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Sometimes there just isn't enough time in the day to write a full blog post, but that doesn't mean it's not covered. Often its covered on the NZ Aviation Notes Facebook page.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Talofa Virgin Samoa, farewell Pacific Blue and V Australia


Effective today Wednesday 7-December-2011 Polynesian Blue will now be known as Virgin Samoa.  The Polynesian Blue aircraft Boeing 737-8FE ZK-PBF Tapu'itea is being painted in Virgin Samoa colours and will be fitted with the upgraded interior for entry into service in early 2012.

The major difference in the livery other than the name will be the engine scheme which features the Virgin Samoa tatau.

Also today V Australia and Pacific Blue adopt the Virgin Australia brand.  The V Australia aircraft have started to undergo the re branding process, while the Pacific Blue aircraft are expected to undergo the repainting process next year.

Read more from the Virgin Australia Blog HERE or check out virginsamoa.com

Monday, November 7, 2011

Things look peachy for future NZ domestic

Future Air New Zealand Link/Air New Zealand National looks like it will have a brighter outlook for the carrier than current Air New Zealand Link/Air New Zealand National.

Future Air New Zealand Link/Air New Zealand National will reopen the tourist route Christchurch-Mt Cook-Queenstown with Mt Cook Airline ATR 72-500s while the current Rotorua-Christchurch-Queenstown ATR route will get a bump up to a B733.

The Mt Cook route will operate for a six week trial period from 23-December-2012, while the Rotorua Boeing flights will operate between November 2012 and March 2013.

These announcements from Air New Zealand come on the back of the announcement made in late October that Air New Zealand will order seven new ATR 72-600 aircraft with an option for a further five.  These aircraft are expected to be based in Auckland, with the operator as yet unknown.

So the future for domestic services in New Zealand looks to be a healthy one for the National carrier.

Read more about the route upgrades from stuff.co.nz HERE and the new ATR purchase from ausbt.com.au HERE

Friday, November 4, 2011

Virgin Business class close

Virgin Australia have announced that from 18-January-2012 all flights in the SYD-MEL-BNE triangle will operate with the new business class offering.
On board the 737, there are two rows of business class in a 2-2 configuration, with a standard domestic business 38 inch seat pitch. (Pitch is the distance between your seat back and the one in front: the space that's yours during the flight.)
All flights on these routes will operate with either new or refitted B73H equipment, with passengers able to see these seats now as the aircraft become more common in the fleet.

Read more from ausbt.com.au HERE

Air Australia media reveal

Air Australia had its media reveal/launch yesterday in Brisbane, and showcased its new look livery and new staff uniforms.
Air Australia's  livery is undeniably eye-catching: a lime-and-white fuselage where the green cleverly morphs into the lightest of golds, to play up the Australia's national colours in a refreshingly un-bogan manner, with touches of silver-grey. That's accompanied by more obvious boomerang-style flourishes in the logo, wingtips and tail.
The first aircraft in the new livery is A320 VH-YQC which arrived back into Brisbane at 0100 yesterday in preparation for the 1000 media release.

Air Australia are also looking to launch a frequent flyer scheme, but it looks to be based on the fly X times and get the next flight free type of scheme.

Read more on Air Australia's media launch from ausbt.com.au HERE and couriermail.com.au HERE

Monday, October 31, 2011

QF back in the air


The above image shows the first two Qantas aircraft to depart from Brisbane since the grounding.  Airbus A330-300 VH-QPJ operating QF51 to Singapore and Boeing 737-838 VH-VZS operating QF974 to Townsville.

Image thanks to balus.info

At time of grounding the locations of the QANTAS fleet was as follows:
Adelaide - 9 x Boeing 737-800, 1 x Boeing 737-400.Avalon - 2 x Boeing 747-400, 2 x Boeing 737-400.Brisbane - 1 x Boeing 747-400, 1 x A330-300, 1 x A330-200, 8 x Boeing 767-300, 6 x Boeing 737-800, 4 x Boeing 737-400.Buenos Aires - 1 x Boeing 747-400.Canberra - 3 x Boeing 737-400.Dallas-Fort Worth - 1 x Boeing 747-400.Frankfurt - 1 x A380, 1 x 747-400.Hong Kong - 2 x Boeing 747-400, 1 x A330-300.Johannesburg - 1 x Boeing 747-400.London Heathrow - 2 x A380, 2 x Boeing 747-400.Los Angeles - 1 x A380, 6 x Boeing 747-400, 2 x A330-200.Melbourne - 1 x Boeing 747-400, 2 x Airbus A330-200, 4 x Boeing 767-300, 11 x Boeing 737-800, 3 x Boeing 737-400.Manila - 1 x A330-300.Noumea - 1 x Boeing 737-800Perth - 1 x A330-300, 1 x A330-200, 3 x Boeing 767-300, 5 x Boeing 737-800, 1 x Boeing 737-400.Shanghai - 1 x A330-300.Singapore - 3 x A380, 2 x 747-400, 2 x A330-300, 1 x 767-300.Sydney - 3 x A380, 3 x 747-400, 2 x A330-300, 2 x A330-200,  7 x 767-300, 12 x 737-800, 1 x 737-400.Tokyo Narita - 1 x Boeing 747-400.

You can read more including the location of each individual aircraft at the amazing website The Qantas Source HERE

the Qantas drama

After being grounded since 5pm Saturday evening AEDT it looks like Qantas will be back in the air and flying as scheduled within 24hours after FWA determined that all industrial action by the airline and unions must be terminated.

You can read the FWA decision yourself HERE or the order HERE from the Fair Work Australia website www.fwa.gov.au  one thing you can read from the decision is point 10
[10] It is unlikely that the protected industrial action taken by the three unions, even taken together, is threatening to cause significant damage to the tourism and air transport industries. The response industrial action of which Qantas has given notice, if taken, threatens to cause significant damage to the tourism and air transport industries and indirectly to industry generally because of the effect on consumers of air passenger and cargo services. The Qantas evidence was that the cost to it alone is $20 million per day.
Which to me is a slap in the face for Qantas as they are tarred with being detrimental and damaging to the countries economy.

There have been plenty of stories written and reported on through out the media but  I recommend you read those published by Australian Business Traveller HERE and The Australian HERE

Saturday, October 29, 2011

BREAKING NEWS - Qantas grounded

Alan Joyce has just announced that effective immediately all Qantas Mainline domestic and International flights will be grounded until further notice.

Also from 8pm AEDT Monday all Union workers will be locked out.

Qantas will only restart flights once Unions drop their industrial action.

*** Update ***
The grounding will not effect subsidiary airlines - Jetstar, Jetconnect, QantasLink etc will all still fly as scheduled

Friday, October 14, 2011

Virgin expand

While Virgin Australia look to take advantage of a larger market share due to displaced Qantas passengers moving to them, during the current and upcoming period of uncertainty and disruption, they are slowly going about expanding not only domestic services but also international connections.

Virgin has been granted draft approval by the ACCC to codeshare on selected Singapore Airlines services, bringing the number of international connections available to Virigin passengers up by almost 50.

London, Barcelona, Copenhagen, Sao Paulo, China, India, Japan and Vietnam are some of the countries on Virgin Australia's to-do list when its alliance with Singapore Airlines kicks into gear later this year.
Those are among almost 50 codeshare destinations listed in a joint Virgin-Singapore submission to the ACCC, which today received the rubber stamp of draft approval.
 Read more HERE

Meanwhile on home soil Virgin are adding additional services in the west to cater to the growing mining boom, with additional flights from Perth to Port Hedland and Karratha.

That's a boon for business travellers in the WA mining sector, who will now see a total of three daily return flights between Perth and Port Hedland during the week.
Karratha passengers also get an extra return flight on Wednesdays and Thursdays, for a total of three returns daily.
Read more HERE

Qantas intensify strike effects

In a bold move Qantas CEO Alan Joyce has announced that from Monday 17-October-2011 the airline will ground 5 aircraft and cancel 100 flights on 5 different routes as a counter measure to the ongoing strikes by members of the TWU, ALAEA and AIPA.

Yesterday Qantas was forced to cancel 14 flights and delayed 38 while members of the TWU took industrial action, and today will cancel 18 flights and delay a further 27 while members of the ALAEA take industrial action.

Mr Joyce said that by taking preemptive action and grounding aircraft, Qantas would reduce the impact on service reliability.
The 72 hours' notice unions are required to give means Qantas has been able to reschedule rather than cancel passengers.
Mr Joyce said that operations during yesterday's strike had achieved a 93 per cent on-time performance domestically and 100 per cent internationally.

Ground staff at Qantas group airline Jetstar, have also joined the campaign refusing to charge passengers excess baggage fees until 0330 tomorrow. (see HERE)

The "war" between the carrier and unions looks set to last for a while longer yet, with passengers set to suffer delays and cancellations unless they decide to book with rival Virgin Australia.

Read the many articles on the wires
CourierMail.com.au HERE
TheAustralian.com.au HERE HERE HERE HERE HERE & HERE
AustralianBusinessTraveller HERE HERE & HERE

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

NRL GF extra t-t flights

It is nice to be able to blog about sport at the same time as aviation.  The mighty Auckland Warriors have made the NRL Grand Final for only the second time in their 16 season history.  At the same time their National Youth League Toyota Cup team have made back to back Grand Finals, heading in this time as defending premiers, and in an unparalleled feat the Warriors feeder team the Auckland Vulcans have made the Grand Final in the NSW Cup.

So to get all the fans across the tasman for Sundays games the major airlines have added additional flights/capacity.

Air New Zealand have added an additional Boeing 747 flight from Auckland to Sydney which sold out within 6 minutes!  This is in addition to the first they sold on Sunday through their Grab-A-Seat website, which sold the flights, tickets etc in a single package.

Qantas have added two additional Boeing 737-400 flights which still have a few selected seats available.

Read more from stuff.co.nz HERE

QF face more industrial action

In a move that is likely to cause disruption for the busy Grand Finals weekend in both AFL & NRL as well as school holidays, TWU workers will walk off the job on both Thursday and Friday this week.
A smaller two-hour stop work by 50 TWU delegates will take place on Thursday, while 3,800 baggage handlers, ground staff and other Qantas employees will strike for an hour on Friday.
This comes on top of the stop work action being carried out by Customs staff today.

Read more about the action from ausbt.com.au HERE and theaustralian.com.au HERE

NZ ups stake in VA









Air New Zealand have upped their stake in trans-tasman alliance partner Virgin Australia to 19.99%
Air NZ paid A$32.8 million, or 29.7 cents per share, to lift its stake 5 percentage points to 19.99 per cent, according to a substantial shareholder notice lodged on the ASX.
 The announcement has Air New Zealand now sitting on the takeover threshold, although CEO Rob Fyfe says they have no plans to mount a takeover bid.  Air New Zealand is yet to seek board representation as part of the deal although it is expected that this will happen.

Virgin Australia shares rose 3.3c in trading yesterday, in response to the announcement,  bucking the trend of the ASX.

Read more from theaustralian.com.au HERE, stuff.co.nz HERE or the nzherald.co.nz HERE

Monday, September 26, 2011

JQ ups ZQN

Queenstown has had a big win from the announcement by Jetstar with additional flights from Melbourne and new flights from Wellington and Sydney.

Jetstar's new Sydney-Queenstown return flights will run twice weekly from 23 December.
The airline is planning the flights for Monday and Friday mornings, which is a welcome addition since there are no existing flights on Mondays.
Although not announced it looks like these flight will replace the current Monday and Friday morning flights from the Gold Coast to Queenstown.

The new once daily flight from Wellington to Queenstown has had a massive launch with a cheap fare sale
Jetstar is selling limited $7 fares today to promote its new Wellington-to-Queenstown route in a bid to further breach Air New Zealand's hold on the domestic market.
The NZ Herald also report that Auckland-Queenstown flights will be increased.

Read more from the nzherald.co.nz HERE & ausbt.com.au HERE

Monday, September 19, 2011

VA/DL codeshare update

Virgin Australia and Delta Airlines have announced the code shares they will begin their trans pacific partnership with.  The flights are available for sale from today, and will commence from Sunday 06-November-2011.

Velocity frequent flyers will be able to earn full frequent flyer miles on Delta's trans-Pacific flights from Sydney to LAX airport, and will also have access to Delta's Sky Club lounges. Reciprocal arrangements are also in place for Delta's passengers.
But in even better news, V Australia's arriving flights will move from the awful Tom Bradley International Terminal (TBIT) at LAX, and will instead arrive at Delta's Terminal 5.
Delta will codeshare on V Australia flights to/from LAX-BNE/SYD/MEL with Virgin codesharing on Delta's SYD-LAX route.

Read more on the announcement and the codeshare from ausbt.com.au HERE

Strike chaos looms for QF

Qantas passengers look set to suffer as Qantas are forced to cancel 28 flights and delay a further 27 tomorrow due to industrial action.

The Transport Workers Union (TWU) is striking as are Sydney based ALAEA engineers.

The Australian airline said despite minimising the expected impact of the strike by using larger wide-body aircraft and deploying management staff to operational roles it has been forced to cancel 28 flights tomorrow and delay a further 27 by up to 35 minutes.

Read more from ausbt.com.au HERE and theaustralian.com.au HERE

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Tiger confirm new CEO

Tiger Airways have announced the appointment of former Virgin COO Andrew David as their new CEO of Australian Operations replacing Tony Davis.

Read more about Andrew David and his new role at Tiger Airways from theaustralian.com.au HERE and HERE

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

AirAsiaX see success with CHC

Flying in the face of the general trend of fewer passenger numbers and lower yields on routes to and from CHC, AirAsiaX have reported higher than expected loadings for the first three months of operation.

AirAsia X chief executive Azran Osman-Rani said the airline was pleased with its first three months of operations in Christchurch and that forward loads were building well.
"Our loads for the period April to June were consistently above 80 per cent, higher than forecast, and we're starting to see an improvement in yield. There is inbound demand to New Zealand not only from Malaysia but from a number of our connecting markets including Thailand, India, Britain and France," Osman-Rani said.   
Things are promising for the airline that launched it services after the second devastating earthquake on February 22nd.  And while the airline is committed to CHC for 2years they have yet to announce if they will increase flights from 4x weekly to either 6 or 7x, and if they will make the routing permanent.

Read more about the success from The Press HERE

Jetconnect OK - FWA

Fair Work Australia (FWA) have rejected the claim from Qantas Pilots (AIPA) that Qantas' New Zealand subsidiary Jetconnect is a sham set up to undercut wages and conditions.
The Australian International Pilots Association had been hoping a favourable decision would bolster their campaign to get all pilots flying Qantas planes operating under the same award. The ACTU also joined the test case, which had the potential to affect other Australian companies operating overseas.
 The ruling also found that AIPA was unable to represent the Jetconnect Pilots.
"New Zealanders living and working in New Zealand for a New Zealand company should be subject to New Zealand's industrial laws and agreements and not to Australia's industrial laws," Ms Wirth said.
Read more of the AIPAs case and reaction as well as the FWA decision from Steve Creedy at theaustralian.com.au HERE

Friday, September 2, 2011

More - Air Australia

I have now been directed to the Airlines and Destinations website where there is a pic of the new livery on an A320


Read their full article HERE

Air Australia livery revealed


Strategic Airlines have revealed their new Air Australia livery at a staff event last night.  The livery designed by Sean Cummings is designed as a "breath of fresh air" in the industry.

The livery will be launched on one A330, when Strategic move to its new low cost model on October 30th.
The livery is designed to roll out over the airline's other A330 and A320 aircraft and also to be reflected in uniforms and other customer "touch points".
 Read more about the Strategic/Air Australia re-branding and the new livery from Steve Creedy of theaustralian.com.au HERE

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Tiger seek new CEO

Tiger Airways Australia are seeking a new CEO with news Tony Davis is set to return to Europe in November.  Mr Davis recently returned to the helm of Tiger Australia after the departure of CEO Crawford Rix in relation to the CASA grounding drama.

Mr Davis was CEO of Tiger Australia when it first launched before moving to Singapore as Group CEO and Chairman.  In light of the issues with the grounding he was replaced as group CEO and chairman and was then positioned back to Australia as CEO when Mr Rix resigned and has overseen the resumption of Tiger services.
Tiger is in the process of appointing a new chief executive for Tiger Airways Australia and said an announcement would be made in due course.
Read more about Tony Davis and Tiger Airways Australia HERE and HERE

Skywest positive

Perth based Skywest Airlines are looking at the possibility of growing its FIFO (fly-in, fly-out) charter market, as well as the expected fleet growth associated with the wet-lease deal to fly up to 18 ATR-72s for Virgin Australia.

The airline has announced a 7% growth in net profit and 11% growth in revenue for the financial year ended June 30th.

Skywest this year introduced an A320-200 and are looking at the possibility of adding a second to the fleet.  This places Skywest in a unique position as the A320 is believed to be the biggest of its type operating on FIFO contracts worldwide.

Read more on Skywest from Steve Creedy at theaustralian.com.au HERE

Qantas & Virgin in minimum separation breach

Qantas and Virgin have been involved in a vertical separation breach in the skies over Southern Queensland.

On the morning of July 29th the two 737-800s were in a holding pattern 91km south of Brisbane Airport when one of the jets breached the minimum vertical separation distance.  Qantas has claimed it was the Virgin aircraft that made the breech.

The ATSB are investigating the incident and will report back in around 12 months at which time CASA may take action if they wish.
____

I now want to take issue with the way this has been reported by the media and in particular the article by Robyn Ironside in the CourierMail

Firstly congratulations to the report for correctly identifying the aircraft involved as a 737-838 for Qantas and 737-8FE for Virgin, although these details could have come directly from the ATSB.

But sadly that's were the congrats end, as I take issue with several things.

The headline this story is running under Qantas-Virgin crash avoided by meters is clearly incorrect and sensationalises the incident, see the rationale below.
TWO commercial passenger jets came within metres of colliding over Coolangatta last month, putting 300 lives at risk.     
This lead paragraph of the article then builds on the sensationalism of the headline.  The jets were not meters from each other, yes they were below minimum safe vertical separation, but they would have still been over 200m apart vertically and there is no indication that lateral separation was breached. This paragraph attempts to make it sound like they were 2 meters apart, and disaster was imminent.

The article then concludes with reference to an incident involving Qantas and Jetstar aircraft near Hamilton Island back in 2004.  The reference then adds to the sensationalism by mentioning that passengers on that flight felt "frightened" after one had to bank sharply.  This has no relevance to the incident this article deals with, and adds nothing to it, other than to try and sensationalise it, once again trying to build on the notion that disaster was narrowly avoided,

Finally just a "cosmetic" complaint - the photo used with this article is of a Qantas Dash-8 and Virgin 737 not a Qantas 737 and Virgin 737.

Read the entire article HERE

Friday, August 26, 2011

Velocity

Yesterday Virgin Australia announced the changes to their frequent flyer rewards scheme Velocity, which was flagged earlier in the year.

I received the following email from them informing me of the changes

The main points of interest in the changes are

  • New Velocity Platinum Frequent Flyer Level
  • Status matching for other airline FF members
  • Family benefits
  • Earn and Redeem on partner flights around the world
  • Redeem points for any seat on any flight on any airline
Specific articles on these announcements can be found below

For more check out the velocity rewards home page HERE or our good friends at Australian Business Traveller who have several comprehensive reports.

I'll leave you with a look at the new look Velocity rewards card, just the normal one most people will see

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Mixed financial results

There have been mixed financial results announced by the airlines in the Australasian region, with the two big ones who quietly go about their business reporting losses, while the outspoken one who claims to be failing has reported a healthy profit.



Qantas bullish after earning $552M
QANTAS officials say demand at the airline remains robust even as it heads into an operating environment that is "challenging and volatile".
Executives yesterday said the domestic market had pulled back on the big capacity growth of last year, but demand remained strong, with seat factors -- the percentage of seats filled by paying passengers -- holding up well.
To me this seems to fly in the face of everything Alan Joyce said last week at the announcement of "a new spirit"
But it is good news for the national carrier, but will add some fuel to the fire that is the current fight with unions, with the unions expected to use the profit as justification for their pay increase demands.



Virgin Blue FY loss of $67.8M

VIRGIN Blue Holdings Ltd has reported a full year loss as the airline expects an improvement in financial performance in 2012.
"There are early indications of improving earnings in financial year 2012, with positive trading results in July and continued strengthening in the government and corporate markets,'' chief executive John Borghetti said in a statement today.
Virgin Australia have had a revenue increase but have still reported a loss, but unlike their competitor they still see a future with Australian based labour.



Air NZ profit plunge
Air New Zealand has announced a 45 per cent plunge in profits, thanks to the effects of the Christchurch and Japan earthquakes and ongoing high fuel prices.
While still announcing an overall profit Air NZ have seen a loss compared to the previous year, not a bad result really considering the impact of the CHC earthquake on the domestic market, and their large Japanese market effected by the Japan earthquake.


Regional Express dogged after a rough year
REGIONAL Express says full-year profit has fallen due to high fuel prices, natural disasters and the ending of tax incentives.
Like Air NZ, Rex have still recorded a full year profit despite the figure being well down on the previous year.


 Jetstar ready for growth after another record result
Jetstar's underlying earnings before interest and tax was $169 million, up 29 per cent on the previous year, as capacity grew 19 per cent and passenger numbers soared 14 per cent to 18.8 million.
Jetstar are set for a 19% capacity growth in the current financial year, partly due to the "a new spirit" changes with the vast majority of growth coming in the asian market, including Jetstar Japan, althought Jetstar domestic could see an 11% increase.


There has as yet been no announcement from Tiger but I would suspect they would have continued with the recent for of recording a loss.

Monday, August 22, 2011

BA axe LHR-BKK-SYD

The Sunday Times' Karl West has confirmed the widely tipped move, stemming from the changes announced by Qantas last week, that British Airways have announced the axing of their LHR-BKK-SYD (Heathrow-Bangkok-Sydney) flight, instead operating only the LHR-BKK sector before transferring passengers to QF for the BKK-SYD leg.

This of course matches up with the QF announcement last week that it was axing its SYD-BKK-LHR route with passengers flying SYD-BKK before being transferred to BA for the BKK-LHR leg.

BA and QF will only operate LHR-SIN-SYD and SYD-SIN-LHR together with QF using A380 metal and BA upgrading the current B777 to a B747.

Read more about the changes to the flights HERE

QF engineers to enact rolling stoppages

Steve Creedy of theaustralian.com.au reports that ALAEA engineers have confirmed they will begin rolling 1 hour stoppages from next thursday until December 16th.
They will affect Brisbane line maintenance on Monday, Sydney domestic terminal on Tuesday, Adelaide line maintenance on Wednesday, Sydney Aircraft maintenance on Thursday and Melbourne line maintenance on Friday.
The report also mentions that Pilots are set to take a ballot next week which will open the way for protected industrial action to occur. SO Qantas could be in for a torrid time in the coming months.

Read the rest of the report HERE

Friday, August 19, 2011

Virgin - Australian aviation's knight in shining armour?

According to an article in the couriermail.com.au Virgin Australia is seeking to save the jobs of the 1000 staff to be made redundant from Qantas by offering them positions with VA.

Virgin Group executive Richard Tanner even said the airline was prepared to deal directly with its rival to take the workers off their hands.
"We are keen to ensure that as many as possible of the highly skilled staff being displaced by Qantas are provided the opportunity to be considered for suitable roles at our airline," Mr Tanner said.
Virgin Australia is making all the right moves to remain an Australian airline, while Qantas has said it cannot survive unless it creates ventures overseas (see previous blog posts for these ventures) and therefore there is a risk that Qantas could loose its reputation as "The Spirit of Australia" to Virgin Australia who look to be strongly committed to Australian workers and Australian based jobs.

Read more on the job offers and union responses HERE

Jetstar Japan to grow rapidly

Jetstar CEO Bruce Buchanan has revealed the plans for rapid growth at Jetstar Japan.  With the airline starting with a fleet of just 3 Airbus A320s and a staff of 150 in its first year, expanding to 24 A320s and 800 staff within a few years.
Mr Buchanan said Jetstar already had a team of seven people in place in Japan and the new airline was well advanced in obtaining operational approvals.
Jetstar will offer fares 40% lower than current Japanese full service airlines, with a cost base 50% lower than these traditional carriers, and isnt phased by the competition from the low cost competitor being created by Air Asia and All Nippon Airways.

Australia is also set to benefit from the new airline because it will provides a feeder network to Osaka and Tokyo.
"You'll be able to sell in different prefectures and all around the region -- Korea, China -- that will feed into those services and create a much greater catchment area, especially for those long-haul flights," Mr Buchanan said.
Read more of Mr Buchanan's comments thanks to Aviation writer Steve Creedy at theaustralian.com.au HERE

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

A New Spirit Video

Qantas have placed the following video on youtube to promote their A new Spirit message - check it out, and look out for the Air New Zealand 767 making a cameo behind Alan Joyce

Links to QF articles

Below is a list of articles published on todays announcement by Qantas CEO Alan Joyce of "A New Spirit"

From The Australian
Qantas job cuts in review inflame tensions with unions 


From Australian Business Traveller
Joyce reveals more about Qantas Frequent Flyer Platinum One

Qantas delays A380 to buy 110 A320s, while eyeing first 787

Jetstar Japan is Qantas' new low-cost Asia play

Qantas to axe 1,000 jobs

Qantas to launch premium Asian airline, but it's "not Qantas"

Qantas drops international routes in major restructure
BREAKING NEWS: Qantas announces "A new Spirit"


From Courier Mail
Qantas to axe 1000 jobs and retire four aircraft in bid to win back market share 


From Stuff
'New Qantas' to cut about 1000 jobs 


This is by no means an exhaustive list and Im sure there will be more written in the next few days.

A New Spirit


Today at 10am AEST Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce held a press conference to launch the “a new spirit” concept that is the base for sweeping changes in the way Qantas looks, feels and operates.   

The announcement of these changes have been widely publicised and expected and has now been introduced.

A brief overview of the changes coming up are:
-         
  •   Qantas will axe its SYD-EZE (Buenos Aries) route instead flying to Santiago (SCL) initially 3x weekly 
  •  Qantas will focus its A380s onto services to/from LAX and LHR via SIN
  • Qantas will cut other services to LHR via any intermediary other than SIN (ie BKK, HKG)
  • Qantas will focus on its relationships with fellow OneWorld airlines American Airlines (AA), British Airways (BA) and Malaysian Airlines (MH) offering multiple services on these airlines throughout America and Europe
  • By years end QF will have 12 A380s, Qantas have also deferred the delivery of 6 A380s by 5-6 years, with A380s nuber 15-20 being delivered in the period of 2018-2021 to match up with the retirement of the 744 fleet.
  • 4 747-400s (744) will be retired this year, with the remainder being upgraded to match the product offered on the A380s, with the entire 744 fleet completed by June 2014.
  • New lounges will be opened in SIN, HKG, BKK, LAX
  • There will be a new Platinum 1 tier for frequent flyers with additional benefits for Silver and Gold members
  • A new fleet strategy aimed at a simplified, high flexibility fleet offering lower costs
  • A new order has been placed with Airbus for 110 A320s, of which 28-32 will be the current generation with 78 A320NEO, the NEO options will comprise roughly 50% fleet replacement and 50% new aircraft to meet expected growth
 And the biggest announcement is that of a new Joint Venture Full Service airline to be based in Asia.
-          
  •  New Name – will not be QF
  • New Look
  • New Feel
  • New Brand
  • New Aircraft
  • Will leverage Qantas knowledge and safety
  • 49% stake from QF
  • Base, etc to be announced in the near future
  • Initial fleet of 11 A320s, comprising 8 from the new order and 3 existing aircraft.
  • Will fly throughout Asia and especially China/India as well as flying to Australia.
  • Will provide feed to Qantas and visa versa
More details on the Qantas announcement including links will be blogged later on

Jetstar Japan a goer


Jetstar Japan has been announced with the low cost airline a joint venture between Jetstar (Qantas Group), Japan Airlines and Mitsubishi.  The announcement that has been expected for some days was officially made today by Alan Joyce at the launch of changes to the Qantas brand.

Jetstar Japan will begin domestic flights in Japan by years end, based at Tokyo Narita Aiport, with a fleet size growing to 24 aircraft within a few years.  These aircraft will be funded by the Qantas Groups balance sheet.

Jetstar Japan will then target international flights from Japan to China and other South East Asian destinations.

Qantas see this as a win as they will get a new domestic feed to their services to Australia, and this will be a big boost for the current Jetstar international routes from Japan to both Cairns and the Gold Coast.

Read more from the preview of this airline at theaustralian.com.au HERE or one of the links to todays press conference which will be posted later.

Friday, August 12, 2011

A Strategic move?

Brisbane based full service airline Strategic Airlines has won US DOT approval and has been issued with a foreign carrier permit, with authorisation to fly between Australia and the US.
They have released details on their website of services from Brisbane and Melbourne to Honolulu Hawaii commencing on 14-December-2011, with fares available for sale from Monday 14-August-2011.  Fares begin at $499 ex Brisbane and $599 ex Melbourne.
Strategic are also set to rebrand themselves from Sunday 30-October-2011 as Air Australia.  With the rebranding Air Australia will also move to a new low-cost model. 

In addition to the launch of the Brisbane and Melbourne to Honolulu flights Strategic will also launch on the Brisbane-Melbourne domestic route.  Other changes to the Strategic route structure include the conclusion of services today Friday 12-August-2011 on the Brisbane-Gladstone route, the conclusion of the Brisbane-Townsville-Denpasar and Perth-Denpasar routes, while boosting services on Brisbane-Bali and flights to Phuket from both Brisbane and Melbourne.
Strategic targeted Brisbane and Melbourne as underserviced markets and said early this year it planned to move to seven leased A330s over the next three years, with the fleet growing to three by the first quarter of next year. An additional A320 aircraft will come to Australia later this year to bolster the three planes already here and a fifth could be added early next year.
Also as part of its expansion, Strategic have announced the creation of a Brisbane engineering base to service its Airbus fleet.

Read more from theaustralian.com.au HERE and check out the Strategic Airlines website HERE

Thursday, August 11, 2011

New Blog

I have set up a second blog for non aviation posts.  Its somewhere I can post my thoughts, opinions, questions, comments etc on a vast range of topics that aren't aviation.

NZOM Pilot's Musings

If you're interested check it out HERE

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Tiger to return to the air (sort of)

CASA have allowed Tiger to resume flying under strict conditions, a maximum of 18 sectors/day for the remainder of august.  Although this will let tiger return to the air, the maximum sector cap will severely crimp the routes and frequency that they can fly.
The air safety regulator has ordered additional training for pilots, improved pilot rostering and fatigue management systems, and changes to Tiger's safety management system.
The Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) today lifted its suspension order after grounding the airline on July 1.
Read more from the couriermail.com.au HERE

On their website Tiger are advertising fares on the Melbourne (Tullamarine) - Sydney route, and it looks like they will resume flying on this route on Friday 12-August-2011.  A quick search of fares on other routes suggest they wont be available until CASA lifts the sector cap, which Tiger can apply for in September.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Tragedy at Woodbourne

Tragedy today at Woodbourne as a SAFE Air engineer was killed during a routine engine testing procedure.

My thoughts and prayers go out to the family and friends of this man and all staff of SAFE Air and associated businesses/people in the close-knit Marlborough Aviation Scene.

For more on this tragic story follow the Marlborough Express coverage HERE

Friday, August 5, 2011

JQ to hub in HKG?

Reports out of China suggest that Jetstar may setup shop in Hong Kong.  The reports suggest the new Jetstar branded LCC will be based there and operate through China.
The Chinese language Apple Daily said yesterday the airline had begun talks with the city's government to apply for an air operator's certificate to launch an airline focused on mainland China routes.
Jetstar CEO Bruce Buchanan has previously signalled the airlines intentions to expand into China, and to date this has been happening from their Singapore base.

Read the full story from theaustralian.com.au's Steve Creedy HERE

Tiger still waiting

Australian Low Cost Carrier Tiger Airways remains grounded with CASA now requiring changes to documentation to bring it up to standard.

CASA spokesman Peter Gibson said last night that the regulator had identified deficiencies in some of Tiger's documentation.
"These need to be addressed by Tiger and resubmitted for review before CASA can complete its assessment. This will necessarily take some more time," Mr Gibson said. "Progress is essentially dependent on Tiger providing complete, correct and up-to-date documentation to CASA."
CASA has now kept Tiger grounded since the beginning of July.

Read the full report from Steve Creedy of theaustralian.com.au HERE
__________
Tiger have also reported that their financial report for the year ending March 2011 will be significantly effected by both fuel prices and the grounding of the Australian operation
It said the Australian operations were likely to report a net loss for the financial year ending March.

Read more from news.airwise.com HERE

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Virgin announce 1st ATR route

Virgin Australia through their blog http://blog.virginaustralia.com/ and twitter account have announced the first routes their new ATR fleet will begin operation on.

The first flights from October will be Brisbane-Gladstone twice daily and a once daily Brisbane-Port Macquarie, plus additional flights on the Sydney-Canberra route, bringing the route up to 60x/wk.

Below is the pic from the blog which shows off the ATR in Virgin colours
from virgin australia blog

Jetstar Cabin Crew fatigue issues?

Jetstar has responded to claims of unsafe working practices caused by fatigue of cabin crew who are working 20+ hr shifts.
Staff say exhaustion on long-haul flights is common and have raised concerns with senior management numerous times about not being alert enough to handle an emergency.
At least 60 complaints have been raised internally, citing serious concerns over fatigue on just the Sydney-Darwin and Sydney-Perth routes alone, ABC's Lateline reported last night.
The claims made on ABC Lateline are backed by AIPA's Richard Woodward who says "cabin crew are suffering very badly."

Read the claims by cabin crew and AIPA from theaustralian.com.au HERE

CEO Bruce Buchanan speaking today with ABC News has rejected the claims outright, and has also said Woodward is misrepresenting things.  See the video of his interview on ABC News HERE

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Qantas face "tough" changes

Speaking at an aviation conference in Sydney, the CEO of Qantas Alan Joyce has said that the announcement next month by Qanats will begin a "phased by tough" change of the International division.

This of course lends weight to the rumours that QF are looking at a major offshore base somewhere in Asia, possibly China.
"Change is always tough," he said. "But the competitive challenges we face make major change essential and our commitment to the change process is absolute.
Read more from his speech from theaustralian.com.au HERE

Meanwhile the industrial action being taken by members of the ALPA, protesting this potential move to Asia and the effects it will have on job security, will involve small things like work to rule, stop work meetings, not complying with airline uniform policy and most noticeable by passengers, inflight announcements about the issues.  At this stage major strike action is not on the cards but this hasn't been ruled out.

Read more on the industrial action HERE

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Lightning hits NZ

A lightning strike has forced an Air New Zealand AKL-WLG flight to return to Auckland after it was struck shortly after takeoff.

The flight departed AKL and was struck by the lightning bolt shortly after 8pm last night.  The pilot initially informed passengers they would return to Auckland, but unsure of the damage caused and with the weather getting worse at AKL they continued south towards WLG, before returning to AKL on instruction form engineers.

Read the account from stuff.co.nz HERE or the nzherald.co.nz HERE - note the inaccuracies in the herald report, the pic is of a 767 (aircraft involved was either a 737 or A320) and the report references the RNZAF aircraft recently hit as a 747 (actually a 757)

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