For week ending 3 February 2017
Rewarding customers was a theme in the travel industry last week with Qatar Airways’ Privilege Club loyalty program joining forces with AccorHotels and Qantas launching its Qantas Business Rewards program. Cathay Pacific also launched its first A350-900 service to Australia and China Eastern Airlines commenced operation of its new thrice-weekly direct services between Wuhan and Sydney.
All this and more in our weekly news round up brought to you by FCM Travel Solutions.
Changes to USA border and immigration policy
On Friday 3 February a US federal judge overruled the executive order banning the entry of (certain) citizens from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. This was subsequently appealed by the Department of Justice but the appeals court upheld the overturn of the ban. Click here for more information.
Cathay boosts Adelaide
Cathay Pacific has confirmed it will resume a fifth weekly service on it Hong Kong-Adelaide route. The additional service will operate from 6 July.
Cathay A350 arrives in Melbourne
Cathay Pacific has launched its first A350-900 service to Australia. Daily flights between Hong Kong and Melbourne on the new aircraft will feature an inflight Wi-Fi service and its most up-to-date cabin product. Economy class passengers will benefit from new tablet holders and a six-way headrest design, while business class travellers will enjoy fully flat beds and extra storage space. The entertainment system also boasts a new “Do Not Disturb” and “Wake Up Call” function.
The Murray, a Niccolo Hotel Hong Kong to open in October
Part of the Hong Kong government's Conserving Central Project, The Murray will open in October 2017. The white landmark structure was built in 1969 and has since won many awards for its ground-breaking and energy-efficient design. British-born hotelier Duncan Palmer has been appointed as the hotel's managing director, and will bring to the property his many years of experience with The Savoy, The Connaught, Mandarin Oriental and Langham Hotels.
Wuhan/Sydney service debuts
China Eastern Airlines has commenced operation of its new thrice-weekly direct services between Wuhan and Sydney. Operated on A33-200 aircraft, the service provides improved access to the provincial capital of Hubei in Central China.
Qantas revamps business loyalty program
Qantas has replaced its Qantas Aquire business rewards program with Qantas Business Rewards. Members of the program are likely to range from sole traders to people with several hundred employees. Businesses with an existing corporate deal with Qantas will not be eligible for the Qantas Business Rewards program.
Marriott International has announced it will open a second W Hotel-branded property in Australia. The W Melbourne will be located in the heart of the CBD at 447 Collins Street as part of a mixed-use luxury development called Collins Arch. The 294-room property will feature a restaurant and bar, day spa, gym and indoor heated pool as well as more than 1200sqm of event and meeting space suitable for both large conferences and smaller meetings. It is scheduled to open in 2020 joining sister-property W Brisbane, which is due to open in 2018.
Qmiles joins forces with Le Club
Qatar Airways’ Privilege Club loyalty program has joined forces with AccorHotels to reward its members. Members can now convert Qmiles into Le Club AccorHotels points at a conversion rate of 4500 Qmiles to 1000 Le Club AccorHotels points. These can be used to secure free nights or discounted rates at AccorHotels properties around the globe. A reciprocal arrangement means that Le Club member with 2000 points or more can convert them into Qmiles.