News Briefs

    Tigerair awarded operating certificate to fly to Indonesia

    Indonesia‘s Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) head of PR and cooperation Agoes Soebagio reported Tigerair Australia has been awarded an air operator’s certificate (AOC) allowing it to operate scheduled flights, effective 03-Feb-2017 (, 23-Jan-2017).

    While the AOC has been issued, Soebagio has stated that the carrier “still need[s] to meet a number of other requirements,” to operate to Indonesia.

    These requirements include flight slots and route licensing. Mr Soebagio has stated that he is “not sure” that if the carrier will be able to meet these requirements by 03-Feb-2017.


    Chinese tourism market to New Zealand is changing

    Tourism New Zealand GM Asia David Craig reported (24-Jan-2017) Chinese travel behaviour to New Zealand is changing. Fewer tour groups are arriving, while the number of free independent travellers (FIT) is increasing.

    According to David Craig:

    “This has benefits for New Zealand as a tourism destination [as Tourism NZ’s primary focus is on FITs] because they spend more over a longer time period and in more regions”.

    Mr Craig reported that this moderation in growth from China has not been a surprise for the organisation. According to Mr Craig, New Zealand has experienced growth of up to 40% from China in recent years “so a slowdown in growth can be expected”.

    New Zealand has become more expensive and other markets, especially the US and Europe who “compete hard for Chinese visitors”. China’s economic slowdown means their consumers are “becoming more price conscious.”


    Stagnant tourist numbers to New Zealand expected for Chinese New Year

    Tourism New Zealand reports (24-Jan-2017) that it expects the number of Chinese New Year holidaymakers for 2016/2016 will be “about the same” as the New Year 2015/2016 period, with between 27,000 and 33,000 forecast to arrive over the two weeks.

    Tourism New Zealand reported there are a number of reasons for the moderate growth including: New Zealand becoming a more premium market, changing Chinese travel behaviour, Tourism New Zealand’s focus on the shoulder seasons and increased international competition.


    Philippine Airlines reconfigures aircraft for Australia services

    Philippine Airlines confirmed plans (23-Jan-2017) to convert eight single class 414 seat A330-300 aircraft to a 309 seat configuration with business, premium economy and economy classes. Details include:

    • Business class: 18 Thompson Vantage XL seats with 78in full flat recline, 44in leg room, 23-24in width, aisle access for all seats, Pneumatic Comfort System seat adjustment, 18.5in IFE touchscreen, USB ports and in-seat power supply, headphone hook, legrest, calfrest, footrest and coat hook;
    • Premium economy: 24 Zodiac 5810 seats with 8in recline, 38in leg room, 19in width, 13.3in IFE touchscreen, USB ports and in-seat power supply, legrest, calfrest, footrest and coat hook;
    • Economy class: 267 Economy Zodiac seats with 6in recline, 32in legroom, 17in width, 10.1in IFE touchscreen, USB ports, in-seat power supply in “facility seats,” headrest and literature pocket;
    • All classes will feature RAVE’s Audio-Video-On-Demand IFE system, myPALWi-fi connectivity and streaming through the myPAL Player app.

    The reconfigured aircraft will be deployed to Honolulu in Jun-2017, Melbourne in Jul-2017, Sydney in Aug-2017, Singapore in Sep-2017, Tokyo Haneda in Oct-2017, Tokyo Narita in Nov-2017 and Osaka in Dec-2017.


    Intra-state travel most popular over summer

    Tourism & Transport Forum Australia (TTF) reported (23-Jan-2017) the organisation’s summer consumer survey revealed intrastate travel (53%) is most popular for a summer getaway for Australian travellers, followed by interstate (22%) and New Zealand (6%).


    China Eastern announces new service to Wuhan

    China Eastern Airlines announced (23-Jan-2017) plans to launch three times weekly Wuhan-Sydney service with A330 aircraft from 27-Jan-2017. China Eastern operates 86 weekly services between China and Australasia, serving nine routes. As previously reported, the carrier previously planned service launch on 18-Jan-2017.


    Accor Hotels prepare for Chinese New Year arrivals

    AccorHotels in Australia and New Zealand have announced preparations for the upcoming Chinese New Year celebration. COO Pacific, Simon McGrath has stated:

    “Chinese New Year is always a special time of year for hotels and our guests, and it is pleasing to see so many of our hotels going to great lengths to celebrate 2017’s Year of the Rooster.

    “Chinese New Year celebrations are an extension of our Optimum Service Standards program Hao Ke Ya Gao in partnership with China Ready and Accredited, which enables our hotels to better cater for the growing Chinese inbound travel market. Pleasingly we now have 53 hotels which are accredited in this program and bringing greater services and benefits to our Chinese guests”.

    Accor report that strong inbound growth from Greater China continues to have impact on its business – reporting a 19.7% increase in bookings made by Chinese travellers via our online systems in 2016.

    “The growth through these channels reflects the latest trends from the Chinese market as we experience a surge in FIT [free independent travelers] and a shift away from the traditional shopping tour groups.

    “This is exciting news for our hotels particularly out in regional areas of Australia as the FIT traveller is more confident to venture off the beaten track and go to places not frequented by large numbers of tourists”.

    Accor’s Optimum Service Standards program Hao Ke Ya Gao includes training for staff in cultural differences, Mandarin speaking staff, translated welcome kits, Chinese dishes included on menus and mini-bar products, Chinese location maps, newspapers and television channels.


    Western Australia Government launches inspection into health and safety issues

    Western Australia (WA) Government has announced (20-Jan-2017) its WorkSafe division will launch an inspection programme to assess safety and health issues in airport operations and support services following a high number of work-related injuries recorded in the sector.

    The inspection aims to evaluate risk associated with the task of baggage handling, airport terminal operations, aircraft support services, air passenger transport services and air freight transport services.

    According to CAPA Profiles, there are over 35 civil airports in Western Australia with Perth Airport serving as the state’s main international airport.

    Tourism Western Australia welcomes Swan River Seaplanes

    Tourism Western Australia welcomed (Jan-2017) the launch of Swan River Seaplanes, a collaboration between Horizontal Falls Seaplane Adventures and One Eighty Marketing. The company offers flights from Perth to Margaret River for wine tours.


    Bangladesh government optimistic on lifting of freight ban

    Bangladesh Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed said he is optimistic the Australian Government would lift a ban on freight from Bangladesh as it has now appointed Redline to improve security at Dhaka Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport (Dhaka Tribune, 23-Jan-2017). Ahmed stated:

    “I hope that the Australian government will lift the embargo on air shipment from Bangladesh soon as the government has appointed a British firm to work on improving security at the airport… The process is very close to end.”


    New Zealand’s New Plymouth Airport expects mild growth

    New Plymouth Airport GM Wayne Wootton stated passenger growth for 2017 “won’t be dramatic” following a record highest 20.3% year-on-year increase in 2016 to 411,661, but he remains confident “we will see growth this year” (Stuff, 23-Jan-2017).

    The growth was attributed to Jetstar’s new services that launched in Feb-2016, Mr Wootton said the low airfares help to expand the market encouraging passenger growth across all airlines.


    Tahiti’s international airport reopens

    French Polynesia Haut Commissariat reported the reopening of Faa’a International Airport following flooding on the island of Tahiti (Reuters, 24-Jan-2017). The airport was closed for 24 hours after power was cut and the runway was flooded. The temporary closure forced the diversion of an Air France flight to the Cook Islands, and the cancellation of more than a dozen other international flights.