Australia's Federal Government announced (01-May-2017) the appointment of John Weber to the Board of Airservices Australia for a three year term. Federal Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Darren Chester stated Mr Weber previously worked extensively in the transport sector and his experience will be invaluable to the board as it continues to guide Airservices' delivery of safe and efficient air traffic and aviation rescue and fire fighting services to the industry and the community. [more - original PR]
Sydney Airport introduced (01-May-2017) indoor Google Maps on its app and website to facilitate passengers with real-time navigation across its terminals. The zoomable maps feature airport facilities including gates, check in counters, retailers, points of interest and outdoor facilities covering various modes of transport. This feature covers multi-levels at Terminal 1 International and T2 Domestic, with T3 to be added shortly. It also incorporates Google’s intuitive search capabilities that locates similar nearby stores based on past searches. Visitors have the option to share live social media feedback on retailers directly from the app or website. [more - original PR]
Air New Zealand appointed (01-May-2017) former New Zealand Prime Minister John Key as a board director effective 01-Sep-2017. Air New Zealand Board chairman Tony Carter stated Mr Key will bring extensive international commercial experience, outstanding leadership skills, global perspective and a keen understanding of the tourism sector gained during the years he was Tourism Minister as well as Prime Minister of New Zealand. Air New Zealand is also announcing that its longest serving director Paul Bingham will be retiring at the Annual Shareholders’ Meeting in Sep-2017. [more - original PR]
Western Sydney Minister Stuart Ayres insisted Western Sydney Airport "won't work" with a curfew, as currently implemented at Sydney Kingsford Smith Airport (Sydney Morning Herald, 30-Apr-2017). Mr Ayres added "you want to make sure… that airport has a chance to be successful" and "making it available... 24 hours a day".
Air Niugini named (28-Apr-2017) its latest Fokker 70 aircraft "Kokoda", in a ceremony officiated by Papua New Guinea Prime Minister Peter O’Neill. The name is to commemorate of the 75th anniversary of the World War Two Battle of Kokoda. The aircraft will operate domestic routes, as well as services to Australia and the Pacific. [more - original PR]
Newcastle Williamtown Airport commenced a AUD850,000 (USD636,102) terminal upgrade project to include enhanced security, customs and immigration facilities in preparation for international service (Daily Telegraph/Newcastle Herald, 01-May-2017). The project is funded via the New South Wales Government's Regional Tourism Infrastructure Fund. Airport CEO Peter Cock said the airport is in talks with Australian and New Zealand carriers, eyeing services to Auckland, Bali and Fiji. The airport is expected to be ready to handle international services by late 2017.
Fiji Airways revised planned twice weekly Nadi-Adelaide service, set to commence on 30-Jun-2017 (Routes Online, 28-Apr-2017). From 29-Oct-2017 the frequency will reduce to weekly, except between 01-Dec-2017 and 29-Jan-2018 when it will revert to twice weekly. The route is subject to Government approval.
Qantas Airways announced (28-Apr-2017) it is the first Australian airline to sign a MoU with UnionPay International, China’s largest payment network provider, to expand the acceptance of UnionPay cards for payment across all Qantas customer touchpoints. The signing of the MoU was witnessed by Qantas International and Freight CEO Gareth Evans and UnionPay International CEO Cai Jianbo. Mr Evans said that the wider acceptance of UnionPay cards will improve the customer payment experience globally. [more - original PR]
Regional Express (Rex) warned (28-Apr-2017) against the Federal Government's new ruling on professional work visas advising it will gravely affect essential air services to regional Australia. On 18-Apr-2017 the Department of Immigration and Border Protection announced wide-ranging changes to the Australian immigration programme, including abolition of the Temporary Work (skilled) visa (subclass 457). The changes see two occupations utilised by Rex completely removed from the official list of eligible occupations – Aeroplane Pilot and Aircraft Maintenance Engineer (Avionics). Rex COO Neville Howell stated: "The removal of pilots and licensed engineers from the skills shortage list has been done without any aviation industry inputs besides the unions. We call upon the Prime Minister and the Minister for Immigration and Border Protection to place an immediate moratorium on the changes to the 457 visa programme until a well-considered replacement list has been formulated reflecting the real needs of our economy". [more - original PR]
Enga Provincial Government Governor Sir Peter Ipatas presented (28-Apr-2017) a PGK250,000 (USD78,198) cheque to Link PNG, a subsidiary company of Air Niugini, as part of the government's first quarter airfare subsidy. Sir Peter stated the airline services are vital for the province as they save time and costs for the people and public servants who would normally travel for almost three hours from Wapenamanda to Mt Hagen for Air Niugini services. The services to Wapenamanda airport are operated by Link PNG’s Dash 8 aircraft. Link PNG operates five frequencies a week to Wapenamanda. [more - original PR]