Emirates announced (27-Apr-2017) it will provide an all A380 service from Melbourne when it upgrades its third daily frequency to an A380 operation from 25-Mar-2018. The change will add 945 seats per week to the Australian city, representing a 10% increase in capacity and seamless 'A380 to A380' connections via Dubai to the UK and Europe. The additional weekly seats coincides with Qantas’ launch of the Melbourne-Perth-London service, replacing Melbourne-Dubai-London. [more - original PR]
News for Europe/MEA
Emirates announces an all A380 service from Melbourne
CHOICE releases the results of annual International Airline Survey
CHOICE released (27-Apr-2017) the results of its annual International Airline Survey, with LCC Jetstar ranked last out of more than 70 competitors from eight different countries. The international survey collected 11,273 responses from eight countries, and was coordinated by 10 consumer advocacy groups including Euroconsumers, Consumers International and CHOICE. Jetstar responded (28-Apr-2017) to the survey, stating the veracity of the report is questionable. Emirates was ranked in first position with the other major Australian carriers, Qantas and Virgin Australia ranking 36 and 51 respectively. [more - original PR]
Australia signs air services agreement with Saudi Arabia
Australia's Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment Steven Ciobo, via his official Twitter account, announced (27-Apr-2017) the signing of an Australia and Saudi Arabia air services agreement to drive trade, tourism and investment.
NAC purchases, immediately leases back E190 to Virgin Australia
Nordic Aviation Capital (NAC) purchased (26-Apr-2017) and immediately leased back one Embraer 190 (MSN 19000202) to Virgin Australia. The aircraft is the first of six to be delivered under a wider agreement signed earlier in 2017. [more - original PR]
Sydney Airport welcomes second daily Etihad A380 service
Sydney Airport welcomed (26-Apr-2017) Etihad Airways' announcement it will upgauge its second daily Abu Dhabi-Sydney service to the A380 from Oct-2017. Sydney Airport MD and CEO Kerrie Mather stated "We’ve continued to invest in airport improvements to increase capacity in order to support these larger aircraft, and we’re thrilled that Sydney Airport will finish the year as the fourth largest A380 hub in the world". Sydney Airport will be Etihad’s third A380-only operation globally and add 123,000 seats per year and see 14 weekly A380 frequencies on the route. [more - original PR]
Warren Entsch MP: Cairns Airport should try to attract widebody services
Australia Federal Member for Leichhardt Warren Entsch believes Cairns Airport should target to attract widebody services to enhance the region's agricultural industry, commenting: "I’m confident we will fill the belly of those aircraft up" (Cairns Post, 26-Apr-2017). Mr Entsch agreed with the airport's decision to postpone terminal expansion plans to focus on developing its business. The Minister hopes to attract airlines like Emirates which operates a majority fleet of widebodies.
Etihad reduces capacity Abu Dhabi-Melbourne
Etihad Airways plans to reduce Abu Dhabi–Melbourne capacity in winter 2017/18, effective 29-Oct-2017 (Routes Online, 24-Apr-2017). Both Melbourne frequencies will be downgauged including:
- EY460/461: Boeing 777-300ER replaces A380;
- EY462/463: Boeing two class 787-9 replaces 777-300ER.
The carrier operates daily on the route.
Emirates SkyCargo handles 20,000 tonnes of New Zealand export freight in 2016
New Zealand's Minister for Economic Development, Transport, Communications & Associate Finance Simon Bridges, via his official Twitter account, stated (23-Apr-2017) the Emirates SkyCargo facility handled 20,000 tonnes of New Zealand export freight in 2016, which has grown by 18% in the past year alone.
Air New Zealand CEO 'strongly committed' to Air New Zealand amid reports of Etihad approach
Air New Zealand stated CEO Christopher Luxon remains "strongly committed to Air New Zealand", following reports that he had been approached to potentially replace James Hogan as CEO of Etihad Airways Group (The Australian, 25-Apr-2017). Korn Ferry, Etihad's global recruiter, has also reportedly approached some key executives at Qantas Airways. Etihad is also looking to appoint a group CFO to replace James Rigney, who like Mr Hogan is Australian.
New Zealand considering additional security checks on Middle East services
New Zealand's Civil Aviation Authority is considering additional security checks on Middle East services (Reuters, 23-Apr-2017). New Zealand Transport Minister Simon Bridges said evidence is being reviewed to determine what is appropriate with a decision to be completed by the aviation authority, independent of the government.