MH370 search could resume

January 18, 2017 by  
Filed under Aviation, News, PACIFIC

MELBOURNE, 18 January 2017: Australia’s transport minister, Wednesday, defended the suspension of the undersea search for MH370, after relatives of passengers slammed the decision, and added that it could resume if “credible new evidence” emerges.

Australia, Malaysia and China — where most of the 239 on board the missing Malaysia Airlines jet resided — on Tuesday pulled the plug on the massive operation in the southern Indian Ocean almost three years since the plane vanished, 8 March 2014, en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.

Transport Minister Darren Chester said the investigation’s high cost — about AUD200 million (USD150 million) — was not a factor in the decision. It came after the search of the remote 120,000 square-kilometre zone (46,000 square miles) was completed without success. Read more

Tianjin flies to Auckland

December 23, 2016 by  
Filed under Aviation, News, PACIFIC

AUCKLAND, 23 December 2016: Chinese carrier Tianjin Airlines launched, Thursday, a new nonstop service from two major Chinese cities, Chongqing and Tianjin, to Auckland in New Zealand.

The Auckland-Chongqing-Tianjin route operates three times weekly using a 260-seat Airbus A330 aircraft. This is the first flight from Auckland to Chongqing and Tianjin.

“We’re delighted to welcome Tianjin Airlines to Auckland Airport and New Zealand. This new service will add 83,000 seats to the China-Auckland route every year and deliver an estimated USD102 million boost to the New Zealand tourism industry,” said Auckland Airport’s acting general manager — aeronautical-commercial, Scott Tasker. Read more

Final sweep for MH370

December 15, 2016 by  
Filed under Aviation, News, PACIFIC

SYDNEY, 15 December 2016: The last vessel searching for missing MH370 has left on its final sweep across the southern Indian Ocean, Australia said, Wednesday, as the transport minister cautioned the airliner might not be found in coming weeks.

Fugro Equator sailed from Fremantle port on Australia’s western coast on Monday for the 120,000 square-kilometre (46,000-square-mile) zone where investigators believe the Malaysian Airlines jet disappeared en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing on 8 March, 2014, carrying 239 passengers and crew.

No trace has been found in the massive undersea hunt off Australia but investigators have confirmed that three pieces of debris recovered on western Indian Ocean shorelines came from MH370. Read more

Qatar’s A380 to serve Melbourne

December 14, 2016 by  
Filed under Aviation, Middle east, News, PACIFIC

DOHA, 14 December 2016: Qatar Airways will introduce its A380 on the Melbourne route 30 June 2017.

The 517-seat A380 aircraft will increase Qatar Airways’ current daily seat capacity on the route by 44% to meet growing travel demand.

Seven years ago Melbourne was the first destination in Australia for Qatar Airways, but it has since added services to Perth, Sydney and Adelaide. Read more

Clearance for Sydney’s second airport

December 14, 2016 by  
Filed under Aviation, News, PACIFIC

SYDNEY, 14 December 2016: Sydney is to get its second international airport after the Australian government approved plans Monday, ending decades of indecision over a facility that will initially handle 10 million passengers a year.

Badgerys Creek in the city’s western suburbs had already been selected as the site, with Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull signing off on its long-awaited construction.

It is scheduled to open in the mid-2020s, easing pressure on Sydney’s Kingsford Smith Airport, the main gateway into Australia, which is reaching capacity. Read more

Qantas extends Kangaroo hop

December 13, 2016 by  
Filed under Aviation, News, PACIFIC

BANGKOK, 13 December 2016: Qantas has always been a leader in the business of hopping  from Australia to London.

Post Word War II, the hops were short involving multiple refueling stops. It took nearly a week to reach the UK. In the 70s they improved to just two hops with a stop in either Bangkok or Singapore to cover the overall distance in 24 hours.

The Kangaroo Route, a tag coined by BA and QF executives, gave Bangkok and Singapore’s airports substantial revenue from hosting plane loads of  transit passengers. Read more

Sydney summer draws a crowd

December 2, 2016 by  
Filed under PACIFIC, Travel Logs

SYDNEY, 2 December 2016: More than 10 million overnight and day trip visitors are expected to visit Sydney during Australia’s summer months, December to February.

To make the most of the warm weather, world famous beaches, globally recognised icons, first class dining scene and calendar of events.

Read more

Australia agrees on backpackers tax

November 29, 2016 by  
Filed under News, PACIFIC

SYDNEY, 29 November 2016: Foreigners in Australia on working holidays face paying a 15% levy on every dollar they earn after the government Monday compromised on a controversial “backpacker tax”, dumping plans for a higher rate.

Canberra had initially sought a revenue-raising 32.5% tax for seasonal workers from 1 January under a proposal first flagged in the 2015 budget, but the move was met with an outcry from farmers and tourism operators.

They feared it would deter tourists from choosing the country as a destination, with some 600,000 backpackers heading to Australia every year, many finding work picking fruit. Read more

Fiji refits fleet

November 24, 2016 by  
Filed under Aviation, News, PACIFIC

SUVA, FIJI, 24 November 2016: Fiji Airways announced on Wednesday it had ordered five new Boeing 737s — reportedly worth USD470 million — as part of a fleet upgrade programme at the Pacific nation’s flag carrier.

The airline said it would take delivery of two Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft next year and three more in 2018 to replace five earlier-model 737s currently operating.

It did not reveal the cost of the deal but local media reports put the price at FJD1.0 billion (USD470 million). Read more

New Zealand evacuates tourists

November 16, 2016 by  
Filed under News, PACIFIC

CHRISTCHURCH, 16 November 2016: Rescuers in New Zealand on Tuesday began airlifting tourists stranded by a 7.8 earthquake that devastated parts of the South Island coast and caused more than 100,000 landslides.

Military helicopters started ferrying the first of 1,200 holidaymakers trapped in the seaside town of Kaikoura, which bore the brunt of a quake that claimed two lives when it struck early Monday.

Officials said US and Japanese military would also join the relief effort. Read more

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