Big Fat Airline Wrap

If there’s one thing we look forward to on Tuesdays, it’s an Airline Wrap. That, and our sneaky half-hour nap at 3pm.

Air Astana introduces 2018 summer schedule

Air Astana Airbus A321

Air Astana introduces an expanded 2018 Summer schedule on 25th March 2018, which features widespread increases in service frequencies across the network from both Astana and Almaty, together with a number of new routes. The new schedule sees weekly frequencies from Astana increase to Beijing, Bishkek, Delhi, Kiev, London, Moscow, Omsk, St Petersburg, Tbilisi and Urumqui, whilst weekly frequencies from Almaty increase to Baku, Bishkek, Beijing, Dushanbe, Hong Kong, Kiev, Moscow, St Petersburg and Tbilisi.

A new twice weekly service from Atyrau to Frankfurt launches on 26th March and new services from Astana to Tyumen and Kazan in Russia will commence in early June. The service frequency to Kazan will increase to three times a week in September.

The Summer schedule will see Air Astana serving 30 cities in 21 countries, including 13 cities in five CIS countries, Georgia and Ukraine; Moscow, St Petersburg, Ekaterinburg, Kazan, Novosibirsk, Omsk and Tyumen in Russia, Baku in Azerbaijan, Dushanbe in Tajikistan, Bishkek in Kyrgyzstan, Tashkent in Uzbekistan, Tbilisi in Georgia and Kiev in Ukraine.The domestic network covers 12 cities in Kazakhstan including Almaty, Astana, Aktau, Atyrau, Aktobe, Uralsk, Shymkent, Kyzylorda, Oskemen, Pavlodar, Kostanay and Karaganda.

AirAsia uncovers 130 destinations and experiences in new Australian brand campaign

AirAsia today uncovered the breadth and beauty of 130 destinations found within its network as part of a new brand campaign specifically targeted at Australians.

The campaign, which will roll out across digital, social, cinema and out of home channels invites Australians to unlock the millions of travel possibilities by enjoying the warmth and welcoming hospitality of Asia.

Since its first-ever flight to the Gold Coast in 2009, AirAsia has carried more than six million Australians on its network and has been named the World’s Best Low-Cost Airline by Skytrax for nine consecutive years.

AirAsia recently announced a number of new initiatives in the Australian market including its move from Melbourne Tullamarine to Melbourne Avalon Airport later in the year, an Australian cabin crew recruitment drive and a new partnership with Surfing Australia, state bodies and the World Surfing League’s Australian professional series.

British Airways’ partnership with The White Company to take flight in Australia


British Airways customers travelling in Club World business class between London Heathrow and Australia will soon be able to take advantage of the airline’s partnership with luxury lifestyle brand, The White Company. Coming into effect on the Sydney route this autumn, the partnership will give customers a great night’s sleep in the sky with a range of bespoke bedding.

Through the partnership, the iconic British retailer is supplying bedding and amenity kits in British Airways’ Club World as part of the airline’s investment plan of more than AUD$1b (£600m) in Club World. Later this year, a new restaurant-style premium dining service will begin in Club World, with display trolleys allowing customers to select dishes from a choice of freshly prepared starters and desserts served on beautiful new table settings.

Through the partnership with The White Company, customers travelling in Club World between London Heathrow Terminal 5 and Australia will be given an elegant day cushion which doubles up as a lumbar support when working or relaxing on board.

China Flights a Huge Boost

Cairns Airport passenger numbers reached a new record of 5.3 million passengers over the last 12 months. Chief Commercial Officer –Aviation, Paul McLean, said with Chinese New Year falling in February this year, 60,910 passengers came through the international terminal, up 21 per cent on last February.

This number was boosted by the new mainland China flights by China Southern Airlines and Hainan Airlines, and additional flights by Hong Kong Airlines. Cairns Airport, Tourism Tropical North Queensland, Tourism and Events Queensland and Tourism Australia, supported by the Queensland Government through its Connecting with Asia fund, are working in partnership with China Southern to grow tourism from China to Tropical North Queensland.

This has contributed to the strong growth in passenger numbers during this year’s Chinese New Year season. There were 305,200 domestic passengers, an increase of nine per cent compared to last February, which also reflected the timing of Chinese New Year. Over 80 per cent of international visitors to Cairns arrive and/or depart on domestic flights.

Etihad Airways and Swiss sign codeshare agreement

Etihad Airways Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner

Etihad Airways and Swiss International Air Lines (SWISS) have launched a new codeshare partnership with bookings effective immediately.

Under the agreement, Etihad Airways will have its EY flight code on SWISS services between Geneva and Zurich, two key gateway cities served in Switzerland from Australia, connecting through Abu Dhabi.

SWISS will market its LX code on Etihad Airways’ services between Zurich and Abu Dhabi, offering its passengers codeshare flights to and from the UAE’s capital city. The codeshare services are bookable now, for travel from 26 March.

The new agreement is part of the codeshare cooperation which began in 2016 between the Lufthansa Group, of which Swiss is part, and Etihad Aviation Group. Etihad Airways operates the technologically advanced Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner on its daily flights from Abu Dhabi to Zurich. Both airlines’ customers will experience acclaimed inflight service and award-winning cabin interiors, including 28 Business Studios, and 271 Economy Smart Seats.

Qatar Airways celebrates its upcoming daily A380 service from Perth

Adam Radwanski, Cabin Crew and Business Class Winner Belinda Morris at A380 Perth Event

To celebrate the upcoming launch of its A380 service from Perth to Doha, Qatar Airways hosted key stakeholders in the Perth travel industry to an event held at the Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre. The airline showcased their award-winning Business Class seat that passengers can soon enjoy on the Qatar Airways A380 service from Perth to Doha, commencing May 1, 2018.

The spectacular cocktail event was hosted by former Miss World Australia, Erin Holland,who performed a set of travel-themed songs to conclude the glamorous night. Qatar Airways’ Senior Manager for Australasia, Mr. Adam Radwanski, Perth Airport CEO, Mr. Kevin Brown, Perth Airport CCO Mr. Steven Holden, and 100 travel agents attended the launch, and ‘test drove’ the award-winning Business Class seat.

The launch of the A380 service comes in tandem with a series of recent announcementsby Qatar Airways to expand their global network, with more than 45destinations in Europe alone for travellers to choose from.

Qantas return to Singapore heralds opportunity for mini-vacation stopovers

Buds - Explorer Zone - Ball Pit - with talent

This week Qantas returns to Singapore from Dubai as its hub for flights to London from Australia, allowing the perfect opportunity to build a mini-vacation stopover into the long-haul trip. Singapore is the most connected international airport to Australia and is a popular gateway to Asia and beyond for Australian travellers.

A stopover in Singapore offers a chance to rediscover the newly refurbished Tower Wing at Shangri-La Hotel, Singapore. The interiors of this iconic luxury institution have experienced a significant rejuvenation to reveal a refreshed lobby, brand new rooms and suites, three novel restaurant concepts, and a revitalised club lounge, as well as offering the resort-like, lush gardens, warm Asian hospitality and timeless elegance that the brand is renowned for.

Shangri-La Hotel, Singapore has established itself as an amazing destination for families looking to break up the long-haul trek between Sydney and London. Earlier this year the hotel launched Buds by Shangri-La, an interactive play space on the first floor of the newly renovated Tower Wing, that features specially curated installations and themed activity spaces guaranteed to provide a welcome chance to blow off some steam and have some fun for kids of all ages.

Air Tahiti Nui’s Dreamliners open for sale with new Premium Economy Cabin and lie-flat Business Seats

BUSINESS Parallel Diamond front view bed

Air Tahiti Nui’s Dreamliners have opened for sale as the airline unveils its new cabin layout featuring a three-class configuration with the introduction of the airline’s first Premium Economy product.

To coincide with Air Tahiti Nui’s 20th anniversary this year, the flag carrier for French Polynesia is phasing out its current Airbus A340-300 fleet and replacing it with four 787-9 Dreamliners including two purchased and two leased through the Air Lease Corporation.

The fleet renewal is set to commence in November 2018, with the remaining three aircraft scheduled to be rolled out by September 2019.

With bookings now open for the new Dreamliners, the airline has revealed details of its first Premium Economy cabin and enhanced Economy and Business cabins.

Stretching classes, jetlag-reducing lights and an outdoor terrace: the new Qantas Perth Lounge

Premium buffet

Qantas customers will benefit from stretching classes, jetlag-reducing lights and an outdoor terrace in the airline’s new transit lounge at Perth Airport as part of the airline’s new approach at improving health and comfort.

The Perth International Transit Lounge was unveiled ahead of the inaugural Perth to London Dreamliner service. It has been designed by Australian Industrial designer David Caon and SUMU design, in consultation with the University of Sydney’s Charles Perkins Centre using an evidence-based approach to wellness.

The lounge offers a range of unique features including ‘light therapy’ in the shower suites to help adjust the body clock, a wellbeing studio with stretching classes and a refresh area providing hydrating face products. Customers can dine in an open-air terrace with a BBQ serving gourmet dishes by Neil Perry.

The University of Sydney’s Charles Perkins Centre is working with Qantas to help develop the airline’s new approach to long-haul travel. This is the first integrated, multidisciplinary collaboration between an airline and a university around health pre, during and post flight. The Centre brings together researchers across a variety of fields from nutrition to physical activity, sleep and complex systems modelling.

Haul yourself out of bed early for this Europe sale


Scoot are once again helping Australian travellers fly to Europe for under $700 (FLY fare, including taxes, but bags and food extra) and the cost is around a tiny 2.4c (ex Perth to Athens FLY) per KM travelled.

One way fares to Athens are from $319 (Ex Perth) and $329 to Berlin* (FLY fare including taxes, but bags and food extra) EX Perth. EX Gold Coast pay $339 FLY one way to Athens and $359 to Berlin, EX Sydney Athens from $349 and Berlin from $369 and from Melbourne from $359 to Athens and $379 to Berlin.

ScootBiz is also on sale to Athens from $999 Ex Perth, $1079 EX Gold Coast and Sydney, and from $1099 from Melbourne. The all inclusive ScootBiz fare includes: a dedicated front cabin on the Dreamliner 787, priority boarding, two meals and a drink with each meal, wide leather reclining seat with footrest, in seat power, ScooTV and 30KG of checked baggage and a generous 15KG of cabin baggage.

Early-birds will find these fares on sale from 0400 (Perth), 0600 (Gold Coast) and 0700 Sydney and Melbourne time, March 27, 2018. On sale until 2359 Sat March 31, (Perth), 0159 (Gold Coast) and 0259 Syd and Mel on April 1. So don’t be an April Fool and miss this sale.

China Airlines A350 touches down in Melbourne


Having only commenced services to Melbourne a little over two years ago, China Airlines is adding capacity and upgrading their product by introducing an A350-900 to service the Melbourne-Taipei route.

Melbourne Airport Chief of Aviation Simon Gandy said travellers will benefit from the aircraft upgauge, which provides a smoother travel experience and adds 5,631 seats both ways to Melbourne annually.

Next generation aircraft like the A350-900 provide added benefits for travellers, which are evident on long-haul services such as the Melbourne-Taipei route. Travellers will experience spacious seating, higher ceilings and extra space overall. In addition, the aircraft contains a higher than average cabin humidity, great noise control, and an inflight satellite internet service.

The A350 XWB features the latest aerodynamic design, carbon fibre fuselage and wings, plus new fuel-efficient Rolls-Royce Trent XWB engines.

Singapore Airlines takes delivery of world’s first Boeing 787-10


Singapore Airlines (SIA) has taken delivery of its first Boeing 787-10 from the manufacturer’s production facility in North Charleston, South Carolina. SIA is the world’s first airline to take delivery of Boeing’s newest aircraft variant, which is due to enter commercial service next month.

The aircraft – the first of 49 787-10s that SIA has on firm order – was formally delivered at a ceremony today in North Charleston (evening of 25 March 2018 local time) attended by SIA CEO Mr Goh Choon Phong. Also in attendance were Boeing Commercial Airplanes President and CEO Mr Kevin McAllister, Rolls-Royce Director Customers and Services – Civil Aerospace Mr Dominic Horwood, some three thousand Boeing employees as well as invited guests.

SIA’s 787-10s will be used for flights up to eight hours. Osaka and Perth will be the first scheduled destinations to be served by the new aircraft, from May 2018. Prior to the introduction of these services, the aircraft will be operated on selected flights to Bangkok and Kuala Lumpur for crew training purposes.

The 787-10s will feature SIA’s new regional cabin products, configured with 337 seats in two classes, featuring 36 Business Class and 301 Economy Class seats. The new products will be unveiled at an arrival ceremony in Singapore on 28 March 2018, after the aircraft’s delivery flight from North Charleston via Osaka. The Guest-of-Honour for this event will be Mr Khaw Boon Wan, Singapore’s Coordinating Minister for Infrastructure and Minister for Transport.

Fiji Airways announce record profit

Just getting in touch with the latest news from Fiji Airways, who just announced a record pre-tax profit of FJD$95.8M (approx. AUD$60.6 as per xe.com today) for the Fiji Airways Group. The record profit reflects what a successful year it has been for the airline that has seen strong growth since 2017 when the company recorded FJD$84.5 million. Please see release below with key financial results – please note all figures in the release are in Fijian Dollars (FJD).

Key highlight achieved from 2017 include:

  • The airline achieved a number of milestones in 2017, these include a highly beneficial deal for the acquisition of five brand new Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircrafts.
  • Opening of the Fiji Airways Premier Lounge, a world class Business Class Lounge at Nadi International Airport, which has been extremely popular with guests (having a 2018 Net Promoter Score of 86)
  • Launching twice-weekly services to Adelaide, Australia and increasing seasonal frequencies to Singapore and San Francisco (now a year-round service)
  • The launch of the revolutionary Resort Check-In product, allowing guests to check in for their flights from the Sofitel Resort and Spa on Denarau island.