Corporate Traveller

Industry News March 2014

Etihad sleep initiative

Etihad is working to improve in-flight sleep conditions. The initiative includes the introduction of luxury bedding in Diamond First Class, including multi-layered mattresses, 100% cotton fitted sheets and down duvets and pillows. In Pearl Business Class and Coral Economy Class, passengers will be offered high-quality blankets and pillows. The carrier is also introducing a sleep-time beverage service offering hot chocolate and herbal teas.

Emirates expands European network

Emirates will launch new daily flights to Oslo from 2 September. The Norwegian capital will be the carrier’s third Scandinavian destination and will operate daily on three-class B777-300ER aircraft.

Shangri La Hotel moves into The Shard 

Shangri-La Hotels will open a new London property on 6 May, occupying floors 34 to 52 of The Shard on the South Bank of the River Thames. The 202-room Shangri La Hotel at The Shard will be the tallest hotel in Western Europe and feature a choice of dining options as well as a gym and swimming pool.

Perth-Christchurch link returns

Air New Zealand will once again operate seasonal direct services between Perth and Christchurch. The carrier will offer two weekly flights between the two cities from 13 December 2014 to 25 April 2015. The flights will be sold in partnership with alliance partner Virgin Australia.

United terminal switch

United Airlines will move its London Heathrow operations from Terminals 1 and 4 to the new Terminal 2 from 4 June.

Marriott debuts in Osaka

Marriott Hotels and Miyako Hotels & Resorts have opened a new property in Osaka. The 360-room Osaka Marriott Miyako Hotel is located on the top floors of Japan’s tallest building, Abeno Harukas. It offers a range of dining options, a fitness centre and seven meeting rooms.

Novotel executive rooms

The Novotel Sydney Central has introduced a new room category. Executive rooms, located on the top two floors of the hotel, include a full range of amenities as well as complimentary internet access, Nespresso coffee and mineral water.

DoubleTree by Hilton San Francisco Airport 

Hilton Worldwide has opened a DoubleTree-branded hotel at San Francisco Airport. The 210-room DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel San Francisco Airport is 3km from the airport and provides a complimentary 24-hour airport shuttle service. It also offers a business centre, gym and meeting spaces catering for up to 200 people.

New Brisbane Rydges

Construction will begin this month on a new four-star Rydges Hotel at Brisbane Showground. The 208-room property will include a restaurant and bar and is expected to open in 2015.

VA Velocity upgrade changes

Virgin Australia has amended its upgrade policy to enable Velocity members to use their points to upgrade Saver fares to Business Class. Saver fares can now be upgraded on all domestic flights, subject to availability. Upgrading to business class on sectors up to 600 miles will require 10,000 points; 17,500 for 601-1200 miles; 30,000 for 1201-2400 miles and 35,000 for 2401-3600 miles.