News for The Americas

Virgin Australia updates reciprocal frequent flyer programme with Air New Zealand

10 July, 2017

Virgin Australia, via its official website, announced (10-Jul-2017) changes to its frequent flyer programme with Air New Zealand. From 01-Nov-2017, points can only be earned for travel on Air New Zealand operated domestic flights within New Zealand and Air New Zealand operated Trans Tasman flights. Other changes to the programme include Velocity points and status credits not being earned on Air New Zealand Trans Pacific flights to and from the Americas.

Flight Centre Travel Group acquires Olympus Tours and Bespoke Hospitality Management Asia

7 July, 2017

Flight Centre Travel Group secured (07-Jul-2017) two separate deals to acquire Olympus Tours, a Mexico based destination management company and Bespoke Hospitality Management Asia, a Thailand based regional operator of design and lifestyle leisure hotels. Flight Centre Travel Group MD Graham Turner stated: "Expanding our in-destination network is a key global strategy and we are starting to develop strong foundations in this sector through our tour operators, destination management companies and hotel management businesses". [more - original PR]

Flight Centre Travel Group updates FY2017 guidance after solid second half recovery

6 July, 2017

Flight Centre Travel Group (FLT) updated (05-Jul-2017) its FY2017 guidance after a solid second half recovery. FLT expects to achieve an underlying profit before tax of AUD325-330 million (USD247-251 million) for the year ending 30-Jun-2017, after achieving record full year sales and solid second half profit growth. FY2017 total transaction value is expected to top AUD20 billion (USD15 billion), in line with the company's expectations. FLT MD Graham Turner stated the company's second half profit growth had been underpinned by strong results in North America, with the US business now on track for a record profit and the Canada business set to record significant year-on-year improvement. [more - original PR]

JetGo announces services from Illawarra Regional Airport to Melbourne and Brisbane

6 July, 2017

JetGo Australia announced (04-Jul-2017) plans to launch service from Illawarra Regional Airport (IRA) in Oct-2017, subject to final regulatory approval. The services will include nine times weekly Illawarra-Melbourne (Essendon) and six times weekly Illawarra-Brisbane services utilising 44 seat Embraer ERJ-140LR regional jet aircraft. Shellharbour City Mayor Marianne Saliba stated: "This announcement represents a significant milestone for our regional community. Our partnership with JetGo will directly link our region to the second and third most populous cities in Australia, providing a significant boost to our regional economy and tourism sector by offering greater connectivity for families, businesses and other services". JetGo MD Paul Bredereck stated the organisation chose IRA because it was the only major Australian population centre that did not have its own scheduled airline services. [more - original PR]

NSW announced as the number one destination for Aboriginal tourism

5 July, 2017

Destination NSW announced (05-Jul-2017) NSW overtook Queensland as the most popular State in Australia for international travellers to experience Aboriginal tourism, with the sector growing by 62% in visitor participation in the year ending Mar-2017. NSW's Minister for Tourism and Major Events Adam Marshall stated the NSW Aboriginal tourism sector attracted visitors from around the world, including travellers from China, the US and UK. More than 332,000 international travellers to NSW took part in an Aboriginal cultural experience in the year ending Mar-2017. These visitors spent an estimated AUD1.3 billion (USD1 billion) during their visit. [more - original PR]

Australia launches Free Trade Agreement negotiations with the Pacific Alliance

2 July, 2017

Australia's Government launched (01-Jul-2017) Free Trade Agreement (FTA) negotiations between Australia and the Pacific Alliance - the Latin American trading bloc made up of Mexico, Chile, Peru and Colombia. Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment Steven Ciobo stated: "An FTA with the Pacific Alliance will create new export opportunities for Australian farmers, miners, manufacturers, educators, service providers and investors in some of Latin America’s major economies". Australia is one of the first countries to launch FTA negotiations with the Pacific Alliance. [more - original PR]

Delta Air Lines appoints new GM to manage Virgin Australia JV

30 June, 2017

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.

Chorus Aviation acquires six ATR 72-600s, leased to Flybe and Virgin Australia

29 June, 2017

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

26 June, 2017

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

25 June, 2017

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]

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