Delta Air Lines appointed Clare Wheatley as GM Australia and New Zealand and Virgin Australia JV (Mice BTN, 29-Jun-2017). Ms Wheatley will serve as the lead for the JV, which allows the carriers to collaborate across the commercial spectrum in marketing, loyalty, network, revenue management and sales.
News for The Americas
Chorus Aviation acquires six ATR 72-600s, leased to Flybe and Virgin Australia
Chorus Aviation announced (29-Jun-2017) subsidaries of Chorus Aviation Capital completed the acquisition of six ATR 72-600 aircraft with attached leases from Avation PLC. The acquisition was completed using a combination of equity capital from Chorus and term debt financing consistent with previously indicated leverage ratios for the Chorus Aviation Capital business. The aggregate purchase price for the aircraft is consistent with current market values for similar aircraft. The acquisition agreements were previously announced on 24-Apr-2017. The acquired aircraft are between one and four years old. Three are currently on lease to Flybe and three are currently on lease to Virgin Australia. [more - original PR]
REX announces improved Port Lincoln schedule and increased frequency
Regional Express (Rex) announced (26-Jun-2017) plans to reschedule some services to the middle of the day and increase Port Lincoln-Adelaide frequency from 49 to 51 times weekly, effective 17-Jul-2017, adding approximately 7000 seats p/a to the route. [more - original PR]
Qantas AVRO Accelerator programme participants announced
Qantas announced (23-Jun-2017) the inaugural group of startups and scaleups selected to participate in the AVRO Accelerator programme. Designed in partnership with leading corporate accelerator Slingshot, AVRO gives entrepreneurs the chance to work with Qantas Group business units to develop, incubate and scale their businesses. Six start up and six scale up businesses were selected from nearly 500 applications, and includes a mix of emerging and established businesses across traveltech, adtech, fintech, revenue management and data from Australia and USA. Examples of the organisations include: Aeroster, a tool for pilots, cabin and ground crew to view and share rosters with family, friends and colleagues; Coverhero, an insurance Robo-advisor that helps to understand, buy and manage insurance in one place; and easyshare, an online platform for bill splitting and payments. [more - original PR]
Qantas: New codeshare services with Alaska Airlines and reciprocal lounge agreement
Qantas and Alaska Airlines announced (20-Jun-2017) an enhanced partnership agreement with new codeshare services and reciprocal lounge access for eligible customers. From 26-Jun-2017, Qantas will codeshare on four new Alaska Airlines routes between San Francisco and Orange County, Minneapolis, Albuquerque and Kansas City, alongside service between Los Angeles and San Jose. The new services are in addition to Qantas’ existing codeshare arrangements with Alaska Airlines to 15 destinations within North America. In addition, Qantas Frequent Flyer members with a Gold status or higher and Qantas Club members, will have access to Alaska’s lounges in Los Angeles, Seattle, Anchorage and Portland. Alaska Airlines’ top tier frequent flyers with Alaska Mileage Plan MVP Gold and above, and Alaska Lounge members, will have access to all 13 Qantas operated International Business and 24 Domestic Qantas Club lounges when they travel on a Qantas operated international or domestic flight. [more - original PR]
Virgin Australia: Partnership with Virgin America to cease from 30-Sep-2017
Virgin Australia's Velocity Frequent Flyer programme, via its official website, announced (17-Jun-2017) its partnership with Virgin America will end in Sept-2017, once the takeover by Alaska Airlines is completed. According to the website, Virgin America will dissolve its loyalty programme, Elevate, by 31-Dec-2017 and Velocity Frequent Flyer members will not be able to earn points on Virgin America flights from 30 Sep-2017.
Canadian Transportation Agency approves Air Tahiti Nui and American Airlines codeshare
Canadian Transportation Agency approved (12-Jun-2017) a codeshare agreement between Air Tahiti Nui and American Airlines on the Los Angeles-Vancouver route. The agreement permits Air Tahiti to provide scheduled international service between French Polynesia and Canada by selling transportation in its own name on flights operated by American Airlines between Los Angeles-Vancouver. The Determination was approved for one year from 06-Jul-2017. [more - original PR]
Talofa Airways to launch services to Tonga on 01-Jul-2017
Talofa Airways, via its official Facebook page, confirmed (08-Jun-2017) the launch of four times weekly nonstop services from Tonga to American Samoa and Samoa are scheduled on 01-Jul-2017. The Fagali'i-Tonga service will operate on Mondays and Fridays, while the Pago Pago-Tonga service will operate on Sundays and Thursdays. These additional services have been added to the carrier's network, less than a year after it started operating in Aug-2016.
IASC approves unlimited capacity and frequency for Pacific Air Express to China
Australia's International Air Services Commission (IASC) approved (13-Jun-2017) Pacific Air Express' request for Determination  IASC 111, which allocates unlimited freight capacity and frequency on the China route, valid for 10 years from 13-Jun-2017. [more - original PR]
Fiji visitor numbers increase 17.8% year on year
Fiji Bureau of Statistics released Fiji visitor arrivals numbers for Apr-2017, which reached a record 68,495, an increase of 17.8% year on year (Fiji Sun, 10-Jun-2017). The main increases in visitor numbers for Fiji included: Rest of Asia by 35.6%; South Korea (22.1%); New Zealand (15.9%); China (10.6%) and the US (10.0%). The only decrease was recorded for visitors from the UK, down 1.5%.