Virgin Blue confirmed (27-Feb-2011) the launch of Sydney-Abu Dhabi services in partnership with Etihad Airways. V Australia's service is the first Australian carrier to operate to the Middle East in 20 years. As part of their alliance, the two airlines will offer 27 weekly services between Abu Dhabi and Australia, including twice daily Sydney-Abu Dhabi service, daily Melbourne-Abu Dhabi service and six times weekly Brisbane-Abu Dhabi service. V Australia will operate three weekly services from both Sydney and Brisbane using three-class B777-300ER equipment. [more]
V Australia's first flight arrives in Abu Dhabi
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Aeroflot 6th freedom Part 1: long haul growth emphasises Europe-Asia connections
The Western Europe-North East Asia corridor has gained attention as the centrepiece of Finnair's expansion strategy. But just over 500 miles away in Moscow Aeroflot is quietly pursuing a role carrying transfer traffic between the regions. Although Aeroflot's spread of Asian destinations is not as extensive as Finnair's or those of the Gulf airlines, Aeroflot has favourable geography and lower costs. It is not subject to Russian overflight rights and associated costs. Finnair carries the tenth largest number of O&D passengers between Western Europe and Northeast Asia, while Aeroflot is 13th. After Emirates, Aeroflot is the second largest airline transporting passengers between the regions, but is based in neither.
A member of SkyTeam, Aeroflot is not part of the joint ventures (trans-Atlantic and Europe-Asia) that define the alliance's inner circle. Its long haul transfer strategy is focused on Western Europe-Asia. This strategy allows it some independence from SkyTeam but may also aggravate the alliance's established members, much the way that Turkish has irked Lufthansa and United. Aeroflot's connecting traffic, although still an overall small proportion of its international traffic, has grown faster than local traffic.
Cebu Pacific Air reconsiders Melbourne under Tigerair Australia partnership as Sydney route improves
Cebu Pacific Air is again looking at expanding in the Australia market by launching flights to Melbourne. Efforts in recent months to improve Cebu Pacific’s performance in Sydney, which was launched in 2014, are bearing fruit and the airline is confident with Melbourne it can stimulate further demand in the Philippines-Australia market.
The LCC initially added Melbourne to its network plan in 2015 after the Philippines and Australia forged an extended air services agreement. But Cebu Pacific subsequently decided to shelve plans to launch Melbourne, and has instead been using additional A330 capacity to expand in its domestic and regional international market.
Melbourne is now back on the agenda and is the next priority – leapfrogging Honolulu – for Cebu Pacific’s long haul operation. A new partnership with Melbourne-based Tigerair Australia is a key driver in making Manila-Melbourne a viable route, along with the anticipated rapid growth in Australian visitor numbers to the Philippines.