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Business Travel News: May 2023


Singapore Airlines to boost A380s on Sydney and Melbourne routes

From mid-May, Singapore Airlines will increase the number of A380 superjumbo jets taking off from Melbourne and Sydney. Between 16 May and 28 October 2023, the A380 will return to Melbourne to replace the airline’s Boeing 777 on daily services to Singapore. From 17 May, a second A380 will take off from Sydney to Singapore daily, replacing the current A350-900 on this route.

Etihad’s new Boeing 787 business class

Etihad has revealed a glimpse into the new Boeing 787 business class, which will be featured on the airline’s new Dreamliners; three of which are expected to take flight from late 2023.  The new suites will offer passengers enhanced comfort, privacy and personal space. For a glimpse into the new suites, click here.

Air Canada increases Sydney and Brisbane flights

Throughout December 2023 and January 2024, Air Canada will increase its Sydney and Brisbane services, coinciding with the northern hemisphere’s Winter ski season. During this period, the daily Sydney-Vancouver mid day flight will joined by an additional afternoon flight three days a week. The Brisbane-Vancouver route will be flown on a Boeing 777-300ER from November, allowing for additional business class beds and premium economy recliners. Brisbane services will also adopt a daily schedule from December 2023 through to March 2024.

Fly and earn Triple Points* with Virgin Australia!

Velocity Frequent Flyers can earn Triple Points on each one-way journey when you book an eligible Virgin Australia domestic flight between 1 April until 30 June 2023.* If you’re not already a member, you can join Velocity Frequent Flyer for free and enjoy this offer. Please note, this offer is exclusively for Corporate business travel and any bookings you make for personal travel won’t qualify for this bonus. Terms and conditions apply, click here to find out more.

Fly and earn triple points!* Activate and book a domestic flight by 30 June 2023. T&Cs apply*.

United increases capacity to AU & NZ

United Airlines has announced it will be expanding capacity into Australia and New Zealand, with a range of direct services including the first non-stop connection between San Francisco and Christchurch.

Emirates A380 premium economy available on Melbourne flights

Those travelling from Melbourne to Dubai on the A380 superjumbo service now have the option to travel in Emirates’ new premium economy seats, which offer more space and increased comfort. The new premium economy seats are currently featured on flights EK406/EK407. The upgrade comes as part of the airline’s efforts to have 126 aircraft fitted with premium economy.

United Airline’s increases SYD-SFO services to double-daily

From 28 October, United Airlines will commence double-daily flights from Sydney to San Francisco. Flown on a Boeing 777-300ER featuring United’s Polaris business class seats, the increased capacity will benefit Virgin Australia frequent flyers who can earn and redeem Velocity points through the codeshare agreement.

Qantas Hong Kong Lounge opens its doors

After a two-year hiatus, Hong Kong’s Qantas lounge officially opened it’s doors to business and first class passengers and eligible frequent flyers. While the lounge layout remains the same, the space has been refreshed with a warmer colour palette and new furniture – providing a comfortable space for travellers to retreat to. Lounge guests will also enjoy a menu inspired by local cuisine.

Korean Air returns to Brisbane

As of 24 April, Korean Air resumed non-stop services between Brisbane and Seoul. Services depart five times-weekly and operate on a Boeing 777, offering passengers the opportunity to travel in the comfort of Korean Air’s Prestige Class which features a lie-flat seat and 15.4′ touchscreen monitor.


Accor opens The Sebel Wellington Lower Hutt

As of 10 May, The Sebel Wellington Lower Hutt, a highly-anticipated premium apartment-style hotel with 60 rooms, will welcome guests. Located on High Street, it boasts a central location with views of the Hutt River and Wellington Harbour. The rooms are elegantly decorated, spacious, and offer complete privacy, as well as fully equipped kitchens and dining areas suitable for extended stays. Additionally, guests can dine at Grazie, a brand-new Italian restaurant and pasticceria located on the hotel’s ground floor.

Mecure Melbourne St Kilda now open

Following a comprehensive refurbishment, Accor has increased its portfolio in Melbourne by opening a new Mercure hotel on St Kilda Road. The Mercure Melbourne St Kilda Road features a restaurant and bar and offers 145 rooms, including 20 two-bedroom apartments.

Quest Watergardens now welcoming guests

Quest Watergardens, a new addition to North-West Melbourne’s Watergardens precinct, opened on 17 April under The Ascott Limited’s management. The hotel offers 86 serviced apartments spread across five levels, comprising studio, one-bedroom, two-bedroom, and three-bedroom apartments, all of which have fully equipped kitchens.

JW Marriott Auckland to undergo transformation

The JW Marriott Auckland, previously known as the ‘Stamford Plaza on Lower Albert Street,’ is undergoing a complete transformation. The proposed renovation includes an upgrade of the hotel’s lobby and ground floor, a new restaurant with refreshed food and drink selection, as well as a refurbishment of all the rooms. Guests will be able to begin booking the first refurbished rooms by the end of September, and the entire renovation is expected to be complete by mid-2024.


Information on this page is sourced from third party sources. While effort is taken to verify the accuracy of this information, Corporate Travel Management (CTM) recommends that travellers seek independent advice and/or information from their CTM travel consultant, CTM travel tools, or direct from their chosen travel suppliers relating to the status of supplier services, schedules and booking conditions as information may change regularly. 

That’s a wrap for CTM’s May business travel news!

Contact our expert team today to discuss your travel program needs.