Big Fat Airline Wrap

If you looked at today’s newsletter and thought, by god there’s a lot of airline news today, we’re sorry we have no explanation.

Hong Kong Airlines and Virgin Australia to Launch Codeshare Partnership


Hong Kong Airlines and Virgin Australia will form a codeshare partnership that will provide customers with connectivity to 11 destinations across the flight networks of both airlines.

Under the codeshare agreement, Virgin Australia will offer codeshare services on Hong Kong Airlines’ five return services per week between Hong Kong and the Gold Coast and Cairns, Australia. Virgin Australia customers travelling on those services will also be able to book onward travel to mainland China under an interline agreement with Hong Kong Airlines.  

Hong Kong Airlines customers travelling to or from Hong Kong will enjoy codeshare flights to 11 destinations on the Virgin Australia network. 

Members of Virgin Australia’s Velocity Frequent Flyer program will be able to earn Velocity Frequent Flyer Points and Status Credits. Members of Hong Kong Airlines’ Fortune Wings Club will be able to earn frequent flyer points on eligible flights operated by Virgin Australia and base points earned on eligible flights will count toward attainment of Elite Membership.

Hong Kong Airlines and Virgin Australia also plan to introduce further benefits for members of their frequent flyer programs in 2017 including access to airline lounges, priority check-in, priority boarding and additional baggage allowances.

Bangkok Airways and Hong Kong Airlines enter into codeshare agreement

Bangkok Airways and Hong Kong Airline have entered into codeshare partnership. Under the agreement, Hong Kong Airlines customers can now travel with Bangkok Airways to Koh Samui directly from Hong Kong or via Bangkok using its domestic flights between Bangkok and Koh Samui.

The codeshare flights has opened for sale on 1 June 2017 and for travel effective from the same day. Flight tickets under the codeshare agreement can be purchased via your preferred travel agents.

Changes to Qantas and Emirates’ Sydney to Auckland Route

Qantas will introduce twice-daily* Airbus A330 flights on the Sydney-Auckland route, as part of operational changes to the joint Qantas-Emirates network across the Tasman.

From 13 July 2017, Emirates will suspend its daily EK418 and EK419 A380 flights between Sydney and Auckland, with those flights replaced by the Qantas A330 services. Qantas will also upgauge some existing B737 flights to A330 where there is demand. The revised schedule will make sure the airlines have the right amount of capacity in the market to meet customer needs.

VroomVroomVroom appointed as Tigerair Australia car hire partner


Australasia car rental service, VroomVroomVroom has partnered with Tigerair Australia. Customers booking with Tigerair Australia now have access to car rental deals across Tigerair’s 13 main airport destinations around the country thanks to a new partnership with VroomVroomVroom.

The collaboration will allow customers to book their airfare and rental car together on the Tigerair Australia website in one seamless transaction. Car hire is also available as an optional extra on the airline’s website via a dedicated tab on the homepage, where travellers can book a car anywhere in the world.

Partnering with car hire comparison service VroomVroomVroom allows Tigerair Australia customers to easily compare a large variety of vehicles at competitive prices, from all airports and regional locations all around Australia. Tigerair Australia customers will also have access to VroomVroomVroom’s experienced industry booking experts and a renowned customer care team who provide unparalleled service.

Air Astana Launch first non-stop Flight From Frankfurt to Uralsk

Ais Astana non-stop flights from Frankfurt to Uralsk will operate on Wednesdays. Frankfurt – Uralsk departs 14:40 and arrives 21:50. Uralsk – Frankfurt departs 12:05 and arrives 13:25.

Economy fares start from USD$ 665, and Business from USD$3174.

Qantaslink Hopping to Kangaroo Island

QantasLink today announced it will launch flights to Kangaroo Island, providing travellers with a new destination on its domestic network.

From December, QantasLink will offer flights to Kangaroo Island from both Adelaide and Melbourne with a schedule that sees more flights during peak seasons, providing around 20,000 seats a year using its Dash-8 50 seat Q300 and 74 seat Q400 aircraft.

Flights from Adelaide will commence on 4 December, operating three times per week year-round, and increasing to five times per week over the peak summer season through to Easter. Seasonal flights from Melbourne will commence on 17 December 2017, operating three times per week during the peak summer holiday season through to the end of January.

To celebrate the new route, QantasLink is offering special fares of $99 one-way, for travel from Adelaide to Kangaroo Island, and $199 one-way from Melbourne to Kangaroo Island, until 9 June 2017 for travel between 4 December 2017 and 30 April 2018.*

Finnair showcases Finnish food culture with new collaborations

In conjunction with Finland’s upcoming centennial anniversary, Finnair is launching three new food collaborations for its onboard meals, dedicated to the promotion of healthy and hearty Finnish food culture.

Business class for long-haul flights leaving Helsinki
The menu features delicacies such as Baltic herring, a Karelian stew and a cep mushroom soup flavored with cured elk. Chef Vottonen, supported by the ELO Foundation, finished sixth out of 24 participants at the prestigious Bocuse d’Or competition in Lyon, France in January 2017.

Business class for long-haul flights to Helsinki
This menu being served on Finnair’s flights will feature elements including pickled salmon, rainbow trout and a Karelian stew with beef and pork. Variations of the ELO Foundation’s 100 years’ menu will also be served at Finnish embassies around the world to commemorate Finland’s centennial celebrations.

Economy class for long haul flights
The meals were selected by students from the Cygnaeus school in Turku during a workshop at Finnair’s catering premises, and tailored to fit the aircraft environment. The meals selected by the students include traditional Finnish favourites such as potatoes and meatballs as well as macaroni and meat casserole.


Oman Air update air fares from SYD/MEL/ADL/PER/DRW

Oman Air have updated their fares and have included Adelaide, Perth and Darwin. The fares are common-rated and are filed in the GDS.

Off-season flights to London, start from as little as $722 return, while in Peak-season fares start from $1,240.

The full list of Economy air fares can be found at walshegroup.com/sydwy0417-18may17-wymheconomyclassfares.pdf

Lufthansa provides cabin staff with iPads

With the “Lufthansa crewFlight” apps, the seating plan is quickly opened, providing the cabin crew with plenty of information on the guests of their next flight. Lufthansa has provided its 20,000 flight attendants with iPad Minis. The cabin mobile device (CMD) will be successively issued to the entire cabin crew over the next few weeks.

The so-called Electronic Flight Bag has already been in operation in the cockpit since the beginning of 2015 and is used by 4,300 pilots for flight planning and operations. At the same time, cabin crew managers also received a tablet, and this is now to be extended to include all cabin crew as a result of the positive experience.

The CMD will allow cabin crew members to access all the data they need to work on board, to access important service manuals and service schedules, and easily view any changes in plans.

The Cabin Mobile Device project is part of a major current program of transformation called ‘OPSession’, which aims to further digitise the operational areas of Lufthansa, Swiss and Austrian Airlines. Employees with no fixed workplace are to be equipped with mobile devices so that they may meet the needs of the customer in an even better and more personalised way.

Qantas Codeshare with Latam Brazil 


Qantas and LATAM Brazil have signed a new codeshare agreement, providing more opportunities for Qantas customers to earn and redeem points.

From this week Qantas will add its code to a number of LATAM Brazil’s nonstop services between Santiago and Sao Paulo, and Santiago and Rio de Janeiro. The new flights are in addition to Qantas’ existing codeshare arrangements on LATAM Chile services between Santiago and Sao Paulo.

Qantas currently operates four direct flights per week between Sydney and Santiago, and codeshares with LATAM Chile on seven flights per week via Auckland. Qantas will also codeshare LATAM Chile’s direct flight between Melbourne and Santiago which launches in October 2017.

French Boutique Airline La Compagnie enters Interline Agreement (IET) with Hahn Air

La Compagnie is a French airline with operational base at Paris’ Charles-de-Gaulle (CDG) airport. With a fleet of two Boeing 757-200, it offers up to two daily flights from Paris (CDG) to New York City (EWR) and from New York City (EWR) to Paris (CDG). The aircraft are equipped with only 74 seats and provide a business class experience for each passenger, complete with two items of checked luggage, priority access at the airport and free access to the business class airport lounges.

The German scheduled airline Hahn Air announced a new Interline Electronic Ticketing Agreement (IET) with La Compagnie (B0). The French boutique airline offering all-business-class flights from Paris to New York joined Hahn Air’s unique network of more 300 air, rail and shuttle partners to enhance its global distribution. Its flights are now available on Hahn Air’s HR-169 ticket to travel agents using Amadeus, Galileo, Sabre, Apollo and Worldspan under La Compagnie’s IATA code B0 – even in markets where it is not a member of the local Billing and Settlement Plan (BSP).

Tigerair Australia launch 2 for 1 flight sale 

The ‘two airfares for the price of one’ sale commences midday (AEST) today until midday (AEST) Saturday 10 June 2017 (or until sold out). The ‘two for one’ fares are available when a customer enters ‘2FOR1’ in the promo code field at the time of booking.

Thera are over 19,000 one way fares across Tigerair’s 24 domestic routes for travel between early October and mid-December 2017.

“Today’s sale caters for all types of travellers and tastes and it isn’t limited to just two people. For example, a Sydney based family of four can head to the Gold Coast for their annual family holiday for just over $230 each way, while a Melbourne based couple can experience some fun in the Cairns sun for only $135 each way,” Tigerair Australia spokesman Joel Dwyer said.

New Flights to Colombo suggests Sri Lanka is Australian’s New Travel Hot Spot


Verdant rainforests, palm-fringed beaches, UNESCO temples and an intriguing culture, Sri Lanka is an inspiring destination that will soon be more accessible than ever for Australians with SriLankan Airlines starting to operate daily non-stop flights from Melbourne to Colombo from 29th October this year.

The new flights will tap into growing interest of Australians to visit the destination, which has seen a strong increase in visitation numbers from Australia of over 30% over the last three years.*

The new A330-200 aircraft will take Victorians directly to Colombo, Sri Lanka’s capital and largest city, in just 11 hours.

According to Chad Carey, co-founder of Asia Travel Specialist GetAboutAsia, Sri Lanka’s destination diversity is one of the main draws luring Australians.

“From stunning scenery, incredible beaches, tea stations and an intriguing culture that goes back thousands of years, Sri Lanka has everything Australians love in a holiday with a vibe that perfectly combines the dramatic India and the laid-back Bali attitude” he said.

SAA and Virgin Australia collaborate to change three young African lives

Thanks to the combined efforts of South African Airways (SAA) and its codeshare partner in Australia, Virgin Australia, three young Ugandan kids are receiving life-changing surgery and treatment here in this country.

According to Trent Malcolm, SAA’s Sales Manager for Queensland, the airline partnered with Brisbane-based charity Droplets in a Stream to fly a young girl, Mary, to Australia for urgent treatment. Two more young boys, Robert and Benson are also soon to receive surgery.

“Mary was 15 years old when she swallowed acid, leaving her oesophagus so badly scarred she couldn’t eat or drink. For eight years, she has been kept alive by a feeding tube,” Trent said following Mary’s successful surgery at John Hunter Hospital in Newcastle.

Doctors will operate on Robert, 10 who cannot walk, and Benson, 8, who cannot go to the toilet on his own, will undergo surgery in The Mater, Brisbane and Newcastle John Hunter Hospitals.

Trent said that SAA’s management and staff in Australia and Uganda worked closely with Rodney Callanan, Director of Droplets in a Stream to bring the three young people and their carers to Australia all the way from Uganda.


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