Hot Topic NBR Focus: GMO
Hot Topic NBR Focus: GMO
3 mins to read

Carry on: Lufthansa's new 320neo, Canberra express codeshares and more

Business traveller news also includes a European airline alliance to oppose higher airport charges. 

Nevil Gibson
Fri, 22 Jan 2016

Lufthansa gets first A320neo
Lufthansa has taken possession of the world's first Airbus A320neo (new engine option), said to be the quietest and most fuel-efficient single-aisled aircraft in its class. It produces almost 50% less noise and uses 15% less fuel. It will be used on short- and medium-haul routes within Germany, initially from Frankfurt to Hamburg and Munich.

The aircraft also has a new cabin arrangement that makes more efficient use of space and can seat up to 180 pasengers. The Lufthansa Group has ordered a total of 116 of the neo-type aircraft, 45 of them the larger A321neo version, for use by Lufthansa and Swiss airlines.

Air NZ to codeshare ‘Canberra express’
Singapore Airlines chief executive Goh Choon Phong has confirmed its Star Alliance partner Air New Zealand will add its codeshare on to the new Singapore-Canberra-Wellington service known as the "Canberra express." This is in addition to a codeshare on both legs with Virgin Australia, in which both airlines are major shareholders.

While welcomed by the Wellington business community, the new service has attracted criticism for being subsidised by Wellington ratepayers to the tune of $8 million over 10 years. However, that figure pales into insignificance against the $A32 million Canberra Airport has paid for an “international” zone for customs, immigration and quarantine facilities, along with food outlets and cafés that will be open by the time the flights begin on September 20.

Meanwhile, business class passengers and top-tier members of Singapore Airlines’ KrisFlyer, Air New Zealand’s Airpoints and Virgin Australia’s Velocity frequent flyer schemes will have access to the nearby Virgin Australia domestic lounge before their flight.

Airlines combine to oppose higher charges
Europe's five largest airline groups have launched a new alliance to combat rising airport charges. Airlines for Europe (A4E) brings together budget airlines EasyJet and Ryanair with the so-called legacy giants, Lufthansa, Air France-KLM and the International Airline Group, parent of both British Airways and Iberia. The A4E has called for swift steps to stop European travellers being "fleeced by excessive airport charges" and for the removal of "unreasonable taxes."

Citing a recent study, Air France-KLM chief executive Alexandre de Juniac says charges at the largest 21 European airports have soared 80% since 2005 even as the average price of airline tickets has fallen about 20%.

"At the 10 largest airports the increase was even greater, close to 90%," he says. "These increases mean that passengers have had to pay an extra €5.4 billion ($9 billion) in airport charges over the past 10 years."

Drones fly over scenic New Zealand
Emirates and Boeing have showcased spectacular aerial scenes of New Zealand as part of an international project called the "View from Above." The Dubai-based airline and aerospace company used drones to film18 destinations on five continents for project, The New Zealand scene show lakes, mountains and rivers, as well as Wellington's Oriental Bay.

The drones were able to reach locations that would have been challenging with traditional helicopter and fixed wing aerials, like deep caves and beneath jungle foliage. In Japan, they filmed between the branches of cherry blossom trees an hovered over steep waterfalls. In Rio de Janiero, theywere able to vertically float above Maracanã Stadium.

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Nevil Gibson
Fri, 22 Jan 2016
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Carry on: Lufthansa's new 320neo, Canberra express codeshares and more