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 stories.heathrow.com.

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.

British Airways Announces Update for its Service to Australia

British Airways, a UK-based airline, will be flying its new Boeing 777-300 ER on its route to Sydney, Australia, from London, UK.

The airline had recently ended its joint venture with Australia-based Qantas Airline, putting doubt on its plans for flying to Australian destinations. The joint venture ends on March 31, 2013.

The airline is also in the process of moving its Sydney services from Terminal 3 to Terminal 5 at London Heathrow Airport from March 31, 2013, for flights that will be operated by the Boeing 777-300 ER aircraft, featuring First, Club World, World Traveller Plus and economy cabins.

The aircraft is equipped with a new in-flight entertainment system, with a library that has 50 percent more movies and an extended range of TV and music options for customers travelling on long flights.

Passengers flying to and from Singapore will also be affected by the move from Terminal 3 to Terminal 5, as the new aircraft will be flying to Sydney via Singapore.

Jamie Cassidy, the airline area general manager for Asia Pacific, said, ‘This move confirms British Airways’ commitment to Australia.

It’s an important part of our network and we’re underlining that by putting our newest aircraft and cabins on the Sydney route and moving the flight to Terminal 5, to sit alongside the majority of our other services.’

Earlier the UK based airline had announced a partnership with Japan Airlines (JAL) for services between Europe and Japan. The two airlines will be combining their operations and introducing a revenue sharing model to operate on the routes.

The joint operations have been effective since October 1, 2012, and claim to offer more connectivity between Europe and Japan, a wider range of flight options for passengers, and enhanced frequent flyer benefits. The joint operation will be venturing into more routes soon.

 

Rio de Janeiro Tops Hotel Expense League

Sydney, Australia is no longer the city with the world’s most expensive hotel’s, having been eclipsed by the soaring cost of accommodation in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

In the first three months of 2012, the average price per night for a hotel room in one of the more picturesque areas of Rio was GBP192.88, representing a 50 percent increase on equivalent prices from a year ago. According to Hotel Price Radar, hotel prices in Sydney have only risen by 4.6 percent over the same period, with rooms now averaging just under GBP145 per night.

Hotel Price Radar cited Brazil’s economic growth and infrastructure improvements for Rio’s massive price increases, compounded by preparations for the 2016 Olympics.

From a Europe only perspective, Moscow retains its lead as the city with the most expensive hotels, with rooms averaging GBP122 per night. London room rates have risen by 4.33 percent and now average GBP100 per night, again influenced by the pending Olympic Games, though surprisingly, Liverpool is the UK city that has registered the biggest price increase, with rooms now averaging GBP71.57, up 12.55 percent on last year.

At the other end of the scale, Bangkok in Thailand, Prague in the Czech Republic and Beijing in China are the cities where the cheapest accommodation can be found, all with average prices of around GBP48 per night.

For the best value in five-star accommodation, Eastern Europe is the destination of choice according to Hotels.com, with luxury hotels in Warsaw, Poland charging just GBP84 per night, followed by Budapest, Hungary at GBP105, and Tallin, Estonia at GBP112.