For week ending 10 March 2017
Qatar Airways revolutionary new QSuites
Qatar Airways has unveiled its new business class suites. QSuites feature privacy doors, middle seats that convert into a double bed and the first-ever ‘party of four’ seating configuration. The suite allows travellers to lower privacy panels creating a four-person private room, with aisle access for all - ideal for strategising an upcoming business meeting while in the air. The existing ‘dine on demand’ service, will now feature a selection of snack ‘sharing dishes’ and an Express Breakfast option has been added for those who want to sleep a little longer. QSuites will roll out on new B777-300ER aircraft from June and will operate on the Doha-London Heathrow route. They will also feature on the carrier’s brand new A350-1000 and will be retrofitted on existing Boeing 777s. A modified version of the QSuite will be offered on B787 and A380 aircraft.
New Qantas Brisbane Lounge
Qantas has unveiled its new Domestic Business Lounge at Brisbane Airport. Top tier frequent flyers and business class travellers will enjoy premium lounge entry, with exclusive check-in area, bag drop, security screening and escalator with direct access to the new lounge precinct. 30% larger than before, the new business lounge seats 350 guests and offers Neil Perry dining options including a cantina serving Mexican dishes. Set to open next week, the domestic lounge follows the opening of the carrier’s new International Lounge at the airport in October last year.
Brisbane trials facial recognition technology
Brisbane Airport is trialling new facial recognition technology. The new SITA Smart Path uses a biometrics process allowing travellers to use self-service check-in kiosks for international travel. They can then complete the boarding process without presenting a boarding pass, passport or travel documents. Air New Zealand passengers will be the first to participate in the trial, which will be expanded to other airlines in coming months.
Holiday Inn Sydney Central
InterContinental Hotels Group plans to open a new property in Sydney CBD. The 305-room Holiday Inn Sydney Central will be located on Pitt Street close to Central Station and China Town, with light rail access to the new International Convention Centre Sydney. It is set to open in 2020.
Cathay Queensland focus
Cathay Pacific plans to rejig flights between Hong Kong and Queensland. Brisbane will offer 11 non-stop flights to Hong Kong each week, while Cairns will benefit from a new non-stop thrice weekly return services to Hong Kong. The new flights replace existing one-stop services from Hong Kong to Brisbane via Cairns.
Cathay expands SFO
Cathay Pacific is boosting flights between Hong Kong and San Francisco. From 29 October, the carrier will offer three flights a day to San Francisco while service to LA will drop from 28 to 21 per week. San Francisco services will operate on new A350-900 aircraft featuring fresh business, premium economy and economy cabins.
Air New Zealand boosts Buenos Aires
Air New Zealand is boosting service on its Auckland-Buenos Aires route. Effective 6 November, the carrier will offer four weekly services between the two cities, with a temporary fifth seasonal service added on 9 December.
New Royal Silk Service
THAI Airways has revamped its in-flight business class service. The “New Royal Silk Service” will cater to individual requirements with all-day dining and new menu options that reflect the country’s cuisine. The all-day dining menu is available on all flights from Bangkok to Europe, and on daytime flights from Bangkok to Australia.