Qantas' first direct Perth to London service arriving in London

Qantas’ first Perth to London flight has taken off, marking the start of the only direct air link between Australia and Europe – and the fastest way of traveling between the two continents.

The history-making QF9, carrying more than 200 passengers and 16 crew, pushed back just before 7pm on Saturday evening and landed in London at 5am on Sunday.

Operated by a Boeing 787-9, the flight reduces total travel time by eliminating stopovers and taking advantage of the most favourable winds on any given day without having to factor in a mid-point in the Middle East or Asia when choosing a flight path.

Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce, who was one of the passengers on the inaugural flight, described it as a major milestone for Australia as well as global aviation.

“This is a truly historic flight that opens up a new era of travel. For the first time, Australia and Europe have a direct air link,” said Mr Joyce.

“The original Kangaroo Route from Australia to London was named for the seven stops it made over four days back in 1947. Now we can do it in a single leap.

“The response to the flight has been amazing, both for the attention it’s received since we announced it and the bookings we’ve seen coming in. It’s great for Australian tourism, for business travellers and for people visiting friends and family on both sides of the world.”

Mr Joyce said a huge amount of work had gone into improving the experience for customers taking the 17-hour journey.

“This is hands-down the most comfortable aircraft that Qantas has ever put in the sky.

“Boeing designed the Dreamliner with features to reduce jetlag, turbulence and noise. We’ve taken that a step further with our cabin design, giving passengers more space in every class as well as bigger entertainment screens and more personal storage.

“We’ve worked with the University of Sydney and our consulting chef Neil Perry to create a menu that helps the body cope better with jetlag and adjusted the timing of when we serve food to encourage sleep.”

The daily QF9 begins in Melbourne, flying to Perth before then flying non-stop to London. Qantas has adjusted the timing of some domestic services into Perth so that passengers from Adelaide, Sydney and Brisbane can join the flight to London.

This first flight coincided with the opening of the airline’s new Perth International Transit Lounge featuring jetlag reducing lighting as well as pre-flight stretching classes, and relocating all of the airline’s domestic and international flights into a single terminal at Perth Airport for faster, smoother connections.

Mr Joyce added: “I’d like to specially recognise the support and cooperation of the Federal Government, the West Australian Government and Perth Airport. Without their help this flight, and all its broader benefits, wouldn’t be happening.”

Qantas chose its newest Dreamliner ‘Emily’ to operate the inaugural service, which features a striking livery by Balarinji based on the artwork Yam Dreaming by Indigenous artist Emily Kame Kngwarreye. The initiative is part of the national carrier’s commitment to promoting the best of Australia to the world.

From today, Qantas customers can choose from three routes between Australia and London – the direct Perth-London service on the Dreamliner; a reinstated Sydney-Singapore-London service on the A380; and via Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth to London via Dubai with partner Emirates on mix of A380 and 777 aircraft.

Source: Qantas


Stretching classes, jetlag-reducing lights and an outdoor terrace: the new Qantas Perth Lounge

Qantas customers will benefit from stretching classes, jetlag-reducing lights and an outdoor terrace in the airline’s new transit lounge at Perth Airport as part of the airline’s new approach at improving health and comfort.

The Perth International Transit Lounge was unveiled ahead of the inaugural Perth to London Dreamliner service. It has been designed by Australian Industrial designer David Caon and SUMU design, in consultation with the University of Sydney’s Charles Perkins Centre using an evidence-based approach to wellness.

The lounge offers a range of unique features including ‘light therapy’ in the shower suites to help adjust the body clock, a wellbeing studio with stretching classes and a refresh area providing hydrating face products. Customers can dine in an open-air terrace with a BBQ serving gourmet dishes by Neil Perry.

Qantas Head of Customer Product & Service, Philip Capps, said an emphasis on wellness in the lounge design was a whole new approach to long-haul travel.

“We’ve brought together some of Australia’s best culinary, design and scientific minds to create a lounge experience that will help set our customers up to feel better throughout their journey,” said Mr Capps.

“This sophisticated lounge is the ideal space for customers to unwind in between flights. The design reflects the natural beauty of the WA landscape through natural light and colour choices, and offers some of the best local food and wine.”

Charles Perkins Centre Professor of Sleep Medicine, Peter Cistulli, said the overarching goal was to enhance the passenger travel experience and optimise wellbeing.

“We’ve worked with the University of Sydney’s School of Physics to create an airline-first bespoke body clock intervention using bright light to help kick start the adjustment of customers’ body clocks. Applying light at appropriate times helps reduce the effects of jet lag,” Professor Cistulli said.

“The lounge is just one aspect of our partnership with Qantas to improve the wellbeing of travellers. We’ve also worked together to influence the menu and timing of the food and drinks service on the Perth to London route, cabin lighting design and temperature in the 787 and we are interested in seeing how customers will respond.”

A summary of the lounge features is below.

  • Seating for 141 customers
  • Multiple USB and charging ports, wireless printing, Wi-Fi and TV screens
  • 15 shower suites
  • Sofitel service

Design

  • Designed in collaboration between SUMU Design and lead designer of the Qantas 787 Dreamliner interiors, David Caon
  • The interior is spacious and modern, and the neutral colour palette is inspired by the white sands of the WA coastline
  • The unique curved ceiling promotes the infiltration of natural light.

Dining

  • Seasonal menus by Neil Perry from Rockpool
  • Outdoor BBQ with chefs cooking gourmet sausages from local Perth butcher Princi Smallgoods, and vegetables such as grilled mushrooms and corn on the cob
  • Premium hot and cold buffet serving light dishes including soups with homemade damper, healthy salad bowls, crudité and dips
  • Full service bar with premium wine and beer from Australia, including the Margaret River region
  • Hydration station – Quench – serving drinks including fruit-infused water, sparkling water and tisane (herbal tea)
  • Barista coffee.

Wellness

  • The bathrooms feature ‘light therapy’ in the shower suites to help adjust the body clock – customers can activate bright light via a switch for 15 minute sessions. The light therapy is intended to accelerate the adjustment of the body clock to the destination time zone, increase alertness and combat the effects of jetlag
  • A wellbeing studio offering stretching and breathing classes focusing on mindfulness and getting the body moving. They will be held every 15 minutes pre and post flight with a yoga teacher from Perth’s leading eco-luxe day spa group, Bodhi J Wellness Spa Retreats
  • Classes will be based on customers’ needs such as calming and grounding sequences for those departing on the flight to London and stretches to loosen and invigorate muscles for those arriving in Perth.
  • A refresh area with luxury Aurora Spa products specially made for Qantas including a face cleanser, hydrating face mist and moisturiser
  • Outdoor open-air terrace with natural light, boosting vitamin D and aiding sleep.

The Perth International Transit Lounge is located in the new T3/T4 integrated domestic and international passenger hub at Perth Airport. The international wing features a streamlined immigration and customs area, a large outdoor deck with alfresco seating, food and beverage outlets and a Duty Free store.

The lounge is open to customers transiting in Perth when travelling on QF9 from Melbourne to London and QF10 from London to Melbourne. It is also open to customers beginning their journey in Perth to London. Eligible customers include customers travelling in Business, Gold, Platinum and Platinum One Frequent Flyers, oneworld Emerald and Sapphire customers and Qantas Club members and their guests.

The University of Sydney’s Charles Perkins Centre is working with Qantas to help develop the airline’s new approach to long-haul travel. This is the first integrated, multidisciplinary collaboration between an airline and a university around health pre, during and post flight. The Centre brings together researchers across a variety of fields from nutrition to physical activity, sleep and complex systems modelling.

The inaugural Qantas 787 Dreamliner from Perth to London departed WST on 24 March. The Qantas Dreamliner seats 236 passengers in a three-class cabin with 42 Business Suites, 28 Premium Economy and 166 seats in Economy.

Source: Qantas


'Ten and Timeless', Southern Ocean Lodge Celebrates a Decade's Contribution to South Australia's Regional Economy

Kangaroo Island’s multi award-winning luxury retreat Southern Ocean Lodge celebrates ten years of operations this month, offering a chance to reflect on the boost generated to the island and South Australian economies over the decade.

The Baillie Lodges property envisioned by life and business partners James and Hayley Baillie was an ambitious project for its location on Kangaroo Island’s remote, pristine southwest coast, demanding some five years’ planning and approvals in the lead up to opening on March 29, 2008.

Designed by Kangaroo Island-born architect Max Pritchard, Southern Ocean Lodge appears to float along its clifftop position and represents a new breed of luxury, where the wildly beautiful location is reflected indoors, and local artworks, sculptures and custom furnishings create a timeless appeal.

Over the past ten years, Southern Ocean Lodge has welcomed more than 37,000 guests to stay from across 40 different countries, with international and domestic visitors arriving in roughly equal numbers. Southern Ocean Lodge has attracted its share of loyal fans, with almost 200 guests returning for ten or more stays at over this time.

In 2017 tourism to Kangaroo Island (KI) brought $137m^ in visitor expenditure to the South Australian economy, on track for an expected $168m contribution by 2020. More than 130 tourism businesses support 500 jobs on the island. A comparison of data from the Survey of Tourist Accommodation* (STA) on Kangaroo Island shows accommodation revenue grew from $6.4m in FY2008 to $16.8m in FY2016, an increase of 163 per cent.

Essential to the Southern Ocean Lodge concept is a ‘sense of place’, where guests are treated to a world-class menu created exclusively from local ingredients – from American River oysters and Southrock free-range lamb to sustainably produced marron and barramundi – enjoyed with a help-yourself bar of fine South Australian wine and small-batch beers and spirits.

On average every month, Southern Ocean Lodge’ local produce orders include:

  • 1200 bottles of premium South Australian wine
  • 14 bottles of KI Spirits Wild Gin
  • 55 kg of live Kangaroo Island marron
  • 390 dozen or 4680 KI free range eggs
  • 85 fresh KI pheasants and 85 fresh KI partridges
  • 65 sustainably produced barramundi from KI’s Parndana School
  • 50 dozen South Australian oysters, from American River and Coffin Bay
  • 85 kg of KI Sheep’s milk yoghurt
  • 345 litres of Fleurieu Peninsula milk and cream.

To mark the milestone, Hayley Baillie has compiled a journal-style book, A Celebration of Timeless Design, charting the journey of the lodge from planning through construction and its first ten years of operation. The book champions the local operators who have played an integral role in the project, including tour operators, food and wine producers, artists, furniture designers and sandstone workers.

A new airport lounge accessible exclusively to Southern Ocean Lodge guests will also be unveiled mid-year, designed by architect Max Pritchard as part of the redevelopment of Kingscote Airport.

South Australian Tourism Commission Chief Executive Rodney Harrex said the standards set by Southern Ocean Lodge over its ten-year tenure had been incredibly high and were a benchmark for high end luxury tourism experiences.

“Congratulations to Southern Ocean Lodge on this incredible milestone. The team are doing great work in building the profile of the region, creating jobs and supporting local communities and industries – all while providing guests a world class experience,” Mr Harrex said.

“The luxury retreat has a strong reputation globally and is a key economic driver for Kangaroo Island.”

Luxury Lodges of Australia Executive Officer Penny Rafferty said Southern Ocean Lodge marked a new era in Australian luxury lodging, with a new breed of super high end, experience-focused lodges established around this time in remarkable destinations around the country.

“Southern Ocean Lodge was an absolute catalyst and leader in the luxury lodge field. The magnitude and plain gutsiness of the project was unlike anything we’d seen previously in Australia,” Ms Rafferty said.

“It gave quality tourism and hospitality operators the confidence to invest deeply in this style of high-end experiential product in incredible, often very remote Australian regions. It was a game changer for Kangaroo Island, South Australia, and Australia globally.”

Baillie Lodges’ James Baillie said Southern Ocean Lodge had been an incredible achievement both professionally and personally for him and his wife Hayley.

“We were really up against it from the start. Southern Ocean Lodge is in a remote, difficult location, where the next stop south is Antarctica. But we both really believed in the project and were determined to see it through,” Mr Baillie said.

“To see Southern Ocean Lodge thriving a decade on, exceeding guest expectations and recognised as setting the bar in luxury lodgings makes Hayley and I feel proud and privileged for the opportunity.”

Source: Southern Ocean Lodge


IMG announces Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia preliminary schedule

IMG has announced the preliminary schedule for Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia (MBFWA) 2018, taking place 13 – 17 May in Sydney, Australia at Carriageworks.

MBFWA will feature the collections of designers including: ACLER, AKIRA, ALBUS LUMEN, ANNA QUAN, BLAIR ARCHIBALD, BIANCA SPENDER, CAMILLA, CAMILLA AND MARC, CLIENT LIAISON, C/MEO, CHRISTOPHER ESBER, DEADLY PONIES, DOUBLE RAINBOUU, HANSEN & GRETEL, I.AM.GIA, JETS, JUSTIN CASSIN, LEE MATTHEWS, LEO + LIN, MACGRAW, MATCHESFASHION.COM X EMILIA WICKSTEAD, MICHAEL LO SORDO, PEREIRA FITZGERALD, RAFFLES, ROMANCE WAS BORN, ROOPA, TAFE, TEN PIECES, THOMAS PUTTICK and WE ARE KINDRED.

Designers will be showcasing Resort 2019 collections at MBFWA and were announced at the schedule launch event on Wednesday 21 March, held at The Tilbury Hotel in Woolloomooloo, Sydney.

MBFWA Resort 2019 highlights include:

  • Celebrating the brand’s 15th anniversary, CAMILLA AND MARC will open this year’s event for the Mercedes-Benz Presents show on Sunday 13 May.
  • CAMILLA will return to MBFWA and stage a spectacular show to close out the week on Thursday 17 May, as well as the Mercedes-Benz Opening Showcase at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Weekend Edition (MBFWE) on Friday 18 May.
  • International designer Emilia Wickstead in collaboration with MATCHESFASHION.COM (London) will debut her Resort collection at MBFWA for the first time.
  • Akira Isogawa will celebrate 25 years in business with his MBFWA 2018 show.
  • Numerous emerging Australian designers will make their MBFWA debut including Blair Archibald, Deadly Ponies, I.AM.GIA, Leo + Lin and Pereira Fitzgerald.
  • Internationally renowned DJ duo, Client Liaison, will break into the fashion world with the launch of their first collection.
  • The St.George NextGen show will once again provide emerging designers an opportunity to show in front of an international audience. This season’s participating designers are ALLISAR.H, Chris Ran Lin, Gina Snodgrass and Of RO.

Each year, MBFWA continues to cement its global relevancy. In 2017, its second year on the Resort schedule, buyer attendance increased by an unprecedented 51%, including representatives from top international retailers such as Saks Fifth Avenue and Farfetch.

In 2018, The Suites, the onsite sales showrooms IMG introduced to the footprint last year, will double in size due to increased demand after a successful inaugural year in 2017. Additionally, Mercedes-Benz Weekend Edition will debut The Stores, a retail showcase where consumers can shop limited edition designs from some of Australia’s best and brightest designers – for one day only.

“We are excited to welcome an incredibly robust group of both seasoned and emerging designers to the third season of MBFWA Resort,” said Catherine Bennett, Senior Vice President and Managing Director of IMG Fashion Events. “The continued interest and support from the local and international community for the designers, their collections and the city as a resort destination is unparalleled and makes this event one of the fashion world’s best.”

NSW Minister for Tourism and Major Events Adam Marshall said, “The NSW Government is delighted to be supporting MBFWA to profile our State’s fashion industry and the talented designers making their mark internationally while showcasing our unique Australian style and importantly, generating business for NSW.”

“The schedule for this year’s event represents the best in the business while also providing a global platform for emerging talent, and will once again reinforce Sydney’s reputation as Australia’s fashion capital.”

On Friday 18 May 2018, MBFWA will host a series of thought leadership seminars focused on the fashion industry. The seminars, which will be open to the public, will offer informative content curated by industry leaders including Australian Fashion Council executives, who will present on Thursday 17 May, and Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences executives, who will present from 12 – 5pm on Friday 18 May.

Additionally, Mercedes-Benz Fashion Weekend Edition (MBFWE) will return this season, with the Mercedes-Benz Opening Showcase featuring Australian designer CAMILLA on Friday 18 May, and run through 19 May. MBFWE is available to consumers and offers exclusive access to designer shows and fashion film screenings as well as exclusive shopping offers, complimentary hair and makeup sessions, access to the MBFWE style sessions and quality food and drink. To purchase tickets visit www.mbfwe.com.

Source: Mercedes Benz Fashion Week


lululemon Mass Yoga Flow in Pitt Street Mall

On Tuesday lululemon took over Pitt Street, with two mass yoga sessions in the middle of Pitt Street Mall. Led by Sunshine Zerda, the yoga class saw 200 yogi’s (per class) perform downward dogs and sun salutations in the middle of Pitt Street. This was all about unveiling the second CBD store to open in Sydney.

lululemon are bringing their second store to the Sydney CBD, with the opening of their Westfield Sydney City location. This will further complement their existing Ivy store and being a stones throw away, will offer guests another choice of location in the city. Right in the thick of the hustle and bustle of the Pitt Street Mall, the new location follows the continued expansion of the technical apparel brand in Australia, whilst also being their 10th location to open in the greater Sydney area.

The store will feature a strong local influence featuring furniture designed by Sydney based firm Camerich, as well as a feature art installation in collaboration with local artist Brooklyn Whelan. Ambassadors for the store include Rhys Pritchard – (Owner & Head Trainer at ION), Sunshine Zerda (yoga instructor & DJ) and Alicia Portelli (spin instructor at Cyclogy).

The ambassadors have also been factored into the store design also, with their images being showcased on state of the art ‘lightboxes’ as well as tv screens thoughtfully installed to keep guests up to date with current content and campaigns.

Source: Lululemon