New runway at Brisbane
Brisbane Airport announced plans to commence work on its AUD1.4 billion (USD1.03 billion) New Parallel Runway project in 2017 (Brisbane Times, 15-Jan-2017).
Project director Paul Coughlan stated the 260ha sandpit has undergone ‘primary settlement’, therefore “we are now ready to begin construction”.
Brisbane Airport Corporation will be contributing AUD1.05 billion towards the project, with the remaining to be collected via passenger charges. The 3300m x 60m runway is expected to commence operation in Sep-2020, raising capacity from 227,000 aircraft movements p/a to 360,000 by 2035.
Brisbane Airport is expected to launch two further development projects in 2017 (Brisbane Times, 15-Jan-2017):
- Drynadra Road: AUD120 million (USD90 million) project to develop a major underpass behind the domestic terminal to provide the public easier access while maintaining airside operations. Construction is expected to commence in Mar-2017;
- Seawall: AUD10 million (USD7.5 million) project to construct a seawall to protect against high tides and flooding.
Tigerair confident of reaching a resolution on Bali services
Tigerair Australia has stated it is
“confident of reaching a resolution with the Indonesian government in the short term to resume services to Bali”.
The airline has added that it not expect passengers with travel to Bali booked with Tigerair in coming months to be affected (Sydney Morning Herald, 14-Jan-2017).
Indonesia‘s Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) spokesman Agoes Soebagio said that the agency will investigate whether Tigerair Australia breached its charter licence operating restrictions by selling one-way tickets and if the carrier “deliberately broke the rules” (ABC News, 16-Jan-2016).
The DGCA stated its investigation at Denpasar International Airport “found that Tigerair was selling the online ticket on its website from Bali to Australia“, in violation of its operating agreement. The DGCA will “summon Tigerair to explain the inspector’s findings in the field and we will cross-check those together.” Mr Soebagio reiterated that there have been no changes to Indonesian regulations, stating that claims of such are “misinformation from Australia’s side.”
Summer day trip numbers up on 2016
Tourism & Transport Forum Australia (TTF Australia) released (13-Jan-2017) the results of a national poll on summer day trips. Domestic day trips have increased 7% to 187.7 million over 2016, with spending reaching AUD19.3 billion (USD14.5 billion). Day trip travel reasons include:
- Visiting friends and relatives – 61%;
- Shopping – 58%;
- Restaurants – 56%;
- Visiting beaches – 47%;
- Scenic drives – 40%;
- Walking and nature activities: 34%.
Tourism CEO calls for increase in New Zealand tourism projects
JUCY Group of Tourism Companies CEO Tim Alpe called for New Zealand to increase to level of investment in tourism projects, improving general public infrastructure to facilitate growth in the sector (Travel And Tour World, 13-Jan-2017).
Bilateral air services agreement between Australia and Iran on the cards
Iran‘s Ambassador to Australia Abdolhossein Vahaji reported that he expects a new bilateral air services agreement between Iran and Australia to be ratified at the end of Jan-2017 (Arabian Aerospace, 12-Jan-2017).
According to Mr Vahaji, the air services agreement would permit flights between Tehran, Mashad, Shiraz and Isfahan in Iran and Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne and Perth in Australia.
Canberra Airport lobbies for increase to Singapore Airline’s Canberra and Wellington service.
Canberra Airport head of aviation Matthew Brown said the airport is lobbying for Singapore Airlines to increase Singapore-Canberra-Wellington frequency from four to five times weekly and eventually to daily (Fairfax Media, 16-Jan-2017).
Mr Brown said the route:
“performed extremely well in its first three months [reporting] remarkably strong performance.”
Singapore Airlines stated:
“Our focus is on ensuring that the four weekly flights are performing strongly and that passenger numbers continue to grow. We do not have a timeline on when, or if, the services will increase above the current operation. However…it is our intention to grow the service into a daily operation over time.”
Whitsundays domestic visitor arrivals up
Tourism Whitsundays reported domestic tourism arrivals rose 25.5% year-on-year for the year to the end of Sep-2016, to 516,000 visitors (cimmagazine.com, Dec-2016). Visitor spending totalled more than AUD517 million (USD388 million).
Gold Coast Airport promotes Common User facilities to airlines
Gold Coast Airport COO Marion Charlton hopes all airline partners will utilise its common use passenger processing systems (CUPPS) for check-in and bag drop, allowing it to phase out manual check-in desks completely by mid 2017 (Gold Coast Bulletin, 14-Jan-2017). The airport first introduced CUPPS in Nov-2016 with 25 check-in and eight bag drop machines, however it plans to acquire 25 more units.
Virgin Australia, Air New Zealand and Tigerair were the first three airlines to join the programme, with Qantas, Hong Kong Airlines and AirAsia X expected to join by Apr-2017 and the remaining airlines by mid 2017. Ms Charlton commented:
“This is a very logical step from an aviation airport perspective… It gives people control over their journey and I suppose it’s a natural progression.”
Qantas Loyalty wants to leverage Data Republic investment
Qantas Loyalty CIO Sam Charmand reported the company is interested in leveraging its investment in Data Republic, a big data start-up launched by NAB Ventures and Reinventure Fund in 2016 (itnews.com.au, 12-Jan-2017).
Qantas wants to “effectively manage its participation to ensure full potential is achieved.” The carrier invested AUD10.5 million (USD7.9 million) in the start-up in May-2016 and is moving to “lead the development of innovative data products over the Data Republic platform, driving internal value for the Qantas Group and value for other participants on the platform”.
Newcastle Airport to increase capacity
Newcastle Williamtown Airport CEO Peter Cock stated (13-Jan-2017) the airport has secured around 40,000 additional seat capacity for 2017 Easter/ANZAC/school holiday period when compared with 2016 capacity.
Samoa visitor arrivals down
Samoa’s Bureau of Statistics reported (15-Jan-2017) visitor arrivals to Samoa down 8.5% year-on-year in Sep-2016. Detail include:
- Visitor arrivals: 11,981, -8.5 year-on-year;
- New Zealand: 6299;
- Australia: 2531;
- USA: 499.