News Briefs

    Airports Fiji Limited plans to install self check-in facility and WiFi at Nadi International Airport

    Airports Fiji Limited executive chariman Faiz Khan revealed plans to install self check-in facility and WiFi at Nadi International Airport’s departure terminal (Fiji Times, 03-Mar-2017). As previously reported by CAPA, the airport is conducting a FJD130 million (USD62.7 million) modernisation project that is scheduled to complete by May-2017.


    Nadi International Airport reportedly receives Level 1 ACI Carbon Accreditation

    Airports Fiji Limited executive chariman Faiz Khan reportedly stated Nadi International Airport received Level 1 “Mapping” ACI Carbon Accreditation on 02-Mar-2017 (Fiji Times, 06-Mar-2017). Mr Khan stated “It is our pursuit to receive up to level three or four for carbon emissions”. The airport is undergoing a FJD130 million (USD62.7 million) modernisation project that opened up the terminal to more natural lighting and installed automated LED lighting within the terminal that turns off when there is sufficient natural light.


    Macquarie Infrastructure Corporation increases conversion ratio on 2.875% senior notes

    Macquarie Infrastructure Corporation adjusted (03-Mar-2017) the conversion ratio applicable to its 2.875% convertible senior notes due 2019. The conversion ratio for the notes increased to 12.1717 shares of common stock per AUD1000 (USD760) principal amount effective 01-Mar-2017. This adjustment reflects the impact of dividends paid by the Macquarie Infrastructure Corporation to holders of common stock.


    ACCC: Quality of service improves as airports collect substantially more money per passenger

    Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) noted (06-Mar-2017) in its 2015-16 Airport Monitoring Report, Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne Tullamarine and Perth airports are collecting substantially more aeronautical revenue per passenger than a decade ago to cover increasing costs per passenger and to grow profit margins. ACCC estimate these airports collected “AUD1.57 billion (USD1.19 billion) more in revenue…over the past decade…from airlines than they would otherwise have collected if average prices were held constant in real terms (for the same passenger volumes)”. Brisbane Airport collected the most additional revenues over the period with AUD676 million (USD512 million), followed by Sydney Airport with AUD475 million (USD360 million), Melbourne Tullamarine Airport at AUD276 million (USD209 million) and Perth Airport AUD142 million (USD107 million). However costs per passenger have also risen by 32.5% over the 10 years at Brisbane Airport, 14.4% at Sydney Airport, 48.9% at Melbourne Airport and 50.9% at Perth Airport.


    ACCC Airport Monitoring Report: Sydney Airport improve overall service quality

    Sydney Airport improved (06-Mar-2017) overall quality of service according to the 2015-16 Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s (ACCC) Airport Monitoring Report. Airport MD and CEO Kerrie Mather stated a majority of improvement works between 2016-16 focus on “our terminals and on ground transport enhancements in and around the airport”. This was driven by new international airline agreements executed in 2015, which focused on improving service standards through measures developed in partnership with airlines. The airport invested in additional aprons, security fences, departures and emigration upgrades, security and gate lounge redevelopment at terminal 1, bag drop facilities at domestic precinct, and improvements to airport taxiways.


    NSW local councils invited to express interest in USD33m regional tourism project

    NSW Minister for Tourism and Major Events Adam Marshall called (03-Mar-2017) for expressions of interest across NSW local councils to be part of AUD43 million (USD32.6 million) tourism ‘Destinations Network’ project. The project will involve the establishment of six new Destination Networks, an expanded ‘Regional Flagship Events Program’, a new regional tourism fund and an AUD6 million (USD4.5 million) regional conferencing fund. Local councils have been invited to submit expressions of interest to host one of the six Destination Network offices. Mr Marshall claimed tourism in rural and regional NSW will be “re-energised” through the project.


    Tourism New Zealand to move Auckland office to new location

    Tourism New Zealand announced (06-Mar-2017) the move of its Auckland office, commencing 20-Mar-2017. The new address is Tourism New Zealand, Level 1, 1 Nelson St, Auckland.


    Rockpool Group to design 787-9 menus for Qantas, celebrate 20 years of partnership

    Qantas reported (03-Mar-2017) Rockpool Group will oversee the design of the inflight dining service for the carrier’s Boeing 787-9 fleet, due to enter service with the airline in late 2017. Qantas and Rockpool Group also celebrated the 20th anniversary of their partnership. To mark the anniversary Qantas plans to reintroduce the most popular menu items from Rockpool from the past two decades, available for business and first class passengers and at ‘First’ and ‘Chairmans’ airport lounges.


    Qantas applies for seven services a week to Vietnam

    Qantas applied (02-Mar-2017) to Australia‘s International Aviation Services Commission (IASC) for a capacity allocation of seven week frequencies to Ho Chi Minh City from Sydney and Melbourne, to be operated by Jetstar Airways. The application is for a five year allocation. Jetstar plans to launch the services on 10-May-2017 with 335 seat Boeing 787 equipment.


    ACCC: Brisbane Airport and Perth Airport equal highest in service quality rating for 2015-16

    Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) reported (06-Mar-2017) Brisbane Airport and Perth Airport were rated equal highest for overall quality of service during 2015-16. In addition to Brisbane and Perth, Sydney Airport and Melbourne Tullamarine Airport also received ‘good’ rating for their service quality for the same period. Ratings are based on airline surveys, passenger surveys and objective indicators. Brisbane Airport has been rated either highest or equal highest of the four airports over the past decade.


    Kitchen by Mike to open at Sydney Airport’s T1 on 07-Mar-2017

    Sydney Airport, via its official Twitter account, announced (01-Mar-2017) Kitchen by Mike is scheduled to open in terminal 1 on 07-Mar-2017. As previously reported by CAPA, the outlet will feature a canteen style layout with capacity for 90 seats.


    Qantas applies to IASC for unlimited capacity between Australia and China

    Qantas applied (02-Mar-2017) to Australia‘s International Air Services Commission (IASC) for unlimited capacity for passenger services between Australia and China. Qantas sought the allocation on the basis that the route may be operated by a wholly-owned subsidiary of Qantas (such as Jetstar Airways) or that it may be used to provide joint services with China Eastern Airlines. The allocation was requested for a period of 10 years and the capacity will be fully utilised by 2017. As previously reported by CAPA, Australia and China signed an open skies agreement in Dec-2016.


    Air Niugini upgauges initial Port Moresby-Townsville service due to strong demand

    Air Niugini announced the first two frequencies on its new Port Moresby-Townsville service, due to be launched 31-Mar-2017, will be operated with Boeing 737 equipment rather than Fokker 70 regional jets, due to demand (Townsville Bulletin, 03-Mar-2017). The service is due to be regularly operated with F70 regional jets, which the carrier has configured with 80 seats in a single class.


    SA Tourism Industry Council to conduct training and coaching events through

    SA Tourism Industry Council chairman Eoin Loftus reported the tourism group will conduct a programme of 30 operational development workshops and coaching events for South Australian tourism operators during 2017, designed to improve service delivery levels in the industry (The Advertiser, 06-Mar-2017). Funding and support will be provided by the South Australian Government.


    Air New Zealand meets with Tahiti Tourism Minister about promoting the islands

    Air New Zealand French Polynesia director Christel Bôle met with Tahiti Tourism Minister Nicole Bouteau to discuss the carrier’s desire to expand offers and promotional activities for the island chain


    Jetstar Airways attributes Auckland-Palmerston North cancellation rates to engineering and crewing

    Jetstar Airways spokesman Phil Boeyen attributed high cancellation rates on its Auckland-Palmerston North services to engineering issues and crewing requirements set by the New Zealand Civil Aviation Authority (Stuff, 03-Mar-2017). The airline’s cancellation rate on the route since Mar-2016 has reportedly averaged 2%.


    Vanuatu signs tourism cooperation agreement with HNA Tourism Group

    Vanuatu Government and the HNA Tourism Group signed a cooperation framework agreement, under which HNA will develop a long-term partnership with Vanuatu to to boost tourism investment and promote Vanuatu as a tourism destination (Vanuatu Daily Post, 02-Mar-2017). Vanuatu Prime Minister Charlot Salwai said the agreement: “Marks the beginning of a long-term development partnership between the Government and the HNA group but it is also the answer to the call by the leaders of the two nations to expand cooperation in the fields of Tourism, Trade and investment on the basis of mutual benefit”.


    TTF outlines five point plan for Western Australia’s tourism and transport economy

    Tourism & Transport Forum (TTF) proposed (03-Mar-2017) a five-point plan for the next government of Western Australia to adopt aimed at growing the state’s tourism and transport economy:

    • Ensure that the Premier retains the tourism portfolio;
    • Increase investment in tourism marketing and business events;
    • Promote sustainable regions;
    • Invest in critical transport infrastructure;
    • Develop an integrated tourism and transport action plan.

    TTF CEO Margy Osmond claimed Western Australia is “well-positioned to benefit from a booming visitor economy” following the end of the resource sector related boom. She added that the new nonstop Qantas London-Perth service, to commence in 2018, represents a “perfect platform” to develop the state’s visitor economy to draw “high-yield international visitors”.


    Qantas launches ‘Menu Select’ meal pre-selection on certain US routes

    Qantas rebranded (02-Mar-2017) its ‘Q-Eat’ meal pre-selection offering as ‘Menu Select’. The service enables customers travelling from selected US ports to pre-order their inflight meal seven days to 12 hours prior to boarding. The feature is available from Los Angeles to Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane and from San Francisco, Honolulu and Dallas to Sydney.


    ACCC: Australia’s four busiest airports generates between USD1176-USD4650 per car park space p/a

    Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) noted (06-Mar-2017) Australia’s four busiest airports generated the following profit for each car parking space during FY2015-16 ending 30-Jun-2016:

    • Sydney Airport – AUD6138 (USD4650);
    • Brisbane Airport – AUD3994 (USD3026);
    • Melbourne Tullamarine Airport – AUD3084 (USD2336);
    • Perth Airport – AUD1553 (USD1176).

    As of 30-Jun-2016, car park capacity at each airport totalled 15,933 at Sydney, 14,725 at Brisbane, 25,900 at Melbourne Tullamarine and 22,763 at Perth airport.


    ACCC compares car park revenues from Australia’s four busiest airport for FY2015/16

    Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) reported (06-Mar-2017) the following car parking financial comparison for Australia’s four busiest airports during FY2015-16 ending 30-Jun-2016:

    • Sydney Airport: Revenue AUD113.8 million (USD86.2 million), +3.2% year-on-year, profit margin of 73.1%;
    • Brisbane Airport: Revenue AUD89.0 million (USD67.4 million), +3.8%, profit margin of 66.1%;
    • Melbourne Tullamarine Airport: Revenue AUD135.3 million (USD102.5 million), -1.2%, profit margin of 59.0%;
    • Perth Airport: Revenue AUD63.6 million (USD48.2 million), -3.7%, profit margin of 55.6%.

    The report noted growing number of users are taking advantage of discounted rates available by booking online, particularly at long term car parks.


    ACCC notes ridesharing’s increasing popularity may discourage airport users from driving themselves

    Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) reported (06-Mar-2017) 54% of taxi users now turn to ridesharing services. ACCC noted “their increasingly popularity may also see more people choose not to drive to the airport”, this places “slightly more competitive pressure on airports to provide cheaper car parking services”. ACCC rated the quality of landside services at Sydney AirportMelbourne Tullamarine Airport and Perth Airport as “satisfactory” while Brisbane Airport received a “poor” rating. Landside services include off-airport car parking, terminal pick-up and drop-off, taxis, hire cars, limousines, public and private buses, and trains.


    AFL: Upgrades on Labasa and Savusavu Airport ‘on the backfoot’ as government considers new airport

    Airports Fiji Limited (AFL) executive chariman Faiz Khan stated proposed upgrades at Labasa Airport and Savusavu Airport have been “a bit on the backfoot” as the government considers a separate proposal for a new airport in Vanua Levu (Fiji Times, 03-Mar-2017). As previously reported by CAPA, local government wants to equip Labasa Airport for night flights. However Mr Khan commented: “There has to be a willingness by the airlines to fly at night into Labasa then we can make the decision”.


    ACCC: Competition among Western Sydney and Sydney Airport could yield benefits for consumer

    Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) stated (06-Mar-2017) a “second international airport competing with Sydney Airport could yield significant benefits to both consumers and airlines”. As previously reported by CAPA, Sydney Airport has first right of refusal to build and run the new airport. ACCC chairman Rod Sims noted if both airports are operated by the same owner, there may be “an incentive to restrict investment and delay the new airport in order to maximise returns from its existing assets”.