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News Roundup – 07th February 2017. A Summary of Airline News from the Past Week

News Roundup – 07th February 2017. A Summary of Airline News from the Past Week

Qatar Airways - Longest flight to Auckland, New Zeland touches down for the first time

What more proof could you need that global air connectivity is getting better.  Qatar Airways has just launched the world’s longest flight from Doha to Auckland in New Zealand.  The new, mammoth 16-hour flight is just one of the new routes that the global industry body, IATA says had led to a 10-year high in air travel demand.

However, Etihad Airways doesn’t look like it plans to join the race, confirming that the airline has no plans to add any further routes to the USA this year.

Qatar Airways Snatches the Record for World’s Longest Flight

06th February 2017 – Courtesy NZ Herald

A Qatar Airways jet has landed in Auckland, New Zealand having made the trip from Doha and in doing so snatching the record for the world’s longest flight.  The previous record was held by Emirates, also to Auckland but Qatar’s geographical location makes their flight 342km longer.

The 14,500km journey took just over 16 hours and was operated by a two-class Boeing 777 with 217 economy seats and 42 business class seats.

There were 15 members of cabin crew onboard who helped to serve 1,100 cups of tea and coffee, 2,000 cold drinks and 1,036 meals.

Etihad Airways Doesn’t Plan to Add Any Further Routes to the USA

01st February 2017 – Courtesy Bloomberg

The CEO of Etihad Airways, James Hogan, confirmed what had previously been thought.  Speaking with Bloomberg on Wednesday, Hogan said: “We are not flying into any further points in the U.S.A.,” he continued: “We are very comfortable with our American network.”

The move is an apparent attempt to head off calls to renegotiate the Open Skies agreements between Persian Gulf carriers and the United States government.  The lobby group that represents the US Big Three airline – American American, Delta Air Lines and United Airlines has claimed that Etihad Airways has received illegal state subsidies.

The Partnership for Open & Fair Skies said of the announcement: “This meaningless pledge will not stop Etihad from continuing to add subsidy-fueled flights to the U.S. markets they already serve,” it continued: “Hogan appears to think that the U.S. should be willing to accept the status quo and just move on. He’s wrong. The U.S. should not tolerate this rule-breaking, bad behaviour.”

Global Air Passenger Traffic Rose Increased by 6.3% in 2016

02nd February 2017 – Courtesy IATA

Demand for air travel rose 6.3% in 2016 when measured in revenue passenger kilometres (RPK) – Higher than the 10-year average of 5.5%.  Capacity rose 6.2% in the same time, pushing the load factor to 80.5%.

IATA’s Director General and CEO, Alexandre de Juniac said: “Air travel was a good news story in 2016. Connectivity increased with the establishment of more than 700 new routes,” he continued: “Demand for air travel is still expanding. The challenge for governments is to work with the industry to meet that demand with infrastructure that can accommodate the growth, regulation that facilitates growth and taxes that don’t choke growth.”

The Middle East performed particularly strongly, with the biggest regional annual traffic growth for the fifth year in a row.

Business Travel Awards 2017 Names Qatar Airways Best Long-haul Airline

30th January 2017 – Courtesy Business Travel Awards

At the 22nd annual Business Travel Awards, held in London last week, Qatar Airways walked away with the coveted prize for the World’s Best Long-Haul Airline.  Judges praised the airline’s comprehensive worldwide network and socially responsible policies.  However, more than anything the judges noted that Qatar Airways delivered a premium service to passengers that surpassed that of other airlines.

Photo Credit: Qatar Airways

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