Carry on: Emirates' US cutbacks, budget Asia-London , nude stays and more

Emirates chief executive Sir Tim Clark
Etihad Airways chief executive James Hogan

Nevil Gibson's roundup of business travel news includes a new service to Norfolk Island and Air New Zealand flights to Honolulu.

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Emirates reduces US flights
US travel restrictions affecting the Middle East and North Africa have forced Emirates to reduce flights from Dubai to five of its 12 destinations, Fort Lauderdale, Orlando, Seattle, Boston and Los Angeles. Daily services to Fort Lauderdale and Orlando will drop to five a week from May and May 23, respectively.

From June 1 and 2 respectively, Seattle and Boston operations move from twice daily to just once daily services, while from July 1 Los Angeles flights will also drop from twice daily to daily.

Emirates says bookings have dropped significantly since the restrictions were first introduced three months ago. “We will closely monitor the situation with the view to reinstate and build our US flight operations as soon as viable,” it says.

Meanwhile, Etihad Airways has confirmed it’s making no change to its 45 weekly services between Abu Dhabi and its six US gateways of New York, Washington, Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Dallas. In fact, Etihad’s second daily Abu Dhabi-New York service will be upgraded to an A380 from June 1.

Norwegian takes Asian plunge
Norwegian Air Shuttle has confirmed the launch a low-cost service between London Gatwick and Singapore, its first entry into the Asian market. Norwegian has been expanding rapidly on long-haul routes from Europe to the US over the past year. The Singapore flights starting on September 28 will be the first low-cost carrier service between Asia and London since Air Asia X canned its Kuala Lumpur-London route in 2012. The no-frills fares are £180 one-way and £380 return.

Stay and bare it
While Aucklanders are flocking to an exhibition of nudity in art, The Body Laid Bare,  an Australian hotel chain is offering guests the option of undressing for art. The Art Series Hotels’ No Robe package asks guests to reveal themselves in a photograph for an artist to create a life drawing. The Event Resorts-owned hotels are in Melbourne, Bendigo, Adelaide and Brisbane. The package starts at $229 a night and is available from May 1 to June 14.

Route news of the week
Air New Zealand is increasing both frequency and capacity on the Auckland-Honolulu route over the summer travel peak. From late September until early March 2018, the Boeing 787-9 will be replaced by a B777-200ER for the majority of flights. From mid-December until late January, the service will expand to five times weekly. Norfolk Island Airlines plans a weekly Brisbane-Norfolk Islands-Auckland service from June 17 using a leased Nauru Airlines Boeing 737-300. Air New Zealand ceases its Auckland-Norfolk Islands service in May.


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