MEL

Air China has announced two moves which would considerably increase its presence on routes between China and the two largest nations of Australasia, Australia and New Zealand.

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United Airlines plans to fly six round-trips a week on the route, using Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft. United is the North American launch customer for the Boeing 787-9 and this will be its first international deployment of the type.

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Star Alliance carriers Singapore Airlines and Ethiopian Airlines are expanding their existing codeshare agreement with effect from December 3.

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The Boeing 787-8 departed Paine Field in Everett, Washington on the evening of October 2 for a 6,540-nautical mile non-stop flight to Royal Brunei Airlines’ base at Brunei International Airport, which serves the country’s capital Bandar Seri Begawan.

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The low-cost carrier – renamed from Strategic Airlines – will enter the highly competitive Australian trunk route on December 15 with A$69 one-way fares, including taxes.

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Strategic Airlines confirms it will launch non-stop services from Brisbane and Melbourne to Honolulu on December 14 and 15, 2011, respectively.

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Australia-based full-service carrier Strategic Airlines plans to launch twice-weekly service between Melbourne and Phuket in Thailand on February 22, pending government approval.

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Singapore Airlines has begun daily service with the super-jumbo Airbus A380 to Melbourne, the capital city of the Australian state of Victoria.

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V Australia, the long-haul arm of the Virgin Blue Group, will launch direct flights between Johannesburg, South Africa and Melbourne, Australia in March 2010 assuming it receives the requisite government approval.

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