Qantas announces ‘The Ultimate Trip’ flights from Heathrow to Sydney

Qantas is offering 70 people the opportunity to win ‘The Ultimate Trip’: a five-night stay in Sydney, Australia, travelling from Heathrow on the Qantas A380.

The announcement comes as Qantas honours Heathrow’s 70th anniversary and its partnership with the airport. ‘As part of [the] celebration, travellers are invited to share their favourite Heathrow memory – from amusing anecdotes to heart-warming tales – to be in with a chance to win one of the 35 pairs of tickets available,’ the airport said. Entrants can upload their story at

As part of ‘The Ultimate Trip,’ which is set to commence in May 2017, the winners will have the opportunity to explore the Australian city during their five-night stay in a central Sydney hotel. Heathrow will announce the full itinerary at in January 2017 as part of Qantas’ Australia Day celebrations, it said.

Markus Svensson, Qantas Regional General Manager, UK, Europe, Middle East and Africa said; ‘We’re thrilled to be partnering with Heathrow at this very exciting time for the airport. Qantas has held a fantastic partnership with Heathrow for almost 70 years and we’re proud to be able to offer 70 passengers complimentary flights to Sydney, as a celebration of the past, present and future of air travel.’

Heathrow is the UK’s hub airport, operating more than 80 airlines connecting to more than 180 destinations and welcoming over 70 million passengers every year. Following an investment of more than £11bn over the past 10 years, passengers have voted Heathrow the ‘Best Airport in Western Europe’ two years in a row, ‘Best Airport Terminal’ for the Terminal 5 five years in a row and ‘Best Airport for Shopping’ seven years in a row.

Qantas A380 flies daily from London Heathrow to Sydney and Melbourne, both via Dubai, Heathrow said.

Qantas Commences Bookings for Its Network with Emirates

Qantas Airways, Australia’s national airline, has begun to accept bookings for its newly expanded network, in partnership with UAE-based Emirates Airlines.

The partnership will be operating its expanded network from March 2013, and has received an interim authorisation from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC).

The airline’s chief executive officer, Simon Hickey, said, ‘The feedback from customers since the Qantas and Emirates partnership was announced has been fantastic, so we are pleased people can start booking from today.

No airline can fly everywhere but the combined Qantas and Emirates network means our customers can fly to a wide range of destinations and earn frequent flyer points in the process.

One of the main advantages our customers will notice is one-stop access to a much wider range of cities across Europe via Dubai, rather than having to fly to London and backtrack.’

Tim Clark, the president of Emirates Airline, said, ‘The interim approval clears the way for Emirates and Qantas to be geared up to provide customers with a unified experience from day one. The Emirates and Qantas partnership will provide customers unparalleled access to the respective networks and services including the A380 experience.

This approval comes two weeks after our first aircraft departed from Concourse A at Dubai Airport, the world’s only purpose-built A380 concourse and the ‘home of the Emirates A380′.

Qantas’ A380 passengers flying in from Australia will be able to enjoy the unrivalled experience in terms of comfort, convenience and choice of facilities in Concourse A, before boarding their flights to our rapidly expanding European network or our destinations in the Middle East and Africa.’

Qantas cuts ties with Tourism Australia

Qantas, an Australia-based air carrier, said that it is cutting all of its ties with the official tourism agency in Australia.

It is believed that the move has been sparked by the deepening ill feeling between the current Qantas management and former chief executive, Geoff Dixon, who is now the chairman of Tourism Australia. The move will mean that the carrier will sever a 40-year old partnership with the tourism organisation.

In a statement, the company said that it had ‘suspended any future dealings’ with Australia’s official tourism agency. It went further and said, ‘Qantas cannot continue to collaborate with an agency whose chairman is a member of a syndicate committed to unravelling Qantas’s structure and direction.’

The airline’s chief executive, Alan Joyce, is believed to have written to Tourism minister, Martin Ferguson, stating that their $50m marketing deal was being suspended. Joyce however said that the company would continue to support the nation’s tourism operators. He said, ‘We deemed it prudent to suspend our partnership with Tourism Australia, we will of course continue to be a proud sponsor of tourism in Australia through other means. The tourism industry can be assured that not one dollar of tourism marketing will be lost as a result of this decision. We believe we are better off working with the states closely in terms of tourism activity. We are not pulling back on tourism support, we are working and have been working in the past with some states like Queensland, like Victoria, like NSW – all the states in the country.’

In a statement, Qantas said, ‘This conflict has arisen from the involvement of Tourism Australia’s chairman with a syndicate that is actively canvassing fundamental changes to the Qantas Group strategy, including the proposed partnership with Emirates.’

Qantas Announces New Schedule for UK Service in 2013

Qantas Airways, the national airline of Australia, has released its new schedule for flights from the UK.

The new timetable will be effective from April 1, 2013, when its joint operations with UK based British Airways comes to an end after 17 years. The new timetable will reflect the new 10-year global partnership with Emirates Airlines, a UAE-based airline company.

The airline has reported that its daily flights to London Heathrow airport, from Melbourne and Sydney, will be rerouted through Dubai airport in the UAE, instead of its previous stop at Singapore. The airline has announced that ‘Dubai will become the Qantas gateway to Europe, the Middle East and North Africa.’

The global partnership between Quantas and Emirates is pending approval from the regulatory bodies, and once effective, Quantas is expected to shift its hub for European flights to Dubai from Singapore.

As part of the ongoing changes, direct flights between Sydney and Singapore are expected to reduce to 11 flights per week, from the previous, twice daily.

Alan Joyce, the Qantas Group chief executive officer, said, in a statement, ‘This agreement represents a step-change for the aviation industry.

It is far bigger than a code share. Or even a joint services agreement. This is the biggest arrangement Qantas has ever entered into with another airline.

(This is) a ten year partnership, which will be good for all parts of the Qantas Group. Subject to regulatory approval, it will include integrated network collaboration with coordinated pricing, sales and scheduling and a benefit-sharing model.

This will deliver significant benefits to our business.’

Tourism Australia to launch new campaign for mature tourists

Tourism Australia has announced that it is planning to launch a new tourism campaign to focus specifically on those travellers over 50 years of age.

The department said that the next phase of its ‘There’s Nothing Like Australia,’ campaign, it would target those above 50 years of age. It will be a global campaign and offer premium tourism opportunities. The department is to launch the GBP1m campaign in the UK on September 17. The event is to be partnered by Australian airline, Qantas. The campaign will involve television advertisements and awareness through online, mobile and print media.

The tourism department said that it was deliberately focussing on premium services to target potential tourists in the over-fifty age bracket. This is because that age group includes individuals who are prepared to spend more to receive better and more exclusive services. They are also less inclined to adventure, and prefer their trip to be well planned without last-minute surprises. People in that age group are also inclined to want the best that a holiday can offer, so the department is to showcase high-end tourism options.

Rodney Harrex, Tourism Australia regional general manager for the UK and Northern Europe, said, ‘This new campaign creative clearly demonstrates Australia’s distinctive and high quality tourism products and experiences that are amongst the world’s finest. When we first launched [the campaign] in May 2010, it was built to last and designed to be flexible. Now is the right time to evolve the campaign to remain competitive and position Australia as an achievable holiday destination that offers premium unique experiences. We want to inspire our primary target audience in the UK – an affluent long haul traveller aged 50 to 69 – to make this the year they travel to Australia.’

Among the attractions that are being promoted for the campaign are the Bungle Bungles in The Kimberley, Sydney harbour, Uluru or Ayers Rock, the Great Barrier Reef’s Lizard and Hayman Islands, Freycinet in Tasmania, and South Australia’s Kangaroo Island.

Organisers said that the campaign will run until 28 October, and will be rolled out to 18 of Tourism Australia’s key global markets by the end of the year.


Free iPads to be provided in flight for Qantas customers

Taking in-flight entertainment to new levels, Qantas, the flag carrier of Australia, has announced that it will provide its customers with free iPads on selected routes.

Customers will be able to use the iPad devices to access their choice of content from a menu that will be available during the flight. The airline said that it would offer the iPads without any extra charge on its B767 aircraft. The wireless QStreaming in-flight entertainment service may be accessed for free by users via the iPads in both the economy and business class areas of the aircraft. The service is to be offered only on selected flights. The company said that it had already fitted a B767-300 aircraft with the technology needed to support the initiative. More flights would be fitted with the required infrastructure in 2012.

Similar services are also being offered by sister airline, Jetstar, but on Jetstar flights a fee is charged for the iPad. While Jetstar offers iPads that are pre-loaded with content, Qantas will stream its content using WiFi. The airline said that its central server holds content that is ’18 times the storage capacity of a 64GB tablet.’ This means that customers will be able to enjoy 200 hours of TV and audio programmes while flying.

The air carrier also has plans to upgrade the technology so that customers will be able to tap into the content using their own smart phone, tablet or laptop. The first aircraft to offer the service will predominantly operate on east coast routes as well as services to Perth.