Here's our weekly roundup of new air routes and aviation updates.
Air NZ says ‘kia ora’ to Seoul
Air New Zealand will begin a thrice-weekly service to Seoul’s Incheon International Airport from November 23, 2019, flying up to five times a week on this sector during the peak holiday period from late December – mid-February.
Flight NZ75 will depart Auckland at 12.00 on Mondays, Thursdays and Saturdays, landing in Seoul at 19.55. The return flight, NZ76, will depart Seoul at 21.45 and land in Auckland at 12.55 on the same days. From December 23 to February 22, 2020, the service will operate on Wednesdays and Sundays as well.
The new service will be operated by Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft with a flight time of around 12 hours northbound and just over 11 hours southbound.
Etihad commences flights to Hong Kong
Etihad Airways has expanded its Greater China network with a daily service to Hong Kong, utilising the Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner.
EY834 departs Abu Dhabi at 22.05 to land in Hong Kong at 10.05 the following day. The return flight, EY833, departs Hong Kong at 19.45 and lands in Abu Dhabi at 12.05 the following day.
The deployment of the larger 787-9 Dreamliner to Hong Kong is part of the airline’s plan to operate all 28 weekly services to China’s four main gateways – Beijing, Chengdu, Shanghai and Hong Kong – using next-generation Dreamliner aircraft.
At the beginning of this year, the airline upgraded its daily service from Abu Dhabi to Beijing to the 787-10 Dreamliner. It has also announced that effective July 1, 2019, the daily service from Abu Dhabi to Chengdu will be upgraded to B787-9, and the current 787-9 daily service from Abu Dhabi to Shanghai will replaced by the larger 787-10 Dreamliner.
Qantas returns to Fiji after two decades
Qantas has relaunched a direct flight from Sydney to Nadi – Fiji’s main tourism gateway – for the first time in almost two decades.
The direct service will operate four times a week on Tuesdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays with a Boeing 737 aircraft.
QF101 will depart Sydney at 10.30 and arrive in Nadi at 15.30. The return flight, QF102, will depart Nadi at 16.35 and land in Sydney at 20.00.
New route developments at Thai AirAsia
Thai AirAsia has announced three new routes that will commence over the next few months.
The first to launch on April 30 will be daily flights between Chiang Rai and Shenzhen. FD576 will fly to Chiang Rai at 22.40, and arrive in Shenzhen at 02.40 the following day. FD577 will depart Shenzhen at 03.45, and land in Chiang Rai at 05.50.
Beginning June 1, AirAsia will be flying four times a week between Phuket and Phnom Penh.
On Mondays and Fridays, FD640 will depart Phuket at 05.30, and land in Phnom Penh at 07.05. On Tuesdays and Saturdays, FD640 will depart at 06.15 and land at 07.50.
For the return leg, on Mondays and Fridays, FD640 will depart Phnom Penh at 07.50, and arrive in Phuket at 09.15. On Tuesdays and Saturdays, FD641 will depart Phnom Penh at 08.30, and land at 10.00.
Lastly, Thai AirAsia will add another connection to China with a direct flight from Bangkok (Don Mueang) to Shenyang.
The twice-weekly flight, operating on Tuesdays and Thursdays, will start from June 25. XJ838 will depart Don Mueang at 15.35, and arrive in Shenyang at 21.05, while the return flight XJ839 departs Shenyang at 22.15, arriving back in Don Mueang at 03.15 the following day.
Haneda renames international passenger terminal
In preparation of the launch of international flight facilities in Terminal 2 of Tokyo’s Haneda International Airport, names of the International Passenger Terminal and other facilities will be updated to reduce confusion.
Starting March 2020, the new facilities will accommodate select international flights in parts of Terminal 2. Currently, international flights at Haneda Airport depart solely from the International Passenger Terminal Building. To ensure travellers head to the correct terminal for their flights, the International Passenger Terminal Building will be renamed Terminal 3 – when the reorganisation goes into effect next year.
The relevant Keihin Kyuko Line and Tokyo Monorail railway stations, as well as parking areas will also be renamed to reflect the new terminal names.
SIA grounds two 787-10 aircraft, affecting some destinations
During recent routine inspections of Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 TEN engines on Singapore Airlines’ Boeing 787-10 fleet, premature blade deterioration was found on some engines.
Due to this development other Trent 1000 TEN engines in the Group’s 787 fleet all have had to undergo precautionary inspections.
All of these engine inspections on SIA’s 787-10 fleet have now been completed. Pending engine replacements, two SIA 787-10 aircraft have been removed from service.
As a result, some flights to destinations served by the 787-10 fleet have been affected. SIA is operating other aircraft for these flights to minimise schedule disruption to customers. However, as capacity may be lower on replacement aircraft, some customers may be affected and will be contacted accordingly.