Retro Qantas 737 enters service

VH-XZP arriving at Melbourne at the end of its first revenue flight. (Victor Pody)

Qantas's "retro" painted Boeing 737 has operated its first revenue flights, entering service on Saturday morning operating QF611 from Brisbane to Melbourne. According to flight tracking website FlightAware, VH-XZP departed Brisbane at 8:16am local, touching down at Melbourne 2 hours and 9 minutes later at 11:26am local. It then operated a return service to Brisbane (QF616) … [Read more...]

Air NZ’s third 787-9 spotted at Paine Field

Air NZ Boeing 787-9 at Boeing's Paine Field in Everett, Washington. (Gerard Frawley)

Air New Zealand’s third Dreamliner has been spotted at Boeing’s Everett factory just outside Seattle as its delivery date nears. The 787-9, registration ZK-NZG, took its first test flight on Monday November 17. According to flight tracking websites, the test flight lasted 109 minutes, with the aircraft departing from and arriving at Paine Field. Unlike its all-black … [Read more...]

Virgin’s full takeover of Tiger clears FIRB hurdle

A Tigerair Australia Airbus A320 at Hobart. (Rob Finlayson)

Australia's Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) has given Virgin Australia’s proposed takeover of Tigerair Australia the green light. In a statement to the Australian stock exchange on Friday, Virgin said the all clear from FIRB satisfied one of the conditions for the deal, which was expected to be completed by the end of 2014. “Virgin Australia Holdings Ltd today … [Read more...]

Air China flags new Beijing-Auckland route as part of proposed Air NZ alliance

An Air China Airbus A330. (Air China)

Air China has flagged starting services to Auckland as part of a proposed strategic alliance with Air New Zealand. The two carriers signed a statement of intent on Friday, coinciding with the visit of Chinese president Xi Jinping's visit to New Zealand. In a joint statement, the two Star Alliance carriers said they expected to submit their applications for regulatory … [Read more...]

Virgin Australia and South African Airways expand frequent flyer tie-up

Virgin Australia chief commercial officer Judith Crompton and South African Airways regional commercial manager Asia-Pacific Gcobani Mangcotywa. (Virgin)

Members of Virgin Australia and South African Airways' (SAA) frequent flyer programs will be able to "earn and burn" points across each other's networks as part of an expanded partnership between the two carriers. The reciprocal frequent flyer agreement, announced on Friday, also offers elite members of Virgin’s Velocity and SAA’s Voyager benefits such as lounge access and … [Read more...]