News for Asia

Egencia: US business travellers more confident AI will lead to better travel experience

20 September, 2017

Egencia released (19-Sep-2017) the fourth edition of its 'Business Travel and Technology Survey'. The survey found "surprising differences" in the perceptions and confidence levels of global business travelers on the impact of emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and virtual reality on corporate travel, with foreign business travelers much more pessimistic about the potential of emerging technologies to improve the business travel experience, compared to confidence levels of US business travellers:

  • 55% of US business travellers believe AI advancements can improve their travel experience. US business travellers also recognise the need for balance between technology and human interaction;
  • Business travellers in regions have lower confidence levels in how AI advancements can improve their business travel experiences in the future. Sweden and Norway were the least likely to believe AI advancements will improve their travel experiences, at 37%, followed by 41% in the UK and Germany, 42% in Australia, 44% in Canada and France, and 47% in Singapore;
  • The US is the most demanding for mobile accessibility across devices, with 76% wanting greater cross-device integration;
  • 68% of business travellers in Singapore and Sweden want to more efficiently manage their travel across devices, compared to 65% in Canada and Norway, 64% in France and the UK, 62% in Germany. [more - original PR]

Air China to launch four times weekly Beijing-Brisbane service from 11-Dec-2017

18 September, 2017

Air China announced (17-Sep-2017) plans to launch Beijing-Brisbane service from 11-Dec-2017, operating four times weekly with A330-200 equipment, with 198 economy and 28 business class seats. The new service will add nearly 100,000 seats between Beijing and Brisbane p/a. Air China is the 32nd airline to operate to Brisbane. The carrier offers access to 18 points in Europe, nine points in North America via its Beijing hub, along with an extensive network of destinations in China and the rest of Asia. [more - original PR]

Queensland Government: New Air China service deal finalised during recent China trade mission

17 September, 2017

Queensland State Government Tourism and Major Events Minister Kate Jones announced (17-Sep-2017) the agreement with Air China to launch Beijing-Brisbane service was finalised on her recent trade mission to Beijing. The Queensland State Government estimates the new service will bring nearly 170,000 passengers to Queensland over the next four years. Direct service to Brisbane allows Chinese tourists to select the city as their entry point to Australia while also providing easy access to other destinations in Queensland. China is Queensland's largest international market, generating close to a fifth of Queensland's total tourism expenditure, with visitors spending approximately AUD1 billion (USD800 million) over the past 12 months. [more - original PR]

Qantas announces year round Sydney-Osaka route, following strong response

14 September, 2017

Qantas announced (14-Sep-2017) it will extend seasonal Sydney-Osaka service to a year-round operation. The new route is due to commence in Dec-2017. Qantas stated the decision follows a strong response to the airline's seasonal announcement in Jul-2017 and the ongoing support provided by Kansai International Airport and Destination NSW. Qantas International CEO Gareth Evans said the feedback from Qantas customers, especially frequent flyers, had exceeded expectations. Qantas will operated two class A330 equipment and will be a monopoly operator on the route. Qantas already operates Sydney-Tokyo Haneda, Brisbane-Tokyo Narita and Melbourne-Tokyo Narita services, while its Jetstar LCC unit operates Cairns-Osaka, Cairns-Tokyo Narita and Gold Coast-Tokyo Narita services. [more - original PR]

NZ Supreme Court rules against New Zealand Basing Ltd requirement to retire at age of 55

14 September, 2017

New Zealand's Supreme Court ruled (13-Sep-2017) to allow an appeal by two Cathay Pacific pilots based in Auckland. The pilots, David Brown and Glen Sycamore, appealed to Cathay Pacific wholly owned subsidiary New Zealand Basing Ltd (NZBL), regarding a requirement for the pilots to retire at the age of 55. The Court said NZBL sought to exercise the requirement, when Mr Brown and Mr Sycamore challenged the requirement's lawfulness under New Zealand's Employment Relations Act 2000. The Court stated If the right not to be discriminated on grounds of age is applicable, the pilots cannot be required to retire until they reach the age of 65. [more - original PR]

Jetstar sees growth in Cairns services, no plans to reduce routes

13 September, 2017

Jetstar stated it does not have plans to reduce service to Cairns following its decision to suspend Townsville-Denpasar service on 21-Mar-2018, due to the route's weakening profitability (The Cairns Post, 13-Sep-2017). Jetstar noted international operations out of Cairns have increased more than 19% year-on-year, with another weekly Cairns-Bali frequency added to meet customer demand.

Fiji Airways business class pax, Tabua Club members now able to access Club AUTUS lounge in HK

12 September, 2017

Fiji Airways stated (12-Sep-2017) business class passengers and eligible Tabua Club members will be able to access the new Club AUTUS lounge in Hong Kong International Airport, as an alliance partner of Hong Kong Airlines. [more - original PR]

Visitor arrivals to Australia up 4% in Jul-2017

12 September, 2017

Tourism Australia reported (12-Sep-2017) visitor arrivals to Australia for Jul-2017. Details include:

  • Visitor arrivals: 746,100, +4.2% year-on-year;
    • New Zealand: 131,100, +0.6%;
    • UK: 40,300, -5.6%;
    • US: 59,900, +7.9%;
    • Singapore: 28,700, -3.4%;
    • China: 149,400, +24.7%. [more - original PR]

Jetstar confirms intention to suspend Townsville-Denpasar service

12 September, 2017

Jetstar Australia and New Zealand CEO Dean Salter confirmed the carrier intends to suspend Townsville-Denpasar service from 21-Mar-2018, as the carrier "cannot see a path to making it sustainable" after having operated the route for two years and has worked with the airport to keep the service operating (The Townsville Bulletin, 11-Sep-2017). Tourism and Events Queensland CEO Leanne Coddington will reportedly meet with new Jetstar CEO Gareth Evans to discuss opportunities for new flights to Townsville.

Tourism Australia and Hanatour sign partnership

11 September, 2017

Tourism Australia and South Korea's largest travel company Hanatour signed (07-Sep-2017) their largest partnership for the year naming Australia as the 'Destination of the Month' for Sep-2017. In its fourth consecutive year, the partnership has continued to grow with the latest iteration also targeting the Busan market for the first time. The Aquatic and Coastal themed content will utilise a diverse range of online and offline platforms to drive conversion into the peak periods for Koreans travelling to Australia.

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