Carry On: Qantas’ Auckland lounge, Emirates’ dense A380, Beijing tax refunds and more

Business traveller news also includes a new Lufthansa-Singapore partnership and a Qantas codeshare in China.

Qantas pledges new lounge at Auckland
One of the gains from American Airlines’ new Los Angeles-Auckland route from next June will be an upgrade of Qantas/Oneworld lounge at Auckland Airport.

At the launch of the new service in Wellington this week, Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce said he wanted it to be better than Air New Zealand’s new lounge.

"We'd like to have the best lounge in New Zealand but these things take time," Mr Joyce said. "We have Auckland on the plan, it's a question of when we'll do it. We'll be talking to [Auckland Airport] about how that's going to work to refurbish that lounge, and make that like the other [international] lounges."

Emirates packs them in
Emirates Airline has unveiled a new Airbus A380 that contains a record 615 seats. This exceeds Air France’s 538 seats on its A380s. The 615-seater superjumbo is expected to begin flying a route between Dubai and Copenhagen in December.

China refunds taxes in Beijing
Air China is promoting a tax refund programme for New Zealanders and other overseas tourists to Beijing. Air China starts its Beijing-Auckland flights on December 1 and outlines the new tax refund policy in an on-board video. Air China operates more than 18,000 domestic and international flights, with 108 overseas routes to 62 overseas cities. The 9% rebate is available on purchases made at 160 shopping malls, department stores and brand-name stores. The minimum purchase is ¥500 ($120).

Lufthansa, Singapore get closer
Lufthansa Group airlines and Singapore Airlines are the latest to join the trend of codeshares being upgraded to revenue-sharing partnerships. Under the deal, the two Star Alliance carriers will operate revenue-sharing flights between Singapore and the European cities of Frankfurt, Munich and Zurich. The deal also includes more than 20 new codeshare routes. Lufthansa subsidiaries Swiss and Austrian are participating in the agreement, as is Singapore Airlines’ SilkAir.

Qantas expands Chinese codeshare
Qantas’ Sydney-Shanghai Pudong route is now covered by a codeshare partnership with China Eastern. This expanded deal also covers the China Eastern destinations within China of Changchun, Changsha, Chongqing, Jinan, Nanchang, Wenzhou, Wuhan
 and Yantai.

Qatar boosts Gulf capacity
Qatar Airways has increased its capacity to the Gulf cities of Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Dammam (Saudi Arabia) with wide-bodied A330s, B787s and B777s.

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