Aviation Wrap: Qantas’ $1m community grant, South African Airways restores all services, ANA increases Syd-Tokyo + MORE!

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Qantas grants $1 million to regional communities 

Twenty community groups from around Australia will share in the first $1 million round of grants as part of the national carrier’s continued commitment to regional Australia.

The Qantas Regional Grants program offers $5 million in grants over five years to not-for-profit community groups, individuals, charities, projects and organisations that are seeking funding to provide a direct service or benefit to regional Australia.

The successful groups were selected out of more than 1,200 applications from across the country and will receive free flights, cash and marketing support. Go here to see the full list of winners.

LATAM’s first Boeing 787 featuring its new cabins takes off from Santiago

LATAM Airlines Group’s 25th Boeing 787 took off for the first time from Santiago International Airport on 21 November at 09:15AM local time for flight LA750 to São Paulo, Brazil. The group received the new aircraft last week at Boeing’s Delivery Centre in Charleston, South Carolina, United States.

This is the first Boeing 787 to feature LATAM’s new cabin standard. The aircraft will operate from Chile to medium and long-haul destinations, including Sydney, New York, São Paulo, Tel Aviv and Madrid.

South African Airways restores full service 

South African Airways (SAA) has restored full service over the weekend, after reaching an agreement with unions to end the industrial action strike which began on 15 November 2019. SAA, the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA) and the South African Airways Cabin Crew Association (SACCA), ratified an agreement on 21 November 2019.

Domestic, regional Africa and international flights are in operation and on schedule. Customers holding a confirmed itinerary may proceed to departure airports.

Cathay Pacific upgrades inflight experience

Cathay Pacific has revamped its premium travel experience. An array of enhancements to the service, soft products and culinary offerings are rolling out on board its Business and First Class cabins. These enrichments are designed to offer passengers a more holistic, sensory experience that begins from the moment they begin their journey.

Business Class travellers can bask in an enriched sleep proposition that includes newly introduced and greatly enhanced bedding and slippers, ensuring passengers arrive at their destinations refreshed and ready for what awaits them.

First Class passengers travelling beyond Hong Kong can now enjoy a new, more bespoke service centred on enjoying inspired flavours, calming fragrances and refined textures whenever they travel. New bedding and amenities along with wellness options and tableware have all been elevated with new and enhanced offerings.

Cathay Pacific has also partneres with UK lifestyle brand, Bamford. Renowned for its ethical and sustainable principles, Bamford has designed a range of exclusive amenities, travel kits and plush bedding for the airline’s travellers in both cabins that are certain to delight the senses.

Emirates firms up US$8.8 billion order for 30 Boeing 787s + Adelaide Festival continue partnership into 2022

Emirates has announced that it has signed a full purchase agreement for 30 Boeing 787-9 aircraft, worth US$ 8.8 billion at list prices, at the Dubai Airshow 2019.

Under its agreement with Boeing, Emirates has exercised its right to substitute the B777x with B787s.

This deal includes Boeing 787 Dreamliners, with deliveries commencing in May 2023 and continuing for the next five years. For the B777X, Emirates will enter into discussions with Boeing over the next few weeks on the status of deliveries. This takes Emirates’ total order with Boeing to 126 aircraft.

The airline has also reaffirmed its commitment to the Adelaide Festival until 2022, one of the world’s major celebrations of the arts. The Festival, set to take place from February 28 to March 15 2020, will celebrate 60 years of the premier arts and culture event in South Australia, with Emirates a ‘Major Partner’ for the event.

Featuring a range of internationally acclaimed theatre productions, world-class musicians, dance pieces, renowned writers and striking visual arts displays, the Adelaide Festival has become a benchmark for cultural events across the board.

ANA to increase frequency on Sydney to Haneda route

All Nippon Airways (ANA) will be increasing the frequency on the Sydney to Tokyo (Haneda Airport) from next year with an additional daily daytime flight. Reservations and ticket sales are scheduled to begin in mid-December with the flight schedule and the start of service to be announced at a later date.

Sydney to Haneda double-daily operations will generate more options in terms of international connections at Haneda Airport, particularly to and from USA and Europe.

Haneda Airport is key to building a comprehensive network of domestic connections, and ANA’s increased presence at the airport will aid inbound tourism and business travel beyond Tokyo itself.

ANA will also expand their International Network in 2020 by adding 5 new cities with the introduction of flights to Istanbul, Milan, Moscow, Shenzhen and Stockholm.

This will be a part of the 12 new routes that ANA will serve out of Haneda Airport starting in 2020.

Air New Zealand takes off for Seoul

Air New Zealand’s inaugural flight between Auckland and Seoul has taken off from Auckland International Airport.

Flight NZ75 departed just before 12.30pm and is expected to land in Seoul around 7.50pm local time.

With a flight time of 12 hours northbound and just over 11 hours southbound, Air New Zealand’s direct Auckland–Seoul service, operated by its Boeing 787-9 aircraft, will depart Auckland on Monday, Thursday and Saturday as follows:


Flight Number Departs Arrives Frequency Aircraft type










Auckland 1125


Auckland 1105



Auckland 1035


Auckland 1155

Auckland 1420

Seoul 1920


Seoul 1900



Seoul 1830


Seoul 1950


Seoul 2215




Wednesday (25 December – 19 February)





Sunday (29 December – 16 February)

Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner








Seoul 2155


Seoul 2215



Seoul 2210


Seoul 2355


Auckland 1305 +1


Auckland 1325 +1



Auckland 1320 +1


Auckland 1505 +1



Wednesday (25 December – 19 February)


Thursday & Saturday


Sunday (29 December – 16 February)

Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner

Fiji Airways accepts delivery of first A350-900 XWB

Fiji Airways has accepted delivery of its first of two Airbus A350 XWB aircraft as part of the airline’s widebody expansion plans in partnership with majority shareholder, the Fijian Government. The new luxury aircraft which touched down in Nadi on Saturday, received a traditional Fijian welcome.

The aircraft, ‘Island of Viti Levu’ will go into commercial service on December 1st 2019 flying Nadi to Sydney. Following this, the aircraft will rotate out on the Sydney and Los Angeles routes, with the second Airbus A350 XWB arriving mid-December 2019. From January 1st 2020, the A350 will fly daily between Nadi and Sydney as well as Nadi and Los Angeles.

Hahn Air joins IATA’s 25by2025 diversity and inclusion initiative

Hahn Air supports the improvement of gender balance in the aviation industry by signing IATA’s industry-wide 25by2025 campaign.

With 39 per cent of its leadership positions occupied by women, the German airline and distribution specialist already surpasses the desired 25 per cent gender ratio of the initiative. Representing Hahn Air at the signing ceremony during IATA’s Wings of Change conference in Berlin on November 19, was Hahn Air’s General Director, Kirsten Rehmann. Among the 29 signatories are other key industry players, such as China Eastern, Lufthansa and Qatar Airways.

Aussie travellers can experience a white Christmas this festive season, as Changi Airport becomes a Frozen Wonderland

Buckle up for a fun-filled winter adventure at Changi Airport this festive season, where visitors and passengers can immerse themselves in a wonderland inspired by Disney’s Frozen 2.

For the first time, Jewel Changi Airport (Jewel), will be transformed into an enchanting wintry world where Aussies can walk through ‘snowfall’ at the Forest Valley, enjoy an exclusive festive rendition of the Rain Vortex light and sound show, or create their very own handcrafted gifts for loved ones at a festive market and much more.

From now to 5 January 2020, get ready to be mesmerised by a dizzying range of delightful experiences across multiple locations in Changi’s terminals and Jewel, set to delight the young and young-at-heart.

Air Astana announced new service from Paris to Almaty 

Air Astana has a new service from Paris to Almaty launching in June 2020. The flights will operate three times a week using the carrier’s new Airbus A321LR, which entered revenue service on the Air Astana network last month. Air Astana made its debut on Paris-Astana (now Nur-Sultan) in Spring 2015, using a B757.

The service between the French Capital and Almaty, Kazakhstan’s commercial centre and second city, will operate on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays, with departures from Paris at 19.20 local time, arriving in Almaty at 06.35 local.  The return flight from Almaty will depart at 14.15 local time and arrive in Paris at 18.00 hrs local.   Flight times are 7 hours, 45 minutes and 7 hours and 15 minutes, respectively.


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