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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Singapore Airlines and Star Alliance partner Aegean Airlines have signed a reciprocal codeshare deal, which goes into effect on December 1.

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For its 2012-13 northern winter operating season, Singapore Airlines will stop flying Airbus A380s to New York JFK but will offer A380 service to San Francisco for the first time.

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Singapore Airlines currently serves five Australian cities: Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney. By putting its ‘SQ’ flight-designator code on Virgin Australia-operated flights, SIA is adding 20 more cities to its codeshare network.

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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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Delta Air Lines and Virgin Australia Airlines are beginning their planned transpacific codeshare agreement on flights between the United States and Australia on November 6, and have arranged to make customer connections easier at Los Angeles.

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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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The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has granted authorization for an alliance between Etihad Airways and the Virgin Blue Group of Airlines for five years. The authorization allows the airlines to cooperate on joint pricing and scheduling of services across their respective networks.

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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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Virgin Blue Holdings and Etihad Airways are establishing a commercial partnership which will enable Virgin Blue’s international arm, V Australia, to launch direct services to Abu Dhabi in 2011 and which will allow the two airlines to offer a joint network of more than 100 destinations from October 1 this year.

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Tourism Australia’s ‘One Week Walkabout’ program is offering one-week vacations to Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane starting at $1,299 for bookings by November 30 and travel during the period May 5-June 8, 2010.

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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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