Corporate Traveller

Industry News February 2014

LaGaurdia to be revamped

LaGuardia Airport in New York is set to undergo a US$3.6 billion renovation. Proposed upgrades include a spacious new terminal with retail shopping, restaurants, parking, wi-fi access and more. Construction is scheduled to begin by the end of this year, but no completion date has yet been announced.

10 years of Virgin Australian

Virgin Australia celebrated its tenth anniversary with the launch of eight new codeshare services. VA codes will be added to Delta Air Lines flights to Seattle and Boston, Etihad services to Zurich, Minsk, Medina and Rome and Singapore Airlines services to Athens and Brunei.

Malaysia drops LAX route 

Malaysia Airlines is dropping its Kuala Lumpur-Los Angeles route from 30 April. The airline, which cited low demand as the reason for the move, will instead concentrate its attention on the Asia region.

Etihad gets pre-clearance

Abu Dhabi Airport has opened a ‘pre-clearance facility’ for travellers flying to the USA. Getting pre-clearance enables travellers to avoid long queues on arrival. Etihad Airways operates nonstop flights from Abu Dhabi to Chicago, New York and Washington DC, with new services to Dallas/Fort Worth and Los Angeles planned for this year. US pre-clearance facilities are also available in Canada, Ireland and the Caribbean.

Free wi-fi at Thai airports

Selected Thai airports will offer free wi-fi internet access from 1 March. The service will be available at Suvarnabhumi and Don Muang airports in Bangkok, as well as airports in Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai and Phuket.

Etihad boosts Dublin services

Etihad Airways plans to increase services on its Abu Dhabi-Dublin route from 10 per week to double daily. The four new weekly services will commence from 15 July. 

JAL sends Dreamliner to Sydney

Japan Airlines plans to operate the B787-8 Dreamliner aircraft on services between Tokyo Narita and Sydney from 30 March. It will replace the current B777-200ER aircraft and will feature a premium economy cabin. 

Air China Washington bound

Air China plans to launch four weekly flights between Beijing and Washington DC from 10 June. Services will operate on B777-300ER aircraft.

Mantra expands in Queensland 

Mantra Group has plans for new properties in Brisbane and Townsville. The recently refurbished Skyline Court apartments will be rebranded as the BreakFree Fortitude Valley Brisbane in March 2014. A new four-star, property, the Mantra Townsville, is scheduled to open in 2016. 

Qantas timing changes 

Qantas has announced minor timing changes to its Dubai services from Melbourne and Sydney. Flight QF1 from Sydney to London via Dubai will depart 90 minutes later and QF9 from Melbourne to London via Dubai four hours later between 30 April and 19 July. Timings for the return journeys from London Heathrow remain largely unchanged. The temporary changes are due to runway maintenance at Dubai International Airport.

Ibis reaches 1000 milestone

Accor has opened its 1000th Ibis-branded property. The Ibis Surabaya Basuki Rahmat is a 224-room hotel located in the main business district of Surabaya, East Java. The property features four meeting rooms, a lobby bar and restaurant.

Crowne Plaza Barcelona – Fira Center

InterContinental Hotels Group plans to open its first Crowne Plaza-branded hotel in Barcelona. The 276-room Crowne Plaza Barcelona – Fira Center is located less than 100 metres from the Fira Barcelona Convention Center and next to the Plaza Espana. The hotel will feature a Wellness Centre, fitness room and VIP club lounge as well as the largest conference and meeting facilities across the entire Crowne Plaza portfolio in Europe.