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Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Qantas and Virgin Australia stack on NZ Flights for summer

The Flying Kangaroo will operate an additional 95 flights from Brisbane to Wellington and Christchurch between December 
and February to meet school holiday demand.

Qantas has also announced a fifth weekly flight between Sydney and Jakarta and daily services between Perth and Singapore in the holiday period, to give customers “more choice”.

“A key part of our strategy is listening to and responding to our customers’ needs and developing an agile and flexible network which offers more options during peak periods,” said Qantas Executive Manager of International Sales, Stephen Thompson.

“We are really pleased to be able to meet demand for travel between Brisbane and both Wellington and Christchurch with the return of direct services during December and January.”

The announcement follows on from Virgin Australia’s decision to add seasonal flights from October 25 out of Brisbane to Auckland, Christchurch, Dunedin and Wellington.

Virgin Australia CEO John Borghetti said the extra services were purely in response to demand.

Air traffic between Australia and New Zealand continues to grow with a record 1.3 million Kiwi travellers crossing the ditch in the year to June.

Heading in the other direction, 1.2 million Australians visited New Zealand in the same period, including 160,700 in the month of December alone.

One of the greatest attractions is the strength of the Australian dollar across the Tasman, after improving four per cent on the same time last year.

Although accommodation prices in New Zealand have climbed nine per cent to an average $180 a night, research undertaken by Expedia  found the average Airfare had fallen five per cent to $463.

Managing director of Expedia Australia and New Zealand Georg Ruebensal, said he believed Aussies were “smart travellers who chased value for money”.

“While the dollar may not be as strong as it has been in the past, Aussies are still in an excellent position to get out there and tick off destinations on their bucket list,” Mr Ruebensal said.

“We are seeing notable increases in demand for Iinternational Destinations like New Zealand as Aussies seek to make the most of their hard-earned dollars.”



Monday, August 10, 2015

350 New Zealanders stranded in Bali

A volcanic ash cloud which has left hundreds of New Zealanders stranded in Bali is moving away from Denpasar Airport.

Compare Travel Insurance spokeswoman Natalie Ball said about 350 New Zealanders were stranded in Bali after Airlines 

cancelled flights in and out of Denpasar Airport due to dangerous flying conditions caused by an ash cloud from Mt Raung.

Located on the eastern end of Java about 140km north-west of Denpasar Airport, Mt Raung has been erupting almost  continuously since late June.

This has generated a significant ash cloud, which has impacted Aviation Operations over Bali and eastern Java since early July.

The Bureau of Meteorology said in an advisory winds over eastern Java had started shifting north, causing the ash cloud to 

move south away from Denpasar Airport.

"Winds have eased in strength, reducing the distance volcanic ash is able to travel," the advisory said.

Two Air New Zealand flights to Bali on Saturday were cancelled due to the ash cloud.

A special service NZ245 would fly to Bali on Tuesday at 10am subject to favourable conditions in Denpasar.

NZ246 was scheduled to depart Denpasar on Tuesday at 6.20pm and arrive into Auckland on Wednesday at 6.25am, bringing home 

some of the stranded passengers.

A regular service was scheduled for Wednesday.

Across the Tasman, all but four of Virgin Australia's Bali services on Monday were cancelled and those still scheduled to 

go ahead in the afternoon were under review.

Jetstar scheduled seven flights to Denpasar Airport, and five flights from the Indonesian island to Australia on Monday.

Five flights were cancelled.

Air New Zealand is the only Airline which flies non stop from New Zealand to Bali.



Monday, August 3, 2015

Drone body Unmanned Aerial Vehicle New Zealand Takes Off

Improving safety will be one of the main goals of a new body joined by Raglan drone manufacturer Aeronavics. 

Aeronavics co-director Linda Bulk was recently elected to the newly established Unmanned Aerial Vehicle New Zealand (UAVNZ) executive committee, having worked with other industry leaders to get it established.

"Usage has grown exponentially and the sector has grown very fast," Bulk said. "It's still very new and New Zealand has got this big ambition to be one of the prominent players with this new technology."

Aviation New Zealand had formed the executive committee as a result.

"It was noted that it would be good to have an industry association or body, a group that was addressing all sorts of things," Bulk said.
One of the key roles would include making more people aware of the regulations governing the flight of drones, both 
commercial and recreational.

"At this stage the Civil Aviation Authority is not seeing any difference between commercial and recreational craft. For 
them it does not matter if you are flying them to make money or just for fun."

Since 2010 Bulk and co-director Mark Brouwer have led the company providing products to an international market.

Aeronavics drones are used for Aerial Photography, filmmaking, professional cinematography and service sector applications.

"We're all set to connect, promote, and support the Commercial UAV industry into the future," Bulk said.

"New Zealand companies selling Commercial UAV products and services need to have a reputation for professionalism, integrity and reliability."

Adam Crouchley, of Doria Media in Hamilton, received a formal warning from the Civil Aviation Authority in May this year 
after flying a drone in a controlled Airspace in Hamilton in 2014, without air traffic control approval and at night.

Then CAA senior communications adviser Mike Eng said, in an email, the authority expected to ramp up enforcement due to greater public awareness and a new set of rules being developed for drone flyers.

Eesha Rohida [ MBA Mktg ]
Aviation News Editor

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