News for South Pacific

New Zealand Post opens Southern Operations Centre at Christchurch Airport

22 May, 2017

New Zealand Post opened (22-May-2017) the 14,600sqm Southern Operations Centre at Christchurch International Airport's Dakota Park on 22-May-2017. The NZD8 million (USD5.6 million) facility houses courier, air and road freight operations and serves as an overnight courier, parcels, processing and distribution hub for New Zealand's South Island. The building has capacity for up to 6000 parcels per hour and support 14 air movements per day. New Zealand Post Group's lease with Christchurch Airport for the facility runs to 2026, with options to extend. [more - original PR - NZ Post] [more - original PR - Christchurch Airport]

Air New Zealand seasonal Sunshine Coast service now in sixth year

22 May, 2017

Air New Zealand announced (22-May-2017) a partnership with Visit Sunshine Coast and Tourism & Events Queensland to coincide with the launch of nonstop seasonal service Auckland-Sunshine Coast. The four times weekly service is available 07-Jul-2017 to 29-Oct-2017, and will be supported by a nationwide promotional campaign titled, 'Sunshine by Lunchtime' launched 22-May-2017. Air New Zealand chief revenue officer Cam Wallace stated the popularity of the Sunshine Coast as a destination has been growing steadily with the services now available for a sixth season. Sunshine Coast Airport GM Peter Pallot stated: "The annual Air New Zealand services have gone from strength to strength with passenger numbers increasing year on year as visitor awareness grows". [more - original PR]

SITA passenger processing system outage affects airports across Australia and New Zealand

22 May, 2017

Australia Department of Immigration and Border Protection explained (22-May-2017) the SITA advanced passenger processing system used by a number of airports across Australia and New Zealand was temporarily down due to "external system outage". SITA stated the outage was due to a "network connectivity issue....caused by a major telecom failure in the UK of a top provider to our datacentre". Among the airports affected include Sydney Airport, Melbourne Tullamarine Airport, Wellington Airport and Auckland Airport. [more - original PR]

Australia’s BITRE domestic pax up 1% to 5.0m in Mar-2017

22 May, 2017

Australia’s Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Region Economics (BITRE) reported (19-May-2017) the following traffic highlights for Australian domestic airlines for Mar-2017:

  • Passengers: 5.0 million, +0.6% year-on-year;
    • Top ten domestic city pairs:
      • Melbourne-Sydney: 804,598, +3.8%;
      • Brisbane-Sydney: 399,571, +2.2%;
      • Brisbane-Melbourne: 288,883, -1.8%;
      • Gold Coast-Sydney: 223,411, -1.1%;
      • Adelaide-Melbourne: 214,815, +3.2%;
      • Melbourne-Perth: 171,856, -6.4%;
      • Adelaide-Sydney: 171,647, +1.9%;
      • Gold Coast-Melbourne: 152,971, -2.6%;
      • Perth-Sydney: 144,744, -4.8%;
      • Hobart-Melbourne: 144,215, +5.5%;
  • Load factor: 77.4%, +0.5ppt;
    • Melbourne-Sydney: 85.2%, +0.7ppt;
    • Brisbane-Sydney: 82.1%, +2.3ppts;
    • Brisbane-Melbourne: 78.2%, -2.1ppts;
    • Gold Coast-Sydney: 87.7%, +2.7ppts;
    • Adelaide-Melbourne: 82.0%, +1.3ppts;
    • Melbourne-Perth: 79.2%, -0.8ppt;
    • Adelaide-Sydney: 82.9%, +1.2ppts;
    • Gold Coast-Melbourne: 86.0%, +1.4ppts;
    • Perth-Sydney: 79.3%, -2.0ppts;
    • Hobart-Melbourne: 81.4%, stable;
  • RPKs: -1.3%;
  • ASKs: -1.9%;
  • Aircraft movements: 54,395, -0.1%;
  • Seats: 6.5 million, -0.9%. [more - original PR]

CAPA executive chairman Peter Harbison: Qantas is a very different airline from a decade ago

22 May, 2017

CAPA - Centre for Aviation executive chairman Peter Harbison commented (19-May-2017) on Qantas' share price improvements highlighting that Qantas is a very different airline from a decade ago. Mr Harbison stated: "It has muscled Virgin Australia into submission domestically and solved many of its European international problems through the Emirates partnership. Its cost base is much lower, its financial fundamentals are much stronger and it has a coherent structure and strategy. Qantas' strength is founded on its domestic market power, so as long as the economy remains reasonably sound, it should continue to be solidly profitable'. 

Air Tahiti Nui to increase Papeete-Tokyo Narita frequency to three times weekly

22 May, 2017

Air Tahiti Nui plans to increase Papeete-Tokyo Narita frequency from twice weekly to three times weekly in 1Q2018 (Routes Online, 19-May-2017). The seasonal additional frequency will operate from 20-Feb-2018 to 28-Mar-2018, departing Papeete on Tuesdays and Tokyo on Wednesdays.

NZALPA calls for tighter regulations for RPAS/drone operation

21 May, 2017

New Zealand Air Line Pilot’s Association (NZALPA) urged (19-May-2017) the Civil Aviation Authority (NZ) to review and tighten regulation for Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS) in light of growing number of drone users. NZALPA president Tim Robinson stated: "Currently they offer little or no protection to either other RPAS users or the public", the authority should mandate "the registration of devices and the application of the rules currently being followed by conventional manned flights". Mr Robinson believes this needs to be done "quickly" and communicated widely to prevent more cases of near misses between drones and helicopters in heavily populated tourist areas. [more - original PR]

Air Tahiti resumes service across French Polynesia following firefighter strike

21 May, 2017

Air Tahiti announced it was resuming services across French Polynesia as a protocol had been signed to end part of the dispute between the civil aviation authorities and publicly employed firefighters (Radio NZ, 22-May-2017). Although services have resumed, it is expected to take at least 24 hours for normal services to be re-established, as hundreds of travellers have been stranded by the five day strike.

Qantas statement on QF94 Los Angeles-Melbourne

21 May, 2017

Qantas responded (21-May-2017) to an incident which occurred on 19-May-2017 on an A380 service Los Angeles-Melbourne which was turned back to LA due to an issue with one of the aircraft’s four engines. Qantas stated: "Pilots followed standard procedure, shut down the engine, and the flight landed normally in LA. Reports that the engine was 'on fire' aren’t correct; passengers may have seen some sparks before it was safely shut down by the flight crew". A replacement service departed LA at around 14.30 on Saturday 20-May-2017, and arrived in Melbourne the following evening. [more - original PR]

Tourism Australia wraps up 38th annual Australian Tourism Exchange in Sydney

21 May, 2017

Tourism Australia concluded (19-May-2017) the 38th annual Australian Tourism Exchange (ATE) in Sydney. The event welcomed more than 2500 delegates, including 800 travel wholesalers and retailers from 548 companies from more than 30 countries and 555 Australian tourism businesses. Tourism Australia MD John O’Sullivan said the connections made at ATE help deliver around three million visitors each year to Australia, spending up to AUD8.5 billion (USD6.3 billion), thereby helping to further grow the visitor economy. [more - original PR]

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