Big Fat Airline Wrap

Big Fat Airline Wrap

If you only read one thing today, make it this Airline Wrap. And maybe the directions on the back of your medication packet.

Cairns secures direct mainland China flights

Tropical North Queensland will deliver tens of thousands of visitors to Queensland with the announcement on June 30 that China Southern Airlines will operate three flights a week direct from Guangzhou to Cairns from December.

Tourism Tropical North Queensland (TTNQ) Chair Max Shepherd said it was incredibly rewarding for the destination to have direct China services confirmed as it would provide a substantial opportunity to build on the growth in arrivals from the region’s number one source market.

“Established under the Queensland Government’s $33.5 million Advance Queensland: Connecting with Asia initiative, this will be the first direct year-round service from mainland China to Cairns,” he said.

“The China Southern flights will inject $30.8 million in overnight visitor expenditure for the region in the first year and $90 million over three years with three flights per week delivering 33,852 seats on an A330-200 aircraft.

“Growth from China continued for the year ending March 2017 delivering 218,000 visitors to Tropical North Queensland, an 8.8 per cent increase which represented more than half of Queensland’s 406,000 Chinese holiday visitors.

“Direct flights will allow us to tap into the positive response from both the Chinese travel industry at the recent Australian Tourism Exchange and the rapidly growing online travel agents in China.”

Qantas boosts flights to Queenstown in ski season 

Qantas has added two additional flights per week on its Sydney to Queenstown route during this July/August ski season peak.

The increase is a result of higher than expected demand, and lifts Qantas’ total capacity from eight to 10 flights per week over the winter period.

The first night-flight lands this Saturday at 6pm and will depart early the next morning (a first for Qantas in Queenstown).  The early arrival of these flights back in Sydney presents good connection opportunities to the rest of the Qantas International network.

These night-flights complement Qantas’ recent announcement that it will continue daily direct flights between Sydney and Queenstown year-round.

Qatar Airways partners with chef and restauranteur George Calombaris 


Qatar Airways has collaborated with chef and restauranteur George Calombaris to develop an impressive inflight menu to celebrate the introduction of the A380 aircraft on the Melbourne – Doha route.

In an effort to highlight Melbourne’s significant links to Greece, Qatar Airways has enlisted Greek-Australian chef Calombaris to incorporate his signature Greek-inspired dishes into the dining menu for First and Business Class passengers flying between Melbourne and Doha between 1 July to 30 September 2017.

This is the first time the award-winning airline has partnered with a celebrated chef to create a bespoke inflight menu especially for just one destination in its network.

Adam Radwanski, Senior Manager at Qatar Airways Australasia, said, “Athens is one of the most popular destinations in Europe for our Melbourne-based passengers, and Qatar Airways offer one of the fastest and most convenient pathways to Greece from Australia via our state-of-the-art Hamad International Airport in Doha.

“We look forward to further expanding our Greece footprint with the launch of Mykonos in 2017-18, bringing the whitewashed paradise islands closer to Australians with a convenient one-stop in Doha.”

People’s taste buds change at 30,000 feet, which means the menu has to pack powerful flavours. Calombaris captured this by including dishes such as; the “Gazi” lamb moussaka for main course, healthy Hellenic grain salad, tuna, and tahini yoghurt as a cold appetiser and lighter options such as Gazi souvlaki of pastourma beef short rib, pickles and mustard aioli and Greek Salad served with dashi yoghurt and poached prawns.

Calombaris’ signature “Hellenic Republic” risogalo (Greek rice pudding with Murray River salted caramel) will provide the sweet ending to the meal.

AAPA statement on US DHS enhanced security measures

The US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has recently announced the imposition of enhanced aviation security measures for all international flights operating into the United States, citing continuing terrorist threats.

The new security measures will affect 105 countries, 280 airports, 180 airlines, 2100 daily flights and an average of 325,000 daily passengers.

Commenting on the new measures, Andrew Herdman, Director General of the Association of Asia Pacific Airlines (AAPA) said, “Airlines are fully committed to working closely with government security agencies, airports and other stakeholders to ensure that air travel remains safe, secure and convenient.

“Implementation of these new security directives will necessitate a number of procedural and operational changes by airlines and airports around the world. Airlines, airports and the relevant government authorities will need to work closely together to avoid unnecessary disruption to the travelling public.”

Herdman concluded, “Aviation security is a collective global responsibility. We urge all governments, in conjunction with the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), to work together more closely with industry, and strengthen multilateral cooperation using a risk-based approach, focusing on globally agreed standards, and mutual recognition of respective security regimes.”

Qatar Airways Accelerates Its Global Expansion With the Launch of Prague and Sohar

Qatar Airways today confirmed the expedited launch of two new destinations by the end of August 2017, with several more announcements to follow shortly. Joining Qatar Airways’ global network, which spans six continents, are: Sohar, Sultanate of Oman, which will launch on 8 August; and Prague, Czech Republic, which will launch on 21 August.

The airline has confirmed the start of its new service between Doha and Sohar with three-weekly flights beginning 8 August, while the service between Doha and Prague will operate on a daily basis from 21 August. Both destinations will be operated by Qatar Airways’ Airbus A320 aircraft.

Qatar Airways recently launched a direct daily service to Dublin, Republic of Ireland, as part of its rapid global expansion strategy, with service to Nice, France, commencing 4 July, and flights to Skopje, Republic of Macedonia, on 17 July.

Other new destinations planned for the remainder of this year and 2018 include Canberra, Australia; Chiang Mai, Thailand.; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; San Francisco, U.S.; and Santiago, Chile. A total of 25 new destination launches will take place throughout 2017-2018.

The new Prague and Sohar routes will be served by an Airbus A320 aircraft featuring 12 seats in Business Class and 132 seats in Economy Class.

Passengers can use any transfer time to take advantage of the many activities and services available at Hamad International Airport, from the free Wi-Fi, airside swimming pool and play areas for children, through to the multiple quiet areas in which passengers can relax, as well as the amazing array of duty free shopping and dining options.

Fiji Airways x Adelaide Airport Launch

Fiji Airways Adelaide Launch_3

Exciting snaps have been unveiled from the festivities at Adelaide Airport on Friday night, for Fiji Airways inaugural Adelaide flight.

This is an exciting time for Fiji’s national airline, who now have four direct services to Australia. South Australian’s now have a direct connection to Fiji as well as onward connections to LA, San Francisco and Honolulu.

Brisbane’s New Runway enters final construction phase


Brisbane Airport’s new runway is on track to open in 2020 with the award of the Airfield Works contract to Skyway, a joint venture (JV) between BMD Construction Pty Ltd and CPB Contractors Pty Limited, a member of the CIMIC Group.

Both companies have a strong connection to Queensland and to Brisbane Airport.

Julieanne Alroe, Brisbane Airport Corporation (BAC) CEO and Managing Director, said, “Given the long history of this project which had its earliest planning stages in the 1970s, it is a significant milestone to announce today the successful contractor for the largest, final and most expensive package of works to bring Brisbane’s new runway to life.

“The new runway was the most important piece of aviation infrastructure being built in Queensland and the biggest undertaken by BAC since the airport was privatised in 1997.

“It is a $1.2 to $1.3 billion privately funded investment that, when operational in 2020, will provide unlimited opportunities for the growth of our city, state and, ultimately, our nation.

“To put our investment in this project into context, BAC bought the entire airport for $1.38 billion, almost 20 years ago to the day.

“Over the past two decades, BAC has privately invested more than $3.4 billion in upgrading and expanding this critical piece of public infrastructure, with a great deal of this development geared to increasing capacity and improving the travelling experience for airline passengers.

“Importantly, through privatisation, not one cent of the billions of dollars invested in this critical infrastructure has come from the government purse,” Alroe said.

isbane’s new runway is currently the largest aviation infrastructure project under construction in Australia. It includes a 3,300m long x 60m wide runway, over 12km of taxiways, as well as all necessary airfield infrastructure including navigational aids, lighting, multiple utilities, signage, operational roads, drainage, security fencing, control systems and  approx. 300 hectares of airfield landscaping.

BAC’s investment in this final stage of works, including the Airfield Works contract, is worth more than $500 million and will take close to three years to complete.  It is an enormous undertaking with the vast majority of large value components being locally sourced.

Emirates A380 touches down in Nice


Emirates operated its inaugural A380 service to Nice Cote d’Azur International Airport, marking the introduction of the iconic double-decker on the route. Passengers on the flight represented travellers from countries across Africa, Australasia, the Middle East and South Asia.

Replacing the existing Boeing 777-300ER used on this route, the A380 will serve the strong customer demand and bring the total number of global destinations served by the Emirates A380 to 47. The aircraft upgauge will also offer consumers travelling on the Nice route the unique experience of Emirates’ flagship A380 aircraft, and a seamless Emirates A380 experience to many connecting destinations on the airline’s global network.

Timings for the daily inbound/outbound flights on the Dubai (DXB) – Nice (NCE) route will remain unchanged. Flight EK077 departs Dubai at 0845hrs daily arriving in Nice at 1340hrs. Timings for the return flight, EK078 will also remain unchanged, departing Nice at 1540hrs, arriving in Dubai at 0010hrs the next day (local times).

Jin Air returning to Cairns 

Korean airline, Jin Air, has confirmed it will operate 12 return seasonal services from Seoul in December and January.

Cairns Airport Chief Executive Officer, Norris Carter, welcomes Jin Air’s return to Cairns.

“We were honoured last year when Jin Air chose Cairns as their first Australian destination and their seasonal service proved to be one of the most successful ever to operate into Cairns Airport, with every flight almost at capacity.

“The returning service will give more South Korean people direct access to experience the World Heritage Great Barrier Reef and Tropical Rainforests.”

“Holiday visitors from Korea can also take advantage of Cairns Airport’s excellent domestic connections which give them the opportunity for convenient travel to experience other parts of Australia during their stay.”

“Along with the Tourism and Events Queensland, Tourism Tropical North Queensland and Tourism Australia, we continue to work with Jin Air to develop an extended seasonal service and eventually a service that can provide South Korean people with year round access to our destination.”

New initiatives to improve passenger experience at Emirates Terminal 3

Travellers departing from Dubai International Airport Terminal 3 can look forward to a smoother airport experience with the implementation of two new initiatives that will streamline the check-in and immigration checks at departure.

Involving biometric technology and new automated border control gates, these two projects will be launched immediately, with completion expected within the next 12-18 months.

These are the first projects signed off by the joint team currently reviewing all traveller touch points at Dubai International airport, with the aim of enhancing the overall customer experience.

This unique collaborative approach involving Emirates airline, Dubai Customs, Dubai General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA), Dubai Police and Dubai Airports, was launched in May and has quickly borne fruit.

The two new initiatives announced will help expedite the processing of travellers, and facilitate a smoother traveller flow through various check-points at the airport.

  • Biometric technology: Using a facial recognition solution integrated with the UAE Wallet, travellers will be able to register and store their biometric data through multiple means including by taking a selfie on their mobile phones, as well as using biometric registration kiosks placed at check-in areas and Emirates Lounges. They can then utilise this biometric data to ease their journey through immigration at T3 Departures, and later, other touch-points throughout DXB airport, including automated access to Emirates’ First and Business Class lounges.
  • One Gate: new generation smart immigration gates will be installed at T3 Departures, supplementing the existing e-gates, and manned immigration counters.  These new smart gates offer an automated border control system that utilises travellers’ biometrics. It will also enable travellers to forgo the additional step of getting their passports and boarding passes manually checked by a security officer before they go through immigration, as these checks will be automatically integrated within the biometric validation as travellers pass through the new smart gates.

Third Daily Flight on the Tokyo – Los Angeles Route Announced by ANA

Strong passenger demand prompts ANA to open its third direct flight from Tokyo to Los Angeles bringing the total of daily flights to three; two from Narita Airport and one from Haneda Airport.

ANA, Japan’s only 5-Star airline, has decided to increase the number of flights on the route between Tokyo (Narita) and Los Angeles, from Sunday, October 29, 2017.

Currently, ANA operates one flight per day between Tokyo (Haneda) and Los Angeles, and one flight per day between Tokyo (Narita) and Los Angeles.

From Sunday, October 29, 2017, the number of daily flights between Tokyo (Narita) and Los Angeles will increase to two, responding to the strong demand for travel between the U.S. and Japan as well as between the U.S. and Asian countries. This route has seen constant growth in number of passengers.

As a result, ANA will be offering in total three flights between Tokyo and Los Angeles, providing additional connectivity, and enhancing Narita Airport’s competitive strength as a transit hub between the Asian countries and North America.

Passenger traffic at DXB tops 6.8 million in May

Dubai International welcomed 6.8 million customers during May, according to the monthly traffic report issued by operator Dubai Airports today.

In May 2017 passenger numbers at DXB rose 1.9 per cent to 6,850,052 compared to 6,721,995 recorded in May 2016. During the first five months of 2017, DXB welcomed 36,969,594 passengers, a year on year growth of 6.7 per cent compared to 34,649,748 passengers recorded during the same period last year.

South America was the fastest growing region in May rising 60 per cent, followed by routes to Eastern Europe which registered a year on year growth of 15.5 per cent, and Asia (9.7 per cent). In terms of passenger volume, India topped all countries with a total of 1,029,929 passengers, followed by Saudi Arabia (508,613), the UK (451,540), and Pakistan (354,924) while the top cities for passenger traffic were London (292,193), Mumbai (216,173) and Jeddah (178,220).

During the month under review, flight movements totalled 34,544, a contraction of 2.3 per cent compared to 35,369* recorded during May 2016. Year to date flight numbers reached 175,155 compared to 175,607 flight movements recorded during the same period last year, down marginally by 0.3 per cent.

The average number of passengers per flight was 205 during May 2017, a year on year growth of 1.5 per cent compared to 202 in May last year.



Economy Saver fares:

  • Valid for departures effective 01AUG-13SEP17 & 01OCT- 20NOV17 & 14JAN- 31MAR18 & 01-31MAY18
  • Generous baggage allowance of 2 pieces of 23kg
  • Sale ends 19JUL 2017.
  • Get the FARE SHEET

Gross fares:

DESTINATIONS – economy airfares

  • JNB, CPT, DUR – $1170
  • ELS, PLZ, NBO, DAR, HRE, LUN, MPM – $1270
  • WDH, VFA, BLZ, NLA, LLW, LVI – $1370

Milan Economy and Business Class Fares on Oman Air

SPECIALS TO MILAN (all inclusive of taxes and surcharges)


LATAM Airlines – Trade update

LATAM Airlines Group reports consolidated operating income of US$65.6 million for first quarter 2017

LATAM Airlines Group S.A., the leading airline group in Latin America, announced today its consolidated financial results for the first quarter ending March 31, 2017.

LATAM Airlines Group reported an operating income of US$152.3 million and a net income of US$65.6 million. During the first quarter 2017, total operating revenues increased 6.4% to US$2,477.4 million, reflecting LATAM’s proactive capacity management as well as stronger local currencies, especially in Brazil.

Passenger revenues increased 7.6%, with a yield improvement of 6.9% and load factors increasing by 0.5 p.p. to 84.7%.

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