Southern China pioneers Dreamliner
First and business class travellers will get their first taste of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner in New Zealand when China Southern Airlines introduces it to the Guangzhou-Auckland route this summer. “We think the 228-seat Dreamliner is ideal for the Auckland route and have decided to bring it on line on December 4 to see how it goes,” says China Southern regional general manager Australia New Zealand Henry He.
China Southern has two of 10 Dreamliners it has ordered and both have begun flying from its Guangzhou hub in southern China to Beijing and Shanghai. When they begin flying internationally they will offer services on the airline’s Canton Route to Vancouver, Paris and London as well as Auckland.
Despite a three-month global grounding earlier this year over battery problems, the new generation offer all the latest mod-cons and a three-cabin layout with four seats in First Class, 24 Business seats and an Economy cabin with 200 seats. China Southern operates the largest airline fleet in Asia and with more than 86 million passengers carried in 2012 it is the third largest carrier in the world.
Baggage prescreening trials begin
Trials have begun at Melbourne Airport to screen airline baggage on flights to Auckland and send the x-ray images before passengers arrive in New Zealand. The trials are a world-first and involve the transfer of aviation security images on Air New Zealand flights from and to Auckland. Passengers will still be subject to clearance requirements before boarding the plane.
“This technology will allow biosecurity staff to assess the x-ray images before the plane touches down. Any bag containing biosecurity risk items will then be matched with the passenger, who will face further scrutiny by officials upon landing,” says primary industries and biosecurity minister Nathan Guy.
If the trials are successful, the Ministry for Primary Industries will look to extend the system to other major Australian airports. In the longer term, x-ray image transfer could be applied to routes with higher biosecurity risk to New Zealand, such as those from South East Asia, parts of Europe and the Pacific.
Emirates flies to Ukraine
Emirates is expanding into Eastern Europe with the launch of daily services to Kyiv Boryspil International Airport (Kiev) in Ukraine from 16th January 16 next year. The Airbus A340-500 service will provide convenient global connections, via Dubai, to this country of 45 million and which is the world’s largest exporter of sunflower oil and a major global producer of grain and sugar.
"We see strong potential in the Ukraine through its agribusiness, heavy machinery industries, technology and tourism,” Emirates executive Hubert Frach says. “Kiev will be our 35th passenger route in Europe.” Ukraine’s GDP growth is expected to show steady momentum for the next three years as a result of increasing consumer confidence, and increased demand for raw building materials such as steel.
The large A340 will have a freight capacity of 15 tonnes transporting aircraft spares, heavy industry machinery equipment and ships spares. The aircraft will offer 12 private suites in First Class, 42 deeply reclining Business Class seats, and 204 seats in Economy.