June is setting out to be a good month for business travellers and frequent flyers – here's a quick run-down from the AusBT schedule.
Today, Monday June 1, is of course the beginning of Etihad Airways' Airbus A380 flights between Sydney and Abu Dhabi, with connecting superjumbo services through to London.
Etihad's A380 sees the debut of its all-new Business Studio business class (below) and first class Apartments, – which are trumping the likes of Emirates, Qantas and Singapore Airlines in both quality and price.
And if price is no object there's always The Residence – that splendid three-room VIP suite in the sky, yours for around $85,000.
Tuesday June 2 is Brisbane's turn in the spotlight with Etihad beginning direct Boeing 787 flights to Abu Dhabi (no more time-consuming Singapore stopover). The Dreamliner has the same business class as its superjumbo sibling along with bespoke first class suites (below).
Also on Tuesday, Qantas' award-winning international first class lounges at Sydney and Melbourne will switch over to the new winter menu.
Each season sees a bevvy of new dishes take their place alongside the perennial favourites, and we're expecting some hearty winter warmers will hit the menu.
Australian Business Traveller will be attending the menu's debut at Sydney's Qantas First lounge on lunchtime Tuesday, so keep an eye on our Twitter channel and Facebook page for photos and details of the new dishes (but be warned, it may spoil whatever else you had planned for lunch that day).
But wait, there's more – Thursday July 4 will also see a menu refresh across the domestic Qantas Business Lounge network, again shaking things up with some seasonal dishes.
Sydney travellers will have a rare chance to fly to Kuala Lumpur on Malaysia Airlines' Airbus A380 this week on MH122 through to Tuesday June 2, and then from Friday June 5 through to Tuesday June 9.
The superjumbo's visiting Sydney for what MAS PR describes as "operational reasons", and will be most enjoiyed by those who've booked into business class and selected a seat in the first few rows – as they'll find themselves upgraded to the A380's first class suites.
If you're flying to or within the US on Delta Air Lines from this week you'll more Virgin Australia Velocity Points on most business class, first class and Delta One fares – although expect fewer points on the less-expensive tickets. Here’s what you need to know: New Velocity earn rates with Delta
Zooming through to the later half of June we'll see Cathay Pacific pull back the curtains on The Pier First Class lounge at Hong Kong.
The revamped flagship lounge will not only be dressed to impress with Cathay Pacific's warm new 'home away from home' design blueprint, it'll boast fresh elements intended to catapult the tired old bunker can be to new heights of transit glory.
Those will include an à la carte dining room, the more casual Noodle Bar eatery, a tended bar plus private daybeds or 'nap nooks' overlooking the runway.
Airline lounge designer Ilse Crawford also tells us there'll be a "well-being area", although this won’t feature a day spa, and also promises the shower suites will be "amazing."
We know what you’re thinking – how can a shower be ‘amazing’? We'll be jetting to Hong Kong for the lounge official opening (and no, we can't share that date just yet) and will be sure to report on how the showers rate on the amaze-o-meter.
And on June 20, Qantas begins its northern summer direct flights between Sydney and Vancouver.
The Red Roo's "extended seasonal schedule" will see three flights a week during the US summer and winter periods on a Boeing 747 fitted with A380-grade business class, premium economy and economy seats.
The summer schedule runs through to July 18 with flights every Monday, Thursday and Saturday.
That's just some of what's happening in the Australian business travel space this month – for the latest on the latest, follow us on Twitter and Facebook, and sign up to our free newsletter (using the box below) for a twice-weekly recap.