Here we round up the latest air travel news for business travellers.
New Qantas Club opens at Melbourne Airport
Continuing the long association with award-winning architects Woods Bagot, the completed new Qantas Lounge has begun welcoming patrons. Qantas commenced redoing lounge area in January, while continuing operation, though restricting guests accompanying members and eligible travellers due to reduced space. Capacity has been upped, with more efficient design that also includes more power and USB points.
Singapore Airlines announces launch date for New York flights
Singapore Airlines will launch the world’s longest non-stop flight route in October with a plane that offers no economy class seating. The airline will begin the ultra-long haul route on October 11 with the first flight taking off from Singapore’s Changi Airport bound for Newark Liberty Airport near New York City. The flight will cover a whopping 9000 nautical miles (16,700km) and take almost 19 hours. The airline will operate the flight three times a week.
Qantas and Air New Zealand announce codeshare deal
Air New Zealand and Qantas have announced plans for a reciprocal codeshare agreement that leverages the strengths of each carrier’s domestic networks, making travel within Australia and New Zealand easier. Under the codeshare Qantas intends to add its code on up to 30 routes on Air New Zealand’s domestic network and Air New Zealand intends to add its code on up to 85 routes on Qantas’ domestic network. Coordination of check-in and handling at airports will mean shorter connection times, opening up more onward flights for customers on each carrier’s domestic networks and faster journey times overall.
Qantas introduces in-flight meditation
Qantas is introducing in-flight meditation to its in-flight entertainment offering. The meditation video series has been specially designed to bring a sense of calm, offering passengers a new way to relax while in flight. The 10-minute guided meditation is set to aerial footage of some of the most beautiful landscapes around Australia. Customers can choose from scenes including deserts, bushland, coasts and forests. An immersive virtual reality (VR) version can be downloaded before travelling via the Qantas VR App. The video series will be available from June.
Virgin adds in-flight WiFi to LAX route
Travellers flying with Virgin Australia between Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane and Los Angeles can now enjoy WiFi while in flight. The service costs $9 for one hour or $20 for the entire flight. Connection speeds allow for web browsing, email, messaging and social media, but are insufficient for video streaming and services such as Skype and FaceTime are blocked. Another point to note is that service outages may occur at times during the flight, due to lack of satellite availability. Four of the carrier’s five B777-300ERs used on the LAX routes are already fitted with the WiFi technology, with the service rolling out to the last aircraft this month.
source: FCM travel