News Briefs

    Air New Zealand pax up 2% to 1.3m with 82% load factor in Feb-2017

    Air New Zealand passenger numbers up 2% – traffic highlights for Feb-2017:

    • Passenger numbers: 1.3 million, +2.4% year-on-year;
      • Short-haul: 1.1 million, +2.2%;
      • Domestic: 849,000, +4.1%;
      • Tasman/Pacific: 254,000, -3.4%;
      • Long-haul: 165,000, +3.1%;
      • North America/UK: 93,000, -0.9%;
      • Asia/Japan/Singapore: 72,000, +8.8%;
    • Passenger load factor: 81.6%, -2.6ppts;
      • North America/UK: 83.3%, +0.3ppt
      • Domestic: 83.2%, -0.5ppt;
      • Long-haul: 82.8%, -2.1ppts;
      • Asia/Japan/Singapore: 82.0%, -6.1ppts;
      • Short-haul: 80.0%, -3.3ppts;
      • Tasman/Pacific: 78.1%, -4.9ppts.

    Visitor arrivals to New Zealand 2% in Feb-2017, departures up 16%

    Statistics New Zealand reported (21-Mar-2017) international visitor arrivals to New Zealand rose 2% year-on-year in Feb-2017. Details include:

    • Total international visitor arrivals: 380,034, +1.8% year-on-year;
      • Oceania: 136,928, +1.6%;
        • Australia: 123,408, +1.1%;
      • Asia: 80,448, -18.7%;
        • China: 33,728, -36.5%;
        • Hong Kong: 4112, -11.7%;
        • Japan: 11,760, +3.5%;
        • South Korea: 8768, -0.4%;
        • Malaysia: 2992, +10.0%;
        • Singapore: 3664, -8.0%;
      • Europe: 89,712, +12.8%;
        • UK: 40,400, +8.8%;
        • Germany: 17,760, +13.8%;
      • Americas: 65,248 +28.5%;
        • USA: 47,552, +28.3%;
        • Canada: 11,712, +24.1%;
      • Africa and Middle East: 4512, +0.7%;
        • South Africa: 1744, -9.9%;
      • Departures: 147,377, +16.0%.

    Australia’s BITRE reports domestic on-time performance in Feb-2017

    Australia’s Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics (BITRE) reported (21-Mar-2017) the overall domestic on-time performance for participating airlines averaged 84.0% for on-time departures and 82.8% for on-time arrivals for Feb-2017. Details include:

    • On-time departures: 84.0%;
      • Jetstar: 73.6%;
      • Qantas: 89.6%;
      • QantasLink: 85.7%;
      • Regional Express: 83.5%;
      • Tigerair: 67.0%;
      • Virgin Australia:6%;
      • Virgin Australia Regional Airlines: 83.8%;
    • On-time arrivals: 82.8%;
      • Jetstar: 75.8%;
      • Qantas: 87.6%;
      • QantasLink: 84.8%;
      • Regional Express: 79.4%;
      • Tigerair: 67.7%;
      • Virgin Australia: 85.9%;
      • Virgin Australia Regional Airlines: 81.7%;
    • Cancellations: 1.8%;
      • Jetstar: 2.0%;
      • Qantas: 1.0%;
      • QantasLink: 2.6%;
      • Regional Express: 0.6%;
      • Tigerair: 1.7%;
      • Virgin Australia: 2.2%;
      • Virgin Australia Regional Airlines: 2.0%.

    Australia’s BITRE domestic pax up 3% to 5.0m in Jan-2017

    Australia’s Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Region Economics (BITRE) reported (21-Mar-2017) the following traffic highlights for Australian domestic airlines in Jan-2017:

    • Passenger numbers: 5.0 million, +2.8% year-on-year;
    • Top ten domestic city pairs:
      • Melbourne-Sydney: 709,467, +1.6%;
      • Brisbane-Sydney: 372,217, +2.8%;
      • Brisbane-Melbourne: 293,092, +2.7%;
      • Gold Coast-Sydney: 262,496, -2.4%;
      • Adelaide-Melbourne: 197,640, +5.6%;
      • Gold Coast-Melbourne: 195,291, +4.3%;
      • Melbourne-Perth: 192,229, +1.7%;
      • Adelaide-Sydney: 164,884, +1.5%;
      • Hobart-Melbourne: 161,092, +9.0%;
      • Perth-Sydney: 157,653, +0.2%;
    • Load factor: 79.2%, +2.2ppts;
      • Melbourne-Sydney: 83.5%, -0.9ppt;
      • Brisbane-Sydney: 77.8%, -0.1ppt;
      • Brisbane-Melbourne: 78.5%, +1.0ppt;
      • Gold Coast-Sydney: 88.9%, -0.5ppt;
      • Adelaide-Melbourne: 80.6%, +4.6ppts;
      • Gold Coast-Melbourne: 85.0%, +3.0ppts;
      • Melbourne-Perth: 86.9%, -0.9ppt;
      • Adelaide-Sydney: 82.9%, +5.4ppts;
      • Hobart-Melbourne: 80.1%, +0.4ppt;
      • Perth-Sydney: 87.5%, +0.5ppt;
    • RPKs: +2.7%;
    • ASKs: -0.1%;
    • Aircraft movements: 50,942, +0.7%;
    • Seats: 6.5 million, +0.4%.

    Rex: Propeller located from flight ZL768

    Regional Express (Rex) received (21-Mar-2017) an Australian Transportation Safety Bureau (ATSB) advisory that the propeller from Flight ZL768, which sheared off during approach to Sydney Airport, was located at a spot approximately 18km from the airport. The propeller will be used in the ATSB’s inquiry into the incident.

    Regional Express to replace gear boxes and shafts on five Saab 340s as safety precaution

    Regional Express (Rex) confirmed (21-Mar-2017) five Saab 340 aircraft have been withdrawn from service for a period of two to three days to replace their propeller gear boxes and shafts, as a precautionary measure. These are of the same series as the separated propeller from Flight ZL768, which had a propeller shear off during approach to Sydney Airport.

    IATA: UK and US electronics bans to impact about 743 services per week

    IATA responded (21-Mar-2017) to announcements by the UK and US Governments restricting the carriage of electronic items in aircraft cabins on inbound services from certain countries. IATA calculations show the UK ban, affecting services from Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia and Turkey, will impact about 393 scheduled passenger services per week, equivalent to about 2.7% of total international scheduled passenger services to the UK. The US ban, affecting services from Abu Dhabi, Amman, Cairo, Casablanca, Doha, Dubai, Istanbul Ataturk, Jeddah, Kuwait and Riyadh, will impact about 350 scheduled services per week, equivalent to about 2% of total international services to the US. IATA commented: “Safety and security is the top priority of everyone involved in aviation. Airlines comply with government requirements and they can do this most effectively when measures are well coordinated”.

    Wellington Airport ask Supreme Court for ‘certainty and clarity’ on ruling for RESA length case

    Wellington International Airport brought its runway end safety area (RESA) length case to the Supreme Court, requesting for “certainty and clarity over how the regulatory requirements relating to aviation safety are applied” according to airport chief executive Steve Sanderson (Stuff/Radio NZ, 21-Mar-2017). With this advancement, the airport request the Environment Court to suspend its resource consent hearings for the runway extension project until a decision is made by the Supreme Court.

    Air New Zealand partners with Expedia to offer hotel bookings via website

    Air New Zealand expanded (22-Mar-2017) its partnership with Expedia to provide access to hotel booking options via the carrier’s ticketing website. Hotel bookings made via the Air New Zealand website will have access to Expedia inventory and discounts, and bookings will be eligible for loyalty programme points accrual. The new accommodation offering is initially available the carrier’s New Zealand and Australia websites, and will be rolled out across more of its international sites later in 2017. The partners stated the availability of Expedia inventory will simplify the planning and booking process for flights and accommodation.

    Adelaide Airport to trial driverless electric shuttle pods between long term car park and terminal

    Adelaide Airport and South Australia (SA) Government announced (21-Mar-2017) the airport will trial driverless electric shuttle pods to operate between its long term car park and terminal. The airport will operate three units during the trial period, but plans to permanently replace current diesel powered shuttle busses on this route if trial is successful. SA Government contributed AUD1 million (USD767,000) towards the trial, with Adelaide Airport to fund the remaining AUD1.8 million (USD1.3 million). Airport managing director Mark Young commented “Their compact size and agility will enable them to operate on a dedicated path at an increased frequency, potentially operating 24 hours a day, reducing road congestion and significantly lowering carbon emissions”. To support this initiative, the airport will develop new bus shelters that feature solar photo voltaic panels, LED lighting, CCTV and WiFi, while the buses will use a dedicated charging station partially fed by existing onsite 1.17MW solar generation.

    Auckland Airport confirms share price under dividend reinvestment plan

    Auckland Airport confirmed (21-Mar-2017) the price of shares issued under the dividend reinvestment plan is based on the volume weighted average sale price sold on NZX Main Board over five business days from 20-Mar-2017. Payment will be issued on 04-Apr-2017. As previously announced by the airport, shares issued under the dividend reinvestment plan will receive a 2.5% discount.

    Air Marshall Islands to relaunch intl services; plans Majuro-Tarawa

    Air Marshall Islands filed operational schedule for planned international service resumption, with service to Kiribati planned from 06-Apr-2017 (Routes Online, 21-Mar-2017). The carrier plans to launch weekly Majuro-Tarawa service with 34 seat Bombardier Dash8-100 aircraft with reservation expected to open in coming days. The carrier previously served the route through Sep-2007. Nauru Airlines currently is the sole operator on this route, according to OAG.

    Tourism NZ reports strong arrivals from Australia, US for Feb-2017, weaker China market

    Tourism New Zealand acting CEO Brighid Kelly reported (21-Mar-2017) arrivals from Australia, New Zealand’s largest source market, rose 7.6% year-on-year for the year to Feb-2017, while visitor numbers from the US saw “exceptional growth” up 29.6%. Tourism New Zealand is also focusing on emerging markets, with increased visitors from Japan, Germany, India and Indonesia. Combined Jan/Feb-2017 arrivals for the Chinese New Year period declined on a year-on-year basis, however, Tourism New Zealand is watching the China market with interest and forecasts “signs of a stronger March month than last year” said Ms Kelly.

    Tourism New Zealand releases four year strategy

    Tourism New Zealand released (21-Mar-2017) its four year strategy for FY2018 to FY2021, outlining three priorities:

    • Target near and long-term value including shoulder season and regional growth;
    • Strategically manage markets and sectors;
    • Work with industry to improve experiences for visitors and the domestic market.

    Tourism New Zealand acting CEO Brighid Kelly is focusing “on attracting visitors to new regions, encouraging them to arrive during off-peak seasons”, with Tourism New Zealand devoting 100% of its marketing to off-peak promotion. Other focus areas include region-specific campaigns to encourage visitors from emerging markets and targeting “special interest visitors” such as cyclists, golfers and backpackers who visit multiple regions. Ms Kelly also stressed the importance “to keep Kiwis on board” and improve the tourism experience for both visitors and New Zealanders alike

    Tourism New Zealand reports efforts to promote shoulder season travel are working

    Tourism New Zealand acting CEO Brighid Kelly reported (21-Mar-2017) efforts to smooth out demand periods by promoting “shoulder season” travel are helping to “spread value across the year” and generate long term value for the New Zealand tourism industry. Tourism New Zealand has invested heavily in promoting autumn and spring travel, and growing shoulder season arrivals “continues to be a key focus for us to help spread value across the year” said Ms Kelly.

    Singapore Airlines reports growth on Singapore-Canberra-Wellington service

    Singapore Airlines public relations manager Southwest Pacific Karl Schubert reported “encouraging” growth on the airline’s Singapore-Canberra-Wellington service, with “continued growth month-on-month” in the first six months (ABC, 21-Mar-2017). The airline will undertake a review of the first six months of operations with a view to making improvements. Canberra Airport MD Stephen Byron said: “The passenger numbers are tracking above our projections”.

    Business Travel Coalition: US electronics ban ‘unworkable for most business travellers’

    Business Travel Coalition (BTC) commented (21-Mar-2017) on the US Government’s ban on the carriage of electronic items in aircraft cabins on services from 10 airports. BTC said: “The productivity hit on business travellers and their organisations will be significant, if not intolerable” and added: “Such a ban is simply unworkable for most business travellers”. BTC called for the US TSA to approve a process for additional screening of electronic equipment at the 10 airports. BTC commented: “Many TSA observers will no doubt question this ban” and concluded: “This current ban harms business traveller productivity, dampens demand for inbound US travel and competitively advantages US airlines and their alliance partners”.

    Southern Queensland travel and tourism stakeholders float new tourism body

    Brisbane Wellcamp Airport commercial manager Sara Hales said travel and tourism stakeholders from Toowoomba, the Southern Downs and South Burnett regions have held meetings to develop a new tourism body to “focus on working with industry leaders in Toowoomba and surrounds to champion and drive tourism in our region” (Travel and Tour World, 21-Mar-2017). An organisational structure has yet to be finalised, although it is “important to us that we’re made up of industry representatives” said Ms Hales. Regional stakeholders are concerned that tourism numbers in the region have declined.

    Tourism Australia projects China will pass New Zealand as largest source market in next 12 months

    Tourism Australia MD John O’Sullivan projected China will surpass New Zealand as Australia‘s largest tourism source market within the next 12 months, making China the largest market in terms of visitors and expenditure (NNN-Xinhua, 21-Mar-2017). Mr O’Sullivan commented that the expansion of Chinese tourism gives the Australian tourism industry a “real opportunity to tailor their experiences, to tailor their offering to the Chinese consumer” and that marketing strategies should emphasise Australia’s strengths that resonates in the Chinese market.

    Wellington ‘important to the economics’ of Singapore Airlines Singapore-Canberra-Wellington route

    Australian Capital Territory Chief Minister Andrew Barr said the Wellington sector of Singapore AirlinesSingapore-Canberra-Wellington is “important for the economics of the service” as transit passengers from Wellington help with load factors for the service (ABC News, 21-Mar-2017). The carrier launched the route in Sep-2016, operating Boeing 777 equipment.

    New Zealand Tourism Growth Partnership placed on hold

    New Zealand Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment announced (22-Mar-2017) the ‘Tourism Growth Partnership’ has been placed on hold while Tourism Minister Paula Bennett assesses funding priorities for the wider tourism portfolio. MBIE stated that after a “period of strong growth in the sector, it is important to ensure government support is appropriately directed to priority areas, such as infrastructure”. The programme was initiated in 2013. Since its induction, the New Zealand Government has partnered in 33 unique tourism ventures to attract high-value visitors, investing a total of NZD23.5 million (USD16.5 million), which has been matched by NZD67.4 million (USD47.2 million) in private sector contributions.