CATHAY PACIFIC REVEALS NEW FIRST CLASS CONCEPTS

The Hong Kong-based carrier has just revealed a pair of First Class cabin concepts short-listed for its Boeing 777 aircraft, and has us all dreaming about flying at the pointy-end again even if that might still be some time off.

Image: Rendering of a Boeing 777-9 in Cathay Pacific livery

After signing an order for 21 Boeing 777-9s in 2013, deliveries of Cathay’s new flagship aircraft were scheduled to begin this year and flow through to 2024. But with the airline delaying the arrival of its first Boeing 777-9 aircraft out beyond 2025, its new First Class cabin is long overdue.

The new cabin designs were conceptualised by renowned European design agency, Yellow Window, after it was short-listed following an international design competition.

The competition asked design agencies to develop a concept that offered passengers an “immersive, inspiring, innovative, sensory on-board experience bearing the hallmark of the Cathay Pacific brand’s spirit of excellence.”

Image: Yellow Window’s concept no. 1 in ‘office’ mode.

According to Yellow Window, the designs are “based on a concept of ‘metamorphosis’ and the first-class suite must be able to offer different spaces for different points in the journey, becoming a lounge, an office, a dining room and a bedroom.”

“Over the years we have been inspired by significant passenger-experience developments in the premium cabins of the world’s best airlines, and our clients have certainly enjoyed experiencing them. If it were implemented aboard Cathay Pacific’s 777s, Yellow Window’s First Class cabin concept would surely strengthen the airline’s position as leader among the world’s top carriers,” says The Travel Authority Group’s CEO, Peter Hosper.

The first concept offers a tremendous amount of space in an elongated, apartment-style space in a 1-1-1 configuration across the cabin.

Image: Yellow Window’s concept no. 1 in ‘bedroom’ mode.

The suite transforms into bedroom-mode by releasing a fold-out surface which can be extended for the entire width of the suite, creating enough space for a long, fully-flat bed.

Image: A blind can be lowered from the ceiling to the floor for privacy in what is otherwise an open-plan style cabin.

Yellow Window’s second proposal comprises two extra-large First Class suites in the aircraft’s cross-section, defined by a separate bed and seat.

Image: Yellow Window’s concept no. 2

These would be coupled to allow for a total of four First Class berths on the aircraft, with features like a large flat-screen video panel, and curved panels around each suite for privacy without having to use sliding panels or doors.

Image: Yellow Window’s concept no. 2

For more information, simply leave us a note in the form below, or CALL US [1300 935 669] to discuss your specific requirements.

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VIRGIN AUSTRALIA LOUNGES REOPENING

In yet another positive sign, Virgin Australia has announced the reopening of its lounges in Perth and the Gold Coast.

Seating capacity within both lounges will, however, be limited due to COVID-related social distancing requirements, and adjustments have been made to the placement of furniture within the lounges to ensure social distancing is maintained at all times.

Both the Perth and Gold Coast lounges will comply with all COVID-19 safe requirements as mandated by the state governments.

Guests will notice some changes including:

  • The requirement to use the QR code to complete sign in upon entry.
  • The entrance foyer will be used as an entry point only.
  • Furniture will be spaced 1.5m apart along with appropriate signage and social distancing markers.
  • Hand sanitiser stations will be placed throughout the lounges.
  • Lounges will be deep cleaned prior to opening, and cleaning undertaken throughout the day.

One of the most obvious changes will be around food and beverage, notably that self-serve food and drinks will not be available.

Pre-made food items including sweet and savoury snacks, sandwiches, fresh fruit, alcoholic beverages (including craft beers and curated wines), barista coffee, premium tea and soft drinks will still be available from the hosted food bar.

The airline’s Gold Coast lounge will be open:

8.00am – 8.00pm Monday to Friday
8.00am – 6.00pm Saturday
8.00am – 8.00pm Sunday

The Perth lounge willl be open:

4.15am – 5.00pm Monday to Friday
5.00am – 12.00pm Saturday
5.00am – 5.00pm Sunday

For more information, simply leave us a note in the form below, or CALL US [1300 935 669] to discuss your specific requirements.

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QANTAS OPENS INTERNATIONAL BOOKINGS FROM JULY

In a boost to the entire travel industry and the Australian travelling public, Qantas is anticipating a return to international travel from the middle of the year.

The national carrier’s reservation system is now taking international bookings for travel from 01 July 2021, across its entire overseas network.

“We’re thrilled to see international Qantas services in our bookimg systems once again,” said Sarah Bush, Co-Founder & Director of The Travel Authority Group.

The available services even include destinations in North America and the UK that had previously been expected to be off the table until October at least.

The bringing forward of services at this time perhaps aligns with Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce’s comments back in November that passengers will need to have been vaccinated for COVID-19 before being allowed to travel on Qantas internationally, and the Australian government’s announcement that the country’s COVID-19 vaccine rollout has brought forward two weeks to early March.

Last week, Greg Hunt, the Federal Health Minister announced that the Australian vaccination rollout, should be complete in October 2021 ahead of schedule.

A Qantas spokesperson said the airline has aligned the selling of its international services “to reflect our expectation that international travel will begin to restart from July 2021.”

All of our wings have been clipped for the best part of a year now. Are you ready to fly again?

We’d love to hear from you, and help you navigate your way back into the air safely and with confidence.

For more information, simply leave us a note in the form below, or CALL US [1300 935 669] to discuss your specific requirements.

W MELBOURNE OPENING DATE ANNOUNCED

Melbourne’s most anticipated hotel has confirmed a new opening date after a Covid-related false start in December 2020.

The latest member of the W family is all set to welcome guests from 04 February, promising to bring what it calls “rebellious luxury” to the Victorian capital.

Taking its design cues from Melbourne’s laneway culture, the hotels 294 boldly furnished rooms and suites “peel back the layers and revel in the city’s history.”

King Guest Room

“From our Flinders Lane address to being styled by the streets that surround us, we’ll deliver an unmistakable Melbourne experience, matched by our iconic ‘whatever/whenever’ service promise,” said General Manager Damon Page.

The hotel boasts three restaurants and two bars, and 828 square metres of ultra-modern event space for spectacular events including the Great Room, an impressive 426 sq metre pillarless ballroom.

Event planners will have six event rooms with total events space of 638 sq metres to choose from, as well as four breakout rooms.

All meeting rooms offer high-speed WiFi, state-of-the-art audio-visual facilities & natural light.

“We’re thrilled to see another wonderful hotel with brilliant events and conferencing facilities open in Melbourne adding to the city’s already impressive list of venues,” 

said Sharon Levingston, Head of Events at The Events Authority.

For more information or book your next Melbourne stay or event, simply leave us a note in the form below, or CALL US [1300 935 669] to discuss your specific requirements.

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EMIRATES UNVEILS PREMIUM ECONOMY

In a bold move, Emirates has unveiled a brand new Premium Economy cabin on its newest A380 aircraft.

The airline received its newest A380 aircraft from Airbus’ Hamburg facility in late December, and its remaining order of 5 A380s will also be delivered with premium economy cabins through 2021 and 2022. The new premium economy seats will also be installed on some Emirates Boeing 777X aircraft which are due to join the fleet in 2023.

“The Emirates A380 is already one of the most sought-after travel experiences in the skies, and now we’ve made it even better. True to our fly better promise, Emirates continues to invest to offer our customers the best possible experience,” said Sir Tim Clark, President Emirates Airline.

Our First, Business and Economy experiences reset industry standards when they were introduced, and we are confident that our Premium Economy will also make its mark as a distinct premium offering.

The new cabin offers 56 seats in a 2-4-2 layout.

With a generous pitch of up to 40-inches, Emirates’ premium economy cream-coloured leather seat is 19.5 inches wide, and reclines 8 inches into a comfortable cradle position with ample room to stretch out.

Seats also feature 6-way adjustable headrests, calf rests and footrests.

“We love seeing airlines develop new passenger experiences, and we’re delighted to see Emirates’ much anticipated Premium Economy cabin take flight,” said The Travel Authority Group’s CEO, Peter Hosper.

Emirates has announced that it will deploy its A380 aircraft featuring new premium economy seats and enhancements across all cabins to London Heathrow.

Interestingly, until more Premium Economy seats enter its inventory, the airline intends to offer these as spot upgrades for its valued customers on a discretionary basis.

For more information, simply leave us a note in the form below, or CALL US [1300 935 669] to discuss your specific requirements.

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