiative was launched following research from the airline that found almost a third (31 per cent) of Australian passengers regularly skip in-flight meals in favour of extra sleep. As a result, 38 per cent of food on flights was reportedly being discarded.

As part of the new experience, Business Class and Premier guests taking either a morning or late evening flight out of Nadi will now be invited to a breakfast/dinner at the Fiji Airways Premier Lounge shortly before boarding.

Breakfast guests can enjoy barista-made coffee, made-to-order breakfast items, a full bakery and a wide selection of fresh fruit juices.

For dinner, signature dishes designed by Fiji Airways executive in-house and guest chefs are on offer. Meals are complemented by signature cocktails, mocktails, a full-service bar and the exclusive ‘Fiji Bean Cart’.

Air New Zealand boosts Bali

Air New Zealand is giving its Bali seasonal service a boost in 2020, increasing capacity on the route by 80 percent, with 30,000 additional seats, compared with the current season.

The airline currently operates three services per week between Auckland and Bali’s Denpasar International Airport from late June to mid-October using Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft, which increase by up to four services per week during peak periods such as the school holidays.

Next year the airline aims to operate its seasonal services from 11 April through to 24 October with up to six services per week (subject to regulatory approvals).

Qatar Airways to launch direct flights to Gaborone

Qatar Airways

Qatar Airways is pleased to announce the launch of its new service to Gaborone, Botswana, starting 27 October 2019.

The capital and largest city of Botswana will be the airline’s first destination in the African country.

The three-times weekly flights will be operated by an Airbus A350-900 aircraft, featuring 36 seats in Business Class and 247 seats in Economy Class.

Emirates to introduce services to Mexico City via Barcelona

Emirates has announced plans to launch a new daily service from Dubai (DXB) to Mexico City International Airport (MEX), via the Spanish city of Barcelona (BCN), starting on 9 December 2019.

Emirates’ Mexico City flight will be a linked service with Barcelona, meaning customers can now travel between the two cities in unprecedented style and comfort.  Citizens from Mexico, Spain and the UAE only need their passports to enjoy visa-free travel to each respective country.

The new route will be operated with a two-class Emirates Boeing 777-200LR which offers 38 Business Class seats in a 2-2-2 configuration and 264 seats in Economy Class.

The new 777 flight will also offer up to 14 tonnes of cargo, opening access to more global markets for Mexican exports such as avocados, berries, mangoes, automotive parts and medical supplies.

Emirates SkyCargo has been flying freighters to/from Mexico City since 2014 already and in the last year carried over 22,500 tons of cargo on the route.

In another announcement, Australian members of Emirates Skywards, the loyalty programme of Emirates and flydubai, can use travel and shopping spends from their winter escape this year to earn more Skywards Miles.

Miles earned through Emirates Skywards’ special offers can be redeemed for flights on Emirates, flydubai and other partner airlines or can be used to access a variety of retail and lifestyle rewards.

Emirates Skywards members will also now be able to earn Miles when shopping for their favourite fashion and lifestyle brands at more than 1,300 boutiques across The Bicester Village Shopping Collection located in Europe and China.

Members will earn 1 Skywards Mile for every EUR 1, GBP 1 or RMB 10 spent at any of the Bicester Villages.

Miles can be credited to the member’s Skywards account by presenting a shopping receipt and Skywards membership number at any of the Bicester Villages’ Tourist Information Centres.

The villages offer guests the opportunity to shop leading fashion and lifestyle brands while enjoying savings of up to 60 per cent on the recommended retail price in Europe and up to 80 per cent in China.


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