Qantas announced change fees would be increasing by up to 45% from 28-Apr-2017 (finder.com.au, 19-Apr-2017). The new fees apply for all classes and booking types depending on the route and class.
News for South Pacific
Queensland Government announced (19-Apr-2017) the launch of twice weekly Mount Isa-Karumba-Cairns service under a three month trial on the regulated air route. Assistant Minister for Transport and Infrastructure Glenn Butcher stated the trial would see if regular services were viable and determine if demand can support permanent operations. Regional Express (Rex) will operate 34 seat Saab 340 B Plus aircraft on the route until 29-Jun-2017.
Virgin Australia confirmed four agencies remain in the pitch for the carrier's creative account (Mumbrella, 19-Apr-2017). DDB, M&C Saatchi, TBWA Sydney and Clemenger BBDO Sydney, are believed to still be involved in the creative pitch. Virgin Australia CMO Inese Kingsmill stated customer experience was at the core of the creative brief for the four advertising agencies.
Sydney Airport announced (20-Apr-2017) it will hold its annual general meeting on 30-May-2017 comprising the two entities that make up ASX-listed Sydney Airport, namely Sydney Airport Limited and Sydney Airport Trust 1. The AGM aims to consider and approve the following:
- Adoption of Remuneration Report;
- Appointment of directors for the following term;
- Approval for the giving of termination benefits to outgoing CEO Kerrie Mather;
- Amendment to maximum aggregate remuneration payable to non-executive directors. [more - original PR]
Cook Islands Ministry of Finance & Economic Management reported (19-Apr-2017) visitor arrivals to Cook Islands reached 10,954 in Mar-2017. Details include:
- Visitor arrivals: 10,954, +10.4% year-on-year;
- New Zealand: 6787, +12.2%;
- Australia: 1723, -4.8%;
- US: 605, +39.4%;
- Canada: 296, +15.2%. [more - original PR]
Norfolk Island Airlines, via its official Facebook page, announced (14-Apr-2017) the launch of once weekly Auckland-Norfolk Island-Brisbane service on 17-Jun-2017. Tickets are now available for purchase on the carrier's website. Norfolk Island Airlines will charter a Boeing 737-300 aircraft from Nauru Airlines to operate this service.
Virgin Australia announced (19-Apr-2017) the introduction of a new in-flight entertainment (IFE) user interface for passengers who are blind or have low vision. Developed by globally recognised IFE innovator CoKinetic Systems, the interface is available on Virgin Australia’s entire fleet of Boeing 777-300 aircraft which feature a seatback entertainment system and will be rolled out on the A330 fleet in the first half of 2017. Virgin Australia is the first carrier in Asia Pacific and the second in the world to introduce this type of interface. Virgin Australia GM in flight experience Tash Tobias stated the new technology allows vision impaired guests to access important flight information such as the time and distance to their destination. [more - original PR]
Adelaide Airport launched (19-Apr-2017) a one month trial of Rohde & Schwarz Quick Personnel Security Scanner on 19-Apr-2017. The technology completes a full body scan in a matter of seconds: "The open plan design means passengers simply stand in front of the scanner with their arms held slightly away from the body" stated airport MD Mark Young, creating "a more pleasant experience" for passengers with medical implants. Mr Young added: "Objects are recognised by an evaluation of the reflected (backscattered) microwave signal" and projected on "a generic graphic of the human body…preserving the privacy of passengers". [more - original PR]
Queensland Minister for Environment Steven Miles probed for more explanation in regards to the chemical spill from firefighting foam at Brisbane Airport (SBS, 18-Apr-2017). On 10-Apr-2017, 22,000 litres of firefighting foam spilled from a Qantas hangar with about one quarter leaking into the environment and water system. The foam has been banned in Queensland following the discovery of environmentally harmful chemical contents. Qantas stated: "The foam we use in Brisbane meets our current requirements under federal safety regulations, we have been working through a process to replace it with a type that meets the Queensland government's updated requirements".
Australia's carriers responded to the removal of flight attendants and pilots from the list of professions under changes to the 457 visa policy (News.com.au, 18-Apr-2017). Qantas spokesman Stephen Moynihan stated the carrier has only a handful of staff working on 457 visas out of 30,000 and it would have little affect on their business. Virgin Australia also advised it would not be affected by the changes, while Tigerair was still considering the impact the announcement would have.