Tag Archives: Australia

Travelport partners with Qantas to offer NDC connections

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Travelport strengthened its partnership with Qantas on a new agreement that includes a commitment to continued collaboration on the future of distribution. Following the recent announcement of the launch of Qantas Channel on August 1, 2019, which will allow agents to access content sourced from the NDC-enabled Qantas Distribution Platform, Travelport’s Managing Director of Australia and New Zealand, Scott Barber, said, “We are delighted to support Qantas as it develops its new channel and introduces the NDC standard. As the first GDS operator with an NDC booking solution available to a small group of customers, we have proven our capability to deliver this new standard. We are supporting our customers as they prepare for this new distribution era to ensure it provides seamless, integrated travel choice through access to the broadest range of content. I’d like to thank our customers for collaborating with us as we deliver the new Qantas Channel and NDC solutions which make the process of buying and managing travel better for everyone.” Commenting on the airline’s new distribution model, Vanessa Hudson, Chief Customer Officer, Qantas said the airline was pleased to be working with Travelport to make the Qantas Channel available to their agents globally. “The digital environment has changed the way we need to work with our trade partners, and our new technology paired with this new Qantas Channel agreement will support us on the journey to delivering our vision for our mutual customers. We’re excited to continue to innovate with our trade partners and share in the benefits of this new technology.” Travelport recently outlined its 2019 NDC roadmap after the successful onboarding of the first group of travel agencies to receive access to NDC content …

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Sharjah to host 50 countries at IWAS World Games 2019 from February 10-16

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The Higher Organising Committee of IWAS World Games Sharjah 2019 confirmed that 1,462 participants from 50 countries are set to compete in the world’s largest wheelchair and amputee sports championship in Sharjah from February 10-16. Held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Dr Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member Ruler of Sharjah, the IWAS World Games has returned to the emirate for the second time after its successful debut in the city in 2011. The eighth edition of the world championship brings together seven games including archery, athletics, badminton, swimming, shooting, table tennis and wheelchair fencing. New details of the upcoming biennial sports championship were revealed at a press conference held recently at Sheraton Sharjah Beach Resort & Spa. Global athletes landing in Sharjah over the next few days are set to represent 50 competing nations confirmed by the Higher Organising Committee which include the UAE, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, Algeria, Yemen, Syria, Iraq, Egypt, India, Sweden, Ukraine, Thailand, Turkey, Brazil, Portugal, Switzerland, Japan, Australia, Kenya, Russia, China, Ireland, Kazakhstan, Italy, South Africa, South Korea, Poland, Pakistan, Norway, Kenya, Latvia, Macau, Azerbaijan, Canada, Croatia, Cyprus, Estonia, Germany, Serbia, France, Georgia, the UK, the US, Hong Kong, Greece, Czech Republic, Austria, Belarus and Comoros.

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100,000+ customers from 78 countries check into OYO since its launch in UAE

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OYO Hotels & Homes welcomed over 100,000 guests from 78 countries across 14 properties and 20 homes in the UAE, since its launch in April last year. With this lease and full inventory control model, OYO currently manages 1,300 rooms within these properties in Dubai, Sharjah, Ras Al-Khaimah and Fujairah and is set to touch 12,000 rooms by 2020. Since the first 9 months of its launch, the hotel chain has received guests from within the UAE, which accounted for 45.73 per cent of their guests and the remaining from countries such as India, Oman, Saudi Arabia, France, Russia, United States, Australia, Italy, Nigeria, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Mauritius and United Kingdom, among several other counties. OYO aims to grow its market share through its ‘Manchise’ business model — a unique business model that combines the best of management contract and franchise agreement. Through this model, OYO aims to grow its footprint within the two-, three- and four-star hotels in the UAE.  With nearly 15.8 million overnight visitors in 2017, Dubai retained its ranking as the fourth most visited city in the world for the fourth year in a row, according to Mastercard’s Global Destination Cities Index. Dubai was ahead of Singapore, followed by New York, Kuala Lumpur, Tokyo, Istanbul, and Seoul. Manu Midha, Regional Head — Middle East, OYO Hotels & Homes, said, “OYO has now grown to become a preferred choice for several nationalities across the globe due to its ideal location, quality and also the price point. At the moment, we have touched around 78 countries and we are going to take this number higher due to the upcoming EXPO 2020. With 190 nations already signed up, we are confident that our …

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Arabian Tea House opens at Souq Al Shanasiyah

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Arabian Tea House serves traditional Emirati cooking and Arabic cuisine to its visitors, sprinkled with cultural significance and a historical setting. Visitors can indulge in delicious Emirati breakfast trays, light lunches, grills and wide variety of teas from Australia, China, India, Canada, and Czech Republic. It’s an amazing place to experience Emirati culture, replete with adorning photographs that will take you down the memory lane to the Old UAE in the 1960s. Arabian Tea House is a perfect addition to the Souq as it’s the beacon of Emirati hospitality. In the 1950s, Souq Al Shanasiyah was a thriving trading area and point of convergence for traders from neighbouring countries. Today, Souq Al Shanasiyah at the Heart of Sharjah is a heritage and trading landmark that attracts visitors and tourists by linking the past with the present and keeping a visionary perspective on the future. Keeping its reputation of a vibrant and bustling commercial hub, Souq Al Shanasiyah features multitude of products of various products. The souq has just added – Arabian Tea House to its eclectic portfolio.

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Emirates Airline Dubai Rugby Sevens 2018 to witness over 930 rugby and netball matches

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The 2018 Emirates Airline Dubai Rugby Sevens is underway at The Sevens Stadium. Now in its 49th year, the event is set to be the largest event on record with over 930 rugby and netball matches across three days and enhanced entertainment for everyone. During the Dubai Sevens, Emirates will be bringing the Rugby World Cup and will be displaying it at its hospitality for guests and fans. After six months of training, drills and preparation, the EK Firebirds, an all-women’s rugby club comprising Emirates Cabin Crew from 14 different nationalities, is ready to compete at the 2018 edition of the Emirates Airline Dubai Rugby Sevens invitational women’s tournament. The EK Firebirds squad met with the USA Women’s Eagles, the national sevens rugby team, for a mini-training camp ahead of the tournament, where they ran through practice scrums, along with kicking and tackling techniques and exercises. The EK Firebirds team members come from rugby loving nations including the UK, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa, as well as other diverse nations like Romania, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Namibia, the Philippines and Nigeria – reflecting the multicultural Cabin Crew team at the airline and the global make-up of Dubai. The team members have found time to practice and train during their busy travel rosters, and organise themselves to ensure that as many of them train together as possible, using the Sevens stadium, Zaabeel Park and other venues in Dubai as their training grounds.

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VFS Global opens new joint visa application centre in Riyadh

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VFS Global has opened a UK visa application centre in Riyadh, close to the Diplomatic Quarter. The company said that the new centre in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, which will serve travellers to the UK & Australia, is equipped to handle more visa applicants conveniently with increased seating capacity and ample parking space, while also offering ancillary travel services facilities within the premises. Officially inaugurating the new visa application centre, the Ambassador of United Kingdom to Saudi Arabia, HE Simon Collis, said, “‘Our customers in Saudi Arabia are extremely important to us, and we continually look for new and innovative ways to improve the visa service we offer, both to Saudi nationals and local residents. For Saudi nationals, the average processing time for non-settlement visas is less than five days.” The new centre is located at Al Hada District, besides Courtyard Marriott Hotel and close to Ritz Carlton, Riyadh. Visa applicants to the UK and Australia can access details on visa application procedures at  www.vfsglobal.co.uk/sa/en Commenting on the launch, Vinay Malhotra, Regional Group COO for Middle East, South Asia & China, VFS Global, said: “The new stand-alone centre has been designed to provide a comprehensive experience to applicants in terms of visa processing and accessing necessary travel services under one canopy. The UK continues to remain a popular destination for tourism, business and student visitors from Saudi Arabia. The latest visa figures show that over 130,000 Saudi nationals were issued a UK visa in the last year. We are confident that the new centre for the UK and Australia visa applicants will provide enhanced convenience to the customers.”

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Emirates’ 4th daily from Sydney-Dubai in March’18

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Emirates will commence a fourth daily service from Dubai to Sydney, Australia, on its iconic A380 aircraft from March 25, 2018. The new daily service will complement Emirate’s existing three daily A380 services and improve connections globally. The move will provide passengers travelling from Europe and North Africa greater connectivity to Australia. It also builds on Emirates’ partnership with Qantas, meeting continued demand for services to Dubai and complementing Qantas’ re-routing of its current Sydney to London service via Singapore (instead of Dubai). Emirates’ new service will offer passengers an afternoon departure from Sydney and a convenient arrival in main European cities the following morning. It also introduces a new option for passengers to depart London and main European cities in the morning with an afternoon arrival in Sydney the next day with a short connection in Dubai. Between March 25 -30, 2018, the inbound service EK416 will depart Dubai at 20:40 hours, arriving in Sydney at 17:20 hours, the following day. Due to daylight savings from March 31, 2018, the arrival time changes to 16:30 hours, the following day. Between March 26-31, 2018, the outbound service EK417 will depart Sydney at 17:05 hours, arriving in Dubai at 00:25 hours the following day. Due to daylight savings from April 1, the outbound service EK417 will depart Sydney 16:15 hours, arriving the same time the following day. All services will be operated by an A380 aircraft. The A380 aircraft offers 489 seats in a three-class cabin configuration with 14 private suites in First Class, 76 flat-bed seats in Business Class and 399 spacious seats in Economy.

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Marhaba lounge opens in Australia

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Having recently completed 25 years of operations in Dubai, Marhaba, the provider of premium airport passenger services, launched its first airport lounge in Australia. In addition to its new facility in Australia, Marhaba also opened a new lounge at Karachi’s Jinnah International Airport in July this year. Marhaba offers a meet and assist service and operates lounges in Dubai (DXB and DWC) and Bahrain. The spacious Melbourne lounge features seating for 200 guests, a quiet zone for relaxation, shower facilities and buffet cuisine from around the globe. Speaking at the official opening of the lounge, Gary Chapman, President, dnata, said, “Australia is a very important market for us and we continue to look for opportunities to bring more of our services to customers here.” “We already operate Australia’s leading in-flight catering company, Alpha Flight Services, and are delighted to add the Marhaba brand of airport hospitality to serve Melbourne and those passing through Melbourne Airport.” Melbourne Airport is the second busiest in Australia and one of the most important travel gateways in the country with more than 33 million passengers in 2016. International passenger traffic is expected to reach 64 million by 2033.

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Victoria celebrates 20 years of commitment to the MENA region

The Victorian Government has a strong presence at Gulfood in Dubai

The State Government of Victoria is celebrating 20 years of trade and tourism ties with the Middle East region. The Australian state set up its Victorian Government Business Office (VGBO) in 1997 to forge and strengthen trade and investment ties with the region, which two decades later has seen Victoria’s annual exports to the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region grow to AUD$ 2.49 billion (US$ 1.85 billion). Tourism and aviation links between Victoria and the region have also multiplied over the years, with Emirates Airline, Etihad Airways and Qatar Airways all flying daily to Melbourne. Emirates Airline has had a long-term relationship with Melbourne, having sponsored the famous Collingwood Football Club and the Emirates Melbourne Cup, the flagships among a portfolio of key partnerships in the state. Etihad Airways also has a strong connection with Melbourne, which is home to Australia’s Etihad Stadium, and has seen the UAE’s national carrier become the lead sponsor of Melbourne City Football Club.

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Emirates third daily to Brisbane from Dec 2017

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Emirates will introduce a third daily service to Brisbane, Australia from December 1,2017, complementing Emirates’ existing two daily services. The direct service, to be operated on a B777-200LR aircraft with eight seats in First Class, 42 in Business Class and 216 in Economy Class, will increase capacity on the route by 3,724 seats a week, inbound and outbound between Brisbane and Emirates’ hub Dubai. This will give passengers in the United Kingdom, France and North America greater access to Australia with just one stop in Dubai as part of Emirates’ global route network. The inbound service EK430 will depart Dubai at 22:00 hrs, arriving in Brisbane at 18:15hrs the following day. While the outbound flight EK431 will depart Brisbane at 22:25 hrs, arriving in Dubai at 07:00hrs the following day. The service will operate alongside two existing daily services to Dubai. Flights EK434 and EK435 operate non-stop between Dubai and Brisbane and onwards to Auckland, New Zealand, while flights EK432 and EK433 operate between Dubai and Brisbane via Singapore. Additionally, with codeshare partner Qantas, Emirates offers services to Singapore twice daily from Brisbane. The news comes as Emirates announced it would be upgauging its third daily service to Melbourne from a B777-300ER to an A380 operation from 25 March 2018, allowing passengers to travel aboard Emirates’ A380 on all three daily flights between Melbourne and Dubai.

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