Qantas Airways Group announced (25-Aug-2017) it is investigating nonstop services from the east coast of Australia to London and New York by 2022. The carrier stated a "challenge has been given to Airbus and Boeing to give their next generation aircraft currently under development - the A350ULR for Airbus and Boeing's 777X - the range to make these nonstop flights possible with a full passenger load". Qantas stated a nonstop service would cut total journey time by up to four hours for Sydney-London and almost three hours for Melbourne-New York. Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce commented that the carrier's planned Perth-London service, due to commence in Mar-2017 "is a huge leap forward" and the airline believes that "advances in technology in the next few years will make Sydney to London direct a possibility and Qantas is well placed to be the airline to do it". Mr Joyce cautioned that "any aircraft purchase would have to meet strict financial thresholds", but believes direct services "would be revolutionary for air travel in Australia." [more - original PR]
News for Europe/MEA
Air New Zealand announced (25-Aug-2017) it will launch its first ever global brand campaign 'A Better Way to Fly to New Zealand', in the US. The carrier will then roll out the campaign progressively across the UK, Europe, Asia and South America in the coming months. The campaign follows the success of a similar marketing approach launched in Australia in 2016. [more - original PR]
Alliance Aviation Services signed (24-Aug-2017) an contract with Minerals and Metals Group (MMG) Dugald River covering the provision of air charter services between Townsville and Cloncurry. The initial contract is for two years, with an option for a further two years at MMG discretion.Alliance Aviation Services previously provided previous services for MMG into the Century Mine between 2009 and Apr-2016. [more - original PR]
Nigeria's Ministry of Foreign Affairs Deputy Director Godfrey Odudigbo reportedly said the Government is in negotiations with Ethiopian Airlines on a contract to manage Arik Air, which may be signed in Nov-2017 (AINonline, 23-Aug-2017). Ethiopian Airlines would also provide technical assistance under the proposed agreement. Ethiopian Airlines CEO Tewolde GebreMariam said: "The negotiation is progressing very well". Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria took over Arik Air in Feb-2017.
Deutsche Lufthansa AG plans to remove Germanwings' '4U' IATA code from 25-Mar-2018, as Germanwings further consolidates into Eurowings operations (aeroTELEGRAPH, 23-Aug-2017). The change will enable Germanwings services to operate under the 'EW' code for the summer 2018 season.
Switzerland's Canton of Zurich and the Swiss Federal Office of Civil Aviation (FOCA) approved (23-Aug-2017) adoption of a new infrastructure plan for Zurich Airport, known as 'SIL'. The plans include runway extension provisions, in order to increase the "safety margin" of operations and improve punctuality. Adaptation of the plan had been delayed due to environmental concerns. FOCA waived the originally planned new flight path over the city of Zurich, at the request of the Canton. Adoption of the plan will also require less night flights. [more - original PR - German] [more - original PR - German - II]
Bolzano Dolomiti Airport issued (Aug-2017) a non-binding tender for "economic operators" interested in purchasing a shareholding in the company, for either a business lease and/or management of the airport. As previously reported by CAPA, Italy's South Tyrol jurisdiction is seeking an investor for the airport, and is willing to close the airport if no investor is found. Expressions of interest are invited until 29-Sep-2017. [more - original PR - Italian]
Thomas Cook Group announced (22-Aug-2017) plans to relaunch its holiday programme and outbound UK services to Tunisia, effective 13-Feb-2018. Thomas Cook Group head of customer welfare Carol MacKenzie said: "We're starting in just a few resorts, mainly near to Hammamet, and only eight hotels... We benefit from having had a holiday programme and resort team in place for our German, Belgian and French customers, whose governments did not recommend against travel to Tunisia". Prior to the suspension of services, Thomas Cook Airlines handled more than 200,000 UK passengers to Tunisia in 2014. [more - original PR]
Air New Zealand CEO Christopher Luxon said there is a "set of options from both Airbus and Boeing that we would be interested in" for the carrier's next long haul aircraft purchase (Reuters, 23-Aug-2017). Air New Zealand has announced it intends to invest NZD1.5 billion (USD1.1 billion) into its fleet over the next four years, including acquisition of existing orders for A320neo, Boeing 787-9s and ATR 72 aircraft. The carrier is reportedly assessing the A350 and 777X to replace its fleet of eight 777-200s from 2021 onwards.
flyadeal received (23-Aug-2017) the first of eight A320 aircraft from Dubai Aerospace Enterprise (DAE) in Hamburg. All eight aircraft are from DAE's direct order with Airbus and are powered by CFM 56-5B4/3 engines. The aircraft is configured with 186 Recaro economy class seats. The remaining aircraft will be delivered in 2017 and 2018. The airline is a new customer for DAE. flyadeal will commence operations on 23-Sep-2017. [more - original PR] [more - original PR - II] [more - original PR - III] [more - original PR - IV]