Carry On: New routes link Perth-Abu Dhabi, Doha-Cyprus and Melbourne-Tokyo
Doha connects to Cyprus
Oneworld partner Qatar Airways will launch its first service to Larnaca International Airport in Cyprus from Doha on April 29, 2014. Attractions in or near Larnaca include the ancient city of Kition, Larnaca Fort, Hala Sultan Tekke (Grand Mosque), Church of Saint Lazarus, Europe Square and Larnaca Salt Lake. Kato Drys village (pictured) is southwest of the city. The new route, which will fly four times a week to Larnaca, will be operated by an Airbus A320, configured in a two-class configuration with 12 seats in Business Class and 132 in Economy Class.
US Airways switches camps
The Oneworld alliance will welcome US Airways from March 31, 2014, after its merger with American Airlines, creating the world’s largest airline by passenger number carried. All of US Airways regional affiliates in the US, operating under the US Airways Express brand, will also move to Oneworld at the same time. US Airways will leave the Star Alliance on March 30.
Melbourne direct to Tokyo
Jetstar will launch the first direct service between Melbourne Tullamarine and Japan (Tokyo Narita) in April subject to government approvals. Melbourne has not had a non-stop service to Japan since 2008. Melbourne Airport chief executive Chris Woodruff says despite a stopover, Victoria is the fastest growing Japanese market in eastern Australia and the numbers on the route have increased 10% to 150,000 over the past 12 months. “Japan is also Victoria’s most valuable single market for food and beverage exports,” he says. “With around 85% of air exports carried in the belly of passenger aircraft, Jetstar’s new service will further support this important market as well as the state government’s vision to become Asia’s food bowl.”
Perth direct to Abu Dhabi
Etihad Airways will commence daily flights from Abu Dhabi to Perth, Western Australia on July 15, 2014. It will be Etihad’s fourth Australian gateway and bring to 35 the number of weekly flights between Australia and Abu Dhabi (including three Sydney-Abu Dhabi services operated by Virgin Australia). The Perth route will be operated by an Airbus A330-200 with 262 seats – 22 in Pearl Business Class and 240 in Coral Economy Class. Etihad Airways codeshares with Virgin Australia to Albany, Broome, Busselton, Derby, Esperance, Geraldton, Kalgoorlie-Boulder, Kununurra, Karratha, Learmonth, Paraburdoo, Port Hedland, Ravensthorpe and Newman in Western Australia.
SIA codeshares with Taiwan's EVA
Travellers on Singapore Airlines (SIA) flights between Singapore and Taipei now have a choice of three daily flights, as a result of a new codeshare agreement with Star Alliance partner EVA Air. Under the agreement, SIA will add its SQ code to EVA-operated flights and EVA will add its BR code to SIA's flights. SIA has two daily flights to Taipei.
Air New Zealand makes insurance deal
Australia-based travel insurer Cover-More has landed its second partnership with a major airline. Air New Zealand will offer Cover-More insurance in a number of markets, including Australia, New Zealand and the UK. In late 2012, Cover-More made a similar agreement with Malaysia Airlines.
Virgin Australia shareholdings change
Virgin Australia Holdings’ retail shareholders have taken up just over a quarter of their entitlements under the airline's capital raising, allowing its major shareholders to increase their holdings even further. This means Singapore Airlines, Etihad Airways and Air New Zealand will collectively increase their stakes to around 67% as part of a $A351.5 million capital raising. Eligible retail shareholders took up 25.3% of their entitlements, raising $A17.5 million, the ASX was told.