Big Fat Airline Wrap – Travel Weekly

It’s our 50th Big Fat Airline Wrap today, and to celebrate we wrote another one. Sorry, no cupcakes or streamers here.

Qatar Airways launch special Business Class fares.

Qatar Airways is celebrating being named the “World’s Best Business Class” at the 2017 Skytrax World Airline Awards by offering passengers special Business Class fares as part of its “Fly with the World’s Best Business Class” global sales campaign launched this week.

From 31 July to 9 August, passengers will be able to book fares on board the World’s Best Business Class from Perth to London (starting from $6,199), Paris (starting from $6,029), Dublin (from $5,909) and Rome (from $5,949) for travel until 31 March 2018.

Quatar recently launched routes to Nice, France; Dublin, Republic of Ireland and Skopje, as well as launches to Kyiv, Ukraine; Prague, Czech Republic and Sohar, Oman taking place in August. Further discounts are also on offer for recently announced destinations like Sohar, Oman; Kyiv in Ukraine; and Prague, Czech Republic

The airline recently introduced a new Business Class seat, “Qsuite”,  featuring the industry’s first-ever double bed available in Business Class, with privacy panels that stow away, allowing passengers in adjoining seats to create their own private room. Adjustable panels and movable TV monitors on the centre four seats allow colleagues, friends or families travelling together to transform their space into a private suite, allowing them to work, dine and socialise together.

Emirates recognised in Future Travel Experience Airline Passenger Experience Power List 2017

Emirates has been recognised in the Future Travel Experience Airline Passenger Experience Power List 2017. Adel Al Redha, Emirates’ Executive Vice President and Chief Operations Officer was ranked in the top 5 global airline executives for his leadership in directing the airline’s consistent delivery of superior services on the ground, and in the air.

The Future Travel Experience Airline Passenger Experience Power List is an independent initiative that identifies the 25 airline employees most empowered to enhance the end-to-end passenger experience, both at their own airline and on a global scale by setting and raising customer experience benchmarks.

Mr. Al Redha has been with Emirates since 1988 and is at the helm of operational departments in the airline’s hub in Dubai as well as worldwide network. In the last year, he spearheaded a number of projects including the “Together” initiative, a collaborative project bringing together the airline, Dubai Customs, Dubai General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs, Dubai Police and Dubai Airports to help improve the customer experience at Dubai International Airport using the latest technologies.

Those on the Power List are ultimately responsible for the end-to-end customer experience within their respective airlines, and have been identified based on a variety of factors, including: displaying a fresh approach to differentiate their offering to passengers both in the air and on the ground; and empowering passengers and staff through introducing new technologies.

AirAsia launch Buy More, Save More campaign

AirAsia have launched discounts of up to 45% when passengers travel as a group on the same booking. While solo travellers can benefit from the campaign, the bigger the group, the bigger the savings.

One guest will receive fifteen percent off, two guests will receive twenty five percent off, three guests get thirty five percent off, and four to nine guests get a whopping forty five percent off.

The promotion also extends to the airline’s new destinations such as Kuala Lumpur-Sihanoukville, Langkawi-Shenzen and Langkawi-Kuching, which will commence on 9 August 2017. If passengers book a Fly-Thru flight or book an AirAsia X Premium Flatbed, they can also get a twenty percent discount.

To take advantage of this promotion, travellers should book via AirAsia website or mobile app from 31 July 2017 to 6 August 2017 for travel between 26 February 2018 and 28 August 2018. The discount varies according to destination and is subject to flight availability.

Lufthansa upgrades daily Hong Kong to Munich service with its brand new A350 

From the 13 September 2017, Lufthansa will operate its daily flight between Hong Kong and Munich with the modern long-haul aircraft, the Airbus A350-900.

The aircraft features the  highest level of comfort with a wider cabin, bigger windows, larger TV screens in all travel classes and much more. The Lufthansa A350-900 is configured to seat 293 passengers: 48 in Business Class, 21 in Premium Economy and 224 in Economy Class. The improved Lufthansa Business Class offers a self-service area where refreshments are available anytime. Passengers of the Economy Class can enjoy a new colour design and relax in the ergonomically shaped seats with adjustable headrest.

The A350 features LED mood lighting, and FlyNet Wifi available on all classes, and entertainment system that allows passengers to make a selection from the onboard program using the “Lufthansa Companion App”.

The Lufthansa A350-900, in comparison with similar types of aircraft, consumes 25 percent less fuel and produces 25 percent fewer emissions. Its noise footprint is up to 50 percent smaller than that of comparable aircraft types.

Lufthansa will introduce its flagship the A380 on the Hong Kong – Munich route for the first time in the summer schedule 2018. A total of five A380 aircrafts will be transferred to Munich as part of a strategy to strengthen the southern German hub. As a first step three new European destinations were announced for October 2017 to further enhance Munich’s broad European network.

British Airways introduce more perks to the First Wing 


Since The First Wing opened on 5 April , the exclusive check-in area for British Airways’ First, Gold Executive Club and oneworld Emerald customers at London Heathrow Terminal 5 has welcomed nearly 200,000 travellers through the security channel leading directly into the Galleries First lounge and Concorde Room.

British Airways is continuing to invest in other improvements to First, including a refresh of its flagship Concorde Room at London Heathrow Terminal 5 to be unveiled in October 2017. The lounge, which is exclusively for First customers will receive an updated look and feel, as well as improvements to the terrace area.

Additionally new Liberty London amenity kits will take to the skies at the end of July. The kits feature prints from Liberty’s vintage textile archive. The ladies’ version features an eye-catching print called ‘Indiana’ flower pattern in a range of blues, while the male amenity kits showcases a more understated black and grey paisley design called ‘Arundel’.

The gentlemen’s amenity kits features Refinery’s revitalising moisturiser, lip balm, deodorant stick and shave gel as well as a razor, brush and comb, toothbrush/toothpaste, eye mask, socks, ear plugs and pen. The ladies’ kit includes Aromatherapy Associates triple rose renewing moisturiser, hydrating hand lotion, renewing cleanser and deodorant stick, along with a lip balm, cotton wool pads, toothbrush/toothpaste, hairbrush and pen.

Qatar Airways will launch daily flights to Canberra from February 2018 

Qatar Airways will begin daily service to Canberra, via Sydney, starting 12 February 2018, with the the airline’s first flight departing Canberra for Doha on 13 February. Canberra will be Qatar Airways’ fifth Australian destination, and the airline will be the first international carrier to offer Australia’s capital city daily scheduled flights to Doha via Sydney.

Qatar Airways will fly a Boeing 777-300 daily from Canberra to Sydney and onward to Doha, connecting passengers to more than 150 destinations, of which more than 40 are in Europe.

On board in Business Class, passengers can enjoy one of the most comfortable fully-flat beds in the sky with 78 inches of seat pitch. The aircraft also features the state-of the-art Oryx One entertainment system, with up to 3,000 entertainment options on individual screens in all classes.

From Doha to Sydney, flights will depart 08:10 and arrive 06:15 (+1). Flight will depart Sydney for Canberra at 07:25, arriving at 08:25. Canberra to Sydney will depart 13:45 and arrive at 14:45, then Sydney to Doha will depart 15:55, arriving at 22:30.

Etihad Airways reports a net loss for 2016

In their 2016 financial results, Etihad Airways recorded a net loss of US$ 1.87 billion on US$ 8.36 billion in revenues as one-off impairment charges and fuel hedging losses weighed against a solid performance. The core airline business achieved steady passenger revenues of US$ 4.9 billion and 79% load factors while carrying 18.5 million passengers. Available seat kilometres (ASKs) increased by 9% to 113.9 billion. Yields fell 8% amid market capacity pressures and the tough global economic climate, but this was partially offset by an 11% reduction in unit costs.

Total impairments of US$ 1.9 billion included a US$ 1.06 billion charge on aircraft, reflecting lower market values and the early phase out of certain aircraft types. There was also a US$ 808 million charge on certain assets and financial exposures to equity partners, mainly related to Alitalia and airberlin.

Legacy fuel hedging contracts also had a negative bearing on performance in 2016, though this exposure is expected to have less of a financial impact during 2017. A slowdown in the cargo market put increased pressure on cargo revenues and yields, and the airline saw a slight improvement in freight carried at 595,519 tonnes for the 12-month period.

“We are in an industry characterised by overcapacity, declining market sizes on key routes, and changing customer behaviour as a weak global economy affects spending appetite,”  Chief Executive Officer of Etihad Airways, Peter Baumgartner said.

“Our answer to these challenges is innovation and reinvention… our fuel hedging positions, which helped manage fuel spend during the oil price boom, yet significantly impacted our cost base last year, will taper during 2017. We are also seeing promising improvements in the contribution made by our ancillary revenue strategies, and we expect those to offset some of the yield declines.”

Emirates Group Security to host Global Aviation Security Symposium in Dubai


Emirates Group Security, the multi-faceted organisation that develops and implements security measures and strategies across the Emirates network, will be bringing together leading global experts in aviation security for a three day symposium on aviation security in Dubai between 8 and 10 October 2017. This will be the third edition of the AVSEC Global symposium following earlier events held in Dubai in 2013 and 2015 by Emirates Group Security.

Themed ‘Ahead of Tomorrow’, the AVSEC Global 2017 symposium will focus on the initiatives and the technologies that will drive aviation security in the future. The symposium is slated to bring together some of the most prominent industry leaders in global security to discuss critical security challenges of the future including Sir Tim Clark, President Emirates airline, Mr Khoo Boon Hui, former President of Interpol, Ms Sachi Wimmer, Executive Director, Office of Transport Security, Australian Government and Ms Christine Negroni, author and journalist specialising in aviation.

The conference will be inaugurated by His Highness (H.H.) Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman and Chief Executive, Emirates airline and Group.

The AVSEC Global 2017 symposium will build on the success of the event in 2015 which brought together over 600 industry professionals and over 20 key sponsors and exhibitors. In addition to an exhibition, the symposium will also feature the International Awards of Excellence in Aviation Security, which will recognise exceptional performance and achievements in the global aviation security industry. Nominations are invited from both individuals and organisations and the awardees will be determined by an eminent panel of aviation security industry experts.

Brisbane Airport is introducing a new website Acquia

Acquia, the digital experience company, has been contracted to develop Brisbane Airport Corporation’s (BAC) new online presence. The airport aims to deliver a digital customer experience using Drupal 8, one that matches the extensive modernisation project Brisbane Airport is currently undertaking.

This newly built BAC website is powered by the Acquia Platform and will also leverage Acquia’s global professional services team. Drupal expert partner Technocrat will provide technical delivery — the BAC desktop site alone currently receives approximately 500,000 visitors per month.

The two-phased approach will start with a new clean, contemporary, efficient responsive online presence as the first point of engagement for travellers seeking to check flights, discover retail, dining and other facilities at the airport, as well as research other transportation and passenger options. The second phase will target partner and investor audiences and focus on improved navigation and communications.

BAC is investing $3.8 billion over a decade redeveloping and expanding Brisbane Airport (BNE). Airside, landside, terminal and building projects continue to take place with BAC investing $2.2 billion over the next five years (FY17-FY21). Brisbane Airport is the third largest in visitor numbers in Australia and the largest in land size.

A new arrivals lounge has opened up in Heathrow’s Terminal 3

Plaza Premium Heathrow Terminal 3 Arrivals Lounge Entrance

Plaza Premium Group have opened a new arrivals lounge in Heathrow’s Terminal three. The lounge has a 28-person seating capacity and features generous food and beverage facilities as part of its lounge use packages. A wide variety of international newspapers and magazines, satellite television channels, unlimited high-speed Wi-Fi and an efficient pressing service are also available.

Working to increase the Airport Service Quality (ASQ) rating, Plaza Premium Group has improved their lounges and facilities for Heathrow passengers by investing heavily in showers. Plaza Premium Lounge Terminal 3 Arrivals offers 11 spacious shower rooms which gives a welcome relief to passengers that have come from long haul flights.

Plaza Premium Group currently has arrivals lounges in both Terminals 2 and 4 at Heathrow. The arrivals lounge in Terminal 4 opened in March this year and with 75-person capacity features a lounge and bar area, as well as meeting room facilities. These lounges are the fantastic place to refresh and recharge after those long-haul flights from Australia, South East Asia and the Middle East with entry starting from only £15.


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