NEW FLIGHTS FROM AOTEAROA TO THE APPLE ISLE

For the first time in more than 20 years, Tasmania has welcomed direct flights from across the Tasman, with Air New Zealand launching a new direct service between Auckland and Hobart.

On 22 April, Air New Zealand commenced its twice-weekly service which will fly on Thursday and Sundays.

“It’s quite remarkable that there have been no direct international services between Tassie and New Zealand for more than 20-years,” said Sarah Bush, Co-Founder & Director of The Travel Authority Group.

“We’re delighted to see airlines adding new routes to their networks wherever they are in the world, and look forward to seeing our clients dust off their passports and travel again,” added Bush.

Prior to the COVID shocks, Tasmania welcomed 25,000 visitors per year from New Zealand. Expectations are high that these new direct services will increase arrivals significantly, boosted by the fact that there’s no requirement to transit any gateways on the Australian mainland.

For more information about airfares and brilliant travel deals to both Tasmania and New Zealand, 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 RE-OPENS INTERNATIONAL LOUNGES

Qantas has announced a new seven-year agreement with Accor for the hospitality giant to continue management of Qantas lounges in Australia and overseas.

The announcement coincides with Qantas’ plans to fast-track the reopening of its award-winning First lounges in Australia in line with the launch of the two-way trans-Tasman travel bubble on 19 April 2021.

“We’re thrilled to learn that Qantas’ brilliant First Lounges are re-opening,” said The Travel Authority Group’s CEO, Peter Hosper.

“These are vital signs of tourism recovery, and we look forward to seeing our clients enjoy Accor’s renowned service levels in these wonderful lounge spaces,” added Hosper.

The new agreement is an extension of an existing 14-year partnership. Accor began managing Qantas lounges in 2007 when the airline opened its flagship International First lounges in Australia, followed by its Domestic Business lounges, Chairmans Lounges and Qantas Club in 2013.

Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce said the renewed agreement highlights the airline’s commitment to maintaining a premium travel experience for its customers across every part of their journey.

“As our customers step back into our lounges for the first time in over a year, they will continue to receive the exceptional service they have been accustomed to from the Qantas and Accor teams,’ Mr Joyce said.

The national carrier is ready to welcome visitors to its First lounges in Sydney and Melbourne as well as its International Lounge in Brisbane, a year after they closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic and travel restrictions.

While normally reserved for Platinum Frequent Flyers, Qantas will extend an invitation to customers travelling in Business, Gold Frequent Flyers and Qantas Club members to visit the First Lounge until the neighbouring Business lounges reopen.

Mr Joyce said reopening three of its flagship international lounges was a key milestone in the national carrier’s recovery.

With Qantas’ lounges in New Zealand currently closed, however, the airline will offer Platinum and Gold Frequent Flyers and Qantas Club members access to Air New Zealand lounges in Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Queenstown.

Qantas has reopened nearly all of its 35 Qantas Club and Business lounges across Australia as well as its Chairmans lounges. It will open the remainder of its international lounges in Australia and overseas in line with the broader reopening of international borders and recommencement of the rest of Qantas’ international network.

VIRGIN OUTLINES GROWTH PLANS

Virgin Australia has announced fast-tracked plans to lease new aircraft, create more frontline jobs and grow its network to further support domestic tourism.

“We’re encouraged by the growth plans being articulated by Australia’s airlines at the moment,” says Sarah Bush, Co-Founder & Director of The Travel Authority Group.

“They certainly reflect the increased client activity in our businesses as Australians plan and book their long-overdue holidays and business trips,” adds Sarah.

The creation of more roles at Virgin Australia will see more than 220 cabin crew return to the skies from the airline’s discontinued long-haul international, ATR regional and Tigerair Australia operations.

The recovery efforts include the reintroduction of 10 Boeing 737-800 aircraft, and the planned return of more than 80 per cent of the airline’s pre-pandemic domestic capacity by mid-June 2021.

After a year of rolling state-based restrictions, pent-up travel demand is driving the launch of several new and expanded services and frequencies on key holiday and business routes.

Virgin Australia Group CEO Jayne Hrdlicka said the airline was strongly focused on its domestic recovery program, which includes delivering experiences guests love while providing great value for leisure travellers, corporates and SMEs.

“We are building a strong and disciplined business, obsessed with providing our customers the very best of Virgin Australia travel experiences,” said Ms Hrdlicka.

“Today, we are operating around 850 weekly return flights, and as we approach the June school holidays, we will add another 220 return flights per week to our schedule. By mid-June, we expect to be operating more than 80 per cent of our pre-COVID domestic capacity,” added Hrdlicka.

New and extended seasonal services include:

  • Melbourne – Hamilton Island (3 flights per week from 08 June to 31 October)
  • Melbourne – Darwin (daily flights from 10 June to 31 October)
  • Brisbane – Launceston (4 flights per week from 17 June to 25 July) – seasonal extension
  • Melbourne – Ballina Byron Bay (5 flights per week from 09 June to 31 October) – seasonal extension
  • Brisbane – Queenstown (4 flights per week from 18 September)
  • Sydney – Queenstown (4 flights per week from 18 September)

Expanded frequencies include:

  • Sydney – Perth (up to 4 flights per day by 23 May)
  • Melbourne – Perth (up to 6 flights per day by 23 May)
  • Sydney – Adelaide (up to 5 flights per day by 23 May)
  • Melbourne – Adelaide (Up to 9 flights per day by 20 June)
  • Brisbane – Adelaide (up to 5 flights per day by 20 June)
  • Sydney – Gold Coast (up to 9 flights per day by 20 June)
  • Melbourne – Gold Coast (up to 8 flights per day by 20 June)
  • Melbourne – Sydney (up to 25 flights per day by 20 June)
  • Melbourne – Brisbane (up to 13 flights per day by 20 June)
  • Brisbane – Sydney (up to 15 flights per day by 20 June)
  • Sunshine Coast – Melbourne (up to 3 flights per day by 20 June)
  • Sunshine Coast – Sydney (up to 3 flights per day by 20 June)
  • Brisbane – Townsville (up to 4 flights per day by 20 June)
  • Brisbane – Mackay (up to 4 flights per day by 20 June)

The airline is hopeful that domestic border closures will soon be a thing of the past and continues to see positive signs of consumer recovery including multiple record-breaking sales days of half-priced fares, with more than 75 per cent of the tickets being booked for travel from May onwards.

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

We’d love to hear from you!

CROWN TOWERS PERTH: FLIGHTS + 3 NIGHTS FROM $1090!

With resorts all over Australia at capacity right now, why not indulge in a city break and pamper yourself at a beautiful five star property with some stunning inclusions.

Take Off with these fully-loaded holidays during the half-price sale!

Indulge yourself in a well-deserved getaway to one of the finest, most luxurious urban resorts in Australia—the stunning Crown Towers Perth.

OUR EXCLUSIVELY NEGOTIATED PACKAGE INCLUDES:

  • Return Qantas flights from Sydney OR Melbourne, PLUS:
  • 3 NIGHTS in a luxurious Deluxe Room from just $1090 per person, twin share INCLUDING EXCLUSIVE ACCESS to the hotel’s stunning Crystal Club Lounge & Bar.

Pricing shown is based on a 10 May departure. Please contact us for availability and pricing on other dates.

Add one of these great activities to squeeze the most out of your visit to Perth!

  • A walking tour of Perth’s burgeoning food & beverage scene from $65 per person.
  • A Kings Park tour by Segway from $129 per person.

CRYSTAL CLUB

High above the resort grounds of Crown Towers Perth, guests with Crystal Club access are invited to enjoy the private lounge and bar from morning till night with complimentary services for Breakfast as well as Evening Drinks and Canapes.

*Room upgrades are subject to availability of the next highest category when you check-in.

Call us so we can:

  • Help you find your half-price tickets.
  • Book the perfect place to stay.
  • Arrange car hire, day tours and more.
  • Ensure maximum booking cancellation flexibility for peace-of-mind.

PUT YOUR POINTS TO WORK!

Forget the toaster—use your American Express Membership Rewards points to pay for your travel when you book with us!

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

We’d love to hear from you!

SLIP INTO SYDNEY: FLIGHTS + 3 NIGHTS FROM $595

With resorts all over Australia at capacity right now, why not indulge in a city break and pamper yourself at a beautiful five star property with some stunning inclusions.

Take Off on this fully-loaded holiday during the half-off sale.

Return Qantas flights from Melbourne, PLUS 3 NIGHTS at the Shangri-La Hotel in a Deluxe Darling Harbour King room from just $595 per person, twin share.

  • Ex. PERTH from just $833 per person, twin share.

EXCLUSIVE BONUSES

Let us take your Sydney sojourn to the next level with these exclusive high value inclusions at NO EXTRA COST:

  • Daily full breakfast
  • Room upgrade on arrival*
  • US$100 equivalent F&B credit
  • Early check-in
  • Late check-out
  • Welcome amenity

*Room upgrades are subject to availability of the next highest category when you check-in.

Call us so we can:

  • Help you find your half-price tickets.
  • Book the perfect place to stay.
  • Arrange car hire, day tours and more.
  • Ensure maximum booking cancellation flexibility for peace-of-mind.

PUT YOUR POINTS TO WORK!

Forget the toaster—use your American Express Membership Rewards points to pay for your travel when you book with us!

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

We’d love to hear from you!

MELBOURNE: FLIGHTS + 3 NIGHTS FROM $725!

With resorts all over Australia at capacity right now, why not indulge in a city break and pamper yourself at a beautiful five star property with some stunning inclusions.

Take Off with these fully-loaded holidays during the half-price sale

Return Qantas flights from Sydney, PLUS 3 NIGHTS in a King Room at the gorgeous Park Hyatt Melbourne from just $725 per person, twin share.

  • Ex. Sydney from $721 per person, twin share.
  • Ex. Perth from $961 per person, twin share.

EXCLUSIVE BONUSES

Let us take your Melbourne getaway to the next level with these exclusive high value inclusions at NO EXTRA COST:

  • Daily full breakfast
  • Room upgrade on arrival*
  • Early check-in
  • Late check-out

Add these brilliant activities to make the most of your dash to Melbourne!

  • Add a Eureka Skydeck 88 ticket from just $28 per person.
  • Add a guided Melbourne Cricket Ground tour from just $30 per person.

*Room upgrades are subject to availability of the next highest category when you check-in.

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

We’d love to hear from you!

ALL VIRGIN DOMESTIC LOUNGES OPEN FOR BUSINESS

Virgin Australia has opened its seventh and final domestic Lounge in Canberra as customer demand strengthens with the airline expecting to be at 80% of pre-COVID-19 capacity by July 2021.

“We’re really pleased about this. Virgin Australia commenced reopening its domestic lounges last November, and this is yet another positive indicator that the gears of the economy are re-engaging, that airlines are gearing up for a return to business travel. We’re delighted.”
Sarah Bush, Co-Founder & Director of The Travel Authority Group.

The airline’s domestic lounge network now includes:

The airline revealed its ‘Lounge of the Future’ in Adelaide last month, stating that all future Lounge refurbishments around the domestic network will be done in line with this new and fresh design thinking.

A Virgin Australia Group spokesperson said, “Guests of our Canberra Lounge will be able to enjoy our new menu which is gradually rolling-out across the network and includes a selection of sandwiches, salads, wraps and healthy snacks, freshly prepared on site. Virgin Australia is committed to offering its frequent flyers lounges and looks forward to welcoming guests as they return to leisure and corporate travel.”

For more information, simply leave us a note in the form below, or CALL US [1300 935 669] to discuss your specific requirements and to book your next flight with Virgin Australia.

We’d love to hear from you!

MORE NEW ROUTES FROM QANTAS

As the prospects of domestic borders remaining open improve, and travellers’ confidence grows, it’s great to see the national carrier connecting more dots across the country and over the sea.

Melbourne, meet Newcastle.

This week, Qantas launched direct services between Melbourne and beachside ‘Newie’, New South Wales’ second-largest city and gateway to the Hunter Valley—one of Australia’s major wine regions.

The airline will operate 12 weekly return flights with its 125-seat Boeing 717 aircraft, adding more than 3,000 seats between the two cities each week.

While clearly offering superb leisure travel options for travellers heading in either direction.

“We expect this service will also be popular with our corporate travellers based in Newcastle. Flights are available at peak times in both directions and customers will enjoy the benefits of our premium service, including complimentary food and drinks, baggage and lounge access before they fly out.”
QantasLink CEO John Gissing

We think they’ll be popular too.

New Norfolk Island Flights

Qantas’ latest services are not quite international, but they’re not far off.

For three months from 19 March 2021, with the potential to extend for the longer term, the Flying Kangaroo will operate six flights per week to the Australian territory in the South Pacific.

Three flights will depart from Sydney and three from Brisbane, and will be operated by Boeing 737 aircraft, offering 2,000 seats on the routes each week.

The services will maintain critical passenger and freight connectivity with the Australian mainland, and provide travellers with an exciting new holiday destination.

“With international borders closed, we know Australians are looking for new holiday experiences and Norfolk Island is a destination that has so much to offer.”
Qantas Domestic & International CEO, Andrew David.

Fares from Sydney start from $412 one-way and from Brisbane from $390 one-way and are on sale now.

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

We’d love to hear from you!

VIRGIN REVEALS ‘LOUNGE OF THE FUTURE’

Virgin Australia has unveiled its Lounge of the future, with the highly anticipated opening of its Adelaide Airport Lounge. The 283-seat space completes the airline’s network of seven lounges at major airports around Australia.

“Virgin’s new Adelaide lounge looks very smart indeed,” said The Travel Authority Group’s CEO, Peter Hosper.

“We have no doubt that frequent and corporate flyers will enjoy the fresh new look and enhanced amenities. We look forward to seeing more Virgin lounges look and feel like this in future.”
Peter Hosper

The lounge’s contemporary design includes a breeze block feature wall, canopy ceilings, large light-filled spaces, and numerous dining and seating areas. Ambient lighting and bright greenery make it a relaxed and inviting place to refresh and recharge in a way that befits the Virgin brand.

Virgin Australia Adelaide Lounge Features

The Coffee Bar: An eye-catching central café seating area that turns into a wine bar at night.

The Cellar Door Hub: With some of Australia’s most awarded wineries on its doorstep, this is a space for South Australian wineries to bring their cellar door to the Lounge for seasonal wine tasting.

Distinct dining areas: Separate dining areas with diverse functionality cater to all guest’s eating preferences, including large social tables, and banquette seating for more private dining.

The Library: A dedicated work area featuring workstations with PCs, printing facilities, power sockets, and desk lamps, offering a functional environment to work on the fly.

All future Virgin domestic Lounge refurbishments will be done in line with this fresh, new design aesthetic.

Virgin Australia CEO Jayne Hrdlicka said the new lounge was the first of many new and exciting products for customers following the airline’s re-launch.

“We are continuing to write a new chapter at Virgin Australia and we’re incredibly focused on creating great experiences for our guests,” said Ms Hrdlicka.

“We plan to make significant investment in our lounges over the next few years. The new lounge we’ve unveiled today will be the foundation for the Virgin aesthetic and experience we will roll out across the network.”
Virgin Australia CEO Jayne Hrdlicka

In an Australian airline first, Virgin Australia is also trialling a food ordering system, offering guests end-to-end table service. Initially available in Adelaide and Melbourne, guests will be able to order food and beverages directly to their seat or table by simply scanning a QR code and placing an order on their phone.

This will not only provide a seamless table service for guests, but it will reduce movement and further enhance the COVID-safe environment.

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

We’d love to hear from you!