New Zealand: No longer 100% pure

March 24, 2017 by  
Filed under News, PACIFIC

CHRISTCHURCH, 24 March 2017: New Zealand’s strong economic growth is placing strains on the environment that threaten to undermine its “clean, green” reputation, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) warned Tuesday.

The South Pacific nation has long marketed itself internationally as “100% pure” and is undergoing a tourism boom as visitors flock to see the spectacular scenery featured in films such as “The Hobbit” trilogy.

But an OECD report said the environment was paying the price for growth in the farm-reliant economy, which is currently among the strongest in the developed world at more than 3%. Read more

Routes Asia 2018 heads for Brisbane

March 22, 2017 by  
Filed under Aviation, Events, News, PACIFIC

OKINAWA, 22 March 2017: Routes Asia announced at the close of its Okinawa event Monday that Brisbane, Australia, would host  the 2018  Routes Asia conference.

The event brings together airlines, airports and stakeholders to discuss air service to, from and within Asia-Pacific.

A consortium comprising of Brisbane Airport Corporation, Brisbane Marketing, Tourism Australia, Tourism Events Queensland and Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre will underwrite the 2018 event. Read more

Plane loses propeller

March 21, 2017 by  
Filed under Aviation, News, PACIFIC

SYDNEY, 21 March 2017: A regional Australian airline on Monday grounded six planes from its fleet after a propeller fell off one of them as it approached Sydney airport.

The near-disaster happened on Friday, with the crew shutting down the right-hand engine on the Saab 340 plane after “abnormal indications” before the propeller sheared off.

Despite the scare the twin-propeller Regional Express (Rex) plane carrying 16 passengers and three crew landed safely. Read more

Battery explodes on flight

March 16, 2017 by  
Filed under Aviation, News, PACIFIC

SYDNEY, 16 March 2017: A woman whose headphones caught fire on a plane suffered burns to her face and hands, Australian officials said, Wednesday, as they warned about the dangers of battery-operated devices in-flight.

The passenger was listening to music on her own battery-operated headphones as she dozed about two hours into the trip from Beijing to Melbourne, 19 February, when there was a loud explosion.

“As I went to turn around I felt burning on my face,” she told the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) which investigated the incident. Read more

Qantas and El Al partner

March 1, 2017 by  
Filed under Aviation, News, PACIFIC

SYDNEY, 1 March 2017: Australian and Israeli travellers will benefit from a new codeshare agreement between Qantas and EL AL, subject to government and regulatory approvals.

Customers of both airlines will be able to book specific flights operated by the other, as well as earn and redeem frequent flyer points.

The partnership focuses on linking Qantas’ flights between Australia and Asia to EL AL’s flights between Asia and Israel’s financial centre and technology hub, Tel Aviv. It will also connect Qantas’ flights from Sydney to Johannesburg with EL AL’s services from Tel Aviv to the South African city. Read more

Save the reef hits setback

February 27, 2017 by  
Filed under News, PACIFIC

SYDNEY, 27 February 2017: Australia’s plan to rescue the beleaguered Great Barrier Reef has been set back at least two decades after the fragile ecosystem suffered its worst-ever bleaching last year, experts said Friday.

The vast coral reef — which provides a tourism boon for Australia — is under pressure from agricultural run-off, the crown-of-thorns starfish, development and climate change.

Last year swathes of coral succumbed to devastating bleaching, due to warming sea temperatures, and the reef’s caretakers have warned it faces a fresh onslaught in the coming months. Read more

STR monitors Asia Pacific hotel trends

February 24, 2017 by  
Filed under News, PACIFIC

LONDON, 24 February 2017: Hotels in the Asia Pacific region reported a moderate occupancy decline, but a strong rate growth in January 2017, according to the latest  data from STR.

Based on US dollar constant currency, year-over-year comparisons, for the Asia Pacific region, the average daily rate increased 4.6% to USD108.10.

Occupancy across the region declined 0.8% to 64.8% Read more

Low fares hurt Qantas

February 24, 2017 by  
Filed under Aviation, News, PACIFIC

SYDNEY, 24 February 2017: Australian carrier Qantas Airways posted Thursday a 7.5% hit to first-half earnings, impacted by lower fares, greater competition and empty seats.

Underlying profit before tax fell to AUD852 million (USD656 million) for the six months ending 31 December, but just beat the airline’s own guidance.

This compares to AUD921 million in the same period of 2015. Read more

Air NZ sees profit topple

February 24, 2017 by  
Filed under Aviation, News, PACIFIC

WELLINGTON, 24 February 2017: Air New Zealand reported a 24% fall in interim net profit, Thursday, amid increased competition in the domestic aviation market.

New Zealand’s flag carrier said net profit for the six months to 31 December was NZD256 million (USD184 million), compared to a record NZD338 million for the corresponding period a year previously.

“The last six months saw unprecedented levels of international carriers adding new services to New Zealand,” it said. Read more

Qantas flies super fast Wi-Fi

February 16, 2017 by  
Filed under Aviation, News, PACIFIC

SYDNEY, 16 February 2017: Qantas passengers on Wi-Fi enabled domestic flights will be able to watch their favourite shows, avoid missing out on live sport and listen to almost any song they like, with Foxtel, Netflix and Spotify coming on-board to provide content in 2017.

The new service will switch on its first aircraft in late February. The rest of the airline’s fleet of domestic Boeing 737 and Airbus A330 aircraft will follow from mid-2017 onwards.

The super fast connection speeds – which enable streaming – are made possible through the nbn Sky Muster satellite service and represents a significant upgrade over older satellite technology accessed by most airlines around the world. Read more

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