News for Asia

Tourism NZ: New Zealand’s first online flagship travel store to launch in China

3 August, 2017

Tourism New Zealand signed (03-Aug-2017) an MoU with Chinese online travel agency Ctrip to promote New Zealand to the agencies 300 million members. Tourism New Zealand GM Asia Gregg Wafelbakker stated: "China is New Zealand's second biggest tourism market and our top priority is to continually improve the travel quality and experience for Chinese travellers. Our partnership with Ctrip will see the launch of the first online flagship store for New Zealand-based travel providing Chinese travellers with all the information they're looking for about our country, activity and accommodation recommendations, and reservation capacity". [more - original PR]

Visit Victoria forecasts 900,000 annual Chinese visitors by 2020

1 August, 2017

Australia's Visit Victoria said the Chinese market still has great potential for development in the future, adding it expects annual Chinese visitors to the state to reach 900,000 in 2020 (TTG China, 28-Jul-2017). China is Victoria's largest international source market.

Virgin Australia plans to add two mainland China routes

28 July, 2017

Virgin Australia CEO John Borghetti said the carrier aims to add two routes to mainland China, noting that the carrier has a five year plan of expansion to take advantage of carriers owned by or affiliated to HNA, which has around a 19% stake in Virgin Australia(Bloomberg, 28-Jul-2017). HNA includes Hainan Airlines, Tianjin Airlines and Lucky Air. Mr Borghetti commented: "Connectivity in China is important... If you can tap into two hubs where their airlines feed, that gives you a big advantage". The carrier is also considering the addition of one more destination in Asia within the next five years, while there are no plans to operate to Europe or the Middle East, or extend Virgin Australia's network beyond Los Angeles in the US.

SIA to add Adelaide, Christchurch, Paris, Sapporo and Sydney services for winter 2017/18

28 July, 2017

Singapore Airlines announced (27-Jul-2017) plans to operate seasonal Sapporo service from 02-Dec-2017 to 06-Jan-2018. The airline will also increase Paris frequency from seven to 10 times weekly and increase Adelaide, Christchurch and Sydney frequency to cater for higher demand during the northern winter season between 29-Oct-2017 and 24-Mar-2018. [more - original PR]

Sydney Airport welcomes Qantas plans for Sydney-Osaka service

27 July, 2017

Sydney Kingsford Smith Airport welcomed (27-Jul-2017) Qantas Airways' plans to launch seasonal three times weekly Sydney-Osaka service with A330 aircraft from 14-Dec-2017 to 24-Mar-2018. Sydney Airport stated the route "will help meet the growing demand for services to Japan during this popular time of year". Sydney Airport MD and CEO Kerrie Mather added: "Japan is our sixth largest inbound market with an incredible 32% growth last year alone... Osaka is our largest unserved market, so this is great news for our customers and for the local visitor economy". 67% of travellers between Sydney and Japan travel for holiday purposes. [more - original PR]

Qantas announces seasonal service to Osaka as Japan travel booms

27 July, 2017

Qantas announced (27-Jul-2017) plans to launch three times weekly Sydney-Osaka seasonal service between 14-Dec-2017 and 24-Mar-2018 with A330 equipment in response to demand for travel between Australia and Japan. [more - original PR]

JEJU air, Cebu Pacific launch interline agreement

25 July, 2017

JEJU air and Cebu Pacific, both members of the Value Alliance, launched an interline agreement on 21-Jul-2017 (Joongang Daily, 25-Jul-2017). This marks JEJU air's first joint service with a Value Alliance member carrier. Tickets for the interline agreement went on sale in Jun-2017 with the inaugural service under the agreement operating to Sydney via Manila. 

Batik Air to commence Bali-Sydney service in Dec-2017

25 July, 2017

Batik Air president director Achmad Luthfie said the airline plans to commence Denpasar-Sydney service with A330 equipment in Dec-2017 (Harian Nasional, 24/25-Jul-2017). The airline also aims to commence Denpasar-Melbourne service. Batik Air will receive one of three A330s to be delivered to Lion Air Group in 2017, with the other two to be allocated to Malindo Air.

Cebu Pacific confirms plans to increase Manila-Sydney frequency to daily

24 July, 2017

Cebu Pacific Air confirmed (24-Jul-2017) plans to increase Manila-Sydney frequency to daily, effective 01-Dec-2017, "on the back of robust demand for frequency". The additional frequencies will increase cargo capacity for exports from Australia to the Philippines and onward to China, Dubai, Japan, Korea and Southeast Asia. The airline is the only LCC on the route, operating up to five times weekly and holding the largest market share for passengers and cargo. VP for marketing and distribution Candice Iyog said: "Cebu Pacific continues to remain bullish over prospects in the Australia market". [more - original PR]

Air New Zealand to increase capacity to Bali by 90% in 2018

23 July, 2017

Air New Zealand announced (24-Jul-2017) plans to increase seasonal Auckland-Bali frequency from twice or three times weekly to five times weekly in 2018. The season will also be increased by an additional two months in 2018, operating from the beginning of Apr-2018 to Oct-2018. The service will utilise Boeing 787-9 aircraft, subject to regulatory approval. Air New Zealand chief revenue officer Cam Wallace stated the increase and extension to the seasonal service represented year-on-year growth of more than 90%. [more - original PR]

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