Jetstar poised to outgrow parent
Jetstar Airways is about overtake its parent Qantas as the bigger airline by international passenger numbers, according to an analysis by researcher Capa, the Centre for Aviation.
The latest figures issued by Qantas Group for November 2012 show the stark contrast in the fortunes of the two stable brands, Capa says. Jetstar increased both its domestic demand and capacity during the month compared with a year ago, while Qantas mainline demand, excluding QantasLink, was flat on a modest increase in capacity.
The story is even more pronounced on the international routes where Jetstar put in double digit-growth for both measures and Qantas continues to fall away. If the trend continues, Jetstar could overtake Qantas within six months as the biggest carrier by passengers carried to and from Australia.
Jetstar also increased its New Zealand services in November with the addition of its ninth Airbus A320 aircraft. This allowed it to increase flights on domestic routes as well as across the Tasman.
China high-speed train network expands
The world's longest high-speed rail route now runs for 2298km between Beijing and Guangzhou, a trip taking just eight hours compared with the previous 22 hours. The trains travel at an average speed of 300km per hour over the line, which includes 35 stops in major cities such as Zhengzhou, Wuhan on the Yangtze River and Changsha.
The route was made possible with the completion of a line between Zhengzhou and Beijing. High-speed sections linking Zhengzhou and Wuhan and Wuhan and Guangzhou were already in service. China's high-speed rail network was established in 2007 and has fast become the world's largest with 8358km of track at the end of 2010. That is expected to almost double to 16,000km by 2020.
China Airlines spends up on 777s
Taiwan-based China Airlines, which flies to Auckland, will purchase six new Boeing 777-300ER passenger aircraft for long-haul routes to North America and Europe. They are slated for delivery from 2014 will bring the number of jets China Airlines owns to 82 at a cost of about $US2 billion.
US to get what others have
Air travellers in the US will get next year what many in the rest of the world now take for granted: more wi-fi, more seats with extra legroom, more lie-flat beds, a speedier security process and, of course, more fees, according to the Wall Street Journal. Also coming in 2013 are more new aircraft and major airport overhauls, as most airlines are now making profits and raising their capital spending.
United Airlines, for example, says it will spruce up neglected airport facilities, such as Washington Dulles International, and add new seats and bigger overhead storage bins to aircraft. New procedures aimed at speeding up boarding are in the works at United, too.
Delta Air Lines will complete the first phase of a massive rebuilding of its international Terminal 4 at New York's Kennedy Airport next year and move flights out of outdated Terminal 3. It will also launch a new partnership with Virgin Atlantic offering more options for getting to London and beyond.
American Airlines, still restructuring in bankruptcy court, will roll out more new planes in 2013, and maybe even a new company if a merger with US Airways Group – being studied and negotiated by executives of both companies, plus unions and creditors – comes to pass.
Emirates sponsors men’s top tennis
Emirates Airline will become the official airline of the men's tennis tour for the next five years and will also sponsor the ATP tennis rankings starting January 1, the ATP World Tour says. The rankings are currently sponsored by South African Airways. Emirates already sponsors several ATP World Tour Masters 1000 events as well as the US Open Series and the company is also an official partner of the US Open.