Welcome to Executive Travel Bulletin for Sept/October 2012
Letter from the Editor
Sweeping changes in aviation news this month began with the announcement by CEO Alan Joyce that Qantas and Emirates intend to create a global alliance between the two airline giants beginning April 1st, 2013 pending regulatory approval. Etihad has already positioned itself strongly in similar markets and will even expand its presence by February 2013 with an increase to daily flights from Australia to Abu Dhabi with its partner Virgin Australia. Details (see Industry News)
A new hotel has just opened in Canberra for business and leisure travellers alike. East Hotel will up the ante for visitors to the nation's capital with its contemporary apartment-style suites and state-of-the-art conference facilities. (see Business Hotel News)
For Business Class passengers, this month Qantas launched Select on Q-Eat, a pre-order online meal selection. Also in Edge Intelligence, peruse Executive Edge's new website pages detailing our exclusive memberships and awards and honours. Each accolade translates to greater service and benefits for our clients.
As always, we thank you for your loyal support and we look forward to serving all your travel needs.
Sincerely, Kimberly Rosbe
Marketing & Communications Manager
Etihad Airways goes daily from Brisbane to Abu Dhabi
Etihad Airways has announced plans to go daily from Brisbane to Abu Dhabi from February 1 next year. This will bring the number of Etihad Airways’ flights between Australia and Abu Dhabi to a weekly total of 28. It includes the airline’s thrice weekly codeshare flights from Sydney with partner, Virgin Australia.
The new Brisbane flights will continue to operate via Singapore in both directions and provide a popular, new daily link between the city pairs.
Guests flying the Abu Dhabi-Singapore-Brisbane route will enjoy the comfort of Etihad Airways’ state-of-the-art Airbus A330-200 aircraft configured in two classes with 22 seats in Pearl Business class and 240 seats in Coral Economy class.
Etihad Airways’ President and CEO James Hogan says the new daily service puts the airline in a stronger competitive position in these markets. He notes the new schedule offers "corporate and leisure travellers a more appealing proposition: more flights, more convenience, improved connections and a wider choice of destinations in Europe, the Middle East, Gulf Cooperation Countries and on the Virgin Australia domestic network."
Queensland Premier Campbell Newman welcomed the announcement saying he believes the new flights will stimulate the Queensland economy and its tourism industry.
Click here for more details on the new daily service from Brisbane to Abu Dhabi.
Qantas and Emirates new alliance
Subject to regulatory approval, Qantas CEO Alan Joyce and Emirates Airlines President Tim Clark recently announced a joint signed global aviation 'commercial agreement' between their two airlines which could create a range of new privileges and benefits for Australian travellers. Essentially, Dubai will replace Singapore and Hong Kong as QF's transit points between Europe and the United Kingdom, Emirates' entire European network of 33 cities will become part of the Qantas network, and the entire Qantas Australian domestic network of 50 destinations and 5000 flights per week will become part of the Emirates network.
What does this mean for passengers? As of April 1st, 2013:
The Qantas and Emirates frequent flyer programs will be aligned, enabling members of either program to earn and spend points on both airlines.
Customers will have their frequent flyer status recognised on either carrier.
Qantas will launch daily A380 services from both Sydney and Melbourne to London via Dubai.
Qantas flights through Dubai will use Emirates’ newly-built Concourse 3 at Dubai International Airport, which is designed for A380s and will be used exclusively by the two airlines.
For more details on this pending partnership visit: www.qantasandemirates.com
Travel agents reveal happiest job
Never question Oprah. And according to a recent survey conducted through The Oprah Winfrey Show, travel agents are amongst the happiest career choice in America. In fact, the survey revealed that travel agents are possibility the happiest professionals of all with a staggering 93% of travel agent members of ASTA (the American Society of Travel Agents) content with their current positions and career. In Australia, the same gratification is echoed by members of AFTA. Travel agents seem to universally recognise the everyday rewards of the job - the opportunity to assist others in discovering the world and making travel dreams a reality. How does this translate for Edge clients? Happy professionals are more productive, efficient and provide the finest customer service.
For all our corporate clients at Edge, we are happy to create custom itineraries for the personal leisure travel needs of you or your family as well as handle your business travel requirements. Executive Edge's leisure team is the best in the business, recently rated the #1 Luxury Travel Agency in Victoria by the 2012 Gold List of Luxury Travel Magazine. And our Leisure Director, Yvonne Verstandig, was nominated as one of the five 'Most Innovative Advisors' in the entire Virtuoso network at the August 2012 Virtuoso Travel Week Gala Awards in Las Vegas. Simply contact your Corporate Consultant and Yvonne and her leisure team will create the ideal holiday for you, your family or friends.
Qantas South Africa First Class discontinued
In two weeks, Qantas will discontinue First Class service on its Sydney - Johannesburg route in accordance to its overall fleet transformation agenda. As of October 1st, the airline will initiate a three-class B747 service to and from Johannesburg with its First Class premium product withdrawn to meet waning customer demand. The new service will nevertheless increase overall capacity on this route by 14 seats. First Class passengers booked for travel post-October will be automatically re-booked into Business Class on the same flight and entitled to a partial refund of the fare paid or a full refund, depending upon the circumstance. Please contact your Edge Consultant for specific details. Business Class will provide an exceptional inflight experience with its award-winning seats and inflight entertainment, according to Qantas spokesmen.
Business Hotel News
Featured Business Hotel: East Hotel Canberra
At last, a fresh new outlook in Canberra. East Hotel, Canberra’s highly anticipated 4 1/2 star contemporary boutique hotel is now open - ideal for business and leisure travellers alike. Its premium location between the fashionable retail and restaurant hubs of Manuka and Kingston, East Hotel ups the ante for visitors to the nation’s capital. The six-story East Hotel has 140 rooms in various studio and specialty, apartment-style suite combinations to accommodate every visitor's needs - all feature gourmet kitchens. Renowned architect Rodney Moss from Cox Architects cleverly designed a textured, contemporary interior atmosphere with refined glazing and recycled timber which feels simultaneously warm, intimate and sophisticated. East Hotel also boasts vintage 1950s style Ox Eatery restaurant with a delicatessen and an authentic imported French
rotisserie with intimate booths, long bar tables and private dining areas. East Hotel owner Dan Bisa explains his motivation in launching an endeavour in this marketplace: "We are passionate about creating a happy, happening precinct that showcases the personality representing a side to Canberra that many may not have experienced."
For the business traveller, East Hotel contains a plethora of innovative arenas including a free news agency and state-of-the-art business conference facilities.
69 Canberra Avenue, Kingston ACT
Swissotel Sydney completes renovation
Swissotel Sydney announced the completion of its refurbishment last week with the unveiling of its new executive lounge, level nine boardrooms, Jpb Restaurant and Crossroads Bar. Corporate travellers will appreciate the newly relocated and revitalised level nine Swiss Executive Club Lounge with its spectacular views of Sydney's skyline and Hyde Park. The Lounge embodies the feel of an exclusive private club complete with its own fireplace and library. The hotel's meeting spaces have also received a renovation providing contemporary, state-of-the-art technology including 55-inch or 65-inch flatscreen TVs, plush carpets and a large fixed dark wood boardroom table. Jpb, the hotel's signature restaurant, will now offer innovative modern cuisine with a modern and sophisticated ambience. The 'Ode to Oz' a la carte selection allows guests to choose your preferred
cut of meat, sides and sauces cooked in an open style kitchen. The adjacent Crossroads Bar is flooded with light from the floor to ceiling windows overlooking Market Street. The refurbishment's final products are modern yet functional.
Qantas launches 'Select on Q-Eat'
This month Qantas launched 'Select on Q-Eat,' the first of many changes to the Qantas Business Class experience giving customers more choice, comfort and control. Select on Q-Eat is a new online meal selection service in which passengers can pre-order their dinner dish from the Rockpool-designed menu prior to travelling. Through ordering online, additional dishes are also available exclusively through Select on Q-Eat. Currently Select on Q-East is offered for flights from Los Angeles to Australia on QF12, 16, 94 and 108 and expansion to other long-haul flights is in the works.
Three days prior to travel, Business customers will receive an email invitation to make their supper choices through the Select on Q-Eat website up to 24 hours before departure. Simply enter flight details and follow a three-step process to place your order - it's that easy. For more details visit http://selectonq.qantas.com/meals/
Events and Conferences
ACTE Asia-Pacific Education Conference - Business Travel Forecast Findings
Key market trends identified in the region regarding business travel forecasts were revealed at last month's ACTE Asia-Pacific Education Conference. Overall, the demand for business travel in the Asia-Pacific region is expected to continue to rise in proportion to the increased productivity of emerging markets in APAC. Asian companies, in general, generate the highest ROI per dollar invested in corporate travel. For ten year projections, China and India rank the highest in long-term growth of corporate travel. Not only is their growth predicted up to 21 percent per year but China has plans for 100 new airports in the next 10 years while India's domestic travel is expected to grow an average of 9 percent annually for the next two decades. Coming in a close third is Indonesia which is considered the fastest growing market in air passenger traffic. Indonesia's GDP
is expected to grow by 6% annually over the next decade.
Attendees of this conference included our worldwide Radius network members. Globally, Executive Edge partners with Radius Travel Network so our clients benefit from the security of Worldwide Customer Care.