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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.

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)

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

More QF industrial hassles

Qantas is facing serious strife as its long-haul pilots vote to take protracted industrial action.

Australian and International Pilots Association (AIPA) vice-president Richard Woodward yesterday said 94 per cent of the 1429 pilots who voted in a ballot were in favour of the action.
If the pilots vote over the weekend to take their action in the form of a strike it has the potential to ground all Qantas flights through New Zealand, both the trans-tasman services and the SYD-AKL-LAX service.

Read more from stuff.co.nz HERE

Monday, July 11, 2011

CASA on JQ's tail

CASA are investigating an issue that saw 4 Jetstar A320s pulled from service after they missed maintenance inspections.
Emergency light batteries on board the aircraft were tested, while hydraulic fluid was sampled and door switches were lubricated.
This comes just weeks after CASA grounded fellow budget airline Tiger for safety breeches .

Read more from theaustralian.com.au HERE

Small win for NZ

Air New Zealand have taken a small win with the US Department of Justice dropping them from the ongoing Grand Jury investigation into the international airline cargo cartel.
After five years of Air New Zealand defending its position and insisting it has done nothing wrong, US Department of Justice Federal Prosecutors have confirmed by letter that they have ended their investigation and Air New Zealand “is no longer a subject or target of the ongoing grand jury investigation”.
The end of the Department of Justice investigation follows successful outcomes for the airline last November when it was not among airlines fined by the European Commission and before that, confirmation from regulators in South Korea that Air New Zealand was not among airlines fined at the conclusion of their investigation.
However Air New Zealand are still  being investigated by the New Zealand Commerce Commission in relation to international air cargo pricing.

Read more from the Air New Zealand press release HERE

VA/NZ launch trans-tasman alliance advertising

Virgin Australia and Air New Zealand have launched their joint advertising campaign's as their new trans-tasman alliance begins.

Air New Zealand have sent two emails to their airpoints members regarding this, the headers of both can be seen below

Air New Zealand's "Bromance" sale is an interesting one (name wise), but it does include some good deals for the introduction of the alliance.

Virgin Australia have launched the following advertisement as seen on their facebook page

 The front page of the Air New Zealand website looks like this

As you can see Air New Zealand are not only advertising the direct services but also $50 add on fares to other ports on the Virgin Australia domestic network.  The link below this to the find out more shows you how the Virgin Australia (Pacific Blue) fares and service equates to the Air New Zealand Seats to Suit fares. See for yourself HERE

At time of writing the Virgin Australia website was showing advertising for their daily happy hour sale.  But in their media release section is the release pertaining to the new tie-up (HERE) below is an extract of what customers can expect.
From July 26, Air New Zealand and Virgin Australia trans-Tasman services will offer:
  • Reciprocal Frequent Flyer programmes that cover both airlines’ networks, enabling Airpoints and Velocity members to earn and redeem frequent flyer points on each other’s services;
  • Reciprocal lounge access for eligible customers1;
  • Priority seating in dedicated zones for top tier frequent flyers;
  • Priority Check-in, Baggage and Boarding for Premium Guests and eligible Airpoints and Velocity members; and
  • Complimentary tea, coffee and water in-flight to all customers, as well as a food and beverage service for customers on the relevant fare types. The new Virgin Australia food and beverage service includes a continental breakfast, lunchtime wrap or evening meal with alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Cat fight accelerates between JQ and NZ over ash







Jetstar CEO Bruce Buchanan has accelerated the 'cat fight' over Air New Zealand flying under and around the ash cloud, while Jetstar cancelled its services, with comments made while holidaying in Queenstown.

“I wouldn’t [fly Air NZ] because I sit there with the best experts in the world, telling me what the safety risks are,” Buchanan says. 
Air New Zealand through PR boss Mark Street have hit back at Mr Buchanan
“If the parent company of his organisation is saying it’s unsafe to fly, why are they rebooking their passengers onto other carriers?
“It doesn’t make a lot of sense.”
 Read more of Mr Buchanan's comments and Air New Zealand's counter comments from scene.co.nz Queenstown reporter Philip Chandler HERE

Tiger grounding extention sought

** Been a busy week so these blog posts are a touch delayed **


CASA has filed an application with the Federal Court to extend the grounding of Tiger until the 1st of August 2011
If CASA completes its investigations and determinations before 1 August 2011 and is satisfied Tiger Airways Australia no longer poses a serious and imminent risk to air safety it may be possible for it to resume operations earlier.

Read the full CASA press release HERE

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Tiger Grounded

In a not unsurprising move CASA have grounded Tiger Airways effective today.
CASA says the action has been taken because it believes permitting the airline to continue to fly poses a serious and imminent risk to air safety.
At this stage Tiger flights will remain grounded until next saturday.

CASA are holding a press conference at 3pm AEST today 2/7/11 to discuss the grounding.

Read more from the couriermail.com.au HERE

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