Carry on: Air NZ opens new Auckland lounge, Cathay's Earlybird fares and more

Business travel news includes details of the new $40 million lounge at the international terminal.

Air New Zealand’s [NZX: AIR] new $40 million international lounge at Auckland Airport opens today and is part of a four-year $100 million global refurbishment programme. It follows similar makeovers in Sydney and Auckland’s domestic terminal.

It is 40% larger than the previous lounge at 2000sq m and can seat more than 375 travellers. It overlooks the runway and features a covered outdoor terrace and fireplace.

Architectural firm Gensler also designed the Sydney lounge and the Star Alliance International Lounge at Los Angeles Airport, which is managed by Air New Zealand.
Features include:

  • a food theatre offering meals cooked to order at certain times or from a buffet
  • a central bar area offering barista-made coffee that can be pre-order from the Air New Zealand mobile app
  • a childrens’ area modelled on a Kiwi treehouse with books, toys and TV programmes
  • a business zone with a range of seating and tables with electronic charging, wi-fi and printing facilities.

Auckland welcomes China Eastern
The Shanghai-based airline launched its year-round service to Auckland last Saturday with an initial schedule of four flights a week. This will increase to daily flights from January, adding 175,000 permanent seats on the route. Auckland Airport says this will contribute an estimated $212 million to the New Zealand economy. China Eastern Airlines operated a seasonal service of between four and seven flights a week for the first time from December 2014 to March 2015.

Cathay Pacific releases Earlybird fares
The 2016 Earlybird fares have gone on sale from $1739 to more than 130 cities across Europe and the UK, including a special launch fare to Madrid of $1839. This fare includes all taxes and surcharges and applies to flights from the June 2 start date.

Cathay Pacific already flies to London, Manchester, Amsterdam, Paris, Frankfurt, Dusseldorf and Milan, offering the other destinations with partner airlines and, for the first time, with train services.

Travellers can purchase up to two additional flights within UK/Europe using Oneworld partner airlines, with prices starting from $150, plus taxes. Passengers can also opt for a stopover in Hong Kong for no additional airfare, although extra taxes may apply.

They can also add in a side trip to China, other Asian destinations and to India, for as little as $225, plus relevant taxes. Passengers travelling in premium economy or business class get these trips free in economy seating.

Cathay flies daily to Hong Kong from Auckland, while Wellington and Christchurch passengers can travel via Sydney, Brisbane or Melbourne. The Earlybird fares are available for departures between January 15 and December 31, 2016. Tickets must be purchased by December 14, 2015.

Solomon connects Honiara, Nadi
Solomon Airlines will launch a new direct Honiara-Nadi service from November 4, subject to government approval. The airline will use its flagship Airbus A320 on the route, which is scheduled to operate ex-Honiara on Wednesdays and ex-Nadi on Thursdays.

Solomon already operates a Honiara-Nadi service via Port Vila, Vanuatu, on Saturdays and returning on on Sundays. Solomons began a direct Honiara-Sydney service in June.

If you are travelling by Air New Zealand this week, remember Koru Lounge wi-fi provides you with FREE access to NBR ONLINE premium content.