News for South Pacific

Qantas restores full pre-pandemic trans Tasman network

25 May, 2022

Qantas resumed (23-May-2022) Sydney-Queenstown, Sydney-Wellington, Melbourne-Christchurch, Melbourne-Wellington and Brisbane-Christchurch services. Qantas stated the inaugural services are "full", reflecting strong demand from Australians to travel to New Zealand. The carrier will also resume Melbourne-Queenstown and Brisbane-Queenstown services on 18-Jun-2022. The airline will operate up to 20 weekly frequencies from Australia to Queenstown and capacity is expected to reach 110% of pre-COVID levels by Jul-2022. The additional services restore Qantas' full pre-coronavirus trans Tasman network. Services to New Zealand are operated with a combination of Boeing 737-800 and A330 equipment. Qantas reported strong demand in both directions across the Tasman, with New Zealanders connecting across Qantas' domestic and international network, including to and from London, Singapore and Bali. [more - original PR]

Western Australia Government promotes working holidays

25 May, 2022

Western Australia's (WA) Government announced (24-May-2022) it is encouraging working holiday makers from overseas and interstate to 'stay and play' in WA with a series of promotional campaigns. Tourism WA's AUD850,000 (USD603,600) initiative is supported by the WA Government's AUD195 million (USD138.5 million) Reconnect WA package and aims to boost the seasonal workforce at key tourism destinations and regional locations. Promotional campaigns in the UK, Europe, Japan and South Korea will feature flight offers, incentives and working holiday packages. The domestic 'Paid Escape' campaign will target interstate working holiday makers. Eligible working holiday makers could also make an extra AUD2100 (USD1491) to work and travel in select regional locations through the WA Government's Regional Agriculture, Tourism and Hospitality Workers Travel and Accommodation Support Scheme. This includes an accommodation allowance of AUD40 (USD28) per night up to a maximum of six weeks for international working holiday makers or 12 weeks for Australians, along with a one-off allowance up to a maximum of AUD500 (USD355) to assist with travel costs. [more - original PR]

Perth Airport: Qantas Airways resumes Perth-London service

24 May, 2022

Perth Airport, via its official Facebook account, announced (23-May-2022) Qantas Airways resumed Perth-London service on 23-May-2022, following a two year hiatus. The service is scheduled to operate four times weekly. 

Virgin Australia and United Airlines launch partnership

24 May, 2022

Virgin Australia and United Airlines launched (24-May-2022) their partnership on 24-May-2022. The partnership for Virgin Australia will triple the airline's reach into the Americas. Virgin Australia recently announced a new partnership with Qatar Airways and will resume international services to Bali on 15-Jun-2022 and Queenstown in Dec-2022. The airline already operates daily to Fiji. United Airlines will expand its Australian services from 02-Jun-2022, with the return of the Melbourne-San Francisco route. [more - original PR]

Regional Express (Rex) to suspend Sydney-Canberra service

24 May, 2022

Regional Express (Rex) announced (24-May-2022) plans to suspend Sydney-Canberra service from 30-May-2022. The carrier first launched the service in Apr-2021, as part of an expansion of the airline's regional and domestic network. Rex deputy chairman John Sharp stated: "Unfortunately with the entrance of an additional operator, and the very high charges imposed by Sydney Airport from 01-Jun-2022, mean that the route is no longer viable… The resources will be diverted to other routes which will provide a better return". [more - original PR]

Flight Centre Business Travel GM: 'We’ve won a lot of business in recent times'

24 May, 2022

Flight Centre Business Travel GM Cameron Harris said: "We've won a lot of business in recent times simply because corporate businesses understand that it's now easier to have an expert take care of everything for you", adding that the demand from "SMEs to return to business travel is clear to see" (Travel Weekly, 24-May-2022). Mr Harris said in Apr-2022 "we were back to almost three quarters of our pre-COVID travel volume" for SMEs. 

Qantas Airways launches ‘fly now, pay later’ payment option

20 May, 2022

Qantas Airways launched (19-May-2022) a 'fly now, pay later' payment option on 19-May-2022, with passengers able to book domestic and international flights on using buy now, pay later provider Zip and earn Qantas Points. Frequent Flyers will also be able to choose to earn Qantas Points through Zip's loyalty programme, Zip Rewards, when making some everyday purchases providing another way for members to maximise the points they earn. Qantas Loyalty CEO Olivia Wirth said this is the first time the airline has partnered with a buy now, pay later provider to offer the payment option for flight bookings. [more - original PR]

New Caledonia Tourism announces amendments to travel restrictions

20 May, 2022

New Caledonia Tourism, via its official website, announced (18-May-2022) the following amendments to New Caledonia's travel restrictions:

  • PCR test to be taken 72 hours prior to departure, or a rapid antigen test 48 hours from departure, for unvaccinated travellers;
  • A rapid antigen test is mandatory for all travellers and 12 and above, two days after arrival in New Caledonia;
  • Vaccinated travellers are no longer required to undergo a pre-departure coronavirus test;
  • Unvaccinated travellers are no longer required a compelling reason to travel;
  • Seven day isolation is removed for all travellers from New Zealand;
  • International boats, except cruise ships, are permitted entry into New Caledonia.

BITRE: Australia on time departures rate at 62.2%, on time arrivals at 63.6% in Apr-2022

20 May, 2022

Australia's Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics (BITRE) reported (20-May-2022) the following domestic on time performance highlights for Apr-2022:

  • On time departures: 62.2%;
    • Regional Express: 76.4%;
    • Virgin Australia Regional Airlines: 64.2%;
    • Virgin Australia: 62.7%;
    • QantasLink: 62.0%;
    • Qantas Airways: 57.7%;
    • Jetstar Airways: 55.2%;
  • On time arrivals: 63.6%;
    • Regional Express: 73.6%;
    • Virgin Australia Regional Airlines: 69.1%;
    • Virgin Australia: 65.6%;
    • QantasLink: 62.4%;
    • Jetstar Airways: 59.2%;
    • Qantas Airways: 58.7%;
  • Cancellations: 4.1%;
    • Regional Express: 1.1%;
    • Virgin Australia: 3.1%;
    • Virgin Australia Regional Airlines: 3.2%;
    • Jetstar Airways: 4.9%;
    • Qantas Airways: 5.0%;
    • QantasLink: 5.4%. [more - original PR]

Japan Airlines to operate 44% of planned intl schedules in Jul-2022, 68% in Aug/Sep-2022

19 May, 2022

Japan Airlines (JAL) announced (18-May-2022) its international flight network for Europe, Melbourne and Taipei in Jul-2022, as well as flight plan for North America, Europe, Southeast Asia, Oceania and Hong Kong in Aug-2022 and Sep-2022. During Jul-2022, JAL's international operation rate will be 44%, increasing to 68% in Aug-2022 and Sep-2022. Key highlights are as follows:

  • Tokyo Haneda-Sydney: Additional frequencies in Jul-2022;
  • Tokyo Narita-Boston, Tokyo Narita-Vancouver, Tokyo Narita-Bengaluru: Resuming in Aug-2022, including daily on Boston service;
  • Europe: Continue to operate detours due to the situation in Russia and Ukraine;
  • Tokyo Haneda-Helsinki: Increase to four times weekly in Jul-2022;
  • Tokyo Haneda-London: Increase to 11 times weekly in Aug-2022. [more - original PR]
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