Industry News May 2014

20 May 2014

Etihad unveils new-look cabins 

Etihad has unveiled The Residence, it's revolutionary new three room apartment in the sky on its A380 aircraft. With only one offering per aircraft, The Residence features a living room with a two seat leather sofa, chilled mini bar, separate double bedroom, shower equipped ensuite and personal butlers. The A380s will also offer nine new First Apartments with reclining armchairs and full-length ottomans that transform into flat-beds. 

Singapore Airlines upgrades B777s 

Singapore Airlines is investing US$325 million to upgrade its B777 aircraft. The move affects 19 existing aircraft, which will be retrofitted to include the latest generation of in-cabin products and provide consistency across the carrier’s entire B777 fleet. 

Shangri-La at The Shard open

Shangri-La Hotels & Resorts’ first hotel in the UK at The Shard has officially opened. The new 202-room property occupies floors 34 to 52 in the tallest building in Western Europe.

A380 super jumbos to take over Qantas Dallas route

Qantas is switching Boeing 747 services with A380s on its Sydney-Dallas Fort Worth route. The upgrade means the service will now operate direct to Sydney rather than via Brisbane.  Qantas plans to reduce frequency on the route from daily to six times per week but will gain a net increase in capacity by 10 per cent.

Marriott boosts Middle East presence

Marriott Hotels plans to open 14 new properties in the Middle East. Among them will be the first Renaissance Hotel in the region. Expansion is also planned for the newly acquired Protea Hotels brand, with eight new developments in South Africa.

Etihad Sydney lounge open

Etihad’s new premium lounge at Sydney Airport will officially launch on 21 May. The lounge, which serves first and business class travellers, is located near Gate 51 in the international terminal.

Automated departures trial

Brisbane Airport will trial live automated departures from July this year. The 12-month trial aims to identify the most streamlined solution to automate passport control for outbound Australians travellers. E-Gates will be installed in the departures area offering similar benefits to those enjoyed by inbound Australian travellers. If successful, the system will be deployed at all eight Australian international airports.

Styles in The Entrance

The Entrance on the NSW Central Coast will soon be home to a new Accor hotel. The group is planning a new build property to operate under its Ibis Styles brand. The 52 room Ibis Styles The Entrance is scheduled to open in December this year.

Cathay to move to Changi’s T4

Cathay Pacific is the first airline to announce it will use Changi Airport's brand new Terminal 4 when it is completed in three years time. Cathay will move its base of operations from Terminal 1 when the new terminal opens.

Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam

Hilton Worldwide has opened its newest Waldorf Astoria-branded hotel in Amsterdam. The Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam features 93 rooms, restaurant, bar, indoor pool, gym and spa as well as meeting and events spaces catering for 10 to 160 people.