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With a very large land mass and vast tracks of uninhabited areas, aviation is vital to Australia's economic and social fabric. Australia’s main international gateways are Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide, Darwin, Cairns and the Gold Coast. The commercial aviation market is comprised of four main carriers that serve the domestic routes: national carrier Qantas Airways; Jetstar (Qantas’ LCC unit); Virgin Blue and latest entrant Tiger Airways Australia (a unit of Singapore's Tiger Aviation).
Australia's Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government – the key regulatory arm for national aviation – has established an open skies policy framework. The Australian Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) monitors safety and maintenance standards, while Airservices Australia is a corporatised (government-owned) air traffic controller.
Airports in Australia
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There are 103 A380s in service as of early May-2013. Emirates has 33 and Singapore Airlines has 19, so when assessing network scheduling, these two and their hubs predominate: of the 1,048 weekly A380 flights, 402 are from Emirates alone. Dubai and Singapore airport see the most A380 flights.
But there are some less predictable statistics. The airport to see the most A380 operators is Hong Kong followed by Paris and Los Angeles. The largest A380 destination that is not (yet) an A380-hub is London Heathrow. The UK and USA are the most common A380 destinations after Australia, Singapore and the UAE. Asia, not the Middle East, sees the most A380 flights; South America sees none. Guangzhou-Shanghai Pudong is the shortest A380 route at 1,202km while Los Angeles-Melbourne is the longest at 12,751km. Qantas and Lufthansa have the highest average sector length while Thai Airways is placing the most number of cycles – about two – on its aircraft per day. Qantas and Air France are placing the least (just over one).
Tiger Airways has narrowed its losses in the year to 31-Mar-2013 and extended its operating profit to a second consecutive quarter while forecasting a positive operating result by mid-Jul-2013 after the sale of 60% of Tiger Australia to Virgin Australia is completed.
The carrier also plans to add frequencies to high demand routes between Singapore and Malaysia and expects to take delivery of 10 A320 during the financial year, half of which will be allocated to the Singapore operation and the remainder between Tiger Australia and two associated airlines, Mandala and SEAir.
Tiger Singapore will use the aircraft to increase capacity by about 25% by the end of FY2014 and taking advantage of expanded bilateral rights between Singapore and Indonesia which will also boost Mandala. However, the group still faces significant challenges as it strives to nurture three affiliated carriers in Australia, Malaysia and the Philippines to profitability.
The final piece of the Qantas-Emirates alliance has fallen into place with the New Zealand minister of transport Gerry Brownlee giving his belated approval for the two carriers to extend their union across the Tasman by authorising a master coordination agreement. This will to all intents and purposes turn the Tasman market between Australia and New Zealand into a duopoly between the Qantas-Emirates Group and Air New Zealand-Virgin Australia partnership.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) had already granted Qantas and Emirates conditional approval for the trans-Tasman leg when it gave the final green light for the pair’s broader global alliance in Mar-2013. Mr Brownlee, who under New Zealand law has the authority to rule on arrangements between two airlines where this involves price or capacity fixing of international air services, had originally been expected to make his decision by the end of Mar-2013.
Growing demand for air freight capacity to cater to Papua New Guinea’s booming resources sector and seafood exports appear to have encouraged carriers Qantas and Skyforce to apply for dedicated freight allocations from the Australian International Air Services Commission.
Qantas through its subsidiary Express Freighters Australia and Sydney-based Skyforce Aviation have applied to the IASC for a total of 53 tonnes of freight capacity per week each way on the Australia-Papua New Guinea route. A total of 77.5 tonnes capacity per week in each direction is currently available under the bilateral air services agreement between the countries which allows for a total of 100 tonnes per week.
Currently Pacific Air Express has the market to itself after HeavyLift Cargo Airlines collapsed in 2012. The state of Queensland is a major source of supplies for PNG’s mining sector, while also serving as a transit point for some of the country’s Japan-bound fresh tuna exports.
This is the third report in a three-part series on Jetstar’s Singapore-based operations, which includes Jetstar Asia, Jetstar Airways and Valuair. The first two reports analysed Jetstar’s position in two key markets, Singapore-Indonesia and Singapore-China. This report looks at other markets and Jetstar’s overall outlook in Singapore.
Over the last year Jetstar has slowed down fleet and ASK expansion from Singapore after a period of rapid capacity growth for all of the country’s major LCCs, intensifying competition and impacting profitability. Seat capacity, however, has continued to grow rapidly as Jetstar Asia has increased its focus on short-haul Southeast Asian markets, particularly Malaysia, while decreasing its focus on medium-haul flights to North Asia, particularly mainland China.
In the coming months Jetstar Asia/Valuair will take two more A320s for a total of 20 aircraft, with the additional capacity once again being allocated to short-haul markets, primarily neighbouring Malaysia and Indonesia.
This is the second report in a three-part series on Jetstar’s Singapore-based operations, which includes Jetstar Asia, Jetstar Airways and Valuair. The first report analysed the booming Singapore-Indonesia market, where Jetstar is now looking to expand after several years of flat capacity.
This report looks at Jetstar’s position in the Singapore-China market while the third part will look at the overall outlook for Jetstar Asia. Jetstar has significantly cut back in the China market since the end of 2011, reversing a strategy from 2010 and 2011 that focused on using its Singapore hub to pursue rapid growth throughout mainland China. This strategy included using Jetstar Asia’s A320 fleet to operate medium-haul flights to southern China while using Jetstar Airways’ A330 fleet to access markets in northern China that are beyond narrowbody range from Singapore.