Virgin Blue applies for routes
Virgin Blue has applied to the Australian and US governments for permission to launch 10 weekly Australia-USA non-stop flights next year. Its US application also seeks rights to serve the USA via the Pacific islands and Asia. Hoping to resolve a dispute over the bilateral, Australian transport minister Mark Vaile has asked his US counterpart to confirm that the bilateral allows the 10 flights. Virgin Blue has not yet chose its US gateways and is considering over 10 candidates.

ANZ enters codeshares
Air New Zealand has entered codeshares with two Chinese carriers that expect to join the Star Alliance in December. It has begun sharing codes with Air China and Shanghai Airlines on flights between New Zealand and Shanghai. ANZ is also codesharing with Air China on some flights via Australia, and with Shanghai Airlines on some domestic flights within New Zealand and China.

Premium economy for Qantas
Qantas is joining the move toward premium economy class on long-haul flights. It will offer an unspecified number of premium economy seats on its new Airbus A380s next year. It also plans to add premium economy in other aircraft, most likely the Boeing 787. Rival Air New Zealand installed premium economy when it refurbished its 747s over a year ago.

Mihin Lanka expands
New Sri Lankan low-cost carrier Mihin Lanka has added Bangkok, Male and the Indian cities of Trichi and Trivandrum to its fledgling route network. The new government-owned carrier launched in April with flights from its Colombo base to Dubai.

Tiger goes to India
Singapore-based low-cost carrier Tiger Airways is to launch services to India with flights to Chennai and Cochin. Both routes will begin in late October.

Viva Macau adds Sydney
Long-haul low-cost carrier Viva Macau is launching services to Sydney, its fourth destination after Haiphong, Male and Jakarta. Later this year it aims to add flights to Japan, the Philippines, South Korea and Thailand.

Source: Airline Business