American Express Global Business Travel (GBT) announced (12-May-2017) six of the top 10 cities outside Asia Pacific for business travel to Australia are US cities. North American cities dominate the top 10 rankings beyond Asia Pacific, with New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco the top three US cities. London, Paris, Amsterdam and Dubai comprise the remaining cities in the top 10 outside of Asia Pacific. According to the results, Australia's strong business ties to the US, particularly San Francisco and New York, continue to remain a key travel driver. In addition a weaker Australian dollar has increased tourism to Australia and resulted in greater connectivity, further enabling business travel. [more - original PR]
News for Europe/MEA
Universal Air Travel Plan (UATP) announced (18-May-2017) the addition of Regional Express (Rex) to its airline merchant base. Effective immediately, Rex accepts UATP as a form of payment for corporate travel through all distributions channels. Rex GM of network strategy & sales Warrick Lodge stated "partnering with UATP will help Rex gain a competitive edge in the corporate travel market and give our clients more choice when traveling by allowing them to use their preferred payment method". [more - original PR]
Tahiti International Airport firefighters have been on strike since 15-May-2017, causing major disruptions and cancellations to services (Le Journal De L'Aviation, 17-May-2017). All major carriers including Air Tahiti, Air France and Air New Zealand have had services impacted with several hundred passengers having to prolong their stay in French Polynesia. Negotiations are expected to continue before firefighting services are resumed. Local Tourism has asked hotels and tourist carriers not to transfer their customers to the airport, and to offer an extension of their accommodation.
Tourism Australia launched (15-May-2017) the 2017 Australian Tourism Exchange (ATE17) in Sydney, bringing together over 2500 travel industry delegates from more than 30 countries. The event includes 700 travel wholesalers and retailers from 548 companies within Asia-Pacific, the Americas, Continental Europe and the UK. Tourism Australia is working with host-state partner, Destination New South Wales and supported by airline partners Virgin Australia and Etihad Airways to deliver ATE17. Tourism Australia MD John O’Sullivan stated "the economic impact of ATE is significant and will directly help to bolster Australia’s inbound tourism sector, which is already experiencing record growth in international visitor numbers as they exceed more than eight million in 2016 and AUD39 billion (USD29 billion) in visitor expenditure". [more - original PR] [more - original PR - II]
Air New Zealand and Tourism New Zealand announced (10-May-2017) a marketing partnership worth up to NZD20 million (USD13.6 million) to promote New Zealand in key offshore markets, with a focus on growing international visitation throughout New Zealand and during off-peak periods. The organisations intend to invest up to NZD10 million (USD6.8 million) each over 12 months for joint activity in Australia, China, North and South America, Japan, Singapore, the UK and Europe. Air New Zealand CEO Christopher Luxon stated the partnership aligns with the carrier's commitment to growing tourism. Tourism New Zealand CEO Stephen England-Hall stated the decision to commit to a further year of joint investment reflects the success the two organisations have achieved together. [more - original PR]
CAPA - Centre for Aviation chairman Peter Harbison commented (10-May-2017) on the Asia Pacific aviation market stating it will be where the main traffic growth is for the next decade, at least. Mr Harbison believes the US and Europe will remain hard to grow due to US majors protecting their own traffic flows, and competition in Europe from sixth freedom airlines, stating: "Despite coming off an increasingly larger base, double digit growth is continuing in some Asian markets, as new layers of economically enabled travellers emerge. China is the leader in this due to its massive scale, however there are several other Asian countries that will blossom in coming years".
Qatar Airways celebrated (04-May-2017) the first anniversary of operating nonstop Adelaide-Doha service. Qatar was the first airline to bring an A350 to Australia with its launch into Adelaide. Qatar Airways Australasia senior manager Adam Radwanski said the airline is committed to flying to Adelaide and in Mar-2017 announced that frequency would be increasing to daily from 02-Dec-2017. South Australian Minister for Tourism Leon Bignell advised Qatar services had provided a major boost to the South Australian economy with the daily service expected to bring an annual windfall of AUD41 million (USD30.4 million) to the State. [more - original PR]
Melbourne Tullamarine Airport's SkyBus signed (02-May-2017) a partnership with Mastercard to implement the Masterpass digital payment solution across all checkout processes. The Masterpass payment solution allows customers to store their card details in a digital wallet for mobile and online payments. With the SkyBus partnership, customers purchasing tickets online can select the Masterpass button to finalise their purchase, eliminating the need to fill out online checkout forms. [more - original PR]
Hahn Air Systems announced (03-May-2017) a partnership with Pelican Airlines, making it available for HR-169 ticketing in 10 global distribution systems worldwide, under the H1 code. Travel agents can now book the carrier’s domestic services and issue tickets for Pelican Airlines using their standard reservation and ticketing process. [more - original PR]
Air Niugini named (28-Apr-2017) its latest Fokker 70 aircraft "Kokoda", in a ceremony officiated by Papua New Guinea Prime Minister Peter O’Neill. The name is to commemorate of the 75th anniversary of the World War Two Battle of Kokoda. The aircraft will operate domestic routes, as well as services to Australia and the Pacific. [more - original PR]