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Airline news

Airline Business: what’s faster, more frequent & more fancy

This business travel update brings you the latest industry news and let’s you know what’s happening mid-flight in coming months.

Qatar is less salty & more speedy

At the carrier’s recent event in Melbourne, Qatar Airways culinary development manager Decha Mingkwan admitted to previously being heavy-handed with the salt. But he says now it’s about clean and simple dishes, so that the flavours of fantastic produce are enhanced.

“I used to tell my staff to add 30% more concentration to dishes, to make the food more salty. But I don’t need to do that anymore thanks to the improved cabin pressure in our new planes.”

To celebrate the airline’s ten years in Australia, an Australian menu will feature on all flights from Australia until January.

Qatar Airways’ Senior Manager for Australasia, Adam Radwanski, said “we’re looking forward to the next 10 years and beyond. Working more closely with farmers, growers and winemakers to share Australian produce with the world through our in-flight dining and export cargo.”

You’ll also enjoy speedier connections soon on your Qatar Airways flights. In 2020, the airline is upgrading their in-flight WiFi to the fast 2Ku satellite service from Gogo. This will enable live TV channels and high-speed ‘Super WiFi’ on board their Airbus A380 superjumbos and Boeing 787 Dreamliners.

“Having access to the Internet, and being connected and available is critical for passengers, and the demand for bandwidth will only increase,” said Qatar Airways Group CEO His Excellency Akbar Al Baker.

ANA doubles Sydney to Tokyo

Competition is heating up on the Australia to Tokyo routes, which can only be good for travellers. From March 2020, ANA will be increasing to two flights per day between Sydney and Tokyo/Haneda. The services are expected to fly primarily during daylight hours. Moving to a daytime service will pit ANA against JAL and Qantas, for travellers wanting to avoid redeye flights.

Connecting to ANA’s network will be improved as well by the hub relocation from Narita to Haneda airport. Haneda is closer to downtown Tokyo for visitors to Japan. The Star Alliance member’s new routes will also increase convenience for Virgin Australia’s Brisbane-Haneda passengers, who want to take advantage of the new airline partnership for international connections beyond Japan.

Bonjour Qantas frequent flyers

Qantas Frequent Flyers can now access reward seats, earn Qantas points and receive tier benefits across the entire Air France – KLM Royal Dutch Airlines network. That means being able to fly to over 60 new destinations across Europe and Africa.

The comprehensive new partnership between the airline groups was announced this week. Qantas Loyalty CEO Olivia Wirth explained that “members will now have access to hundreds of thousands more reward seats in popular destinations. Including Paris, Amsterdam, Rome, Barcelona and Athens, as well as new destinations across France, Italy and Northern Europe.”

The agreement between Qantas Frequent Flyer, Air France and KLM Flying Blue means members will be able to earn points when they travel on eligible flights across each airline. Members will also be able to redeem Classic Flight Reward seats across Air France and KLM’s economy and business cabins.

Cathay Pacific upgrades

Once ranked amongst the world’s best, Cathay Pacific’s first and business class cabins have slumped in recent years. But that’s about to change, thanks to the long-awaited upgrades. The airline has listened to feedback from their premium flyers to introduce product enrichments and improvements. Such as natural skincare products, new sustainably-sourced bedding and wellness tweaks.

First class passengers will be greeted with a glass of JING jasmine silver needle tea and the revised superfood menu focuses on inflight wellness. While business class will bed down on mattress toppers and doonas made from 100% sustainably-sourced cotton.

“We are incredibly excited to be unveiling many wonderful enhancements in our First and Business Class cabins, and to have Bamford, a renowned leader in sustainable luxury, as the cornerstone of our premium inflight experience,” says Vivian Lo, Cathay Pacific’s General Manager for Customer Experience and Design.

The enhancements are part of Cathay Pacific’s new branding campaign ‘Move Beyond’ that will be rolling out from December.

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