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Carry on: News for business travellers

More A380 services from Auckland
Emirates is stepping up its Airbus A380 superjumbo services to Europe from Dubai. From December, the first scheduled A380 service to Moscow will replace a Boeing 777-300ER on one of its two daily flights. In addition, five daily flights to London Heathrow (pictured) will all use A380s by February next year. Combined with the daily Manchester A380 service, this will mean sending 42 superjumbo flights each week to the UK. Kiwi travellers can already fly all the way by A380 from Auckland via Sydney to London, Manchester, Paris, Munich and Rome, plus Amsterdam from August. From October, the daily Auckland flight via Melbourne will also use an A380.

Emirates adds 33rd route to Europe
Emirates will cement its reputation as one New Zealanders’ most preferred airlines flying to Europe by adding two more destinations in addition to the 12 new ones already added this year. The new routes will be to Lyon, in France, starting on December 5; and to the Polish capital, Warsaw, from February 6, 2013. These will bring the total number of destinations to 33, all of which have same-day connections with Emirates’ four daily services from New Zealand. This week, Barcelona was added as part of a trebling of services to Spain, including an extra daily flight to Madrid.

North American tours for 2013
Insight Vacations has released its US and Canada luxury and premium escorted tour programme for 2013 featuring 24 holiday options specifically for New Zealanders. A new Mid-Atlantic escorted tour includes New York, Washington DC and Niagara Falls as well as the historical gems of Gettysburg and Pennsylvania’s Amish Country. Other itineraries feature stays inside the National Parks of Banff, Bryce Canyon, Grand Canyon, Jasper, Mesa Verde, Yosemite and Zion. Tours with a strong National Park focus also include the Gold Luxury 20-day Grand Canadian Rockies & Alaska Cruise, the Premium 16-day America’s Magnificent National Parks, the Premium 10-day Wonders of the American West and the Premium seven-day Enchanting Canyonlands. Wine, food and music are highlights of tours featuring the Napa Valley Wine Train, a hands-on Creole and Cajun cooking masterclass in New Orleans and the ultimate rock ‘n’ roll experience at Elvis Presley’s Graceland.

Hot deals, hot places
Flight Centre is offering “hot deals” for the Bahamas and Bangkok. Nassau, the capital city, offers a distinct blend of international glamour and tropical ease. With a history that can be traced back to days of the legendary pirate Blackbeard, its sheltered harbour, mansions, cathedrals and 18th century fortresses have been beautifully preserved. Bahamas holidays including return airfares to Nassau and five nights’ accommodation start at $3335 ex Auckland per person, twin share. Bangkok holidays include return airfares and four nights’ accommodation with buffet breakfast daily and complimentary wifi access from $1299 ex Auckland, Wellington or Christchurch, per person, twin share.

Mobile bookings at Qantas
Qantas customers can now book domestic and international flights via qantas.com on their mobile phone. Qantas Domestic chief executive officer Lyell Strambi says, “We have listened to our customers who want greater convenience in the booking process. They want flexibility to book flights away from their home or office, or on their way to the airport.” Initially launched in 2008, the Qantas Mobile site provides customers with the ability to check in for their domestic flight, receive SMS flight updates and check the status of their flight. Customers are also provided with access to worldwide Qantas Club lounge locations, contact numbers for Qantas offices worldwide and the up to date timetables for Qantas, QantasLink, Jetstar and codeshare flights. The search and booking function is available to customers departing New Zealand, Australia, Singapore, the UK and the US.

Qantas corrects Virgin Australia
Qantas has disputed a widely published claim, reported in this week’s National Business Review, that Virgin Australia carried more Australian domestic passengers in the year to May 2012 than Qantas. Qantas says the figures did not include its regional domestic airline, QantasLink, carried, and the total passengers carried over that period was 20.25 million compared with Virgin Australia’s 15.53 million, including its regional domestic operation. In addition, and as reported, Qantas subsidiary Jetstar carried 9.84 million passengers.

More by Nevil Gibson