By KarryOn @karryontravel31 Mar 2017Skill up on all you need to know with bite sized travel news designed specifically to help you, the Travel Agent, be your best today and tomorrow. 1. Virgin Australia pimps its planes with free wi-fi & new Economy class Virgin Australia is taking its aircraft into the future with plans to roll out free inflight wi-fi AND introduce a new spacious Economy Class, which blends features from both Premium and Business. Let’s start with the new seats. The airline is replacing its Economy Space+ with Economy X, a new product described as “an Australian-first product in the domestic market”. Read on 2. Flight attendant saves the day when co-pilot passes out A flight attendant is being hailed as the real-life Supergirl for stepping in and saving the day when one of the two pilots on board passed-out. The TUIfly employee was carrying out her usual duties on the Boeing 747 flight from Hannover to Mallorca late last year when she was told that the co-pilot was feeling ill. According to reports, the doctor on board examined the man and found he was suffering from extremely low blood pressure, which caused him to later pass out while flying over France. Read on 3. Trump won’t let you bring a laptop on board, no worries Qatar Airways will lend you one The US is telling you that you can’t bring your laptop on board, but you desperately need to complete and send a report to your boss before you touch down. It’s a struggle some business travellers may face in the US-implemented tech-ban aviation world we live in today, but Middle Eastern Airlines are doing their best to find a way around it. Quick recap, last week Trump’s administration went ahead and told airlines operating out of 10 Middle Eastern and African cities (Cairo, Istanbul, Kuwait City, Doha, Casablanca, Amman, Riyadh, Jeddah, Dubai, and Abu Dhabi) that their guests will not be permitted to take electronics larger than their mobile phones on America-bound services. Read on 4. Cathay celebrates maiden A350 flight to Brisbane Cathay Pacific is celebrating the maiden arrival of its first A350-900 aircraft to Brisbane, which is scheduled to touch down in the city with the latest in aviation technology on 26 March. The carrier’s General Manager Southwest Pacific, Nelson Chin, said the plane’s features will allow passengers to arrive at their destination feeling “more refreshed and rested”. To celebrate the launch of Brisbane’s first A350, Cathay Pacific is offering passengers the opportunity to experience the new aircraft, with huge savings on Premium Economy Class to select destinations in Europe, for bookings made by Monday 3 April 2017. Fares start from just $2,976 Premium Economy Class return. 5. Melbourne’s newest hotel opens for business Guests have begun checking in to the new 273-room Four Points by Sheraton Melbourne Docklands. The four-star hotel forms part of the new Marina Tower development at New Quay and offers the largest inventory of guest rooms and meeting space in the area. The sparkling centrepiece for the Four Points uncomplicated comfort brand is a 7th floor Sky Lounge complete with 25-metre heated outdoor pool, jacuzzi and vast pool deck with impressive city views, as well as a sleek and welcoming lobby and lounge bar that’s set to serve Four Points Best Brews program of local beers, boutique ciders and brews. 500sqm of function space catering for up to 200 guests and a relaxed all day restaurant, DOCK 18 complete the offer. 6. Air NZ to fly the 787-9 from Sydney to Rarotonga Accessing the Cook Islands untouched crystal clear turquoise lagoons just got a lot more comfortable, with Air New Zealand upgrading its aircraft to operate a 787-9 Dreamliner on the direct Sydney –Rarotonga service this week. The aircraft will offer its award winning interior products including lie flat Business Premier beds and comfortable Premium Economy seats. It also introduces Air New Zealand’s Economy Skycouch™ to the Sydney – Rarotonga route for the first time. The Sydney-Rarotonga service operates once per week and is six hours in duration, arriving Rarotonga early in the morning allowing for a full day of holiday enjoyment. 7. Korean Air & Delta Air Lines to deepen partnership Korean Air and Delta Air Lines have reached an agreement to deepen their partnership with an expanded cooperation in the trans-Pacific network that will increase travel choices and boost competition between the Asia and U.S. The airlines signed a memorandum of understanding to implement a joint venture, which will offer customers access to the most comprehensive route network in the trans-Pacific market, industry-leading airline products, world-class airport facilities and a seamless customer experience. Highlights of the agreement include intent to integrate trans-Pacific joint venture with shared costs and revenues on flights and coordinating schedules; a combined network serving more than 290 destinations in the Americas and more than 80 in Asia; and enhanced frequent flyer benefits, providing customers of both airlines the ability to earn and redeem miles on Delta’s Sky Miles and Korean Air’s SKYPASS programs. 8. Fiji Airways extends San Francisco seasonal flights year-round Fiji Airways has announced the extension of its seasonal San Francisco – Nadi flights to a year-round service, following a successful first year of operations. The new year-round flights will be operated twice a week and will increase to three times a week (Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday) during the high season from June through August and December. Fiji Airways Managing Director and CEO Mr. Andre Viljoen said: “We are buoyed by the increasing demand from business, leisure and visiting friends/family (VFR) segments to the South Pacific and beyond from the San Francisco Bay Area and the greater Northwest.” 9. Dubai Tourism & Camilla Franks launch range inspired the Emirati City Dubai Tourism and Australian fashion label CAMILLA have announced a partnership with a collection that is inspired by the cultural melting pot of Dubai, available online and in Australian stores late April 2017. Inspired by the Arabian Desert and the bustling souks of inner city Dubai, the new CAMILLA capsule collection, My Dubai Dream, features the iconic kaftan and other fashion items as well as several travel accessories including a passport holder, beach bag, beauty bag and scarf, all in a matching print reflecting the colours and designs of Dubai. The range was created by Camilla after a four-day trip to Dubai in 2016, during which she wandered the souks of Dubai’s Old Town, discovered the courtyard cafes and art galleries of Al Fahidi District of Bastakiya, dined with Emiratis, marveled at the architecture of the mosques, learned Arabic calligraphy with a master, rode camels at sunset across the dunes and experienced the beauty of the desert at dusk. 10. New Queensland sales at Wendy Wu Tours Wendy Wu Tours has announced the recent appointment of Shannon Morgan as Queensland Business Development Manager where he joins Angelina Briscoe in the sunshine state to further develop agency partnerships. Initially moving into the industry as a travel consultant, Mr Morgan is equipped to identify the support agents require from a tour operator and industry partners. He added, “Starting in retail has allowed me to see the travel industry business from both sides of the travel agent desk. I understand and appreciate the day to day challenges agents face as well as the success they earn.” After time at two other wholesalers, Mr Morgan said he was looking forward to working with a renowned global brand such as Wendy Wu Tours and has a strong interest in the Asian destinations the operator covers. 11. itravel’s Radiance of the Seas client inspection itravel hosted over 100 clients this week on a walkaround and a three course lunch aboard Royal Caribbean’s Radiance of the Seas. The day was a huge success with a “shipload” of deposits taken on the day. All the clients were treated to a itravel & Royal Caribbean goodie bag along with lucky door prizes which include itravel branded cap, travel pillow and RCCL tee shirts. 12. Travellers Choice thanks ‘true partners’ Travellers Choice marked its 40th anniversary earlier this week by throwing a stylish party in Sydney for the industry partners that have helped it grow from a small WA-based cooperative to Australia’s leading national network for independent agents. Managing Director Christian Hunter told more than 75 guests at the Museum of Contemporary Art that the group’s unique culture, its support services and its focus on returning all profits to its member shareholders were essential to its success, but just as vital were the “true partnerships” forged over four decades with its broad stable of preferred partners. Celebrations will continue this year when Travellers Choice members from across Australia come together in Perth in November for their own 40th birthday party. They’ll be a highlight of the group’s Annual Shareholders’ Conference, which takes place this year at the six-star Crown Towers, Australia’s newest luxury property. 13. Qantas thanks you! Qantas’ latest digital platform – the Learning Hub – has been nominated for this year’s NTIA’s. Read below to find out more. When Qantas began talking about its new Learning Hub, which has forever changed the learning experience for thousands of agents, we all knew they were destined for success. And our intuitions have proven to be correct. Read on What are your thoughts on today’s travel news? Share your thoughts below. Other stories you may like Garuda Indonesia adds more flights to Bali from Australia Australia’s favourite international airline is… you’ll definitely guess this one Were you partying on the Nile with Bunnik Tours? Or were you spotted getting muddy & more?