Virgin Blue Group and Etihad Airways welcomed (23-Sep-2010) the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission's (ACCC) interim approval of their proposed alliance. CEO and Managing Director, John Borghetti, said the approval by the ACCC meant the airlines would commence selling airfares between Australia and Abu Dhabi with connections on Etihad’s extensive network from 01-Oct-2010. Etihad CEO James Hogan stated “it is air travellers around the world who have the most to gain from the partnership”. Mr Hogan added the carriers will look to further expand the partnership in the future. Together, Etihad and V Australia will move towards 27 weekly services between Abu Dhabi and Australia – including twice daily services between Abu Dhabi and Sydney, daily Melbourne-Abu Dhabi flights and six frequencies per week between Abu Dhabi and Brisbane. [more - Virgin Blue] [more - Etihad Airways]
Virgin Blue and Etihad welcome interim approval of partnership
You may also be interested in the following articles...
Gulf airlines in Australia/New Zealand: 2017 could surpass 2016's record growth
Qatar Airways' casual remark in Jan-2016 that it would launch nonstop service to Auckland has resulted in nearly two years of accelerated growth as competitors look to pre-empt Qatar. That, in turn, is driving Qatar to build its presence in Australia and New Zealand – which is disproportionately small compared to the presence of Emirates and Etihad. In Feb-2017 Qatar will finally launch nonstop service to Auckland, making that air service the world's longest flight. After the launch of flights to Australia's secondary city of Adelaide in May-2016, Qatar intends to open service to another smaller market – Canberra.
2016 was the most prominent year for Gulf airlines growing in Australia and New Zealand. Excluding Qatar's proposed Canberra service, and other services under consideration, 2017 will be the third largest year for growth, but depending on how commercial and aeropolitical matters evolve, 2017 could surpass 2016 for growth. So far, there will be more absolute growth from Qatar than Emirates in 2017, by comparison with 2016.
In Australia/NZ Gulf airlines have doubled their presence between 2012 and 2017. In Australia/New Zealand, by 2020, Gulf airlines could create the presence of two Singapore Airlines, an operation which established itself over many decades. Gulf growth has broader implications as their mostly European traffic flows challenge historical Australia-Europe hubs in Asia.
Indonesia's Lion Group plans up to 10 new routes to Australia under the Batik Air brand by end-2018
Lion Group is planning major expansion in Australia using its full service brand Batik Air. The group’s Australia operation could grow from one route currently to five routes by the end 2017, and potentially 10 routes by the end of 2018.
Lion Group launched services to Australia in late 2015 when its Malaysian full service airline, Malindo Air, launched services from Kuala Lumpur to Perth. Malindo is planning to adopt the Batik Malaysia brand in 2017 and expand its Australia network.
Meanwhile Indonesia’s Batik Air is preparing to launch services to Australia, initially with flights from Bali to Perth. The fast-growing Indonesian airline secured Australian Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) approval in late 2016 and could eventually serve several destinations in Australia from both Bali and Jakarta.