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. When are Qantas’ Perth-London flights going on sale? Sooner than you think

Qantas Alan Joyce

Travellers will be able to secure their seats on Qantas’ direct flights to the UK almost a year in advance, with tickets reportedly going on sale very soon.

Reservations for the direct Perth-London service are apparently opening in April, around 11 months before the highly celebrated service launches, according to the Australian Business Traveller.

There’s still no word on how much passengers will need to fork over for a seat on the non-stop flights to Europe, however, the Flying Kangaroo’s Chief Executive Alan Joyce told The West Australian last year that they could be cheaper “than typical fare levels”.

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2. South Africa just lost the 2022 Commonwealth Games – what happened?

Durban South Africa

South Africa made history this week when it was unexpectedly stripped of its rights to host the 2022 Commonwealth Games.

The shocking decision was revealed by The Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) after a review of the country’s initial bid, which found that it had fallen behind on deadlines and financial obligations.

In an online statement, the Federation said South Africa had steered away from its host contract and wasn’t organising governance, venues, funding and risk management as originally promised.

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3. Emirates’ big reveal you may have missed last week thanks to Qatar Airways

Qatar Airways stole the ITB Berlin show last week when it unveiled its new one-of-a-kind Business Class product,which actually turned out to be one of the few pieces of news from the event to make headlines worldwide.

But in the shadow of the Doha-based carrier’s four-way, fancy seating, was Emirates’ new A380 onboard lounge, which made its public debut at the annual gathering.

Thousands of attendees who visited the Emirates booth were given the chance to try out the carrier’s new onboard feature, months before it’s official launched inflight.

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4. Celebrity Cruises’ new ship has a ‘Magic Carpet’


Ladies, grab your Aladdin and drag him onto the Magic Carpet, which you will literally be able to find on Celebrity Cruises’ ship Celebrity Edge when she launches in December next year.

The cruise line unveiled EXTENSIVE details of the new 2,918-guest vessel today, giving eager cruisers a good idea of what they can expect from the ship including its very large staterooms, new suites and the Magic Carpet.

Okay, I’ve mentioned it twice now – what the hell is a ‘Magic Carpet’? What’s it doing on a cruise ship? And is it just like Disney’s cheeky, yet highly perceptive rug?

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5. AccorHotels takes 5-star accommodation to Auckland Airport


AccorHotels’ Pullman brand has been selected by Auckland Airport and Tainui Group Holdings for a new 5-star hotel to be developed adjacent to Auckland Airport’s international terminal.

The new 250-room Pullman Auckland Airport will be located next to AccorHotels’ Novotel hotel, and nearby to AccorHotels’ ibis Budget hotel, providing travellers to Auckland with a complete range of high-quality accommodation choices from premium to economy.

Construction of the hotel is expected to start by the end of this year, with the hotel scheduled to open by late 2019. The launch of 5-star accommodation will complement a major upgrading program at the airport, which will see the international terminal expanded to add a domestic wing to provide a totally streamlined service for travellers.


6. Siemens allocated its European business travel budget to CWT

Happy young businesswoman sending text message on mobile phone. Horizontal Shot.

Carlson Wagonlit Travel has won the tender to provide services to leading global engineering and technology powerhouse Siemens. The agreement covers the European region, encompassing 32 countries.

As part of its “Vision 2020” corporate strategy, Siemens has set itself a core target for 2020 in the area of Global Mobility Services: global harmonisation. This will be achieved through a uniform end-to-end process, standardisation of travel policy, professional supplier performance management, innovative service concepts, and demand pooling. To this end, it was necessary to consolidate travel management services.

The new service concept will now be rolled out throughout Europe, taking into consideration the varying needs in each country. The concept is based on best practices in the different European countries, as well as on experiences in Asia and Australia, where CWT won the Siemens account last year.

“We will bring Siemens real added value through the optimal combination of personal service and outstanding technology in our multinational service centers,” said Peter Ashworth, Senior Vice President Central & Eastern Europe at CWT.


7. Australian Cruise Association heads to Seatrade

Travel Agent cruiseheader

The Australian Cruise Association has taken a truly regional team to Seatrade Cruise Global this year, as delegates from Papua New Guinea, New Zealand and new members, New Caledonia Tourism, join the stand.

The Association is being represented over the new few days by 14 delegates this year reflecting the continued growth of the Australian and Pacific cruise market. They include Chairman, Stephen Bradford CEO, Jill Abel and numerous representatives from the various State Tourism Organisations, port authorities and ground handling organisations who will showcase the Australia-Pacific region as a major world class base and destination for cruise vessels.

To show the delegates what Australian-Pacific hospitality looks like, the Association will partner with Cruise New Zealand to host a BBQ from 3-5pm on March 15. Following Seatrade, a number of the Association’s STO members will travel to Seattle and LA on an educational mission meeting the cruise lines where they will conduct itinerary and destination training for the res Agents.


8. SIVB appoints PTM to manage local marketing activity

Solomon Islands

Solomon Islands Visitors Bureau chairman, Wilson Ne’e has announced the appointment of Precise Travel Marketing (PTM) as its industry marketing representative for Australia and New Zealand.

PTM will take immediate responsibility for all aspects of the national tourist office’s travel industry marketing and related trade activity in both key markets.

Headed by Melbourne-based managing director, Richard Skewes, the company has vast experience in the South Pacific where it has been active since 1998. This includes running a South Pacific specialist travel company and latterly, acting in an advisory role and involvement in marketing campaigns for several Pacific Islands’ national tourist offices and resorts.


9. Travelmarvel’s new Europe advertising campaign

Travel Agent Travelmarvel Feature

Expect to receive more queries on Travelmarvel’s European itineraries because the river cruise line has launched a new advertising campaign designed to convert interest in 2018 cruises into bookings.

Travelmarvel Executive General Manager David Cox said the 15 and 30 second advertisements would both generate new interest and prompt those who were already considering booking to return to their Agent before the offer ends on 30 April.

The advertisements is airing in selected capital cities and regional areas on Channels 7, 9 and 10 and their affiliates.

What are your thoughts on today’s travel news?