News Briefs

    Tourism New Zealand reported (22-Dec-2016) international visitor arrivals for the year ending Nov-2016 rose 11.7% year-on-year. The 2016 spring shoulder season growth was strong with a 16.1% increase in holiday arrivals across the Sep-2016 to Nov-2016 period. Tourism New Zealand acting CEO Brighid Kelly said the country is seeing “a continuation of growth in our shoulder seasons outstripping the peak”.


    Tourism New Zealand reported (22-Dec-2016) it expects summer 2016/2017 will be the “biggest summer on record” for international tourism to New Zealand.


    Tourism New Zealand reported (22-Dec-2016) particularly strong growth in holiday arrival figures from Australia, India and the US for the year to the end of Nov-2017.

    • US arrivals have increased by nearly 32,000, made possible by increased airline routes and new airlines adding routes. US arrivals are forecast to continue to increase as Tourism New Zealand works with US-based travel agents on advertising;
    • Australian arrivals rose 8.9% year-on-year. Australia is also a priority market, with several campaigns ongoing focused on travel outside the peak season. New Zealand has seen increased flights from eight ports across Australia;
    • Indian arrivals rose 22.3%, with the introduction of a Bollywood actor as an Indian brand ambassador in 2015;
    • Argentinian arrivals rose more than 10,000. Argentina is a key emerging market where Tourism New Zealand is undertaking a range of work in to raise awareness. The country is now served with three times weekly flights from Buenos Aires.


    Qantas announced (21-Dec-2016) it will introduce year-round service on its Sydney–Denpasar route from Mar-2017. Qantas stated the decision to make the service permanent reflects “strong, growing demand from travellers wanting a full-service experience for their trip to one of Australia’s most popular holiday destinations”. The carrier will continue to operate four times weekly with two-class Boeing 737 aircraft on the route, offering a checked baggage allowance, inflight entertainment and food and drinks all included as part of the fare. Qantas launched its second year of seasonal daily Bali services on 14-Dec-2016. Jetstar, the Qantas Group’s LCC subsidiary, remains the biggest airline operating between Australia and Bali, with 60 return services a week.


    Australia’s Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Region Economics (BITRE) reports (21-Dec-2016) the following traffic highlights for Australian domestic airlines in Oct-2016:

    • Passenger numbers: 5.2 million, +0.9% year-on-year;
    • Top ten domestic city pairs:
      • Melbourne-Sydney: 775,717, +1.1%;
      • Brisbane-Sydney: 403,993, +0.5%;
      • Brisbane-Melbourne: 309,189, -0.3%;
      • Gold Coast-Sydney: 240,452, -2.3%;
      • Adelaide-Melbourne: 211,873, +2.0%;
      • Gold Coast-Melbourne: 186,846, +7.6%;
      • Melbourne-Perth: 182,839, -8.7%;
      • Adelaide-Sydney: 165,542, -3.3%;
      • Perth-Sydney: 151,974, -1.2%;
      • Hobart-Melbourne: 131,950, +3.1%;
    • Load factor: 80.0%, +0.4 ppt;
      • Melbourne-Sydney: 84.9%, +0.8 ppt;
      • Brisbane-Sydney: 83.1%, +0.3 ppt;
      • Brisbane-Melbourne: 82.5%, -0.2 ppts;
      • Gold Coast-Sydney: 87.2%, +0.3 ppt;
      • Adelaide-Melbourne: 82.6%, +1.7 ppts;
      • Gold Coast-Melbourne: 86.6%, -0.3 ppt;
      • Melbourne-Perth: 80.4%, +1.5 ppts;
      • Adelaide-Sydney: 84.1%, +0.7 ppt;
      • Perth-Sydney: 82.9%, +0.8 ppt;
      • Hobart-Melbourne: 80.4%, -0.6 ppt;
    • Seats: 6.7 million, -0.2%.


    Australia’s Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics (BITRE) reports (22-Dec-2016) the overall domestic on-time performance for participating airlines averaged 82% for on-time departures and 81% for on-time arrivals for Nov-2016. Details include:

    • On-time departures: 82.3%;
      • Virgin Australia Regional Airlines: 91.2%;
      • Regional Express: 86.6%;
      • Virgin Australia: 86.1%;
      • Qantas: 84.1%;
      • QantasLink: 83.3%;
      • Tigerair: 72.2%;
      • Jetstar: 69.5%;
    • On-time arrivals: 80.8%;
      • Virgin Australia Regional Airlines: 90.1%;
      • Regional Express: 84.4%;
      • Virgin Australia: 83.4%;
      • QantasLink: 82.7%;
      • Qantas: 80.9%;
      • Jetstar: 71.7%;
      • Tigerair: 71.4%;
    • Cancellations: 1.8%;
      • Jetstar: 2.6%;
      • QantasLink: 2.6%;
      • Virgin Australia: 1.8%;
      • Tigerair: 1.4%;
      • Virgin Australia Regional Airlines: 1.2%;
      • Qantas: 1.1%;
      • Regional Express: 0.6%.


    Air New Zealand passenger numbers up 4.0% – traffic highlights for Nov-2016:

    • Passenger numbers: 1.2 million, +4.0% year-on-year;
      • Short-haul: 1.1 million, +3.3%;
      • Domestic: 822,000, +3.7%;
      • Tasman/Pacific: 263,000, +2.1%;
      • Long-haul: 147,000, +9.2%;
      • Asia/Japan/Singapore: 61,000, +1.5%;
      • North America/UK: 86,000, +15.5%;
    • Passenger load factor: 83.3%, -1.8 ppts;
      • Short-haul: 82.5%, -3.0 ppts;
      • Domestic: 80.6%, -2.2 ppts;
      • Tasman/Pacific: 83.6%, -3.5 ppts;
      • Long-haul: 84.0%, -0.7 ppt;
      • Asia/Japan/Singapore: 81.2%, -7.1 ppts;
      • North America/UK: 85.8%, +3.5 ppts.


    Air New Zealand Performance – Air New Zealand reported (22-Dec-2016) the following conditions for its major markets for Nov-2016:

    • Short haul: Passenger traffic +3.3% year-on-year, with domestic RPKS +6.1% and ASKs up 9.1%, due to increased services on Auckland–Queenstown and the main trunk routes, as well as growth on the regional routes resulting from up-gauging to larger aircraft. Domestic load factor decreased 2.2 percentage points to 80.6%, as the Kaikoura earthquake negatively impacted some services;
    • Tasman and Pacific: RPKs +3.1%, with ASKs +7.4%, due to increased frequency on the Auckland-Perth route as well as upgauging to larger aircraft. Load factor on Tasman/Pacific flights decreased 3.5 percentage points to 83.6%; Long haul: Passengers grew 9.2%, with RPKs up 11.2% and ASKs up 12.1%. Load factor down 0.7 percentage points to 84%;
    • Americas and UK: RPKs +18.2% and ASKs +13.5% due to the launch of Auckland-Houston and Auckland-Buenos Aires routes, as well as increased frequency on the Auckland-Vancouver route. This was partially offset by reduced frequency on the Auckland-Los Angeles route. Load factor increased 3.5 percentage points to 85.8%;
    • Asia, Japan and Singapore: RPKs +1.3%, with ASKs +10.1%, reflecting the commencement of seasonal services between Auckland and Osaka. Load factor, although still strong at 81.2%, decreased 7.1 percentage points.


    South Australia Tourism Council reported (21-Dec-2016) tourist arrivals to the state (combined domestic and international) increased 9.8% year-on-year to 6.7 million, for the year ending Sep-2016. Tourism spending was USD6.2 billion (USD4.5 billion), an increase of 148%. Other key highlights:

    • Domestic travel continued to be the highest contributor to the South Australian visitor economy, with day trips and overnight stays injecting USD5.2 billion (USD3.8 billion), up 14%;
    • Intrastate travel increased 11% accounting for 4 million overnight visits;
    • Interstate travel increased by 7.6% with 2.3 million domestic visitors;
    • Adelaide attracted the highest domestic tourists with 2.4 million visits, followed by the Fleurieu Peninsula with 671,000;
    • International expenditure reached AUD970 million (USD701.8 million), up 19%.


    Western Sydney Airport – Australia‘s Minister for Urban Infrastructure Paul Fletcher stated (20-Dec-2016) the provision of a ‘Notice of Intention’ (NoI) to Sydney Airport Group – setting out the formal contractual terms for the group to develop and operate Western Sydney Airport – represents “another key milestone” towards delivery of the airport. The NoI follows approval of the final Airport Plan earlier in Dec-2016, and issuing the final Environmental Impact Statement in Sep-2016. As part of the 2002 Sydney Airport privatisation, a right of first refusal to build and operate Western Sydney Airport was granted to Sydney Airport Group. Under the agreement, the Australian Commonwealth Government was required to consult with Sydney Airport before issuing the NoI.

    • The Commonwealth considers that the consultation process has allowed Sydney Airport Group to become substantially familiar with the terms of the Notice of Intention, meaning that under the terms of the Right of First Refusal it has four months in which to accept the Notice of Intention;
    • Under the contract, Sydney Airport Group would be required to build the airport to the required standard, including a 3700m runway and a terminal with capacity for 10 million passengers p/a. It also sets out key milestones, with earth moving works to commence by late 2018 and airport operations to commence by 2026;
    • Over the next two years, key priorities include undergrounding the high voltage transmission line which runs across the site, and relocating part of the Northern Road which runs across part of the site, with this relocation to commence in 2017, as part of the wider Western Sydney Infrastructure Plan;
    • All of the costs of building and operating the airport would be met by Sydney Airport Group in return for all of the economic benefits of ownership of the airport over 99 years.


    Tourism & Transport Forum Australia (TTF) reported (21-Dec-2016) the latest Australian National Visitor Survey shows more Australians are holidaying and travelling domestically. The survey is supported by ABS Tourism Satellite Account data that shows the growth of the tourism sector is outstripping the broader economy by three times. For the year to the end of Sep-2016, there were 89.4 million domestic overnight trips and Australian domestic tourists spend AUD59.8 billion (USD42.3 billion), an increase of 5.1% year-on-year.


    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.