Exploring heartland New Zealand on an iPad
Steve and Penny Bicknell have launched the North Island version of New Zealand Journeys for iPad, describing it as “a top-notch resource for travellers looking to experience the ‘real’ New Zealand."
In the North Island version there are just under 500 pages and 1500 photos that "celebrate heartland New Zealand,” Steve Bicknell says.
“People can see these aren’t standard stock shots. Many of our most interesting photos are off the tourist track or aerial images.”
All the journeys are illustrated with interactive maps and there are lots of informative hyperlinks to relevant third party websites giving a well rounded view of the country.
The app is split into 17 journeys, with each telling a story of the landscape, the people and the culture.
The Bicknells spent two years on the road in a motorhome to research New Zealand Journeys. Penny, a pilot, flew 100 hours in a light aircraft while Steve, a professional photographer, took 16,000 photos from the air and the ground.
The South Island version is in production and will be available before the end of the year.
Air NZ kiosks pop up at Sydney
Kiwi travellers already familiar with Air New Zealand kiosks at domestic airports can now use them in Sydney for the first time.
The national carrier has installed 15 check-in kiosks at Sydney International Airport, similar to those already installed at Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Queenstown for transtasman travel.
The kiosks allow passengers to scan passports and be issued with a boarding pass and bag tags.
Passengers must then take the luggage to a bag-drop area, where staff check their ID and scan their bags.
Air NZ's group general manager Australasia, Bruce Parton, says the system is used by about 80% of transtasman passengers.
Staff will continue to assist passengers travelling to points other than New Zealand and the Pacific Islands. There is a separate counter for premium customers.
Qantas has had a similar system in place since last December.
Qantas cuts BA codeshares in Europe, Asia
Qantas is cutting almost two-thirds of its codeshare flights with British Airways between London and Europe as well as Asia, Australian Business Traveller reports.
Codeshares on BA's Hong Kong-London and Singapore-London routes will end from March 31, 2013, along with BA's London Heathrow flights to Amsterdam, Barcelona, Basel, Budapest, Copenhagen, Dusseldorf, Frankfurt, Geneva, Glasgow, Hamburg, Lyon, Madrid, Manchester, Milan, Munich, Newcastle, Nice, Paris, Prague, Rome, Vienna, Warsaw and Zurich.
The unwinding of the codeshares follow the Qantas-Emirates partnership, which also comes into effect on March 31, 2013. Many of the destinations affected are already served by Emirates services running out of Dubai.
However, Qantas says that "codeshare flights will still operate from London to Edinburgh, Berlin, Brussels, Aberdeen, Toulouse, Leeds, Bradford, Zagreb, Oslo and Stockholm." BA and Qantas are both members of Oneworld.
"Customers with existing bookings will be reaccommodated on the same flight with British Airways, honouring all existing frequent flyer bookings along with points and status credits recognition," Qantas told ABT.
Emirates keen to buy Boeing's 'stretch' 777
Emirates says it will consider replacing some of its fleet of 175 Boeing 777s in favour of a new "stretch" version known as the 777X.
Boeing's top salesman, marketing vice-president Randy Tinseth, told NBR this week the aircraft was still under consideration and was not likely to be delivered until the end of the decade.
An AP report from Dubai said Emirates president Tim Clark had suggested a possible change to a major order with Boeing when the airline signed a deal late last year for 50 long-range 777-300 ER planes worth about $US18 billion.
Mr Tinseth said Boeing was also considering a "stretch" version of the 787 Dreamliner, known as the 787-10X, for production in 2020. The existing 787-8 Dreamliner is ramping up production to 10 a month from next year while the first of the longer-range 787-9 isn't due until 2014, with Air New Zealand as the launch customer.
New agreement offers more access, choices to Europe
Kiwis preferring to travel to Europe via Australia now have more choice through the new global partnership between Air France KLM Group and Etihad Airways.
KLM Royal Dutch Airlines has introduced codeshare departures on Etihad flights to and from Sydney and Melbourne via Abu Dhabi to Amsterdam Schipol, one of Europe's lowest taxed airports.
“Through a range of partnerships, KLM now offers over 70 weekly codeshare connections from Australia to Europe,” Air France KLM Australia and NZ regional manager Tom Reeves says.