News Briefs – 5th April 2017

    Air New Zealand releases seat design for new Airbus aircraft

    Air New Zealand released (05-Apr-2017) a new economy seat design to be introduced on the carrier’s A320/A321neo aircraft. Air New Zealand GM customer experience Anita Hawthorne said the design of the new seats, which are “slightly wider”, were in partnership with UK aerospace seating company, Acro Aircraft Seating and New Zealand company Flight Interiors. Air New Zealand has 13 A320neo aircraft on order to replace its current A320 fleet. The carrier will receive a combination of A320neo and A321neo.

    Melbourne Airport: Investing in critical infrastructure to meet growing numbers of visitors

    Melbourne Airport welcomed (04-Apr-2017) Virgin Australia‘s relaunch of nonstop service between Melbourne-Los Angeles on 04-Apr-2017, operating five times weekly – see Route Changes Table for more information. Melbourne Airport chief of aviation Simon Gandy said the new service is expect to deliver AUD2 million (USD1.5 million) into the Victorian economy each week and ensured customers that the airport would be investing in critical infrastructure to welcome rapidly-growing numbers of international visitors.

    Air New Zealand releases all economy design for new Airbus aircraft

    Air New Zealand confirmed an all-economy configuration for new A320neo and A321neo aircraft, which are set to begin delivery in 2018 (ausbt.com.au, 04-Apr-2017). The aircraft are set to be fitted with a 3-3 seat configuration throughout the entire aircraft.

    Fiji Airways and Tourism Fiji enhance partnership aimed at increasing visitor arrivals

    Fiji Airways and Tourism Fiji signed (04-Apr-2017) a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) intended at increasing visitor arrivals to Fiji. The MoU includes strategic marketing activities focused on new Fiji Airways routes to Adelaide, Singapore and San Francisco. Fiji Airways executive GM sales and marketing Andrew Stanbury stated the goal is to grow Fijian tourism in both traditional and new markets. Tourism Fiji CEO Matthew Stoeckel stated the partnership will provide Fiji with “an edge over other destinations” as the organisations will be able to plan, execute and optimise marketing activities in key markets more efficiently and effectively. Implementation of the activities within the MoU has already commenced.

    Canberra Airport seizes 1400 biosecurity items since SIA service launch in Sep-2016

    Canberra Airport‘s Department of Agriculture and Water Resources team seized (04-Apr-2017) 1400 biosecurity risk items since Singapore Airlines launch of international services in Sep-2016. Frequently seized items include footwear and sporting and recreational equipment contaminated with soil or plant material. The department screened 4.1 million passengers across Australia‘s international airports intercepting 270,000 biosecurity risk items in 2015-16.

    Air New Zealand upgrades Sydney-Rarotonga service to Boeing 787-9

    Air New Zealand introduced Boeing 787-9 aircraft to the Sydney-Rarotonga route (traveltalkmag.com.au, 31-Mar-2017). The service operates weekly and is six hours in duration. According to OAG, Air New Zealand is the only operator on the route.

    French court terminates Aeroport De Tahiti’s concession to operate Papeete Faaa Airport

    Aeroport De Tahiti (ADT) lost a court case in France, terminating its 30 year concession to operate Papeete Faaa Airport (La Depeche/Tahiti Infos/Radio New Zealand, 04-Apr-2017). The case was raised by the municipality of Faa’a, stating ADT was awarded the contract in 2010 without undergoing tender. Paris Court of Appeal stated the French Polynesia Government have one year to re-tender the concession. ADT also operates Bora Bora AirportRangiroa Airport and Raiatea Airport.

    World Bank Pacific Possible study: Additional USD1.7bn in tourism by 2040

    World Bank‘s ‘Pacific Possible’ study, released in Apr-2017, showed the tourism industry could bring in an additional USD1.7 billion to 11 Pacific Island countries by 2040 (spto.org, 05-Apr-2017). The study includes 11 Pacific Island Countries (PIC11); Papua New GuineaSolomon IslandsVanuatuFijiTongaSamoaKiribatiPalauMarshall IslandsFederated States of Micronesia and Tuvalu. The report suggested that the PIC11 “aggressively target the Chinese visitor market” which will result in nearly one million Chinese tourists by 2040.

    Tourism NZ: Now a top 5 destination marketer in the world

    Tourism New Zealand stated (04-Apr-2017) it is a top five in the world destination marketer, ahead of other tourism marketers such as the UK and US. The increase is due to the popularity of the #NZMustDo hashtag which received over 100,000 pieces of content shared in three months and a total to date of more than 500,000. Tourism New Zealand stated that “compared to the previous peak season, there was a 110% increase in the number of engagements on the hashtags content and a 50% increase in the volume of posts”.

    Tourism NZ hosts Australia’s top travel show in order to lure visitors to the South Island

    Tourism New Zealand announced (04-Apr-2017) six feature stories will be airing from Jun-2017 on Australian travel show, Getaway, showcasing the South Island. Tourism New Zealand GM Tony Saunders said Australia is New Zealand‘s largest inbound tourism market, accounting for almost half of all visitors, with these stories reinforcing the organisations efforts to encourage travellers to visit more regions and to travel outside the peak season. In the year ending February 2017, 566,656 Australians visited New Zealand, up 7.6% on the previous 12 months.

    Qantas denies data breach when passenger personal information shared via app

    Qantas passengers on a Newman-Perth service had their personal information shared with another passenger via the Qantas check-in app on 30-Mar-2017 (crikey.com.au, 04-Apr-2017). Qantas said the carrier took security matters seriously and denied the incident was a data breach as it “occurred when a group booking was made by one of the major mining companies”. The personal information included names, seat numbers and frequent flyer numbers of eight passengers.

    Council to acquire full ownership of New Plymouth Airport

    New Zealand Government agreed (05-Apr-2017) to allow New Plymouth District Council to acquire full ownership of New Plymouth Airport. Partner investor, the Crown, will transfer its 50% stake to the council. The district Mayor Neil Holdom stated “Local ownership will provide some real opportunities to keep the tills ringing and maximise regional economic growth”. Finalisation of ownership transfer is expected within the “next few months”.

    Council approves budget increase for New Plymouth Airport new terminal development project

    New Plymouth District Council approved the budget for New Plymouth Airport‘s new terminal development project which is estimated between NZD21.7 million (USD15.1 million) and NZD28.7 million (USD20 million) (Passenger Terminal Today/Fuseworks Media, 04/05-Apr-2017). The project will increase the terminal area from 1430sqm to 4092sqm. The council confirmed the airport will self-fund the project using aeronautical and non-aeronautical revenues. As previously reported by CAPA, construction is expected to commence in late 2017 allowing the terminal to operate in early 2019.