Aviation

Big Fat Airline Wrap

Tuesday at the Travel Weekly office means two things. The first is that it’s airline wrap day and the second is that our weekend hangovers are finally wearing off.

Qatar Airways partners with George Calombaris to create new Greek-inspired in-flight dining options for passengers travelling from Australia

Qatar Airways Catering SVP Aaron Claxton (L), Qatar Airways Senior Manager Australasia Adam Radwanski (R) with George Calombaris and Cabin Crew

Qatar Airways is delighted to announce its expanded collaboration with renowned Australian chef and restauranteur, George Calombaris, who will create a new edition of Greek-inspired in-flight dining options for the airline, starting 1 September 2018.

The new menus will be available to First and Business Class passengers travelling from Qatar Airways’ four gateways in Australia (Adelaide, Melbourne, Perth, Sydney) to Doha, Qatar. Qatar Airways is also working with Chef Calombaris to feature his signature touch in the Economy Class menu, due to debut in the first quarter of 2019.

This marks the second time Qatar Airways has partnered with Calombaris to present his signature dishes at 30,000 feet. In 2017, Qatar Airways and Calombaris jointly presented an exclusive in-flight menu to celebrate the introduction of the A380 service on the Melbourne-Doha route last year.

Sabre to fuel China Eastern Airlines’ next generation Airline Operation Centre

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Sabre Corporation, the leading technology provider to the global travel industry, today announced that China Eastern Airlines selected Sabre’s innovative AirCentre suite as the core system to power their next generation Airline Operation Centre – developed to organize and manage flights, ensure constant flight monitoring operations and to help control safety risks.

With this broad technology partnership, Sabre will drive China Eastern’s transition to become a connected airline by supporting their commercial and operational objectives.

Sabre’s powerful AirCentre flight operations solutions will ensure schedule continuity from the planning stage to day-of operations, minimizing the impact of disruptions to both airline operations and travellers. By leveraging Sabre technology, China Eastern will have the ability to optimize flight plans, deliver accurate flight monitoring capabilities, reduce the workload of dispatchers, and increase productivity.

China Eastern will use Sabre’s innovative flight movement management system to enable fast decision making and facilitate operation recovery, which will directly contribute to improved operation safety and efficiency of the carrier.

Emirates A380 returns to Brisbane

Emirates will once again operate its iconic A380 aircraft on EK434 and EK435, flying between Brisbane and Dubai, from 2nd September 2018. The move will add 945 seats per week and complements Emirates’ existing two daily Brisbane services which are operated by a Boeing 777-300ER.

The enhancement follows a brief period where Emirates operated its Boeing 777-300ER aircraft on this service as part of a routine operational review. Emirates has continued its commitment to the Australian market, introducing its third daily Brisbane service, a fourth daily Sydney service, and upgrading its third daily Melbourne service to an A380 aircraft all within the last 12 months.

Emirates is the only airline in Queensland to operate the iconic A380 aircraft. The A380 offers 489 seats in a three-class cabin configuration with 14 private suites in First Class, 76 flat-bed seats in Business Class and 399 spacious seats in Economy.

Emirates provides seamless connections between Australia and its hub Dubai, allowing passengers to connect to more than 40 European destinations as part of the airline’s vast global route network. The airline also offers passengers generous baggage allowances, gourmet dining and 20MB complimentary onboard Wi-Fi across all classes.

AirAsia celebrates 20 million BIG Loyalty members

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AirAsia has reached 20 million BIG Members globally, marking a major milestone for its BIG Loyalty Programme. The loyalty programme now averages half-a-million sign-ups per month, and in Australia more than 550,000 BIG members are enjoying member-only fares and 24-hour priority booking access for all AirAsia sales.

The airline also announced a partnership with Australia’s Commonwealth Bank Rewards Program, enabling CBA Award credit card holders to convert points into AirAsia BIG points at a rate of 2.5 CBA points = one BIG point.

To celebrate, AirAsia BIG Loyalty is giving away a total of 20 million BIG Points to its most active members from 1 September to 30 November 2018 as part of its #WeAre20MilBIG contest. BIG Members who earn, redeem or convert the most points during this period stand a chance to win 20,000 BIG Points every week, 50,000 BIG Points every month as well as a grand prize of 200,000 BIG Points at the end of the three months.

AirAsia BIG Members can take part simply by earning BIG Points from qualifying AirAsia flights or any of the over 160 lifestyle and travel partners across six key markets in Asia Pacific, or by converting bank and other loyalty points from our partners. Members can also redeem AirAsia flights, hotel stays and exciting tour activities to increase their chances of winning. More details on the giveaway can be found at airasiabig.com.

Air New Zealand celebrates a decade as Australasia’s number one airline

Air New Zealand has been named Australasia’s Leading Airline for the 10th consecutive year at the World Travel Awards overnight in Hong Kong.

The airline has also been named Australasia’s Leading Airline Brand for the second year in a row, an award that was first introduced last year. The awards are voted for by travel and tourism professionals, as well as business and leisure travellers worldwide.

Air New Zealand Chief Marketing and Customer Officer Mike Tod said it’s fantastic to have been recognised as Australasia’s top airline by both consumers and the travel industry for the past decade.

Air Astana demonstrates strong traffic and revenue growth in the first half of 2018

Air Astana A320

Air Astana recorded a 10 per cent increase in passenger traffic and a 17 per cent uptick in revenues in the first half of the year compared with the corresponding period of 2017. Between January and June 2018, the airline carried more than two million passengers.

The traffic growth was driven by the strong performance on international passenger traffic that is up 22 per cent compared to the same period in 2017. International transit traffic in the first half of 2018 grew by 75 per cent to 320,000 passengers on a strong base of 2017. The share of transit passengers reached 30 per cent of Air Astana’s international traffic, up from 21 per cent for the same period last year.

Capacity was bolstered eight per cent as a result of the introduction of new flights from Astana to Tyumen and Kazan, as well as additional frequencies from Astana to London Heathrow (now daily), Omsk, Dubai, Delhi, and from Almaty to Dushanbe, Baku, Hong Kong, Seoul and Bishkek. Additional services were added to Beijing, Moscow, St. Petersburg and Kiev from both hubs. In addition, on March 26, the airline launched new Atyrau-Frankfurt-Atyrau services.

In March, Air Astana concluded a codeshare agreement with Cathay Pacific, offering passengers convenient connections when travelling on to Asia and Australia via Hong Kong, becoming its 11th codeshare partner.

Krisshop introduces ’60-minute’ advance pre-order for duty-free merchandise

Singapore Airlines’ flagship online retail store, KrisShop.com, will soon allow customers to pre-order duty-free merchandise up to 60 minutes prior to their flight departure out of Singapore.

Effective from 5 September 2018, customers departing Singapore on select SilkAir flights on weekdays between 1000hrs and 1600hrs will be the first to enjoy such an offering. This initiative will progressively be extended to other SilkAir and Singapore Airlines flights.

KrisShop currently provides pre-ordering services of up to 24 hours and 48 hours for Singapore Airlines and SilkAir flights departing Singapore respectively. With the new initiative, customers who have already checked in and wish to make a last-minute order will still be able to purchase the duty-free merchandise before their flight departs. Customers can then collect their purchased items on board their flight. More details can be found at www.krisshopair.com/preorder60info.

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