United frequent flyer changes
United Airlines is adjusting its frequent flyer program to correspond with changes announced by other major airlines. From March 2015, travellers will earn miles based on fare paid rather than distance travelled. Those with no MileagePlus status will earn five points per dollar spent, Silver members will earn seven points per dollar and top tier members will earn 11 points per dollar.
Temporary SQ HKG lounge closure
Singapore Airlines will be renovating its SilverKris lounge at Hong Kong Airport from late June until September. The lounge is being updated to the new ONG&ONG design concept unveiled at Sydney Airport earlier this year.
Qantas introduces A380 Hong Kong service
Qantas will operate a four-cabin A380 between Sydney and Hong Kong during the 11 December to 26 January peak. The flight will offer a three-class service with suites in the First Cabin allocated to select Qantas Frequent Flyers travelling in Business Class and will receive business class service.
Langham offers new transport service
Langham properties in Sydney, Boston, Shanghai and Melbourne are offering a new transport service. The Langham, Sydney has a specially imported pink London-style taxi, with similar style vehicles available at other properties. Guests can use the car and driver for short trips in and around the cities depending on availability.
More Mantra CBD hotels
Mantra Group has acquired two properties in Melbourne and Brisbane. The new Mantra St Kilda Road and Mantra on the Quay, increasing the total number of properties in Melbourne to seven and Brisbane to three.
Shangri-La Hotels & Resorts is planning to develop a new 290-room hotel in The Palm Tower in Dubai. Construction of the 52-storey tower is set to begin later this year with the new Shangri- La hotel occupying the first 18 floors. The hotel is due to open in 2016 and will be the group’s third property in the Emirate.
Emirates boosts Boston
Emirates is upping capacity on its Dubai-Boston route. From 1 August the carrier will switch the existing B777-200LR used on the route to a larger B777-300ER. The move adds an extra 88 economy seats per flight and comes into effect not long after Emirates launched the route in March this year.
New Peppers property for Canberra
Canberra has been chosen as the site for the first Peppers’ CBD hotel in Australia. The Mantra Group will rebrand the Diamant Hotel Canberra in July as the Peppers Gallery Hotel Canberra in July. Peppers will also open its first Melbourne CBD property in the city’s Docklands precinct in 2016.
SQ A380 to Beijing
Singapore Airlines will operate an A380 service on its Singapore-Beijing route from 1 August. The aircraft will be deployed on flight SQ802 from Singapore and the return SQ807 service from Beijing, replacing two flights on smaller aircrafts and adjusting flight frequency to three per day.
Finnair lounge upgrade
Finnair’s newly upgraded premium lounge at Helsinki Airport is set to open on 1 July. The new facility will be open to Finnair Plus Gold and Platinum members and top-tier oneworld frequent flyers. It will operate in conjunction with the original Finnair lounge next door and feature space for 122 guests with new shower suites and a Finnish sauna.