Air New Zealand announced (21-Dec-2016) plans to split its Tokyo services between Haneda and Narita airports from Jul-2017, offering customers two points of entry into Japan’s capital city. Air New Zealand currently operates daily to Narita, increasing to 10 times weekly over the peak months. From Jul-2017 the three additional peak services will operate to Haneda Airport, with daily services continuing to Narita. The Haneda service will operate with Boeing 787-9 aircraft. Air New Zealand also operates a seasonal service between Auckland and Osaka. Japan is New Zealand’s fifth largest tourism market with visitor numbers to New Zealand from Japan up 13.8% to 97,312 for the 12 months ending Oct-2016. The number of New Zealanders travelling to Japan also grew in that period – up 15% to 32,920 for the year to the end of Oct-2016.
Australian International Air Services Commission (IASC) issued (19-Dec-2016) a fresh determination allocating Qantas 14 frequencies per week on routes to the UAE. The determination permits the capacity to be utilised by Qantas and another Australian carrier which is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Qantas, and for codeshare services between Qantas and Emirates. The determination is valid for five years from 13-Nov-2017. There are 151 frequencies per week in each direction between Australia and the UAE – for use to and from Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth – which are available for immediate allocation to Australian carriers using any aircraft type. 21 additional weekly services may be operated between points in the UAE and Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth provided these operate via or beyond a point in Australia other than Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth.
Norfolk Island Regional Council and Air New Zealand plan to hold talks in early 2017, to discuss the carrier’s operations to the island (16-Dec-2016). As previously reported by CAPA, Air New Zealand plans to consolidate its Norfolk Island 2017 services due to declining customer demand from New Zealand, suspending Auckland services from May-2017. Air New Zealand will continue to offer services from Sydney and Brisbane, where demand is stronger, with a core schedule of two services per week from Sydney and one per week from Brisbane.
Tourism & Transport Forum Australia (TTF) issued (20-Dec-2016) a statement damning the “continuing confusion” over the backpacker tax and working holiday maker visa fees with the Australian Federal Government’s mid-year economic and fiscal outlook “containing a backflip” on a commitment to reduce the cost of working holiday maker visas from AUD440 to AUD390 (USD320 to USD283). TTF CEO Margy Osmond stated that this is a “saga that just will not end” and the industry has been “left in the dark on where it stands on the backpacker tax” by the government.
Tourism Australia MD John O’Sullivan said the development of the Western Sydney Airport is “hugely important” for international and domestic travel (AAP, 21-Dec-2016). According to Mr Sullivan, the second Sydney airport will open up domestic routes within Australia and it will eventually become a major international gateway for New South Wales tourism and travel.
NSW Government provided (16-Dec-2016) AUD30,000 (USD22,000) in funding for the development of a Newcastle Airport master plan which will drive airport upgrades and sustainability over the next 20 years. Parliamentary Secretary for the Hunter, Scot MacDonald MLC announced the funding and said the master plan will bolster tourism and economic benefits for the Newcastle region into the future. He said: “This funding from the NSW Government will help to ensure the airport can cater for the increasing travel demand in the years to come, as well as providing certainty on the future of the Hunter economy for the local community”. The master plan will include analysis of market demand, airport capacity, ground use and environmental planning, along with land use proposals to help plan for the future. Newcastle Airport as the largest regional airport in NSW, with 1.2 million annual passengers.
These are among the 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.