Airline Update: passport changes and Singapore’s A350

Find out the latest updates from the air and on the ground this week.

Airline Update: passport changes and Singapore’s A350

New routes and air alliances can mean more travel options, so what’s new in the air and on the ground this week?

Farewell frequent traveller passports
The Australian Government is reportedly planning to phase out the Frequent Traveller passport, much to the dismay of international business travellers.

With 66 usable pages, the document has been incredibly popular among frequent overseas business travellers, allowing for almost double the number of immigration stamps and visas. The standard passport has only 34 usable pages and costs $254, while the Frequent Traveller version costs $382 – clearly much better value for money.

Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade executive Brek Batley told Melbourne’s Travel Industry Exhibition that the government intended to “phase out” the larger passports as part of an overhaul of the Australian passport system.

Thankfully other changes were slightly more positive, including the removal of fees for replacing lost or stolen passports.

Follow this story at Australian Business Traveller and tell us what you think in the comments below.

Singapore Airlines Airbus touches down in Melbourne
Singapore Airlines has announced that, from September they will begin Airbus A350 flights to Melbourne. It’s the first Australian destination for the A350, which currently flies to Amsterdam and Johannesburg with Dusseldorf on the agenda from late July.

From 1 September, the A350 will fly daily departing Singapore at 07:45 and landing in Melbourne at 17:10 on flight SQ 207, and flying from Melbourne at 19:25 and arriving into Singapore at 00:15 on flight SQ208.

Sadly, this Melbourne to Singapore flight will only run for a seven-week stint, until 22 October, when they will go back to being serviced by a Boeing 777-200 jet and the A350 switches to a new daily Singapore – San Francisco service.

As they say better make hay while the shine shines …which I hear it does a lot in Singapore …

Read more at Australian Business Traveller.


    SJ is a regular travel contributor to YourLifeChoices. Her favourite travel ritual is an afternoon Aperol Spritz, preferably enjoyed pool or beach side.


    To make a comment, please register or login
    6th Aug 2016
    I wish the Australian Government would ensure major Australian airports complied with United Nations on airports for people with disabilities, making the airport responsible for passenger, not airlines, as is case currently to enable ease to get through airport, collect luggage etc. once on plane, then airlines responsibility. Get with it!
    8th Aug 2016
    As far as I am aware, the airport is responsible for assisting passengers, not the airline. The airline just books the service.

    In Singapore, I am pretty certain it is SATS that runs the show. They were fantastic on my last trip in June. They even have a lounge where passengers can wait until it is time to go to the gate lounge. In Hong Kong, I was met at the plane, with a wheelchair and my able bodied partner and I were whisked through a separate immigration gate, and through customs. They took me to the ticket sales area for our train tickets on the Express train, and then wheeled me to the train door. On the return journey they came to the SIA checkin desk to collect me, took me and my partner thru a separate security clearance, and then to the gate lounge where they waited to take me on board. Same again on the changeover in Singapore on the way home. Back home in Melbourne, they had a buggy waiting for me and another passenger. My partner was able to travel with me and got special immigration clearance along with me. We only travelled with carry on, so made it easier.

    I cannot speak highly enough of Singapore Airlines. They were absolutely fantastic. One on board, they assisted me, and my partner with teh bags, and made sure I was ok. They checked back now and again to see if I needed any further assistance. They never forgot about me once. Even though my partner could carry both the bags easily, they still assisted him as well, while we deplaned. Cathay Pacific were also great last year when I travelled with them.
    fish head
    6th Aug 2016
    Don't see your gripe.Been up close with the current system recently and was amazed with the speed , efficiency and courtesy accorded my disabled friend. She assured me it continued throughout the flight including stop-offs and only ended when she was delivered plus luggage to her waiting family at her destination. Can't see any airport claiming responsibility for the thousands of passengers passing through their establishments United Nations or not.
    Old Geezer
    6th Aug 2016
    I've been overseas twice with my passport I got renewed last year and have yet to even have one stamp put in it.

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