JUNE 2023 ISSUE
THE COST of an airline ticket with our national carrier should start to come down with news Qantas is to boost its national network.
The carrier has announced it’s bringing in extra flights, more aircraft and new routes to meet demand caused by the recovery of overseas travel.
Starting from October, Qantas will add around one million seats to its international network over 12 months.
The move will offer customers more choice to popular destinations across Asia, the United States and the Pacific.
“The rebound in demand for international travel since borders reopened has been incredibly strong and this boost to our network will add hundreds of thousands of seats in time for the busy Australian summer holiday period,” said Alan Joyce, Qantas CEO.
“We know our customers are looking for great value and this additional capacity will also put downward pressure on fares.”
The additional capacity will be made possible through a combination of more Qantas aircraft returning to service, new aircraft joining the fleet and an arrangement with oneworld partner Finnair to operate two Airbus A330 aircraft on two Qantas routes.
The announcement came as the airline resumed San Francisco flights and prepared to launch its inaugural service from Sydney to New York via Auckland. Seasonal services to Rome and flights between Melbourne and Hong Kong will also resume this month.
AIRLINE SWITCHES TO A DIFFERENT FREQUENCY
VIETJET WILL increase the frequency of flights on its Sydney and Melbourne routes later this year.
The move is designed to service increased demand from passengers travelling between the two countries to visit relatives, travel and study abroad.
The airline will add to its Melbourne to Ho Chi Minh City route from September 17, increasing from three to four return flights weekly. A similar increase will begin on September 18 to Vietjet’s Sydney to Ho Chi Minh City route.
Aussies can access promotional fares on the Vietjet website every Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, including Eco Class return fares from $200 on routes connecting Ho Chi Minh City and Australia (Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane) until October 25.
The first direct flight from Brisbane to Ho Chi Minh City will commence in June.
TIME TO SAY HELLO TO HANOI
VIETNAM AIRLINES is about to launch new direct flights between Melbourne and Hanoi.
The national carrier will fly between the two capital cities twice a week from June 15 using a state-of the art Airbus A350-900.
The new service will operate in addition to Vietnam Airlines’ existing flights from Melbourne to Ho Chi Minh City and will increase annual capacity between Victoria and Vietnam by more than 65,000 seats.
The new route means the airline now offers the most direct services between Australia and Vietnam, with a total frequency of up to 18 flights a week.
“Vietnam Airlines was the first airline to connect Victoria with Vietnam and we’re proud to see this relationship going from strength to strength,” said Jim Parashos, Melbourne Airport Chief of Aviation.
BUNKBEDS IN THE SKY SET FOR TAKE-OFF
IT’S BEING described by excited airline officials as a game-changer for economy class passengers.
Air New Zealand’s much-anticipated Skynest – the world’s first sleep pods in the sky – will launch on its Auckland to New York and Chicago routes in September 2024.
“Our 83-year history is marked by a commitment to innovation and pushing the boundaries of what’s possible,” said Leanne Geraghty, Air New Zealand Chief Customer and Sales Officer.
“SkyNest is the latest example and we’re proud to be leading the way with this world-first cabin feature.”
The Skynest will be a six-pod configured sleep zone that offers sessions for economy passengers to lie down when travelling long haul.
Each pod will include a full-size pillow, sheets and blanket, ear plugs, a separate reading light, personal device USB outlet, ventilation outlet and lighting designed for rest.
Each passenger will be limited to one session, with families travelling on the same ticket able to book a session for each passenger, pending availability. The bedding will be changed between each session.
The airline has yet to set a price for a session but is likely to be between $NZ400 (approx. $AU380) and $600 (approx. $AU565) for the four-hour period.
“Skynest provides a unique and innovative way for our passengers to rest and recharge, making their journey with us even more enjoyable.”
BUMS TO SIT ON HIGH TECH SEATS
HAWAIIAN AIRLINES has revealed its new Boeing 787 Dreamliner cabin interiors with seats at the cutting edge of innovation in seating technology.
In developing its new Leihōkū Suite, Hawaiian became the first airline to partner with Adient Aerospace – a joint venture between the Boeing Company and Adient, a world leader in automotive seats.
The main cabin consists of 266 seats with ergonomically contoured back and arm rests. Guests will enjoy a lightweight, modern design that maximises seat space, offers more shoulder and hip room, and features a 12-inch seatback monitor with USB-A and USB-C charging ports.
The aircraft will also feature 34 Leihōkū Suites at the front of the cabin, each with fully lie-flat capability, an 18-inch personal entertainment screen, wireless device charging ports and direct aisle access, with seats to be laid out in a 1-2-1 format across the cabin.
The national carrier is due to receive the first of its 12 new Dreamliners in November with the first plane to enter service early next year.
“The combination of our evocative cabin design and unparalleled service will make our 787 the most relaxing and enjoyable choice for travel to and from Hawaii,” said Avi Mannis, Chief Marketing and Communications Officer at Hawaiian Airlines.
“We take pride in sharing our home with our guests and the design and details of this product truly reflect what it means to be the flagship carrier of the Hawaiian Islands.”
Each design element celebrates Polynesian navigators who sailed the Pacific by observing the stars, sun, winds, waves and wildlife. The airline worked with design consultant Teague to realise Hawaiian’s vision of honouring Pacific navigation in a modern aircraft.
Emirates Goes Into Cruz Control
OSCAR-WINNING actor and philanthropist Penelope Cruz will be the face of a new ad campaign from Emirates launching this month.
The new TV spots will air globally in both English and Penelope’s native tongue of Spanish.
“We take care of every detail in the Emirates experience and wanted a brand ambassador who reflects the Emirates brand – it needed to be someone classy, stylish, and having modern global appeal. Penelope was the perfect fit,” said Richard Billington, Emirates’ Senior Vice President of Brand and Advertising.
Cruz will be shown sampling the luxuries that first and business class customers experience.
These include tasting a crafted beverage in the A380 onboard lounge, enjoying a shower, cheering for a football game shown on live TV and sampling luxury caviar.
Cruz is also filmed using the personal temperature controls in her private first class suite, using bespoke binoculars to enjoy the sky-high views and wearing the Emirates hydra-active moisturising pyjamas.
“I’m thrilled to partner with Emirates after years of traveling with them on some of the most special trips in my life,” said Cruz.