Dubai International airport launches ‘sleep lounge’

Sleep N Fly Dubai airport

Dubai International airport has unveiled 27 sleep pods and cabins as part of the new Sleep ‘n’ Fly lounge in Terminal 3

For passengers needing to recharge during a long journey, the Sleep ‘n’ Fly lounge features 20 Igloo sleep pods (measuring just 200cm x 74cm) and seven 4 sqm Yawn cabins with double beds. They can also be used as private offices.

After checking in at reception, a member of staff will show you to your pod. At an agreed time, they will return to wake you up with a hot or cold towel. Useful amenities such as shaving kits and a shoe-shine service are available. Yawn cabins are air conditioned and sound-proofed.

Located close to Gate A1 in Concourse A, they can be booked for a short one-hour nap up to an entire night via the Sleep ‘n’ Fly website or when you get there. There are showers, toilets and restaurants nearby.

There are lots of different packages to choose from (the full price list is here) but the cheapest would be one hour in an Igloo pod during the day for US$17. The most expensive would be US$271 for 12 hours in a Yawn cabin.

Although Concourse A is dedicated to Emirates and Qantas flights, all airline passengers have access to the Sleep ‘n’ Fly lounge when they are flying from or transiting through Dubai International. The facility is also open to Priority Pass and LoungeKey members.

Eugene Barry, executive vice-president of Dubai Airports Commercial Group, said: “The opening of Sleep ‘n’ Fly expands Dubai International’s existing range of rest and relaxation options, and is the latest in a line of personalised and engaging products we are rolling out to cater to the evolving needs of global travellers.”

Geoffrey Carrier, general manager of pod provider Onground Hospitality, said: “After operating dedicated airport sleep lounges for several years now we have taken our unique concept to a new level at Dubai International. We are very excited to be part of the amazing Dubai airport experience, and look forward to offering some much-needed rest to the ever-growing number of passengers passing through the airport.”

New York airports among the worst for on-time arrivals

New York

 A report from milecards.com found that Newark International Airport has the worst on-time performance of any airline during the busy summer travel months, with an average of just 66.5 per cent of Newark flights operating on schedule. New York’s LaGuardia International Airport had the second-worst on-time performance, while nearby Kennedy International Airport was fourth on the list. San Francisco International Airport has the third-fewest on-time arrivals among U.S. airports.

 

The report was drawn from U.S. Department of Transportation data on summer travel for the period 2007-2016.

 

Interestingly, the study show that most U.S. airports have worse delays in the summer than the winter, even in areas subject to severe winter weather, like Boston and New York. June is the worst month for summer air-travel delays (Boston finished fifth on the list of oft-delayed airports).

 

Kahului International Airport and Honolulu International Airport, on the Hawaiian islands of Maui and Oahu, respectively, had the best on-time performance for summer travel, with 88 per cent and 86.5 per cent of flights arriving on time, respectively. Summer is considered low season for Hawaii travel.

 

Other airports with good on-time performance for summer travel include Salt Lake City International Airport, Orange County International Airport, and Phoenix/Sky Harbor International Airport.

 

http://milecards.com/2017-summer-flight-delay-study/

Turkish Airlines takes delivery of its 30th Boeing 777-300ER

Turkish Airlines Boeing 777-300ER

Turkish Airlines takes delivery of its 30th Boeing 777-300ER

On May 30, Turkish Airlines took the delivery of its 30th Boeing 777-300ER. The new aircraft was welcomed with a traditional water salute at Istanbul Ataturk Airport.

This is the first Boeing aircraft to feature economy class seats by Turkish Seats Industries (TSI) — a Turkish brand that has worked closely with Boeing on the project — a first in Turkish Civil Aviation and for Boeing.

M. İlker Aycı, chairman of the board and the executive committee of Turkish Airlines said: “While consistently investing in its overall services, Turkish Airlines has always put special emphasis to further built in (sic) its infrastructure investments, which also make a major contribution to further the progress of Turkish Aviation Industry. Three years ago, we partnered in a significant initiative to pioneer another first in Turkish Civil Aviation. By establishing Turkish Seat Industry (TSI), in collaboration with Assan Hanil, we took a more active role in the industry through logistical support. And now we’re taking the delivery of the first aircraft equipped with those locally produced seats designed by TSI, an installation manufactured in Turkey that conforms to all international standards. With adding this 30th Boeing 777-300ER to our ever expanding fleet, we look forward to TSI to become a leading brand across the industry, and be a substantial part of our aircrafts in the near future.” said.

Turkish Airlines’ fleet includes the B737-800, B737-700, B737-900ER and B747-400F, apart form seven other Airbus models, and excluding all cargo aircraft. Boeing yet has to complete Turkish Airlines’ pending that includes two 777 Freighters and 75 737 MAXs.

turkishairlines.com

This is the first Boeing aircraft to feature economy class seats by Turkish Seats Industries (TSI) — a Turkish brand that has worked closely with Boeing on the project — a first in Turkish Civil Aviation and for Boeing.

Turkish Airlines’ fleet includes the B737-800, B737-700, B737-900ER and B747-400F, apart form seven other Airbus models, and excluding all cargo aircraft. Boeing yet has to complete Turkish Airlines’ pending that includes two 777 Freighters and 75 737 MAXs.

turkishairlines.com

More Indian airports will do away with hand-baggage tags

Central Industrial Security Force has already done away with hand-baggage tags at seven Indian airports: Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Cochin, Bengaluru, Kolkata and Ahmedabad from April 1.

Yesterday, O P Singh, director general of CISF told Press Trust of India that six more Indian airports will do away with the practice of hand-baggage tagging from June 1. These include Jaipur, Chennai, Patna. Trivandrum, Lucknow and Guwahati airports.

“We had run a trial at these six airports for a few weeks. After finding that an enhanced number of new gadgets, CCTVs and security paraphernalia has been put in place, the process of doing away with the tagging and stamping of domestic air passengers’ hand baggage will begin from June 1,” said O P Singh.

Output roller trays at these six airports have been improved to provide additional visual clarity to the security personnel.

Next in line are airports of Varanasi, Goa, Pune, Bhubaneswar, Pune and Visakhapatnam, that have already started a trial run of this measure.

This is a welcome change as the lengthy process of hand-baggage tagging has always been troublesome for passengers.

Although, the new protocol is only meant for domestic passengers. Those travelling to international destinations will have to follow the old process of hand-baggage tagging.

cisf.gov.in

Central Industrial Security Force has already done away with hand-baggage tags at seven Indian airports: Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Cochin, Bengaluru, Kolkata and Ahmedabad from April 1.

Yesterday, O P Singh, director general of CISF told Press Trust of India that six more Indian airports will do away with the practice of hand-baggage tagging from June 1. These include Jaipur, Chennai, Patna. Trivandrum, Lucknow and Guwahati airports.

“We had run a trial at these six airports for a few weeks. After finding that an enhanced number of new gadgets, CCTVs and security paraphernalia has been put in place, the process of doing away with the tagging and stamping of domestic air passengers’ hand baggage will begin from June 1,” said O P Singh.

Output roller trays at these six airports have been improved to provide additional visual clarity to the security personnel.

Next in line are airports of Varanasi, Goa, Pune, Bhubaneswar, Pune and Visakhapatnam, that have already started a trial run of this measure.

This is a welcome change as the lengthy process of hand-baggage tagging has always been troublesome for passengers.

Although, the new protocol is only meant for domestic passengers. Those travelling to international destinations will have to follow the old process of hand-baggage tagging.

cisf.gov.in

Japan Airlines eyes Melbourne non-stop flights

Japan Airlines is setting its sights on a new daily non-stop service between Tokyo Narita and Melbourne – the second destination in Australia after Sydney that Japan’s national carrier is looking to add to its network.

While Japan Airlines does also serve Cairns and Gold Coast non-stop, and Perth via Singapore, these are codeshare flights operated by partner airlines.

Previously, this has also been the case for its services to Melbourne, which currently transit in Singapore and are operated by fellow oneworld member, Qantas.

The new Japan Airlines-operated non-stop flights are set to begin on September 1 this year, operated by the carrier’s tri-class B787-8. These, notably, are equipped with the airline’s fully flat Sky Suite seats in business class – 38 to be exact – laid out in a 2-2-2 configuration. The B787-8 also has 35 premium economy seats (2-3-2) and 88 economy seats (2-4-2).

The new route will depart Tokyo in the morning and arrive in Melbourne at night, while the return leg will depart the Victoria capital at midnight and arrive in the morning back at Narita. That said, the precise times are set to change in October following adjustment for Daylight Saving Time.

Full details of the flights are as follows (all times local):

Flight No. From To Departs Arrives Days
JL773 NRT MEL 1030 2155 Daily
JL774 MEL NRT 0005 0905

jal.co.jp

New integrated Club Marriott dining loyalty scheme launches in Asia

Aloft Perth lobby

Marriott International’s Club Marriott dining loyalty scheme has undergone an overhaul, with the group’s existing Eat Drink & More, and Star Privilege programmes now being integrated into the updated Club Marriott.

Membership will now operate as one single subscription, and overall members will be able to access benefits at about 200 hotels in 13 countries in Asia-Pacific.

That said, only the Pacific has actually launched the programme at the moment, with the combined programme available at 25 hotels in Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, New Caledonia and Samoa. The rest of the Asia region will be progressively introducing the programme from now until December. Mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau, Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam, Guam, Indonesia, India, Japan and South Korea will be the first the roll out the combined scheme throughout July to September. Meanwhile the Philippines will come on board in November, followed lastly by Thailand in December.

While the new programme certainly has a large focus on dining, experiences in general are the overall aim of the scheme. Typical benefits include 20 per cent off at F&B outlets at participating hotels, along with complimentary stays, upgrades, and spa, fitness and wellness vouchers.

As with Marriott’s wider Marriott Rewards and Starwood Hotels and Resorts’ Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) loyalty programmes, it remains to be seen if and how the new Club Marriott programme would integrate with its Starwood equivalent, SPG Cravings, following the two groups’ merger last year. Unlike Club Marriott and Marriott Rewards, however, SPG and SPG Cravings are not separate programmes, with the latter offering points accrual – something Club Marriott foregoes.

Marriott’s current timeframe has its Marriott Rewards and SPG programmes remaining separate until at least 2018.

“With the new portfolio of brands under Marriott International, loyalty is the key driving force that will allow us to cut through the competition,” said Peggy Fang Roe, chief sales and marketing officer for Marriott International, Asia Pacific. “Club Marriott gives us the platform to drive loyalty that extends even beyond a stay, via rewarding and recognising the ‘local member’ through exclusive benefits and memorable experiences across a vast variety of brands.”

Club Marriott isn’t the only experience-focused loyalty initiative the company has been making recently. Earlier this year, the group invested in price-comparison platform Placepass, adding the company’s approximately 100,000 travel experiences to the group’s offerings, on top of those already featured as part of its Experiences Marketplace loyalty scheme.

According to the hotel group, some 200,000 members are currently enrolled in the Club Marriott programme.

myclubmarriott.com/apac

12 new and upcoming hotels in Shanghai

Wanda Reign on the Bund
Opened: June, 2016

While the past 12 months have seen a number of international hotel brands make their entry or bolster their number in Shanghai, domestic brands also have been making their mark, as Wanda Hotels and Resorts’ Wanda Reign on the Bund illustrates. The Chinese company describes the property as “ultra luxury”, though even if you didn’t know this in advance, its abundant use of gold in its colour scheme along with extravagant crystal chandeliers would likely be a pretty clear clue. Nearby attractions include the ancient Yu Garden and the City God Temple.
wandahotels.com

Hyatt Regency Shanghai, Wujiaochang
Opened: July, 2016

Situated north of Shanghai’s famous Bund area in Wujiaochang, the first of Hyatt’s two planned Hyatt Regency hotels in the city forms part of the business zone’s Hopson International Center mixed-use development. While the property is a little further from the action than some of the other hotels in the city closer to Pudong or Jingan districts, the hotel is located next to Metro Line 10 Wujiaochang Station providing straightforward connectivity downtown.
hyatt.com

Intercontinental Shanghai NECC
Opened: September, 2016

Intercontinental Hotels Group (IHG) opened its fifth Intercontinental-brand hotel in Shanghai in September 2016, and arguably one of its most notable. The Intercontinental Shanghai NECC is located in Section D of the National Exhibition and Convention Center (NECC) – claimed to be the “largest single building and exhibition complex in the world”. It’s little surprise, then, that the 536-room hotel itself has more than its fair share of events space also, offering some 2,200sqm of events space including a nine-metre-high pillarless grand ballroom.
ihg.com

Pullman Shanghai Jing An
Opened: December, 2016

Pullman Hotels and Resorts’ latest foray into the Shanghai market used to be the Grand Mercure Shanghai Central, before the property was selected for a year-long renovation and rebrand. Now the property – which has 288 rooms in total – offers a number of Pullman-specific offerings. Among the most notable is the Pullman Artist Playground, an initiative recently launched by the hotel group, in which properties collaborate with artists. In this case, Chinese artist Qin Ming created a series of bespoke artworks for the hotel.
accorhotels.com 

Le Meridien Shanghai, Minhang
Opened: December, 2016

Shanghai’s third Le Meridien hotel in the city, Le Meridien Shanghai, Minhang is another property that’s sprung up in the city’s Hongqiao district. Some 240 rooms are available here, though perhaps the hotel’s key focus is on its lobby area, which it positions as a social gathering space as part of its “Le Meridien Hub” concept. Key offerings as part of this concept are light bites, coffees created by the hotel’s master barista, signature éclairs, and many others.
marriott.com

Sofitel Shanghai Hongqiao
Opened: March, 2017

While many hotel brands have recently made their debut in the city, Sofitel is not among them. The recently opened Sofitel Shanghai Hongqiao is Sofitel’s third hotel in the city after the Sofitel Shanghai Hyland and Sofitel Shanghai Sheshan Oriental. Offering the brand’s signature French-inspired stylings, the 354-room property also features a Cantonese restaurant called Le Chinois. Those looking for something different, though, can head to the Japanese restaurant Takara or the Spanish tapas and wine bar, Ocho.
accorhotels.com

Hilton Garden Inn Shanghai Hongqiao
Opened: April, 2017

The 226-room Hilton Garden Inn Shanghai Hongqiao was the first property under the Hilton Garden Inn brand in the city when it opened its doors in April 2017. The hotel’s location in the Hongqiao CBD places it in close proximity to the city’s second airport, Hongqiao, which is about a ten-minute drive away, while the National Exhibition and Convention Centre and Shanghai Yintao Golf Club are also nearby.
hiltongardeninn3.hilton.com

Hyatt Regency Shanghai Global Harbor
Opened: April, 2017

The second of Hyatt’s two new Hyatt Regency hotels in Shanghai, the Hyatt Regency Shanghai Global Harbor is located in the Putuo district, north of Jingan. The hotel forms part of the Global Harbor shopping and entertainment hub, though a number of event spaces and F&B options will also be available. As for the hotel itself, some 2,600sqm of indoor and outdoor events space is on the cards, along with outdoor terraces on the 47th floor and a rooftop bar. As of May 2017, not all of the facilities are open to the public, however.
hyatt.com 

St Regis Shanghai Jingan
Opened: May, 2017

The ninth property in Greater China from St Regis Hotels and Resorts, the St Regis Shanghai Jingan is – rather surprisingly – its only one in China’s major eastern city (Hainan Island alone has four). The property is located in one of the major business and cultural districts in the city, Jingan, in walking distance of the Shanghai Natural History Museum and near to the 400-year-old Yu Garden. This also places it closer to Shanghai’s less-prominent Hongqiao Airport (about 30 minutes away) than the major international airport, Pudong (one hour away).
starwoodhotes.com/stregis

Melia Shanghai Hongqiao
Opened: May, 2017

The most recently opened hotel on this list, the Melia Shanghai Hongqiao ended up delaying its launch by close to a year, having originally been slated for a July 2016 opening when it was announced in 2015. While it is located about five minutes from the NECC, the hotel markets itself as more of a mixed business and leisure (or “bleisure”, to some) hotel than an entirely MICE-focused one. Perhaps most noteworthy about the hotel are its more traditionally styled Garden Villas, measuring around 400sqm and featuring, as their name suggests, a 200sqm garden terrace.
melia.com

Aloft Shanghai Nanxiang
Opening: January, 2018

Starwood Hotels and Resorts originally signed the Aloft Shanghai Nanxiang back in 2015, prior to its merger with Marriott International. The city’s debut Aloft property, however, still looks set for its January 1 opening next year, bringing with it all the brand’s usual highlights including loft-inspired rooms and an abundance of social spaces. Aloft Shanghai Nanxiang is located in the Jiading district in the city’s north-east.
starwoodhotels.com

Shama Caojiadu Shanghai
Opening: 2018

Announced back in May 2015, Onyx Hospitality Group’s fifth serviced residence in Shanghai, the Shama Caojiadu Shanghai, was originally slated for a 2017 opening. This has since been pushed back to 2018. Located in the city’s Jingan district, the hotel was originally planned to have 168 units, however as of May 2017 this now appears to have been adjusted to just 159, according to the hotel’s online portfolio.
onyx-hospitality.com

[Get a more in-depth look at developments in Shanghai’s Hongqiao district with Business Traveller‘s May 2017 feature, “Spotlight on Shanghai: Room for growth]

Singapore Airlines makes PPS Club changes

Singapore Airlines' new first class, available on the B777-300ER

Singapore Airlines has announced several changes to its PPS Club, the premium loyalty programme with the carrier’s KrisFlyer scheme.

Billed as “our exclusive programme for flyers of Singapore Airlines’ Suites, First and Business Class, and Business Class on SilkAir”, members are enrolled when they earn S$25,000 in PPS Value in a 12-month period.

From tomorrow (June 1) new benefits of the programme will include:

  •  The non-expiry of KrisFlyer miles
  • Priority access to Saver Award redemption inventory
  • Fast track security and immigration clearance at selected airports
  • Complimentary Preferred Seat selection when travelling in Premium Economy Class or Economy Class on Singapore Airlines, and Economy Class on SilkAir

A new range of PPS Rewards is also being added, giving members benefits including redemption discounts and cabin upgrades when they reach selected spend levels.

And finally SIA is changing the criteria for Solitaire membership of the PPS Club, the highest tier within the programme.

Currently members must earn S$250,000 in PPS Value over five consecutive years, as well as minimum of S$25,000 per year. From June 2018 this will change to a flat requirement of S$50,000 PPS Value within a membership year.

More information on the changes is available at singaporeair.com/ppsclubchanges

Swiss takes delivery of first CS300

Swiss C Series family of aircraft

Swiss has begun taking delivery of the first batch of no fewer than 20 Bombardier CS300 aircraft. Each of these Canadian-built twin-jets can accommodate 128 passengers in Swiss’ configuration.

The larger CS300 aircraft will enable Swiss to operate more economically at Geneva. Each CS300 is able to carry 20 more passengers per flight than the slightly smaller CS100 aircraft already in its fleet.

Initially the CS300s will be based in Geneva where Swiss finds itself up against Easyjet which holds the largest share of the market.

Geneva is used by Swiss as a laboratory for its future products (see our previous article on Swiss plans for a buy on board service).

“We are delighted that having successfully integrated the first Bombardier CS100s into our fleet from mid-2016 onwards, we can now welcome the first CS300,” said Thomas Kluhr, CEO of Swiss.

“Our first CS300s will be initially stationed in Geneva where its superior comfort credentials will be excellently suited to the premium travel market.”

“In fact our entire Geneva based fleet will soon consist solely of Bombardier C series aircraft.”

Swiss’ first CS300 is scheduled to enter service on June 1 between Geneva and London Heathrow.

Its smaller CS100s, as we have already reported, have already been certified for operation in and out of London City airport. We can expect these planes to be operating some or all of Swiss services at London’s close-in airport at some time the future.

swiss.com

Emirates new first class to be unveiled in November

Emirates B777-300ER

Emirates has confirmed its will unveil its new first class suite at the Dubai Air Show in November.

The product will debut on a new B777-300ER aircraft, and will be configured 1-1-1, with a total of six suites in the cabin. This compares to the current B777 first class layout of eight suites in a 1-2-1 configuration.

Emirates says the new B777-300ER will also “boast a range of other new features in the Business and Economy Class cabins”, adding that the routes onto which the aircraft will be deployed will be announced “in due course”.

It’s not clear at this stage whether there are plans to retrofit the new product across the carrier’s existing B777 and A380 fleet, or if it will only feature on new B777 deliveries. Announcing the unveiling plans Sir Tim Clark, president of Emirates Airline said:

“Our products and services across cabin classes are continually improved and enhanced. But what our customers will see on Emirates’ new 777s starting from November, will be a much bigger revamp that takes our onboard experience to the next level.

“All cabins will sport a totally fresh new look. We are excited to showcase the results of years of planning and development invested into our new First Class offering, and our overall Emirates 777 experience. More details will follow, watch this space.”

Rival Gulf carrier Etihad Airways offers a three-cabin The Residence product on its A380 superjumbos, as well as nine seats in its First Apartment, while Qatar Airways has a first class cabin on its A380 aircraft (with either eight or 12 seats depending on the aircraft layout).

emirates.com