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Brisbane Airport is the gateway to Brisbane, the Queensland capital and one of the busiest airports in Australia. Owned and operated by Brisbane Airport Corporation Pty Ltd, the airport hosts domestic and international passenger and cargo services for over 25 airlines. The airport is the hub of Virgin Australia.
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102 total articles
Lion Air Group's Malaysia based Malindo is planning further rapid expansion of its international network over the next month, with four new destinations. The upcoming launch of Brisbane, Chittagong, Guangzhou and Yangon will give Malindo 33 international destinations in Apr-2017, compared to 29 currently and only 21 in Apr-2016.
Malindo Air has also added a remarkable 18 aircraft over the past year, growing its fleet from 27 aircraft in Apr-2016 to 45 aircraft currently. Malindo is planning to expand its fleet by at least 10 aircraft in 2017, including its first widebodies. Three A330-300s will enable Malindo to launch Melbourne or Sydney in 4Q2017, along with other potential medium haul routes such as Kuala Lumpur-Tokyo that cannot be operated with its current 737 fleet.
Malindo plans to add at least another five international destinations over the last eight months of 2017. The Lion Group affiliate should surpass 40 international destinations in late 2017 or early 2018, giving it as many international destinations as Malaysia Airlines.
Qantas has been transforming in Asia. Its partnership with Emirates and shift of European stopover hub from Asia to Dubai drove a need for Qantas to restructure its Asia network to support the local market, and not onward connections to Europe. Widebody capacity has become available as Qantas further decreases widebody services in the domestic market, which was overcompetitive and impacted by a decline in the resource sector, which was a key corporate contract focus.
In calendar 1Q2017 Qantas will operate more flights to Asia than at any time this decade, including prior to its Emirates-necessitated restructure.
Seat capacity has reduced slightly, reflecting the use of smaller aircraft (A330s instead of A380s) but Qantas still has more seats for the local market since it no longer sells onward flights to Europe. Qantas' most recent Asian additions are the relaunching of Melbourne-Tokyo (taking the service over from Jetstar, which will instead open new flights to Vietnam) and Sydney-Beijing – an important market for its JV with China Eastern as Virgin Australia signals its intent to fly to Beijing in 2017, in partnership with HNA.
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.
From early 2017 Air Canada and Virgin Australia introduce a tidy new partnership. Virgin Australia receives improved access to Canada – a market its JV partner Delta cannot sufficiently cover from their shared Los Angeles gateway. Air New Zealand's sixth freedom option, via Auckland, is the third largest transportation choice by Canadians visiting Australia. Since Virgin noisily fell out with Air NZ, the Australian airline is looking to reassert itself in Australia-North America markets that it had quietly let Air NZ dominate. Virgin has already announced plans to resume trans-Pacific services from Melbourne, which Air NZ took traffic from.
Air Canada is growing in Australia, expanding from its 2007 Sydney service with a 2016 Brisbane service, and perhaps soon Melbourne as well. Air Canada needs a partner for domestic and New Zealand connections as it expands its footprint and grows ahead of market demand. There is some conflict, since Air Canada - as it does for its expanding Asia and Europe presence – will look for USA sixth freedom traffic. Air Canada has favourable connections via Vancouver to a handful of American cities, including New York.
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.
China has agreed to liberalise passenger flights and remove capacity restrictions with Australia, its largest outbound long haul market after the United States. This is a relief to Chinese airlines, which face bilateral constraints in North America and Europe. The result is already evident as Chinese airlines deploy more capacity and larger aircraft to Australia.
In North American and European markets the local governments hold back on traffic right expansion (let alone open skies). But for Australia it was the Australian government, which signalled some years ago that it wanted to liberalise once China was ready – a time that has now come.
Australia's view was progressive and detached from bygone days of national carrier interest; Chinese airlines hold 90% of the market to Australia. Elsewhere many governments still hold back on Chinese traffic right expansion so their local airlines can continue to grow. There are 15 Chinese airports that have nonstop flights to Australia with a total of 27 airport pairs – figures that should expand in 2017 as the market evolves further with the Virgin Australia-HNA partnership.