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Old November 30th, 2007, 07:32 PM   #521
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Sydney airport skips X-ray bag checks

Exclusive by Justin Vallejo

December 01, 2007 12:00am

AT LEAST 200 passengers at Sydney airport were allowed onto international flights without having their baggage X-rayed or walking through metal detectors.

The airport finally admitted to the compromised security measures yesterday after originally attempting to deny anything other than normal procedures were followed.

The sub-standard passenger screenings came after a power blackout at the international terminal's security check points following a sub-station fire on November 16.

During a 15 to 20 minute window, passengers were screened using only "magic wand" metal detectors and their luggage searched in the dark by hand.

Security staff told The Daily Telegraph yesterday they were poking around in the dark into passenger's bags as a substitute for the X-ray machines that normally screen carry-on luggage.

"I couldn't believe what they were asking us to do," said a security guard, who spoke on condition of anonymity. "Everyone was running around like headless chooks just trying to push passengers through."

The latest incident of lax security at the airport follows an investigation by The Daily Telegraph that revealed how easy it was to enter the back door without thorough background checks or security searches.

A journalist and photographer will appear in court on December 17 charged with trespassing on commonwealth land and remaining in a secure area.

The airport estimated that 150 to 200 passengers were screened without the full security compliment and allowed into the international terminal during the recent lapse in security.

It is not known whether any of those passengers also had to suffer the indignation of paying for a coffee at the airport, which was revealed this week as an overpriced disgrace ripping off thousands of international visitors.

When asked on Thursday afternoon about the apparent holes in security, a Sydney airport spokesman denied there had been any compromise to security.

"The security screening machines used by Sydney airport are equipped with Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) . . . used in essential applications to ensure that they are available in the event that normal power supply is interrupted," he said.

"Accordingly, normal security screening procedures were followed."

But yesterday afternoon an airport spokesman admitted that security machines were unavailable and that electronic wanding of passengers and physical searching of bags had to be used in "natural light" and emergency lighting.

"This is the security practice approved by the Office of Transport Security," the spokesman said.

Article fromaily Telegraph
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Old November 30th, 2007, 07:37 PM   #522
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I'm surprised such security breaches could have occurred. The Americans recently had to redo screening for everyone because someone ran the security gates.
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Old December 1st, 2007, 03:37 PM   #523
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Qantas tests its new giant of the sky
1 December 2007
The Advertiser

QANTAS showed off the new super-sized jewel of its fleet, the Airbus A380, at a Hollywood-style red carpet premiere yesterday at Los Angeles International Airport.

Veteran pilot Murray Crockett was in the cockpit for the demonstration flight over

LA, which attracted thousands of aviation enthusiasts.

Qantas had a 12-member crew serving champagne and canapes.

Qantas and the French-based Airbus first flew an A380 into LA in March but it did not include passengers or Qantas crew.

Qantas's first commercial A380 flight is expected in September or October next year, with a flight from Melbourne to LA.

The giant of the sky will fly out of LA today to Sydney, where it will stay for a week.

``Our engineers will crawl all over it and our pilots will have a play with it,'' said Qantas senior executive vice-president Wally Mariani.

The A380 dwarfs the Boeing 747, previously the world's largest passenger jet.

While the double-deck A380, which has a wingspan almost as large as a football field, can carry 850 passengers, Qantas is likely to reconfigure the airliner to seat 500, about 100 more than a 747.
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Old December 2nd, 2007, 03:22 AM   #524
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Airbus A380 in Sydney

Quote:
Originally Posted by hkskyline View Post
Qantas tests its new giant of the sky
1 December 2007
The Advertiser

QANTAS showed off the new super-sized jewel of its fleet, the Airbus A380, at a Hollywood-style red carpet premiere yesterday at Los Angeles International Airport.

Veteran pilot Murray Crockett was in the cockpit for the demonstration flight over

LA, which attracted thousands of aviation enthusiasts.

Qantas had a 12-member crew serving champagne and canapes.

Qantas and the French-based Airbus first flew an A380 into LA in March but it did not include passengers or Qantas crew.

Qantas's first commercial A380 flight is expected in September or October next year, with a flight from Melbourne to LA.

The giant of the sky will fly out of LA today to Sydney, where it will stay for a week.

``Our engineers will crawl all over it and our pilots will have a play with it,'' said Qantas senior executive vice-president Wally Mariani.

The A380 dwarfs the Boeing 747, previously the world's largest passenger jet.

While the double-deck A380, which has a wingspan almost as large as a football field, can carry 850 passengers, Qantas is likely to reconfigure the airliner to seat 500, about 100 more than a 747.
It arrived yesterday in Sydney after 5.30 pm. Overflew the Harbour Bridge before descending.

Below are photos taken by me on arrival in Sydney.Click on for bigger photo.

Deacceleratingly



Head on view



Size comparison



Passing the Spotters



Approaching Terminal



At the Gate


Last edited by koresh; December 2nd, 2007 at 03:27 AM. Reason: edit text
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Old January 9th, 2008, 08:49 AM   #525
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Qantas Plane Loses Electrical Power, But Lands Safely - AFP
8 January 2008

SYDNEY (AFP)--A jumbo jet lost its main electrical power as it prepared to land in Bangkok and was forced to rely on a back-up system, Australian airline Qantas said Wednesday.

"The incident involved loss of electrical power on a Boeing 747 on descent into Bangkok on January 7, 2008," Qantas chief pilot Chris Manning said in a statement.

"The back-up system was activated and the aircraft arrived safely."

Qantas said it had reported the incident to Boeing and aviation authorities and was conducting its own investigation but was unable to comment further until its inquiries were completed.

Aviation sources told The Australian newspaper the incident was highly unusual and could have spelled disaster for the flight carrying 344 passengers.

"If this had happened over the ocean in the middle of the night, it would probably have crashed," an experienced 747 pilot told the paper.

A Qantas engineer familiar with the 747-400s said the plane's back-up systems would likely only be able to supply power for up to an hour.

"It's pretty dramatic if they've lost all generation systems," he said.

Another 747-400 pilot told the paper he knew of two similar incidents and that the plane could "quite comfortably cope with it for a limited period of time."

Australian Transport Safety Bureau deputy director of aviation safety investigation Julian Walsh said it was too early to say what caused the power loss.

"Obviously Qantas, Boeing and ourselves are keen to get to the bottom of it," he told The Australian. "The information I have at the moment is that it was a total power failure."

The plane involved in the incident was due to arrive back in Sydney later Wednesday, Qantas said.
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Old January 9th, 2008, 04:04 PM   #526
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That's freaky!
Being on a plane and all power and lights off!
And I normally go on night flights only !
Anyone got any pics. of Qantas planes?

Edit: Just noticed this is 500th post!
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Old January 11th, 2008, 02:12 PM   #527
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Qantas clears B747-400 fleet after power failure

SYDNEY, Jan 11 (Reuters) - Qantas Airways Ltd said on Friday it had checked and cleared all 30 of its B747-400 aircraft after one lost electrical power while on a flight from London to Bangkok and was forced to use auxiliary power to land.

The B747-400 aircraft with more than 300 people on board landed safely on Monday after automatically reverting to standby battery power.

Qantas said it was working with airline manufacturer Boeing and Australian aviation safety officials to determine "the root cause of the accident".

It said an initial investigation found that the power loss occurred after a cracked drip tray above electrical equipment let water enter an electrical bay where it caused several components to malfunction.

Qantas Executive General Manager John Borghetti said in a statement that the airline had checked the systems and equipment on all 30 of its B747-400 aircraft and "the entire fleet had been cleared to fly".

Borghetti dismissed as "unhelpful" speculation by engineers, pilots, commentators and airline union officials about whether the power loss could have been disastrous if it happened further out over sea.

"Regardless of some of the more colourful claims being made about Qantas engineering standards, the truth is that Qantas has one of the world's leading engineering operations," he "As always, safety is our prime concern."

Qantas has one of the aviation world's best safety records.
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Old January 12th, 2008, 05:15 AM   #528
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Cheap seats hit turbulence
12 January 2008
The Sydney Morning Herald

Rising fuel prices have slashed the savings that airlines were passing on to passengers. Clive Dorman reports.

The low-cost revolution in Australian air travel has hit the wall: despite the emergence of Virgin Blue in 2000 and Jetstar in 2004, airfares in real terms are as high as they've been this decade.

This is the finding of research conducted by the Federal Government's Bureau of Transport Regional Economics.

The bureau began measuring airfares - not just full fares but also the best available discounts on the most-travelled routes - in July 2003, just under a year before Jetstar began deep discounting on the country's most popular holiday routes.

For a while, things looked promising, with the fares we'd been paying in the national network steadily falling. But in the past few months, the trend has been steeply upwards.

In December, according to the bureau's figures, you shouldn't have been in the market for anything but essential travel. The best available discount was 15 per cent dearer than it was four years ago, when the survey started, and the so-called rolling average of best discount fares had also passed the 2003 mark.

There's no doubt about what's driving the hike: the price of aviation fuel has quadrupled in the past five years. The kerosene that runs jet engines is now more than $1 a litre on the open market. It used to be 25 cents.

In other words, the massive gains made by the airline business in the past five years in increasing efficiency and lowering costs - which were being passed on to consumers as lower fares - are being sucked out of the industry as profits for the oil companies.

But there are also new trends emerging about how airfares fluctuate. The research suggests, for example, that the days of super-high prices around the major holiday periods have returned with a vengeance.

Fuelled by strong demand - annual growth in domestic air travel is running about 7 per cent and the average number of seats filled on every plane is averaging an astronomically high 85 per cent - the cheap seats run out early in the busy periods and those who wish to travel have to take what's left at whatever price is offered.

However, the main business routes, such as Melbourne to Sydney (which carries about 20 per cent of the nation's air traffic), are where the average fares being paid are highest, while key holiday routes continue to offer excellent value at most times of the year.

Melbourne and Sydney to the Gold Coast, for example, are on sale at the moment for under $100 and $50 one-way, respectively. Melbourne to the Gold Coast, in particular, is rarely going to cost more than $200 return, all-inclusive, since there are now three carriers on the route, Jetstar, Virgin and Tiger.

With four carriers now on the Melbourne-Perth route (the three above and Qantas), the fare there is now rarely above $400 return.

The asterisk in both cases, however, concerns school holidays. The bureau's fare-tracking shows that, in the past year in particular, fares rocket when school's out.

The only relief is that airlines now have at least 10 major annual seat sales, where once it was only three or four. Register with the various airline websites to enhance your chance to travel cheaply.
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Old January 18th, 2008, 08:51 AM   #529
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Qantas eyes late fees after Boeing 787 setback

SYDNEY/TOKYO, Jan 17 (Reuters) - Australia's Qantas Airways said on Thursday it would seek compensation from Boeing Co over delay of the 787 Dreamliner, a step it took with Airbus after the A380 superjumbo was late.

The 787 suffered its second setback when Boeing announced on Wednesday that it was pushing back the programme a further three months, making the plane about nine months behind its original schedule.

Qantas said it could claim for damages in certain circumstances and would discuss the issue with Boeing in coming weeks.

Japan's All Nippon Airways Co (ANA) , which is set to receive the very first 787, said it would not seek compensation.

A380 DELAY

Boeing rival Airbus ran two years behind with its doubledecker A380 and Qantas Chief Executive Geoff Dixon was a vocal critic, pressing Airbus for 104 million Australian dollars ($92 million) in compensation.

"We will be discussing the issue of liquidated damages with Boeing in the coming weeks," Dixon said in a statement on Thursday.

Qantas and its low-cost subsidiary Jetstar plan to use the planes to expand on Asia-Pacific routes.

Qantas now does not expect its first Dreamliner to be delivered to Jetstar before May 2009 and said it was reviewing contingencies.

"In the meantime, we will look at a range of options including revised retirement dates for some of our aircraft, re-allocating existing capacity and potential schedule adjustments," Dixon said.

Qantas has on order 65 of the Boeing planes worth about $8 billion, with options and rights to buy 50 more.

Just as Airbus pushed the limits with the mammoth A380, Boeing's mid-sized 787 is breaking new ground, using unprecedented levels of lightweight composites and relying on a network of global firms to build major parts of it.

Boeing said on Wednesday that the 787's delay was related to issues involving some of that outsourced production.

Qantas said the 787's delay would not impact its earnings or strategy.

ANA is studying the possible impact on its business, ANA spokeswoman Kyoko Yamane said.

ANA had been scheduled to get its first 787 in late November or December, six months back from the original target of May.

There is no change in its plan to buy 50 Dreamliner aircraft, ANA's Yamane said.

Boeing announced the 787's first setback, a six-month delay, in October.

US CARRIERS DISAPPOINTED

The two U.S. airlines which have ordered 787 Dreamliners expressed disappointment over potentially costly delays on the new plane, but did not mention compensation payments.

Continental Airlines and Northwest Airlines , which are both planning to use the fuel-efficient, long-haul plane on key routes to Asia, will now be forced to find temporary alternatives.

"Clearly, (the delay) will make for a tough summer for us in 2009," said Continental Chief Executive Larry Kellner, on a conference call on Thursday.

Continental was due to receive its first 787s in 2009 and use them on routes to China, but the delayed delivery will force Continental to pull planes off other routes, he said.

"We will have some challenges short term -- we recognize those -- and we'll work through those with Boeing for the long term," Kellner said.

Northwest, which is hoping to be the first U.S. airline to put the 787 in service, originally expected deliveries to start in August 2008, but will now likely have to wait for a further nine months.

"We are very disappointed by Boeing's announcement but we're hopeful that Boeing will address the problems with the 787 production expeditiously and be in a position to provide us with a reliable delivery schedule," a Northwest spokesman said.
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Old February 18th, 2008, 07:41 AM   #530
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US, Australia agree to drop restrictions on air service between the 2 countries
15 February 2008

SYDNEY, Australia (AP) - Australia and the United States have agreed to drop restrictions on air service between the two countries, clearing the way for increased competition on one of the world's most lucrative and protected long-haul routes.

The bilateral agreement abolishes all restrictions on U.S. and Australian air services for carriers of both countries, ending a virtual duopoly on the route held by Qantas and UAL Corp.'s United Airlines. Qantas controls 75 percent of the market share on the Australia-U.S. route, from which it derives around 15 percent of its net profit.

The deal will allow Australian carrier Virgin Blue Holdings Ltd. to begin flights to the United States by the end of the year -- but leaves Singapore Airlines Ltd., which has long coveted the route, still without access.

It would also "provide certainty" for Australia's Qantas Airways Ltd. and its budget offshoot Jetstar, allowing them to widen the network of American cities they currently serve, Australian Transport Minister Anthony Albanese said in a statement.

U.S. carriers Delta Air Lines Inc. and Continental Airlines Inc. said they have no immediate plans to add service to Australia.

"However, as we continue to build on our robust international network, we continue to closely monitor markets worldwide and stand ready to take advantage of the right opportunities," said Delta spokeswoman Betsy Talton.

A spokesperson for Northwest Airlines Corp. had no immediate comment, and AMR Corp.'s American Airlines could not immediately be reached for comment.

The agreement comes after three days of negotiations in Washington and will take effect once formal approval from the U.S. and Australian governments is granted.

"Airlines from both countries will be allowed to select routes and destinations based on consumer demand, without limitations on the number of U.S. or Australian carriers that can fly between the two countries or the number of flights they can operate," a U.S. Department of Transport statement said.

"The agreement also removes restrictions on capacity and pricing, and provides opportunities for cooperative marketing arrangements, including code-sharing, between U.S. and Australian carriers," it said.

The agreement only applies to American and Australian carriers.

The Australian government last year denied Singapore Airlines' request to start services in the corridor on the grounds that opening up the route to the Asian carrier would bring only minor tourism benefits and could hurt the economy. The carrier had hoped a change in government in Australia last November would see a softening of opposition to its ambitions.

Singapore Airlines said that hope had been squelched by Friday's agreement.

"The agreement to liberalise for Australian and American carriers on the U.S. route is long overdue," Stephen Forshaw, Singapore Airlines's vice president for public affairs said in a statement. "But it is only half a step."

The company repeated its accusation that the Australian government was unfairly protecting Qantas from competition by denying Singapore Airlines access to the trans-Pacific route.

Qantas Chief Executive Geoff Dixon welcomed the agrement and said the airline would increase its flights on the route to 51 a week from March from 48 a week now.

He urged the government to persue similar agreements with other countries.

"Further liberalization of air services arrangements with a number of countries if needed if Australian carriers are to grow operations and match opportunities available to foreign competitors," Dixon said in a statement.

Virgin Blue, Australia's second-largest airline by revenue, wants to fly 10 Boeing 777-300ER services a week to the U.S. West Coast through its new international carrier, V Australia.

The airline last year got approval from the Australian government to add trans-Pacific routes, but an agreement with the U.S. was still needed.

"The new agreement will provide great opportunities for increasing trade and commercial links between Australia and the U.S.," Albanese said.

Shares in Qantas fell as investors mulled the increased competition threat but recovered some ground to finish 2.53 percent lower at 4.63 Australian dollars. Virgin Blue rose 2.76 percent to A$1.49.

--------

AP Business Writer John Wilen contributed to this report from New York.
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Old February 18th, 2008, 09:19 PM   #531
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I'd love to see American Airlines fly to Australia since they're my favorite airline.
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Old February 20th, 2008, 02:57 AM   #532
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Australia's Virgin hopes to fly to Asia next year
17 February 2008

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) - Australian carrier Virgin Blue Holdings Ltd. hopes to launch flights into northern Asia in 2009 through its new international arm, V Australia, Chief Executive Brett Godfrey said Monday.

Godfrey said likely destinations included Japan, northern China and parts of south and Southeast Asia, which could be serviced by its current fleet.

"I think the ASEAN region is looking at opening up its borders among those member nations, so I think that's probably the next big opportunity," Godfrey told CNBC business television, referring to the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations.

He said Virgin Blue expects to lose between 50 million Australian dollars and A$80 million (US$45 million-US$73 million; euro31 million-euro50 million) in developing V Australia, adding that the startup costs would be funded out of working capital.

His comments come after Australia and the U.S. on Friday signed a bilateral "open skies" aviation agreement, clearing the way for Virgin Blue to continue its plan to begin flights to the United States by the end of 2008.
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Old February 26th, 2008, 03:27 PM   #533
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Qantas 1H profit doubles on strong passenger growth
21-02-2008:

SYDNEY: Qantas Airways Ltd, Australia's biggest airline, reported a doubling in its first-half earnings on Feb 21, driven by strong demand for air travel and by cost control.

Qantas, whose shareholders last year rejected a US$9 billion (RM29.43 billion) buyout bid, reported net profit of A$617.6 million (RM1.83 billion) for six months ended December, compared with A$307.5 in the same period a year earlier.

Five brokers surveyed by Reuters had estimated Qantas net profit to be A$569.5 million.

In December, Qantas raised its full-year pre-tax earnings forecast to 40%, from a 30% increase previously, on the back of soaring appetite for air travel.

Strength in Australian dollar has boosted demand for overseas travel, with analysts estimating a 10% rise in passenger revenue.

Qantas shares are down 20% in 2008, compared with a 13% fall in the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index. The shares are down about 40% from their life highs reached in December. -- Reuters
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Old February 27th, 2008, 08:08 AM   #534
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Their hedging strategies must be quite successful to weather through the high price of fuel so well.
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Old April 29th, 2008, 10:35 AM   #535
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Rising air fares won't fuel death of cheap travel
29 April 2008
The Age

THE most surprising thing about the rise in Qantas' domestic and international air fares is that it took so long.

The market had been expecting it for more than a month. Qantas said it was raising domestic and international fares by 3.5% and 3%, respectively.

Its shares rose 4 to $3.41, indicating that investors were satisfied that the move would not deter passengers.

Last month, BusinessDay reported a leaked email from Qantas chief executive Geoff Dixon in which he issued a hiring freeze and warned staff to brace for a possible $1 billion blow-out in Qantas' fuel bill next financial year.

Since then, Air New Zealand, Regional Express and, at the weekend, Thai Airways and Viva Macau, have increased their fuel surcharges.

Qantas rival Virgin Blue said two weeks ago that unless jet fuel prices fell by the end of April it would have no choice but to raise one-way fares by between $10 and $12 from May 1. So, with jet fuel rising to a record $US144.49 a barrel last week in Singapore, a statement from Virgin Blue in the next few days seems a foregone conclusion.

Virgin Blue was punished by shareholders after its statement on fares, not because of the statement but the profit downgrade of about $76 million that accompanied it.

The stock plunged almost 22% in a single day.

But Qantas has managed to navigate through the turbulence, at least for now. Mr Dixon's statement to the market yesterday confirmed that the airline was on track to produce a gross profit at least 40% higher than last financial year.

While aviation analysts say that the sweet spot in the industry has probably turned sour, few are suffering from "Chicken Little" syndrome.

Aviation expert Tom Ballantyne said the spate of fare increases should not be considered the death rattle of low air fares.

"Everyone gets a little excited when airlines put up their fares but this wasn't unexpected and the sky is not falling in as such," he said. "Times are going to be a bit tougher for the aviation industry globally and you have to remember it isn't just the fuel price that is going up but other expenses as well.

"The airlines are always going to be discounting. There is enough competition with Virgin and Tiger and Jetstar that you will continue to get some pretty good prices domestically. The same goes internationally, there are a lot of airlines competing for passengers out of Australia."
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Old May 7th, 2008, 07:31 AM   #536
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Open-sky pact with the EU
1 May 2008
The Australian

There are hopes for unlimited flights between Australia and Europe

AUSTRALIA has taken a major step towards signing an open-skies agreement with Europe that could produce more flights between the two continents.

An agreement signed in Brussels yesterday recognises the existence of a single European market and was lauded by the federal Government as a breakthrough in the push for complete liberalisation of air travel between Australia and the European Union.

The EU is Australia's biggest aviation market and accounts for about 20 per cent of passenger traffic and a similar percentage of freight exports.

Annual passenger traffic has grown an average of 5 per cent over the past five years to reach 4.5 million people last year.

The current system involves separate bilateral air services agreements with 16 EU states.

Some, such as the agreement with Britain, are quite liberal while others, such as the agreement with France, are restrictive.

French restrictions limiting Qantas to three flights a week prompted the Flying Kangaroo to axe its services to Paris, but it has indicated on several occasions it would be prepared to reconsider the route if it could get more frequencies.

The new ``Horizontal Agreement'' between Australia and Europe locks in the benefits of the existing bilaterals and will form the basis for future discussions on a single Europe-wide agreement.

The Government hopes this will lead to the removal of many, if not all, limitations on flights between Australia and Europe.

It has also flagged that the agreement could address issues around competition and environmental protection. ``We had to get this agreement before we could move on to negotiation of more comprehensive, open skies arrangements,'' a spokesman for Transport Minister Anthony Albanese said yesterday. ``It formally recognises the EU as one ... market.''

An open-skies agreement with Europe would prove a boon to Qantas, which wants to start Jetstar International operations to the continent as well as expand its mainline services.

But it is doubtful whether it would prompt European carriers to start flying again to Australia.

Only two European carriers still fly to Australia, British Airways and Virgin Atlantic, with their services limited to Sydney.

Most European carriers prefer for economic reasons to operate ``offline'', using a partner airlines to fly passengers from Australia to an Asian hub, where they are transferred to their own aircraft.

People booking a ticket to Copenhagen with Scandinavian Airlines, for example, fly with Thai Airways International to Bangkok and transfer to an SAS plane for the remainder of the journey.

Australia recently concluded an open skies agreement with the United States which allowed V Australia to start services to the Los Angeles.

However, difficult conditions in the US aviation industry make it unlikely new carriers will be flying in the opposite direction in the near future.
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Old May 13th, 2008, 10:57 AM   #537
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Qantas A380 in service by October
By Geoff Easdown
May 12, 2008 12:00am


IT was up, up and away for the flying kangaroo's new super jet yesterday as Qantas Airlines' first Airbus A380 effortlessly climbed into the skies above the French city of Toulouse, en route to an interior fitout in Germany.

The double-decker A380, which has a wingspan almost as large as a football field, will be named Nancy Bird Walton after the sprightly 92-year-old aviatrix.

After an incident-free two-hour flight and a near perfect touchdown at Hamburg on the Elbe River in northern Germany, the latest version of the world's biggest airliner was rolled into a hangar for its cabin fitout.

With the seats, galleys and the entertainment system to be installed, the 560-tonne jetliner next moves into a paint hangar where its appearance will change from bare metal green to the red and white livery of our national carrier.

Two weeks later, A380-01 is scheduled to return to Toulouse, the French headquarters of Airbus, where Qantas pilots and engineers will begin acceptance trials before it leaves for Australia in August. By October it is expected to be flying from Melbourne to Los Angeles.

The jet can carry 850 passengers but Qantas is likely to reconfigure the plane to seat just 500 to give extra space.

Qantas executive general manager John Borghetti, who was in Hamburg with his A380 project team to inspect and approve the interior fitout, said the finished product exceeded expectations.
"And my expectations were pretty high," he said.

Airbus also has given Qantas a rock-solid guarantee it will deliver by December all three of the first batch of 20 A380s that have been ordered.

After that there will be a brief delay of several weeks which could affect the arrival date of the fourth aircraft. The Franco-German company says the review is needed to conduct further tests of the A380 assembly systems.

However engineers at Hamburg said that before beginning the process they wanted to deliver the first wave of aircraft which had suffered a two-year delay due to software problems.

----


Qantas Airlines' very first A380 super jumbo has at last flown for the first time over Toulouse, the French headquarters of the European aircraft builder.


The flight signals the end of two years of assembly problems that have plagued a wave of aircraft deliveries at Airbus. After an incident free two-hour flight and near perfect touchdown at Hamburg on the Elbe river in northern Germany, the latest version of the worlds biggest airliner was rolled into a hangar where it began its cabin fit-out.


With the seats, galleys and the entertainment system now installed, the 560 tonne jetliner moves next to a paint hangar where its appearance will change from bare metal green to the red and white livery of our national carrier. This is the first class section of the plane.


This is the business section of the plane.


Green has been chosen for the economy section.


The self-service beverage and food bar for economy class passengers.


Paris and London-based Australian designer Marc Newson who has designed the cabin interiors.

----

Sources:
- http://www.news.com.au/business/stor...-14334,00.html
- http://www.news.com.au/heraldsun/gal...6020-1,00.html
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Old May 14th, 2008, 03:44 AM   #538
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Low-cost airlines hit Qantas
13 May 2008
The Age

QANTAS has not ruled out replacing its remaining services to Japan with Jetstar flights, after warning that the growth of low-cost airlines in Asia would "increase pressure on the viability of the Japan route".

In an application to the International Air Services Commission seeking a two-year extension of its code-share agreement with Japan Airlines, Qantas said it was "almost certain" it would cut services to Japan if the deal was not renewed.

But it failed to give any assurances it would maintain its current level of flights into Australia's third-biggest market for inbound tourists.

In its application, Qantas warned that the emergence of low-cost airlines was "likely to increase pressure on Australia's market share of Japanese tourists".

Qantas also failed to rule out switching flights into Tokyo with its low-cost Jetstar services.

It said it was "sustaining significant losses", highlighting the impact of high fuel prices and the high Australian dollar on dampening demand from Japan.

According to tourism industry lobby group TTF Australia, arrivals from Japan fell 17.6% in the year to March.

The code-share deal was expanded in 2006, when Japan Airlines stopped flying to Melbourne from Tokyo and decided to code share with Qantas on the route. Since then, Qantas has replaced services to Osaka and Nagoya with Jetstar, which forged a code share with JAL last year.

Jetstar declined to reject speculation it could eventually fly to Japan via its Darwin hub with narrow-body jets.

"The range of the A320 or the A321, without payload restrictions, you're looking at five to six hours," said Jetstar spokesman Simon Westaway.

"That arc does cover a lot of exciting . . . markets that we could serve in the future."

Jetstar already flies to Singapore from Darwin twice daily. The longer-range A321 could easily reach most Japanese cities from Darwin.
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Old May 26th, 2008, 02:27 PM   #539
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Australian airlines slow down to save fuel

SYDNEY, May 23, 2008 (AFP) - Some Australian airlines are flying slowly to save fuel as oil prices surge to record highs, it was revealed Friday.

Like motorists trying to economise, pilots are easing back on the throttle, national carrier Qantas and its budget offshoot Jetstar said.

Dropping the average flying speed on their Airbus A320s by about 10 knots or 20 kilometres per hour would save millions of dollars a year, Jetstar spokesman Simon Westaway told AFP.

"We are conducting a trial of flying the aircraft at slightly lower airspeeds," he said.

Airlines have a cost index from 0-99, in which "99 is what is usually simply called putting your foot to the floor -- that's essentially maximum fuel burn.

"Zero is the minimum, so its essentially how you ride the accelerator," he said.

Jetstar was testing dropping its cost index from 30 to 10 as the price of aviation fuel soars along with oil, which hit all-time highs of more than 135 dollars a barrel this week.

"Essentially it means a reduction in speed of around 10 knots or 20 kilometres an hour over the course of a journey."

The slower speeds would add about six minutes to a trans-Australia flight from Melbourne to Perth, which normally takes between three-and-a-half to four hours depending on direction and other factors, Westaway said.

The extra few minutes do not appear to have raised the ire of passengers, who probably have not noticed among all the factors that can slow a journey, from delays ahead of takeoff to circling before getting the go-ahead to land.

On long-haul flights, those minutes would multiply and mark a strange reversal of the ambition for ever-faster connections around the world since the invention of flying.

But with oil supplies finite and price rises appearing limitless, jet pilots driving like cash-strapped commuters appear to be a sign of the times.

Qantas, one of the world's major airlines, which dwarfs Jetstar's annual fuel consumption of 580 million litres a year, issued a terse statement on which it would not elaborate.

"Qantas has used variable speed flight plans within its schedules over the last two years as a fuel conservation initiative.

"This practice has led to fuel savings and lower carbon emissions without any significant impact on flight times."

Qantas announced Thursday that it would increase international air fares to counter the impact of rising fuel costs by about 4.0 percent from June 4, after a 3.0 percent hike earlier this month.
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Old May 27th, 2008, 02:54 PM   #540
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Pilot mayday on Jetstar hiring
27 May 2008
The Australian

QANTAS is under attack from another of its unions after moves by low-cost offshoot Jetstar to bring in up to 75 foreign flight crew under the 457 skilled migrant visa scheme.

The Australian and International Pilots Association yesterday warned the move would have long-term repercussions for Australian pilots and would undermine their careers if it was allowed to proceed.

AIPA, which represents Qantas pilots but is not party to the collective agreement with Jetstar pilots, called on the low-cost airline to offer the jobs to pilots from Qantas rather than bring in air crew from overseas.

The union says Jetstar could do this under a memorandum of understanding signed in 2004 and already used to hire 20 Qantas pilots. It has sent a copy of the MOU to the Immigration Department, along with a letter opposing the 457 scheme.

``There are 75 Qantas pilots who are trained and available to fly Jetstar planes today, but Jetstar prefers to avoid its obligations to invest in training Australian pilots and is riding roughshod over an MOU signed with the union,'' AIPA general manager Peter Somerville said.

``Jetstar's use of 457 visas is the wrong medicine for a misdiagnosed ailment, which will have long-term repercussions for Australian pilots.''

Qantas chief executive Geoff Dixon said that Jetstar and Qantas were separate entities, with their own pilot and training requirements.

He said almost all Qantas Group pilots were recruited and trained in Australia and that the company spent millions of dollars a year recruiting and training pilots. ``Nobody does more to grow the pool of skilled pilots in this country than we do.'' he said.

Jetstar's move comes as overseas airlines have increasingly been recruiting in Australia for pilots as a global shortage looms.

The budget carrier has so far recruited just one senior British pilot under the scheme, but says it has had strong interest from South Africa and Europe. It is also looking to North America.

Jetstar CEO Alan Joyce said the move was necessary to maintain the airline's experience base and to keep it growing in the face of a worldwide pilot shortage.

The airline had recruited about 300 Australian pilots in the past 3 1/2 years and estimated it would need another 300 plus in the next 18 months to two years, he said. This meant that fewer than 10 per cent of the pilots would be foreign.

``We certainly are recruiting lots of Australians, we've got a lot of people who were ex-Ansett ... and we'll continue to do that,'' Mr Joyce said.

``But it gives us the opportunity to make sure we have the right experience base for our growth.

``If we don't have pilots needed for that level of growth with the right level of experience (is that) we just won't grow.

``And that would mean the loss of other Australian jobs like cabin crew, like engineers, like call centre employees, like head office employees.''

The major Jetstar union, the Australian Federation of Airline Pilots, said it was disappointed at the 457 visa move, but acknowledged the reality of the pilot shortage and Jetstar's need to have experienced pilots to train its younger recruits.
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