News Briefs

    Qantas launched (16-Dec-2016) Melbourne-Tokyo Narita service. The new daily service is being launched in response to strong demand, with travel between Japan and Australia increasing at around 20% p/a. The service will be operated with two-class A330-300 equipment. The route takes the number of seats Qantas offers on Japanese routes each week to 6000, following the launch of Sydney-Tokyo Haneda and Brisbane-Tokyo Narita routes in 2015.


    Tourism Australia reported (12-Dec-2016) a strong surge in arrivals from North Asian countries for the 12 months to Oct-2016:

    • China: +20% year-on-year;
    • Japan: +21%;

    South Korea: +28%.


    Tourism Australia reported (12-Dec-2016) 694,300 international visitor arrivals to Australia in Oct-2016, up 11% year-on-year. Arrivals for the 12 months to Oct-2016 rose 11.5%, to 8.14 million. Growth in visitor numbers to Australia was driven by the leisure segment (+14.7%), in particular by holiday arrivals (+25.1%) across the 12 month period.


    Melbourne Tullamarine Airport welcomed (07-Dec-2016) LATAM Airlines Chile’s announcement of plans to launch three times weekly Santiago-Melbourne service operating with 313 seat Boeing 787-9 aircraft, effective 05-Oct-2017. Melbourne Airport CEO Lyell Strambi said the route is possible due to the extended range newer aircraft are having, stating “Melbourne is the ideal Australian City to be serviced by a 787, and the global trend towards lighter, longer-range aircraft will open up a whole new world of opportunity for both Victorian and global travellers. LATAM Airlines are to be congratulated for seizing this opportunity, and showing the world the way to Melbourne.” Mr Strambi added that advances in aircraft development opened “up new point-to-point markets for airlines no longer constrained by the need to fly via major hubs with larger aircraft.”


    Wellington Airport faced opposition from Air New Zealand and New Zealand‘s Board of Airline Representatives over the extension of Wellington Airport runway in New Zealand’s Environment Court the week of 12-Dec-2016. The airport said the proposed 355 metre expansion with an expected investment of NZD350 million (USD244 million) will boost regional economy. Supporters for the runway include tourism operators, education providers, property developers, business groups, and the Creative Capital Arts Trust. Another hearing on the runway extension is scheduled for Jun-2017.


    Cook Islands Ministry of Finance & Economic Management reported (18-Dec-2016) visitor arrivals to Cook Islands reached 11,129 in Nov-2016. Details include:

    • Visitor arrivals: 11,129, +17.9% year-on-year;
      • New Zealand: 7000, +20.6%;
      • Australia: 2039, +15.9%;
      • US: 441, -27.9%;
      • Canada: 215, -1.8%.


    Star Entertainment Group stated (16-Dec-2016) its application to construct a new 200m hotel and apartment tower at Jupiters Gold Coast, as part of an ongoing transformation of the property, has been approved by the Queensland government. Construction of the new 700 room complex at Broadbeach is expected to commence in 2017. Together with construction of an adjacent 17 storey luxury hotel complex, the two projects are part of a combined investment of AUD850 million at the Broadbeach site which will increase overall accommodation to almost 1400 rooms, generate more than 1000 construction jobs and increase Jupiters’ workforce to around 2300 employees once operational.

    These are seven of over 30 briefs in relation to the Australia Pacific region published by CAPA Centre for Aviation in their Asia Pacific Airline Daily.