Aviation

Aviation Wrap: Brisbane Airport’s runway completion, Air NZ marks 80 years of flying + MORE

Much unlike passenger planes around the globe right now, this week’s Aviation Wrap is running at full capacity.

Brisbane’s new runway reaches practical completion

Brisbane Airport Corporation and Skyway, a joint venture between BMD Constructions and CPB Contractors have celebrated the practical completion of the city’s new runway.

The new runway (pictured above) landed under budget at $1.1 billion, a saving of $200 million on initial estimates, according to Brisbane Airport.

Gert-Jan de Graaff, CEO of the Brisbane Airport Corporation, said that while the runway’s completion marked the end of the project, it was just the beginning for the airport.

“In many respects, this runway is symbolic of the very firm belief we have that aircraft will, in the not too distant future, return to the skies and our terminals will once again be full of happy people looking forward to visiting their families, their holidays or to travel to do business,” he said.

With practical completion now achieved, the detailed commissioning process for the new runway will continue as part of the wider Operational Readiness and Testing (ORAT) program.

Brisbane’s new runway will open on Sunday 12 July 2020.

Rex receives confirmation of additional government funding

Regional Express (Rex) has announced the confirmation of additional regional services funded by both federal and state governments.

The airline will now be operating a total of 88 weekly return services under the various funding arrangements.

This follows the COVID-19 Regional Airline Network Support (RANS) program announced by Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack in March.

Air New Zealand marks 80 years of flying

Despite recent turbulence experienced by the aviation industry, Air New Zealand has taken a moment to reflect on some of the special memories it has shared with customers both at home and abroad over the past eight decades.

Check out the airline’s special 80th birthday video below:

Finnair extends invite to virtual coffee corner

With most of the travel industry in isolation and working from home, Finnair is inviting its travel partners to join the airline in taking a coffee break and learning some fun facts about it and Finland.

The virtual event will take place this Thursday (7 May) at 1pm AEST via Skype, and will run for approximately one hour.

At the end of the presentation, there will be an online quiz. The first five who submit the correct answers will get some Finnair goodies.

For those who want to play longer, the airline also have an online crossword, with the first to submit the correct answers to also receive a prize.

Aeronology signs with China’s TravelSky

Melbourne-based travel technology player Aeronology has announced a global API/GDS distribution relationship with TravelSky, China’s largest airline GDS.

Any travel agents who have no direct access to TravelSky can use Aeronology’s connection to book all Chinese airlines into and out of China, including all Chinese internal flights, using its online booking services at any time, without having to have a TravelSky GDS in their office, according to Aeronology CEO Russell Carstensen.

TWU urges federal government to examine JobKeeper loophole

The Transport Workers’ Union (TWU) has appealed to the federal government to urgently examine a loophole precluding companies owned by foreign governments from accessing the Jobkeeper payment, which it argues is threatening thousands of jobs in aviation.

Dnata, owned by the Emirates Group and which carries out 90 per cent of the catering needs of airlines in Australia, has told its 5,500 workers in Australia that they will not receive the Jobkeeper payment but may have to apply for the lower JobSeeker payment, according to the TWU.

Qatar Airways highlights achievements in latest operational update

Credit: iStock/Jetlinerimages

Qatar Airways has released an operational update on its services amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Among the highlights was the airline carrying over one million passengers home on both scheduled and charter flights since mid-February.

Furthermore, Qatar Airways Cargo transported over 70,000 tonnes of medical supplies and aid relief since mid-February, while the airline’s ‘Solidarity Programme’ will see mid-level staff and above defer a portion of their basic salary during the months of April, May and June.

Virgin Galactic succeeds with SpaceShipTwo flight

Virgin Galactic Holdings and The Spaceship Company have successfully completed the first SpaceShipTwo test flight from Spaceport America.

The glide flight marks the inaugural solo flight of VSS Unity in New Mexico – an important flight test milestone in preparation for commercial service.

US airports to join forces for virtual music festival

For one night only, 23 airports across North America will come together for the JetStream Music Festival, an online celebration of the local musicians who entertained at airports during people’s travels.

The line-up features a diverse range of acts, representing each city’s unique music culture, and festival viewers will be able to digitally tip musicians throughout each performance.

The free, multi-hour livestream will take place from 8am AEST on 7 May on Facebook Live.

Emirates SkyCargo launches weekly services to New Zealand

Emirates SkyCargo has announced the launch of four weekly cargo services to New Zealand from 3 May 2020 to help connect businesses in the country to key trading partners across the globe.

The air cargo carrier is working with the New Zealand government as part of its International Airfreight Capacity (IAFC) scheme to help facilitate the exports of key commodities from New Zealand to the rest of the world while ensuring that essential cargo continues to be transported into the country.

Emirates SkyCargo is operating three weekly Dubai-Auckland-Melbourne-Dubai flight rotations and a once-a-week Dubai-Sydney-Christchurch-Sydney-Dubai flight service operated by the carrier’s Boeing 777-300ER passenger freighters.

Emirates SkyCargo will be providing a vital cargo lane for the exports of high-quality exports from New Zealand, including food items such as chilled meat, honey, dairy products, and seafood to various destinations in the Middle East and Europe.

The flight service is also expected to help transport pharmaceuticals and medical appliances to markets in the Middle East, Europe and Africa.

Alliance scores new contract

Alliance Aviation Services has entered into a new airline services contract with South32 as an agent for mining companies Cannington and GEMCO for a 10-year term.

The regional airline will be the sole supplier for these services and won the contract extension through a competitive tender process.

Alliance has been providing air charter services to the Cannington and GEMCO mine sites since 2006.

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