Travel news for the week ending 6 May 2016.
In the week that was Emirates upgrades aircraft, expands to new cities and adds additional flights. Cathay Pacific & Malaysian Airlines announce new lounges and plans to revamp existing ones and Delta announced their new premium economy launch.
All this and more in our weekly news round up brought to you by FCM Travel Solutions.
Cathay unveils new airport lounge in Vancouver
Cathay Pacific opens a new lounge in Vancouver for first and business class passengers as well as qualifying frequent flyers. The new lounge has been designed in the airline’s new contemporary style and facilities include free Wi-Fi and three computer workstations with iMacs and printers. The lounge also features Cathay’s Noodle Bar concept, along with The Pantry, which serves a selection of cold cuts, cheeses, salads, western food, fruits and desserts.
China Southern launching in-flight Wi-Fi
China Southern Airlines now offers in-flight high-speed Wi-Fi. Currently only available on flights CZ301/302 between Sydney and Guangzhou, the carrier hopes to roll the service out across its fleet of 10 A300-series aircraft by June. Until a pricing scheme is adopted, the service is being offered free of charge.
Emirates A380s Touches down in Taipei
Emirates have upgraded its Dubai-Taipei service to an A380. The Superjumbo has replaced the B777s currently operating the route.
Starwood to add brand new Aloft in Seoul
Seoul will soon boast Starwood’s second Aloft-branded property. The 223-room new-build Aloft Seoul Myeongdong will be located in the Jung-gu sub-district and is schedule to open in February next year. The property will feature an all-day dining restaurant; a 24-hour grab and go outlet for light meals; the brand's signature bar and a well-equipped gym.
Delta adding premium economy
Delta Air Lines plans to roll out a new premium economy cabin from next year. The new product will feature on new A350 aircraft operating long-haul international flights.
Emirates expands China network
Emirates have added two new cities to its China network. The carrier has launched four times weekly tag-on services from Dubai to Yinchuan and Zhengzhou in Midwest China. The route operates on B777- 200LR aircraft.
Malaysia Airlines to revamp Golden Lounges
Malaysia Airlines has revealed plans for a major makeover of its Golden Lounges. Starting this year, the airlines’ regional and domestic lounges at KLIA which are expected to be completed by the end of 2016. Closely following will be the first and business class lounges at KLIA and London Heathrow, with completion by mid 2017.
Accor Australia expansion
Accor Hotels has revealed plans for new Australian hotels. Two new-build properties include a 238-room Novotel hotel on Brisbane’s South Bank and a 240-room Mercure hotel in Bankstown, Sydney. The hotel group also plans to expand its ibis Budget hotel brand, with the ibis Budget Sydney Central due to open in 2017.
Emirates up Bangkok
Emirates are adding a seventh daily service between Dubai and Bangkok. The new service launches on 1 July operating on B777-300ER aircraft.
Delta adds RFID
Delta Air Lines is planning to offer Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) bag tracking technology. The carrier’s US$50million investment will replace barcode hand scanning and provide customers with real-time baggage tracking. Travellers will receive push notifications when their bags are loaded onto and off their aircraft, via the Fly Delta mobile app. RFID usage is expected to roll out by the end of the year.
China Southern and Air China announce plans for new Australian route
China Southern Airlines and Air China have applied for permission to launch direct flights between Shenzhen and Melbourne. China Southern is expecting to take off in September 2016 whilst Air China is planning to launch a daily flight the following month.