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Air capacity between Asia and Australia normalises, good for business travel and events

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Air capacity between Asia and Australia normalises, good for business travel and events
Air capacity between Asia and Australia is currently at 102 per cent of pre-pandemic levels, and predicted to go up to 109 per cent over the next six months, said FCM Consulting.

“This is being led by Scoot, Batik Air, Vietnam Airlines, Philippine Airlines, Air India, All Nippon Airways and Sichuan Airlines, for example, all of which have exceeded pre-pandemic capacity (upwards of 150 per cent) between Asia and Australia,” said Simone Seiler, FCM Meetings & Events global general manager. 

From Vietnam, national carrier Vietnam Airlines and budget airline Vietjet have increased services to Australia since last year.

Vietnam Airlines’ launch of twice-weekly Hanoi-Melbourne flights in June 2023 brought its weekly tally to 18 flights from Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City to Sydney and Melbourne. In December the carrier added thrice-weekly Ho Chi Minh City-Perth flights. Australia was Vietnam Airlines’ fourth most important market in 2023.

“There is so much opportunity and potential to be unlocked with a non-stop service between Vietnam and Perth – this is why it has been one of our key international target markets,” said acting CEO of Perth Airport, Kate Holsgrove.

Vietjet will launch twice-weekly Hanoi-Melbourne services on June 3 and twice-weekly Hanoi-Sydney services on June 8.

“Routes connecting both Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi to Australia’s major cities offer convenient journeys for work, pleasure or exploring new frontiers. The airline currently offers flights from Ho Chi Minh City to Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide,” said Vietjet.

Southeast Asia is the most popular location for meetings, events and conferences internationally for Australians noted FCM’s Seiler – mainly for value, flight capacity and relatively short travel times.

However, air capacity between Asia and New Zealand has yet to fully recover. According to FCM, it stands at 79 per cent but could reach 88 per cent in about six months.

“There are a few airlines reporting good capacity (higher than pre-pandemic levels), including China Eastern, Hainan Airlines and Malaysia Airlines. Air New Zealand is currently at 101 per cent and expected to hit 122 per cent in April,” said Seiler.

When Sichuan Airlines resumes Chengdu-Auckland flights this month, there will be six carriers operating non-stop China – New Zealand flights, the others being Air China, Air New Zealand, China Eastern Airlines, China Southern Airlines and Hainan Airlines. This is good news as New Zealand is a popular incentive travel destination for Chinese companies.

Air New Zealand and Singapore Airlines recently renewed their joint venture alliance for another five years. A fourth daily seasonal service between Auckland and Singapore will be mounted from October 27, supporting the growing demand for both business and leisure travel.

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