Dec 8, 2017 - Photos of one of Air New Zealand's Boeing 787 Dreamliner engines which failed this week in-flight show damage to multiple turbine blades, at the rear, suggesting a part broke off and travelled through the engine. That engine, on Tuesday morning's flight NZ99 bound for Tokyo with 282 people on board had to be shut down when it caused the aircraft to shake violently.
Passengers heard clunking sounds and electrical power went out temporarily after takeoff from Auckland airport. The plane concerned, which was the first of the airline's nine Dreamliners to go into service, has since been grounded.
On Wednesday another Dreamliner bound for Buenos Aires also had to turn back to Auckland when problems arose with an engine. That engine did not have to be shut down in flight.
Air New Zealand told Newsroom last night it was "extremely surprised by the two issues experienced this week".
Provided with the photos taken of the NZ99 engine after it landed back in Auckland, a spokeswoman said: "The cause of these incidents is yet to be determined and this is the role of the Transport Accident Investigation Commission. But the damage sustained on Tuesday suggests an engine part has travelled through the engine."
Dec 7, 2017 - Thai Airways celebrates 30 years of flights between Auckland and Thailand today, marking a longstanding commitment to New Zealand as the only carrier to consistently service the Auckland-Bangkok route. On 6th December 1987, the first official Thai Airways passenger jet service, operated by a DC-10 aircraft, touched down at Auckland Airport.
Initially operated as a direct twice weekly service between Bangkok and Auckland, over the last thirty years the service has increased to daily with the recent launch of the new 787-9 Dreamliner on 17 November. The new offering marks a two-way tourist capacity increase from its five times per week service.
The new Dreamliner flight has added 600 weekly seats to the service, which serves as a popular connecting route to the rest of Asia and beyond to Europe.
Thai Airways Vice President of Alliances and Commercial Strategy Development Mr. Krittaphon Chantalitanon and Director of Sales, Australia, New Zealand and Pacific, Mr. Prin Yooprasert arrived yesterday from Thailand to attend today’s official celebrations.
Mr. Chantalitanon said that Thai Airways are proud of the legacy that the airline has established here in New Zealand.
"Over the last 30 years, Thai Airways has provided both New Zealand travellers and exporters access to Asia and beyond. Given that Thailand is now a leading tourist destination and New Zealand’s eighth largest export market, this is a relationship we are committed to growing."
"The increase to a daily flight service with last month’s launch of the new Dreamliner is testament to the growing significance of this route," says Mr.Chantalitanon.
Thai Airways operates 100 aircraft to 63 destinations in 33 countries across Asia/Pacific, Europe and the Middle East.
Over a million Kiwis have travelled to Thailand since 1987. Today Thailand is one of the top holiday destinations for New Zealanders.
Thai Airways 30th Anniversary will be officially celebrated tonight at the ANZ Viaduct Events Centre where long supporting travel agents and cargo agents will be recognised for their contribution to the airline over the last thirty years.
Dec 5, 2017 - Auckland Airport advises passengers travelling internationally in December 2017 and January 2018 to allow an extra 30 minutes for their journey through the terminal building. Anil Varma, Auckland Airport’s acting general manager – aeronautical operations, says, “December and January are the busiest months of the year at our international terminal. Known as the summer peak, this year we are expecting around 162 international flights every day, with international passenger numbers expected to be approximately 6% higher than last summer. We are also expecting an average of around 37,500 passengers to use the international terminal on each of our ten busiest days this summer.”
“Many of us have a standard routine when departing or arriving Auckland Airport. Just like last year, we recommend everyone allows an extra 30 minutes for travel through the international terminal over the next couple of months. This will help ensure they have a more relaxed journey. They should also give themselves extra time to travel to and from the airport, given the high level of roadworks happening around the Auckland region again this summer.”
“Auckland Airport has worked extensively with stakeholders at the airport, including both the airlines and joint border agencies, to ensure the airport can operate efficiently and effectively during the busy summer period.”
Throughout the year Auckland Airport has invested more than $1 million every working day to make improvements to help support the growth in international passengers and aircraft, including building:
· a new outbound border processing and security screening area, and a new space for departing international passengers to repack and relax after security screening;
· a new gate lounge with two airbridges on Pier B of the international terminal – Gate 17 – to accommodate a large B787 or A380 aircraft, or two smaller aircraft. This new gate lounge increases the capacity of our western Pier B by 50%;
· the first half of our exciting new international passenger lounge and its retail hub;
· new toilet facilities in the international departure area;
· a new Strata Lounge – a comfortable and relaxed space for travellers who do not belong to an airline lounge programme plus 14 airlines that choose to use the lounge to accommodate their premium passengers prior to boarding;
· an upgraded bus lounge on Pier B to further improve journeys for travellers transferring between the terminal and an aircraft parked on remote airfield stands; and
· a new fully-serviced remote airfield stand to accommodate international aircraft.
In preparation for this summer we have also:
· reconfigured the international check-in area to provide seven more service counters – an 8% increase;
· invested in 15 more mobile international self-service check-in kiosks – increasing the total number of available mobile check-in kiosks to 60;
· purchased two new Aviramps to provide a safer and better boarding or disembarking experience for passengers whose aircraft is parked on a remote airfield stand; and
· recruited extra staff, including 70 Passenger Experience Assistants, to help passengers at the airport.
We have also continued to work closely with the New Zealand Aviation Security Service, Customs New Zealand and the Ministry for Primary Industries. The New Zealand Aviation Security Service has installed four new state of the art security screening machines in the international departure area to increase passenger processing times. Customs New Zealand has increased the eligibility for their eGates to include Chinese passport holders, and more nationalities are expected to be delivered throughout the summer period. Auckland Airport has built a new Green Lane for use by pre-selected New Zealand and Australian passport holders who are arriving in the country and have no biosecurity items to declare to the Ministry for Primary Industries.
We have also been working on a number of initiatives to improve the transport network around the inner airport roads, and working with the New Zealand Transport Agency and Auckland Transport to help improve traffic flows and reduce travel times to and from the airport. These initiatives include:
· a new slip lane and free left-turn as part of NZTA’s upgrade of the SH20A / Verrisimo Drive intersection;
· improving access to the domestic terminal forecourt for passengers, commercial transport operators and buses;
· completion of the first stage of an upgrade of Nixon Road to provide a new route from the south-east to Auckland Airport’s Park&Ride on Verissimo Drive that avoids the need to use Tom Pearce Drive and George Bolt Memorial Drive;
· an outbound bus and T2 lane on Tom Pearce Drive;
· increasing the frequency of Auckland Transport’s Airporter 380 bus service to every 15 minutes during peak periods; and
· Auckland Airport staff located within the Auckland Transport Operation Centre on peak days to assist with the proactive management of traffic light phasings for Auckland Airport’s network.
Passengers can play their part to help keep things moving at the international terminal this summer by:
· booking a car park online, well ahead of their day of travel to maximise their choice of location and to secure a better deal;
· allowing 30 minutes extra for their journeys through the international terminal building;
· ensuring their hand luggage meets airline requirements;
· completing their international departure card before reaching Customs;
· ensuring any liquid, aerosol and gel containers in their hand luggage are not larger than 100ml, and are all placed in one re-sealable, transparent plastic bag (20cm x 20cm or smaller) and put in an easily accessible location;
· following airline advice for recommended check-in times for passengers travelling to North America, due to additional security requirements for these flights;
· asking the person who is picking them up to park in The Wait Zone, until they receive a text or phone call saying you are ready for collection; and
· checking the Auckland Airport website and App for the latest flight and travel information.
“We thank everyone in advance for their understanding and support during our busiest time of the year,” says Mr Varma.
| An Auckland Airport release || December 5, 2017 |||
Dec 5, 2017 - Millennials are taking more expensive holidays because they believe saving enough money to buy a house is unrealistic, a travel expert has said. Holiday firm Contiki reported a 10% increase in the average amount of money people aged 18 to 35 are spending on trips this year compared with 2016.
It found that young travellers are taking more adventurous and so-called bucket list trips, with increased year-on-year demand for destinations such as New Zealand (up 83%), South America (up 71%), Bali (up 56%) and Vietnam (up 50%).
With a typical first-time home buyer in the UK aged 30, Contiki sales and marketing director Donna Jeavons has noticed a trend in young people prioritising experiences including travel over getting on the property ladder.
She said: "With housing being so expensive, many young people are opting to live in the moment and pursue other goals first, knowing that buying a house could be a little further down the line than it was for previous generations.
"Saving a bit here and there isn't really scratching the surface for millennials, so many are choosing to have the best holiday they can afford instead."
The average age of Contiki customers is 26 and earlier this year the firm introduced specially themed trips to Canada for "avid Instagrammers".
This was in response to research which showed that a section of the youth market is drawn to destinations from where they can upload popular social media posts.
Several other companies have also started selling products aimed at younger travellers.
U by Uniworld will be Europe's first river cruise brand exclusively for young people when it launches in April 2018 with craft beers, mixology classes, street art tours and vintage motor bike rides.
The firm's chief executive Ellen Bettridge said: "We are targeting an active traveller between the ages of 21 and 45, with everything from the decor, dining and cocktail service to the land activities thoughtfully curated to meet the needs of this audience."
Air France's new subsidiary airline aimed at young people, Joon, began operating from Paris on Friday.
It is "designed for our millennial customers" with features such as the ability to stream movies and television shows using smartphones and tablets, crew uniforms with a "chic sportswear look" and a partnership with travel site Airbnb Experiences.
Dominique Wood, an executive vice president at Air France, said: "With Joon, we have created a young and connected brand that will give the group a new impetus."
| An Evening Standard release || December 5, 2017 |||
Dec 4, 2017 - Air New Zealand will tomorrow welcome customers to its first-ever lounge at Perth Airport. The new lounge caters for more than 110 customers and carries the airline’s signature sleek modern design created in conjunction with award-winning global architectural firm Gensler and Australian based design firm Marsden Collective. The design follows that already seen in Air New Zealand lounges in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane airports, as well as in lounges throughout New Zealand. The 441 square metre lounge is located on level two of the airport terminal with windows overlooking an internal atrium and four different zones to meet the needs of customers, including a café, as well as business, lounge and quiet areas. A self-service food buffet and drinks station is also on offer. Air New Zealand General Manager Customer Experience Anita Hawthorne says the airline is excited to open a brand-new space for customers flying out of Perth. “We are committed to improving the customer experience and continue to invest heavily in the Australian market. This includes the operation of the Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner on many routes and promoting services through our ‘Better Way to Fly’ campaign starring Dave the Goose which encourages Australians to travel to North and South America on Air New Zealand,” Ms Hawthorne says. The new Perth lounge is part of Air New Zealand’s four year $100 million programme to redevelop its network of lounges and follows on from the opening of new lounges in Auckland, Sydney, Brisbane, Nadi, Melbourne, Hamilton, Invercargill, Wellington, Queenstown, Dunedin and Palmerston North.
Nov 27, 2017 - Blockchain project TravelChain today announced that for their token sale they are not going to use the Ethereum smart contract, which they have posted earlier on GitHub. The token sale is going to be on their graphene-based blockchain and going to start on December 10. TravelChain is a breakthrough in the travel industry and is the core of the SmartTraveling Ecosystem which is going to provide reliable tools for developers willing to create services that meet demands of contemporary leisure travelers.
“Data is the “oil” of the 21st century, but in most cases, it circulates within corporate systems and cannot be used by other companies to create innovative services. We are looking to bring fourth digital revolution in the travel industry using blockchain.” said TravelChain co-founder and CEO Ilya Orlov. “We designed TravelChain to bridge the gap between all stakeholders in the travel industry and incentivize the consumers. Travelution is coming”
| About TravelChain
TravelChain is a decentralized data exchange platform for the travel industry. It is globally scalable data storage infrastructure, secure by its design.
Graphene-based blockchain allows us to make the public information available for every part of the system, while private information is safely encrypted and stored with just the mark about the type of the information inside. Individual users (private or corporate entities) own the keys to their data in order to control secure storage or distributing/selling their data in real time.
A key component of TravelChain is Traveler Passport, a model with distributed trust that allows you to form an image of another person without being acquainted personally. When dealing with unknown people, it is difficult to predict their actions. However, this is critical when it comes to money, private property, and health.
Key features of Traveler Passport:
| MARKET OVERVIEW
Data market is currently not monetized outside of advertising space. Alphabet (Google, YouTube), Facebook, AirBnB, Amadeus and other services barely reach outside base advertising products and services to individuals.
TravelChain provides different models, enabling data sharing among individuals and business on equal terms.
Target for consumers: To make profit from sharing their data, to get the best deals and offers from businesses and an ability to make the C2C escrow deals.
Target for businesses: Information about potential customers, big data for better market analysis, immediate feedback from customers about goods and services and an ability to provide the best possible conditions for any customer. Access to the TravelChain ecosystem data can significantly reduce marketing costs of business.
| TravelToken sale
Travel chain is going for its token sale on 10th December 2017, and it’ll last for up to two month. Limited part of tokens is going to be out there with 15% bonus. The value of 1 TravelToken is going to be around 0,0000016 BTC (26.11.17 rate). In total 693 000 000 tokens shall be released during the TokenSale. For more information, you can check out the travel chain whitepaper https://travelchain.io/files/TravelChain.WhitePaper(ENG).pdf
Nov 24, 2017 - New Zealand, which since 1999 has described itself as “100% Pure” in its famous tourism tagline, is battling a rising tide of pollution, with 16 beaches in Auckland reportedly too polluted for swimming and critics blaming intensive livestock farming for making up to 60% of the country’s rivers and lakes unswimmable.
Sixteen Auckland beaches have been given the lowest grading possible, D, on the Auckland Council’s new water quality forecasting system – Safeswim: https://safeswim.org.nz/
Half of those swimming spots are in West Auckland, including popular Piha and Bethells Beach, according to Auckland’s Western Leader newspaper. The most common form of contamination is excrement – animal and human faeces.
The publication quoted an environmentalist who said he’d seen day-trippers defecating in lagoons.
“This happens especially in summer time when the public facilities are quite full, or at times are closed.”
Idyllic but controversial scene in Tourism New Zealand video
Recent Auckland Council reports blamed the problems on faulty septic tanks, along with faecal contamination from dogs, birds, and livestock, the publication said.
Auckland Council plans to invest NZD 6 billion over the next 20 years in wastewater infrastructure.
Meanwhile, cows are being blamed for polluting New Zealand’s waterways. Agricultural runoff, in the form of nitrates, adds to the problem. In an article headlined “Dairy farming is polluting New Zealand’s water”, the Economist magazine said “scrub where sheep once grazed is being given over to intensive dairy farms – some of them irrigated to help the pasture grow”.
The Economist said some 6.6 millon cattle are now “squeezed into the country of 4.7 million people, transforming even an iconic arid grassland, the Mackenzie Basin (made famous by the ‘Lord of the Rings’ films), into a tapestry of emerald fields”.
Waterways play a big part in New Zealand tourism campaigns, such as in the video below:
Greenpeace agriculture campaigner Gen Toop says farms are “overstocked with too many cows and that causes nitrate to leach down through the soil and into our waterways. The only way to have clean rivers and safe drinking water is to have fewer cows.”
Greenpeace advocates regenerative farming, a way of farming with fewer cattle and more diversity.
In August, New Zealand’s Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) ruled that the Tourism New Zealand promotional video (on YouTube above), which includes a scene showing a tourist about to drink river water, did not violate advertising rules.
Not all members of the ASA board agreed.
At one point in the video, a tourist cups her hand in the water and brings it to her mouth as if to drink. The shot cuts away before she does so.
Critics say drinking river water is unsafe in many parts of the country.
| Source: Global Travel Media Written by Peter Needham || November 24, 2017 |||
Nov 23, 2017 - Air New Zealand is exploring the use of blockchain-based systems within its business, reinforcing its global reputation for innovation and embracing new and emerging technology. Blockchain is being used globally to build encrypted, shared platforms, providing a secure and efficient way to track the exchange of goods or information. Air New Zealand is looking at a number of potential use cases for the distributed ledger technology including cargo and baggage tracking, retail, distribution and loyalty programme opportunities. Air New Zealand Chief Digital Officer Avi Golan says applications of blockchain are developing rapidly, and the airline is excited by the possibilities. “With its built-in efficiency and security, blockchain has the potential to trigger huge innovation in travel, paving the way for new business models and collaboration.” Air New Zealand is partnering with Swiss travel platform Winding Tree, which is developing the world’s first travel marketplace on blockchain to connect suppliers such as airlines and hotels directly to sellers. “While we are still exploring its benefits, blockchain may offer a streamlined way to retail airfares and ancillary products alongside our current channels. In removing complexity from the sales chain, customers benefit from reduced transactional costs, and airlines benefit from swift and secure sharing of information,” says Mr Golan. Winding Tree Founder and Chief Executive Officer Maksim Izmaylov says Winding Tree is a decentralised alternative to the current travel distribution landscape. “With a business-to-business marketplace system powering blockchain-based travel booking transactions, startups and companies will be able to gain direct access to travel service providers’ offerings.
“We are very excited to be partnering with Air New Zealand, as it’s an important step in bringing blockchain technology to the travel industry and creating opportunity for innovation,” says Mr Izmaylov.
Air New Zealand has worked with a range of leading technology partners to introduce innovations to enhance the customer experience. These include its artificial intelligence backed chatbot Oscar, who helps customers with queries online and through the Air New Zealand mobile app, and its experiment with the social robot Chip, who assisted customers with check in at Sydney Airport earlier this year. German carrier Lufthansa has also recently announced a partnership with Winding Tree.
| An Air New Zealand release || November 23, 2017 |||
Nov 23, 2017 - Legendary hedge fund manager and multi-billionaire Julian Roberston put together one of the most luxurious golfing vacations in his beloved New Zealand – and we got the inside look writes Elena Holodny for Business Insider US. On the Tiger Tour, vacationers can see both New Zealand’s North and South Islands over the course of nine nights on Roberston’s three properties: The Lodge at Kauri Cliffs, The Farm at Cape Kidnappers, and Matakauri Lodge.
Roberston, 85, a pioneer of the modern hedge fund industry, is best known for founding the investment firm Tiger Management Corp, one of the earliest funds, in 1980. After closing his fund in 2000, many of Robertson’s proteges went on to start some of the world’s largest hedge funds, such as Lone Pine and Viking Global. His net worth is estimated at $4.1 billion, according to Forbes.
The Tiger Tour is currently going on from November 17-26, 2017, but there’s another tour coming up March 1-10, 2018. The tour is limited to four couples at $28,500 per person, plus taxes, and not including international airfare and other expenses. The first stop is at The Lodge at Kauri Cliffs.