We’ve done all the hard work, so you don’t have to! Read on for our top ten travel industry news stories of the day we think you need to know.
1. Sydney Storm continues to reap havoc for airports
Sydney’s storm, which battered the city overnight, has left passengers stranded as roads, terminals and train lines remain blocked and flooded.
Sydney’s airport was closed down overnight as winds shut down any chance of planes landing and terminals were flooded.
This morning the airport advised via Twitter that the airport was now open for business, but diversions would continue throughout the day.
Read on for more.
2. Hertz and Mantra team up to provide a smooth ride
Hertz has teamed with Mantra Group in a three-year partnership to service guests staying at Peppers, Mantra and BreakFree hotels and resorts across Australia and New Zealand.
“Our partnership with Mantra Group was a natural affiliation as they are the largest Australian-based accommodation operator and we are a global leader in car rental,” said Chris Rusden, Vice President, Hertz Australia and New Zealand.
“Mantra Group has properties located in all major capital cities and key holiday destinations across Australia and New Zealand, so this partnership allows Hertz to service both leisure and business travellers with a vehicle to suit the needs of their trip.”
Read on for more.
3. Melbourne plane crash pilot touted hero
A 70 year-old pilot, who perished after his homemade plane crashed into a home in Chelsea, has been considered by authorities as a hero after directing the plane away from a busy shopping strip and children’s park.
Police said that the single-engine light plane was travelling south along the Chelsea foreshore.
Witnesses claim that a spluttering sound could be heard before the aircraft steeply nosedived and crashed into the residential area.
Plane fuel set the side of the house and the nearby fence on fire before firefighters put it out.
4. Prices set to soar as airlines call a truce on price war
A report, compiled by aviation experts warn travellers that the price honeymoon, created by budget airline offers, is well but over.
The first Australian Aviation and Airfare Analysis, compiled by business travel consultancy Fourth Dimension and the Centre for Aviation (CAPA), examined five major routes, and the airlines that service them.
Sydney-Perth presented the best value for money at an average $234 a fare — or seven cents a kilometre.
Melbourne-Brisbane travellers are also getting a good deal with average retail prices down 10 per cent on last year at $128.60 one way, or about 7.5 cents a kilometre.
Overall retail airfares fell 3.2 per cent on last year to an average $140.90 down from $145.60.
But the report warns that the honeymoon is unlikely to last much longer as the market “adjusts to the new dual carrier equilibrium”.
“There is now recognition (by Qantas) that blowing Virgin Australia away is simply not an option,” said the report.
“There is unlikely to be any aggressive discounting or capacity additions outside of the leisure market as a result and ongoing network adjustments are expected to continue.”
5. Authorities set to review cabin crew’s Ebola concerns
More than 200 cabin cleaners working at New York’s LaGuardia Airport walked off the job on last week in protest of what they say are poor working conditions.
The employees of Air Serv, which contracts with major airlines to clean their planes between flights, said they refuse to clean blood, vomit and other possibly contaminated bodily fluids without adequate protection.
The strike has pushed airport authorities to agree to review the concerns brought up by employees.
The unrest occurred a day after US government said it would step up health screenings in four major US airports. While the Air Serv employees have resumed working, protective measures are still being devised.
6. Hotel manager lashes out at blackmailing guests
A bad review by two German guests who claimed their lamp was dusty and their headboard crooked, encouraged Charleville Lodge Hotel Ireland manager, Paul Stenson to unleash a tirade.
The open letter, posted on the hotel’s Facebook page, not only took a swipe at the over-critical couple but warned of a “dark trend emerging in hospitality.” That is, travellers blackmailing venues into discounts lest they post a scathing review.
“Essentially what they do is they take photos of some minor issue relating to the hotel room, and use photo editing software (namely the zoom function) to make the issue look ten times worse than it actually is,” the letter said.
“They then show this image to the hotel reception, and advise the receptionist that this image, along with some scathing words, will appear on the internet in a number of days, if ‘something is not done’ about the issue.“When they say, ‘something is not done’, they usually mean a substantial discount on the room rate, or no charge for their room at all.”
Mr Stenson said that while some hotels “fall into the trap,” the Charleville hotel will respond to threats with equal proportion.
“If there is any material posted online by a guest that constitutes slander or could be described as defamatory, we will have no hesitation in taking legal action against this guest.”
7. Jetstar Japan optimistic despite losses
Jetstar Japan executives say key metrics for the airline are tracking at or ahead of where they want them to be despite losses for the Qantas Airways budget offshoot rising by 26 per cent in the last financial year. In the last financial year, Jetstar Japan more than doubled its revenue through a rapid expansion, but its operating costs rose substantially as well.
A Jetstar spokesman said the result included continued start-up costs as the carrier grew from 13 to 18 aircraft along with the impact of delays to opening the airline’s second base at Osaka’s Kansai International Airport and the subsequent delay of international services.
“Jetstar Japan is now operating from the second base which has enabled an increase of flying by 20 per cent,” the spokesman said.
8. A&K release new Worldwide journeys brochure for 2015
Global travel company, Abercrombie & Kent announces the third year of Connections, its portfolio of engaging tour programmes designed with value in mind.
For 2015 there are 36 small group journeys and 16 private itineraries to Europe, Asia, India, Africa, Arabia and the Americas. 4 Star+ accommodation is standard across the collection and the group journeys limit numbers to no more than 24 guests per trip, while the private itineraries have been created specifically for one or two people travelling together on set departure dates enjoying private touring and transport, comfortable lodgings and diverse local interactions.
New to the portfolio are some exciting family group adventures that combine family-friendly activities and child-friendly hotels with educational and enriching experiences for all ages. The new Connections destinations for families are Italy, Russia, Amsterdam to London plus South Africa and Peru.
9. Qantas in strong demand for foreign stock
Qantas has announced an increase in foreign investment in its shareholding with effect from 17 September, 2014. The carrier said in its latest filing to the Australian Securities Exchange that foreign investors now make up 47.8 per cent of its issued share capital, just shy of the 49.9 per cent cap imposed by the Qantas Sale Act.
US global investment firm, Franklin Resources Inc., controls a combined 17.57 per cent stake in the carrier of which roughly 10 per cent is held by its Melbourne-based subsidiary, Balanced Equity Management.
10. Chance to snap up foodie delights with Cathay Pacific
Cathay Pacific, the official airline partner of Australia’s Good Food Month’s, will bring the world even closer with its ‘Taste Asia with Cathay’ competition.
The 2014 Skytrax airline of the year is offering foodies the chance to win two return Economy Class flights to an Asian food capital from the airline’s vast network that includes 20 destinations in China alone.
To go in the running, entrants will need to take a picture of their favourite Asian food or flavour, and share it with the hashtag #TasteAsiaWithCathay and of the destination they would like to visit (for example, #Shanghai) via Twitter, Instagram or Cathay Pacific’s Facebook.
“There are few better ways to spend a spring evening than at the Sydney Night Noodle markets – and while you are there come and visit us at the Cathay Pacific area,” says Julie Reid, Sales and Marketing Manager, Cathay Pacific Australia.
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