News Briefs

    Virgin Australia announces quarterly profit

    Virgin Australia Holdings reported (03-Feb-2017) the following operational highlights for the three months ended 31-Dec-2016:

    • Underlying profit before tax: AUD45.9 million (USD34.4 million), -37.1% year-on-year;
    • Profit after tax: AUD13.1 million (USD9.8 million);
    • Cash balance: AUD1596 million (USD1195 million);
    • Passengers: 6.3 million, +3.2%;
      • Virgin Australia domestic: 4.5 million, +2.1%;
      • Virgin Australia international: 652,981, -7.1%;
      • Tigerair Australia: 1.2 million, +14.8%;
    • Passenger load factor: 81.3%, +1.0 ppt;
      • Virgin Australia domestic: 78.1%, +0.4 ppt;
      • Virgin Australia international: 83.5%, +0.8 ppt;
      • Tigerair Australia: 89.3%, +2.8 ppts.


    Qantas and Jetstar Asia expand codeshare agreement

    Qantas and Jetstar Asia expanded (02-Feb-2017) their codeshare agreement covering the Qantas Group’s network in Asia. Qantas will codeshare on an additional 142 services operated by Jetstar Asia, bringing the number of weekly codeshares between the partner carriers to 349. Qantas already offers 44 weekly flights from Australia to Singapore, through its own services and its partner network. Passenger benefits will include:

    • Through-check to/from Qantas International flights;
    • Ability to Qantas Frequent Flyer points and status credits;
    • Access to Qantas Club Lounge in Singapore (for eligible passengers);
    • Access Qantas International baggage allowance (as stated on their ticket);
    • Qantas passengers will receive a hot meal on flights over 90 mins and a muffin on flights under 90 mins, plus water, tea or coffee.


    Tigerair withdraws plans to re-launch Bali services on 3-Feb-2017

    Tigerair Australia announced (02-Feb-2017) that it will not launch Bali operations on 03-Feb-2017, after citing issues with final approvals from Indonesian authorities. The airline will notify all passengers affected who “will be offered full refunds”.

    Passengers travelling with Tigerair on Bali-Australia services on 03-Feb-2017, “will be re-accommodated…onto services back to Australia operated by Virgin Australia and other carriers”.

    The airline will provide an update Bali-Australia service on 04-Feb-2017.


    Contactability continues to rate high on corporate traveller wish list

    Roy Morgan Research reported (01-Feb-2017) 2.3 million Australians travelled by air for business purposes in 2016 and the majority of business air travellers now feel they need to be contactable at all times for work. Details include:

    • For the 12 months to Sep-2016, 92% of Australian business travellers used a smartphone, up from 68% in the 12 months to Sep-2012;
    • 80% of business air travellers are now “interested in being able to access the internet wherever I am”, up from 73% in 2012;
    • 56% say they “need to contactable at all times for work”, up from 48%;
    • 37% of business air travellers accessed a wireless hotspot in a three-month period in 2016 (up from 24%) and 31% access their work network remotely in an average four weeks (up from 28%).

    Japanese arrivals to New Zealand hit record high

    Tourism New Zealand reported (02-Feb-2017) 2016 arrivals to New Zealand by Japanese nationals passed 100,000 for the first time since 2008, “with the market showing recovery form a long decline due to economic issues and natural disasters.” The Japan market grew steadily since 2011, after a period of several years of declining numbers.

    New Zealand visitor arrivals to Japan are also up 19% year-on-year in 2016, “reflecting an increased awareness by Kiwis that Japan is an affordable and fascinating travel destination with a wealth of experiences available.”

    Jin Air secures a new seasonal service to Queensland

    Tourism Australia, via its official weekly newsletter, stated (01-Feb-2017) Bookings for Jin Air’s direct services from Seoul Incheon to Cairns are nearing capacity, according to the latest reports from the airline, agents and wholesalers in Korea.

    Tourism Australia in partnership with Tourism and Events Queensland entered a deal with Jin Air to secure a new seasonal services to Tropical North Queensland. The services have been popular with a wide audience including Koreans in their 40s, families and young independent travellers.


    Tourism Australia and Etihad roll out France campaign

    Tourism Australia, via its weekly newsletter, stated (01-Feb-2017) Tourism Australia and Etihad Airways rolled out the latest phase of their European campaign in France with flight offers starting from EUR949. The French campaign, supported by Visit Victoria, is live until the end of Feb-2017. Tourism Australia and Etihad Airways launched a joint campaign in Germany at the end of 2016 and will also roll out a promotion in Italy soon.

    Australia rates high on Chinese social media

    Tourism Australia, via its weekly newsletter, stated (01-Feb-2017) Australia was recognised as the destination generating the most interest on Chinese social media, according to Weibo and Youku, based on the reach of its destination content. Sina Weibo, one of the most popular social platforms in China, covers more than 297 million monthly active users and 132 million daily active users. Youku is one of China’s top online video and streaming service platforms.

    Travelport expands to the UK

    Travelport Locomote, an Australian corporate travel platform, announced (02-Feb-2017) its launch into the UK as part of its international expansion plan for 2017. This is the first international expansion for the Melbourne-based corporate travel platform, which also plans to launch a presence in Europe and the US. The decision comes on the heels of Travelport’s increased investment in the Locomote business in 2016, after the company first took a majority stake in the company in 2015.


    Wellington International Airport appointed (02-Feb-2017) Alison Gerry as a director, effective 01-Feb-2017. Ms Gerry will succeed Peter Coman, keeping the number of directors on the board at six.

    Scoot appointed (02-Feb-2017) Jared Simcox as GM Australia, effective immediately. Mr Simcox’s previous role was Groupon ANZ wholesale travel manager.