News Briefs – 17th April 2017

Rex propeller fell off because of broken bracket: ATSB

Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) stated (13-Apr-2017) an inspection of a Regional Express (Rex) aircraft involved in an incident on 17-Mar-2017 identified that the propeller shaft had fractured, leading to the separation of the propeller. The ATSB stated a crack had formed in the propeller mounting flange, where the propeller attaches to the gearbox, and moved through to the shaft. ATSB noted that there was corrosion in a dowel pin bore, where the crack originated, and the ATSB is still investigating whether this contributed to the separation of the propeller. The report found corrosion or cracking of this kind may not be seen until it reaches the surface, as there are currently no routine inspections required of dowel pin bores.

Hamilton International Airport sees rise in air travel due to road congestion to Auckland

Hamilton International Airport CEO Mark Morgan noted more business travellers are choosing to fly directly out of Hamilton rather than driving toAuckland Airport for cheaper airfare due to unpredictable road traffic conditions (Stuff, 17-Apr-2017). The airport is in talks with Air New Zealandto resume services to Auckland and increase frequency on routes to other main business cities such as Christchurch and Wellington. Mr Morgan added: “We remain very focused on the regional airport strategy, but I think the challenges Auckland faces, with regards to traffic and infrastructure, will create a lot of future opportunity for Hamilton Airport”.

Changes in passenger type prompts Hamilton International Airport to ‘change the way we market’

Hamilton International Airport CEO Mark Morgan stated it handles a similar percentage of leisure and business passengers, according to a review (Stuff, 17-Apr-2017). Mr Morgan said: “Our view, before our research, would have been that we were more heavily weighted towards business travellers than leisure… It will certainly change the way we market the airport”.

Qantas and Jetstar Asia expand codeshare arrangement

Qantas and Jetstar Asia announced (13-Apr-2017) an expansion to their codeshare arrangements, covering 434 weekly codeshare services. Together with Qantas’ 44 weekly services from Australia to Singapore and its own and partner network between Australia and Asia, the expanded arrangement between Qantas and Jetstar Asia also gives customers the flexibility to book itineraries that combine different Asian ports.

Qantas to offer codeshare on Emirates to Venice

Qantas confirmed (13-Apr-2017) plans to commence codesharing on Emirates operated service from Dubai to Venice from 01-May-2017. This marks the third Italian city Qantas will codeshare on with codeshare on with Emirates, complementing services to Rome and Milan.

Hamilton International Airport notes traffic increase due to tourism

Hamilton International Airport recorded a 20% year-on-year traffic increase on Air New Zealand services to Palmerston North, Wellington and Christchurch in Mar-2017 (Stuff, 17-Apr-2017). CEO Mark Morgan stated “I think there’s an increase in tourism and we’ve seen some benefits from that”.

Air New Zealand to expand Auckland-Honolulu capacity

Air New Zealand plans to expand Auckland-Honolulu capacity, with plans to deploy Boeing 777-200ER aircraft on the route while also operating extra Auckland-Honolulu services over northern winter 2017 schedule (Routes Online, 13-Apr-2017). Four times weekly service will operate with 777-200ER instead of 787-9 aircraft from 17-Nov-2017 to 14-Dec-2017, with a frequency increase to five times weekly scheduled from 15-Dec-2017 to 26-Jan-2018.

Nauru Airlines awarded FACP for Guam-Nauru service

Nauru Airlines has been awarded a Foreign Air Carrier’s Permit (FACP) from the US Department of Transportation (DoT) to undertake services between Nauru and Guam via Tarawa, Majuro and Pohnpei for a period of five years (Fiji Times, 17-Apr-2017). It additionally grants the airline charter rights between any points in Nauru and the US. In its application Nauru Airlines says it will offer a weekly round trip between Nauru and Guam with Boeing 737-300 aircraft in mixed business and economy configuration.

Australia’s International Air Services Commission receives application for capacity on Italy route

Australia‘s International Air Services Commission received (13-Apr-2017) an application from Virgin Australia to renew Determination [2013] IASC 122, which allocates 300 third country codeshare seats per week of capacity on the Italy route. The determination permits the use of the capacity for the provision of codeshare services, between Virgin Australia and Singapore Airlines and Etihad Airways, on the Italy route. The Commission is seeking other applications for capacity on the route with applications due by 02-May-2017.

Fiji Airways to become the official airline partner of 2017 Fiji Tourism Expo

Fiji Airways signed an agreement to become the official airline partner of the 2017 Fiji Tourism Expo (Fiji Times, 15-Apr-2017). The agreement involving Fiji Airways transporting 160 international buyers to Nadi for the two day event, which commences on 04-May-2017.

Flight Centre Travel Group acquires 24% stake in BibAm

Flight Centre Travel Group acquired (12-Apr-2017) a 24.1% stake in Buenos Aires-based travel agency BibAm for USD7 million. The deal allows Flight Centre access into the Latin American leisure, corporate and wholesale markets, as well as to BibAm’s e-commerce platform, Avantrip.