Australia Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull indicated there is consideration of plans for a ban on electronic devices on services to/from Australia (SBS, 16-May-2017). The announcement comes after reports that US Homeland Security believes an expansion was likely. Mr Turnbull stated: "We are taking into account all of the information and advice we're receiving internationally and we're working very closely with our partners".
News for The Americas
Air New Zealand plans to introduce a newly refurbished Boeing 777-300ER for five Auckland services during the peak season from 01-Jun-2017 to 05-Sep-2017 (Routes Online, 15-May-2017). The 777-300ER configuration will include 44 business class, 54 premium economy and 244 in economy.
Northrop Grumman Corporation announced (15-May-2017) an investment of AUD50 million (USD37.1 million) to develop an advanced defence electronics maintenance and sustainment centre located in Western Sydney. The centre will be located at Badgerys Creek, where Northrop Grumman will be the anchor tenant for an advanced aerospace and defence industries precinct. Northrop Grumman Australia CEO Ian Irving stated: "This investment in a new centre of excellence is the next step in our partnership with the Australian Defence Force, helping to ensure regional security and mission success". This new centre will support advanced electronics such as communications equipment, electronic warfare equipment and targeting pods. [more - original PR]
Qantas Frequent Flyer is expected to be Qantas Group’s biggest contributor to profit, according to a Bank of America report (Bloomberg, 12-May-2017). The programme's 3Q2017 profit margin of 24% makes it more than three times as profitable as Qantas' international aviation business and almost twice as lucrative as the domestic division.
Air New Zealand plans to introduce a new Boeing 787-9 configuration for Auckland-Houston service during the peak season from Dec-2017 (Routes Online, 11-May-2017). The 787-9 configuration will include 27 business class, 33 premium economy and 215 in economy, rather than the current 787-9 configuration of 18/21/263. The 787-9 will replace the current 777-200ER.
Air New Zealand is reviewing options for nonstop service to Brazil from Auckland (Aeroin, 09-May-2017). Sao Paulo Guarulhos International Airport airline business chief João Pita indicated the carrier is planning to operate to Brazil but still needs to define the appropriate aircraft.
Air New Zealand announced plans to increase capacity to Houston and Buenos Aires during the peak season from Nov-2017 (NZ Herald, 10-May-2017). Increased demand will allow Air New Zealand to upgauge daily Auckland-Houston service to a Boeing 787-9 equipment, as well as increase Auckland-Buenos Aires frequency from three to five times weekly. Air New Zealand CEO Christopher Luxon said premium customers were a focus for the carrier and would be investigating options to reach this market.
CAPA - Centre for Aviation chairman Peter Harbison commented (10-May-2017) on the Asia Pacific aviation market stating it will be where the main traffic growth is for the next decade, at least. Mr Harbison believes the US and Europe will remain hard to grow due to US majors protecting their own traffic flows, and competition in Europe from sixth freedom airlines, stating: "Despite coming off an increasingly larger base, double digit growth is continuing in some Asian markets, as new layers of economically enabled travellers emerge. China is the leader in this due to its massive scale, however there are several other Asian countries that will blossom in coming years".
Auckland Airport acting GM aeronautical commercial Scott Tasker commented (09-May-2017) on the need for increased capacity between North America and New Zealand after market modelling undertaken by the airport showed "both the USA and Canada continue to be underserved by airline capacity by roughly a third of the total market demand potential". Mr Tasker credited increased competition, greater airline capacity, lower airfares and better connectivity for the 25% growth in high value North American tourist arrivals to New Zealand since Jul-2016 but said there is still untapped demand and "potential to continue to grow inbound visitors from North America". [more - original PR]
Fiji Airways plans to upgrade five Boeing 737s to 737 MAX 8 aircraft from 2018 (Fiji Broadcasting Corporation, 04-May-2017). Fiji Airways CEO and MD Andre Viljoen stated by 2019 it will have the youngest aircraft fleet in the world, while confirming "direct flights from Nadi-Adelaide will commence in Jun-2017 and seasonal San Francisco service will become year round".