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Pacific Islands Aviation Thread

Mon Dec 19, 2016 2:27 am

In the spirit of other threads dedicated to general discussion of aviation in cities, countries, and regions, I would like to start a thread focusing on the Pacific Islands. Specifically I am thinking of of the countries, states, and territories which make up Melanesia, Micronesia, and Polynesia:

Melanesia
  • Image Fiji
  • Image Maluku (Province of Indonesia, not universally counted as part of Melanesia, but I'm including it for the purpose of this thread)
  • Image Image New Caledonia (Special Collectivity of France)
  • Image North Maluku (Province of Indonesia, not universally counted as part of Melanesia, but I'm including it for the purpose of this thread)
  • Image Papua (Province of Indonesia)
  • Image Papua New Guinea
  • Image Solomon Islands
  • Image Timor Leste (not universally counted as part of Melanesia, but I'm including it for the purpose of this thread)
  • Image Vanuatu
  • Image West Papua (Province of Indonesia)

Micronesia
  • Image Baker Island (Territory of the United States of America, uninhabited, no airports or air links at this time, a military airfield existed in 1943)
  • Image Bonin Islands (Territory of Japan, not universally counted as part of Micronesia, but I'm including it for the purpose of this thread, no airports or air links, but can be reached by helicopter or flying boat)
  • Image Federated States of Micronesia (self-governing in free association with the United States of America)
  • Image Image Guam (Territory of the United States of America)
  • Image Howland Island (Territory of the United States of America, uninhabited, no airports or air links at this time, an airfield was built for Amelia Earhart's ill-fated trip, but was never used)
  • Image Kiribati
  • Image Marshall Islands (self-governing in free association with the United States of America)
  • Image Minami-Tori-shima (Territory of Japan, not universally counted as part of Micronesia, but I'm including it for the purpose of this thread, no permanent inhabitants or regular air links, but there is a military airfield for access and emergencies)
  • Image Nauru
  • Image Image Northern Mariana Islands (Commonwealth (Territory) of the United Stated of America)
  • Image Palau (self-governing in free association with the United States of America)
  • Image Volcano Islands (Territory of Japan, not universally counted as part of Micronesia, but I'm including it for the purpose of this thread, no permanenet inhabitants or civil air links, but there is an active military airfield available for emergencies)
  • Image Wake Island (Territory of the United States of America, no permanent inhabitants or regular civil air links, but there is an active military airfield available for emergencies)

Polynesia
  • Image Image American Samoa (Territory of the United States of America)
  • Image Cook Islands (self-governing in free association with New Zealand)
  • Image Image Easter Island (Special Territory of Chile)
  • Image Image French Polynesia (Overseas Collectivity of France)
  • Image Image Hawaii (State of the United States of America)
  • Image Jarvis Island (Territory of the United States of America, uninhabited, no airports or air links at this time, a rough strip existed at in the 1930s and 40s, but was never used)
  • Image Johnston Atoll (Territory of the United States of America, uninhabited, no air links at this time, was previously a military base, the airport still exists but is no longer maintained)
  • Image Kingman Reef (Territory of the United States of America, uninhabited, no airports or air links at this time, the lagoon was used by Pan Am flying boats in 1937 and 1938)
  • Image Midway Atoll (Territory of the United States of America, no permanent inhabitants or regular air links, but there is a publicly owned airfield for access and emergencies)
  • Image Niue (self-governing in free association with New Zealand)
  • Image Image Norfolk Island (External Territory of Australia, not universally counted as part of Polynesia, but I'm including it for the purpose of this thread)
  • Image Palmyra Atoll (Territory of the United States of America, no permanent inhabitants or regular air links, but there is a privately owned airfield for access and emergencies)
  • Image Image Pitcairn Islands (British Overseas Territory, no airports or air links at present)
  • Image Samoa
  • Image Image Tokelau (self-governing territory of New Zealand, no airports or air links at present)
  • Image Tonga
  • Image Tuvalu
  • Image Image Wallis and Futuna (Overseas Collectivity of France)

Image

Malo!

V/F
"It is not for him to pride himself who loveth his own country, but rather for him who loveth the whole world. The earth is but one country, and mankind its citizens." - Bahá'u'lláh
 
AF022
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Re: Pacific Islands Aviation Thread

Mon Dec 19, 2016 2:40 am

Is Polynesian Blue or Virgin Samoa or whatever its called still operating?
 
MalevTU134
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Re: Pacific Islands Aviation Thread

Mon Dec 19, 2016 2:54 am

This must be one of the most challenging regions in the World in which to operate profitably, due to small markets and populations, and long distances. Except for Hawaii, Guam and maybe Fiji, are there any markets/destinations/airports that operate on a purely commercial basis, without subsidies? Heck, even Tahiti is struggling to maintain air service (Ok, maybe the service itself isn't in danger, but TN has been struggling since its inception, unless I'm mistaken). Is AirNiugini posting profits? Aircalin?
 
Qantas16
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Re: Pacific Islands Aviation Thread

Mon Dec 19, 2016 5:53 am

AF022 wrote:
Is Polynesian Blue or Virgin Samoa or whatever its called still operating?


Sure is. Current operations are:

BNE-APW 1-2x weekly
SYD-APW 3x weekly
AKL-APW daily

IIRC the only aircraft in the Virgin Samoa livery is VH-YID which hasn't actually flown to APW in at least a month...

Must be odd for some passengers to be boarding their MEL-LST flight and see it operated by "Virgin Samoa... airline of Samoa" :D :D :D
 
Qantas16
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Re: Pacific Islands Aviation Thread

Mon Dec 19, 2016 5:56 am

MalevTU134 wrote:
This must be one of the most challenging regions in the World in which to operate profitably, due to small markets and populations, and long distances. Except for Hawaii, Guam and maybe Fiji, are there any markets/destinations/airports that operate on a purely commercial basis, without subsidies? Heck, even Tahiti is struggling to maintain air service (Ok, maybe the service itself isn't in danger, but TN has been struggling since its inception, unless I'm mistaken). Is AirNiugini posting profits? Aircalin?


I think POM does well for QF/VA without subsidy (though I'm not 100% sure on there being no subsidy there). Similarly VA's BNE-HIR service. Both are rumoured to do very well with freight. But you are generally correct, particularly inter-island, it's hard to see how a profit can be made.
 
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Re: Pacific Islands Aviation Thread

Mon Dec 19, 2016 5:59 am

I think there're suggestions to open the airfield on Iwo Jima to civilian usage so that travellers can fly into Iwo Jima and then transit onto seaplane/helicopters/high speed ferry for Bonin Islands
 
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77west
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Re: Pacific Islands Aviation Thread

Mon Dec 19, 2016 6:32 am

Poly Blue and so forth are all being operated by Virgin Australia so liveries will go at some point.
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Re: Pacific Islands Aviation Thread

Mon Dec 19, 2016 6:49 am

77west wrote:
Poly Blue and so forth are all being operated by Virgin Australia so liveries will go at some point.


There is no Polynesian Blue - Poly Blue - anymore and has not been for some time. It became Virgin Samoa, and the livery changed with it.

Image

But - just for the record - Virgin Australia only owns 49% of the airline. The Samoan government folds 49% and the other 2% is owned by Samoan interests, Aggie Grey Hotels.

Legally, it is a Samoan airline.

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ZK-NBT
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Re: Pacific Islands Aviation Thread

Mon Dec 19, 2016 6:52 am

77west wrote:
Poly Blue and so forth are all being operated by Virgin Australia so liveries will go at some point.


Pretty sure the deal initially was they would have 1 aircraft in Virgin Samoa colours which as far as I no hasn't changed. The aircraft operates anywhere in the VA network though.

What happened to Polynesian Airlines restarting? Wasn't that doing the rounds some time back?!
 
c933103
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Re: Pacific Islands Aviation Thread

Mon Dec 19, 2016 6:56 am

If Boeing is to make a MoM plane with 4500-5000nm range then the entire East Asia from Japan, Korea, Eastern China to Thailand, Vietnam, Singapore, Indonesia can all be connected to Fiji with the MoM which probably will give a big boost to Fiji tourism industry?

And looking at the map I wonder why Japanese/Korean travellers seems to favor Guam/Saipan much more than Palau. They are almost as far away from Japan/Korea and Palau seems to offer better beaches?
 
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77west
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Re: Pacific Islands Aviation Thread

Mon Dec 19, 2016 6:57 am

mariner wrote:
77west wrote:
Poly Blue and so forth are all being operated by Virgin Australia so liveries will go at some point.


There is no Polynesian Blue - Poly Blue - anymore and has not been for some time. It became Virgin Samoa, and the livery changed with it.

Image

But - just for the record - Virgin Australia only owns 49% of the airline. The Samoan government folds 49% and the other 2% is owned by Samoan interests, Aggie Grey Hotels.

Legally, it is a Samoan airline.

mariner


I thought something like had happened. I do now recall seeing a VSamoa plane.

Do they own the planes? Or a paper airline, AKA, Virgin Samoa operated by Virgin Australia?
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Re: Pacific Islands Aviation Thread

Mon Dec 19, 2016 7:13 am

ZK-NBT wrote:
What happened to Polynesian Airlines restarting? Wasn't that doing the rounds some time back?!


There have been a lot of rumours and a couple of false starts - see below. The Samoan Government is unhappy with Virgin Samoa, partly, it seems, because of the tie-up with Air New Zealand, and despite the dividends it gets from Virgin Samoa:

http://sobserver.ws/en/04_12_2016/local ... t-$57m.htm

"Virgin to pay govt. $5.7m

That's $3 million Australian. The article goes on to talk about "other airlines":

"At the beginning of the year, a Cabinet press statement said Samoa’s deliberations and preparations for a new agreement is on-going and is also eyeing new agreements with other airlines.

The Samoan government has been openly unhappy with the joint venture after Virgin Airlines went into partnership with Air New Zealand.

“There is a great need to have our own airline. The main problem we now have with our joint venture is the money coming in. That’s why we are now looking at getting our own airline.”


Legally, they have their own airline with Virgin Samoa, but that airline is managed in Australia and all decisions are made there. Samoa can ask for them to add new routes, but Virgin doesn't have to do so, or, if it does, can demand a subsidy.

Based on this and other articles, it reads as as if Samoa thinks they're big shafted with the wrong end of the pineapple by Virgin.

Finally, there's the last line, about Polynesian Airlines:

"Polynesian Airlines has recently announced plans to revive its international flights operations."

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Qantas16
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Re: Pacific Islands Aviation Thread

Mon Dec 19, 2016 7:53 am

mariner wrote:
ZK-NBT wrote:
What happened to Polynesian Airlines restarting? Wasn't that doing the rounds some time back?!


There have been a lot of rumours and a couple of false starts - see below. The Samoan Government is unhappy with Virgin Samoa, partly, it seems, because of the tie-up with Air New Zealand, and despite the dividends it gets from Virgin Samoa:

http://sobserver.ws/en/04_12_2016/local ... t-$57m.htm

"Virgin to pay govt. $5.7m

That's $3 million Australian. The article goes on to talk about "other airlines":

"At the beginning of the year, a Cabinet press statement said Samoa’s deliberations and preparations for a new agreement is on-going and is also eyeing new agreements with other airlines.

The Samoan government has been openly unhappy with the joint venture after Virgin Airlines went into partnership with Air New Zealand.

“There is a great need to have our own airline. The main problem we now have with our joint venture is the money coming in. That’s why we are now looking at getting our own airline.”


Legally, they have their own airline with Virgin Samoa, but that airline is managed in Australia and all decisions are made there. Samoa can ask for them to add new routes, but Virgin doesn't have to do so, or, if it does, can demand a subsidy.

Based on this and other articles, it reads as as if Samoa thinks they're big shafted with the wrong end of the pineapple by Virgin.

Finally, there's the last line, about Polynesian Airlines:

"Polynesian Airlines has recently announced plans to revive its international flights operations."

mariner


I thought, as part of the VA/NZ agreement, they aren't allowed to coordinate on flights to the Pacific Islands? In which case, how does the NZ/VA agreement impact Samoa? Whilst a 100% Samoan airline might run more routes, it's also almost guaranteed to lose a lot of money so I think they should be pretty happy with the agreement.

Personally, in the future I think we will see airlines like Solomons, Air Vanuatu and maybe even PX become closer aligned with QF, VA or NZ and they do their long haul flying for them, in a similar agreement to VA and Samoa.
 
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Re: Pacific Islands Aviation Thread

Mon Dec 19, 2016 8:54 am

How does the NZ/VA alliance affect Samoa negatively? NZ and VA both fly AKL-APW daily with additional peak season flights and no codeshares. NZ send widebodies 777/787's to take extra freight aswell.
 
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Re: Pacific Islands Aviation Thread

Mon Dec 19, 2016 9:18 am

Qantas16 wrote:
I thought, as part of the VA/NZ agreement, they aren't allowed to coordinate on flights to the Pacific Islands? In which case, how does the NZ/VA agreement impact Samoa? Whilst a 100% Samoan airline might run more routes, it's also almost guaranteed to lose a lot of money so I think they should be pretty happy with the agreement.


Tp my knowledge they've never fully explained it, but putting together the clues it seems Samoa feels that there should be more routes to other places - they've never defined where - or more frequency or that that fares are too high and that generally Samoa should get more traffic and thus more tourists.

This happens a lot and not just in places like Samoa. A lot of smaller places, proud of their community, try to attract airlines or develop their airports. We're not necessarily dealing with economic rationalism here, or even people who have a lot airline experience. We're dealing with politicians and public sentiment - "we're lovely, why don't more people come here?"

On Niue they've just expanded the only real tourist hotel and have asked Air NZ to increase their service and want bigger aircraft:

http://www.radionz.co.nz/international/ ... nd-flights

"Niue looking for more Air New Zealand flights"

It works in reverse, too. When Air NZ dropped service to some unprofitable smaller regional cites (in NZ), the locals were outraged, feeling they'd been shafted - "the planes are always full!" It didn't matter that in every case, smaller airlines had jumped in with smaller aircraft to fill the gap.

Eighteen months ago, Samoa's Polynesian Airlines announced they were re-starting flights to NZ (and other unspecified Pacific countries), using a Solomon Airlines aircraft. It never happened, but maybe the article gives a clue to the thinking:

http://www.radionz.co.nz/international/ ... ghts-to-nz

"Polynesian Airlines to re-open flights to NZ

The Samoa government says the initiative is to enhance flight services and provide cheaper airfare options for the people of Samoa."


Just a guess, but it might suggest that they think the current fares are too high and that Air NZ and Virgin are in cahoots to dud the locals.

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Qantas16
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Re: Pacific Islands Aviation Thread

Tue Dec 20, 2016 3:25 am

mariner wrote:
Qantas16 wrote:
I thought, as part of the VA/NZ agreement, they aren't allowed to coordinate on flights to the Pacific Islands? In which case, how does the NZ/VA agreement impact Samoa? Whilst a 100% Samoan airline might run more routes, it's also almost guaranteed to lose a lot of money so I think they should be pretty happy with the agreement.


Tp my knowledge they've never fully explained it, but putting together the clues it seems Samoa feels that there should be more routes to other places - they've never defined where - or more frequency or that that fares are too high and that generally Samoa should get more traffic and thus more tourists.

This happens a lot and not just in places like Samoa. A lot of smaller places, proud of their community, try to attract airlines or develop their airports. We're not necessarily dealing with economic rationalism here, or even people who have a lot airline experience. We're dealing with politicians and public sentiment - "we're lovely, why don't more people come here?"

On Niue they've just expanded the only real tourist hotel and have asked Air NZ to increase their service and want bigger aircraft:

http://www.radionz.co.nz/international/ ... nd-flights

"Niue looking for more Air New Zealand flights"

It works in reverse, too. When Air NZ dropped service to some unprofitable smaller regional cites (in NZ), the locals were outraged, feeling they'd been shafted - "the planes are always full!" It didn't matter that in every case, smaller airlines had jumped in with smaller aircraft to fill the gap.

Eighteen months ago, Samoa's Polynesian Airlines announced they were re-starting flights to NZ (and other unspecified Pacific countries), using a Solomon Airlines aircraft. It never happened, but maybe the article gives a clue to the thinking:

http://www.radionz.co.nz/international/ ... ghts-to-nz

"Polynesian Airlines to re-open flights to NZ

The Samoa government says the initiative is to enhance flight services and provide cheaper airfare options for the people of Samoa."


Just a guess, but it might suggest that they think the current fares are too high and that Air NZ and Virgin are in cahoots to dud the locals.

mariner


I think your key point is that we are dealing with economic rationalism. That's not to say that an airline has to make profit to be worthwhile (e.g. I doubt Solomons make profit but their service is invaluable to the Solomon's economy), but Samoa already have a good thing going with VA. They have a population of less than 200,000 but have 3x daily to AKL, as well as 9x weekly to NAN, 3x weekly to SYD, weekly to BNE and weekly to HNL... That's not bad!
 
hnl-jack
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Re: Pacific Islands Aviation Thread

Tue Dec 20, 2016 3:48 am

If it were not for Air New Zealand, Qantas, United and Hawaiian, the islands would not have the lifelines they currently enjoy. Those in government in American Samoa complain about Hawaiian and those in government in Samoa and Tonga frequently note they need their own airline. There are numerous issues, the air links to outside are critical to the islands survival (business, freight, medical, etc.) and tourism wouldn't exist without air service. Current airline service is enough to meet demand, but does not offer the islands much flexibility or choices and the capacity limits the potential growth of tourism. Particularly the Samoan and Tongan governments should quit complaining and take the limited funds available and invest in infrastructure. These beautiful islands and friendly host population have tourism growth potential. Tourism is the only way airline capacity will grow in this region, but the facilities necessary to support that growth are not there.
 
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Re: Pacific Islands Aviation Thread

Tue Dec 20, 2016 3:53 am

Does the Boeing 787 order for Air Tahiti Nui allow for growth? Or is it an order to directly replace each A340? I would love to see some expansion from the carrier once these newer, efficient take to the skies. Also, if it's the 787-8, that may unlock smaller markets in Australia perhaps or Hong Kong?
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mariner
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Re: Pacific Islands Aviation Thread

Tue Dec 20, 2016 5:11 am

Doers anyone know if the redevelopment of the old Rainmaker Hotel in Pago Pago going ahead - or what's happening with it? Supposedly, it was approved in July (2016) but I haven't heard anything since.

http://www.radionz.co.nz/international/ ... ican-samoa

"Tourism boost for American Samoa

The executive director of the American Samoa Visitors Bureau says a newly approved hotel development in the territory is part of a strategic tourism plan.

David Vaeafe said the redevelopment of the historic Rainmaker Hotel site at the mouth of Pago Pago harbour was timely given hotel occupancy had grown from 30 to 70 percent in the last seven years.


If they're serious about developing tourism in American Samoa, they really need some new - decent - hotels.

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NPL8800
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Re: Pacific Islands Aviation Thread

Tue Dec 20, 2016 5:22 am

Let's not forget the large role that FJ plays in this region, as far as physical destinations served go FJ is far ahead of the likes of QF and HA, they're easily comparable to NZ and UA in terms of providing access to the key airports/communities
 
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Re: Pacific Islands Aviation Thread

Tue Dec 20, 2016 6:58 am

77west wrote:
I thought something like had happened. I do now recall seeing a VSamoa plane.

Do they own the planes? Or a paper airline, AKA, Virgin Samoa operated by Virgin Australia?


Paper airline, it used to be run by the NZ side of VA before that got re joint with the Aussie Ops.

Its was Virgin Samoa operated by Virgin Australia NZ LTD just to make it that little more confusing.
 
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Re: Pacific Islands Aviation Thread

Tue Dec 20, 2016 7:03 am

NPL8800 wrote:
Let's not forget the large role that FJ plays in this region, as far as physical destinations served go FJ is far ahead of the likes of QF and HA, they're easily comparable to NZ and UA in terms of providing access to the key airports/communities


QF barely serves the Pacific Islands, they only do SYD-NOU (JQ does some NAN services).
 
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Re: Pacific Islands Aviation Thread

Tue Dec 20, 2016 7:13 am

DY789 wrote:
Does the Boeing 787 order for Air Tahiti Nui allow for growth? Or is it an order to directly replace each A340? I would love to see some expansion from the carrier once these newer, efficient take to the skies. Also, if it's the 787-8, that may unlock smaller markets in Australia perhaps or Hong Kong?


No they have always lost money and have to many aircraft now 5 A343's they will replace them with 4 789's, they often lease out an aircraft rather than having an extra parked. They only fly to AKL, LAX, CDG, NRT, KIX? Not sure if they still serve KIX.

I'm surprised but I believe it's political that TN serve CDG and AF serve PPT both via LAX. A codeshare and connection via LAX would seem better for both.?!


How long is IUE's runway? I didn't think it could take more than an A320 738 size? I can't personally see NZ using a 787, 772 there anytime soon even if the airfield can take it.
 
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Re: Pacific Islands Aviation Thread

Tue Dec 20, 2016 7:22 am

zkncj wrote:
QF barely serves the Pacific Islands, they only do SYD-NOU (JQ does some NAN services).


To be precise QF fly:

3x weekly SYD-NOU
1x weekly BNE-NOU
7x weekly BNE-POM
5x weekly SYD-HNL
 
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Re: Pacific Islands Aviation Thread

Tue Dec 20, 2016 7:30 am

qf15 wrote:
zkncj wrote:
QF barely serves the Pacific Islands, they only do SYD-NOU (JQ does some NAN services).


To be precise QF fly:

3x weekly SYD-NOU
1x weekly BNE-NOU
7x weekly BNE-POM
5x weekly SYD-HNL


Does HNL count an a Pacific Island?

AKL-NAN
AKL-APW
AKL-RAR
AKL-PPT
AKL-IUE
AKL-TBU
AKL-VLI
SYD-RAR
CHC-NAN
WLG-NAN
LAX-RAR
 
NPL8800
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Re: Pacific Islands Aviation Thread

Tue Dec 20, 2016 7:41 am

zkncj wrote:
NPL8800 wrote:
Let's not forget the large role that FJ plays in this region, as far as physical destinations served go FJ is far ahead of the likes of QF and HA, they're easily comparable to NZ and UA in terms of providing access to the key airports/communities


QF barely serves the Pacific Islands, they only do SYD-NOU (JQ does some NAN services).


I'm aware of QFs Pacific network, i was just bringing into the discussion one of the largest players in the region that hadn't been mentioned yet whilst smaller players had
 
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Pohakuloa
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Re: Pacific Islands Aviation Thread

Tue Dec 20, 2016 7:54 am

zkncj wrote:

Does HNL count an a Pacific Island?



To be fair, it is on an island in practically the middle of the pacific ocean, so..... yes?
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NPL8800
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Re: Pacific Islands Aviation Thread

Tue Dec 20, 2016 7:58 am

Pohakuloa wrote:
zkncj wrote:

Does HNL count an a Pacific Island?



To be fair, it is on an island in practically the middle of the pacific ocean, so..... yes?


Yes it does, Hawaii is the northern most point of the Polynesian triangle
 
Qantas16
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Re: Pacific Islands Aviation Thread

Tue Dec 20, 2016 8:04 am

Pohakuloa wrote:
zkncj wrote:

Does HNL count an a Pacific Island?



To be fair, it is on an island in practically the middle of the pacific ocean, so..... yes?


Sure, but I think Hawaii gets plenty of discussion already. I think this thread was more designed to talk about the smaller islands that aren't normally discussed (or atleast not regularly) on a.net. Hawaii could warrant its own thread!


QF don't serve much in the Pacific Islands but do have extensive codeshare network - they codeshare on IE, PX, SB, FJ and used to on NF until the runway issues there (hopeful this will come back). IIRC, the QF Group would like to serve NAN more, however VA has most of the traffic rights? Correct me if I am wrong.

I would think JQ would do quite well on routes to NOU and VLI but QF are probably quite happy with the cosy relationship they have at the moment...
 
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Re: Pacific Islands Aviation Thread

Tue Dec 20, 2016 9:30 am

Qantas16 wrote:
Pohakuloa wrote:
zkncj wrote:

Does HNL count an a Pacific Island?



To be fair, it is on an island in practically the middle of the pacific ocean, so..... yes?


Sure, but I think Hawaii gets plenty of discussion already. I think this thread was more designed to talk about the smaller islands that aren't normally discussed (or atleast not regularly) on a.net. Hawaii could warrant its own thread!

When I started this thread I intended for Hawaii to be part of the discussion. The intention was a thread that covers aviation in the Pacific Islands. If there is so much Hawaii-specific conversation in this thread that it is preventing discussion of others, then we can look at separating it out I think. :)

V/F
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Re: Pacific Islands Aviation Thread

Tue Dec 20, 2016 9:34 am

13 die in West Papua plane crash
9:14 am on 19 December 2016

An Indonesian air force transport plane has crashed into a mountain, killing all 13 people board during a training exercise in the Papua region.

The Hercules C130 plane had taken off from the city of Timika before crashing near its destination of Wamena.

Full story: http://www.radionz.co.nz/international/ ... lane-crash

V/F
Last edited by VirginFlyer on Tue Dec 20, 2016 9:48 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Pacific Islands Aviation Thread

Tue Dec 20, 2016 9:46 am

Tonga Airways cancels planned domestic service
3:01 pm on 19 December 2016

Tonga Airways has cancelled plans for a domestic air service after it failed to win ministerial approval.

The airline had planned to start a twice-weekly service between Vava'u and Tongatapu using a chartered Fiji Airways aircraft from today.

Full story: http://www.radionz.co.nz/international/ ... ic-service

Update:
Tonga Airways still intent on getting service off the ground
7:06 am on 20 December 2016

The board of Tonga Airways says it is still intent on getting its services off the ground despite having to cancel the launch of its domestic flights, via a Fiji Airways charter, on Monday.

Tonga Airways is a partly Tongan, partly foreign owned venture which aims to provide a second air service for Tonga and said it aims to provide cheaper airfares than the existing operator Real Tonga.

Full story: http://www.radionz.co.nz/international/ ... the-ground

It will be interesting to see where this heads. From Royal Tongan to Chathams Pacific, the country has been a bit of a minefield for airline operations.

V/F
"It is not for him to pride himself who loveth his own country, but rather for him who loveth the whole world. The earth is but one country, and mankind its citizens." - Bahá'u'lláh
 
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VirginFlyer
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Re: Pacific Islands Aviation Thread

Tue Dec 20, 2016 9:57 am

Inter-Samoa air traffic soars
1:05 pm on 20 December 2016

Polynesian Airlines has increased flights between the Samoas to 14 per day, almost double its normal schedule.

The airline is operating three Twin Otter aircraft to service the inter Samoa route as well as flights to Tau and Olosega, Manu'a

Full story: http://www.radionz.co.nz/international/ ... ffic-soars

Interesting to see the article suggests a lot of the traffic is people connecting to the Fiji Airways service to Honolulu.

V/F
"It is not for him to pride himself who loveth his own country, but rather for him who loveth the whole world. The earth is but one country, and mankind its citizens." - Bahá'u'lláh
 
Motorhussy
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Re: Pacific Islands Aviation Thread

Wed Dec 21, 2016 9:33 pm

VirginFlyer wrote:
Inter-Samoa air traffic soars
1:05 pm on 20 December 2016

Polynesian Airlines has increased flights between the Samoas to 14 per day, almost double its normal schedule.

The airline is operating three Twin Otter aircraft to service the inter Samoa route as well as flights to Tau and Olosega, Manu'a

Full story: http://www.radionz.co.nz/international/ ... ffic-soars

Interesting to see the article suggests a lot of the traffic is people connecting to the Fiji Airways service to Honolulu.

V/F


Also interesting is that Aumua Amata Radewagen, American Samoa's Republican congresswoman, has failed to get ongoing cabotage rights for these flights and PH (Polynesian) has to apply for monthly (possibly bi-monthly) waivers.
come visit the south pacific
 
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Mortyman
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Re: Pacific Islands Aviation Thread

Wed Dec 21, 2016 9:43 pm

You also have LAN / LATAM flying:

Santiago - Rapa Nui ( Easter Island )

and

Santiago - Papeete

and

Papeete - Rapa Nui ( Easter Island )
 
klakzky123
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Re: Pacific Islands Aviation Thread

Thu Dec 22, 2016 3:07 pm

c933103 wrote:
If Boeing is to make a MoM plane with 4500-5000nm range then the entire East Asia from Japan, Korea, Eastern China to Thailand, Vietnam, Singapore, Indonesia can all be connected to Fiji with the MoM which probably will give a big boost to Fiji tourism industry?

And looking at the map I wonder why Japanese/Korean travellers seems to favor Guam/Saipan much more than Palau. They are almost as far away from Japan/Korea and Palau seems to offer better beaches?


Saipan and Guam both have high end shopping options. I don't think Palau really has anything like that yet. If you want to capture Asian tourist markets, you absolutely need good options for luxury good shopping.
 
sunrisevalley
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Re: Pacific Islands Aviation Thread

Thu Dec 22, 2016 3:43 pm

ZK-NBT.... How long is IUE's runway? I didn't think it could take more than an A320 738 size? I can't personally see NZ using a 787, 772 there anytime soon even if the airfield can take it.
IUE has a paved 7668ft runway which should be more than sufficient length for 789/777 service for a bit over 3 hr. sector
 
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Re: Pacific Islands Aviation Thread

Fri Dec 23, 2016 7:04 am

Thanks sunrisevally, it's a bit longer than i thought longer than WLG even?! I guess the apron is big enough then?!
 
77H
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Re: Pacific Islands Aviation Thread

Fri Dec 23, 2016 7:40 am

I'm not sure that capacity is a big problem with a lot of pacific islands. Price seems more the issue. I know a Chuuk native who spent over $2k USD to fly HNL-TKK. When she first told me I about lost my mind. The pacific islands are not well known for their robust economies. The price points to reach many of the pacific islands is cost prohibitive at best.

The Mid-South Pacific Island Nations should band together to bring back Polynesian Airlines much like they did to politically to have more of a voice on the world stage.

The 320N or 738MAX would be an excellent aircraft to get the airline off the ground. If too pricy, perhaps some second hand 320C's or 738's. Surely they could get help with funding from entities tied to the tourism market like hotels. HA's 321N order should also help the airline expand further into the South Pacific.
 
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angusjt
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Re: Pacific Islands Aviation Thread

Fri Dec 23, 2016 7:54 am

Would Lord Howe Island be apart of the Oceania area? It's mainly a tourist island but QF provide all the air services there
 
Gemuser
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Re: Pacific Islands Aviation Thread

Fri Dec 23, 2016 11:22 am

angusjt wrote:
Would Lord Howe Island be apart of the Oceania area? It's mainly a tourist island but QF provide all the air services there

I wouldn't think so! It is actually the territory of the state of New South Wales and had [has?] the same postcode as Rose Bay in Sydney [minus 100 points for not getting that!]. It is operated by a QF subsidiary operator, [it was Eastern but that may have changed], not mainline.

Gemuser
 
Qantas16
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Re: Pacific Islands Aviation Thread

Mon Jan 09, 2017 5:58 am

Air Niugini from late-March 2017 is adjusting operational schedule for its Port Moresby – Pohnpei – Chuuk – Port Moresby triangle routing, effective from 29MAR17. Operational schedule will move 4 hours earlier, which sees Port Moresby evening departure, and early-morning arrival. Fokker 70 operates this route.

PX070 POM1930 – 2325PNI F70 3
PX073 PNI0025 – 0030TKK0130 – 0400POM F70 4

Operational schedule in opposite direction, also one weekly, remains identical.

Source: http://www.routesonline.com/news/38/air ... =hootsuite


Whilst hardly a newsworthy timetable change, PX, UA and ON are the only 3 airlines that have scheduled services to PNI and TKK.
 
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Re: Pacific Islands Aviation Thread

Mon Jan 09, 2017 7:13 am

zkncj wrote:
NPL8800 wrote:
Let's not forget the large role that FJ plays in this region, as far as physical destinations served go FJ is far ahead of the likes of QF and HA, they're easily comparable to NZ and UA in terms of providing access to the key airports/communities


QF barely serves the Pacific Islands, they only do SYD-NOU (JQ does some NAN services).

JQ also fly AKL-RAR
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With: NZ,SJ,QF,JQ,EK,VA,AA,UA,DL,FL,AC,FJ
 
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77west
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Re: Pacific Islands Aviation Thread

Mon Jan 09, 2017 10:25 am

Would the BBD C-Series be a good fit for some pacific islands, like Air Rarotonga for example? Range and economics to take on Air NZ etc, and expand inter-island ops? Thoughts?
77West - AW109S - BE90 - JS31 - B1900 - Q300 - ATR72 - DC9-30 - MD80 - B733 - A320 - B738 - A300-B4 - B773 - B77W
 
MalevTU134
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Re: Pacific Islands Aviation Thread

Mon Jan 09, 2017 10:29 am

77west wrote:
Would the BBD C-Series be a good fit for some pacific islands, like Air Rarotonga for example? Range and economics to take on Air NZ etc, and expand inter-island ops? Thoughts?


It's not a matter of taking on NZ. Service is subsidised by local governments to most islands, so there is, presumably, no money to be made. That is the inherent problem of aviation in the vast majority of the Pacific. Long thin routes, no premium traffic.
 
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77west
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Re: Pacific Islands Aviation Thread

Mon Jan 09, 2017 10:41 am

MalevTU134 wrote:
77west wrote:
Would the BBD C-Series be a good fit for some pacific islands, like Air Rarotonga for example? Range and economics to take on Air NZ etc, and expand inter-island ops? Thoughts?


It's not a matter of taking on NZ. Service is subsidised by local governments to most islands, so there is, presumably, no money to be made. That is the inherent problem of aviation in the vast majority of the Pacific. Long thin routes, no premium traffic.


Living in NZ, and travelling to the islands often enough, I appreciate that. It was more an idea; IE; can a modern, next-gen airplane like the CS100 and CS300 change the dynamic a bit?

I realise that most intra-southpac flying is VFR and leisure, and not much premium at all.
77West - AW109S - BE90 - JS31 - B1900 - Q300 - ATR72 - DC9-30 - MD80 - B733 - A320 - B738 - A300-B4 - B773 - B77W
 
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Re: Pacific Islands Aviation Thread

Tue Mar 07, 2017 9:39 am

Air Niugini begins direct service from PNG to Townsville

Air Niugini said the new bi-weekly service would open up business, educational, sporting and people-to-people links between Townsville and PNG.

Full article: http://www.radionz.co.nz/international/ ... townsville

Interesting to note they are highlighting the onwards connections possible through POM. First flight to operate 31 March.

Air Niugini from late-March 2017 is adding new destination in Australia, where it plans to serve Port Moresby – Townsville route. From 31MAR17, this route will be served twice a week with Fokker 70 aircraft. Note for the first two flights, service will be operated by Boeing 737 instead.

PX060 POM0955 – 1145TSV F70 15
PX061 TSV1230 – 1420POM F70 15

http://www.routesonline.com/news/38/air ... ht=Niugini

V/F
"It is not for him to pride himself who loveth his own country, but rather for him who loveth the whole world. The earth is but one country, and mankind its citizens." - Bahá'u'lláh
 
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Re: Pacific Islands Aviation Thread

Tue Mar 07, 2017 3:42 pm

Anyone know if the runway at FUN ( Funafuti, Tuvalu ) is long enough to handle a fully loaded B737 or A320 ? I see that Fiji Airways is using an ATR 72 these days.
 
MalevTU134
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Re: Pacific Islands Aviation Thread

Tue Mar 07, 2017 5:11 pm

Mortyman wrote:
Anyone know if the runway at FUN ( Funafuti, Tuvalu ) is long enough to handle a fully loaded B737 or A320 ? I see that Fiji Airways is using an ATR 72 these days.

I don't think it is. When I flew in there on the Embraer Brasilia, we sure used up almost all of the runway returning tu Suva. And even if it was, you do know that that runway also doubles as the football field, as well as that for a local ball game (the name of which now escapes me)? We stayed at a guesthouse just next to the terminal, and a siren goes off every time (that's 2 or 3 times per week) that a plane is inbound, players leave the runway, children and adults alike flock to the sides of the runway to watch the landing and takeoff. No fence, no nothing. Really old world charm. So, apart from the length of the runway, Foreign Object Ingestion would be a huge problem for the planes you mentioned. And the population of the entire country of Tuvalu is 11000, that of Funafuti (the main island where the capital and airport is) is roughly 7000. Most dirt poor. Extremely limited hotel facilities. Why would you need a B737 or A320?
 
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Rajahdhani
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Re: Pacific Islands Aviation Thread

Tue Mar 07, 2017 5:38 pm

MalevTU134 wrote:
I don't think it is. When I flew in there on the Embraer Brasilia, we sure used up almost all of the runway returning tu Suva. And even if it was, you do know that that runway also doubles as the football field, as well as that for a local ball game (the name of which now escapes me)? We stayed at a guesthouse just next to the terminal, and a siren goes off every time (that's 2 or 3 times per week) that a plane is inbound, players leave the runway, children and adults alike flock to the sides of the runway to watch the landing and takeoff. No fence, no nothing. Really old world charm. So, apart from the length of the runway, Foreign Object Ingestion would be a huge problem for the planes you mentioned. And the population of the entire country of Tuvalu is 11000, that of Funafuti (the main island where the capital and airport is) is roughly 7000. Most dirt poor. Extremely limited hotel facilities. Why would you need a B737 or A320?


This is one of the most interesting posts that I have read in a while! Thanks for it!

A semi-related question; how does freight get to Funafuti? I assume sea access is readily available to the island, and perhaps that would be a 'cheaper' option for a passenger wishing to get to the island. That said, getting there quickly (and associated 'highly perishable' items such as medical supplies, freight for local businesses/government etc) must come at a premium. Is it all done with the Brasilia (and, if you don't mind my asking - how many frequencies are there weekly/daily?)? I see your point, that FOD (and lack of a likely proper maintenance facility on ground to handle something as large as, or keep parts for - 737s and A320s) but moreover, lack of demand - renders the jets profitable in this situation. A well amortized Brasilia (by now...) is a decently capable aircraft and if done efficiently - could be a capable answer to this population's needs. At the scale you have stated, I could see how even moving to an ATR, or a Dash-8 (and the associated costs those aircraft, despite the capacity increase...) might place an unbearable pressure on the performance of the route.

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