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Monday, December 24, 2012

Christmas Greetings


I would like to wish all the readers of NZ Aviation Notes & NZOM Pilot's Musings a very Merry Christmas and a safe and happy New Year.

Thanks to everyone who has viewed and/or commented on my posts this year, I look forward to seeing you all here again next year.

Eat, drink & be merry, don't drink & drive, for everyone in Australia & New Zealand be sun smart, and remember the reason for the season.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

ACCC give conditional approval to QF/EK alliance

The ACCC has conditionally approved the tie up between Qantas and Emirates.

The two airlines had been seeking a ten year alliance to operate flights from Australia, Europe & Africa through the Dubai hub, joint marketing in intertwining the two frequent flyer programs and reciprocal access to lounges and priority benefits.  However one of the conditions imposed in the ACCC ruling is this deal will only be approved for five years.

In handing down his decision, ACCC Chairman Rod Sims said "The considers that the alliance is likely to result in material, although not substantial, benefits to Australian consumers."
Sims pointed out that while "the alliance is likely to result in some public detriments through its effect on competition where Qantas and Emirates currently offer overlapping services. In most of these regions there are factors which are likely to mitigate the public detriment, including continuing competition from a number of established airlines."
The ACCC also flagged a potential drawback for trans-Tasman travellers, saying that "on overlapping routes between Australia and New Zealand the ACCC is concerned that the alliance may have an increased ability and incentive to reduce or limit growth in its capacity in order to raise airfares. Therefore, the ACCC is proposing a condition to restrict the ability of the alliance in this regard."
Now that the ACCC has given draft approval for Australian flights all eyes are being turned towards New Zealand transport minister Gerry Brownlee who will decide if Qantas & Emirates are able to form an alliance on the trans-tasman network.

Read more on the ACCCs decision and how it will impact Qantas, Emirates and travelers from any of the following sources
Brisbane Times HERE
Australian Business Traveller HERE, HERE or HERE
Australian Aviation HERE 

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Trouble in Paradise for Virgin?

Could there be trouble in paradise for Virgin Australia?  Reports in today's Courier Mail suggest Virgin is looking to move lock stock and barrel from Brisbane to Sydney.


This has always been on the cards since John Borghetti took the reins at VA and moved his office down to Sydney, but now it looks like Virgin Village (the VA corporate HQ here in Bowen Hills) may be following him.

As a worker in a business based in the same street as Virgin I will be sad to see them go, as an avgeek I am distraught at the idea of the only Queensland based airline wanting to go join other Sydney-centric airlines such as the National carrier who despite still carrying the name of the state it was born in has all but abandoned QLD.  As a friend of some of the employees here at Virgin Village I am disappointed that they will either be forced to move to SYD to continue with the airline or lose their job if they dont want to uproot their families from Brisbane.  But as a businessman & realist I can see where Virgin are coming from when looking at the facts as presented in this article.
The threatened pullout comes as Virgin tries to tender for several routes, either regulated or subsidised by the government, including to Roma, Longreach, Cloncurry, Biloela, Bundaberg and Charleville.
Qantaslink's contracts for these routes are due to expire in March, and Virgin has been seeking to have the market deregulated to give it a chance to fly them.

But the airline has been told, unofficially, that the Government's mind is made up, and Qantaslink's contract will be extended for another two years.
A spokesman for Transport Minister Scott Emerson yesterday confirmed that was the case.
I have not been a fan of the way the Newman LNP government has treated the people of Queensland in the first  part of its term in office and I am appalled by the way it seems to be treating Virgin in this instance.  Not only as stated in the above quote, but also later in the article where the premier himself hasn't once mentioned the airline yet on several occasions has waxed lyrical about Qantas in parliament, I take issue with favouritism in politics when there are more than one major player in an industry, especially when both are Australian companies.  Also I don't like the fact the QLD government are dooming regional Queenslander's to exorbitant fares on QFLink to these smaller centers when fares to other regional ports have dropped dramatically when the competition of Virgin has entered the market.

I know I am slightly biased as I rate VA above QF in terms of its value to us the travelling public, and myself in general, but when a premier and government favour an airline that isnt based in its state, over an airline based in its state and provides thousands of jobs for Queenslander's as well as other financial inputs to the QLD economy with the associated costs of running a major corporate office.

Read the full article as published today HERE

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

ZK-OKP model win

So as a lot of you will know I am heavily into social media, and so are Air New Zealand, so anyway Air New Zealand ran a competition last friday on twitter to win a model of their #AirNZHobbit liveried Boeing 777-319ER ZK-OKP.

So seizing the opportunity I shot back the following tweet, and actually won one of the models.

The model arrived here this morning and my picture of it prompted a lot of comment on both twitter and Facebook
As seen on twitter & Facebook
The model is 1/200 scale and made by PacMin who from what I can see on their website do display models for corporations (such as Air New Zealand)
Interestingly enough on a side note on their desktop model page PacMin use a Kuban 733 which could be ZK-TLB as seen on MRC Aviation HERE

Air New Zealand have got their own livery on the box and all
Top & side view of the box
End view of the box
The following 3 pics are up close details of the Hobbit livery as seen on the model & the real thing including the first showing of the Black tail and white koru soon to be rolled out fleet wide.
The model is solid resin, and sits on a molded base and is true to life with correct graphics including the registration under the wing.

 Here is a view of the completed model

ZK-OKP in Hobbit livery fits in quite nicely with my collection of Air New Zealand aircraft in Lord of the Rings livery B744s ZK-NBV & ZK-SUJ, B763 ZK-NCG, sadly A320 ZK-OJA is missing
Air New Zealand Hobbit/LoTR fleet

And finally ZK-OKP in its final position next to a couple of Qantas B744s

I cant thank Air New Zealand enough for running this competition and sending this amazing model to me - I am one very happy AvGeek.

QF 763's begin to depart

As die hard avgeek readers will know Qantas have a somewhat orphan sub fleet in their 767-300ER fleet with 7 ex British Airways Rolls Royce powered 763s.  These aircraft were registered in the VH-ZX* range.

These aircraft have always presented problems for Qantas, and they have long been flagged for retirement, but with replacement delays etc they have remained in the fleet.  Until now.  The first of the 7 to be retired is VH-ZXB which was flown from Sydney to Roswell New Mexico for desert storage.

These 7 frames are slowly being replaced by additional B738 capacity and A332s, both new A332s (see previous article) or older A332s returning to QF as JQ gets 787s

Australian Aviation has a short piece about ZXB's departure HERE

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