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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, June 29, 2011

Virgin/SQ announcement


Virgin Australia and Singapore Airlines have tendered documents to the ACCC which show under their alliance they are looking at creating new routes and increasing capacity on existing routes.
Documents tendered to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) by both carriers list a series of new 'city pairs' under consideration by the airlines, although these have been blanked out from public issue as being 'commercial-in-confidence'.
Read more from The Australian Business Traveller HERE or read some of the full ACCC documents HERE

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Pilot fronts court

A Pacific Blue pilot charged over the after dark departure of flight DJ89 from ZQN-SYD last year has pleaded not guilty to charges stemming from the event.

The airline itself has not been charged in relation to the incident - hence why I have not included their logo in this post.

Read more from The Otago Daily Times HERE

Qantas engineers to strike

Qantas is set to suffer from strike action next week as engineers in Melbourne begin rolling stoppages from Monday.  The strikes have the potential to have a massive impact during the busy school holiday period.

In a unique move the union that is striking has offered Qantas the use of its members who are not rostered on, on that shift as long as Qantas pay them double time for coming in to work to cover their rostered colleagues who are partaking in the rolling stoppages.
Qantas labelled the offer a "cynical stunt" as the engineers would have to be paid a minimum four hours each. "No Australian company would pay staff four times their normal rate to go on strike," said Qantas group executive of operations Lyell Strambi.
Read more from theaustralian.com.au's Industrial editor Ewin Hannan HERE

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Qantas edit domestic fare structure

Qantas have restructured their fare structures to make them simpler.

The new structure looks remarkably similar to other offerings out there in the market
* Red eDeal - offering low year-round fares;
* Flexi Saver - offering a greater range of flexibility and choice;
* Fully Flexible - offering complete flexibility with full a refund option; and
* Business - full premium, with additional baggage allowances, Neil Perry designed menus, and dedicated lounges in Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne and Canberra.
An advantage from  the change is that all domestic economy fares including red edeal fares can be upgraded to Business class using frequent flyer points based on availability.

For more information and other changes, read the couriermail.com.au article HERE or the official qantas.com.au press release HERE.

Cat fight looms over Air NZ 'ash' rumours

Air New Zealand CEO Rob Fyfe has hit back at "malicious and damaging" rumours that Air New Zealand has endangered passengers and compromised safety for continuing to fly below the layer of ash. Mr Fyfe has firmly pointed the finger at Australia as the source of these rumours.
Fyfe said despite all those in the flight operations team working hard last week to maintain safe operations "behind the scenes however we were constantly battling a series of malicious rumours that emerged from the Australian market and fed to media, suggesting that Air New Zealand had six aircraft in the hangar with ash damage, an aircraft grounded in Australia with ash damage and an aircraft requiring a nose cone replacement as a result of ash damage''.
read the full story from stuff.co.nz HERE

Meanwhile Qantas have denied any part in the rumours
Asked if the Australian boss had referred to Air New Zealand and Virgin airlines having issues, Qantas said Joyce ''never said that''.
''No-one at Qantas, including Alan Joyce, has said or implied at any point that other airlines are operating unsafely.  We have simply stated our policy and noted that other airlines have their own processes,'' an Australian-based Qantas spokesperson said.
Read the story from stuff.co.nz HERE

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Qantas cut growth

Qantas have today cut its previously planned flight growth and is deferring or cancelling delivery of new aircraft, in response to slow growth in domestic traffic.

Read more from Dow Jones Newswire writer Ross Kelly via theaustralian.com.au HERE

Perth's turn for Ash

Perth is the latest Australasian city to fall foul of the ash clouds, with Virgin Australia, Qantas, Jetstar and Tiger announcing cancellation of services to and from the city, with Air New Zealand and Skywest expected to follow suit.

The ash cloud effecting Perth is at a lower altitude 15000ft causing the cancellation of services from Virgin Australia and potentially Air New Zealand.
The latest cancellations cap off a four-day long travel crisis, in which tens of thousands of travellers have been stranded.
 Read  more from theaustralian.com.au HERE

Monday, June 13, 2011

ASH CHAOS

Airport terminals have turned into scenes of utter chaos as passengers deal with the fall out of volcanic ash from the Puyehue-Cordon Caulle volcano in Chille.  Trans-tasman and domestic flights in New Zealand have been cancelled as have domestic flights to Tasmania and now Melbourne.

Qantas and Jetstar began the cancellations, cancelling their flights across the tasman and to tasmania, with Tiger and Virgin following suit with flights into and out of Victoria.   HERE HERE

Read more about the cancellations and airport chaos:
theaustralian.com.au HERE, HERE, HERE & HERE
couriermail.com.au HERE
stuff.co.nz HERE
nzherald.co.nz HERE

Airline announcements
Qantas HERE
Virgin Australia HERE
Jetstar HERE
Tiger HERE

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

First Glimpse


The first glimpse of the new regional aircraft in Virgin Australia colours.  The ATR 72-500, soon to grace regional Australian skies.

airliners.net

If 1+1=OneWorld, does 1+2=Star?

1+1=OneWorld
Qantas are sponsoring Malaysian Airlines for entry into the oneworld alliance with the process expected to take 18 months to complete.
At the same time Qantas and MAS will look at options for co-operation on Asian routes, and how they can help each others market share.

1+2=Star??
In a move that will strengthen the rumours about Virgin Australia's possible entry into the Star alliance, Virgin have announced their Asian partner will be Singapore Airlines.  Virgin now have significant partnerships with two Star Alliance partners Air New Zealand and Singapore Airlines.

It has long been speculated that Air New Zealand would sponsor Virgin for entry into Star, and now with two firm partnerships it looks possible that Virgin may go the way of star.  Virgin CEO John Borghetti speaking at the partnership with SQ launch has stated that entry into Star isnt something they are contemplating at the moment and is something that they may look into in 2012 or later.

Read more on the two new partnerships QF & MAS from Steve Creedy at theaustralian.com.au HERE and VA & SQ from David Flynn at ausbt.com.au HERE

Tiger cut one side of the 'golden triangle'

Tiger is no longer a player on all sides of the famed 'golden triangle' (between MEL-SYD-BNE) after announcing their BNE-SYD service will be axed in August, as part of moves aimed at boosting profits and fixing on-time performance.
The airline announced yesterday that it was moving an aircraft and three routes from Avalon airport, near Geelong, to Melbourne, Tullamarine.
Other routes to face the axe include Sydney-Sunshine Coast, Melbourne-Rockhampton and Melbourne-Mackay.  The loss of these routes is blamed on high fuel costs and the recent flooding/cyclones in the Queensland towns.

Read more about Tigers changes from theaustralian.com.au's aviation writer Steve Creedy HERE

Virgin's Velocity revamp step 1

Step 1 of the long awaited and anticipated revamp of the Virgin Australia Velocity rewards program has begun, with Virgin Australia announcing changes to the way frequent fliers earn status credits.

Fliers now only need to earn 250 credits to qualify for Silver level and 200 to maintain it, in the new rolling 365 day period.  For Gold Level membership fliers need 500 credits to qualify and 400 to maintain.
The most significant change is that Virgin Australia now uses a rolling 365 day window for calculating how many status credits its Velocity members have, rather than expiring them in bulk on a fixed date every 12 months as Qantas does (and Virgin Blue used to do).
Read more about the first step in the revamp from either the virginaustralia.com release HERE or from Dan Warne of Australian Business Traveller HERE

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Rex to cut routes?

 Australian domestic player Regional Express (Rex) has threatened to cut domestic services to regional NSW and VIC siting the federal governments lack of support for regional air services as a significant factor.
"The very high fuel price is making the situation quite untenable and all airlines are compelled to put in place rigorous measures to remain profitable,’’ Rex executive Chairman Lim Kim Hai said.
Flights from SYD to Taree, Grafton, Moruya and Bathurst, and from MEL to Griffith, Merimbula and King Island are under threat.

Read more about Rex from theaustralian.com.au HERE

Qantas baggage charge change


Qantas yesterday introduced their new charging system for domestic baggage, changing from the old weight based charge to the new number of bags charge.

Although this change was announced last October it has caught many by surprise as it hasn't been widely advertised, and was suddenly implemented yesterday.

The first piece of luggage (up to 23kg) will continue to be free, while the second piece will cost $15 if booked online or $30 at the check in desk, while the third and subsequent pieces will cost $60!  Passengers will also be slugged a $20 heavy fee if the bag is between 23-32kgs.


But it isn't all bad news for Qantas passengers
The airline has also changed its international charges to a piece-based system, but has not reduced luggage limits and has increased weight allowances for frequent travellers.
Read more about the luggage changes from theaustralian.com.au's Steve Creedy and Mitchell Nadin HERE

Rats on a plane


No not some dodgy sequel from hollywood, but an odd problem for Qantas, who were forced to ground one of their domestic 767 aircraft in Sydney yesterday after 5 rats were found in the cabin.
The rats were found in emergency medical equipment just before passenger were due to board.
Qantas do not know where the rats came from or how they got on board.  The aircraft was grounded while engineers killed the rats and checked to see they hadn't damaged any wiring, passengers were delayed slightly while the aircraft was swapped.

Read the interesting tail from news.com.au via the couriermail.com.au HERE

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