Fiji Attorney General and Minister for Economy Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum said boosting tourism for the country requires partnering with its neighbours to attract more development (Fiji Times Online, 09-May-2017). Mr Sayed-Khaiyum stated: "There is a very big case for regionalism in tourism and we need to make a concerted effort in this area". Partnerships with organisations such as Fiji Airways, to develop the Singapore route, plus a new codesharing arrangement with India's Jet Airways opened up new markets for visitors who would not only visit Fiji but other island nations.
News for Asia
Air China filed (05-May-2017) an application with CAAC to launch three times weekly Beijing-Brisbane service with A330-200 aircraft from Oct-2017. [more - original PR - Chinese]
Jetstar Group announced (05-May-2017) Jetstar Japan is well placed to capture growth and could ultimately be larger than Jetstar Australia. Jetstar Group CEO Jayne Hrdlicka stated reinvested profits could allow Jetstar Japan to grow and maintain market leadership, with 28 aircraft by FY2019. Jetstar Japan is the largest domestic LCC in Japan with more than 50% market share supported by 10 years of brand presence. [more - original PR]
Tourism New Zealand, Singapore Airlines and Air New Zealand announced a new JV for the India market to operate between May-2017 and Apr-2018 (Travel Biz Monitor, 04-May-2017). India travellers to New Zealand increased 14.9% year-on-year for Mar-2017. The campaign, which is designed to further increase the number of Indian visitors to New Zealand through special promotional fares, supports the Air New Zealand–Singapore Airlines partnership. Air New Zealand regional GM Scott Carr said India is one of Air New Zealand’s fastest growing and emerging markets and there is great potential for this campaign to reach more Indian travellers. Singapore Airlines GM India David Lim confirmed both carriers would provide a vast network to all major destinations in New Zealand and India.
Air New Zealand opened reservations for codeshare service on Christchurch-Hong Kong route, operated by Cathay Pacific from 01-Dec-2017 (Airline Route, 04-May-2017). Cathay Pacific is the only operator on the route, operating seasonally, according to OAG.
Qantas Airways Group passenger numbers up 1% – traffic highlights for 3QFY2017:
- Passenger numbers: 13.0 million, +0.8% year-on-year;
- Qantas Domestic: 5.2 million, -1.9%;
- Qantas International: 1.8 million, +6.8%;
- Jetstar Domestic: 3.4 million, +1.4%;
- Jetstar International: 1.6 million, +3.5%;
- Jetstar Asia: 1.1 million, -1.5%;
- Passenger load factor: 80.1%, +0.8ppt;
- Qantas Domestic: 75.0%, +1.7ppts;
- Qantas International: 80.6%, -0.6ppt;
- Jetstar Domestic: 83.5%, +1.1ppts;
- Jetstar International: 83.3%, +2.6ppts;
- Jetstar Asia: 81.8%, +0.8ppt. [more - original PR]
Tourism New Zealand secured (02-May-2017) the cover story of the Chinese edition of National Geographic Traveler for May-2017. The 16 page feature story called Green Pass New Zealand showcases wildlife of the lower South Island, as well as images of Dunedin, Southland coasts and Rakiura/Stewart Island. Tourism New Zealand GM Asia David Craig stated the feature story showed there is significant interest in New Zealand beyond the well known tourist areas and "having New Zealand on the cover of such a prestigious and well read publication is really important. The readers are the perfect target market – high-value free independent travellers who will get out into the lesser-visited areas like Southland and Dunedin". [more - original PR]
Qantas Airways announced (28-Apr-2017) it is the first Australian airline to sign a MoU with UnionPay International, China’s largest payment network provider, to expand the acceptance of UnionPay cards for payment across all Qantas customer touchpoints. The signing of the MoU was witnessed by Qantas International and Freight CEO Gareth Evans and UnionPay International CEO Cai Jianbo. Mr Evans said that the wider acceptance of UnionPay cards will improve the customer payment experience globally. [more - original PR]
Tourism Australia, via its weekly newsletter, stated (19-Apr-2017) Australia's Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment Steven Ciobo MP is leading a business delegation to Japan during the week of 17-Apr-2017 to pursue new commercial opportunities, promote 'brand Australia' and forge new business partnerships. During his visit Minister Ciobo met with tour operator JTB, Japan Airlines and All Nippon Airways and hosted an event for Tourism Australia's partners. Japan is Australia’s sixth largest market for visitor arrivals with 417,000 for the year ending Feb-2017, up 19% year-on-year.
Australia's carriers responded to the removal of flight attendants and pilots from the list of professions under changes to the 457 visa policy (News.com.au, 18-Apr-2017). Qantas spokesman Stephen Moynihan stated the carrier has only a handful of staff working on 457 visas out of 30,000 and it would have little affect on their business. Virgin Australia also advised it would not be affected by the changes, while Tigerair was still considering the impact the announcement would have.