News Briefs

    Wellington Airport CEO: Court of Appeal’s RESA decision may affect other airports

    Wellington International Airport chief executive Steve Sanderson stated based on the Court of Appeal’s decision regarding its runway end safety area (RESA) ruling, “other airports around the country…may be forced to extend or re-designate their runways” to comply with this ruling (Stuff, 23-Mar-2017). Mr Sanderson added: “The result is that some airports could lose the ability to serve jet traffic, operate with significant payload restrictions, or lose all services thus jeopardising their viability”. Queenstown Airport also operates with a 90m RESA.

    Air India Australasia manager appointed GM Marketing in Delhi

    Air India announced the appointment of Air India regional manager Australasia Madhu Mathen to GM Marketing at Air India’s corporate headquarters in Delhi with the responsibility of driving global sales ( 23-Mar-2017). Air India launched a triangular service between Delhi, Sydney and Melbourne in 2013, now operating four times weekly Delhi-Sydney and three times weekly Delhi-Melbourne service with Boeing 787-8 aircraft. Sujoy Kishore is now the new manager for Air India in Sydney.

    Brisbane Airport Corporation welcomes new Chinese tourism arrivals strategy for Queensland

    Brisbane Airport Corporation (BAC) GM aviation and retail management Andrew Brodie welcomed (23-Mar-2017) the announcement of the Queensland State Government’s ‘Welcoming China to Southern Queensland and Beyond’ Chinese tourism strategy, which will focus on Chinese passengers arriving into Brisbane, then dispersing to other parts of the state including the Whitsundays and the Gold Coast.

    Brisbane West Wellcamp Airport plans to expand freight ops with more regional airport agreements

    Brisbane West Wellcamp Airport chairman John Wagner plans to establish more agreements with “a few” regional airports to act as an international export hub for regional businesses (Weekly Times Now, 24-Mar-2017). The airport formed a similar agreement with Deniliquin Airport in Mar-2016.

    Gisborne Airport upgrading car park payment system to SKIDATA

    Gisborne Airport announced it is in process of upgrading its car park payment system to SKIDATA, due to launch on 03-Apr-2017 (Gisborne Herald, 23-Mar-2017). The new system accepts both old and new 2016 issued notes, coins, credit cards, EFTPOS cards and features a “Tap and Go” option.

    Queensland Government outlines new strategy for attracting Chinese passengers

    Queensland State Government Tourism Minister Kate Jones announced (20-Mar-2017) a new aviation project to encourage Chinese tourism arrivals under the Advance Queensland: Connecting with Asia Strategy. The proposal – known as ‘Welcoming China to Southern Queensland and Beyond’ – focuses on passengers arriving into Brisbane, then dispersing to other parts of the state including the Whitsundays and the Gold Coast. The AUD33.5 million (USD25.6 million) strategy will provide matching financing for industry contributions on a dollar-for-dollar basis enabling the pursuit of opportunities and implement initiatives to boost the growth of visitors from across Asia.

    Air New Zealand RASK and yields fall in first two months of 2017

    Air New Zealand provided (21-Mar-2017) the following operational update for Feb-2017:

    Short haul:

    • Domestic capacity outstripped demand, due to increased services on Auckland–Queenstown and main trunk routes, as well as growth on regional routes from upgauging to larger aircraft. Domestic load factor decreased 0.5ppts to 83.2%;
    • Tasman/Pacific demand decreased 2.2% while capacity increased by 4.1%, due to the upgauging to larger aircraft on several Pacific Island routes. Load factor on Tasman/Pacific decreased 4.9ppts to 78.1%, as Tasman routes continue to be impacted by additional market capacity compared to 2015;
    • For the financial year to date, short haul passenger revenue per ASK decreased 6.6%;


    Long haul:

    • Passenger capacity outstripped demand for Feb-2017, sending load factor down 2.1ppts;
    • Americas/UK: Demand decreased by 0.8%, and capacity decreased 1.2% due to reduced frequency on Auckland-Los Angeles route, partially offset by increased capacity to Houston and Buenos Aires. Load factor rose 0.3ppts to 83.3%;
    • Asia/Japan/Singapore: Demand increased 9.1%, capacity rose 17.2%, reflecting additional frequency to Shanghai over the Chinese New Year holiday and the new Auckland-Osaka seasonal service. Load factor decreased 6.1ppts to 80.1%;


    For the financial year to date:

    • Short haul passenger RASK decreased 6.6%;
    • Long haul passenger RASK decreased 14.6%;
    • Group-wide RASK decreased 9.0%;
    • Group-wide yields decreased 7.3%.

    Tigerair Australia to launch Brisbane-Perth service

    Tigerair Australia confirmed (23-Mar-2017) plans to launch four times weekly Brisbane-Perth service, effective 01-Jun-2017 – see Route Changes Table for more information. Tigerair also confirmed plans to increase frequency to six times weekly in peak periods such as school holidays.

    Tigerair Australia launches Brisbane-Whitsunday

    Tigerair Australia commenced (23-Mar-2017) four times weekly Brisbane-Whitsunday Coast service on 23-Mar-2017 – see Route Changes Table for more information. The carrier is basing a third A320 aircraft at Brisbane International Airport to support the new service. The carrier will operate a total of almost 40,000 seats annually each way, on the new route. Queensland accounts for more than 50% of all Tigerair Australia capacity.

    Tourism Tropical North Queensland CEO to resign in Jun-2017

    Tourism Tropical North Queensland (TTNQ) CEO Alex de Waal announced (01-Mar-2017) plans to resign from TTNQ effective 01-Jun-2017. Mr de Waal is departing TTNQ “for a new career challenge with a national company”. TTNQ will immediately commence recruitment for a new CEO.

    AAPA concerned about travel restrictions, although Asia Pacific outlook generally positive

    Association of Asia Pacific Airlines (AAPA) DG Andrew Herdman said the association is “concerned” about barriers to travel that have been put up as a “political weapon” and “arbitrary restrictions based on nationality”, although the outlook is generally positive for 2017 (AIN Online, 23-Mar-2017). Mr Herdman reported traffic for the 2017 Chinese Lunar New Year travel period rose 7.7% year-on-year, to 26.8 million.

    Air New Zealand close to finishing work on new Melbourne Airport lounge

    Air New Zealand confirmed it is finishing work on its new lounge at Melbourne Tullamarine Airport, and expects the facility to open in May-2017 (Ausbt, 24-Mar-2017). The carrier has already updated its lounges at Sydney, Brisbane and Auckland airports.

    Virgin Australia: Australian airport profits are ‘out of kilter’

    Virgin Australia head of domestic and international airline operations John Thomas said the return on assets for privatised Australian airports has “got out of kilter” and profit margins at Australian airports have increased over the past decade (Fairfax Media, 23-Mar-2017).