News Briefs

    Qatar Airways commences non-stop services to Auckland

    Qatar Airways has commenced daily Doha-Auckland services on 06-Feb-2017.

    The 14,535km, 17 hour and 45 minute route is the longest in the world. The service is operated by a Boeing 777-200LR configured with 42 business class and 217 economy seats.

    The new service competes with Emirates’ direct service into Auckland from Dubai and allows the Doha based carrier to offer the New Zealand market one stop services to its network of European, Middle East, North America and Africa destinations.

    Courts reject Trump’s Executive Order again over the weekend

    The US Federal Court in Seattle (3-Feb-2017) temporarily blocked President Trump’s Executive Order on immigration order from being enforced nationwide.

    In response, the White House announced its intention to fight what it called an “outrageous” ruling, saying it would seek an emergency injunction to the Seattle judge’s order as soon as possible and restore the president’s “lawful and appropriate order.” The statement was later revised omitting the word “outrageous”:

    “The president’s order is intended to protect the homeland and he has the constitutional authority and responsibility to protect the American people”

    An attempt by the Government to reinstate the ban was rejected by the US Federal Appeals Court over the weekend.

    Tigerair Bali services out of the picture for now

    Tigerair Australia CEO Rob Sharp has stated the carrier had no choice but to withdraw from Bali services (Australian Aviation, 03/04-Feb-2017).

    Mr Sharp said Indonesian authorities informed Tigerair Australia it would have to implement a new operating model that would take at least six months to establish and would threaten the carriers’ ability to provide low cost airfares. Mr Sharp said:

    “Our key focus is on our customers and maintaining our low-cost model, and we were in a situation where the only solutions compromised both of those things.”

    Mr  Sharp also clarified: “This issue is completely unrelated to safety.” He added the carrier will now be working toward providing alternative resolutions for carriers.

    Melbourne to receive Australia’s second W Hotel

    W Hotels Worldwide, part of Marriott International / Starwood (06-Feb-2017) announced it expects to open W Melbourne in 2020.

    Developed in partnership with Daisho Development Melbourne Pty Ltd and Cbus Property, W Melbourne will be located in Melbourne’s CBD at 447 Collins Street, part of the AUD1 billion mixed-use luxury development Collins Arch.

    The expansion into Melbourne marks the second W Hotel coming to Australia, following W Brisbane which is scheduled to open its doors in 2018.


    Tourism Council of WA to receive AUD610 million in election pledge by the Nationals  

    Tourism Council of WA has welcomed (03-Feb-2017) the election commitment package offered by the National Party of Western Australia.

    The package invests AUD610 million (USD467.5 million) in tourism over five years, including a AUD25 million (USD19.2 million) p/a increase to destination marketing.

    The Nationals tourism commitment is contingent on the implementation of the proposed mining tax. Tourism Council WA CEO Evan Hall said:

    “Tourism Council WA estimates that the Nationals’ destination marketing commitment, if delivered, would create 5,340 jobs in WA”.

    Tonga tourism revenue increases

    Tonga‘s Government doubled its tourism revenue target as part of plans to boost the economy (RNZ, 06-Feb-2017). Ministry of Tourism CEO Fekita ‘Utoikamanu stated plans will focus on enhancing niche tourism markets and developing new niche markets, rather than mass tourism. Niche markets include whale watching, meetings, incentives, conferences and events, weddings and water sports.

    Cunderdin Airport to handle international diversions from Perth Airport

    Ascent Aviation announced plans to redevelop Cunderdin Airport into an international facility able to handle diversions from Perth Airport (Perth Now/The West Australian, 04-Feb-2017).

    The AUD60 million (USD46 million) project will develop a 2600m runway, apron and navigational equipment to support up to four A380 aircraft. Ascent Aviation’s founder and MD Benjamin Reid said Cunderdin Airport’s proximity to Perth makes it ideal for handling diversions and currently, “airlines have to compensate for Perth’s isolation, and weather, by loading significant reserve fuel allowing the aircraft to carry on to the next suitable airport,” which is around three hours away.

    The company also plans to further enhance the airport with a pilot training college and cargo infrastructure, to be developed under the second and third phase which will cost around AUD200 million (USD153 million).

    Air Caledonie says goodbye to second ATR 72-500

    Air Caledonie announced its first ATR 72-500 would depart to join Buddha Air (, 03-Feb-2017). The aircraft has a single class, 66 seat configuration. The aircraft (F-OIPN) is the second ATR to leave the fleet of Air Caledonie in recent months after an ATR 42-500 (F-OIPI) returned to Toulouse in autumn 2016.

    New Zealand is benefiting from American Airlines’ freight service

    GSA Cargo, American Airlines Cargo‘s GSA in Australasia, stated (06-Feb-2017) New Zealand benefited from the transport of freight on American Airlines’ Los Angeles-Auckland service.

    GSA Cargo New Zealand manager Carolyn Evans said:

    “The onwards connections from the Los Angeles gateway to both Europe and South America are proving particularly popular because of the number of industries that need to airfreight goods out of New Zealand.

    “Today, more than 50% of what we export is bound for destinations beyond Los Angeles”.

    American Airlines operates daily Los Angeles-Auckland service with Boeing 787 aircraft.