Patee Sarasin was the CEO of Thailand’s Nok Air from its launch in 2004 until late 2017. He was one of the founders behind Nok and NokScoot, a joint venture long haul low cost airline with Singapore Airlines subsidiary Scoot that launched in 2015. Mr Sarasin is now working to establish a new travel company that will not be an airline but will work closely with airlines. He plans to formally launch the new company in London in Jul-2018, at which time more details about the product and positioning will be announced. Mr Sarasin also gives his views on market conditions in Thailand’s highly competitive airline sector and the future for Nok and NokScoot.

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Qantas unveiled (23-Mar-2018) its new Perth International Transit Lounge, ahead of the launch of its new service from Perth Airport to London Heathrow on 24-Mar-2018. The lounge has been designed by Australian Industrial designer David Caon and SUMU design, in consultation with the University of Sydney's Charles Perkins Centre using an evidence based approach to wellness. It features seating for 141 customers, multiple USB and charging ports, wireless printing, WiFi and TV screens, 15 shower suites and service by Sofitel. Menus in the lounge have been designed by Neil Perry from Rockpool restaurant and the lounge features a hot and cold buffet, an prepared food outdoor BBQ, a full service bar, hydration station and barista prepared coffee. The lounge incorporates a number of novel wellness features, including 'light therapy' in the shower suites to help adjust body clocks, a studio offering stretching and breathing classes, a refresh area and an outdoor open-air terrace. The Perth International Transit Lounge is located in the new T3/T4 integrated domestic and international passenger hub at Perth Airport. The international wing features a streamlined immigration and customs area, a large outdoor deck with alfresco seating, food and beverage outlets and a duty free store. [more - original PR]

Flughafen Berlin Brandenburg GmbH reported (22-Mar-2018) the following traffic highlights for Feb-2018:

  • Passengers: 2.2 million, -6.0% year-on-year;
    • Berlin Tegel: 1.3 million, -8.2%;
    • Berlin Schönefeld: 893,164, -2.8%;
  • Cargo: 2684 tonnes, -28.2%;
    • Berlin Tegel: 1860 tonnes, -40.6%;
    • Berlin Schönefeld: 824 tonnes, +35.6%;
  • Aircraft movements: 19,343, -4.9%;

Toronto Pearson International Airport reported (22-Mar-2018) the following traffic highlights:

  • Dec-2017:
    • Passengers: 3.8 million, +5.3% year-on-year;
      • Domestic: 1.4 million, +2.3%;
      • International: 1.4 million, +7.6%;
      • Transborder: 1.0 million, +6.3%;
    • Aircraft movements: 37,998, +3.7%;
  • 2017:
    • Passengers: 47.1 million, +6.3%;
    • Aircraft movements: 465,342, +1.9%.

According to the CAPA Airport Traffic Database, 2017 marked the airport's eighth consecutive year of passenger growth. [more - original PR]

IATA reported (22-Mar-2018) the following RPK growth for Africa and the Middle East in Jan-2018, compared to world RPK growth of 4.6% year-on-year:

  • Africa region: 2.8%;
  • Africa-Asia: 4.5%;
  • Africa-Europe: 6.8%;
  • Africa-Middle East: 0.4%;
  • Middle East region: 0.8%;
  • Middle East-Asia: 3.8%;
  • Middle East-Europe: 2.5%;
  • Middle East-North America: -5.1%.

Middle East RPK growth was the slowest since 2008. Africa ASKs increased 2.4% and load factor was 70.3%. Middle East ASKs increased 4.5% and load factor was 76.6%. [more - original PR]

China Southern Airlines firmed (21-Mar-2018) an order for 20 Boeing 737 MAX 8 and 10 737 MAX 10 aircraft for Xiamen Airlines. The aircraft, valued at more than USD3.6 billion at list prices, will be delivered between 2019 and 2022. Five 737 MAX 8 aircraft will join the fleet in 2019, followed by seven in 2020. In 2021, eight 737 MAX 8 aircraft are scheduled to be delivered, alongside seven 737 MAX 10 aircraft, with the final three 737 MAX 10 deliveries in 2022. The acquisition will be funded partly by internal resources and partly through loans and other finance arrangements. Xiamen Airlines said the aircraft will improve its operating efficiency, help maintain its "streamlined and efficient" fleet structure and expand capacity.

Cathay Pacific director commercial and cargo Ronald Lam, in the 'Cargo Clan' newsletter, described (22-Mar-2018) the cargo division's performance as "outstanding". He commented: "Demand was robust throughout 2017 and tonnage carried grew faster than capacity. The boom in e-commerce helped to iron out the traditional directional imbalances and there was an increase in specialised shipments, not least to feed growing demand for perishables in mainland China".

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