Join NZ journalist and broadcaster, Judy Bailey, on this exclusive itinerary to "The Golden Land"... River cruising in Myanmar with Avalon Waterways and Judy Bailey 17 days including flights + Cruise + Hotels from $11,895pp ex Auckland!
This will sell out fast!
Currently, the daily Sydney-London A380 service goes via Dubai, but from March 2018, it will change to stopover in Singapore.
The change is one of a few to come out of Qantas extending its Emirates partnership for another five years, to reflect customer demand, new aircraft technology and each airline’s respective network strengths.
Meeting in Sydney to finalise the extension, both airlines agreed the first five years of the partnership had lived up to the promise of serving their customers better, together. Changes to the joint network are designed to reinforce this for the next five years.What the heck are these changes?
The key change will see the airlines better leveraging each other’s networks, by providing three options to Europe – via Dubai, Perth and Singapore.
Qantas will re-route its daily Sydney-London A380 service via Singapore rather than Dubai and upgrade its existing daily Melbourne-Singapore flight from an A330 to an A380. As previously announced, Qantas’ existing Melbourne-Dubai-London service will be replaced with its Dreamliner service flying Melbourne-Perth-London.
A detailed summary of the changes, including effective dates, is provided at the end of this release.
Customer demand for flights between Australia and Dubai will remain well served by the 77 weekly services that Emirates operates from five cities – Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney – including seven daily A380 flights.
Qantas passengers will still be able to fly on Emirates to Dubai, where they have access to over 60 onward connections on Emirates to Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
The airlines will shortly seek re-authorisation from relevant regulators, including the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, to continue coordination of pricing, schedules, sales and tourism marketing, under an expanded partnership.
Tickets for Qantas’ new services will be available from tomorrow.
Customers with existing bookings impacted by the changes will be re-accommodated onto the new services or will be given the option to change their flights.
Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce said the changes reflect a strong alliance between the two airlines.
“Emirates has given Qantas customers an unbeatable network into Europe that is still growing. We want to keep leveraging this strength and offer additional travel options on Qantas, particularly through Asia,” he said.
“Our partnership has evolved to a point where Qantas no longer needs to fly its own aircraft through Dubai, and that means we can redirect some of our A380 flying into Singapore and meet the strong demand we’re seeing in Asia.
“Improvements in aircraft technology mean the Qantas network will eventually feature a handful of direct routes between Australia and Europe, but this will never overtake the sheer number of destinations served by Emirates and that’s why Dubai will remain an important hub for our customers.”
Sir Tim Clark, President Emirates Airline, added, “The Emirates-Qantas partnership has been, and continues to be, a success story. Together we deliver choice and value to consumers, mutual benefit to both businesses, and expanded tourism and trade opportunities for the markets served by both airlines. We remain committed to the partnership.
“We see an opportunity to offer customers an even stronger product proposition for travel to Dubai, and onward connectivity to our extensive network in Europe, Middle East and Africa. We will announce updates in the coming weeks.
“Customers of both airlines will continue to benefit from the power of our joint network, from our respective products, and reciprocal frequent flyer benefits.”
According to the CWT Connected Traveler Study, released today by Carlson Wagonlit Travel, business travelers are bringing more devices, and feel more productive as they are on the road conducting business. The survey of more than 1,900 business travelers found that travelers on average carry four different types of technology (mobile phone, tablet, laptop, etc.), with the smartphone being the one “travel tool they can’t live without,” as more than 80% of travelers across the globe rely on their phone to conduct business.
With technology, most travelers (88%) believe travel is easier to navigate today. This has led a significant majority of travelers (78%) to seek opportunities to travel for work and nearly as many find business travel to be stimulating (72%). Today’s travelers are experienced and use that knowledge to plan their trips. More than half (55%) of travelers rely on prior travel experience while planning trips, in addition to hotel websites (54%) and airline websites (50%). Airline and hotel apps make up the bulk of app usage for travelers (45%) while map apps also see heavy use (41%).
“The business traveler can be so much more productive than even five years ago thanks to technology,” said Simon Nowroz, chief marketing officer, Carlson Wagonlit Travel. “Think about the advances where a business traveler used to have so much down time between a flight, taxi and hotel. Now, they can login and work while on the plane or wherever they happen to be. With the continued emergence of the tablet, as well as numerous apps, travelers don’t feel out of touch as they carry out business.”
According to the study, work-based relationships and productivity are strengthened through business travel. Nearly 9 in 10 business travelers (86%) said travel helped them build new knowledge and perspective, while 80% said business travel boosted their productivity. Additionally, more than 9 in 10 (93%) said that travel positives outweighed negatives when it comes to building and maintaining relationships at work, while nearly 8 in 10 (77%) say the same about their home lives.
Business travelers did have two key areas of concern.Two-thirds (67%) of travelers said they believe travel is safer today. However, nearly half (46%) remain concerned about their safety. This has led more travelers (68%) to “sometimes or always” purchase travel insurance. Business travelers also have difficulties maintaining routines and wellness. More than half of travelers (54%) say that their exercise and wellness habits are disrupted when they travel.
According to the study, as travelers connect with co-workers or family, they often use different methods. With family or friends, travelers chose calling (44%), Skype (24%) and text (17%) as their preferred communication methods. However, they connect with co-workers differently: email (44%), calling (24%) and texting (14%).
Regional differencesThere were similarities across the Americas, EMEA and APAC. However, APAC travelers felt more in control (84%) in being able to manage their responsibilities compared to Americas (76%) and EMEA (73%) travelers. Travelers from APAC (53%) were also more likely to say that travel took time away from other work, causing their co-workers to pick up some of the slack.
When it comes to personal relationships, around a quarter of travelers from the Americas felt that travel strained their relationship with their spouse or significant other (27%), more than their EMEA and APAC counterparts (22%). This is likely the reason that travelers in the Americas tried significantly harder to stay connected with family (50%) than APAC (31%) and EMEA (27%) travelers. APAC travelers were more likely to miss important events – with more than half (51%) missing at least two social events or occasions within the past 12 months compared to EMEA (44%) or Americas (42%) travelers.
“There are many variables that can make a business trip a success or a failure in the eyes of the traveler,” said Nowroz. “The easier we can make it for travelers to be organized, the more we help them have a better overall experience.”
About the surveyThe CWT Connected Traveler Study was created by Carlson Wagonlit Travel and conducted through Artemis Strategy Group March 30-April 24, 2017. Survey data was collected from more than 1,900 business travelers between the ages of 25-65 from the Americas (Brazil, Canada, Chile, Mexico and the United States), EMEA (France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom) and APAC (Australia, China, India, Japan and Singapore). To participate in the study, business travelers were required to have made more than four business trips within the past 12 months. The purpose of this study is, to understand how business travelers stayed connected to both work and home while on the road.
About Carlson Wagonlit Travel Companies and governments rely on us to keep their people connected. We provide their travelers with a consumer-grade travel experience, combining innovative technology with our vast experience. Every day we look after enough travelers to fill almost 200 Boeing 747s and around 100,000 hotel rooms, and handle 95 corporate events. We have more than 18,000 people in nearly 150 countries, and in 2016 posted a total transaction volume of US$ 23 billion.
Sick of those cramped, seemingly ancient economy airline cabins? Well, we’ve got good news. Today Qantas announced a whole lotta’ cabin upgrade plans for its fleet of 12 Airbus A380s.
To improve passenger comfort obviously – especially on those 26-hour flights to Europe every single young Aussie takes each winter.
The announcement was made alongside a Melbourne Domestic Lounge and an evaluation of new ultra-long range Qantas International aircraft in Qantas’ full-year results this morning.
The results also showed that Qantas’ performance was down over eight per cent from last year – but that didn’t stop them from making a tidy underlying profit of over $1 billion before tax.
The multi-million dollar A380 upgrade will make all your wildest airline dreams come true: upping the premium economy seat count as well as removing some regular ol’ economy seats to put more of the aircraft space to more effective use.
This change-up in the seats on the super jumbos is set to meet increased customer demand for premium cabins. This is specifically on flights to the US, Europe and Asia – because more and more Aussies want more leg room and comfier seats if they have to be on a plane for more than five hours.
On the upper deck, a crew workstation and some partitions will be rearranged – making room for six more business class seats and increasing premium economy seating by 27 per cent (25 seats).
Take a look at the full list of the A380 refurbishment program, straight from Qantas itself:
Replacing Business Class Skybeds with the latest version of Qantas’ Business Suites, dubbed ‘mini First Class’ by frequent flyers. Every seat gives direct aisle access and allows better use of cabin space compared with the Skybed.
Installing the airline’s all new Premium Economy seat in a 2-3-2 configuration. This seat is almost 10 per cent wider than the model it replaces and will debut on the Dreamliner later this year.
Reconfiguring the front of the A380’s upper deck to redesign the passenger lounge to provide more room for First and Business Class customers to dine and relax.
Enhancing First Class, which remains in its current configuration on the lower deck. Each suite will be fully refurbished, including contoured cushioning and a larger, higher resolution entertainment screen.
Updating Economy with new seat cushions and improved inflight entertainment.
Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce said the upgrade was a major investment, but that customers loved the A380.
“We’re seeing increased demand for Premium Economy and Business Class on the long haul routes that the A380 operates, including from people using their Qantas points to upgrade. When more travellers experience these new seats, we expect that demand will keep rising,” he said.
“Working with Airbus we’ve been able to achieve a very efficient layout on the upper deck. Using this space to increase the proportion of premium seating improves the revenue potential and the overall economics of the aircraft,” he added of the new upgrades.
Qantas is also continuing its efforts to try and eventually offer super-fast Wi-Fi on it’s international routes – and intends to be the first Aussie airline to do so.
The A380s will also be flying more regular routes to Asia – with some elements of the upgrade due to be rolled out later this year.
The small airline known for its innovations and kooky safety videos is taking its first big swing at the fast-growing U.S. and Canadian market writes Melissa Locker for Fast Company.
Air New Zealand has a thing or two to teach Americans. First and foremost: that a kiwi is a type of bird, it’s not extinct, and despite being flightless, it is capable of flying perfectly well—at least when strapped into one of Air New Zealand’s coach seats.
In the plucky airline’s first global brand campaign aimed at U.S. and Canadian residents—starring a talking kiwi named Pete who is voiced by Jurassic Park’s Sam Neill—Air New Zealand will teach travelers all about the wonders of the kiwi bird and encourage them to follow their dreams to New Zealand (hopefully, on a certain airline).
The campaign is part of a concerted push for a growing number of American visitors. “Air New Zealand is probably the premium airline that you’ve probably never heard of living in America,” says Air New Zealand’s CEO, Christopher Luxon. “I would argue it’s the most successful airline in the world, by commercial results, customer results, and cultural results.” Some numbers may back him up: In 2016, Air New Zealand posted record profits of $663 million (which it shared with its staff in the form of bonuses) and the airline has been named Airline of the Year for the last four years in a row by the review website AirlineRatings.com.
Research, commissioned by Cathay Pacific and published in Travel Weekly via the pen 0f Hannah Edensor shows that despite the average Aussie traveller snapping on average 33 pictures a day, 78 per cent of Aussies believe they're in real danger of missing out on holiday memories because they're too focused on taking photos or posting on social media.
Seven out of ten people surveyed wished they had more ways to remember their holiday experiences.
The research shows this ‘snap and dash’ culture means thousands of Aussies are spending too much time capturing and revisiting their holiday through a screen, and are neglecting their other senses, including their most powerful and evocative – the sense of smell.
One company – French rail company Thalys – executed this perfectly, when they created a pop-up travel agency that invited keen travellers to get to know the destinations they serviced via a different route: their noses.
Yep, Thalys got a bunch of curious travellers attending a pop-up travel agency, sniffing their way through 64 different parts of Europe, from “A real French breakfast” in Paris, “Latexxx” in Amsterdam and “Moments after Mass” in Cologne.
Dr Oliver Baumann, Researcher, Queensland Brain Institute, said by engaging the sense of smell, it can create real memories for travellers.
“Not only is smell our oldest sense, it also has a direct link to the hippocampus – the main memory centre of the brain. Scent can therefore bring back memories much faster and stronger than any of our other senses,” he said.
To help Australians avoid forgetting their trip in a flash or feeling uninspired by past Instagram images, Cathay Pacific have created Parfums de Voyage – a scientifically crafted perfume designed to ignite passengers’ memories long after visiting Hong Kong.
The fragrance has been designed in collaboration with a renowned perfume expert, Samantha Taylor of The Powder Room.
“I travelled around Hong Kong and immersed myself in everything on offer before I started to design the scent.
“The resulting Parfums de Voyage fragrance has a fresh, clean top note inspired by the greenery of the island, drying down to a warm, peppery base note that’s evocative of exotic spices and smoky incense.
“The scent is appropriate for both women and men,” said Taylor.
And they’re not the only companies in travel doing things differently. itravel signed a new partnership with Barrow & Bear Travel + Coffee, a business that offers the clever combination of coffee and travel bookings, while a bunch of cool Aussie agencies are reinventing what it means to be a brick-and-mortar store.
And around the world, other travel agencies are trying new and unique approaches to capture the traveller’s attention.
Rakesh Raicar, General Manager Southwest Pacific, Cathay Pacific, said, “We’re constantly looking for meaningful ways to enhance our customers’ travel experiences.
“Parfums de Voyage is a sensory souvenir we can give to our passengers to help them remember those special memories and moments they experience when they are travelling with us.”
Parfums de Voyage will be available on board select Cathay Pacific flights from October 2017.
China is to start running the world’s fastest train service between Beijing and Shanghai, with trains eventually hurtling along the track at up to 400 kph, making them a viable alternative to flying the sector.
The Fuxing fast bullet trains will initially run at a slower speed of 350 kph on the route. Service will begin in just one month, on 21 September 2017, China Railway Corporation has confirmed.
Fuxing is not an adjective. It means rejuvenation, with national rejuvenation being a slogan promoted by Chinese President Xi Jinping.
The train has been put into service initially on two railway lines connecting major cities in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei area, China’s Xinhua news service reported. Fuxing high-speed trains will make 39 one-way trips between Beijing and Tianjin and six one-way trips between Beijing and Xingtai, Hebei each day. The trains will stop at 10 cities in the region.
The trains offer power outlets, USB ports and free WiFi, making them far more advanced than Australian trains, and not just in terms of speed.
The Fuxing high-speed trains ran in June for the first time on the Beijing-Shanghai line, China’s busiest route, used by more than 500,000 passengers daily.
Fuxing fast trains will knock an hour off the 1318km journey between Beijing and Shanghai. Hong Kong’s South China Morning Post, which examined the current train schedule, reported that the fastest bullet train running currently on the route takes four hours and 55 minutes and most bullet trains take around 5½ hours.
| Written by Peter Needham eGlobalTravelMedia || August 23, 2017 |||
Air New Zealand customers at Sydney Airport will get to experience the role robots may play in future travel journeys this week. Click here to watch Air New Zealand’s Chief Digital Officer Avi Golan and CommBank’s Tiziana Bianco explore the future of travel with social robots.
The airline is partnering with CommBank in a five-day experiment utilising Chip CANdroid, the bank’s social humanoid robot, which will interact with and assist Air New Zealand customers checking in and at the gate prior to boarding.
Air New Zealand Chief Digital Officer Avi Golan says “this partnership and experiment with Commbank and Chip is another way we are pushing the boundaries to ensure we remain at the forefront of technology which will allow us to further enhance the experience we offer our customers.”
Air New Zealand has worked with a range of technology partners to introduce innovations which are enhancing the experience it offers customers. For example, Oscar, the artificial intelligence–backed chatbot has been introduced to assist customers with a more personalised online experience or biometric bag drops which identify customers using face-to-passport recognition.
“We are also experimenting with potential enhancements of the future, including the idea of our cabin crew one day using Microsoft’s HoloLens augmented reality viewers onboard our aircraft,” says Mr Golan
Commonwealth Bank established a social robotics team within its Sydney Innovation Lab in late 2016, with the intention of partnering with leading corporates and research institutions to better understand the opportunities and challenges that physical robotic technologies present in a variety of commercial contexts.
Tiziana Bianco, General Manager Innovation Labs, Commonwealth Bank says “this experiment is a great example of why we invested in social robotics; working collaboratively with an innovative client like Air New Zealand, while also engaging some of the brilliant minds from UTS’s Centre for Artificial Intelligence. It is a wonderful opportunity to explore the possibilities of a horizon technology such as social robotics, and what it might enable in the future.”
Ms Bianco says social robots can bring to life information that is not particularly engaging when delivered by a screen.
“People interact with them in a very social and sometimes emotional way, which means they can enhance experiences in ways that other technologies are unable to do,” Ms Bianco says.
“Chip is one of the most advanced humanoid robots in the world, and is perfect for our work aimed at understanding how humans and robots interact in dynamic social spaces.
“The opportunity to experiment with a robot like Chip in a real world environment such as Sydney Airport is unique, even on a global scale. It is also incredibly valuable, as it allows both corporates and academics to contribute to the growing field of research in social robotics and ensures that both CommBank and Air New Zealand remain at the forefront of disruptive technologies.”
Air New Zealand customers can meet Chip at the Air New Zealand check-in counter and at selected departure gates at Sydney International Airport from Monday 21 August until Friday 25 August.
Click here to watch Air New Zealand’s Chief Digital Officer Avi Golan and CommBank’s Tiziana Bianco explore the future of travel with social robots.
| An Air New Zealand release || August 22, 2017 |||
Bartlett School of Architecture graduate Cassidy Reid has designed a concept for a high-speed transport network based on Hyperloop to create infrastructural and cultural corridors across Europe, and shrink travel time between cities.
Connecting London to Krakow in just one hour and ten minutes, and passing through Brussels, Cologne, Frankfurt and Prague, Reid's Pan-European Corridor network leverages newly developed Hyperloop technology to make Europe's cultural corridor easily commutable while also helping to connect deprived communities that have been "left behind" by globalisation.
Hyperloop is the vision of entrepreneur Elon Musk, the founder of Tesla Motors, PayPal and space exploration company SpaceX. The system employs mag-lev — the same technology that is used by high-speed trains in Japan – in which the electromagnetic levitation of the train means there is no friction, unlike traditional trains that run on tracks.
Musk, who first unveiled the concept for Hyperloop in 2013, later open-sourced the technology and is no longer directly involved in its development.
In Reid's Hyperlink masterplan, the corridor's most populous and diverse terminus would be located in London. Integrated into a bridge on the River Thames, the high-speed twelve-track terminal is designed to "evoke a space-bending feeling of connectivity between other European major cities".