Welcome back and a very Happy New Year. With a new year comes a renewed energy and change. I'm excited to have begun some enhancements within our business, driving a future focus and further enhancing our commitment to be best in class, both ensuring success for our clients.
There’s lots happening in the industry currently – read below to find out about new partnerships, new openings, new routes and more.
While things are positive at home, recent events in Iran and Australia have been devastating. There are impacts on travel around the Middle East so you'll find some helpful resources in this edition of Inform, including guidance from International SOS and the airlines rerouting around FAA's no fly zones.
Kind Regards, Deborah Gyde APX General Manager
Guidance on Middle East Geopolitical Shifts
Last week, two of International SOS' security directors recorded a special 15 minute briefing on the geopolitical shifts in the Middle East and the global impact of recent events for travellers. As an APX client, you have free access to the video. It provides an assessment on the current situation, areas for potential escalation and crucial advice on how to build resilience to the risks, now and in future.
Airlines Rerouting Around Middle East No Fly Zones
Some airlines have suspended operations over Baghdad, Tehran FIRs, Persian Gulf and Gulf of Oman following notices issued by the Federal Aviation Administration on 7 January, prohibiting flights at all altitude to use those airspaces. The following airlines have confirmed rerouting of their flights to avoid these airspaces: Qantas, British Airways, Air France, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, Swiss International Air Lines, Lufthansa, Singapore Airlines, Virgin Atlantic Airways, Air Canada and Gulf Air. Delta Airlines and Cathay Pacific Airways are avoiding Iran and Iraq and Emirates is avoiding Tehran FIR. Please contact your APX consultant or account manager for further information.
Accor Live Limitless Launches
Accor, a key APX partner, have launched a new loyalty programme. Introducing ALL – Accor Live Limitless. Encompassing accommodation, travel, dining, wellness, entertainment and sport, ALL is designed to enrich the way you live, work and play, offering you Rewards at more places. Members are now able to earn points in Accor restaurants and bars in selected destinations even without staying in hotels. Earn Rewards points when you grab a drink or when you indulge in a spot of fine dining. Download the ALL app to start enjoying the rewards. Find out more here.
NZ Business Travel Top Stories
In partnership with NZ Business Traveller, APX presents the top stories from the industry over the month:
Air New Zealand’s lounge refurbishment program is well underway with two new lounges and two significant refurbishments opened in December. In Auckland, the brand new Regional Lounge is now open, located on Level 1 of the domestic terminal, directly above the regional gates. The new lounge has three times the seating of the previous space with five different zones. A new valet service features a new and expanded undercover drop-off zone directly below the lounge. The Auckland Domestic Lounge is currently undergoing a refurbishment with construction started in the barista area and lounge space. During this phase, the usual menu, self-serve drinks and barista made coffee will still be available. The refurbishments are due to be completed later in 2020.
Wellington's Regional Lounge has just completed a small, multi-phased expansion to temporarily provide 56 more seats. Further expansions are planned to increase the lounge size in the future. The Wellington Domestic Lounge is now open, featuring a brand new look and feel after a significant refurbishment in 2019. The new lounge offers 10 percent more seating with six different zones. The Nelson Regional Lounge, located on Level 1 of the new Nelson Airport terminal, now has has double the seating of the previous space, catering for around 130 customers and has a number of different zones available to customers.
Pullman Rotorua Opens
APX are excited to announce that Pullman Rotorua have opened their doors, bringing to the city a new level of contemporary 5-star accommodation. Ideal for business, conferences or leisure, the hotel is located in the heart of the city and moments away from the lakefront. Pullman Rotorua features a modern world of beautifully designed rooms and suites, an executive lounge, state-of-the-art gym, meeting rooms, and Barrel & Co. Bar and Grill.
Cityhop & Crown Plaza Partnership
Cityhop and Crowne Plaza Auckland began the new year with an new partnership, creating a seamless transport and accommodation option. Both are well-known presences in the Auckland CBD – one being awarded as NZ’s Leading Business Hotel for three years in a row and the other being known as NZ’s very own drive-by-the-hour car sharing service. Now, Crowne Plaza Auckland guests can enjoy Cityhop’s first hour for free and have access to reduced rates and no subscription fees. Fuel and insurance are included and guests can make use of any car in the area, including 2 electric vehicles conveniently located within the Crowne Plaza/Atrium Carpark building. Learn more here.
Virgin Australia Flying to Japan
Virgin Australia’s inaugural Brisbane to Haneda flight departs on 29 March, direct to Haneda, the closest major airport to Tokyo city. These flights will be operated daily on their dual aisle Airbus A330-200 aircraft, featuring their award-winning Economy Class and the World’s Best Cabin Crew. Flights are on sale now and can be booked with your APX travel consultant with easy connections from New Zealand airports.
LATAM Airlines Awarded World's Most Punctual Airline
LATAM Airlines took out first place in the 'global network airline' category with 86.7% of flights in their network arriving on time. This recognition was awarded by Cirium, expert consultants in travel data analysis.
Emirates Renews Partnership with Emirates Team NZ
Emirates is pleased to announce its reaffirmed commitment to Emirates Team New Zealand through the renewal of their contract for the 36th America's Cup. The award-winning airline will also be the Official Airline partner of the 36th America's Cup presented by Prada, sponsoring all preliminary regattas leading up to the main event in 2021. Emirates joined the team as its naming sponsor in 2004 when it began its quest to bring the America's Cup back to New Zealand. It remained a stoic supporter through two close Challenges in 2007 in Valencia and 2013 in San Francisco, before Emirates Team New Zealand proudly lifted the 'Auld Mug' again in Bermuda in 2017.