Saudi Arabia’s General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) has selected SITA to support the modernisation of the country’s biggest airports, implementing a transformation of airport and communication technology across 26 airports.
The technology will improve passenger experience while preparing the airports for an expected surge in passenger numbers over the next few years. Passenger traffic across all Saudi airports climbed to 92-million in 2017, a 7.7% increase compared with the previous year. SITA is implementing its AirportConnect® Open platform which allows airlines to work seamlessly at airports while delivering a smooth self-service from check-in to boarding. In addition, SITA is providing GACA with a baggage management solution, enabling GACA airports to meet the baggage tracking requirements of IATA’s Resolution 753.
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has called on the governments and air navigation service providers of Europe to address the region’s airspace bottlenecks, as new data reveals that delays so far this year have more than doubled compared to 2017.
Air Chathams has announced it will launch a new regional flight service between Kāpiti and Auckland from 20 August. Air Chathams will operate 36 flights a week between Auckland and Kāpiti, which will offer travellers up to 1152 seats per week on board its fleet of Saab 340 aircraft.
To celebrate the new three-class configuration of its Tahitian Dreamliner, Air Tahiti Nui is offering guests the chance to upgrade from economy to premium economy for just $250* each way.
On sale until 2 July 2018, clients booked on Air Tahiti Nui’s sale airfare (Economy ‘O’ class) can upgrade to the airline’s new Moana Premium Economy class for just $250 each way to enjoy the extra space and comfort of the premium cabin. The deal is valid on flights between Auckland and Papeete from 8 November 2018, when Air Tahiti Nui’s first Dreamliner commences service, through to 5 December 2018. Return economy airfares from Auckland to Papeete are currently on sale from just $829* pp for departures until 5 December 2018.
Singapore Airlines will launch the world’s longest commercial flights in October, with non-stop services between Singapore and New York using the new Airbus A350-900ULR (ultralong-range).
Flights are to be launched on 11 October 2018, to EWR. The route will initially be served three times a week, departing Singapore on Monday, Thursday and Saturday. SIA is the world’s first customer for the new A350-900ULR, with seven on firm order with Airbus. The aircraft will be configured in a two-class layout, with 67 Business Class seats and 94 Premium Economy Class seats. Tickets are being made available for sale progressively across the various booking channels.
Qantas has launched a new technology platform to enhance the airlines retailing, booking and servicing capabilities for its trade partners and deliver a more personalised experience for customers. The Qantas Distribution Platform (QDP) improves the functionality of indirect agent channels by more closely aligning them with the capabilities currently available via Qantas.com, making it easier for trade partners to sell Qantas products and providing more seamless customer service. Qantas trade partners will have access to richer content relevant to the customer’s journey, including images of cabins and meals and the ability to book extras such as extra legroom seating. It will provide Qantas Frequent Flyer information and tier status at the point of sale. The Qantas Distribution Platform has been developed in partnership with Farelogix Inc. and utilises IATA’s New Distribution Capability (NDC). The new Qantas platform has been certified to NDC Level 3, IATA’s highest certification.
Singapore Airlines’ (SIA) regional wing, SilkAir, will undergo a significant investment programme to upgrade its cabin products as part of a multi-year initiative that will ultimately see it merged into SIA.
The investment of more than $100 million will upgrade the wholly owned subsidiary’s cabins with new lie-flat seats in Business Class, and the installation of seat-back inflight entertainment systems in both Business Class and Economy Class. This will ensure closer product and service consistency across the SIA Group’s full-service network. Aircraft cabin upgrades are expected to start in 2020 due to lead times required by seat suppliers, including to complete certification processes. The merger will take place only after a sufficient number of aircraft have been fitted with the new cabin products. Specific details will be announced progressively.
The decision to operate the Airbus A350-900 to Christchurch (as reported in a One Minute Memo 14 May) reinforces Singapore Airlines’ commitment to Christchurch and the South Island, according to Simon Turcotte, SIA’s general manager New Zealand. ‘We have very strong support out of Christchurch, both from the trade and the consumer. This move recognises that support.’
The A350 service will start on 7 January 2019 when SQ297 departs Singapore for Christchurch and seats are on sale from today. The aircraft brings Premium Economy Class to the route, meaning customers can experience the cabin from the South Island to destinations such as Paris, London, New Delhi, Johannesburg, Dubai, Barcelona, Hong Kong and more. ‘We are pleased that on 8 January 2019 when the A350-900 lands in SIA: ‘A350 decision reinforces commitment’ Christchurch our customers will have access to an additional premium cabin option, as well as our next generation cabin products in business and economy.’ The A350-900 gas features such as higher ceilings, larger windows, an extra wide body delivering more space and comfort, as well as lighting designed to reduce jetlag.
The arrival of the new aircraft will also provide customers the opportunity to utilise the Singapore Airlines Companion app, which delivers great control over their in flight entertainment (IFE) experience – even before boarding the aircraft regardless of the class of travel. Singapore Airlines has a total of 67 A350- 900 aircraft on firm order and has already taken delivery of 21 since the first of the aircraft entered the fleet in March 2016. Singapore Airlines first touched down at Christchurch International Airport in 1986.
After seven years of partnership, Air New Zealand and Virgin Australia are ending their trans-Tasman alliance and the industry has weighed in.
Brent Thomas House of Travel commercial director says the news will likely add further competition to what is already a very competitive route.
By Ruth Scott
Could the skies above New Zealand once again see the colours of Polynesian Airlines?
This was a question up for discussion at the Samoa Tourism Exchange (STE) held this week in Apia, and it comes at a time a 10-year joint venture (JV) deal between the government of Samoa and Virgin Australia is up
Hawaiian Airways has staved off growing competition from new flight options to the US and is now looking to snatch back a larger percentage of the American mainland-bound market.
Airline president and CEO Mark Dunkerley was in Auckland yesterday celebrating the carrier’s fourth anniversary since it launched its three-times weekly service to New Zealand.
Since 2013, Hawaiian has carried more than 120,000 guests on more than 500 flights from Auckland to Honolulu. Prior to the launch, fewer than 26,000 New Zealand travellers visited Hawai‘i in 2012 but visitor
Etihad Airways has revealed that in 2017, it eliminated around 195,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions because of a wide range of fuel-saving initiatives across its network.
The airline was able to reduce the amount of fuel consumed by its aircraft by over 62,000 tonnes of fuel.
Hawaiian Airlines’ New Zealand sales team recently took out the top performing sales team award at Hawaiian Airlines’ Global Sales and Alliances Conference.
Held at the Hilton Waikoloa Village in Kona, the awards were presented by Hawaiian Airlines’ president and CEO Peter Ingram and Theo Panagiotoulias, senior vice president, global sales and alliances in front of over 100
Air New Zealand is making some enhancements to its Economy Skycouch, benefiting the airline’s youngest customers.
The airline is introducing a dedicated infant harness and belt, allowing infants to remain lying down throughout the cruise phase of flight.
Air New Zealand’s latest safety video is shining a spotlight on Antarctica, showcasing the important climate and environmental science underway there.
Building on NZ’s long-standing partnership with Antarctica New Zealand and the New Zealand Antarctic Research Institute, the video sees Hollywood actor, lmmaker and environmentalist Adrian Grenier, team up with Scott Base scientists to track penguin populations, study ice core samples and visit early explorer Ernest Shackleton’s
Lufthansa recently revealed its new brand image and new aircraft livery.
‘Lufthansa has changed and is more modern and successful than ever. From now on, this will also be visible to the public through a new design,’ says Carsten Spohr, chairman of the Executive Board of Deutsche Lufthansa
Air New Zealand’s latest safety video will focus on climate change and Antarctica’s part in it all.
The upcoming video builds on Air New Zealand’s partnership with Antarctica New Zealand, which has supported climate and environmental research in the Ross Sea area since 2012.
Air New Zealand general manager global brand and content marketing Jodi Williams, says the video is a glimpse into a part of the world few experience, but which has the greatest potential impact on the planet’s future.
Norwegian has set a new record time for the fastest ever transatlantic flight by a passenger aircraft this week using its Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner.
The Norwegian flight DY7014 from New York JFK to London Gatwick on Monday 15 January completed the full duration of the flight in 5 hours and 13 minutes.
Emirates is resuming flights between Dubai and Istanbul’s Sabiha Gokcen Airport in June this year.
Emirates flight EK119 will depart Dubai providing connections from Emirates’ A380 flights from Auckland and Christchurch, and arriving in Istanbul.
Kiwi passengers travelling on an SAA ticket-operated by the airline’s low-cost-carrier Mango, on flights within South Africa, can now take advantage of value meal deals.
South African Airways country manager for Australasia, Tim Clyde Smyth, says SAA-ticketed passengers will receive food and drinks to the value of 70 rand at no cost on production of an SAA boarding pass.
Air New Zealand will be flying nearly 6000 extra seats on its seasonal service between Christchurch and Fiji in 2018, an increase of more than 40%.
The airline currently operates two services per week from Christchurch to Nadi International Airport between July and October, increasing to three services per week at peak times.
Philippine Airlines acknowledges more market development and activity is required to encourage New Zealand holiday makers to look at the Philippines as a destination.
The statement comes at a time when the carrier has shown confidence in the Manila – Auckland route by introducing an Airbus A340-300 to the route and flying direct three times a week.
The development, which came into effect late last week, sees the end of the service via Cairns, which was operated by an A320.
On 3 July 2018, Fiji Airways will start direct flights between Nadi and Tokyo Narita three-times a week, subject to regulatory approvals.
The new nine-hour flights will operate from Nadi International Airport to Narita International Airport and will be scheduled for Tuesday, Friday and Sunday each week.
There will be over 80,000 seats per year between Fiji and Japan aboard Fiji Airways’ Airbus A330-200/-300.
American Airlines has upped its service to Canada, with a new flight from Chicago to Calgary and Vancouver.
Daily service to Vancouver begins May 4, 2018, and seasonal service to Calgary begins June 7, 2018.
The airline will also increase frequencies from the U.S. East Coast to Eastern Canada and extend seasonal service to popular Canadian destinations.
Qantas’ new lounge at Heathrow Airport has opened today, welcoming its first lot of customers.
The airline has spent the past 12 months building the lounge as part of a multi-million dollar investment for customers on its existing London services as well as the landmark Perth-London route starting on 24 March 2018.
It’s the second anniversary of the South Island’s first direct service to mainland China with China Southern, and the route is becoming gaining traction.
Justin Watson, Christchurch Airport chief aeronautical and commercial officer, says the 787 Dreamliner service is proving very popular with both Chinese visitors and South Island residents.
Hawaii Island Air has officially closed operations, as of Saturday 11 November 2017.
Earlier this month, Island Air was forced to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in an effort to continue operations following threats of legal action by the Lessors of Island Air’s aircraft to ground and repossess the company’s fleet.
LATAM Airlines’ economy cabin has a new dining concept on its long-haul international flights.
The airline has replaced the traditional tray, with a choice of individual gourmet dishes that are 50% bigger and showcase Latin American, international and vegetarian cuisine.
Honing in on it’s sustainability efforts, Air New Zealand is expanding its long-term Department of Conservation partnership by giving a boost to conservation and biodiversity on DOC’s new Short Walks and Day Hikes network.
The airline has partnered with DOC since 2012 and recently announced it will extend its support out to 2022, funding projects to control pests, restore native wildlife and enhance the visitor experience on a mix of the Great Walks, Short Walks and Day Hikes, and marine reserves, as well as transporting endangered species on its aircraft to safe breeding grounds across the country.
Virgin Atlantic has over 350,000 seats available to book in 2018.
Flights to both New York JFK and Atlanta have been upgraded and will now be operated by the A330 and the Boeing 747, which has 455 seats per aircraft.
Direct seats between Manchester and US airports include complimentary food and drink on board and access to Wi-Fi.
Air New Zealand has announced daily flights to Houston for most of next winter.
This increase comes from a surge in demand for travel between New Zealand and Texas.
Air New Zealand currently operates five services per week to Houston year-round.
Air New Zealand has appointed British ecological economist Professor Tim Jackson and leading carbon emissions policy specialist Dr Suzi Kerr to its Sustainability Advisory Panel.
Air New Zealand chief executive officer, Christopher Luxon, says the panel provides guidance and critique as the airline works to embed sustainable growth, with the new panellists bringing further expertise in social, economic and environmental issues.
British Airways has become the first airline worldwide to introduce high-tech remote-controlled devices to push back aircraft across its short-haul operation.
In partnership with Heathrow Airport, the eco-friendly Mototok tugs will give British Airways staff the tools to prepare aircraft for departure more efficiently.
Air Canada’s direct flights between Melbourne and Vancouver will start from June 2018 with three non-stop services a week, adding over 46,000 seats every year from Canada. Jetstar has also introduced a nonstop service from Zhengzhou – giving Chinese travellers from regional hubs more accessibility to reach Melbourne.
Auckland Airport has welcomed the announcement by Thai Airways that it will increase flights on its Bangkok to Auckland service. From November 2017 Thai Airways will fly daily from Bangkok to Auckland and introduce a new Boeing Dreamliner aircraft on the route.
Air New Zealand is adding flights to its domestic schedule ready for summer to deliver 180,000 extra seats between November 2017 and March 2018, compared with the same period last year. Auckland and Queenstown will receive nearly 60,000 extra seats, an average of eight additional return services a week to and from the resort town.
Cathay Pacific Airways has released their sustainable development report for 2016, illustrating what was a groundbreaking year for the airline. Last year Cathay Pacific said goodbye to the Boeing 747 and welcomed in the Airbus A350-900, which delivers enhanced environmental performance and will accelerate carbon efficiency and reduce emissions going forward.