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Old December 20th, 2006, 04:33 AM   #481
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They can't block it on their own because the combines ownership by the pilots would still only be 1%.
I only caught the back end of the story, maybe there was more to it. Not sure.
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Old December 21st, 2006, 05:29 AM   #482
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Australia's Jetstar allowed more access to Asia-Pacific
20 December 2006

SYDNEY, Australia (AP) - The low-budget branch of Australia's Qantas Airways Ltd. said Thursday it had been granted approval by government aviation regulators to expand its international long-haul services, allowing more direct flights to Asia-Pacific destinations.

Jetstar Chief Executive Alan Joyce said in a media release the airline has been granted approval by the Civil Aviation Safety Authority for Extended Range Operations, or ETOPS, for 180 minutes, granting approval to fly three hours away from emergency landing strips.

Jetstar operates Airbus A330 aircraft to destinations including Bangkok and Bali and has recently been granted approval to commence direct flights to Honolulu from Sydney and Melbourne next week.

Joyce did not nominate new destinations that could be added after the regulator's decision.
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Old January 24th, 2007, 06:36 AM   #483
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Tuesday January 23, 7:24 PM
Jetstar to Switch to Long-Haul Routes
AP

Jetstar, the low-cost unit of Australia's Qantas Airways, will shift its focus from short-haul flights to long-haul services this year, the carrier's chief executive said Tuesday, becoming the latest airline to turn its attention to the emerging market for cheap, long-distance flights.

Jetstar's long-haul service, which includes flights from Melbourne and Sydney to destinations such as Bangkok and Phuket in Thailand, as well as Honolulu and Bali, Indonesia, broke even in December 2006 after one month of operations, Alan Joyce told reporters on the sidelines of a conference in Singapore on the Asia-Pacific budget airline industry.

"This year we'll pause on the short-haul because we believe our focus should be on the long-haul markets where we see exceptional growth opportunities for the Jetstar brand," Joyce said. "In three years (from now) the long-haul operations will be bigger than short-haul."

A growing number of no-frills carriers in the Asia-Pacific region are betting that flying long distances will give them an edge in an increasingly competitive industry. If this development proves sustainable, it could dramatically change the face of intercontinental travel, a sector currently dominated by full-service airlines.

Among them is Hong Kong-based Oasis Airlines, a four-month-old airline that flies only long-haul routes, including from Hong Kong to London. In June, it plans to start flying from Hong Kong to Oakland, Calif.

Earlier this month, Malaysian aviation tycoon Tony Fernandes launched budget carrier AirAsia X, which will start flying to destinations in China and Britain in July. Fernandes said he expects AirAsia X to carry 500,000 passengers in its first year of operations and eventually expand destinations in India, Europe and Australia.

But other companies at the conference said they would stick to the conventional low-cost formula of flying short distances, preferring to concentrate their efforts in the booming Asian market.

"We're not interested in going into the long-haul market," Tony Davis, CEO of Singapore's Tiger Airways said Tuesday. He said he would be happy "carrying tens of millions of people around Asia."

"There is a limit, in terms of the aircraft, in terms of the operating model that we have where we can still operate that low fare model and get the efficiencies from our model," he said. "If we set up bases in other parts of Asia, we might be able to go to new markets out of those places."

Jetstar, meanwhile, plans to fly routes linking Australia with North America and an Asian hub with Europe from 2010, when a fleet of 12 Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners the airline has on firm order start coming into service, Joyce said.

"Long haul is a critical growth strategy for us going forward... It has been believed that the low-cost model couldn't be applied in these markets. We believe that this is an opportunity that more and more low cost carriers will start entering," Joyce said.

Jetstar's long-haul, budget operations are sustained by keeping costs down _ in the first two months of operation, the carrier's cost base on its long haul flights was 45 percent below Qantas', he said.

"That is sustainable because we offer low airfares and we offer people the added perks," he said. "So you can have a meal, you can have entertainment, you can have a blanket _ if you want to pay for them."
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Old January 29th, 2007, 07:05 PM   #484
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UAE's Etihad Airways to fly to Sydney

ABU DHABI, Jan 29, 2007 (AFP) - Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airways will operate three weekly non-stop flights to Sydney starting on March 26, the airline said Monday.

Airbus A340-500 aircraft will be used on the service to the Australian city, which will become daily from June 29, it said in a statement.

Sydney will be Etihad's fifth destination in the Asia-Pacific region, joining Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok, Manila and Jakarta, it added.

Etihad Airways, which is owned by the government of oil-rich Abu Dhabi, the UAE's largest member, currently flies to 47 destinations in the Middle East, Europe, North America, Africa and Asia.
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Old February 6th, 2007, 04:32 AM   #485
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Qantas will not leave Australian control: government

SYDNEY, Feb 5, 2007 (AFP) - An 11.1 billion dollar (8.7 billion US) takeover bid by a private equity consortium for Qantas Airways will be subject to vigorous scrutiny to ensure the airline remains under Australian control, Treasurer Peter Costello said.

Qantas directors have recommended shareholders accept the offer from Airline Partners Australia (APA) but the sale has been met with alarm by unions and politicians amid fears it amounts to a foreign takeover of an iconic Australian firm.

Costello moved to allay those fears by insisting the Foreign Investment Review Board would scrutinise the deal to ensure the flying kangaroo remained in Australian hands.

The airline, which remains one of the world's most profitable for its size, is subject to a 49 percent ceiling on foreign ownership and a 25 percent limit on any single foreign shareholding.

"The requirement is that Qantas will remain under Australian control and that will be enforced," Costello told reporters in Canberra.

The government would require Qantas to have majority Australian ownership, be under Australian control, be located in Australia and continue to serve important domestic and regional routes, he said.

"There is a power to disallow a proposal if it is contrary to the national interest," Costello added.

Bob Mansfield, who heads the consortium of domestic and foreign companies bidding for the takeover, said the deal had been submitted to the Foreign Investment Review Board to "put some calmness into this situation."

"The reality is, it's not a normal company. Additional scrutiny was something we expected," he said.

The takeover consortium is led by Australia's biggest investment bank, Macquarie, and includes US private equity giant Texas Pacific Group, Canadian investor Onex, and Australia's Allco Finance Group and Allco Equity Partners.

Under the takeover proposal, Allco Equity will be the largest stakeholder with 35 percent, Allco Finance will have 11 percent, Macquarie Bank 14.7 percent and Onex Corp nine percent. Texas Pacific and other foreign investment funds will each have less than 15 percent.

Bruce Baird, a backbencher in the conservative government of Prime Minister John Howard, said the consortium needed to give the public some guarantees.

"Guarantees that we're not going to see the maintenance (jobs) moved offshore to China, guarantees that we're not going to see more backroom work carried out in India, that we're not going to see more flight attendants recruited in Asia and also we're not going to see regional services cut in Australia," he told ABC radio.

The consortium said while APA wanted to expand the airline's business, it could not give an ironclad guarantee on Qantas jobs.

"We can't guarantee jobs because I don't think any employer can," Mansfield told commercial radio.

"As things change, you've got to adapt to that but our single focus on this whole exercise we're looking at with Qantas is to grow the organisation with 70 more planes and a 40 percent bigger network at the end of the five to six years. If that happens, jobs will grow."

The consortium has committed itself to continuing regional services and safety and maintenance levels, and to not breaking up the airline. Mansfield said some of these assurances could become conditions of the sale.

Qantas shares closed down 0.02 to 5.37 in an overall falling market.
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Old February 8th, 2007, 06:26 AM   #486
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Qantas posts flat interim profit but optimistic on full year

SYDNEY, Feb 8, 2007 (AFP) - Australian flag carrier Qantas posted a flat interim profit Thursday but said the bottom line was likely to improve significantly in time for its full-year results.

The airline, which is the target of a takeover offer from a private equity consortium, said net profit for the six months to December was 359 million dollars (277 million US), up 1.7 percent on the previous corresponding period.

Qantas said the previous result had been skewed by a one-off tax benefit and the airline's outlook was being boosted by strong consumer demand and efficiency improvements.

"We believe that the full-year result will be around 30 to 40 percent higher than last year's result subject to fuel costs not increasing significantly, demand continuing to grow and cost reductions not achieved in the first half being realised in the second half," chief executive Geoff Dixon said.

The rising cost of fuel resulted in a 30 percent drop in Qantas' last full-year net profit, and Dixon said crude oil prices had remained volatile during the interim reporting period.

"This has resulted in a total fuel bill $388 million higher than the comparative half year, after hedging," he said.

"On current forecasts, we expect our full-year fuel costs to be around 3.5 billion dollars, over 660 million dollars higher than the prior full year.

"At these levels it is imperative we continue to seek efficiencies across all sections of our business."

Qantas said pre-tax profit was up 8.3 percent to 523 million dollars for the six months to December.

The airline's capacity grew 3.7 percent during the period, particularly within the leisure market as discount offshoot Jetstar consolidated its position and posted a four-fold profit increase to 51 million dollars.

Total revenue for the half year was 7.7 billion, up 12.7 percent.

Dixon said plans were on track for Qantas to acquire 10 A330-200 aircraft over the next two years, with four going to the main airline and six being used to expand Jetstar's international operations.

He said Qantas would also introduce the Airbus A380 and the Boeing 787 in late 2008.

A private equity consortium Airline Partners Australia (APA) has launched a 8.7 billion US dollar takeover bid for Qantas, which is being examined by the government's Foreign Investment Review Board.

The takeover consortium is led by Australia's biggest investment bank, Macquarie, and includes US private equity giant Texas Pacific Group, Canadian investor Onex, and Australia's Allco Finance Group and Allco Equity Partners.

Qantas shares rose one cent to 5.37 dollars at midday Thursday in a falling overall market.
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Old February 9th, 2007, 08:58 AM   #487
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Tiger announced they've begun proceedings to get accredited to fly Aus Domestic routes.

And have a domestic route poll: http://www.tigerairways.com/oz/ozwelcome.php
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Old February 21st, 2007, 05:30 AM   #488
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Airline Virgin Blue reports 81 percent rise in half-year net profit
20 February 2007

SYDNEY, Australia (AP) - Budget carrier Virgin Blue Holdings Ltd. said Tuesday its net profit for the half-year through December rose 81 percent to 124.3 million Australian dollars, or $98 million.

The airline upgraded its full-year earnings outlook to an increase of 60 percent from last year's A$112 million, and declared an interim dividend of 2 cents per share.

Revenue during the six months was up 17 percent at A$1.12 billion ($880 million), with operating costs up 9.1 percent to A$935 million ($735 million) due to escalating fuel prices.

The company said it was negotiating to buy seven Boeing 777 aircraft at a list price of $2.6 billion, and hoped to launch international long haul operations by the second half of 2008.

The airline is also looking to take options for a further six Boeing aircraft and has placed orders for five 737 planes by 2011, and approved the addition of three more leased 737's to enter its fleet by the end of this year.
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Old February 26th, 2007, 04:53 AM   #489
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Australia PM Howard backs Qantas sale-report

SYDNEY, Feb 26 (Reuters) - Australian Prime Minister John Howard has rejected calls for the government to stymie a US$8.7 billion bid by a private equity consortium for Qantas Airways Ltd. , the Australian Financial Review reported.

Howard told the newspaper in an interview published on Monday there would be a savage reaction from the business community if he interfered in the airline's management.

It was not for the government to dictate how Qantas shareholders chose to sell their private property, the paper reported him as saying.

Australia's Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) is reviewing the bid for the national icon by a Macquarie Bank Ltd. led consortium.

The consortium, which also includes private equity firm Texas Pacific Group [TPG.UL], Allco Equity Partners , Allco Finance Group and Canadian investment firm Onex Corp. , has won the support of the Qantas board. ($1=A$1.26)
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Old March 5th, 2007, 11:21 AM   #490
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$8.6 Billion Acquisition of Qantas OK'd
1 March 2007

SYDNEY, Australia (AP) - The proposed $8.6 billion acquisition of Qantas Airways Ltd. by an investor group cleared a hurdle Thursday when the Australian competition watchdog said it will not oppose the sale.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, or ACCC, said while market inquiries during a comprehensive review of the proposed acquisition had revealed a range of potential competition issues arising from the interests of the bidding consortium members, it ruled the deal is "unlikely to substantially lessen competition" under federal trade laws.

Qantas' board has recommended shareholders accept the bid by Australia's Macquarie Bank, Forth-Worth based Texas Pacific Group, Canada's Onex Corp. and others, which was first announced mid-December. It would be one of Australia's biggest-ever corporate takeovers.

ACCC chairman Graeme Samuel said while the regulator has closely reviewed whether Macquarie Bank's "partial direct and indirect interests" in Qantas and Sydney Airport could lead to discrimination in favor of Qantas by Sydney Airport management, it appeared there are "not clear incentives" for the bank to do this.

The ACCC found there is not likely to be a substantial lessening of competition across a range of aeronautical services, domestic and international air passenger services, aircraft parts and leasing, airline catering and ticketing services.

In a statement, the bidding consortium Airline Partners Australia said it welcomes the ACCC ruling and has worked with the regulator to "address all relevant issues in relation to our bid."

The government's Foreign Investment Review Board is due to report to Treasurer Peter Costello next week on whether the bid breaches foreign ownership laws. Costello can block the sale if he believes it would not be in the national interest.

Costello said that a Senate inquiry announced Thursday into the sale would not delay his decision.
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Old March 16th, 2007, 06:37 AM   #491
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Australia, Qatar reach airline access agreement
15 March 2007

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) - Australia and Qatar have reached an agreement that will open new airline routes between the two countries, Australia's transport minister said Friday.

The agreement will allow Qatar Airways to begin daily flights to the southern city of Melbourne this year, and will give it access to a second Australian city in 2008, Transport Minister Mark Vaile said in a statement.

In return, Australian carriers, such as Qantas Airways Ltd., will be able to operate an equal number of services to Qatar, and continue on to destinations in Britain, Europe, Africa and the Middle East.

The agreement also allows airlines to code-share on Australia-Qatar routes.

"The successful negotiations of new air services arrangements with Qatar ... is an important milestone in the development of Australia's aviation relations with the Middle East," Vaile said.

Qantas currently offers services to the Middle Eastern destinations of Bahrain, Beirut and Dubai, on a code-share basis with regional airlines including Gulf Air.
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Old March 16th, 2007, 02:22 PM   #492
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Australia's Jetstar to start flights to Japan this month

TOKYO, March 15, 2007 (AFP) - Australian budget carrier Jetstar Airways will begin regular flights between Sydney and Kansai International Airport in western Japan, via Bisbane, from March 25, a Japanese official said Thursday.

Japan's transport ministry approved Jetstar's application to fly into the world's second largest economy on Wednesday, a ministry official said.

Jetstar, a subsidiary of Qantas Airways, will use Airbus A330-200 passenger jets for the daily service, becoming only the second Australian airline after Qantas -- and the 78th foreign carrier -- to fly to Japan, the official said.
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Old March 18th, 2007, 01:56 PM   #493
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Originally Posted by hkskyline View Post
Australia, Qatar reach airline access agreement
15 March 2007

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) - Australia and Qatar have reached an agreement that will open new airline routes between the two countries, Australia's transport minister said Friday.

The agreement will allow Qatar Airways to begin daily flights to the southern city of Melbourne this year, and will give it access to a second Australian city in 2008, Transport Minister Mark Vaile said in a statement.

In return, Australian carriers, such as Qantas Airways Ltd., will be able to operate an equal number of services to Qatar, and continue on to destinations in Britain, Europe, Africa and the Middle East.

The agreement also allows airlines to code-share on Australia-Qatar routes.

"The successful negotiations of new air services arrangements with Qatar ... is an important milestone in the development of Australia's aviation relations with the Middle East," Vaile said.

Qantas currently offers services to the Middle Eastern destinations of Bahrain, Beirut and Dubai, on a code-share basis with regional airlines including Gulf Air.
If the flights went through BKK, which they are rumoured to, do you think it would still be profitable for Virgin Atlantic to fly to Melbourne?

There would be much more competition as a result of this through Asia.

How would they compete against QF and QR on the Europe-MEL route?
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Old March 19th, 2007, 06:35 AM   #494
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Originally Posted by Qantas743 View Post
If the flights went through BKK, which they are rumoured to, do you think it would still be profitable for Virgin Atlantic to fly to Melbourne?

There would be much more competition as a result of this through Asia.

How would they compete against QF and QR on the Europe-MEL route?
London to Bangkok should not be a problem, but it's the Bangkok to Melbourne sector that may be more problematic. With recent political turmoil in Thailand, perhaps this may become a more long-term vision. On the other hand, Thailand is a fairly popular tourist destinations for British and Australians alike, so the market may be able to support this stopover route.
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Old March 28th, 2007, 05:30 AM   #495
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Qantas to Increase Services to New York
Sydney, 27 March 2007

Qantas announced today that it would increase its New York services from five per week to a daily service from 14 August 2007.

The Executive General Manager of Qantas, Mr John Borghetti, said the addition of two extra New York services each week, operating from Sydney via Los Angeles, would provide business travellers with more choice and access to markets on the US East Coast.

"Frequency of service is particularly important for business travellers, and offering them a daily flight to New York will provide the flexibility they need to plan their schedules," Mr Borghetti said.

He said support for the route had been very encouraging, allowing Qantas to increase its New York services twice in the past 18 months.

"Qantas offers sleeper seats in both First and Business and is scheduled to be the first airline to fly the new Airbus A380 aircraft between Australia and the US in the fourth quarter of 2008."

He said Qantas was working in partnership with the Australian Consulate General, Tourism Australia and the Australian Trade Commission to promote Australia in the US, sponsoring Australia Week in New York and Los Angeles, the single largest foreign country promotion held annually in the United States.

"These major tourism initiatives, combined with our latest increase in services, will significantly encourage inbound tourism to Australia," Mr Borghetti said.

The new Qantas schedule will comprise:

* 35 flights per week to Los Angeles, with an additional three flights per week between 19 June and 28 July 2007, totalling 38 flights per week for this period;
* seven flights per week to New York via Los Angeles;
* five flights per week to San Francisco;
* three flights per week to Honolulu; and
* three flights per week to Vancouver via San Francisco, operated as a seasonal service between 13 June and 12 August 2007.
From http://www.qantas.com.au/regions/dyn...07/mar07/Q3557
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Old April 30th, 2007, 08:43 AM   #496
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INTERVIEW-Qantas, Vietnam's Pacific deal seen by April

HANOI, March 19 (Reuters) - Qantas Airways Ltd. is expected to complete its deal to buy a stake in Vietnam's Pacific Airlines by April, an executive of the company that manages the state's stake in Pacific said on Monday.

"We have almost finalised the details and if everything goes smoothly, we could end up concluding the final agreement by the end of this month or early next month. Definitely within April," Le Song Lai, executive director of State Capital Investment Corporation (SCIC), told Reuters in an interview.

In January, Qantas Chief Financial Officer Peter Gregg said the carrier plans to invest a double-digit-million U.S. dollar sum in an Asian carrier and an official of unlisted Pacific said it was in talks with the Australian company.

Communist-run Vietnam limits foreign ownership in some listed companies to 49 percent and others such as banks and airlines at 30 percent. The carrier was valued at $167 million last year.

State-owned SCIC, a strategic investment arm of the government, was created in mid-2005 to take capital ownership of thousands of the country's state-run enterprises, which accounted for about 70 percent of the country's tax revenues.

COMMERCIAL BASIS

In the same interview on the sidelines of a two-day Vietnam Investment Forum in Hanoi, Lai said SCIC was working on a joint venture with Wall Street's Morgan Stanley . Morgan Stanley announced the Hanoi-based venture earlier, in Hong Kong.

SCIC Morgan Stanley Securities would provide investment banking products such as M&A advice and capital markets underwriting, equity and debt sales, trading and research.

"We are happy that we could find a good partner like Morgan Stanley," Lai said in a hotel in central Hanoi. "We are working together to obtain the licences quite soon, hopefully by the end of the year."

He said SCIC had taken over up to 430 companies so far this year and planned to take over a further 700 by the year end. Since the formation of SCIC as part of Vietnam's economic reform process, 3,600 companies had been partly privatised, Lai said.

"SCIC is a state-owned company by ownership but we are working on a purely commercial basis and we are looking at profitability, it's our top priority," said Lai, 39, whose career spans time in the People's Army of Vietnam, an international law firm and the Ministry of Finance.

"We are a long-term investor open to any business opportunity that may be offered by domestic or foreign companies."

He said SCIC's portfolio averaged about a 12 percent return on equity.

"Our target will be 18 percent by 2007 or 2008 because we have a lot of companies to restructure."

He said the corporation planned to reduce state ownership in 50 companies this year.

In 2008 SCIC is expected to invest in infrastructure such as hospitals, sea ports and airports, Lai said without naming any specific project.

SCIC is one of 19 companies in Vietnam that are designated "of special importance" and report directly to Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung, 57, who is the youngest premier in the country's history and regarded as a leader in economic reform.
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Old May 18th, 2007, 05:47 AM   #497
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Fog disrupts flights into Australia

SYDNEY, May 17, 2007 (AFP) - International flights into Sydney airport were disrupted for the second time in a week Thursday as heavy fog forced airlines to divert their jets to Melbourne and Brisbane, officials said.

Ferry services used by thousands of commuters to cross Sydney's huge harbour to the central business district were also cancelled as the fog blanketed the city, causing major traffic problems on the roads.

"Widespread disruptions are expected to international and domestic airline flight schedules," Sydney Airports said in a statement.

Passengers were advised to contact individual airlines for information about their flights, some of which were still operating.

"Some flights have taken off and some of them have landed so it is a bit variable," said airport spokesman Michael Samaras.

Similar conditions on Monday also forced international flights to be diverted from Sydney and the suspension of ferry services.
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Old August 16th, 2007, 12:28 PM   #498
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Qantas profit up 50 pct, plans $820 mln buyback

SYDNEY, Aug 16 (Reuters) - Qantas Airways Ltd. , Australia's largest airline, reported a 50 percent jump in annual earnings as passenger demand rose and said it would buy back more than A$1 billion ($820 million) of its stock.

The airline, whose shareholders rejected a $9 billion buyout bid in May, forecast higher profits this year with forward bookings strong and said it was still looking at separating its main business units.

Qantas shares initially edged higher but were trading 3.6 percent weaker at A$5.08 by 0235 GMT after the broader market fell on growing concern about credit markets. Qantas' main local rival Virgin Blue fell 12 percent.

Net profit for the year to June 30 was A$720 million ($590 million) compared with A$479.5 million a year ago.

The result included a A$47 million provision against potential liabilities from a U.S. price-fixing probe, bringing the result roughly in line with analysts' consensus of A$776 million, according to the mean of eight analyst forecasts on Reuters Estimates.

Analysts said the result was positive, but Qantas faced challenges from huge planned capacity increases and competition from Asian and Middle Eastern carriers on its routes.

"The challenge now for Qantas is to manage increasing capacity, not only with the A380s but with the new aircraft they are bringing in for Qantas and (low-cost subsidiary) Jetstar and competition," Shaw Stockbroking analyst Brent Mitchell said.

The airline, dubbed the Flying Kangaroo, has A$25 billion of new aircraft on order including the double-decker Airbus A380 planes. "We fully expect to make more orders for new aircraft in the next two months," Chief Executive Geoff Dixon told reporters.

As flagged in May, Qantas announced a A$1 billion on-market share buyback, or up to 10 percent of its capital. It also tipped 30 percent growth in pre-tax earnings this year.

The result was in line with other regional carriers. Shares in Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd. hit all-time highs last week after it tipped a strong second half, while Singapore Airlines was also upbeat about demand for air travel.

Soaring appetite for air travel, cost cuts and fuel hedging have helped Qantas and other airlines boost profits compared to a year ago, when redundancy costs from a wave of job cuts and soaring oil prices hurt earnings.

Its ambitious growth plans centre around low-cost subsidiary Jetstar which is expanding aggressively in Asia. Qantas said Jetstar would account for up to 11 percent of its profits next year.

Following the failed takeover, Qantas has been reviewing the ownership of its frequent flyer programme and freight business. It is also looking at a separate vehicle to finance some or all of its fleet of aircraft.

Dixon said the fleet business was likely to be "first cab off the rank" in Qantas' ownership restructure. It hoped to finalise changes to its frequent flyer programme by June next year.

Qantas was also eyeing airline consolidation opportunities but was unlikely to bid for other carriers, he said.

A consortium including Macquarie Bank Ltd and private equity firm TPG [TPG.UL] lost a A$5.45 a share offer for the airline in May when key shareholders rejected the bid. ($1=A$1.22)
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Old October 24th, 2007, 04:39 AM   #499
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Jetstar to battle with Qantas on some European routes
24 October 2007
The Sydney Morning Herald

JETSTAR plans to fly to destinations in Europe previously abandoned by Qantas but could also go head-to-head with its parent on existing routes by offering fares of $1000 or lower.

Its assault on the European market is likely to begin at the end of 2009 when the low-cost carrier takes delivery of up to 15 Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft, which will allow its international arm to fly long-haul routes.

Jetstar is likely to offer about 4500 seats a week - 234,000 a year - to Europe from the outset. That is about one-sixth of the seats now flown by Qantas on its 35 return flights a week into London and Frankfurt using Boeing 747s.

The move also sends a signal to the wider Qantas group that its dominance of long-haul services is coming to an end, even though Jetstar International hopes to grow the number of passengers overall rather than cannibalising its parent's traffic and profits.

However, Jetstar's management is acutely aware of the threat posed to its own overseas expansion by low-fare operators such as AirAsiaX, a joint venture between Malaysia's budget airline Air Asia and Sir Richard Branson, part-owner of Virgin Blue in Australia.

AirAsiaX recently announced plans to fly services between England, Malaysia and Australia and hopes to get a two-year head start on Jetstar.

At this stage Jetstar does not plan to piggy-back on the so-called kangaroo route from London to Australian cities on which the big carriers operate.

Instead, it is looking at servicing the popular holiday destinations of Amsterdam, Athens, Munich, Frankfurt, Rome and Paris, from Sydney and Melbourne.

Jetstar would compete directly with Qantas on the last three cities, although its parent operates a codeshare system with Air France to Paris and with Cathay Pacific to Rome.

Jetstar is also considering four options for stopovers to Europe: Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, Bangkok and Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam. Each have attractions. Bangkok is closest to Europe, while Singapore is the biggest aviation hub in Asia through which Jetstar already operates.

Kuala Lumpur would allow Jetstar to take on AirAsiaX directly. But the surprise choice could be Vietnam, which is a rapidly growing route now serviced direct by Jetstar out of Sydney.

Qantas picked up an 18 per cent stake in Pacific Airlines, Vietnam's second-largest airline, in July, with the aim of owning a third of the company. It also has agreement with Pacific's other shareholders to turn the airline into a budget carrier along the lines of Jetstar.
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Old October 24th, 2007, 04:53 AM   #500
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I thought Qantas owned JetStar. Why compete against themselves?
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