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Friday, October 17, 2014

VA to take full control of TT for just $1


Media outlets report Virgin Australia CEO John Borghetti is set to take up the remaining 40% stake in low cost carrier TigerAir Australia for the princely sum of just $1.

Taking full ownership of TigerAir Australia has always been part of the Virgin Australia strategy as part of their 'Virgin Vision 2017' plan.

Borghetti is quoted as saying he intends to have the struggling carrier back in profitability ahead of schedule before the end of 2016, by leveraging the resources of the wider Virgin Australia group.



So what exactly does $1 get Virgin?  Obviously 40% of remaining shares, but also a fleet of 13 A320 aircraft, obvious current debt, the rights to operate the TigerAir Australia in Australia, but also the rights to operate the brand on a number of short haul international routes from Australia.

This international expansion would likely see TigerAir competing against Jetstar on routes to Bali and other south east Asian locations and may open up the opportunity for TigerAir to enter slim Trans Tasman routes, especially those that have previously been flown and dropped by the major carriers.

The transaction is expected to be completed by the end of the year pending permission from regulatory authorities and shareholders.

You can read more on the plan via Australian Business traveller or The Australian

Thursday, October 16, 2014

The Rise And Fall Of Airlines Fighting For Regulated Routes In QLD


The Queensland Government has announced the winning tenders to operate the Government subsidised regulated regional routes.

Winners


The big winner in the announcement is Regional Express (Rex) who have picked up three routes to add to their existing two, taking them to five regional Queensland routes.

Rex maintained their existing routes;
Townsville - Winton - Longreach (Northern 1)
Townsville - Hughenden - Richmond - Julia Creek - Mt Isa (Northern 2)

they have also added the following three routes;
Brisbane - Toowoomba - St George - Cunnamulla - Thargomindah (Western 1)
Brisbane - Toowoomba - Charleville - Quilpie - Windorah - Birdsville - Bedourie - Bouila - Mt Isa (Western 2)
Cairns - Normanton - Mornington Island - Burketown - Doomadgee - Mt Isa (Gulf)

All five of the routes will be operated by the Rex fleet of Saab SF340B aircraft, with the two Western routes operating through the new Brisbane West- Wellcamp Airport at Toowoomba.

Rex picked up Northern 1 and 2 in 2011.  The addition of Western 1 & 2 sees Rex return to scheduled services at Brisbane after an absence, however they have still operated FIFO and Freight charters from Brisbane, so have maintained a presence.



Qantaslink hold onto their two regulated routes;
Brisbane - Roma - Charleville (Central 1)
Brisbane - Barcaldine/Blackall - Longreach (Central 2)

These routes will continue to be operated by Qantaslink's Dash 8Q aircraft however both routes will see an up gauge with Central 2 up gauging to Q400 and Central 1 to Q300.



Losers



The big loser from this announcement is Skytrans who have lost almost all their regulated routes (to Rex) this comes hot on the heels of their loss of their Toowoomba - Sydney service which is ceasing due to the introduction of the new Qantaslink Q400 Wellcamp - Sydney services.

Skytrans cling onto life with their own services around Cape York and on the Cairns - Mt Isa route as well as their FIFO charters.  The Cape York network is as follows;

The Lockhart River, Coen, Arurkun services which operates the following different patterns on different days
Cairns - Aurukun - Coen - Lockhart River - Cairns (M)
Cairns - Coen - Lockhart River - Aurukun - Cairns (W, F)
Cairns - Lockhart River - Aurukun - Cairns (Tu, Th)

Mt Isa services
Cairns - Mt Isa (M-Tu, Th-F)
Mt Isa - Cairns (M, W-F)

The Edward River (Pormpuraaw) and Kowanyama service
Cairns - Edward River - Kowanyama - Cairns (M, Th)
Cairns - Kowanyama - Edward River - Cairns (Tu, F)

The Cape route to Bamaga
Cairns - Bamaga - Cairns (M-F)

The loss of the Western 1 & 2 contracts will see the end of Skytrans operating scheduled services from Brisbane however they will continue to maintain a presence through FIFO contracts.




Another loser in all of this is Virgin Australia Regional Airlines (VARA) who have for quite sometime been trying to get access into the Queensland regional routes, and have often been thwarted by the regulated route structure.  VARA tendered but did not win any of the available routes.  There only options for possible extensions to regional Queensland flying comes from existing routes or the below deregulated routes.
Time will tell if previous threats made by Virgin CEO John Borghetti to the Queensland Government regarding implications of the lack of access to the Queensland regions come to pass.


Start & Deregulations

All existing contracts end on 31-December-2014 with new contracts beginning on 1-January-2015.  

At the same time the following regulated routes, currently operated by Qantaslink  will be deregulated and opened to competition;
Townsville - Cloncurry - Mt Isa
Cairns - Horn Island
Cairns - Weipa


Learn More

Brisbane West Wellcamp Airport have welcomed Rex via a post on their Facebook Page

There is an article on the announcement from Brisbane Times reporter Cameron Atfield HERE

Monday, September 22, 2014

VCV finally makes it to air

The item on 60 Minutes Australia on the retirement flight of Qantas Boeing 767 VH-OGG to VCV and the aircraft graveyard finally aired last night in Australia, after several weeks of delay.

Although the item is yet to appear on their youtube channel, it does feature on their app and extras can be seen on youtube including the below birdseye view of the graveyard.

I apologise if this or the app is geo-locked outside of Australia


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