New NZ border levy
Travellers to New Zealand who arrive by air will be subject to a new visitor levy from 1 January 2016. The new Border Clearance Levy of NZ$18.76 (AUD$17.28) plus GST will be set for 30 months after which it will be subject to review.
United ups baggage allowance
United Airlines is raising its economy class baggage allowance. Passengers travelling on or after 17 December 2015 will be eligible for two free checked pieces of baggage on flights between Australia and the US.
New Avis US fleet options
Avis will add new vehicles to its US fleet in 2016. New additions to the range include the 5.7L V8 Toyota Land Cruiser, Chevrolet Camaro SS muscle car, fourth generation Toyota Prius II, Infiniti Q50 sports sedan, Lincoln MKX luxury coupe and Mercedes SLK Coupe two-seater convertible.
QF-MU alliance begins
Qantas and China Eastern Airlines have co-located their operations at Shanghai Pudong International Airport’s Terminal 1. The move is designed to provide travellers with streamlined check-in facilities, improved connection times and access to China Eastern's lounge facility which is scheduled to open in the latter half of 2016.
Lufthansa axes fixed beds
Lufthansa is removing first class fixed beds from 10 of its B747-400s. The luxury seat and bed products are being replaced with new business and premium economy seats.
New Shenzhen Hilton
Hilton Worldwide has opened its third property in Shenzhen China. The 320-room Hilton Shenzhen Futian is located in the CBD within walking distance of the City Hall, Stock Exchange and Shenzhen Convention & Exhibition Centre. The property features a restaurant and gym as well as a range of meeting spaces.
Etihad amenity kits
Etihad Airways has introduced new limited-edition business class amenity kits on select routes. The carrier has designed six kits for use on services between Abu Dhabi and London, Madrid, Sydney, Los Angeles and Hong Kong. Kits include customised LUXE City Guides, in-flight amenities and facial products developed by Scaramouche + Fandango.
New Sheraton Jakarta
Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide has opened a second property in Jakarta. The 293-room Sheraton Jakarta Gandaria City is located five kilometres from Jakarta's CBD and features a club lounge, fitness centre and swimming pool as well as meeting and event spaces for up to 293 people.