Carry on: Air NZ splits Tokyo, Cathay offers Shenzhen ferry check-in and more
Air New Zealand to split Tokyo services
Travellers to Japan on Air New Zealand will now have a choice of airports. From July next year, the airline will also be flying into Haneda, which is in Tokyo’s harbour area and much closer to the city than Narita. Over the peak months, the daily flights to Narita will be supplemented by three services a week, on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays, from Auckland to Hanedaon Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft. Air New Zealand also operates a seasonal service between Auckland and Osaka.
Air NZ dumps Auckland-Norfolk Island
Air New Zealand will end its weekly direct Auckland-Norfolk Island service from May 2017 due to low demand. Two flights a week from Sydney and one a week from Brisbane will continue. These services increase to five flights a week during peak travel periods, which will now extend from September to April.
Cathay offers Shenzhen ferry check-in
Cathay Pacific is the first airline to provide passengers with a dedicated check-in service at the recently upgraded Shekou Cruise Port in Shenzhen city. This will provide customers with a one-stop service including baggage drop and boarding and lounge passes as well as customs and immigration facilities. Passengers can then step straight from the ferry to their Cathay Pacific or Cathay Dragon flights on arrival at Hong Kong International Airport.
Thai Airways restores former capacity
Thai Airways is planning to resume capacity expansion in 2017 with additional flights to Europe driving most of the growth. This will restore capacity to 2013 levels after three years of declines. Among these routes are Bangkok-Moscow and flights to Iran. Thai plans to take delivery of seven aircraft in 2017 – five A350-900s and two 787-9s – while phasing out just two A330s. It also plans to retrofit 15 of its existing widebody aircraft in 2017, including six 787-8s, six 777-200ERs and three A330-300s.
Singapore Airlines boosts Australia flights
Singapore Airlines is adding extra services to Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney next year. Melbourne will increase to 31 flights a week from July 17, 2017, from 28, with a fifth daily service to operate on Monday, Friday and Saturday with Airbus A330-300s as a red-eye from Singapore and a lunchtime departure from Melbourne. One of the four daily flights will switch to a four-class Boeing 777-300ER from January.
The Singapore-Brisbane route will increase from 24 to 28 flights a week from August 22, 2017. Sydney will have 35 flights a week (or five flights a day) during the peak travel period between June and September 2017. Outside this peak period, Singapore operates 33 times a week to Sydney and Singapore. This will include double-daily A380 flights during the peak winter period.
Dragon to replace single-aisle fleet
Cathay Dragon is considering replacing all its 23 Airbus single-aisle jets. The airline, a subsidiary of Cathay Pacific and formerly known as Dragonair, has initiated a request for proposal as it seeks to upgrade its 15 A320 and eight A321 aircraft. The first of the new planes is expected to arrive by 2019, Cathay Dragon says, without specifying whether it’s considering models from Airbus or Boeing. Cathay Dragon also operates 19 A330s and has a total fleet size of 42 aircraft.
Boeing appeals over WTO ruling
The US has appealed against a World Trade Organisation ruling on tax breaks for Boeing, the latest step in a more than a decade-old transatlantic dispute over subsidies for Boeing and Airbus. A panel of WTO adjudicators ruled last month that a tax break from Washington state to help Boeing develop its new 777X jetliner was a prohibited subsidy. Boeing says it’s confident the US will be able to reverse the ruling.
Route news of the week
Qantas will expand its Melbourne-Los Angeles from nine to 13 times weekly when it introduces the long-range version of the Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner from December 15 next year. The new Boeings will operate six times a week, replacing a twice weekly 747-400 service. Qantas is also expanding its Sydney-Denpasar route from seasonal to year-round operation. From March 26, 2017, the northern summer service will operate four times weekly using a Boeing 737-800. Fiji Airways will launch a Nadi-Adelaide route from June 30, 2017. It will be Fiji’s fourth route to Australia will operate twice a week with a Boeing 737-800.