News for Europe/MEA

Qantas upgauges Sydney-Auckland following Emirates' withdrawal

31 May, 2017

Qantas announced (31-May-2017) it will introduce twice daily upgauged A330 Sydney-Auckland service from 13-Jul-2017, when Emirates withdraw from the route. Bookings can be made on both Qantas and Emirates websites. Qantas International CEO Gareth Evans commented: "One of the advantages of the Qantas-Emirates partnership is the flexibility we have with our combined fleets". [more - original PR]

International pax to/from Australia up 2% to 3.1m in Mar-2017, capacity (seats) up 6% to 4.3m

31 May, 2017

Australia's Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics (BITRE) reported (31-May-2017) the following international traffic highlights to/from Australia for Mar-2017:

  • Passengers: 3.1 million, +1.7% year-on-year;
  • Available seats: 4.3 million, +6.2%;
  • Flights: 16,155, +3.3%;
  • Cargo: 96,220 tonnes, +9.6%;
  • Aircraft movements: 16,155, +3.3%;
  • Top 10 international carriers:
    • Share of passengers carried:
      • Qantas: 16.4%, +0.8ppt;
      • Jetstar: 9.3%,  -0.4ppt;
      • Emirates: 8.3%, -1.0ppt;
      • Singapore Airlines: 8.2%, +0.2ppt;
      • Air New Zealand: 7.4%, -0.3ppt;
      • Virgin Australia: 5.9%, -0.8ppt;
      • Cathay Pacific Airways: 4.9%, -0.4ppt;
      • AirAsia X: 4.1%, +0.5ppt;
      • Etihad Airways: 3.1%, +0.2ppt;
      • China Southern Airlines: 2.9%, -0.1ppt;
    • Share of cargo carried:
      • Singapore Airlines: 16.3%, -1.3ppts;
      • Qantas: 12.8%, -1.0ppt;
      • Emirates: 10.0%, -2.8ppts;
      • Cathay Pacific Airways: 7.2%, -0.3ppt;
      • Air New Zealand: 5.5%, +0.4ppt;
      • Malaysia Airlines: 3.5%, +1.0ppt;
      • Etihad Airways: 3.2%, +0.2ppt;
      • Thai Airways: 3.2%, -0.3ppt;
      • Qatar Aiways: 3.0%, +0.5ppt;
      • China Southern Airlines: 3.0%, -0.2ppt. [more - original PR]

BITRE also reported LCCs AirAsia X, Cebu Pacific Air, Indonesia AirAsia, Jetstar, Jetstar Asia and Scoot accounted for 17.2% of total international passenger traffic to/from Australia in Mar-2017. LCC share in Mar-2016 was 17.8%.

Fiji Airways and the Fiji National University establish the Fiji Aviation Academy

30 May, 2017

Fiji Airways and the Fiji National University announced plans to establish the Fiji Aviation Academy leading to commercial pilot licences and certification (Fiji Times, 30-May-2017). Fiji National University vice chancellor Professor Nigel Healey said the two organisations would establish a jointly owned subsidiary which would manage the training school and provide flight simulator training utilising A330 and Boeing 737 aircraft. In the first instances the course will be for Fiji Airways' employees and then later made available for students for commercial licensing.

Airbus Group Australia Pacific to rename Safe Air as Airbus New Zealand Limited

29 May, 2017

Airbus Group Australia Pacific acting VP for fixed wing Martin Ball confirmed (29-May-2017) New Zealand and Australia based MRO organisation Safe Air will be renamed as Airbus New Zealand Limited from Jul-2017. The company's contracts and agreements and its operations in Blenheim, Ohakea, Auckland and Melbourne (Australia) will remain unaffected by the change. Safe Air was acquired by Airbus Group Australia Pacific from Air New Zealand in Jun-2015. [more - original PR]

SriLankan Airlines to establish presence in Australia

29 May, 2017

SriLankan Airlines announced (29-May-2017) daily nonstop service to Melbourne, commencing 29-Oct-2017. The carrier will operate A330-200 aircraft on the route and will facilitate passengers from the Middle East and South Asia seeking onward connectivity via Colombo to/from Australia. SriLankan Airlines’ CEO Captain Suren Ratwatte stated: "Our presence in Australia cements the long-standing relationship between both countries, who recently celebrated the 70th anniversary of diplomatic relations. The addition of Melbourne signifies our strategy of optimising the carrier’s network in line with our restructuring". The service is scheduled to depart Colombo at 23:50 and return from Melbourne at 15:25. [more - original PR]

International pax to/from Australia up 8% to 37.6m in 2016, capacity (seats) up 10% to 49.3m

26 May, 2017

Australia’s Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics (BITRE) reports (26-May-2017) the following international traffic highlights to/from Australia for 2016:

  • Passengers: 37.6 million, +7.9% year-on-year;
  • Available seats: 49.3 million, +9.9%;
  • Flights: 190,376, +8.0%;
  • Freight: 1.0 million tonnes, +3.9%;
  • Mail: 36,631 tonnes, -2.0%;
  • Aircraft movements: 193,607, +7.7%;
  • Share of operated seats by region:
    • Southeast Asia: 36.0%;
    • New Zealand: 19.9%;
    • Northeast Asia: 17.7%;
    • Middle East: 11.3%;
    • North America: 8.6%;
    • Oceania: 4.7%;
    • Africa: 1.0%;
    • South America: 0.4%;
    • South Asia: 0.3%;
  • Top 10 countries by passenger movements:
    • New Zealand;
    • Singapore;
    • United Arab Emirates;
    • USA;
    • Indonesia;
    • Hong Kong;
    • China;
    • Malaysia;
    • Thailand;
    • Japan;
  • Top 10 international carriers:
  • Share of passengers carried:
    • Qantas:15.6%;
    • Jetstar: 9.5%;
    • Emirates: 8.8%;
    • Singapore Airlines: 8.1%;
    • Air New Zealand: 6.8%;
    • Virgin Australia: 6.3%;
    • Cathay Pacific: 4.9%;
    • AirAsia X: 3.9%;
    • Etihad Airways: 3.1%;
    • China Southern Airlines: 2.9%;
    • Others: 30.2%;
  • LCCs share: 18.2%, +1.8ppts. [more - original PR]

Qantas anticipates new London-Perth nonstop service will deliver USD52.5m to WA economy

24 May, 2017

Qantas anticipates the new London-Perth nonstop service will deliver AUD70 million (USD52.5 million) a year boost to the Western Australia (WA) economy (The West Australian, 24-May-2017). Qantas WA regional manager Julian Barry stated: "The whole idea of the new service is to generate tourism and, rather than have people flying into Perth and flying to other States, actually staying in Western Australia and exploring the State". Qantas also announced that the success of the nonstop service will determine if additional regional services are added. Mr Barry continued: "If we have more people travelling into Perth, we will obviously look at the opportunity to create more services regionally".

ATSB to investigate Qantas engine shutdown on service from Los Angeles

24 May, 2017

Australian Transport Safety Bureau, via its official Twitter account, announced (23-May-2017) it is investigating an inflight engine shutdown involving a Qantas A380, VH-OQG, near Los Angeles on 20-May-2017. According to the ATSB the No 4 engine thrust reduced to about 45% before being shut down by the flight crew and the aircraft returned to Los Angeles Airport. As part of the investigation, the ATSB will interview the crew, obtain an engineering report and gather additional information, with a final report being released within several months.

CAPA executive chairman Peter Harbison: Qantas is a very different airline from a decade ago

22 May, 2017

CAPA - Centre for Aviation executive chairman Peter Harbison commented (19-May-2017) on Qantas' share price improvements highlighting that Qantas is a very different airline from a decade ago. Mr Harbison stated: "It has muscled Virgin Australia into submission domestically and solved many of its European international problems through the Emirates partnership. Its cost base is much lower, its financial fundamentals are much stronger and it has a coherent structure and strategy. Qantas' strength is founded on its domestic market power, so as long as the economy remains reasonably sound, it should continue to be solidly profitable'. 

Air Tahiti resumes service across French Polynesia following firefighter strike

21 May, 2017

Air Tahiti announced it was resuming services across French Polynesia as a protocol had been signed to end part of the dispute between the civil aviation authorities and publicly employed firefighters (Radio NZ, 22-May-2017). Although services have resumed, it is expected to take at least 24 hours for normal services to be re-established, as hundreds of travellers have been stranded by the five day strike.

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