News for South Pacific

Fiji Airways commences Nadi-Vancouver service

28 November, 2022

Fiji Airways commenced (25-Nov-2022) twice weekly Nadi-Vancouver service on 25-Nov-2022, using A330-200 aircraft equipped with 273 seats. Vancouver International Airport stated the year round service is expected to generate CAD12.2 million (USD9.08 million) in tourism dollars and an additional 86 jobs at the airport and British Columbia's hotel, restaurants and tourist attractions. According to OAG, Fiji Airways is the sole scheduled operator of the route. [more - original PR]

Malaysia Airlines to suspend Kuala Lumpur-Brisbane service from 27-Mar-2023

24 November, 2022

Malaysia Airlines announced (24-Nov-2022) plans to suspend Kuala Lumpur-Brisbane service from 27-Mar-2023 as part of a "route rationalisation exercise". The carrier added customers travelling to Brisbane can leverage on its codeshare and oneworld partner, Qantas Airways, and connect from Sydney and Melbourne to Brisbane after the suspension of the nonstop flight. Operations on nonstop flights between Kuala Lumpur to Adelaide, Sydney, Perth and Melbourne will continue without change, providing up to 43 nonstop services per week between Australia and Malaysia. Group CEO Izham Ismail stated: "After a thorough business review, we have made a difficult decision to suspend our operations into Brisbane to ensure we operate and utilise our fleet at an optimum level, as well as maximising revenue on every route we fly to". Mr Izham added forward booking to the other Australian cities is "very encouraging", with strong demand up to and beyond 1Q2023, with forward bookings "significantly" ahead of the same period in 2019. To date, the carrier has deployed capacities at 76% year-to-date, and anticipates ending 2022 with 82% capacity of pre-pandemic level networkwide. Excluding the suspension of Brisbane, Malaysia Airlines' Australia network will be at 98% capacity of pre-pandemic levels by Mar-2023. [more - original PR]

Qantas Airways: COVID-19 changed interactions with customers

23 November, 2022

Qantas Airways executive manager global sales & distribution Igor Kwiatkowski, speaking at the CTC Australasia Corporate Travel Summit & Sustainability Awards, stated (22-Nov-2022) "Predicting what will happen in the future is extremely hard", adding during the COVID-19 pandemic the carrier had to "hunker down and change the way we interact with our customers". Mr Kwiatkowski said: "There's a lot of empathy that came through during COVID as we were all dealing with the same thing, which rarely happens". He noted mental health became a "real topic of conversation", leading to a "genuine engagement in people's wellbeing". 

Singapore Airlines to redeploy A380 on Melbourne service from 16-May-2023

23 November, 2022

Singapore Airlines announced (22-Nov-2022) plans to redeploy A380 aircraft on one of four daily Singapore-Melbourne frequencies from 16-May-2023 to 28-Oct-2023. The A380 will replace Boeing 777-300ER aircraft. Singapore Airlines regional VP South West Pacific Louis Arul stated the A380's return will see the carrier exceed pre-COVID seat capacity to Melbourne, operating at 110% compared to Jan-2020 operations. [more - original PR]

Singapore Airlines to deploy A380 on second Sydney frequency from 17-May-2023

23 November, 2022

Singapore Airlines announced (22-Nov-2022) plans to deploy A380 equipment on a second of four daily Singapore-Sydney frequencies from 17-May-2023, replacing A350-900 aircraft. The return of the second A380 frequency will take SIA to 98% of its pre-COVID seat capacity and will see Suites or first class offered on three of the four daily frequencies between Singapore and Sydney. [more - original PR]

Serko SVP APAC: 'There will be a new breed of technology companies'

22 November, 2022

Serko SVP APAC Market Murray Warner, speaking at the CTC Australasia Corporate Travel Summit & Sustainability Awards, stated (22-Nov-2022) "Ultimately you need to have open connectivity between systems". Mr Warner said: "Tech providers are not always necessarily open and wanting to invest money into owning all the workflow", noting: "I think there will be a new breed of technology companies". He added tech companies that are "open" will be successful. 

CAPA: Majority of businesses expect to increase travel budgets in 2023

22 November, 2022

CAPA - Centre for Aviation head of research Simon Elsegood, speaking at the CTC Australasia Corporate Travel Summit & Sustainability Awards, stated (22-Nov-2022) a "strong majority" of businesses expect to increase their travel budgets in 2023, adding most firms expect their travel budgets in 2023 will be smaller than in 2019. Mr Elsegood noted spend per trip is expected to grow and, globally, business travel spending is still not forecast to fully recover until 2026, with the outlook "highly uncertain". 

Lamb Weston: A lot of industry caretakers or participants have exited

22 November, 2022

Lamb Weston senior director of procurement for capitals & indirects Bhart Sarin, speaking at the CTC Australasia Corporate Travel Summit & Sustainability Awards, stated (22-Nov-2022) "A lot of people that were caretakers or participants in this industry have exited, yet there is a new generation about to enter". Mr Weston added: "There is a magic to this business", noting the industry will "be back to even or greater than we ever were before".  

Lamb Weston: Travel approvals will move away from the cost aspect

22 November, 2022

Lamb Weston senior director of procurement for capitals & indirects Bhart Sarin, speaking at the CTC Australasia Corporate Travel Summit & Sustainability Awards, stated (22-Nov-2022) duty of care and risk management "is going to be the foundation of all program redesigns, globalisations and truncations". He noted travel approvals will "move away" from the cost aspect, adding: "The pennywise and pound-foolish approach will find its way out of the system. You're going to go back to more of a demand driven model". 

Marriott International seeing reliance on domestic travel

22 November, 2022

Marriott International regional director global sales Australia & New Zealand Karryn Cutcheon, speaking at the CTC Australasia Corporate Travel Summit & Sustainability Awards, stated (22-Nov-2022) air capacity issues are causing "a lot of reliance" on domestic travel, adding: "I see that going into next year". Ms Cutcheon said there is "a lot of pent up domestic demand moving around", noting this is affecting hotel availability. She added customer expectations have "completely changed", and that they are expecting "more high standards than ever because they've sat at home for two years". 

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