Carry On: News for business travellers
Qantas shaves Dreamliner order
Qantas Airways cut one order of a Boeing 787 for its Jetstar subsidiary but insists the move is unrelated to recent troubles affecting Dreamliner fleets.
Qantas is planning to replace 11 widebodied Airbus A330s in the Jetstar fleet with 15 Dreamliners but has trimmed its order to 14.
Most of the 50 delivered Dreamliners have been grounded on instructions from US and Japanese authorities while technical problems, mainly concerning its lithium batteries, are investigated.
Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce says Jetstar is still expected to pick up its first Dreamliner later this year.
"While the plan is for Jetstar's long haul network to keep expanding we are using the flexibility in our agreement with Boeing to cancel a firm order knowing that we can replace it with one of our 50 options for this aircraft down the track, and with a full view of what market conditions are like at the time," Mr Joyce says.
With Qantas' 50 options to purchase Boeing 787-8 and the larger 787-9 aircraft from 2016, it could still put a 15th Dreamliner in the Jetstar fleet if it wished to and if conditions supported more growth at Jetstar.
Regulator approves Qantas-Emirates deal
Meanwhile, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has granted interim approval to the proposed alliance between Qantas and Emirates.
The ruling allows the two airlines to begin preparations for their tie-up ahead of a final ruling from the ACCC expected in March.
ACCC chairman Rod Sims says the public benefits resulting from the alliance are likely to outweigh the public detriment.
"In most regions, this detriment is likely to be mitigated by a number of factors, including continued competition from a number of established airlines,” he says.
However, transtasman flights are specifically excluded because the only major competition on that route is from Air New Zealand.
"The ACCC is concerned that the alliance may have an increased ability and incentive to reduce or limit growth in its capacity in order to raise airfares," Mr Sims says.
"Therefore the ACCC is granting interim authorisation on the condition that the applicants do not engage in the conduct for which authorisation is sought in relation to services between Australia and New Zealand."
The ACCC will now allow the carriers to start implementing the alliance now because of the long lead time required to market and sell tickets.
Boeing bests Airbus in 2012
Deepite the Dreamliner setbacks, Boeing seized Airbus’ crown as the world's biggest maker of airliners in 2012.
Airbus says it delivered 588 aircraft to 89 customers, a record after 534 deliveries in 2011, compared with Boeing’s 601.
Sales of the flagship superjumbo A380, the biggest passenger airliner in the world, disappointed last year, coming in at about one third of the target figure after a problem was discovered with tiny cracks in the wings.
Etihad goes Dutch with KLM
Gulf airlines are continuing to expand their networks. Etihad Airways will launch daily flights between Abu Dhabi and Amsterdam on May 15 in a codeshare with KLM.
The daily flights will complement KLM’s service, which will increase to daily from the northern summer in a similar codeshare.
Etihad already flies to 17 European cities, including Brussels, Dublin, Frankfurt, Geneva, London and Paris.
Win your fares back with Emirates
Emirates is running a promotion that gives economy and business class ticket-buyers to Europe the chance to win back the value of their ticket plus one companion ticket.
To enter the prize draw, Emirates customers must go to www.emirates.com/nz/win to complete online registration. The competition runs until March 13. The value of the “win back” prize is a maximum of $7000. Various conditions of entry apply.
Examples of fares from Auckland or Christchurch include Warsaw from $2249 economy return (business class $9649), Dublin from $2419 economy return (business class $8,759), Barcelona or Copenhagen from $2429 economy return (business class $8779) and London from $2639 economy return (business class $9169).
Special first class are also on offer for single travellers and those with companions to its Europe destinations. These are on sale until February 18 and range from $10,729 to $12,369, depending on destination. Departures are between February 1 and November 30.