News Briefs

    Ratings agency provides financial outlook on Sydney Airport   

    S&P Global Ratings revised (17-Jan-2017) its outlook on Southern Cross Airports Corporation Holding (SCACH), parent company of Sydney Airport Corporation Limited (SACL), from stable to positive.

    The outlook revision reflects the view that Sydney Airport is unlikely to participate in the development of Western Sydney Airport, enabling it to continue generating strong financial metrics. S&P Global Ratings estimates the project would require an investment in excess of AUD5 billion (USD3.77 billion) to build an airport that will serve a maximum of four million passengers p/a, presenting an “extremely low” return on investment in the early years.

    S&P Global Ratings have noted that, given the government’s refusal to help fund the airport, Sydney Airport is unlikely to undertake the investment, as it will not put at risk the existing airport in developing the project:

    “We would revise the outlook to stable if SCACH elects to respond positively to the notice of intention and exercise its Right of First Refusal in relation to Western Sydney Airport. Alternatively, a revision to a stable outlook would also occur if SCACH’s parent were to pursue an aggressive growth strategy, increasing its leverage or risks for the group”.


    New luxury accommodation development in Paramatta

    The Crown Group has announced (17-Jan-2017) that the Skye Hotel Suites is set to open in Parramatta in May 2017.

    Iwan Sunito, co-founder and CEO of Crown Group stated:

    “As we did with our innovative residential offerings, we are creating a distinctive hotel experience, delivering a new style of urban luxury that meaningfully connects world travelers with personalised, memorable experiences”.

    The property is located within V by Crown Group, a new Sydney development designed by Allen Jack + Cottier and Koichi Takada Architects.  The tower houses a mix of 590 residence apartments and hotel suites along with an outdoor, 25m swimming pool, fitness centre, entertainment rooms and outdoor spaces.

    The hotel property features 72 luxury studio, one- and two-bedroom suites which include access to V by Crown Group’s leisure facilities and is connected the surrounding retail, dining and entertainment complex.


    Qantas announces fare changes and temporary aircraft grounding

    Qantas announced (17-Jan-2017) it will increased its ‘Flex’ and ‘Saver’ economy fare families by AUD50 (USD37.75) return for travel between Australia and the US for tickets issued from 20-Jan-2017. The decision follows a review of the economy fares between the two countries.

    Qantas also confirmed it has temporarily grounded 10 of its 31 Bombardier Q400 turboprops, in order to meet technical compliance with follow-up inspection timetables set by Bombardier and Transport Canada (Reuters, 17-Jan-2017).

    The aircraft are operated by Qantas’ regional subsidiary QantasLink. The carrier stated the grounding is “not a safety issue with the aircraft” and it is rebooking affected customers on alternative flights. The carrier expects disruption to be “minimal” and has already returned one of the aircraft to service. Qantas self-reported the issue to the Australian Civil Aviation Safety Authority.


    Tigerair continues to work with Indonesian government

    Tigerair Australia reported (16-Jan-2017) it continues to work with the Indonesian Government in order to start flying to Bali again as soon as possible and is progressing with options. Flights for 17-Jan-2017 have been cancelled and flights for 18-Jan-2017 onwards are under review. Virgin Australia operated two replacement flights on 17-Jan-2107 in order to bring passengers back from Bali to Australia.


    Search for MH370 aircraft suspended

    Malaysia‘s Minister of Transport Liow Tiong Lai, Australia‘s Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Darren Chester and China‘s Minister of Transport Li Xiaopeng announced (17-Jan-2017) the suspension of the underwater search for Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 after the last search vessel left the 120,000sqkm search area in the southern Indian Ocean on 17-Jan-2017. The Ministers stated:

    “Whilst combined scientific studies have continued to refine areas of probability, to date no new information has been discovered to determine the specific location of the aircraft,

    “We remain hopeful that new information will come to light and that at some point in the future the aircraft will be located.”


    Gold Coast Airport joins Carbon Accreditation Programme

    Gold Coast Airport joined (17-Jan-2017) Airports Council International’s Airport Carbon Accreditation programme, receiving Level 1 “Mapping” accreditation.

    Airport COO Marion Charlton stated the programme maps the airport’s carbon footprint according to relevant standards:

    “[it allows] us to understand the sources and quantity of our carbon emissions which is critical to inform the decisions we make in reducing our carbon footprint… From here we start work on putting in place a formalised carbon management strategy to build on and guide future emissions reduction initiatives.”

    Gold Coast Airport is the 34th airport to join the programme in the Asia-Pacific region.


    DHL launches Sydney fulfillment centre

    DHL eCommerce launched (16-Jan-2017) a fulfilment centre in Sydney providing inventory management and last-mile delivery for international brands and retailers. The company reported:

    “booming demand for overseas goods amongst Australia‘s online shoppers.”

    The value of Australian e-commerce sales is expected to grow by nearly 50% between 2017 and 2020.


    Timaru Airport announces development plans

    Timaru Richard Pearse Airport awarded Colin Shore Building the NZD725,000 (USD489,350) contract to renovate and expand its terminal building (Stuff, 17-Jan-2017). Work is scheduled to commence in Mar/Apr-2017 and complete by Aug-2017.

    As previously reported by Blue Swan Daily’s parent CAPA – Centre for Aviation, works include expanding the building from 450sqm to 600sqm to include a new baggage collection area, entrance, storage space for in-flight catering and upgrades to terminal facilities.

    Timaru Richard Pearse Airport also announced its car park expansion project will commence work in late Jan-2017 (Stuff, 17-Jan-2017). The NZD575,000 (USD388,100) contract was won by Fulton Hogan and will see the addition of 40 car park bays, dedicated bays for pick-up and drop-off and coaches.

    Works are scheduled to complete by late Jul-2017 or Aug-2017. A NZD5 (USD3.6 )per day parking fee will be implemented upon completion, however complimentary parking is still applicable for the first two hours.


    PNG explores the use of air marshals on international flights

    Royal Papua New Guinea Constabulary chief superintendent Dominic Kakas has reported the police would like to meet with the Papua New Guinea Government and representatives from Air Niugini and other agencies to discuss deploying air marshals on international flights (, 17-Jan-2107).

    The suggestion follows an incident earlier in Jan-2017 when a passenger on an Air Niugini passenger was arrested after erratic behaviour on a Port Moresby-Singapore service.


    Nepal Airlines preparing to commence services to Australia

    Nepal Airlines Corporation reportedly started preparations to introduce services to Australia, to serve the large community of Nepalese students in the country (, 17-Jan-2017). The carrier’s board recently agreed to acquire two second hand A330-200 aircraft from AAR, with an MoU expected to be signed by early Feb-2017. The aircraft are to be delivered in 2018 to 2019 and used to launch flights to long-haul destinations. Destinations in Australia, South Korea, Cambodia, Japan and Switzerland are all under consideration.