By James Wilkinson
The ex-Australia MICE market to Macau is expected to contract in coming months following Viva Macau Airlines’ plan to decrease Sydney flights from late May.
Macau has enourmous MICE market potential
In November 2008, SpiceNews revealed the airline’s plans to operate daily Sydney flights by mid-2009. But those plans are now looking unlikely following the reduction of services from four to three per week.
“In the face of the global economic challenges, Macau faces severe price and destination competition in the Australian market place,” the airline said in a statement released last week.
“Viva Macau Airlines remains committed to the Australian market and the day of the week the airlines has removed for the time-being was the weakest performing day. The airline intends to re-instate the flight and increase frequencies to Australia once travel markets are more stable.”
From May 21, Viva Macau will cease its Friday flight to Macau from Sydney while maintaining its current Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday flights. On the return leg, flights to Sydney from Macau will operate on Monday, Wednesday and Saturday.
“Whilst most airlines around the world have had to materially reduce their capacity across networks, and despite the temporary suspension of one weekly flight to Sydney, Viva Macau Airlines is adding modest capacity across its network overall reflecting the fact that Macau is still a popular value-for- money destination for tourism and meetings,” the airline said.
The announcement of the reduction in flights comes just months before the opening of Melco Crown Entertainment’s City of Dreams development, which features hotels from Crown Towers, Hard Rock and Hyatt, along with a spectacular Dragone show.