QANTAS RETURNS TO BEIJING

Qantas will launch daily flights between Sydney and Beijing from 25 January 2017, with services to the Chinese capital the next step in the Group’s strategy to tap into the exceptional growth of the Australia-China travel market.

The new service will operate into Beijing Capital International Airport, using an Airbus A330-200 aircraft, with return flights timed to connect with Qantas’ extensive domestic and trans-Tasman network. It marks Qantas’ return to the route for the first time since 2009 and makes Beijing the national carrier’s third destination in Greater China, including its existing daily return services to Shanghai and 28 return services a week to Hong Kong.

The new Beijing-Sydney service is part of the expansion of Qantas’ joint venture partnership with China Eastern which will also see three international codeshare routes between Australia and China being added under their strengthened agreement: Sydney-Hangzhou, Sydney-Kunming and Brisbane-Shanghai. China Eastern will codeshare on Qantas’ new Beijing service.

Qantas Group Chief Executive Alan Joyce said the new route – which equated to an additional 3,300 seats a week between Australia and China – would help the airline take advantage of surging travel demand.

“The tourism industry in Australia is very excited about what the Chinese market will deliver over the next few years, especially given it’s already become our second biggest source of visitors after New Zealand,” said Mr Joyce.

“Australia is now at the top of the wish list for Chinese travellers thinking about where they want to go next.  There are 21 million people in Beijing alone and from the start of next year they will be just one Qantas flight away. The potential is tremendous.


New Statue of Liberty Museum Design Unveiled in NYC

The Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation, Inc. (SOLEIF), with the National Park Service/U.S. Department of the Interior today unveiled the plans for the building of a new Statue of Liberty Museum on Liberty Island in New York Harbor, which is projected to open to the public in 2019.

This is the first new building construction undertaken by the Foundation, which has been responsible for historic restoration and preservation since the 1980s. The new 26,000-square-foot museum was designed by architecture firm FXFOWLE and exhibitions are being created by experience design firm ESI Design.

It will be built by Phelps Construction Group. The new museum—which is the key part of a beautification plan that also includes landscaping and lighting— will give the more than 4.3 million annual visitors to the Statue of Liberty the opportunity to learn about and honor the Statue’s history, influence, and legacy in the world. The current Statue of Liberty Museum, located inside the Statue of Liberty monument, is only accessible to a small fraction of the Statue’s visitors due to the safety upgrades that were put in place following September 11, 2001.

Diane von Furstenberg was named chair of the fundraising campaign that seeks to raise $100 million for the Foundation, which, in partnership with the National Park Service, was responsible for the historic restorations of the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island and will build this new $70 million museum.


Emirates gives Jennifer Aniston lots of reasons to fly . . .

Hollywood actress, director and producer Jennifer Aniston makes a return to the Emirates A380, and makes a new friend, in a new global digital and TV advertising campaign for the world’s best airline

In a similar vein to the first light-hearted TVC, the Golden Globe and Emmy award-winning actress brings her distinctive personality, classic style, and a touch of humour, to showcase the A380. In the ad, Jennifer befriends Cooper, a feisty young boy who she finds playing in her Private Suite in the Emirates First Class cabin, while she was freshening up in the Shower Spa. 

The two strike up a conversation and build rapport, as they stroll through Emirates’ Business Class cabin and Onboard Lounge. Sitting on the stairs between the lower and upper decks of the aircraft, Cooper tells Jennifer about his aspirations to become a pilot – of ‘this plane’, pointing to his model Emirates A380 aircraft. In Economy Class, Cooper is finally reunited with his surprised parents where Jennifer chooses to remain and enjoy Emirates’ ice inflight entertainment system with Cooper. The ad ends with Cooper’s mother relaxing in Jennifer’s Private Suite, having exchanged places with the Hollywood star.


Family Friendly Travel & Luxury Lodge News

Luxury Lodges of Australia are proud too announce a range of fully guided nature-based activities have been developed for children to discover Wolgan Valley and the Greater Blue Mountains region. The program includes a broad range of fun outdoor and indoor activities inspired by the natural environment. Activity themes include bush survival, Australian animals and birds, fossil hunting, adventure hikes, bugs and insects, water worlds, yabbying, arts and crafts, orienteering and archery.

With over one third of the total area protected by National and conservation parks, it’s no wonder that Kangaroo Island is often dubbed Australia’s Galapagos or ‘the zoo without fences’. Children ten years and over are welcome at Southern Ocean Lodge – the world-celebrated luxury wilderness lodge on Kangaroo Island. Families will be able to see fur seals lolling around Admirals Arch, koalas clinging to trees  at Hanson Bay Sanctuary, waves crashing against the island’s shoreline, and rock formations that will take your breath away.

The eight night Southern Safari on the mighty True North is the perfect way to start the New Year in style! The South Australian coast from Kangaroo Island to Ceduna boasts an endless horizon of white sandy beaches, uninhabited islands and sheltered bays. 

There’s plenty of excitement too when guests have the opportunity to cage dive with great white sharks or picnic on the beach with only penguins for company.


ETIHAD AIRWAYS CELEBRATES WORLD ANIMAL DAY WITH NEW ANIMAL WELFARE POLICY AND #ETIHAD4WILDLIFE COMPETITION

Etihad Airways has launched a new Animal Welfare and Conservation Policy and an #Etihad4wildlife social media competition as part of the airline’s ongoing efforts to promote wildlife conservation.

The policy establishes best practice for excursions involving animals offered by Etihad Holidays, and also outlines new criteria for the carriage of endangered and threatened species, hunting trophies containing any animal parts, shark fins and live animals intended for use in scientific research, which will not be permitted on aircraft.

To mark World Animal Day, Etihad Airways is running a social media competition until 6 October, to win a trip to Sri Lanka, including flights, hotels, tours and transfers. To be in with a chance of winning, entrants should share their best travel photos of animals in the wild using the #Etihad4wildlife hashtag on Instagram and Twitter.