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Just Landed: Travel News Highlights

1st May 2015

Air New Zealand boost domestic capacity 
Air New Zealand plans to increase flight frequencies and upgrade services to larger aircraft, adding 650,000 additional domestic seats over the next financial year. The carrier’s B737 fleet will be gradually phased out in favour of larger A320s. Services from Auckland to Christchurch, Queenstown and Wellington will account for the largest share of additional seats. It's great news for Australian's pushed for time who want to discover less explored regions across the Tasman.

Qantas spa exclusive
Qantas First Lounges in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Auckland and Los Angeles now offer exclusive ASPAR products by Aurora Spa. A hand wash, hand and body cream, body cleanser, shampoo and conditioner have been created especially for the carrier with botanicals to relax and hydrate skin before flying.

This image: ASPAR group of products available at Qantas First lounges. Source: Qantas


This image: A look inside a treatment room at a Qantas First lounge. Source: Qantas

Scenic Aura to debut on the Irrawaddy
Scenic's latest 5-star luxury river cruise ship, Scenic Aura, will launch on the Irrawaddy River from September 2016, sailing between Mandalay and Pyay over 10 nights. Each of the Scenic Aura's 22 all-balcony suites boast a separate bedroom, living room and balcony, and range in size from 24sqm to 70sqm. With an almost 1:1 guest-to-staff ration, guests will be pampered with butler service, complimentary beverages, a range of Scenic FreeChoice activities and more.

Other exciting onboard features include the Sun Deck's open air cinema, plus the vitality pool and bar area. Scenic Aura joins the Scenic fleet of 16 luxury river cruise ships throughout Europe, Russia and South East Asia. Ask your Travel Associates consultant about the earlybird deals available until 31 August.

This image: An impression of the pool area on board Scenic Aura. Source: Scenic


This image: An impression of the lounge area on board Scenic Aura. Source: Scenic

Lounge openings at Heathrow
Singapore Airlines has opened a brand new SilverKris Lounge at London Heathrow Airport. Located in Terminal 2 near gate B36, the lounge caters for up to 50 first class and 158 business class travellers in two distinct areas, each with its own dining and seating areas. First class guests can choose between a self-service buffet or a la carte menu, while business class guests can access a self-service buffet and are able to request freshly cooked menu items. A new bar area for business class guests offers premium drinks including cocktails. The design of the lounge matches those recently launched in Sydney and Hong Kong.

This image: The kitchen which features in the 'Home away from Home' concept being used across all SilverKris Lounges.


This image: Pod area which features in the 'Home away from Home' concept being used across all SilverKris Lounges.

Travel Associates clients who don't yet have access to a Heathrow lounge through their frequent flyer program need not worry. A new independent, or shared-use, lounge has opened at London Heathrow’s Terminal 5 called 'Aspire, the Lounge and Spa'. Located near gate 18, the lounge will be available to anyone passing through the terminal regardless of their airfare booking class. Its opening is scheduled for Summer 2015, with pricing revealed nearer to the time.

Luxe canal barge cruising in Europe
Imagine cruising in a luxurious canal barge along the 100 km Canal du Rhone-a-Sete as 2,000 years of Provence history unfolds all around you, or through the famed Burgundy region enjoying local culinary specialities in traditional villages along the way. With group sizes limited to just 22 people, these new 7-day barge cruises are among the most exciting 15 new tours and itineraries featured in Back-Roads Touring's Winter 2015 / Summer 2016 program. The experts in small group and tailor-made tours of the UK and Europe say barge cruising is expected to be a popular option among Australians. Earlybird savings of 10% available until the end of June 2015. Contact your Travel Associates consultant for more information today.

Watch the short video below to find out more about Back-Roads Touring experience.