News Briefs

    Jetstar: ‘We want to be the stand-out LCC in the business space’

     Jetstar Group regional GM Southeast Asia Leslie Ng said the carrier’s business travel segment is:

    “Growing at twice the speed of overall market demand in key markets where we have introduced dedicated products”

    These include AustraliaJapanNew Zealand and Singapore (, 18-Feb-2017) with Ms Ng stating:

    “We want to be the stand-out LCC in the business space”


    Virgin Australia hopes to start Australia-Hong Kong service from mid 2017

     Virgin Australia CEO John Borghetti said the carrier intends to commence services between Australia and Hong Hong by “mid-2017” and he is hopeful the carrier’s proposed Australia-China partnership with HNA Group will be approved quickly (Australian Aviation, 17-Feb-2017).

    Virgin Australia lodged an application with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) on 17-Feb-2017 for an alliance agreement with HNA AviationHong Kong Airlines and HK Express, which includes direct services to Hong Kong with A330 equipment and services to mainland China at a later date. The airlines intend to codeshare and offer other reciprocal benefits. HNA Group controls 13% of Virgin Australia.


    Virgin Australia hopes to break ‘duopoly’ in Australia-Hong Kong market

     Virgin Australia CEO John Borghetti said the AustraliaHong Kong market is, “really just a route that is covered by two carriers” and incumbents Cathay Pacific Airways and Qantas, “have got it by the throat and we intend to break that duopoly and bring real competition on the route” (Australian Aviation, 17-Feb-2017).

    Virgin Australia announced a planned alliance with HNA Group to serve Hong Kong from Australia with A330 aircraft, with destinations in mainland China to follow. Mr Borghetti noted securing slots at “Tier 1” Chinese cities such as Beijing and Shanghai are, “not easy to get and so it’s a balancing act between where you want to fly, where you can get the slots, how do you get the feed.”


    AirAsia X aiming to build brand credibility in Australia

    AirAsia X Group CEO Kamarudin Meranun confirmed an Australia specific customer service team for the carrier will enter operations in mid 2017 (SMH, 20-Feb-2017). Mr Meranun said the Group is looking at building brand credibility in Australia, stating he expects a, “Big improvement”.

    AirAsia X operates from Kuala Lumpur International Airport to Gold Coast AirportMelbourne Tullamarine AirportPerth Airport and Sydney Kingsford Smith Airport, according to OAG.


    Visitor arrivals to Vanuatu, Nov-2016

     Vanuatu National Statistics Office reported (20-Feb-2017) international visitor arrivals to Vanuatu reached 7511 in Nov-2016. Details include:

    Visitor arrivals: 7511;

    • Australia: 3936;
    • New Caledonia: 804;
    • New Zealand: 782;
    • China: 323;
    • Japan: 92.


    Gold Coast Airport in discussions with three Chinese carriers 

    Gold Coast Airport CEO Chris Mills plans to meet with China Southern AirlinesAir China and China Eastern Airlines in hopes to attract new services (Gold Coast Bulletin, 18-Feb-2017). Mr Mills is hoping a recent bilateral agreement removing capacity restrictions between China and Australia will lure Chinese carriers to the Gold Coast.


    Auckland Airport begins consultation with airlines on aeronautical charges

    Auckland Airport chair Sir Henry van der Heyden stated (17-Feb-2017) the airport is consulting with airline partners on aeronautical and transport infrastructure upgrades and aeronautical pricing for the 2018-2022 financial years.

    Auckland Airport updates on terminal development

     Auckland Airport chair Sir Henry van der Heyden released (17-Feb-2017) more details of the airport’s international terminal development project due for completion in 2018. By 2H2017 Auckland Airport plans to open the first half of the development’s new retail concessions, including duty free and expanded airport security screening and processing areas. Further duty free stores and a new passenger lounge are expected by Dec-2017.

    Additional A380 and Boeing 787 aerobridges and gate lounges will be added with the international terminal’s pier B extension, which is expected to be operational from winter 2017/2018. The pier extension will be able to accommodate up to four A380s or eight A320s at one time.


    Wellington Airport issues USD7.8m in bonds

     Wellington International Airport released (17-Feb-2017) 10,889,000 unsecured, unsubordinated, fixed rate bonds with a maturity date of 16-Jun-2025 issued at NZD1 (USD0.71) per bond.


    China Eastern Airlines to offer WiFi on Wuhan-Sydney route from 20-Feb-2017

     China Eastern Airlines plans to offer inflight WiFi service on Wuhan-Sydney service from 20-Feb-2017 (Wuhan Evening News, 19-Feb-2017). Passengers are required to reserve the service as it is limited to 100 passengers on each flight. China Eastern launched the route with A330 aircraft in Jan-2017.


    Xiamen Airlines to increase Xiamen–Sydney frequency

    Xiamen Airlines plans to increase Xiamen-Sydney frequency from twice to four times daily from 23-Jun-2017 to 19-Aug-2017, as per a 17-Feb-2017 GDS and inventory timetable display. Services will operate with Boeing 787-8 aircraft. Xiamen Airlines is the sole operator on the route, according to OAG.


    Sichuan Airlines to launch Chengdu-Auckland service

    Sichuan Airlines plans to launch three times weekly Chengdu-Auckland service on 13-Jun-2017 (Airline Route, 18-Feb-2017). According to OAG, the service will operate through Aug-2017 and will see Sichuan Airlines being the sole operator on the route with 807 weekly seats.


    New appointments at Boeing Defence Australia and Boeing Global Services

    Boeing named (20-Feb-2017) Darren Edwards as VP and MD of Boeing Defence Australia (BDA), the company’s largest international subsidiary. He succeeds Ken Shaw, who was appointed Boeing Global Services VP of supply chain. Mr Edwards returns to BDA after serving as its COO from 2011 to 2015. Mr Edwards’ most recent position was Salentis GM Australia and New Zealand, where he led the development of bids and tenders for global government and commercial customers.