New aircraft tracking plan
The International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) and 850 member states have agreed to implement a new aircraft tracking system. The new system will require commercial aircraft to record and report their position every 15 minutes. The new standard should be ratified and in place by the third quarter of 2015.
Qantas initiate auto check-in
Qantas has introduced its new automatic check-in system to the the majority of its domestic network. The new system sends travellers an SMS to initiate check-in enabling them to view or change their seat or flight. Travel agents must submit customers’ mobile phone numbers at time of booking for them to access the service.
Toga Hotel Group Hotels plans to rebrand the Rendezvous Hotel Brisbane. The property in Anzac Square will become an Adina Apartment Hotel from 1 April. The hotel will operate as usual during the transition and no contracts will be affected by the change.
JFK gets The Residence
Etihad Airways has named New York City as its next A380 destination. The carrier will upgrade one of its two daily services to the superjumbo from 1 December this year. The new aircraft also gives travellers on the route access to the carrier’s new three-room Residence product.
Mantra Tasmania boost
Mantra Group is adding two new properties in Tasmania. The Hotel Collins in Hobart and the Hotel Charles in Launceston will both be rebranded to the Mantra name on 30 April bringing the group’s total number of Tasmanian properties to six.
Virgin adds Tamworth route
Virgin Australia will introduce six weekly return services between Sydney and Tamworth. The new route will launch on 25 May and will operate on a 68-seat ATR-73 turboprop aircraft.
SIA extends Changi transit program
Singapore Airlines and SilkAir have extended the Changi Transit Program until 31 March 2016. The program gives passengers travelling with either airline with a $20 or $40 Changi Dollar Voucher, depending on point of origin, which can be used at more than 500 retail, food and service outlets at Changi Airport’s T1,T2 and T3.
China Eastern daily to Heathrow
China Eastern Airlines will add another weekly service on its Shanghai Pudong-London Heathrow route. The additional service increases the carrier’s frequency on the route to daily and will commence on 27 April.