Of course, this issue is dedicated to wishing you all a very Merry Christmas from the team here at APX.
Hopefully you're having a break and spending some well-deserved time with family and friends.
Thank you also to all of you who donated for our Super Shuttle City Mission Express...a hugely rewarding project which will become an annual fixture on the APX calendar.
I look forward to catching up with many of you in the new year. We have some exciting and innovative new technology coming next year which we can't wait to share with you.
In the meantime travel safe and enjoy!
Wendy van Lieshout
General Manager, APX
APX and Super Shuttle's City Mission Express
This month, Super Shuttle's Corporate Express service transformed into the "City Mission Express"!
Super Shuttle and APX were very proud to jointly sponsor this event, which delivered donations from some of APX's biggest clients to the City Missions in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch. Donations included food, household items, toys and games for families in need - and just in time for Christmas!
Four Super Shuttle vans were transformed into delivery vehicles, and tasked with stopping at multiple locations on the day to collect the goods donated from generous sponsors. The Super Shuttle drivers were accompanied by APX staff in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch, who had the trailers loaded up to the brim with an overwhelming number of donations.
The day was a massive team effort, and a humbling reminder of the generosity we're all capable over the holiday season.
helloworld Conference and Christmas Party
On Saturday 9th December helloworld hosted their first ever New Zealand conference, held at the Pullman Auckland.
The theme was "Dare to Dream". All members of the helloworld brand, including the retail division, wholesale, shared services and corporate division, APX Travel Management, were invited to think about their dreams for the year ahead.
Two inspirational and highly motivating speakers presented on the day. Allie Mooney talked about the four personality groups, and how to work with people who are on the opposite end of the spectrum to you. Mike Allsop, an Air New Zealand pilot, spoke about achieving his dream of climbing Mount Everest, and some of his miraculous accomplishments as an adventurer.
During the evening, the group celebrated in style with a "Night at the Oscars" themed Christmas party, where many of our staff were congratulated and awarded for their contributions throughout the year.
Air New Zealand's schedule changes over summer
Many travellers will be aware that Air New Zealand have needed to make some changes to their schedule over the coming months, due to an engineering issue related to the Rolls-Royce engines in their Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner fleet.
Air New Zealand has re-timed some services, as well as leased two Airbus aircraft from European based company, Hi Fly. The leased Airbus A330 and A340 will operate selected Auckland–Sydney services and most Auckland–Perth services over the coming weeks.
Passengers should note that the crew, meal service, and entertainment on these aircraft will differ from the usual Air New Zealand service. Air New Zealand are doing their very best to ensure that the effect to passengers is minimal.
Please see below a list of flights that will be operated by the Hi Fly aircraft and crew over the coming weeks:
If you have any concerns about your upcoming flight, please contact the APX team on 0800 TRAVEL or 0800 872 835.
Virgin Australia to update Melbourne Airport
Virgin Australia has upcoming plans to redevelop its facilities at Melbourne Airport's Terminal 3, with construction due to begin early 2018. Completion is expected mid-2019.
The focus of the reconstruction will be on more self-service facilities, a dedicated premium entry for eligible travellers, and the relocation of security screening facilities to improve passenger flow. Plans also include an increase in the number of check-in kiosks, and automated bag drop machines.
Melbourne Tullamarine will be the newest airport to deliver Virgin Australia's Premium Entry, which allows travellers to go straight from the kerbside to the Virgin Australia lounge, via a dedicated check-in, bag drop and security screening facility.
The goal of the terminal reconstruction is create a world-class airport experience for passengers arriving and departing from Melbourne and travelling on Virgin Australia's services.
Cathay Pacific to operate direct seasonal service between Christchurch and Hong Kong
Flying to Christchurch just became easier with Cathay Pacific adding a three times weekly, seasonal service to and from Hong Kong, which will run until 28 February 2018.
Adding to summer peak services from Auckland, the carrier will offer 24 flight options (including the codeshare service with Air New Zealand) every week between New Zealand and Hong Kong. Cathay offers a choice of Economy, Premium Economy or Business class cabins, and an easy, one-stop service from Christchurch or Auckland to a multitude of destinations across Asia and Europe via Hong Kong. The airline has one of the youngest fleets in the sky, boasting an average age of 8.5 years.
Mantra Group acquires Art Series Hotel Group
As of November this year, Mantra Group has entered into an agreement with the Deague Group to acquire the Australian-owned Art Series Hotel Group.
The acquisition will see seven luxury hotels (representing more than 1,000 guest rooms and including a number of conference and event facilities, restaurants and luxury hotel-style amenities) added to Mantra Group's portfolio of 128 properties across Australia, New Zealand, Indonesia and Hawaii.
The acquisition includes seven hotels across Melbourne, Brisbane, and Adelaide.
Each hotel is inspired and dedicated to Australian contemporary artists, infusing the namesake artist's works and personality throughout the hotel to create unique art-inspired experiences.
These boutique properties are well suited to both leisure and corporate travellers, and are located in some of Australia's hottest art and cultural hubs, most of which Mantra Group already has a long-standing and high performing presence.
Singapore Airlines and Air New Zealand add third flight between Auckland and Singapore
Air New Zealand and Singapore Airlines has jointly announced the launch of a third daily flight between Auckland and Singapore, to commence from 28 October 2018.
The new service will operate daily during the peak Northern Winter season (28 October 2018 – 30 March 2019), and five times per week during the Northern Summer season (31 March 2019 – 26 October 2019), subject to regulatory approvals.
Singapore Airlines will operate a mix of Airbus A380s and Boeing 777-300ERs, depending on the season. Air New Zealand will operate its new configuration 787-9 aircraft, offering more Premium Economy and Business Premier seats than its current 787-9 fleet.
The carriers' combined schedule will see the pair offer a morning, afternoon and night departure on the route, while reducing the connecting time over Singapore Airline's Singapore hub.
Sofitel Sydney showcases the best of Darling Harbour
The first new hotel build in Sydney since the 2000 Olympics, the beautiful Sofitel Darling Harbour opened its doors in October this year.
Located directly opposite Sydney's brand new International Convention Centre, Sofitel Sydney Darling Harbour Hotel is already the most iconic waterside hotel and enviable address to meet.
With nine flexible meeting spaces, the hotel is well-appointed to host any style of event, from haute couture fashion shows to gala dinners and large scale meetings or conferences up to 450 people.
New technology by Marriott allows guests to record their shower thoughts
As part of the hotel chain's ongoing development of smart hotel rooms that can be programmed to an individual guest's tastes, Marriott have piloted a shower that enables guests to record their thoughts.
As steam builds in the shower, the glass door becomes a canvas, on which guests can draw whatever comes to mind, whether it be an invention, image or a piece of writing.
The shower technology then transfers this image to a tablet, where it can be sent by email or shared on social media.
Win this Christmas with APX!
This month, we are very excited to offer an amazing prize to our subscribers!
Click the link to be in the draw to win:
- a night's accommodation at the Grand Windsor Auckland, including breakfast for two and a bottle of wine
- a two-day car rental, compliments of Hertz!
Entries will close at 10am on Friday, 22nd December, and the winner will be drawn on 3pm on the 22nd December.
APX Operations over Christmas and New Year
Please note that while we will have reduced staff operating across our offices, APX will be open and available to assist on all days over the Christmas and New Year period.
During business hours 8am - 5:30pm, your consultants will be available to assist with new bookings and amendments to existing bookings. Outside of these hours, our After Hours team will be available to assist, as per our normal service.
Should you wish to make an enquiry, please call 0800 TRAVEL or 0800 872 835.