Quantum of solace on the seas
Cruise line Royal Caribbean International took a major step this week in the development of its next generation of cruise ships when the first piece of steel was cut for the first of two Project Sunshine ships. The steel cutting took place at the Meyer Werft shipyard in Papenburg, Germany, where the two ships will be built.
Royal Caribbean announced the names of the two new ships – Quantum of the Seas, set to debut in autumn (northern hemisphere) 2014, and Anthem of the Seas, which will follow in spring (northern hemisphere) 2015. They will be part of the new Quantum class of ships, which have been three years in planning.
Royal Caribbean has not announced further details of the ships’ size, features or design other than to say they build on the company’s “legacy of revolutionary ship design and bold innovation.”
A new danger for fliers: social media
A fake Emirates competition using Facebook’s photo-sharing website Instagram is the latest in a series of online hoaxes and scams to hit airlines and travellers.
The tricks range from fake social media pages purporting to represent airlines, through to emails that look as though they confirm flights but actually carry malware payloads.
The latest fake promotion offers Instagram users a free flight for two to Dubai on Emirates. (Instagram lets users take pictures and share them on various social media channels such as Facebook and Twitter.)
The bogus promotion, presented under the hashtag “#emiratespromotion,” says the first 20,000 followers of the Instagram account will win the Dubai flight prize. The account quickly amassed more than 10,000 followers.
Emirates says it has nothing to do with the Instagram site and won’t be dishing out thousands of free tickets. The airline uses Facebook, Google+ and YouTube – and no other social media.
Fake email scams have also targeted Virgin Australia, Qantas and Jetstar, while in the US, fake emails have purported to come from American Airlines, leading that airline to post a warning on its website.
Cathay boosts London flights
Cathay Pacific Airways will a fifth daily return flight between its Hong Kong hub and London Heathrow from June 27.
The new service gives greater flexibility for travellers from both New Zealand and Australia, as Cathay is a member of the Oneworld alliance with Qantas and a new codeshare with Air New Zealand. < http://www.nbr.co.nz/article/carry-news-business-travellers-ng-133318 >
Qantas this week announced an increase in flights to Hong Kong as part of a network shakeup, while Air New Zealand will withdraw its service from Hong to Kong to London from March 4.
Cathay says the 35 frequencies a week to London will be followed by increases in the 25 flights a week to New York City and 17 to Los Angeles. Cathay offers up to three flights a day from Auckland to Hong Kong throughout the year.
The new London service will be operated with a Boeing 777-300ER aircraft offering a mix of First Class, Business Class, Premium Economy Class and Economy Class seating.
First first class to Warsaw
Emirates launched its 129th international destination this week with a daily flight to Warsaw from Dubai, saying it is also the first airline to offer first class on trips to in Poland.
The flight is operated by an Airbus A330-200 aircraft, which also provides economy and business class seats. All four Emirates daily flights from New Zealand provide direct connections at Dubai with the new service to Warsaw.
Emirates last week announced the launch of services to Tokyo’s Haneda Airport on June 3. The next new route will be Algiers on March 1.
Kiwi wine receives accolade for Jetstar
A New Zealand wine served in business class on Jetstar long-haul flights has won an award at this year’s Cellars in the Sky Awards in London. The awards voted Jetstar’s offering of Main Divide Sauvignon Blanc 2012 as Second Best White Wine in Business Class. The wine is from Pegasus Bay Winery in Waipara, North Canterbury.
Last year, Jetstar became the first low-cost carrier in the world to win the Cellars in the Sky Award for Best White Wine in Business Class with another Canterbury offering, Waipara Hills Sauvignon Blanc 2010.
Judges assigned this year’s award-winning Main Divide wine 93 out of 100 points, describing it as: “A stylish bouquet of flavours, including passion fruit, gooseberries and a touch of cassis. Lovely and ripe with a super attack. Wonderful length and freshness, with a dry, crisp finish.”