Scoot country head India Bharath Mahadevan stated the airline "can operate direct flights from Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai and Kolkata to destinations like Copenhagen, Vienna, Cairo and Manchester", since it possesses the necessary fifth freedom rights to operate direct air services between destinations in foreign countries (Times of India, 03-Sep-2017). Mr Mahadevan reported Scoot would likely charge around INR13,000 (USD203.21) for one way and around INR26,000 (USD406.54) for round trip services between India and Europe. India based LCCs Indigo and SpiceJet are also reportedly exploring plans to launch low cost long haul India-Europe services, possibly in 2018, with London Gatwick Airport likely to be first destination for both carriers.
News for Asia
Destination NSW reported (31-Aug-2017) there were 925,200 inbound seats to Sydney from China for the year ended Mar-2017, an increase of 28.1% year-on-year. [more - original PR]
Philippine Airlines president and COO Jaime Bautista confirmed the airline will introduce A321neo aircraft in 2018, "including a special longer-range version" (Manila Bulletin/Manila Standard/Business World Online, 03/04-Sep-2017). The aircraft will enable the carrier to commence nonstop Brisbane, Delhi, Mumbai, Perth and Sapporo services and increase frequency to other Asia Pacific destinations, including Melbourne.
New South Wales (NSW) State Government Minister for Tourism and Major Events Adam Marshall announced (30-Aug-2017) a NSW State Government partnership with Beijing Capital Airlines, following a meeting with company executives in Beijing. Destination NSW, the state's tourism agency, will work with Capital Airlines and travel trade partners to develop and promote itineraries that encourage Chinese visitors to spend time in both Sydney and rural and regional NSW. Key opportunities discussed with Capital Airlines included broader travel packaging into rural and regional NSW, the 'Vivid Sydney Festival' and an inaugural partnership campaign with the travel trade in Qingdao. Capital Airlines is scheduled to launch Qingdao-Sydney service from 29-Oct-2017. [more - original PR]
Tourism Queensland estimated (01-Sep-2017) Hainan Airlines' new Shenzhen-Cairns service, due to be launched in Dec-2017, will attract an additional 30,000 Chinese visitors over a two year period. Queensland State Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the new service was secured through the Queensland Government's AUD10 million (USD8 million) Attracting Aviation Investment Fund and would allow Cairns to capitalise on Queensland's most valuable and fastest growing international market. Cairns Airport CEO Norris Carter said the new direct route from Shenzhen "will provide more opportunities for visitors from China and beyond to holiday in Cairns and Tropical North Queensland." According to Mr Carter, most international visitors to Cairns arrive and depart on domestic flights. [more - original PR]
Melbourne Airport chief of aviation Simon Gandy reported (31-Aug-2017) China is "currently our largest inbound tourism market for Victoria" with 570,000 visitors p/a. [more - original PR]
Thai Airways will continue to operate Bangkok Suvarnabhumi-Auckland service five times weekly with Boeing 777-300ER equipment from 29-Oct-2017 to 14-Nov-2017, cancelling plans to increase frequency to daily and replace 777-300ER with 777-200ER equipment (Airline Route, 31-Aug-2017). The airline will operate the service daily with 787-9 equipment from 16-Nov-2017. The service is the only nonstop connection between Thailand and New Zealand, according to OAG.
Auckland Airport reported (30-Aug-2017) strong growth in international passenger traffic on Asia and Middle East routes, up 26.8% year-on-year for Jul-2017. This was driven by new routes to China, Hong Kong and Qatar as well as Emirates up-gauging to A380 for its direct Dubai service. Meanwhile traffic on Americas routes decreased 3.3% due to seasonal capacity reduction by United Airlines' on San Francisco service. [more - original PR]
Tourism Australia signed (28-Aug-2017) a new MoU with UnionPay International, allowing them to collaborate on business development and joint promotional activity. The intent is to improve the Australian travelling environment and experience by facilitating the highly recognised international payment. This is expected to stimulate Chinese visitor spending in Australia and boost tourism revenue. [more - original PR]
Jetstar announced (23-Aug-2017) plans to launch twice weekly Melbourne-Zhengzhou service from Dec-2017, operating with Boeing 787 aircraft. The carrier expects to handle an additional 35,000 Chinese tourists to Australia p/a with the new service. The Melbourne-Zhengzhou service is delivered in partnership with local travel specialist, China Comfort Travel, which will sell services and holiday packages directly to Chinese travellers. Jetstar Group CEO Jayne Hrdlicka said the growing middle class in China presented "enormous" opportunities for Australian tourism. She noted that China already accounts for the largest source of tourism in Victoria, with China expected to overtake New Zealand and Australia's largest tourism market by 2020. Ms Hrdlicka added: "We know that Chinese travellers generally visit 2 or 3 cities when they visit Australia so we expect this will boost tourism to other parts of Australia". Jetstar has been operating to China for the past eight years, now operating 68 times weekly services across Asia to 20 destination in China. [more - original PR - Jetstar] ][more - original PR - Melbourne Airpor]