News Briefs

    Precision Aviation Group expands Australian operation

    Precision Aviation Group announced (01-Mar-2017) the expansion of its Brisbane, AustraliaEASACASA & FAA approved repair station. The 20,000sqft facility will accommodate Precision Aviation Group’s wheel and brake, starter generator and accessory maintenance repair and overhaul (MRO) services centre


    QAC acquires 43ha adjacent to Wanaka Airport as ‘platform’ for future developments

    Queenstown Airport Corporation (QAC) confirmed (02-Mar-2017) it acquired a 43ha land located adjacent to Wanaka Airport as a “platform” for future growth and development. This purchase is in addition to 106ha acquired in Dec-2016. QAC chairman John Gilks explained the land “became available on the open market. We could not afford to take the risk that the land could be secured by private developers thereby preventing or restricting the long term development of Wanaka Airport”. As previously reported by CAPA, the airport owner Queenstown Lakes District Council is reviewing the airport governance structure and may consider a long-term lease. Mr Gilks clarified “We’re aware that no decision…has been made” yet and this land acquisition is “unrelated to that”.


    Tourism Tasmania launches new digital advertising campaign with major partners

    Tourism Tasmania reported (28-Feb-2017) it is investing AUD1 million (USD770,000) in direct digital media advertising to support its ‘Go Behind the Scenery’ website promoting the state as a holiday destination. The campaign is built around the website and its itinerary building functionality, with online campaigns at major Australian news and international websites. It is supplemented by additional spending on cooperative marketing with a range of commercial partners, including Expedia, Helloworld, JetstarQantasVirgin AustraliaTiger Airways, Flight Centre, RACT Destinations, TasVacations and RACQ. Tourism Tasmania is also investing in public relations, trade marketing, sponsorships of visiting journalists and influencers, and international and sector marketing activities over the autumn period.


    Queenstown Airport to conduct runway grooving work from Mar-2017

    Queenstown Airport announced (01-Mar-2017) a NZD750,000 (USD533,467) project to apply grooves on the runway will commence work in mid Mar-2017. This is part of a wider airfield upgrade project that includes runway widening and resurfacing. The airport opt for a unique ‘trapezoidal grooving’ technique that involves carving out diagonal grooves across the runway surface enabling water to flow freely off the side. Works will be carried out by US based Cardinal International Grooving and Grinding overnight over six to eight weeks. The project is not expected to impact commercial schedules or day-to-day airport operations


    Emirates handles 1.1m passengers to/from New Zealand in 2016

    Emirates reported (01-Mar-2017) it handled 1.1 million passengers to and from New Zealand in 2016. The carrier operates to Auckland and Christchurch, offering both non-stop service and operations via Australia for Christchurch. All services are operated with A380 equipment, according to OAG data.


    Delta, Virgin Australia receive approval to operate US-Canada codeshare

    Delta Air Lines received (01-Mar-2017) approval from the Canadian Transportation Agency to operate a codeshare with Virgin Australia on service between the US and Canada, for an indefinite period beginning 18-Mar-2017. The codeshare will allow Virgin Australia to provide scheduled service between Australia and Canada.


    Qantas to go daily on Sydney-Denpasar service from 26-Mar-2017

    Qantas announced (01-Mar-2017) plans to increase Sydney-Denpasar service from four to seven times weekly, from 26-Mar-2017 – see Route Change Table for more information. Qantas stated the increase was a result of strong demand on the route, which recently became a year-round service, having previously operated seasonally. The additional frequencies will be operated with Boeing 737-800 equipment.


    Qatar Airways not willing to add A380 to Doha-Auckland due to payload penalties

    Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker stated the carrier will not operate A380 equipment on its Doha-Auckland route, as the range would impose a payload penalty and the airline would not accept such a penalty as its wants to “maximise revenue” (NZ Herald, 02-Mar-2017). The carrier operates 259 seat Boeing 777-200LR equipment on the route. Middle East competitor Emirates operates nonstop 491 seat A380 service to Auckland. Doha-Auckland is 7848nm, while Dubai-Auckland is 7668nm.


    Virgin Australia unveils wine crafted for high altitude

    Virgin Australia and St Hallett, an Australian winery, launched (01-Mar-2017) ‘The Duo’, a wine specifically blended for consumption onboard aircraft. The wine will be served exclusively in Virgin Australia business class and will be offered for sampling at the carrier’s airport lounges.


    Air New Zealand to switch media planning and buying agency: report

    Air New Zealand reportedly intends to award its media planning and buying contracts for New Zealand and Australia to Dentsu Aegis Network, following a competitive tender process (AdNews, 01-Mar-2017). The existing contracts are is held by OMD New Zealand and PHD Media Australia, which are both a part of the Omnicom Media Group. Air New Zealand stated the tender process is ongoing. According to a report in Mumbrella, Air New Zealand confirmed in Sep-2016 that it entered a review of its media partners (Mumbrella, 22-Sep-2016).