Carry On: News for business travellers
Business jet sets world record
Boeing Business Jets set a new world record for “speed over a recognised course” when it flew a non-stop delivery flight from Los Angeles to Auckland. The modified BBJ 737-700 made the 5658 nautical mile (10,479 km) trip in 13 hours, 7 minutes and 54 seconds. It had 7800lb of fuel remaining when it landed last Sunday evening. The “green” aircraft has no interior or external paintwork beyond the protective coating and was fitted with auxiliary fuel tanks to give it extended range. The BBJ, owned by Samsung Electronics, is now at Air New Zealand’s Altitude facility in Christchurch, where for the next 10 months it will receive a full VIP custom interior complete with the latest in-flight entertainment and communication systems as well as external painting.
A380 heads for Europe’s skyscraper capital
Half of the 10 tallest buildings in Europe are in Moscow, where Emirates will fly its first A380 superjumbo service from December 1. Emirates is the only airline flying the A380 to and from Auckland (through Sydney), giving passengers a double-decker service from New Zealand to London, Paris, Rome, Amsterdam, Munich and Manchester. From October 2, there will be a double-daily A380 service when the Boeing 777-300ER on the Auckland-Melbourne-Dubai route is replaced. Moscow has 87 buildings that exceed 100m (or more than 40 floors), with two-thirds built in the past nine years.
Hot late summer fares to Hawaii
Hawaiian Airlines is offering deals from New Zealand to Hawaii and the US mainland, with prices starting at $1117 in economy and $3317 in business for the service starting on March 14. Return fares from Auckland to Honolulu, including taxes and surcharges, are priced from $1117 (economy) and $3317 (business). Travel to the islands of Maui, Kauai or Hawaii start at $1223 and $3423 respectively. Hawaiian also is offering economy class fares to 11 US mainland cities – Los Angeles, San Francisco, Las Vegas, Seattle, Portland, Sacramento, San Jose, Oakland, San Diego and Phoenix – from $1535 and $4135. New York City is $1735 (economy) and $4435 (business). These are low season fares, available for departures between March 14 and April 18, and again from May 6-July 11 and from July 29-31. Higher levels apply for other travel periods. The special fares are sale until October 12.
Taiwan tempts low-cost carriers
Singapore’s Scoot Airline has begun flying to Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport (Taipei) and is the 10th foreign discount airline to service Taiwan. The inaugural one-way fares from Singapore range between NT$2500 ($US102) and NT$4000, depending on the time of week. Scoot will operate three Singapore-Taiwan services per week until October 28, when daily flights between the two destinations will become available.
Lufthansa expands budget offering in Europe
Lufthansa will combine short-haul operations outside its main Frankfurt and Munich hubs with its Germanwings low-cost subsidiary as part of cost-reduction moves. The new unit will begin operations in January and fly 18 million passengers annually. Lufthansa has a companywide goal of saving €1.5 billion ($2.3 billion) through 2014 under a reorganisation programme. This will cut 3500 jobs in administration and as many as 1000 catering posts.
New Chinese airline for Australia
Sichuan Airlines will become the fifth Chinese airline to fly to Australia with three weekly flights between Melbourne and its hub of Chengdu. The plan still needs government regulatory approval but the federal tourism minister, Martin Ferguson, said it will mean more tourists. “It’s another step in boosting Chinese visitor numbers to Australia, particularly from the large secondary cities now targeted by Tourism Australia,” he says.
Cruise from Barcelona to Dubai
Cruiseabout is charging $4599 for a 15-day cruise from Barcelona through the Mediterranean, Suez Canal and the Red Sea before arriving in Dubai. The fare includes return airfares on Emirates, one night pre-cruise accommodation in Barcelona with buffet breakfast and all main meals, entertainment and gratuities onboard the Mariner of the Seas. Port calls are made at Alexandria and Safaga in Egypt and Aqaba in Jordan. Details and conditions are at www.cruiseabout.co.nz.