Japan's MLIT stated (09-Sep-2011) it would commence aviation talks for an open skies agreement with Canada in Vancouver on 13/14-Sep-2011. With the exception of the US, this will be the first open skies negotiations with a country outside east Asia and the ASEAN group, with which MLIT has almost completed conclusion for agreements.
Japan to commence open skies talks with Canada
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Outbound Chinese tourists to surpass 100 million in 2014. Northeast Asian airlines first to benefit
The number of Chinese outbound tourists in 2014 will likely exceed 100 million, more than the population of Germany and nearing the population of Japan. Yet this will still account for less than 10% of China's population taking one international trip a year. Importantly too, the growth rate is very high.
These are obviously market-changing opportunities for airlines, especially in North Asia, where most Chinese travel to when going abroad. But in the short term the opportunities are mixed for countries as overseas Chinese tourists shift destination preferences.
This first of a two-part report looks at Chinese demand for travel to Northeast Asia, where growth is generally positive. Japan experienced challenges in late 2012 and early 2013 as political tensions saw visitor arrivals dramatically fall; Japan has since rebounded. South Korea was a beneficiary and continues to maintain momentum; Chinese visitor arrivals are up 57% in the first five months of 2014.
The second part of this China tourism report will look at Southeast Asia, where tourism figures have recently softened.
WestJet takes a measured approach in crystallising its international widebody aspirations in 2015
WestJet’s official declaration that it intends to start operating widebody aircraft in late 2015 is not surprising given the airline’s commentary about acquiring twin-aisle jets has grown more robust throughout the past year.
However, within the span of two years WestJet is rapidly changing its business model: the introduction of both smaller 70-seat turboprops to compete in regional markets; and widebodies to go international, each adding new layers of complexity that requires absorption. But as with the shorter-haul regional market, WestJet has concluded that the opportunity in the long-haul space – nearly double the value of the transborder market – is too large to leave to its Air Canada competitor.
WestJet’s crystallising of its widebody ambitions caps off a raft of changes in the Canadian domestic market as the country’s incumbent airlines face potential pressure from upstart ultra low-cost carriers who believe Canada is ripe for the pay-for-frills model that exists in most other markets.