Amadeus and BCD expand global technology partnership

23 February, 2023

BCD Travel expanded (21-Feb-2023) its agreement with Amadeus as the travel management company (TMC) refines its global technology approach to best capitalise on opportunities in the new era of business travel. The organisations will partner on multiple initiatives designed to provide BCD Travel with a platform for growth, productivity improvement and technological innovation. BCD Travel will leverage Amadeus' technology, travel expertise, content and global footprint to support its operations in additional markets. This includes incorporating Amadeus' NDC content and end-to-end workflow capabilities. For Amadeus, the new agreement also means increased business with a global TMC, including opportunities in the UK, Ireland, and North America. [more - original PR]

Qantas unveils ‘Project Sunrise’ first and business class cabins for A350s

23 February, 2023

Qantas Airways unveiled (23-Feb-2023) the 'Project Sunrise' prototypes of the first and business class cabins on the A350-1000 aircraft that will operate nonstop from Australia to New York and London from late 2025. The 12 A350s will be configured with 238 seats, including six first class suites in a 1-1-1 configuration and 52 business suites in a 1-2-1 configuration. The first class suite features a fixed bed, separate recliner chair, personal wardrobe, dining table for two and a 32 inch ultra high definition TV. Each business suite will have direct aisle access, sliding doors for privacy, a two metre flat bed, storage with a large mirror, cushioned leather ottoman, 18 inch ultra high definition touch screen TV, large dining table and feature lighting. First and business suites will also offer multiple personal device charging options, including wireless induction charging. The Qantas A350 fleet will feature free WiFi with partner Viasat following completion of key satellite launches covering the Qantas international network. The aircraft will also feature Bluetooth connectivity, allowing customers to connect their own headsets to the inflight entertainment system. The aircraft will also feature a 'Wellbeing Zone' for all passengers, which will be unveiled alongside the premium economy and economy class cabins in the coming months. [more - original PR]

Scoot to suspend Gold Coast service from Jul-2023

22 February, 2023

Singapore Airlines Group announced (21-Feb-2023) Scoot will resume services to Haikou, Nanning, Ningbo, Shenyang and Xian and will increase frequency to Athens, Langkawi, Manado, Perth, Taipei-Tokyo Narita and Taipei-Sapporo. The carrier also plans to suspend service to the Gold Coast from Jul-2023. [more - original PR]

Qantas announces USD68m upgrade to lounge network

22 February, 2023

Qantas Group announced (21-Feb-2023) plans to enhance its network of lounges in Australia and overseas. The AUD100 million (USD68.6 million) investment features four new lounges, and an upgrade programme of existing international and domestic lounges, including:

  • New First Lounge at London Heathrow Airport;
  • Re opening of a refreshed Hong Kong International Airport lounge;
  • Complete refurbishment and expansion of International Business Lounge in Sydney;
  • Updated and expanded International Business Lounge in Melbourne;
  • New Hobart Qantas Club;
  • New Broome Regional Lounge with double the seating.

The project is the largest investment in the Qantas lounge network in more than a decade and comes as the airline expands its domestic and international routes and starts to take delivery of next-generation aircraft. The investment in lounges is phased over three years and is included in the group's existing capital expenditure forecast. The carrier's lounge network includes 42 in Australia, 12 of which are in regional destinations, and nine overseas. [more - original PR]

EU to phase out COVID-19 test requirement for travellers from China

17 February, 2023

Swedish Presidency of the Council of the EU announced (16-Feb-2023) that considering recent epidemiological developments and the advice of the Health Security Committee, member states agreed on the coordination of the following COVID-19 travel measures:

  • To phase out the requirement for a negative pre-departure COVID-19 test for travellers from China to member states by the end of Feb-2023;
  • To phase out random testing of travellers arriving from China to member states by the middle of Mar-2023. [more - original PR]

Lufthansa cancels all services from Frankfurt and Munich due to ver.di strike

16 February, 2023

Lufthansa Group announced (16-Feb-2023) it has been forced to suspend flight operations at Frankfurt and Munich on 17-Feb-2023, due to ver.di union strike action at German airports. The group has cancelled over 1300 frequencies, but expects regular flight operations "to be largely back to normal" from 18-Feb-2023. Chief officer human resources and infrastructure Michael Niggeman commented: "We are not a party to the collective bargaining and have no influence on it". [more - original PR]

Fiji removes coronavirus vaccine and travel insurance requirement

15 February, 2023

Fiji's Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Tourism and Civil Aviation Bill Gavoka, via his official Twitter account, stated (14-Feb-2023) international travellers arriving into Fiji by air or sea will no longer be required to provide proof of coronavirus vaccination and travel insurance.

Air New Zealand extends fare flexibility

15 February, 2023

Air New Zealand extended (14-Feb-2023) flexibility for those customers affected by cyclone disruptions up to 17-Feb-2023. International customers can now change travel up to 08-Mar-2023 without a change fee, service fee or fare difference applying. If travel is only available in a higher cabin, the fare differential will apply. Tickets can also be put into credit towards travel within 12 months. For those travelling domestically, flexibility applies until 22-Feb-2023. [more - original PR]

Cathay Pacific to resume Hong Kong-Johannesburg service from Aug-2023

14 February, 2023

Cathay Pacific, via its official online booking system, confirmed (Feb-2023) plans to resume three times weekly Hong Kong-Johannesburg service from 01-Aug-2023. The airline will operate the service with A350-900 equipment.

Fiji Airways to introduce new fare concept from Mar-2023

14 February, 2023

Fiji Airways announced (14-Feb-2023) plans to introduce an unbundled economy class fare concept, effective 02-Mar-2023 in US and Canada and later in 2023 for other markets. Branded fares will offer customers the option to customise how they travel based on their needs with Lite, Value, Comfort and Plus fare categories. All categories will include meals, beverages, inflight entertainment and a carry on bag, with increasing value add-ons from Lite to Plus, such as checked baggage, ticket change and cancellation flexibility, seat selection and boarding priority. [more - original PR]

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