Qantas adds new Japan route
Qantas is launching new direct flights between Sydney and Osaka, Japan. Effective from 14 December to 24 March, the new seasonal service will operate three times weekly on an A330 aircraft.
Qatar Canberra bound
Qatar Airways plans to launch a daily service between Canberra and Doha (via Sydney). The flights will operate on B777-300ER aircraft from 12 February next year.
Rex adds South Australia links
Regional Express will soon operate services between Adelaide and Port Augusta, with connections through to Coober Pedy. The thrice-weekly service will commence on 11 September.
New Heathrow arrivals lounge
London Heathrow Airport now boasts yet another lounge option. Plaza Premium Group has opened a new arrivals lounge in Terminal 3. Catering to just 28 people, entry to the lounge is open to anyone, with costs starting from £15.
Accor dual brands Melbourne
AccorHotels has plans for its first vertical dual-branded hotel in Melbourne’s CBD. Opening in late 2018, the 36-storey building will house the Novotel and ibis Melbourne Little Lonsdale Street. The hotels will share public spaces and dining facilities, as well as the reception area. The lower floors will feature 270 ibis rooms, while 213 Novotel rooms will occupy the top floors.
Marriott expands in Myanmar
Marriott International has signed a deal for a new property in Myanmar. The 200-room Courtyard by Marriott Yangon will open in 2019 as part of a mixed-use development.
AccorHotels has opened a new Sofitel-branded hotel in China. Located in Guangdong Province, the 325-room Sofitel Foshan sits next to the Louvre International Exhibition Centre and features a choice of restaurants and bars, 24-hour room service, a fitness centre, indoor swimming pool and spa as well as meeting and event space for up to 600 guests.
IHG cancellation policy changes
InterContinental Hotels Group is standardising the cancellation policy across all of its brands. Effective from August, all European and American properties will require guests to give at least 24 hours notice if they wish to cancel without penalty. Asian properties will adopt the new policy from October.
New Autograph Chicago
Marriott International has expanded its Autograph Collection. The latest addition is the 195-room Hotel EMC2 located on the magnificent mile in Chicago.
Cathay Pacific upgrade bidding
Cathay Pacific is now allowing travellers to bid for cabin upgrades. Both economy and premium economy guests can bid to travel one cabin class higher than they are ticketed. The bidding system is currently available on 13 routes from Hong Kong, including Adelaide and Brisbane, with more set to follow. Bids will operate through an online application process, which can be cancelled or changed up to 50 hours prior to departure, with successful upgrade bids confirmed two-three days before departure.
Two new MGallery properties in Auckland
AccorHotels plans to add two new MGallery by Sofitel properties in Auckland. The Hotel Grand Windsor on Queen Street will rebranded in October this year, with the Eden Cresent Hotel following suit in late 2018. Both properties will undergo refurbishment to raise them up to MGallery by Sofitel standards prior to rebranding.
New MGallery Sydney
Sydney will soon be home to a new MGallery by Sofitel hotel. Currently under construction, the 144-room William Inglis Hotel, MGallery by Sofitel is expected to open in March 2018. Located adjacent to Warwick Farm racecourse, the property will feature a restaurant and bar options including a rooftop bar and pool deck as well as a business centre and private meeting rooms.
Swissotel UAE debut
AccorHotels plans to debut its Swissotel brand in the UAE. The Al Ghurair Rayhaan and Al Ghurair Arjaan in Dubai are set to be rebranded as Swissotel properties following renovation works, with the first phase of the re-branding set to be completed by the end of this year. The properties will offer a choice of dining venues, amenities including an outdoor swimming pool, health club, spa, squash and tennis courts as well as more than 800sqm of meeting and event space, including six meeting rooms and two ballrooms.
Plaza Premium adds Rome lounge
The Plaza Premium Group plans to open a new airport lounge in Rome. Located on the upper level of Terminal 3 at Leonardo da Vinci Airport in Fiumicino, the 1,100sqm will offer its guests a comfortable space in which to relax as well as a dining and bar service.