Having a premium economy product on the AKL-SFO route now puts United Airlines on a par with joint venture partner Air New Zealand, says Julie Reid, director Australia, New Zealand and Tahiti sales for UA.
‘Most airlines have premium economy and people are prepared to pay a bit more for a good middle ground product,’ she says. ‘It is already proving popular on the AKL-SFO route.’
The number of New Zealanders travelling to South Africa has held up better than may have been expected with the visa woes and difficulties in the past year, according to Tim Clyde-Smith, country manager Australasia with South African Airways.
The ease and convenience of using Vancouver Airport as a gateway to other points in North America (either in transit or combined with a stopover) is being emphasised to the New Zealand trade from Air Canada as the airline prepares for the introduction of direct AKL-YVR seasonal service later this year.
AirAsia will start services from Bangkok to Brisbane from 25 June 2019. Operated by its Thai affiliate, Thai AirAsia X, the service will fly from Bangkok’s low cost hub, Don Muang International Airport.
Brisbane Airport Corporation (BAC) secured the services with Queensland Government support under the Attracting Aviation Investment Fund (AAIF), along with partners Tourism and Events Queensland and Brisbane Marketing.
AirAsia X will fly four times-a-week and expects to attract close to 25,000 visitors every year. Thailand is one of Queensland’s emerging markets – 19,000 Thais visited over the last year and spent A$44m.
There is some confusion around the new relationship between Air New Zealand and Qantas that follows the cessation of the current NZ-VA partnership, says Cam Wallace, chief revenue officer with Air New Zealand.
- At The Beasley in Christchurch…... At The Beasley in Christchurch…...
- Corey Marshall, Canuckiwi; with Justine... Corey Marshall, Canuckiwi; with Justine...
- Howie Yee, Orbit Corporate Travel;... Howie Yee, Orbit Corporate Travel;...
UA’s Trivia roadshow kicked off last Tuesday in Christchurch with the city’s agents updating their knowledge on United, Oregon, Nevada, Utah, Cruising in the USA, Memphis & Alamo car hire.
The resumption of the seasonal service from Auckland to Los Angeles on 30 October, as well as the recent announcement of a short term increase in base commission to 10% were among the key messages to trade from American Airlines’ vice president Asia Pacific Sales, Shane Hodges when he visited New Zealand last week.
Saudi Arabia’s General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) has selected SITA to support the modernisation of the country’s biggest airports, implementing a transformation of airport and communication technology across 26 airports.
The technology will improve passenger experience while preparing the airports for an expected surge in passenger numbers over the next few years. Passenger traffic across all Saudi airports climbed to 92-million in 2017, a 7.7% increase compared with the previous year. SITA is implementing its AirportConnect® Open platform which allows airlines to work seamlessly at airports while delivering a smooth self-service from check-in to boarding. In addition, SITA is providing GACA with a baggage management solution, enabling GACA airports to meet the baggage tracking requirements of IATA’s Resolution 753.
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has called on the governments and air navigation service providers of Europe to address the region’s airspace bottlenecks, as new data reveals that delays so far this year have more than doubled compared to 2017.
Qantas is excited about the opportunities offered by the New Distribution Capability (NDC) and thinks agents should be too, a technology conference in Bangkok heard last week.
Air Chathams has announced it will launch a new regional flight service between Kāpiti and Auckland from 20 August. Air Chathams will operate 36 flights a week between Auckland and Kāpiti, which will offer travellers up to 1152 seats per week on board its fleet of Saab 340 aircraft.
Swiss-Belhotel International is inviting members of KrisFlyer, Singapore Airlines’ frequent flyer programme, to earn triple miles when staying at its properties in Australia and New Zealand.
To celebrate the new three-class configuration of its Tahitian Dreamliner, Air Tahiti Nui is offering guests the chance to upgrade from economy to premium economy for just $250* each way.
On sale until 2 July 2018, clients booked on Air Tahiti Nui’s sale airfare (Economy ‘O’ class) can upgrade to the airline’s new Moana Premium Economy class for just $250 each way to enjoy the extra space and comfort of the premium cabin. The deal is valid on flights between Auckland and Papeete from 8 November 2018, when Air Tahiti Nui’s first Dreamliner commences service, through to 5 December 2018. Return economy airfares from Auckland to Papeete are currently on sale from just $829* pp for departures until 5 December 2018.
Singapore Airlines will launch the world’s longest commercial flights in October, with non-stop services between Singapore and New York using the new Airbus A350-900ULR (ultralong-range).
Flights are to be launched on 11 October 2018, to EWR. The route will initially be served three times a week, departing Singapore on Monday, Thursday and Saturday. SIA is the world’s first customer for the new A350-900ULR, with seven on firm order with Airbus. The aircraft will be configured in a two-class layout, with 67 Business Class seats and 94 Premium Economy Class seats. Tickets are being made available for sale progressively across the various booking channels.
Qantas has launched a new technology platform to enhance the airlines retailing, booking and servicing capabilities for its trade partners and deliver a more personalised experience for customers. The Qantas Distribution Platform (QDP) improves the functionality of indirect agent channels by more closely aligning them with the capabilities currently available via Qantas.com, making it easier for trade partners to sell Qantas products and providing more seamless customer service. Qantas trade partners will have access to richer content relevant to the customer’s journey, including images of cabins and meals and the ability to book extras such as extra legroom seating. It will provide Qantas Frequent Flyer information and tier status at the point of sale. The Qantas Distribution Platform has been developed in partnership with Farelogix Inc. and utilises IATA’s New Distribution Capability (NDC). The new Qantas platform has been certified to NDC Level 3, IATA’s highest certification.
Singapore Airlines’ (SIA) regional wing, SilkAir, will undergo a significant investment programme to upgrade its cabin products as part of a multi-year initiative that will ultimately see it merged into SIA.
The investment of more than $100 million will upgrade the wholly owned subsidiary’s cabins with new lie-flat seats in Business Class, and the installation of seat-back inflight entertainment systems in both Business Class and Economy Class. This will ensure closer product and service consistency across the SIA Group’s full-service network. Aircraft cabin upgrades are expected to start in 2020 due to lead times required by seat suppliers, including to complete certification processes. The merger will take place only after a sufficient number of aircraft have been fitted with the new cabin products. Specific details will be announced progressively.
The decision to operate the Airbus A350-900 to Christchurch (as reported in a One Minute Memo 14 May) reinforces Singapore Airlines’ commitment to Christchurch and the South Island, according to Simon Turcotte, SIA’s general manager New Zealand. ‘We have very strong support out of Christchurch, both from the trade and the consumer. This move recognises that support.’
The A350 service will start on 7 January 2019 when SQ297 departs Singapore for Christchurch and seats are on sale from today. The aircraft brings Premium Economy Class to the route, meaning customers can experience the cabin from the South Island to destinations such as Paris, London, New Delhi, Johannesburg, Dubai, Barcelona, Hong Kong and more. ‘We are pleased that on 8 January 2019 when the A350-900 lands in SIA: ‘A350 decision reinforces commitment’ Christchurch our customers will have access to an additional premium cabin option, as well as our next generation cabin products in business and economy.’ The A350-900 gas features such as higher ceilings, larger windows, an extra wide body delivering more space and comfort, as well as lighting designed to reduce jetlag.
The arrival of the new aircraft will also provide customers the opportunity to utilise the Singapore Airlines Companion app, which delivers great control over their in flight entertainment (IFE) experience – even before boarding the aircraft regardless of the class of travel. Singapore Airlines has a total of 67 A350- 900 aircraft on firm order and has already taken delivery of 21 since the first of the aircraft entered the fleet in March 2016. Singapore Airlines first touched down at Christchurch International Airport in 1986.
After seven years of partnership, Air New Zealand and Virgin Australia are ending their trans-Tasman alliance and the industry has weighed in.
Brent Thomas House of Travel commercial director says the news will likely add further competition to what is already a very competitive route.
By Ruth Scott
Could the skies above New Zealand once again see the colours of Polynesian Airlines?
This was a question up for discussion at the Samoa Tourism Exchange (STE) held this week in Apia, and it comes at a time a 10-year joint venture (JV) deal between the government of Samoa and Virgin Australia is up