Emirates launching two class A380s
Emirates will introduce a two-class version of the A380 later this year. The aircraft will carry up to 615 passengers, with 58 flat-bed seats and an onboard lounge in business class. The new dual-class layout will operate on the Dubai-Copenhagen route from 1 December when the A380 will replace the B777 aircraft on flights EK151/152. The carrier is also increasing capacity on its Dubai-London Gatwick route with flight EK015/016 switching permanently to an A380 aircraft.
Mantra Lorne revamp
The Mantra Lorne in Victoria is undergoing a $1million revamp. The works are scheduled to be completed by the end of April and will include a refurbished restaurant and meeting facilities.
JW Marriott opens second Mumbai hotel
Marriott International has opened a new hotel in India. The 585 room JW Marriott Mumbai Sahar features a full service spa, fitness centre and swimming pool, restaurant, coffee shop and lobby lounge. There is also a choice of meeting and event spaces that cater for up to 1800 people.
Perth Airport revamps Terminal 1
Expansion works at Perth Airport are due to start this month. The revamp includes the addition of more than 500 seats and a food and beverage court. Work is scheduled for completion by the end of 2015.
New Rio Hilton
The new Hilton Barra Rio de Janeiro is now open. The 298 room hotel is located in the Barra da Tijuca neighbourhood, five minutes from the new Olympic Park.
VA and Etihad expand codeshare network
Virgin Australia has added Edinburgh, Manchester and Madrid to its route network as a result of its codeshare agreement with Etihad Airways. The new routes increase Virgin Australia's network to 37 cities.
Qantas trials two door boarding
Qantas has been trialling dual door boarding on its B737 aircraft. The system enables passengers seated in the rear half of the plane to board via the rear stairs rather than the aerobridge. The new method saves time and has been well received by travellers. Aerobridge entry will remain available for passengers with special needs. Qantas has already trialled the new system in Adelaide, Brisbane and Sydney with Melbourne to follow in the coming weeks.
IHG launches Business Rewards Program
InterContinental Hotels Group has introduced a new rewards program for businesses travellers. The IHG Business Rewards Program is an offshoot of its IHG Rewards Club loyalty scheme. The new program offers benefits for qualifying bookings on guestrooms and meetings and events at more than 4700 properties globally. IHG Business Rewards members will be able to view earned points on one account.