Skill 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. You’ll be able to stream Foxtel & Netflix on Qantas flights sooner than you think

You’ve flicked through the inflight movies and TV shows, searched the music options and even checked out the games, but all you really want to pass the time on a flight is to continue binge watching Shameless on Netflix.

It’s the mother of all first world problems and lucky for us here in Australia, Qantas has a solution.

The Flying Kangaroo is close to bringing super fast wi-fi to its domestic flights that’ll be so incredibly speedy guests can use it to stream Foxtel, Netflix AND Spotify.

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2. Helloworld buys out four cruise businesses

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Helloworld just expanded its business with the acquisition of four successful cruise companies – three cruise sellers and one cruise data provider.

Announced today, Helloworld Limited said it has purchased Cruise Factory, Seven Oceans Cruising, Cruise Abroad and Worldwide Cruise Centres, which are expected to officially join the network later this month.

Helloworld Executive Director and Head of Wholesale Cinzia Burnes commented on the growth and unprecedented demand within the cruise sector in Australia and the benefits this acquisition will bring to the Helloworld Limited portfolio of brands.

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3. Delta’s sweet, sweet Valentine’s Day present to staff will make you want to work there

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While your employer handed out heart-shaped chocolates and treated the office to a special team lunch, Delta Air Lines employees were being showered with love, appreciation AND bonus cheques.

The carrier’s boss spent yesterday, Valentine’s Day, spreading the love by distributing a portion of $1.1 billion in profit among some 460 staff members, Bizjournals.com reported.

How does that heart-shaped chocolate taste now?

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4. Maxim Travel joins the Magellan Travel Group

Travel Agent Magellan signs with Maxim

Magellan Travel Group announced further network growth with the news that Sydney based corporate travel management company, Maxim’s Travel will be joining the group.

Scott Darlow, National Manager Magellan Corporate said: “Corporate agencies of the calibre and reputation of Maxim’s joining the Magellan Travel Group further vindicates the decision we made to provide additional value-adds, services and support specifically to the corporate travel management sector”.

Maxim’s Travel is an award winning, corporate travel management company which has been incorporated since 1985. Owner and Managing Director, Chris Goddard has said that “after undertaking a strategic alignment review of Maxim’s Travel and Event Management business, the Magellan Travel Group provided a holistic solution which met both of our economic and positioning objectives.  I am very much looking forward to partnering with Magellan, I see this as a best fit membership for my business moving forward.”

 

5. And she’s off! Norwegian Star is on her way to New Zealand

Norwegian Star

Norwegian Cruise Line’s Norwegian Star set off for New Zealand yesterday, four days after experiencing a malfunction with its propulsion system.

In an update, the cruise line said the azipod propulsion system has been repaired and the vessel was cleared for sailing by the classification society and the local authorities.

Norwegian Star departed from Melbourne yesterday afternoon and is currently cruising directly to Auckland. The ship is expected to arrive in Auckland on the morning of February 18.

 

6. APT Travel Group to host special gala to say thanks to VIPs

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APT Travel Group will host a glittering event for VIP agents and industry partners as its ‘90 Years of Unforgettable’ celebrations roll on.

Representatives from APT Travel Group’s Diamond and Platinum VIP agencies, as well as industry and media partners, will be invited to the special gala at Melbourne’s stunning Regent Plaza Ballroom in March, which will be themed to celebrate the APT Travel Group’s 1927 origins and will include the presentation of awards to top performing agents for 2016, is an acknowledgment of APT Travel Group’s loyal partners and a way of saying thank you for their support.

To enquire about APT Travel Group’s VIP Agent program, call the Inside Sales team on 1300 668 298.

 

7. Three new holidays star in AAT Kings’ new NZ brochure

AAT Kings

Two new seven-day holidays discovering Auckland, Rotorua and Queenstown plus a five-day family adventure are the headline acts in AAT Kings’ newly released 2017-18 New Zealand brochure. With all departure dates as definite, you’ll sell AAT Kings with even more confidence.

The new five-day New Zealand Family Shindig First Choice guided holiday visits Auckland and Rotorua and gives guests a behind the scenes experience at the Sea Life Aquarium. Plus there’s the seven-day Summer Sampler First Choice guided holiday from Auckland to Queenstown. Discover what New Zealand’s islands have to offer.

To celebrate the release of the brochure, AAT Kings have launched a “‘Name our Kiwi’ competition showcasing its support of Rotorua’s Rainbow Springs Kiwi Breeding program. Simply suggest a name for AAT Kings’ little Kiwi by 26 April, 2017 for your chance to win a $300 gift voucher or one of four $50 runner-up gift vouchers. Click here to enter.

 

8. Helen Wong meets demand for ‘Private Journeys’

Helen Wong

Helen Wong’s Tours has launched its new China and Vietnam 2017-2018 program, in which the Asia specialist has devoted much attention to its ‘Private Journeys’ itineraries.

The tour operator, which is celebrating its 30th or Diamond Anniversary this year, is offers a comprehensive range of ‘Private Journeys’ itineraries including hotels and sightseeing with an English-speaking guide – stress-free as all arrangements are pre-booked. This includes a four-day China Scenery of Guilin package; nine-day China Discovery Beijing, Xian and Shanghai package; and a nine-day China Yangtze Upstream cruise package.

The China program includes Hong Kong and Macao while the Vietnam brochure includes Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar. Customary group tour favourites, which include return air fares from Australia, remain in the two Helen Wong’s Tours brochures, including the 13-day China Gems tour.

 

9. Travel the World announces sales & marketing team promotions

TTW

In preparation for the amicable departure of Deb Corbett from Travel the World (TTW) to Ponant in mid-March, TTW Managing Director, Andrew Millmore has announced a restructure of the company in which two long-standing members of the team will be promoted to new senior roles.

The restructure sees promotions for Juliana Higgins to Sydney-based National Marketing & Product Manager and Sharon Hando to Gold Coast-based National Sales Manager.

Juliana and Sharon bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to their respective roles and will continue to represent TTW and its impressive portfolio of tourism products well for the years ahead.

Meanwhile, Sussanah Teng, becomes Sydney-based National Marketing & Product Executive, in a support role to Juliana Higgins.

 

10. Hawaiian Airlines pivots into Aussie netball

Travel Agent Hawaiian Airlines

Hawaiian Airlines has signed on as a Major Partner of GIANTS Netball for the inaugural season of the Suncorp Super Netball League, through to 2019.

Under the two-year agreement, Hawaiian will be the team’s Official International Airline, which includes giving Members and Fans the chance to win a taste of the carrier’s signature Hawaiian hospitality with a seat upgrade to the ‘Best Seats in the House’ at GIANTS Netball home games at Sydney Olympic Park Sports Centre (NSW), Qudos Bank Arena (NSW) and at Canberra’s AIS Arena.

Hawaiian Airlines’ Regional Director Australia and New Zealand, Gai Tyrrell, said the carrier is proud to join the GIANTS Netball ‘ohana’ (or family, in the Hawaiian language) because of the two organisations’ shared common values.

 

11. Wholesalers take the road less travelled to Ethiopia

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Known predominantly for the discovery of coffee in the 11th century, Emperor Haile Salasse and long distance runners, Ethiopia, a landlocked country in northern Africa is still surrounded by a degree of mystery.

A small group of travel wholesalers and representatives has just returned from a 12-day famil to The Land of Origins, courtesy of the Ethiopian Tourism Organisation (ETO) and Ethiopian Airlines.

As a country trying to raise its profile in the tourism world, the itinerary was planned to coincide with one of the biggest and most colourful, religious Christian festivals in Africa, Timkat or the Ethiopian Epiphany.

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What are your thoughts on today’s travel news?