News for South Pacific

Emirates Airline to deploy A380 equipment on Dubai-Perth service from 01-Dec-2022

16 August, 2022

Emirates Airline announced (15-Aug-2022) plans to deploy 515 seat A380 equipment on daily Dubai-Perth service from 01-Dec-2022. According to OAG, the service is currently operated using 367 seat Boeing 777-300ER equipment. The upgauge is set to increase capacity on the service by 40%. Emirates is the sole scheduled operator on the route. [more - original PR]

Kiribati handles first commercial service since coronavirus related border restrictions

15 August, 2022

Tourism Authority Kiribati, via its official newsletter, stated (05-Aug-2022) Kiribati handled its first commercial service on 04-Aug-2022, two and a half years after Kiribati's border lockdown. Fiji Airways operated a service to Tarawa Bonriki Airport with more than 100 passengers. 

Link Airways announces partnership with Velocity Frequent Flyer

11 August, 2022

Link Airways entered (10-Aug-2022) a partnership with Velocity Frequent Flyer and Virgin Australia's lounge network, effective 22-Aug-2022. Link Airways passengers will earn Velocity Frequent Flyer Points when they travel on an eligible fare class. Link Airways passengers will have the opportunity to earn Velocity Frequent Flyer Points based on how much their fare costs. In recognition of customers travelling on 'Flexible' and 'Freedom' fares, Link Airways also introduced complimentary pre-departure Virgin Australia Lounge access at Brisbane, Canberra and Sydney airports. [more - original PR]

Link Airways to launch Bundaberg-Brisbane service in Nov-2022

11 August, 2022

Link Airways CEO Andrew Major announced (10-Aug-2022) the carrier believes there is "strong demand for additional direct flights" on its proposed Bundaberg-Brisbane service, with it facilitating "further leisure and business links between the two regions". Mr Major said that studies conducted over a number of years had revealed a significant demand for flights between Bundaberg and Brisbane that provided business-friendly day return schedules and increased capacity on the route. The service is scheduled to operate six times weekly from 14-Nov-2022, growing to 17 weekly frequencies in 2023. [more - original PR]

Velocity Frequent Flyer announces hotel redemption partnership update

11 August, 2022

Velocity Frequent Flyer stated (10-Aug-2022) from 11-Aug-2022, Velocity Members will no longer be able to redeem Velocity Points for Hotels via hotels.velocityfrequentflyer.com. All bookings made prior to 11-Aug-2022 can be accessed via the website, where Terms and Conditions may be viewed. [more - original PR]

Air New Zealand reduces schedule, looks to lease additional widebody aircraft

11 August, 2022

Air New Zealand announced (11-Aug-2022) it is taking measures to protect the travel plans of its customers as sickness levels continue to cause disruption. Over the next six months, the carrier will operate a reduced schedule of 1.5% fewer seats than originally planned. Most customers who experience a service change will be transferred to another flight on the same day for domestic travel, and for international travel, on the same day or a day either side of their original booking. Where customers cannot be accommodated within these timeframes, they may change their booking online, opt into credit or request a refund. Customers with changes will start to see them from 11-Aug-2022 and will be automatically transferred to another service. Air New Zealand CEO Greg Foran stated: "We're pulling out all the stops to minimise disruption and provide surety for our customers over the next six months. We have rehired or brought on more than 2000 pilots, airport staff, cabin crew, contact centre and engineers, and we're going as fast as we can with recruitment and training". Mr Foran added: "We're also exploring options to lease a crewed widebody aircraft for the busy summer period… at the moment we're stretched to capacity and making sure our customers are able to travel is our top priority. The lease of an additional crewed aircraft may help us achieve that". Air New Zealand's domestic and international schedule will be operating at 90% of pre-Covid capacity for the next six months. [more - original PR]

Japan Airlines to increase Tokyo Haneda-Sydney frequency to daily from Oct-2022

10 August, 2022

Japan Airlines (JAL) announced (09-Aug-2022) plans to increase Tokyo Haneda-Sydney frequency to daily, effective Oct-2022. JAL's Tokyo Narita-Melbourne service will operate three times weekly. [more - original PR]

Cook Islands Tourism: Cook Islands and French Polynesia to launch Rarotonga-Papeete route

8 August, 2022

Cook Islands Tourism stated (04-Aug-2022) the governments of the Cook Islands and French Polynesia announced the inaugural commercial flight from Rarotonga to Pape'ete will be on 13-Aug-2022, opening an official commercial air link between the two countries. The service will be operated weekly, increasing to twice weekly from 14-Sep-2022. The preparation and development of an air service agreement between the Air Rarotonga and Air Tahiti Nui is underway. It will formalise the conduct of air operations and provide a framework to support air linking. The two airlines signed an MoU in Jun-2022. In addition, the drafting of an air service agreement between the two countries is also underway, following an exchange of letters between the governments of French Polynesia and the Cook Islands in Jun-2022. This service launch is the result of a series of high level intergovernmental engagements and partnerships with the private sector, including Air Rarotonga, Air Tahiti Nui and Air Tahiti. Through this resumption of a commercial air link between Rarotonga and Pape'ete, the shared aspirations of both governments to create a transit route to link the two countries to other tourist markets has been achieved. With Air New Zealand's recent announcements about the closure of direct routes from Sydney and Los Angeles, Cook Islands authorities have asserted that "the top priority for the Cook Islands is the implementation of our economic recovery strategy, post-Covid19, inclusive resumption and expansion of international air links for the Cook Islands. This maiden flight by Air Rarotonga from Rarotonga to Pape'ete is a step towards achieving our goals". [more - original PR]

New Caledonia’s Govt amends travel restrictions

8 August, 2022

New Caledonia's Government, via its official website, stated (Aug-2022) from 01-Aug-2022, all travellers to New Caledonia, Mainland France and Overseas Territories, with the exception of Wallis and Futuna Islands, regardless of either the country or zone of origin, will no longer be required to present a health pass. A compelling reason to travel is no longer required, and travellers no longer have to present a statement of non contamination and are no longer required to undergo testing on arrival. 

Air New Guinea: Papua New Guinea removes coronavirus testing entry requirement

8 August, 2022

Air Niugini, via its official Facebook account, stated (06-Aug-2022) all tests for coronavirus are no longer required for passengers arriving into Papua New Guinea, effective 05-Aug-2022. This is under the PNG Pandemic Controller and Police Commissioner David Manning's latest 'Pandemic Order no 2'. 

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