News Roundup: Airlines and airport in the focus this week with the region’s two leading carriers tying up with Tourism Western Australia to fly more tourists from their individual markets to the Australian state. Meanwhile Air New Zealand joins in the global ‘war’ against single-use plastic, while Dubai Airports launches a high-tech system to monitor airport operations in real time
Handshake to boost Australian tourism (L-R): Tourism Western Australia country manager for Singapore and Malaysia Ava Ang tourism minister Paul Papalia with AirAsia X Malaysia CEO Benyamin Ismail Malaysia marketing manager Chia PinYu flanked by AirAsia crew
Tourism Western Australia (TWA), armed with international marketing funds of A$12 million (US$8.4 million), is on an aggressive drive to attract more Asians to the state, roping in the region’s two largest carriers Singapore Airlines and AirAsia to do that .
“It is the biggest international marketing push in the state’s history,” is how Papalia described the campaign, adding that “growing tourism is key to the state government’s plan to diversify the economy, create jobs and develop business opportunities.”
The three-year global cooperative marketing agreement with SIA sees the two partners fund a A$5 million marketing plan to jointly promote travel to Western Australia in 10 key international markets via SIA’s services to Perth. The markets include China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, the UK, the US and Germany/Switzerland.
The deal with the LCC, worth A$1 million, will involve joint marketing campaigns to promote affordable flights to Western Australia, including flight deals, print, television, radio, cinema and online advertising.
AirAsia X Malaysia’s CEO Benyamin Ismail disclosed that since the LCC started flying to the Australian state in November 2008 it has carried more than three million guests on the Kuala Lumpur-Perth, Bali-Perth and Lombok and Perth routes.
He said there was good demand for Perth and
greater Western Australia, and the pact with the state would “boost joint
marketing efforts in Malaysia, India, China and Japan where our route network
is the strongest.”
In agreement is Papalia: “This cooperative
marketing agreement will not only encourage more Malaysians to visit the state
but the marketing activity in connecting markets of India, China and Japan will
help entice holidaymakers from those markets as well.”
The signing follows the successful launch of Tourism Western Australia’s Muslim Travel Guide, which features road trip routes, itineraries, must-visit attractions, restaurants and Muslim-friendly facilities in the state (check it out).
Air New Zealand has joined the movement among airlines to remove single-use plastic waste on flights with the rolling out of a series of initiatives to remove plastic items including bottles and sauce packets.
Beginning this month the airline has taken out individual plastic water bottles from its Business Premier and Premium Economy cabins, as well as from its Works Deluxe (category that guarantees empty seat to passengers in economy class) on the Tasman and Pacific Island services that are under five hours.
This is expected to divert more than 460,000 bottles from landfill annually and reduce carbon emissions by more than 300,000 kilogrammes per year by reducing weight on the aircraft, the airline said in a press statement.
On mainland North America and Hong Kong services the airline is removing individual plastic sauce packets from Business and Premier cabins. It expects to eliminate them entirely from the global network by end October.
It is also set to roll out coffee cups made from plants rather than plastic across its domestic and international networks from October, while plastic water cups will be replaced by recyclable alternatives from September.
According to the airline, its previous commitment targeted coffee and water cups on the domestic network where the majority of cups are used. “However, the scope has now expanded to introduce the lower impact cups across the international network, lifting the total number of cups being replaced this year from 14.7 million to 44.5 million.”
Anna Palairet, Air New Zealand’s acting head of sustainability, said the airline was focused on reducing the amount of single-use plastic products it purchases at source, as the lack of composting infrastructure in New Zealand at present poses a challenge.
She noted that passengers are also helping to reduce use of single-use plastic products. “It’s great to see more and more customers are bringing their reusable drink bottles and keep cups on board, and we encourage people to do this – our cabin crew team is happy to fill these.”
Other airlines that have recently embrace the removal of single-use plastic inflight include Middle East carriers Emirates that pledged all its flights “will soon be plastic straw-free”, and Etihad Airways with plans to cut usage of single-use plastics across the organisation by 80% by the end of 2022.
Technology: Dubai Airports launches high-tech system to monitor operations in real time
realtimeDXB helps to improve operations and manage disruption at Dubai International
(Image credit: Dubai Airports)
Dubai Airports, the operator of Dubai International (DXB), has launched a high-tech system that monitors airport operations in real time and visualises traffic flows to support smooth operations at the world’s busiest airport.
realtimeDXB, a bespoke cloud-based platform, gathers data generated by more than 50 operational systems including those of Dubai Airports and its service partners.
Damian Ellacott, vice president of the Airport Operations Control Centre at Dubai Airports, said as the system makes key operational information visible in real time to all service partners involved in the day-to-day running of the airport, it provides them with “enhanced decision-support tools to improve operations and manage disruption more effectively.”
In its initial phase realtimeDBX will focus
on aircraft flow, airfield activity including aircraft and vehicle movements,
status of aircraft stands, flight data information, arrival, turnaround and
departure processes, alert generation and performance analysis.
Dubai Airports is working on the next phase
of the system, which will focus on passenger and baggage flows within the
According to the airport operator, the use of real-time information and advanced smart gates is already helping enhance customer experience at DXB. In Q1 2019, the airport reduced customer wait-times by 30% as a direct result of these systems.