Aviation

Aviation Wrap: Virgin’s biggest-ever kids sale, Air Vanuatu’s Airbus A220 arrives + MORE!

Here’s all the latest news from the aviation industry, courtesy of Travel Weekly.

Virgin Australia launches biggest-ever kids sale

Virgin Australia is offering half-price fares for every child aged two to 11 years travelling within Australia and New Zealand, across all classes, from until 30 October.

“We think 2020 will be the year of family travel and we’re making it easy and affordable for all families to explore new destinations and take adventures together,” A Virgin Australia spokesperson said.

“Travel doesn’t have to break the bank and these half-price kids fares mean that going on a family holiday is now one step closer.”

Air Vanuatu welcomes first visit of Airbus A220

Vanuatu’s national carrier has welcomed the first visit of the Airbus A220, ahead of the aircraft joining the airline’s fleet in June 2020.

Air Vanuatu is the launch customer in the South Pacific region for the A220, the most advanced airliner in its class, featuring new manufacturing technologies, reduced fuel consumption and carbon emissions, lower operating costs, and a more attractive passenger cabin.

The aircraft, which featured the colours of A220 launch customer airBaltic, was greeted in Port Vila by distinguished guests who were invited to tour the A220, before enjoying a flight over Port Vila city harbour and the volcanoes of Tanna, landing at Santo-Pekoa Airport.

Upon arrival, guests were treated to a performance by cultural dancers before speeches from Vanuatu Prime Minister Charlot Salwai Tabimasmas, Air Vanuatu CEO Derek Nice and Airbus executive vice president of sales Christopher Buckley.

Malaysia Airlines launches groups offer

Malaysia Airlines is offering up to 15 per cent off on group promotional fares for departures from Australia, for travel between 1 January and 30 September 2020.

The offer is available from now until 12 November 2019 and is valid for groups with 10 or more adults. Additionally, the top agent with the highest revenue will win two economy-class tickets to Malaysia.

For all bookings and enquiries, please contact Malaysia Airlines’ local group sales team via anz.groups@malaysiaairlines.com.

Cathay Pacific lands Australia’s first A350-1000

Cathay Pacific has become the first airline to launch the world’s most advanced aircraft in Australia – the Airbus A350-1000 – with flights into both Melbourne and Perth.

The airline will continue to upgrade key city services with an A350-900 to replace the A330 on Sydney’s CX111 and CX110 services.

The advanced A350-1000, like its -900 sibling, brings together the very latest in aerodynamics, design and advanced technologies, providing improved fuel efficiency as well as a state-of-the-art travel experience for customers.

From a quieter cabin to LED mood lighting, the aircraft greatly improves passenger comfort and helps travellers arrive at their destination feeling refreshed.

All Cathay Pacific A350 aircraft are also equipped with WiFi. New inflight entertainment offerings across the fleet will keep passengers entertained with newly released movies, more complete boxsets and live sports events.

Sydney Airport trials news baggage screening tech

Smiths Detection has announced it is working with Sydney Airport in a trial to boost hold-baggage security at Terminal 1 with Computed Tomography (CT) based high-speed hold baggage automatic explosives detection system with the HI-SCAN 10080 XCT.

Following a successful trial of CT-based HI-SCAN 6040 CTiX for carry-on bag screening, the airport is the first in Australia to trial the explosives detection system in a live operational hold-baggage environment.

Emirates sweetens Diwali this year

During the Diwali festive period, Emirates is offering passengers on all classes a variety of sweet and savoury dishes to celebrate on flights to and from India.

From 25 October to 31 October, Australian passengers on the route and in select lounges across the network are being treated to traditional desserts, curries and snacks that are synonymous with the festival of light.

In addition, Emirates’ award-winning inflight entertainment system, ice, is featuring a number of popular Bollywood movies including Uri, Gold and 2.0.

American Airlines becomes only carrier to fly from US to New Zealand’s South Island

American Airlines will launch the only nonstop service from Los Angeles International Airport to Christchurch, New Zealand, next October.

The airline is also adding the only direct service between Dallas Fort Worth International Airport and Auckland.

Qantas will also increase from six weekly flights between Sydney and Dallas Fort Worth to a daily service by mid-2020.

These routes are a direct result of the recently approved joint business between American Airlines and Qantas.

New music festival hits Melbourne Airport

Travellers departing Melbourne Airport this holiday season have a surprise in store for them when it presents the Boarding Pass Music Festival, running from 13 December to 20 December 2019.

Featuring around 16 young Melbourne-based performers and songwriters, the inaugural Boarding Pass Music Festival establishes Melbourne Airport as a rival to other major airports in cities such as Austin, New Orleans and Nashville in making a commitment to supporting local talent while enhancing the atmosphere of the airport and the experience of travellers.

Scheduled to coincide with high-traffic periods at the airport, the line-up of live performers have been carefully curated to provide mood-enhancing sounds and surprising performances.

South African Airways’ flight schedule returns to normal

South African Airways (SAA) flight schedule has returned to normal after the airline ensured that the majority of the aircraft identified for compliance checks have been released back into service.

A total of 25 aircraft in SAA’s fleet were identified to undergo a compliance verification process. So far, 21 have undergone the compliance verification process, resulting in an 84 per cent completion rate of the identified aircraft.

The remaining four are undergoing a scheduled extended maintenance service. Their absence will not affect the airline operations, as they were not included in the schedule to allow for routine maintenance.

United Airlines pledges $40m to further decarbonise commercial air travel

United Airlines has committed $40 million toward a new investment vehicle focused on accelerating the development of sustainable aviation fuels and other decarbonisation technologies.

The carrier, which earlier this year agreed to purchase up to 10 million gallons of sustainable aviation fuel over the next two years, will look to collaborate with other environmentally conscious partners on the initiative.

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