News for Asia

Iberia notes 'very good' LF on Madrid-Narita service during first year, increasing frequency in 2018

20 October, 2017

Iberia marked the first year of operation between Madrid and Tokyo Narita on 18-Oct-2017 (Aviation Wire, 18-Oct-2017). Sales director for Europe, Africa, Middle East and Asia Celia Muñoz said load factor on the service is "very good", adding frequency will increase from three to five times weekly from 20-Oct-2018 and it aims to increase to daily in the future. Ms Muñoz noted Madrid-Tokyo Narita passengers are made up of 55% Japanese passengers, 30% Spanish and the remaining 15% comprising other nationalities such as British, German, French, Italian and others. Japanese visitors to Spain increased 3.2% year-on-year to 299,000 in the first eight months of 2017.

Cobalt Air CEO outlines five year plan

18 October, 2017

Cobalt Air CEO Andrew Madar, speaking on CAPA TV, stated (Oct-2017) "what we foresee in about five years is a handful of long haul routes to China, India, South Africa and US and connecting them to shorter routes within Europe and Middle East". [more - CAPA TV]

Air France-KLM to receive 15 new Boeing 787s by the end of winter 2017/18

18 October, 2017

Air France-KLM reported (16-Oct-2017) it expects to take delivery of 15 new Boeing 787s by the end of the winter 2017/18 season. KLM is slated to receive 10 787s to serve 18 destinations, including Dubai, Mauritius, San Francisco, New York, Washington, Minneapolis, Calgary, Rio de Janeiro, Bogota, Cartagena, San José, Osaka, Colombo, Mumbai, Beijing, Hangzhou, Xiamen, Chengdu and Shanghai. Air France is slated to receive five 787s to serve seven destinations, including Cairo, Toronto, Boston, Panama City, Sao Paulo and Abidjan. [more - original PR]

South Australia notes Chinese visitor potential; cruise season to feature 67 cruise ship visits

17 October, 2017

South Australian Tourism Commission Rodney Harrex, via its official YouTube account, stated (16-Oct-2017) it was a "good" 3Q2017 for the state, while noting that the state welcomed 6.6 million domestic and international visitors in the 12 months to 30-Jun-2017. Chinese expenditure and visitor growth has been "phenomenal", with Mr Harrex noting that China is now the second largest visitor market for the state. He welcomed the launch of the vwai app for the Chinese market, which has made it easier for South Australian businesses to engage and interact with this core market. Over 850 South Australian businesses are part of the pilot phase. Mr Harrex also noted that the cruise season starts in Oct-2017, with 67 cruise ship visits scheduled with capacity of just over 159,000 passengers and crew. [more - YouTube video]

Cairns Airport exceeds 1m pax in two months for the first time

17 October, 2017

Cairns Airport reported (Oct-2017) passenger numbers exceeded one million over a two month period for the first time in Jul/Aug-2017. Domestic traffic increased 2.4% year-on-year in Aug-2017, with combined passenger numbers on Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney services increasing 2.5% and offsetting a decline on jet operated services to other interstate cities. Passenger numbers on Queensland regional services operated with turboprop aircraft increased 3.3%. Cairns-Bali passenger numbers increased 45%, exceeding the 30% capacity growth resulting from the addition of a fourth weekly frequency by Jetstar. The service is popular with European visitors to Cairns. [more - original PR]

Visitor arrivals to Australia up 11% in Aug-2017

17 October, 2017

Tourism Australia reported (17-Oct-2017) visitor arrivals to Australia for Aug-2017. Details include:

  • Visitor arrivals: 702,800, +11.2% year-on-year;
    • China: 116,300, +23.2%;
    • New Zealand: 115,800, +3.3%;
    • US: 49,900, -0.8%;
    • UK: 37,500, -4.6%;
    • Singapore: 36,600, +19.2%. [more - original PR]

Tourism Fiji seeks destination representation company for Japan

17 October, 2017

Tourism Fiji stated (17-Oct-2017) it is seeking a destination representation company to lead marketing and promotional activities in Japan. The representation company will be responsible for developing the marketing strategy for Japan and will manage the implementation of marketing and promotional activities within the market. A core focus of the engagement will be day-to-day engagement with trade and industry partners. Support is also required from the representation company with marketing, PR, event management and administration. Bids are due by 27-Oct-2018 [more - original PR]

OAG releases OTP star ratings for Oct-2017

16 October, 2017

OAG released (16-Oct-2017) OTP star ratings for Oct-2017. Highlights include:

  • Safair topped OAG's list of 5 star airlines having achieved the highest OTP of any qualifying airline with 94.9% of services on time over the 12 months to Sep-2017;
  • Iberia was the largest airline to feature among those with 5 star ratings, achieving average OTP of 87.3% for over 200,000 services. SAS, KLM and Vueling were the largest airlines in Europe to achieve 4 star ratings;
  • In North America, Hawaiian Airlines achieved a 5 star rating while Delta Air Lines achieved a 4 star rating;
  • Jetstar Asia was the only Asia Pacific carrier to achieve a 5 star rating, while three airlines in Latin America - Copa, LATAM Airlines Ecuador and Sky Airline - achieved 5 star ratings;
  • Nine Japanese airports were awarded 5 star ratings with Tokushima Airport and Kochi Airport achieving the highest average OTP of any airport;
  • In Latin America there were 12 5 star airports, including Tocumen International Airport and Brasilia International Airport. [more - original PR]

Canberra Airport to commence trial of contactless border control systems

15 October, 2017

Australia's Department of Immigration and Border Protection confirmed plans to commence a trial of contactless border control systems at Canberra Airport in the coming weeks (Straits Times, 15-Oct-2017). The system uses biometric facial recognition to verify passengers' identities, enabling them to clear the border without needing to present travel documents. Contactless functionality will be added to all arrivals SmartGates from 2018. Singapore Airlines' Singapore-Canberra-Wellington service is currently the only international service at Canberra Airport.

ForwardKeys: Relaxed visa regimes often spur large scale travel influxes from China

13 October, 2017

ForwardKeys CEO Olivier Jager, speaking at the CAPA-ACTE Global Summit, stated (13-Oct-2017) the Chinese traveller is "very resilient", however the US travel ban's associated uncertainty impacted travel from China to the US. Mr Jager stated a lack of clarity around the ban could have made Chinese travellers suspect more difficult visa conditions, or feel "unwelcome". Mr Jager stated travellers from China "travel everywhere they're allowed to", while confirming large scale growth in certain destinations after visa regimes were relaxed. Moldova, Serbia and Tunisia saw Chinese traveller increase of 253%, 183% and 240%, respectively, following the relaxation of visa regimes.

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