Aviation

Aviation Wrap: More funding for regional airports, Singapore Airlines’ new ANZ transit flights + MORE

Get ready to climb to an altitude of 35,000 feet as you read your way through all the latest aviation news in this week’s wrap.

Further funding for regional airports

Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack has announced 60 regional airports will receive a share of $41.2 million, in another step taken by the federal government to help Australia’s aviation industry get through the COVID-19 pandemic.

McCormack said the ‘Regional Airports Program’ would assist the owners of regional airports to undertake essential works, promoting aviation safety and access for regional Australians.

Examples of projects funded include:

  • A $5 million runway upgrade at Ballarat Airport in Victoria.
  • $4.5 million for runway works at Merimbula Airport in New South Wales.
  • $2.45 million for runway and taxiway works at Whyalla Airport in South Australia.
  • $1.73 million for a range of work at Gladstone Airport in Queensland.
  • $1.66 million for resurfacing works at Albany Airport in Western Australia.

This funding is in addition to the federal government’s total package of support for Australia’s aviation industry of more than $1.2 billion.

Singapore Airlines receives approval for transit flights from Australia and NZ

Singapore Airlines (SIA) and SilkAir customers are now able to transit through Singapore’s Changi Airport on a one-way basis from Australia and New Zealand to the SIA Group’s global network, effective from 11 June 2020.

The one-way transit channel will be subject to a number of requirements and restrictions, including:

  • Connections must be no longer than 48 hours.
  • Customers can only travel on SIA Group (Singapore Airlines, SilkAir and Scoot) flights and cannot connect to other carriers once in Singapore.
  • Customers must meet all departing and arriving government requirements and restrictions.

Customers will only be able to transit in Changi via SIA flights departing from Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney in Australia, and Auckland and Christchurch in New Zealand.

Transit will also be available via the Scoot flights departing from Perth, Australia.

Time capsule to mark historic Brisbane Airport runway launch

To commemorate the opening of Brisbane’s new runway, Brisbane Airport Corporation (BAC) is creating a time capsule so future Queenslanders can look back at the significance of this historic moment for the city, its state and the nation.

With the cancellation of community events planned for the opening of the new runway due to COVID-19, BAC is inviting community members to suggest possible items for inclusion, creating a snapshot of 2020 for the unveiling in 50 years’ time – the same length of time the runway has been in the plans to be built.

Along with seeking suggestions from the community, BAC is inviting iconic Queenslanders, traditional owners, airlines, schools, community groups and elected representatives to participate by contributing items symbolic for them.

The time capsule, to be opened in 2070, will be sealed during the official ‘ribbon cutting’ opening ceremony for Brisbane’s new runway on Sunday 12 July 2020.

Ideas received from the community will be collated by BAC and select items will be added to the capsule. Suggestions can be emailed to timecapsule@bne.com.au by Wednesday 1 July 2020.

Air New Zealand assists with repatriation services to and from Fiji

Air New Zealand has begun services to and from Nadi Fiji to assist the Fijian government in repatriating Fijian citizens.

Flight NZ952 took off from Auckland just after 11am (local time) on Friday with Fijian passport holders on board, bound for Nadi, Fiji arriving in Fiji just after 2pm (local time).

A return service is also expected to repatriate New Zealanders who have been in Fiji since COVID-19 travel bans were implemented.

The repatriation flights to Fiji are being carried out in accordance with the travel advice issued by the Government of Fiji. On arrival in Fiji, all passengers are required to enter a government-designated quarantine facility for 14 days and will then be required to complete a further 14-day home isolation.

Customers who wish to travel to Fiji, and who meet border restrictions for entry, are advised to contact Air New Zealand at groups@airnz.co.nz to arrange travel.

Alliance Airlines announces successful completion of $91.9 million placement

Alliance Aviation Services Limited has has successfully completed a fully underwritten $91.9 million institutional placement of new fully-paid ordinary shares in the company to eligible institutional investors at $2.95 per new share.

According to Alliance, the placement generated significant interest from existing institutional shareholders and other institutional investors.

Eligible institutional shareholders who bid for an amount of new shares less than or equal to their ‘pro-rata’ share of new shares under the placement were allocated their full bid.

Finnair and Sabre renew distribution agreement

Finnair and Sabre Corporation have announced a new worldwide distribution partnership.

Under the new agreement, Sabre will resume distributing competitive global Finnair content to hundreds of thousands of travel agents and thousands of corporations worldwide through its travel marketplace.

TWU welcomes border re-openings to help aviation industry, calls for standardised protections

The Transport Workers’ Union (TWU) has welcomed the reopening of the Queensland and South Australian borders, set for next month, which it said would provide much-needed help for the aviation industry, but urged a standardisation of openings and protections at airports across Australia.

TWU national secretary Michael Kaine said the reopening of domestic borders will allow aviation workers to get back to their jobs, but that it should be done at the same time across the country and ensure workers and passengers are protected.

Delta launches ‘Global Cleanliness Division’ to drive long-term commitment to clean

Delta is establishing the airline’s first Global Cleanliness Division – a new department within the customer experience organisation dedicated to innovating and evolving the airline’s cleanliness standards.

According to the US-based carrier, this latest move is a unique way for it to continue bringing a “laser focus” to cleanliness efforts as part of the layers of protection it is offering customers.

The cleanliness transformation that customers experience today is the foundation on which Delta’s future travel experience is being built for the airline’s customers to enjoy. Leading the organisation is Mike Medeiros, vice president of global cleanliness.

Etihad travel voucher: buy now and receive 50 per cent cash bonus

Etihad Airways is encouraging travellers to start planning their next trip, once travel restrictions ease, with the launch of the ‘Etihad Travel Voucher’.

Guests who purchase an Etihad Travel Voucher between 10 and 24 June 2020 will receive an extra 50 per cent cash value for future travel from 1 August 2020 onwards.

Etihad Travel Vouchers are available in increments of US$250 to a maximum of US$65,000.

The value of the purchased voucher plus 50 per cent extra credit will be added to a travel bank account for future redemption on flights, upgrades and extras.

Emirates adds Kabul to list of passenger destinations

Emirates has received approvals to carry passengers on flights to Kabul in Afghanistan, starting from 25 June, taking to 30 the total number of destinations currently offered to travellers.

In addition to Kabul, flights to the following cities can be booked on emirates.com or via travel agents: Bahrain, London Heathrow, Manchester, Frankfurt, Paris, Milan, Madrid, Zurich, Vienna, Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Dublin, New York JFK, Chicago, Toronto, Seoul, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, Jakarta, Taipei, Hong Kong, Perth and Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne and Manila.

Customers can book to fly between destinations in the Asia Pacific and Europe or the Americas, with a convenient connection in Dubai, as long as they meet travel and immigration entry requirements of their destination country.

In addition, from 8 June, Emirates will offer flights from Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad for travellers from Pakistan who wish to connect onwards to other Emirates destinations.

Solomon Airlines extends suspension of international passenger flights to 31 August

Following consultation with the Solomon Islands government, Solomon Airlines has announced that regular scheduled international passenger flights will be suspended until 31 August 2020.

Solomon Airlines chief executive Brett Gerbers said the airline would continue to take advice from the nation’s government regarding necessary precautions due to the COVID-19 pandemic and in conjunction with continuing international border restrictions.

Meridiam and Munich Airport awarded Sofia Airport concession

The Supreme Administrative Court of Bulgaria has upheld the decision of the Commission for Protection of Competition of 14 November 2019, confirming the selection of Meridiam and its partner Munich Airport as concessionaire for Sofia Airport, by the Ministry of Transport.

The investment embedded in this 35-year long-term public-private partnership will contribute to Bulgaria’s economic rebound post-COVID-19 pandemic, and support the Bulgarian government and local authorities to achieve significant regional benefits in social, economic and environmental aspects, according to Munich Airport.

The airport will develop new standards of carbon accreditation and environmental standards – serving as the benchmark for other airports and industries aiming at becoming an enabler of social, economic, environmental and inclusive growth that contributes to Sofia and Bulgaria.

SAA draws crowd in Brisbane following reparation flight

Brisbane residents were treated to a rare sight earlier this month when South African Airways (SAA) flew in for the first time.

There was an excited crowd of plane spotters underneath the flight path who had gathered to see the A340-600 (SA2982) arrive, having flown direct from Johannesburg on a repatriation flight.

SAA has been collaborating with the Australian government and the South African High Commission to assist Australians and South Africans that were left stranded after the coronavirus lockdown was implemented.

SA2983 returned to Johannesburg at 2pm (local time) on 9 June with 216 passengers on board.

SAA’s Queensland sales manager, Trent Malcolm, was at Brisbane airport assisting with the operations.

“It was fantastic to have the SAA Aircraft here for the first time and to be at the airport talking to our passengers, who are all so grateful to be finally flying home after being stuck in Australia and New Zealand after the travel ban,” he said.

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