The Big Fat Airline Wrap

Gabriella Warden

Spring has truly sprung on this sunny Thursday and there’s nothing but blue skies on the horizon – perfect weekend flying conditions.

You’ve got this weekend’s weather forecast, so now fasten your seatbelts for take off as we deliver you this week’s big fat airline wrap.


Virgin Australia chooses Amadeus for flight management

virgin australia flight attendant

Virgin Australia has become the first airline to adopt Amadeus Altéa Departure Control Flight Management (Altéa DC-FM) as a standalone solution.

Altéa DC-FM will optimise flight departures by centralising load control operations so that load controllers can safely handle many flights at once through a single interface, without switching between systems.

Further benefits include optimised fuel consumption and cargo, reduced costs of delays, improved safety and increased productivity.

Amadeus Asia-Pacific executive vp, airline commercial Hazem Hussein said, “This opens the doors to any carrier who is looking for a best-in-class weight and balance solution without wanting to go through a full migration to a new passenger service system.”


Cathay Pacific announces a new chapter for the Marco Polo Club loyalty program


Cathay Pacific Airways has announced changes to its Marco Polo Club loyalty programme to enhance the overall membership experience through more effective recognition of the contribution made by individual members.

From 15 April 2016, the Marco Polo Club will change to a new more-balanced, points-based system, based on a combination of the cabin customers travel in, the fare class booked and the distance travelled.

This will see members who fly in premium classes earn tier status faster and allow members to earn club points from a wider range of fares, including discounted fare types that are currently not applicable to club status.

All popular member benefits, including unlimited lounge access for Silver members and above, as well as priority boarding and check-in, remain unchanged.

At the same time, Cathay Pacific will further improve the overall membership experience by introducing more flexible and family-friendly benefits, including:

  • Extra Lounge Passes for members and their invited guests
  • Bookable Upgrades for Gold and Diamond members
  • Additional Gold companion card for Diamond members
  • “Membership Holidays” enabling members to retain their status for one year, in recognition of those who may need to temporarily reduce their travel activity
  • Lower qualifying age for young members, down from 18 to 12


Jetstar’s Gold Coast-Wuhan service takes off


Jetstar has launched its first nonstop flight service between mainland China and Australia.

On Wednesday, its inaugural Wuhan-Gold Coast service landed at Coolangatta Airport with over 300 Chinese visitors onboard, marking a strong start to the new route.

Jetstar Group ceo Jayne Hrdlicka said the new services would deliver 70,000 seats annually between Wuhan and the Gold Coast.

The Gold Coast is currently the most popular Queensland destination for Chinese travellers.


Grand Canyon Scenic Airlines launches new Grand Canyon West air tour

Grand Canyon Scenic Tours new tour

Papillon Group’s Grand Canyon Scenic Airlines is launching the Grand Canyon West air tour, Native Explorer Tour with Legacy.

The new tour departs from Grand Canyon West air terminal.

Guests will experience views above Eagle Point, home of the Skywalk glass bridge, Guano Point and other Grand Canyon West attractions, while in-flight narration in 16 languages will provide facts and history about the Hualapai tribe and their land.

After returning to the terminal, the tour continues on an air-conditioned coach with a self-guided ground tour of Grand Canyon West visiting Hualapai Ranch and Eagle Point.

The tour will conclude at Guano Point with panoramic views of the Grand Canyon’s west rim.

Pricing starts at US$140/adult or $120/child.

To book, visit the website.


KrisFlyer members now earn miles on Scoot and Tigerair Singapore

Effective Tuesday 29 September, KrisFlyer members can now earn miles when they purchase a PlusPerks bundle or FlexiCombo fare from their flights on Scoot and Tigerair Singapore, respectively.

Scoot’s PlusPerks bundle also has a range of additional benefits on top of KrisFlyer miles accrual, including priority check-in and boarding, preferred seat selection and ticket flexibility.

In addition to earning KrisFlyer miles, Tigerair’s FlexiCombo also offers customers complimentary 15 kg checked-in baggage, free upfront seat selection, and a one-time fee waiver on date change.


Amadeus teams up with Air Canada to distribute the airline’s full content and advance its global merchandising vision

Air Canada B787 Livery

Air Canada and Amadeus have reached a new multi-year distribution agreement, through which Amadeus travel agency customers will have access to all fares and seat availability.

Air Canada will take advantage of Amadeus Fare Families and Amadeus Ancillary Services, providing travel agency customers with access to the airline’s complete range of merchandising content.

The companies will also leverage existing features of the Amadeus point-of-sale retailing platform to offer Amadeus subscribers access to rich content related to Air Canada fare products.

This agreement will also allow Air Canada to respond to the evolving marketplace in areas of commercial interest.

Amadeus subscribers will be able to book Air Canada’s full range of content and best fares, including those available through the carrier’s internal reservations system and its consumer and third-party Web sites.

Amadeus will bring its leading merchandising capabilities and connect to Air Canada’s interface via XML, enabling complete access to the airline’s products. Through seamless integration, Amadeus subscribers will continue to benefit from efficiency and transparency offered by the global distribution system.

This global agreement will allow to pursue their business objectives, evolve the distribution landscape, and support international network expansion, while allowing customers to make well-informed air-purchase decisions.


Solomon Airlines to commence direct Honiara-Nadi service

Subject to government approval, the new direct Honiara-Nadi service will take effect on Wednesday, 4 November 2015.

The airline will utilise its flagship Airbus A320 on the route, which is scheduled to operate ex-Honiara on Wednesdays and ex-Nadi on Thursdays.

Flight times will be as follows (based on Solomon Islands/Fiji Islands local time with Fiji Daylight Savings times applied):

  • Flight IE 708 operating Wednesday, departs Honiara at 1515 arriving Nadi at 2015
  • Flight IE 709 operating Thursday, departs Nadi at 1100 arriving Honiara at 1200

This service builds on Soloman Airlines’ existing Honiara-Nadi service operating via Port Vila, Vanuatu, on Saturdays and returning to Honiara, again via Port Vila, on Sundays.

The new flight path represents a further expansion of Solomon Airlines international network, the carrier having commenced a direct Sydney-Honiara service in June.

Soloman Airlines general manager operations & commercial, Gus Kraus said this benchmark achievement would offer opportunities for seamless connections via Fiji into the Soloman Islands, particularly for travellers from North America and northern Asia.


British Airways launches improved On Business loyalty program

British Airways has re-launched a revitalised On Business loyalty scheme, enabling businesses to optimise their travel budgets.

The new program will allow small- and medium-sized businesses utilise their travel budgets more efficiently and travellers to collect and redeem both business and personal points.

The program brings together British Airways, Iberia and American Airlines business programs to allow customers to collect and spend on all three under the one scheme.

The improved On Business loyalty program now rewards points based on spend rather than distance or number of flights.

  • Additional new benefits to the platform include:
  • Cash discounts on selected flights
  • A Three Tier ranking system to boost earning power
  • Handpicked offers and bonuses for members
  • A new easy to use online account management tool


Etihad Airways showcases its European innovations with Mobile Product Exhibition


Etihad Airways has launched a unique new mobile exhibition which will visit its nine key European markets to give commercial partners and consumers first-hand experience of the airline’s revolutionary new cabin products and inflight service elements.

Weighing approximately 22 tonnes and measuring 50m², the 16m long mobile exhibition includes full-size mock-ups of The Residence, the world’s only three-room cabin on a commercial airline, and the First Apartment – both currently onboard the airline’s A380 fleet, and also the B787 First Suite.

The Business Studio and Economy Smart Seat, which feature on both aircraft types, are also displayed.

The first phase of the tour will commence on 24 September in Zurich.

It will then head to Munich, Frankfurt, Hannover, Düsseldorf, Paris, Lyon, Strasbourg, Cannes, Milan, Torino and Bologna, ending in Amsterdam on 14 December.

The second phase, beginning in January 2016, will see Exhibition visit the UK, Ireland, Belgium and Spain, followed by repeat visits to the cities included in the tour’s first phase.

The mobile product exhibition allows Etihad Airways to bypass the logistical constraints of transporting cabin mock ups to multiple locations, taking its ground-breaking premium products directly to target markets, trade events, and exhibitions.

Featured image: Steven Spielberg/’Catch Me If You Can’ via becomingthefuhrer.wordpress.com



Leave a Reply

Travel Agents

AFTA’s Resilient Mind program yields huge results

The Australian Federation of Travel Agents (AFTA) has shared results from its Resilient Mind Program, revealing huge improvements in mental […]




Club Med gets into the gift card game

This Christmas, your clients can treat friends and family with the gift of a much-needed holiday AND give you a tidy commission in one go!




Bombshells emerge over Western Sydney Airport land deal, as AFP investigates

The stench around the ‘Leppington Triangle’ deal, which saw taxpayers fork out 10 times what the land was valued as, is getting worse by the day.




Australia’s incoming passenger cards to get the chop

Are you one of those people who never seems to have a pen handy to fill out the incoming passenger card post-flight? Rejoice here.




Airline embroiled in website scam duping travellers with fake tickets

Have you purchased some too-good-to-be-true-airfares for your clients recently? You might want to read this.




Tourism Fiji’s CEO to exit

After four-and-a-half years at the helm, Matt Stoeckel is saying ‘ni sa moce’ to Tourism Fiji.




Financial reporting and AGM pressure eases for Virgin Australia

The embattled airline has also launched a 20th birthday sale, with fares from just $69, along with a bunch of cheap tickets to and from Melbourne.




Canadian tourist sends “cursed” artefacts back to Pompeii

by Ali Coulton

A travel agent in Italy has received a peculiar package containing “cursed” ancient ruins and a letter of confession.



Road & Rail

New data reveals most popular rental car brands around the world

Ever wondered what the most popular rental car brand is in Latvia? Well, today is your lucky day because we’ve got the answer right here.




APT takes to the skies with ‘Private Air Tours’

Just like trackpants, Birkenstocks and sourdough baking, it seems privately chartered flights are all the rage right now.




Azamara grows local presence and announces 2021 European cruises

The boutique cruise line has tripled the size of its local sales team with a slew of new appointments, as well as revealing its new restart date.




Travel DAZE 2020 speaker spotlight: Maria Elena Rossi, Italian National Tourist Board

We caught up with the Italian National Tourist Board’s marketing chief to find out why the organisation is supporting next month’s event, and what to expect from her session.