News Briefs

    Cathay Pacific expected to announce service to Christchurch

    CAPA – Centre for Aviation, in a report entitled ‘Cathay Pacific to Christchurch: contentious Air New Zealand JV as Cathay seeks greater agility’, stated (20-Feb-2017) Cathay is expected to announce seasonal (southern summer/northern winter) service to Christchurch. Cathay previously said it would soon announce service to an unspecified long-haul destination to be served during Hong Kong‘s winter.


    Cathay’s Christchurch route: an attempt to keep Air NZ JV

    CAPA – Centre for Aviation, in a report entitled ‘Cathay Pacific to Christchurch: contentious Air New Zealand JV as Cathay seeks greater agility’ stated (20-Feb-2017) Cathay may commence Hong Kong-Christchurch service in a bid to retain approval of its JV with Air New Zealand. The airlines stated a Hong Kong-Christchurch route would come from their JV, but the route did not materialise and mention of it was omitted from their re-authorisation application. Hong Kong Airlines‘ entry to New Zealand ends the main reason the Air NZ-Cathay JV was re-approved: there was no chance of new airline entry.


    Fiji Airways intends to codeshare with Indian carrier.

    Fiji‘s Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama stated Fiji Airways intends to announce a codeshare agreement with a major Indian carrier (Fiji Village, 19-Jan-2017). Mr Bainimarama said such an agreement will provide an impetus to Indian tourist arrivals and Fiji is seeking to attract increasingly affluent and adventurous tourists from the market.


    Sydney Business Chamber calls for removal of movement caps at Sydney Airport

    Sydney Business Chamber executive director Patricia Forsythe lobbied (17-Feb-2017) for the removal of aircraft movement restrictions at Sydney Airport, in order “to keep NSW number one as Australia‘s tourist and business travel destination”. According to Ms Forsythe, limiting aircraft movements into 15 minute blocs reduced the agility of the airport to respond to adverse weather conditions or other network issues.

    International visitation into Sydney is at a 12 year high and has every likelihood of growing especially from Asia, but the favourable position of the Australian dollar is also an incentive to big markets such as the United States – not relaxing the cap to allow more flights is economic madness.

    Patricia Forsythe, executive director. Source: Sydney Business Chamber, 17-Feb-2017.


    Tourism & Transport Forum Australia praises online visitor visa applications for Chinese nationals

    Tourism & Transport Forum Australia (TTF) applauded (20-Feb-2017) the commencement of online visa applications for Chinese nationals visiting Australia. TTF CEO Margy Osmond said Chinese visitors are a, “gold-mine for Australia’s visitor economy – they stay longer and spend more than other nationalities.” She continued, “This is a great step forward to taking the pain out of paper-based visa applications especially when more than 1.2 million Chinese visitors travelled to Australia in the past 12 months.”


    Australian Government forms General Aviation Advisory Group

    Australia‘s Government established (20-Feb-2017) a General Aviation Advisory Group to improve consultation with the general aviation sector and provide feedback and ideas on the future direction of general aviation. The group will also act as a reference group for the General Aviation Study being conducted by the Australian Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics. The first formal meeting of the group will take place in mid Mar-2017 in Canberra. The group will report directly to the Minister for Infrastructure and Transport.


    Sichuan Airlines to launch Chengdu-Auckland service in Jun-2017

    Sichuan Airlines plans to launch three times weekly Chengdu-Auckland service on 13-Jun-2017, operating with two class A330-200 aircraft (NZ Herald, 21-Feb-2017). Tainjin Airlines and Hainan Airlines also entered the New Zealand market in the 2017 summer season.


    Fijian PM: New tourism records set from New Zealand and China in 2016

    Fiji‘s Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama reported tourism arrivals reached a record 792,320 in 2016, an increase of 5% year-on-year, with new arrivals records set by Chinese and New Zealand nationals (Fiji Village, 19-Jan-2017). Mr Bainimarama commented that arrivals were strong despite cyclone activity in 2016, including severe tropical cyclone Winston, which was the strongest tropical cyclone to ever make landfall in Fiji.


    New Zealand and Papua New Guinea enter new bilateral air services agreement

    New Zealand and Papua New Guinea reportedly signed a new bilateral air services agreement (PNG Today, 20-Feb-2017). According to OAG data, there are no nonstop services between the countries. New Zealand and Papua New Guinea last signed an air services agreement in 1994.


    Tourism NT appoints new chairman and five new board commissioners

    Northern Territory‘s (NT) Minister for Tourism and Culture Lauren Moss announced (17-Feb-2017) the re-appointment of Airnorth director Michael Bridge as chairman of the incoming Tourism NT board of commissioners for a period of two years. New commissioners to the Tourism NT Board include:

    • Helen Martin, business director of Banubanu Wilderness Retreat on Bremer Island, off the coast of Nhulunbuy and chair of the NT Chief Minister’s Indigenous Tourism Advisory Council;
    • Dale McIver, director Alice Event Management and Consultancy and chair of Tourism Central Australia;
    • Rachael Beaumont-Smith, MD Darwin Harbour Cruises and deputy chair of Tourism Top End;
    • Patricia Angus, director Indigenous Business Australia and CareFlight, member of the Top End Hospital Network Governing Council and the Charles Darwin University Vice-Chancellor’s Indigenous Advisory Council;
    • Jeff Huyben, GM Chifley Alice Springs Resort and former chair of Tourism Central Australia.

    Returning board commissioners include:

    • Mr Mick Burns, Darwin businessman and owner/operator of Porosus;
    • Mr Geoff Weeks, GM Halikos Hospitality;
    • Mr Denis Pierce, director Linchpin.


    Tourism NZ reports 4% increase in visitor spend for 2016

    Tourism New Zealand acting CEO Brighid Kelly reported (20-Feb-2017) total international visitor spend of NZD10.1 billion (USD7.3 billion) for 2016, an increase of 4% year-on-year. Holiday visitor spend rose 10% to NZD6.4 billion (USD4.6 billion), due to increased holiday arrival numbers. Average spend per holiday arrival was NZD3800 (USD2730).


    Fly Corporate commences Brisbane-Orange service

    Fly Corporate launched (20-Feb-2017) five times weekly Brisbane-Orange service on 20-Feb-2017. The carrier will operate Saab 340 equipment on the route. According to OAG data, the carrier will be the sole operator on the route, offering 170 seats per week.


    Tourism NZ seeking industry speakers for US events

    Tourism New Zealand announced (20-Feb-2017) it is seeking industry experts to provide content for upcoming tourism events in the US. Tourism New Zealand’s GM Americas and Europe Bjoern Spreitzer said presentations will take place over 2017 and are to be webinar based, allowing participants to take part from their homes and offices. Proposed presentation dates and topics include:

    • 25-May-2017: FIT Self Drive itineraries and safer Driving;
    • 08-May-2017: New Zealand Spring Travel;
    • 22-Jun-2017: Regional Webinar – open to all regions to apply;
    • 13-Jul-2017: New Zealand Hiking and Biking Experiences;
    • 17-Aug-2017: Uniquely NZ Wine and Food Experiences;
    • 31-Aug-2017: New Zealand Fall / Autumn Travel;
    • 19-Sep-2017: New Zealand Golf Travel and Experiences;
    • 19-Oct-2017: Maori Culture Experiences;
    • 16-Nov-2017: New Zealand Luxury Travel;
    • 14-Dec-2017: Regional Webinar open to all regions to apply.


    Tourism New Zealand focusing marketing efforts on autumn and spring travel and regional visits

    Tourism New Zealand acting CEO Brighid Kelly reported (20-Feb-2017) the authority’s continued focus for 2017 is on “encouraging autumn and spring travel along with visitation into the regions”, as this will reduce peak season concentration and diversify tourism benefits across the country. Tourism New Zealand is “investing 100% of our marketing into showcasing New Zealand’s autumn and spring offering with a focus on visiting regions people might not have traditionally considered”.



    Travelport Locomote to add 30 new positions in Australia

    Travelport Locomote announced (15-Feb-2017) it will add 30 high-skill positions over the next four weeks. The new hires will predominantly be based at Travelport Locomote’s Melbourne headquarters and will include sales and IT development. The Australian expansion follows Travelport Locomote’s recent launch in the UK as part of its global expansion plan for 2017.


    Tausani Airlines expected to receive operating certificate in 2H2017

    US FAA reportedly intends to grant a domestic operating certificate to Tausani Airlines during 2H2017, following a final inspection and audit (Samoa News/NPS, 20-Feb-2017). The carrier intends to operate nine seat light utility aircraft on scheduled domestic services.


    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.