Weekly Wrap – 13th April

Editor MYLES STEDMAN wraps up the week in the travel and cruise industries.

IF YOU shouted into the travel industry this week, you would’ve heard an echo; it was indeed a quiet one.

As many from around the sector continue to return to work after an extended Easter break, or take off with their families over the school holidays, it is fitting I call out the efforts of my colleagues this week.

The Travel Daily newsroom, operating on what could generously be described as a skeleton crew, still managed to deliver you all the industry happenings every day of the week.

Congratulations to everyone in the team on bearing down amid what has been a difficult week to both write and find news.

One man who was certainly on no sort of break was Qantas Loyalty Chief Executive Officer Andrew Glance, who made his first big announcement from atop the division on Monday.

Qantas flyers can now book 20 million more reward seats in one of the program’s biggest-ever expansions, with the launch of Classic Plus Flight Rewards.

This change will make it easier to travel to places like London, Tokyo, New York City, and Singapore with Qantas Points, even during peak times.

Classic Plus will represent some of the best value across the frequent flyer program, with much wider availability, even though it will usually require more points than the existing Classic rewards seats.

The points required to book Classic Plus reward seats will vary like normal airfares, which means they’ll be lower during off-peak periods or when booking early, and higher during peak periods.

Classic Plus reward seats, which are also eligible for upgrades, can be booked from now on Qantas international flights departing Australia for travel from July, and will be rolled out across the rest of the airline’s international and domestic network on Qantas-operated flights by the end of the year.

This week also saw Royal Caribbean International announce its 2025-2026 deployment in Australia, with Anthem of the Seas set to make her Down Under debut.

Anthem, which most recently cruised in Singapore, will join Voyager of the Seas in Australia, which is returning Down Under from Asia.

The new Australian ship will cruise “shorter and bolder” getaways from Sydney, while Voyager will cruise from Brisbane, with the two to sail a line-up of 45 itineraries to New Zealand and the South Pacific.

Living up to its name this week was Australia & Beyond Holidays (AABH), which announced the expansion of its inbound tourism services to New Zealand for the first time.

The new New Zealand & Beyond Holidays (NZABH) is being supported with the appointment of Country Manager Nicole Wang, who will lead the division from a new office based in Auckland.

Managing Partner Simon Bernadi told travelBulletin the decision to launch New Zealand operations followed a series of strong feedback from existing clients.

“Our international customers wanted to combine Australia and New Zealand itineraries under one operator,” he explained.

“Australian agents are also seeking unique New Zealand tailor-made or group options for customers and we are proud to announce the opening of our New Zealand office based in Auckland.”

Elsewhere in the news this week, Ponant announced it will be bolstering its fleet with a newbuild catamaran in June; leading Sydney luxury travel agency Luxeworld joined the Traveller’s Choice independent network; and Australians are in full support of a tourism tax.

With that, it’s best I sign off for the weekend – particularly as many of you appear to be out of office!

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