News Briefs

    New Zealand government to establish mass transit corridor from Auckland Airport

    New Zealand Transport Minister Simon Bridges announced (24-Mar-2017) a mass transit corridor will be developed with urgency between Auckland Airport and Auckland city to protect the route from future developments. NZ Transport Agency and Auckland Transport will cooperate to establish this transportation plan that will progress in stages from bus services to light rail transit. Mr Bridges stated this transition is likely to happen in the “medium to long term” and will be “based on future demand and capacity”.

    Service cancellations at Townsville Airport due to tropical cyclones

    Townsville Airport, via its official Facebook account, advised (26-Mar-2017) some airlines are cancelling services on 27/28-Mar-2017 due to severe weather caused by tropical cyclones.

    Sunshine Coast Airport and aboriginal representatives prepare site for expansion project

    Sunshine Coast Maroochydore Airport worked (24-Mar-2017) with Kabi Kabi First Nation representatives to conduct preliminary site preparation on the land that will be used for the airport’s expansion project. Project director Ross Ullman stated the representatives were “on hand to ensure that any items of cultural significance were identified and preserved and that fauna were protected during the clearing activity… They were able to safely redirect the small number of animals they encountered into the nearby National Park”.

    Australia and US amend aviation agreement to align airworthiness procedures

    Australia‘s Federal Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Darren Chester welcomed (24-Mar-2017) the signing of amendments to the bilateral aviation safety agreement between Australia and the US, under the Implementation Procedures on Airworthiness. According to Mr Chester, the amendments would be a significant benefit to Australian aviation parts and products designers and manufacturers and Australian companies and individuals who export aircraft and aircraft products to the US. Mr Chester stated the amendments will reduce costs and regulatory impediments for 40 Australian aviation design organisations and more than 80 aviation production organisations.

    NT Tourism pushes back against travel warnings for Alice Springs

    Tourism NT launched (24-Mar-2017) a new advertising campaign, responding to recent media stories about travel warnings for Alice Springs. Tourism to Central Australia will be promoted via an open letter advertisement in major metropolitan newspapers in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane. The campaign is a response to news published following travel advisories issued by the UKCanadaGermany and France about travel to the region.

    Tropical Cyclone Debbie to affect major airline operations in northeast Queensland

    Australia‘s major airlines provided (26/27-Mar-2017) the following updates for northeast Queensland operations, given the expected landfall of Tropical Cyclone Debbie:

    • Jetstar Airways: Services cancelled from Brisbane to Townsville, Mackay and Proserpine, from Sydney to Hamilton Island and  Townsville and from Melbourne to Proserpine and Townsville for 27-Mar-2017. Services from Brisbane to Mackay and Proserpine cancelled for 28-Mar-2017. [more – original PR – Jetstar];
    • Virgin Australia: All flights to/from Hamilton Island, Mackay or Proserpine cancelled and some flights to/from Townsville cancelled for 27-Mar-2017. All flights in or out of Hamilton Island, Mackay, Proserpine and Townsville will not operate on 28-Mar-2017. [more – original PR – Virgin Australia];
    • Tigerair Australia: Two services cancelled from Sydney and Melbourne to the Whitsunday Coast for 27-Mar-2017. [more – original PR – Tigerair Australia].

    Qantas confirms delay to roll-out of WiFi VSOD, due to ‘stability issues’

    Qantas confirmed it deferred plans to start offering inflight WiFi video streaming on demand (VSOD) service, due to “stability issues” that still need to be resolved (The West Australian, 26-Mar-2017). The carrier had planned to offer the service on a single Boeing 737-800 for a six month period, before rolling the service out across its domestic 737 and A330 fleets. The carrier is working its partners, including ViaSat and the National Broadband Network (NBN) and plans to introduce the service from “mid-2017”.

    Jetstar Group sees fees and charges cutting into trans-Tasman flight demand

    Jetstar Group CEO Jayne Hrdlicka reported fees, charges and taxes on trans-Tasman flights are forcing airlines to increases airfares, which is reducing travel between Australiaand New Zealand (NZ Herald, 27-Mar-2017). According to Ms Hrdlicka these additions can account for up to 40% of airfares, which is “having an impact on travel” as it is “making it too expensive for many people to take the trip they want to take”.

    Fiji Airways and Tourism Fiji sign MoU to enhance partnership

    Fiji Airways and Tourism Fiji signed (25-Mar-2017) an MoU to increase their cooperation and provide a platform for further collaboration to drive visitor arrivals to Fiji. The MoU is intended to capitalise on the new Fiji Airways routes to Adelaide, Singapore and San Francisco through strategic marketing activities. Both organisations will offer each other various benefits for closer cooperation and undertake joint marketing and promotional exercises in key markets. This will include data sharing for better forward planning. Implementation of the activities within the MoU has already commenced.