Aviation wrap: Qantas’ fresh plane order, Air Vanuatu’s new non-stop service, Western Sydney Airport update + MORE!

Felt a little in the dark lately about what’s been happening in the world of commercial aviation? This wrap should provide all the illumination you need.

Qantas group updates Airbus order with extra-long-range A321


The Qantas Group has secured up to 36 Airbus A321 XLR (extra long range) aircraft for delivery from financial year 2024 onwards, in an update of its existing order.

The update will see 26 of the group’s existing A321 NEO orders converted to A321 XLRs and add a further 10 XLRs – taking the total order from 99 aircraft to 109. The order includes significant flexibility for the Qantas Group to make adjustments to delivery schedules depending on market conditions.

The fuel efficient, longer-range XLR will improve fleet flexibility and network options for potential use by different airlines in the Qantas Group. Its ability to fly longer distances means it can be used to open up new destinations or replace wide-body aircraft on existing routes, improving overall economics.

The A321 XLR has a range of around 8,700 kilometres, which is 15 per cent longer than the A321 LR. Depending on cabin configuration it can carry up to 244 passengers. It offers a 30 per cent lower fuel burn per seat compared with previous generation aircraft.

Key to the XLR’s flying range are additional fuel tanks in the belly of the aircraft plus, improved aerodynamics and a 25 per cent increase to maximum take-off weight compared with the group’s existing A320s Classics, which are used across Jetstar and in resources markets with QantasLink.


Air Vanuatu commences new non-stop service between Melbourne and Port Vila

air vanuatu

Air Vanuatu, Vanuatu’s national carrier, today commenced its new non-stop service between Melbourne and Port Vila, Vanuatu, with the inaugural flight touching down in the South Pacific capital at 12.30pm local time.

The direct route marks a new era in travel for Air Vanuatu, expanding the airline’s offering in Australia and bringing the South Pacific nation closer to Melburnians.

Air Vanuatu’s Boeing 737-800 is flying the route, providing eight business class seats and 162 economy seats. The aircraft will depart Melbourne at 07.00 (local time) on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, arriving in Port Vila at 12.30 (local time) with a flight time of just over four hours.

Port Vila is a hub for greater Vanuatu, with Air Vanuatu providing onward connections to 28 destinations across the island archipelago.

The return leg from Port Vila will depart at 16.15 (local time) on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, arriving in Melbourne at 20.15 (local time), with a flight time of just over five hours. Flight times are subject to change.


Emirates offers competitive fares this end of financial year

As the end of financial year approaches, Emirates is encouraging Australians to book their next adventure now with competitive fares to more than 50 destinations in its global route network, when booked by 1 July 2019 for select travel periods.

Emirates flies to more than 40 European destinations, including soon to launch service to Porto, as well as its cosmopolitan hub Dubai which is the perfect stopover or holiday destination in itself for all Australians.

Economy Class passengers can enjoy fares starting from $1,229 to Dubai, $1,359 to Manchester, $1,369 to Porto, $1,469 to Paris and $1,529 to Rome.

While Business Class passengers can enjoy fares starting from $7,049 to Dubai, $7,279 to Porto, $7,429 to Manchester, $7,449 to Paris and $7,539 to Rome.


Qatar Airways Touches Down For the First Time in Davao, Philippines


The first Qatar Airways flight from Doha to Davao, Philippines, touched down today at Davao International Airport, where it was welcomed with a celebratory water cannon salute. Qatar Airways flight QR936 departed Hamad International Airport (HIA) on Tuesday, 18 June at 02.45 and landed in Davao at 17:20 local time.


Air France-KLM and Accor announce new enhanced loyalty program partnership

Air France Boeing 777-300/ER

Accor Group and the Air France-KLM Group are strengthening their existing partnership by offering, for the first time in the European travel industry a dual reward scheme to their entire global loyalty customer base.

Every time our customers travel on a flight marketed and operated by Air France and/or KLM, or stay a night at an Accor hotel, they will now simultaneously earn both Flying Blue Miles and Le Club AccorHotels Reward points.


Architects shortlisted for terminal design competition

Western Sydney Airport has shortlisted five architectural teams to participate a design competition for the Airport’s terminal that attracted global interest.

The five parties will now create their vision for Western Sydney International (Nancy-Bird Walton) Airport’s terminal precinct, which includes a plaza, a public transport interchange and the integrated international and domestic passenger terminal.

The architectural teams that have been invited to participate in the design competition are:

  • Design Inc & Foster + Partners
  • Architectus, Gensler, SAA and Surbana Jurong
  • Cox and Zaha Hadid
  • Woods Bagot and RSHP
  • Hassell and Pascall Watson


Discover the World drives Dohop expansion

Dohop, the innovative Icelandic flight booking and connection platform, has appointed Discover the World as its global sales partner as it targets ambitious growth.

The agreement will see Discover leverage its extensive global network as well as its close working relationships with its airline partners to increase uptake of Dohop’s revenue generating platform across the industry.


Qantas Dreamliner to fly across the Tasman over summer 

Qantas Dreamliner

Qantas will operate its Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner across the Tasman between Sydney and Auckland over the peak summer season.

From 4 December 2019 to 28 March 2020, customers travelling on one of five of the airline’s daily flights between Sydney and Auckland will experience the Dreamliner’s next generation Economy, Premium Economy and Business cabins.

The flights are an opportunity for Qantas to showcase the 787 across the Tasman before more Dreamliners arrive and begin operating across the airline’s long-haul international network in 2020.


Airservices Australia cuts aviation charges

Airservices Australia will reduce aviation charges for the first time from July 1 as the organisation seeks to minimise operational costs for the airline industry and light aircraft operators.

Aviation charges will be cut by two per cent next month following a price freeze in 2015 and the consolidation of an efficiency program at Airservices for the non-operational divisions of the organisation.

The program, which quarantined air traffic control and aviation rescue and fire-fighting services, delivered savings of more than $170 million, creating the headroom to reduce charges for the first time. The price cut will result in multi-million dollar savings for Australia’s airlines and aviation industry.


Comments are closed.


Virgin Australia announces mass changes to executive team

Virgin’s HR team is drowning in paperwork after CEO Jayne Hrdlicka assembled her dream exec leadership line-up.




OPINION: Playing a long game against the pandemic – book now, for travel later

by David Green

Here, G Adventure’s head of commercial waxes lyrical about why agents shouldn’t give up hope in the current climate.




The Travel Industry Hub creates online community

Are you sick of attending webinars where everyone leaves straight after they end, leaving no chance to network and chat? Well, TTIH is doing something about it.




Brisbane Airport achieves global COVID-safe accreditation

While the health and safety protocols at Brisbane’s quarantine hotels are being questioned, at least the airport’s got it together.




Nail-biting images emerge of youths taking selfies on Sydney hotel ledge

Bloody kids these days and their death-defying selfies. Back in our day, the cameras were so big that we’d be lucky to get one up a staircase, let alone onto the ledge of a building.




South Australia changes border restrictions for travellers from NSW

by Huntley Mitchell

Finding it hard to follow of all the constantly-changing domestic border restrictions? Travel Weekly has done some of the deciphering for you here.




Royal Caribbean extends cruise suspension, announces US$40m funding pool for agents

Despite what the headline suggests, the cruise group isn’t offering agents to take a dip in a literal pool of cash, much to our disappointment.




The Travel Corporation’s Aussie CEO to depart as part of major exec changes

Here’s some very big news right here for your Friday, with TTC’s Fiona Dalton set to fly the coop after just three months in the top role.




Indonesian socialite books out entire flight to Bali to avoid COVID-19

The grandson of a pharmaceutical tycoon reckons booking out an entire commercial flight is cheaper than chartering a private jet.




Opening date revealed for W Melbourne

Have you been waiting with bated breath for Marriott to reveal the opening date for its new Melbourne property? Well, you can now rid yourself of all that anxiety.



Travel Agents

CTM boss in legal stoush with Brisbane City Council over $20 million property plan

Jamie Pherous has become entangled in a legal battle with the council over a swimming pool he wants to build at his new property on Brisbane River.




Get in quick! Trafalgar launches ‘Break Out & Break Free’ sale

It appears 2021 is the year of the sale, with Trafalgar joining the already long list of travel brands spruiking their discounted wares.