News Briefs

    Melbourne Tullamarine Airport opens Value Long Stay car park over school holiday

    Melbourne Tullamarine Airport, via its official Facebook account, announced (15-Mar-2017) additional car park capacity will be available at its Value Long Stay car park over the school holidays period between 31-Mar-2017 and 16-Apr-2017. The offsite car park will be serviced by direct shuttle buses to the terminal.

    TTF: Surging Asian markets account for 40% of arrivals to Australia

    Tourism & Transport Forum (TTF) reported Overseas Arrival Data (OAD) released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics shows the top 10 Australian source markets accounted for 6.1 million visitor arrivals for the in the year to Jan-2017, totalling 73% of arrivals. Of these, seven Asian markets, all with double digit growth, delivered 40% of the total. According to the TTF, outside of the top 10 source markets, “it is also important to keep watching emerging giants such as Indonesia and Vietnam, which will surge in coming years”.

    TTF: China on track to become Australia’s largest source market by end of 2017

    Tourism & Transport Forum (TTF) CEO Margy Osmond said (14-Mar-2017) the recent Overseas Arrival Data (OAD) released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics “tell a strong story”, indicating that China “will soon be our biggest single market, but our future will be driven by the whole of Asia”. China was our second-biggest market for the 12 months to Jan-2017, with 1.25 million visitors, up 17.3% year-on-year “, putting it well on track to become our largest source of overseas visitors by year’s end” according to the TTF. New Zealand was the largest source market, with 1.35 million visitors, up 2.1%.

    Tourism Research Australia: Chinese FITs not visiting smaller Australian destinations

    Tourism Research Australia released (14-Mar-2017) its report into the Chinese ‘Free and Independent Travellers’ (FIT) market to South Australia, Tasmania and the Northern Territory. According to they report, Chinese tourists spent a total of AUD8.9 billion (USD6.9 billion) in 2016, accounting for approximately 25% of total tourism spending in Australia by international visitors. Despite the increasing numbers of Chinese visitors, the smaller destinations of South Australia, Tasmania and the Northern Territory are not seeing levels of growth matching that of the ‘big’ tourist destinations of Sydney, Melbourne and Queensland.

    Port Lincoln Airport reports 4% decrease in pax for 2016

    Port Lincoln Airport reported a 4% year-on-year decrease in passenger numbers for 2016, contributing to the declining passenger traffic trend since 2011 (Port Lincoln Times, 14-Mar-2017). The Lower Eyre Peninsula District Council plans to invest AUD45,000 (USD34,660) in FY2017/18 on marketing and promotion activities to improve tourism, and may budget an additional AUD15,000 (USD11,553) in FY2018/19.

    CAAC and Civil Aviation Authority of New Zealand agree to expand air traffic

    CAAC and the Civil Aviation Authority of New Zealand held (15-Mar-2017) a new round of bilateral air talks between 14-Mar-2017 and 15-Mar-2017 and has reached an agreement on the expansion of air traffic rights between the countries. CAAC noted that the China-New Zealand air transport market has maintained high growth in recent years. In 2016, China-New Zealand air passengers increased 37% year-on-year to 600,000, and is expected to continue to maintain the rapid growth in the next two to three years.

    Melbourne Tullamarine Airport ‘very supportive’ of new southeast airport proposal

    Melbourne Tullamarine Airport executive, corporate and public affairs Carly Dixon stated the airport is “very supportive” of the government’s proposal for a new commercial airport in southeast Melbourne (International Business Times, 15-Mar-2017). The government is reportedly considering the suburb of Koo Wee Rup for Melbourne’s proposed third commercial airport.

    NSW reports 13% increase in international arrivals in 2016

    NSW Minister for Tourism and Major Events Adam Marshall said (15-Mar-2017) information published by Tourism Research Australia reconfirms that tourism is one of the strongest growth sectors in NSW, with 2016 international arrivals up 13% year-on-year to 3.9 million. International visitor spending rose 13.1% to AUD9.5 billion (USD7.3 billion). Tourism expenditure growth in NSW was more than double that of Victoria and more than triple that of Queensland, according to Mr Marshall.

    Tourism Australia: Uber and Airbnb among most commonly used services by international visitors

    Tourism Australia reported (14-Mar-2017) Uber was used by 14% of international visitors to Australia during their stay in 2016. Visitors from the UK (23%), the US (22%), other Europe (19%) and Canada (18%) were most likely to use the service. Those visiting for education (34%) and employment (29%) were also more likely to use the service. Tourism Australia also reported the most common website used to book private accommodation was Airbnb, with 426,000 visitors booking through the site. Other common websites used to make bookings were Stayz (12,000), Vacation Rentals by Owner (VRBO) (12,000) and Couchsurfing (10,000).

    Victoria Government confirms plan to establish new airport is south east Melbourne

    Victoria Government, in its Plan Melbourne 2017-2050 document, announced (Mar-2017) plans to establish a new airport in Melbourne’s south east region to ensure air transportation service remains efficient. The government intends to finalise a preferred site beyond Koo Wee Rup by 2021. The selected site will be preserved by incorporating planning protection for flight paths and noise contours and alignment for a connection to Clyde rail line.

    Air New Zealand adopts Australian Stock Exchange Foreign Exempt Listing

    Air New Zealand confirmed (16-Mar-2017) it changed its Australian Stock Exchange (ASX) admission category from ASX Listing to an ASX Foreign Exempt Listing, effective 17-Mar-2017. The change means Air New Zealand will be expected to comply primarily with the Listing Rules of the New Zealand Stock Exchange (NZX) Main Board (being the rules of its home exchange) and is exempt from complying with most of ASX’s Listing Rules. Air New Zealand continues to have a full listing on the NZX Main Board and Air New Zealand shares will continue to be listed on ASX.

    Visitor arrivals to Cook Island up 21% to 9976 in Jan-2017

    Cook Islands Ministry of Finance & Economic Management reported (15-Mar-2017) visitor arrivals to Cook Islands reached 9976 in Jan-2017. Details include:

    • Visitor arrivals: 9976, +21.3% year-on-year;
      • New Zealand: 5600, +23.3%;
      • Australia: 1621, +1.3%;
      • US: 766, +94.9%;
      • Canada: 419, +55.8%.

    Virgin Australia CEO reports carrier has cut net debt by 40%

    Virgin Australia CEO John Borghetti reported the carrier managed to reduce net debt by 40% and improved its financial leverage by “about” 20% as part of its ongoing work to restructure its balance sheet (Sky News Business, 15-May-2017).

    Virgin Australia expects to make international arm & Tigerair Australia profitable by end of FY2017

    Virgin Australia CEO John Borghetti commented that that group expects to meet its FY2016/17 financial targets, despite weaker than expected H1FY2016/17 results (Sky News Business, 15-May-2017). The airline intends to make its Virgin International and Tigerair Australia units profitable by the end of the financial year. Mr Borghetti stated he is “very pleased with the way things are going” at the group, having gone through a balance sheet restructuring and cutting costs via its ‘Better Business’ programme. Mr Borghetti added that the airline has “some massive plans coming up in the next 12 months”.

    Australia’s BITRE releases domestic airfare index for Mar-2017, domestic fares up 49%

    Australia’s Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics (BITRE) released (15-Mar-2017) Domestic Air Fare Index for Mar-2017 which showed the ‘Best Discount Fare’ Index (Jul-2003 = 100) for domestic travel increased 48.9% year-on-year to 82.1 in Mar-2017. ‘Restricted economy’ was up 1.2% year-on-year and ‘Business class’ was up 0.8% year-on-year.

    Fijian lawmaker calls for Fiji Airways and Tourism Fiji to work together to understand Indian market

    Fiji Attorney General and Minister for Economy Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum commented that Fiji Airways and Tourism Fiji need to collaborate to better understand the Indian travel market (Fiji Village, 15-Mar-2017). As previously reported by CAPA, Fiji Airways and Jet Airways entered a reciprocal codeshare partnership, covering service between India and Fiji, via Hong Kong and Singapore, on 09-Mar-2017.

    Virgin Australia and Air New Zealand complete commercial biofuel RFI

    Virgin Australia and Air New Zealand announced (16-Mar-2017) the findings of their investigation into commercially viable biofuel sources within Australasia.

    • Following a Mar-2016 request for information (RFI), the airlines received and reviewed more than 30 responses from organisations in Australia, New Zealand, the US, Canada and Europe;
    • Air New Zealand and Virgin Australia will now work with short-listed companies on strengthening the commercial case for investment.
    • Air New Zealand head of sustainability Lisa Daniell said the airlines achieved their key objectives in testing market readiness and gaining a better understanding of potential supply opportunities. The RFI “helped stimulate industry dialogue on the production of sustainable aviation fuel in the Australasian region” and also “greatly expanded our understanding of the technologies and processes involved and the potential timeframes to scale up to the volumes required.” Virgin Australia head of sustainability added that the partners will move to undertake “further detailed exploration in order to reach significant commercial scale”.