News Briefs

    Survey shows business and corporate travel disrupted by Trump order

    A survey conducted by the Association of Corporate Travel Executives (ACTE) reports that 20% of companies responding stated that the current US travel ban is causing their travelers difficulty.

    Of that group, 25 percent cite “fear of traveler harassment, fear of reprisals,” and “new uncertainty factors” as contributing to those difficulties.

    Thirty-nine percent of the 260 respondents stated the travel ban has the potential to reduce corporate travel.

    “These percentages are way out of line for an industry that is constantly under pressure… Furthermore, business travel is about people. And people with bone fide visas should not be subject to fear, delays, or harassment over their visa document.”

    ACTE’s Executive Director Greeley Koch.

    Identifying the uncertainty caused by the Order, Koch states:

    “If there is doubt about the validity of a visa, or worry about entering the US, or fear of reprisals, then business travelers will opt not to go. Companies with duty of care concerns will not subject their employees to these kinds of risks. This level of uncertainty is bad for business.”

    “The travel industry needs policy that eliminates confusion and uncertainty… Not policy that fosters it.”  

    Reflecting the current thinking of the corporate travel industry here in Australia / New Zealand, Kurt Knackstead, CEO of Troovo has told the Blue Swan Daily and CAPA-Centre for Aviation:

    “The global travel community is clearly and understandably concerned about the actions taken by the US government and the impact on the movement of people and business. The impact on the psyche of business travellers – regardless of what passport they hold – cannot be underestimated, as clarity and consistency with respect to customs and immigration policies and procedures is essential to peace of mind and surety of hassle-free travel. Any ban – regardless of its intent – is an indication that travel will become harder, not easier, which is counter-productive and damaging to our industry.”


    PATA condemns Trump travel ban

    Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) reiterated (31-Jan-2017) its commitment to the right to travel as stated in Article 13 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

    PATA stated it is “fundamentally opposed to any form of blanket travel ban based upon nationality, gender, race or religion” although it recognises that “each country has the responsibility to ensure the safety and security of its citizens”.

    PATA stated the recent Trump administration executive order ‘goes against the principles” of the idea that travel and tourism creates “a pathway towards understanding and empathy across borders and cultures”.

    PATA noted that the lack of clarity around the implications of this executive order has created chaos in airports and is affecting travel businesses such as airlines, tour operators, hotels and travel agencies around the world.


    Australia dual citizens not affected by recent travel ban

    Australia‘s Prime Minister Malcom Turnbull said that Australian nationals “remain welcome to come and go to the United States in the usual way” and the Australian government has been informed that that Australian nationals with dual citizenship will not be affected by the recent travel ban (Sky News, 31-Jan-2017).

    On 27-Jan-2017, the Trump administration issued an executive order temporarily banning citizens from IranIraqLibyaSyriaYemenSudan and Somalia from entering the US.

    New Zealand continues dialogue with United States over Trump order 

    New Zealand Prime Minister Bill English said the policy resulting from the Trump administration executive order temporarily banning citizens from IranIraqLibyaSyriaYemenSudan and Somalia from entering the US is “unclear” and he expects that “if someone’s travelling on a New Zealand passport then they’d have that exemption” (Radio New Zealand, 31-Jan-2017). New Zealand will continue to dialogue with the US over the implications of the order.


    Auckland International hits record traffic growth

    Auckland International Airport handled (01-Feb-2017) its record highest international passenger traffic for a single month in Dec-2016, with 960,681 international passengers representing a 13.1% year-on-year increase.

    Another record broken in Dec-2016 was the highest international passengers in a day that was achieved on 23-Dec-2016 with 36,403 passengers. The growth was attributed to capacity increase on North American and Asian routes. The airport welcomed nine new airlines in the 18 months leading up to Dec-2016.

    Auckland International Airport passenger numbers up 12% – traffic highlights:

    • Dec-2016:
      • Passenger numbers: 1.8 million, +12.3% year-on-year;
        • Domestic: 761,581, +10.9%;
        • International: 1.0 million, +13.3%;
      • Aircraft movements: 15,233, +8.8%;
        • Domestic: 10,209, +8.1%;
        • International: 5024, +10.4%;
    • 2016:
      • Passengers: 18.3 million, +12.0%;
        • Domestic: 8.4 million, +12.5%;
        • International: 9.9 million, +11.5%;
      • Aircraft movements: 164,665, +8.5%;
        • Domestic: 111,704, +7.0%;
        • International: 52,961; +11.8%.


    Qantas launches new SME focused loyalty programme

    Qantas launched (01-Feb-2017) a new loyalty programme aimed at small to medium-sized firms, called Qantas Business Rewards. The new programme is an evolution of the existing Aquire initiative, which has grown to over 125,000 members since launching in 2014. It adds several new features, including earning Qantas Points from the first dollar spent and the ability to increase earn rates by flying more. It offers three levels of membership. Eligible flights on partner airlines Emirates and American Airlines will also earn Qantas Points for the business, as well as purchases at more than 40 non-airline retail partners. Caltex Australia and Jaguar Land Rover have come on board as programme partners, with Qantas Points on offer for buying fuel as well as premium vehicles.

    Growth in New Zealand arrivals

    Tourism Industry Aotearoa reported (01-Feb-2017) total international arrivals to New Zealand rose 12% year-on-year to just under 3.5 million. Tourism Industry Aotearoa CEO Chris Roberts said the challenge is to “maintain the growth trajectory in a sustainable way”. Mr Roberts noted around half the growth came from New Zealand’s biggest three visitor markets – AustraliaChina and the US – but all source markets are growing, which “provides resilience to any market shocks.” Asian markets showed rapid growth, including South Korea (+27%), Malaysia (+51%) and the Philippines (+45%). The number of visitors from Argentina almost trebled.


    Townsville airport looks at increasing network

    Queensland Airports Ltd COO of Townsville, Mt Isa & Longreach airports Kevin Gill stated his team is working to establish direct services from Townsville Airport to Gold Coast, Auckland, Singapore and other destinations in Asia (Townsville Bulletin, 01-Feb-2017).

    As previously reported by CAPA-Centre for Aviation, the airport will receive twice weekly service to Port Moresby from Mar-2017, as announced by Air Nuigini. Port Moresby will be the airport’s second international destination.

    Wellington issues fresh bonds

    Wellington International Airport issued (31-Jan-2017) 3.54 million unsecured, unsubordinated, fixed rate WIA050 bonds following the resolution of directors on 13-Dec-2016. The bonds mature on 16-Jun-2025 with an interest rate of 5% p/a. The allotment represent 5.99% of total bonds.

    NSW to host Football Championships

    Destination NSW announced (31-Jan-2017) Sydney will host the opening round of the NCAA College Football Championships for the second time, with the event anticipated to attract more than 18,000 domestic and international visitors and inject approximately AUD14 million (USD10.6 million).

    Cook Islands tourism arrivals rise

    Cook Islands tourism arrivals rose 17% year-on-year to 146,473 (Radio New Zealand, 31-Jan-2017). The largest source market was New Zealand, which grew 18%, while Japan was the fastest growing source market, increasing 76%.


    These are among the over 30 news items in relation to the Australia Pacific region published by CAPA Centre for Aviation in their Asia Pacific Airline Daily and over 400 news items covering global aviation.