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Old September 6th, 2010, 05:05 AM   #681
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QANTAS STICKS TO ITS TWO-AIRLINE STRATEGY
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MELBOURNE, Sept 5(NNN-Bernama) -- -- Qantas Airways says global operating conditions have rebounded from historic lows, but the aviation industry remains competitive, challenging and potentially volatile.

And the airline, in its annual report released Friday, affirms its two airline strategy, which it says offers flexibility to ride economic cycles, leverage different sectors of the market, and maintain a robust operating cash flow.

"Looking ahead, the Australian commercial aviation sector will remain highly competitive, both domestically and internationally," Chairman Leigh Clifford says in the report.

"To succeed, the Qantas Group's two flying brands will be competing vigorously every day in their different market segments - the full service Qantas and the low fares Jetstar."
http://namnewsnetwork.org/v2/read.php?id=132227
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Old September 23rd, 2010, 04:39 AM   #682
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Old September 23rd, 2010, 05:11 PM   #683
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Virgin Blue, Etihad get clearance for alliance

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Virgin Blue and Etihad Airways have received interim authorisation from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) for their alliance.
The interim authorisation will now allow the two airlines to start selling joint fares on each others’ networks from October 1. The two carriers will integrate the Etihad Guest and Velocity programs, with members able to earn and spend points on both carriers from the same date.
“This is an important milestone as we create a global international network, greater competition on the international landscape and benefit our guests with great value fares, better scheduling and more choice,” said Virgin Blue CEO John Borghetti.
The two carriers are awaiting full authorisation before V Australia will commence three times weekly services from Sydney to Abu Dhabi, while it is also planning to start Brisbane-Abu Dhabi services from February 2012.
The granting of interim authorisation is a significant achievement for Virgin Blue, which is currently trying to overturn interim decisions which would block its other proposed alliances with Delta Air Lines and Air New Zealand. The alliances are a key part of Borghetti’s “go forward” strategy for Virgin Blue which will also see it place a greater emphasis on the lucrative corporate market.
http://australianaviation.com.au/vir...-for-alliance/
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Old November 3rd, 2010, 08:47 PM   #684
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Transport bureau to review air safety rules
4 November 2010
The Age
http://www.theage.com.au/national/tr...103-17e4f.html

AUSTRALIA'S air safety rules are set for an overhaul, after an official admission that of 15,000 reported aviation incidents a year, only about 100 of them are formally investigated.

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau says that, even for fatal accidents, it "isn't budgeted to investigate everything". The number of incident reports have almost doubled since 2003, but almost half of these are deemed irrelevant or duplicated information.

The safety bureau is now reviewing the types of aviation incidents that must be reported, when an incident must be reported, and by whom.

Critics of the current system, including Senator Nick Xenophon, who has launched a separate Senate inquiry into aviation safety and pilot training, warn of the potential conflict of interest for airlines to fully report breaches of safety regulations.

"Some airlines could have a commercial incentive to downplay incidents and that is not good enough," Senator Xenophon said, ahead of establishing the Senate inquiry.

But there's a deadline mis-match between concurrent reviews: the Senate is due to report its findings by November 17 while the bureau is seeking industry feedback on its proposed changes by December 17, ahead of proposed revisions being put before Parliament in the middle of next year.

But even as the regulations stand, there are clear penalties for those in the aviation industry who fail to report incidents.

Under the Transport Safety Investigation Act, a "blatant disregard" to report a safety incident can be referred to federal police for investigation.
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Old November 15th, 2010, 12:57 PM   #685
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Source:http://sg.news.yahoo.com/afp/2010111...s-5a1703c.html

Quote:
Troubled Qantas flight returns to Australia
AFP - Monday, November 15

SYDNEY (AFP) - A Qantas Boeing 747 en route to Argentina was forced to return to Sydney on Monday after an electrical problem, the Australian airline said, in the latest in a string of similar incidents.

The carrier, which has grounded its A380 superjumbos after a mid-air engine blast earlier this month, said the flight carrying 199 passengers spent about two hours in the air before landing without incident at Sydney airport.

"We're not entirely sure what the issue is at this stage," a Qantas spokeswoman told AFP. "It's a minor technical issue at this stage, that's all we know."

The captain of the flight, which had been destined for Buenos Aires, had requested priority to land after turning around and dumping fuel, she said.

A statement from the airline said the plane developed an "issue... with the electrical system", without giving details. It added there was no loss of pressure or oxygen on board.

Qantas has faced safety fears in recent weeks after a double-decker A380 carrying 466 passengers and crew was forced to make an emergency landing in Singapore shortly after takeoff following an engine failure.

That explosion on November 4, which sent engine components raining down on an Indonesian island, is being investigated by engine maker Rolls-Royce and has forced the grounding of Qantas' six A380s.

The following day, a Sydney-bound Boeing 747 turned back to Singapore shortly after take-off after reporting engine trouble, with one passenger saying she saw the affected engine sparking like fireworks.

On Friday, a Melbourne-bound Boeing 767 with 234 passengers returned to Perth, Western Australia because of engine vibrations.

Dow Jones Newswires, quoting an unnamed source, said Monday Qantas may have to replace up to 14 Rolls-Royce Trent 900 jets on its fleet of A380s, which each have four of the turbines, before the fleet can return to service.
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Old November 15th, 2010, 05:05 PM   #686
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Air is king in a land girt by sea
16 November 2010
The Sydney Morning Herald

Just as the flying kangaroo has grown and evolved over the past nine decades, so too has the way Australians view aviation, writes Denise McNabb.

When Qantas first took to the skies in 1920, air travel was a novelty that few people had experienced.

Bursting onto the aviation scene less than 20 years after the pioneering exploits of the Wright brothers, the company initially offered a taxi service, as well as joy flights for thrill seekers eager to visit the blue yonder.

Aviation technology must have been awe-inspiring and a little frightening for Australians at the time, given that even motor cars were a rarity. Horse power generally meant a vehicle was drawn by a horse.

Yet in the 90 years the company has been in existence, air travel has evolved to become an inherent part of our lives.

Few of us would now expect to go through life without travelling by air on numerous occasions. We step on a plane to travel in the same casual way people just a generation or two ago stepped on a bus.

The changes in our behaviour have come about as Qantas, and air travel as a whole, has evolved over the decades.

For example, 52 years ago the first around-the-world air ticket from Australia cost nearly as much as a Sydney bungalow.

But the lure of exotic ports in far-off places proved irresistible to an increasingly affluent and adventurous breed of Australians who would earn the tag "jet-setters".

The world was at their feet and, from Australia on an easy-pay travel credit plan, a 573 Qantas "across the world" ticket could be bought with a 10 per cent deposit and a two-year contract to pay it off.

More thrifty travellers could save for their ticket on the airline's lay-by plan, attracting 3.5 per cent interest.

By any measure, a global air journey back then was a costly call when the average annual Australian wage for a man was 322 and 218 for a woman.

It's a far cry from the return economy fares hovering about $2000 or less for London flights today.

Fierce competition slashing airline margins, an abundance of carriers, travel by the masses and technological advances making jets more economical than their predecessors have all caused fares to become increasingly more affordable since those early days.

On January 14, 1958, when Qantas launched its around-the-world services through Bangkok, Bombay, Rome, London, Cairo, New York and various other ports, it had 14 Lockheed Super Constellation piston-engined propeller planes in its long-haul fleet. The sleek, triple-tailed Connies, as they were affectionately known, were the first aircraft to introduce pressurised cabins on a widespread basis.

They offered tourist-class passengers airborne indulgence with their roomy seats and doily-covered tray tables for sumptuous meal services. There were bunk beds in first class and big windows by today's standards.

But the arrival of the Boeing 707 jet aircraft was just around the corner. The Connies, as elegant as they were, could only seat between 69 and 95 passengers and had a cruising speed of 480km/h.

The Boeing 707 was much larger, could travel up to 200km/h faster and seat up to 120 passengers.

The latter's introduction to the fleet heralded a new era in international air travel for Australians.

The speedier journey to the northern hemisphere not only catered for intrepid tourists but the craft's roomy hold opened up freight services, stimulated exports, provided a means for mass immigration and brought Australian business into the global marketplace. For the first time, air travel out of Australia surpassed travel by sea.

The managing director of Australia's Tourism and Transport Forum, Christopher Brown, says Qantas championed the brand of Australia.

"The world has few global champions and this one has lasted 90 years," he says. "No country has depended on its aviation relationship more than Australia. We are an island continent a long way from anywhere, so Qantas has been Australia's lifeline."

Brown says although the company is now a listed company after being government owned, Australians still treat it as their own.

"This means it is judged more harshly," he says. "The fact that its every movement, its incidents and performance were scrutinised is an onerous responsibility."

When Qantas turned 75, John Stackhouse, in his book ... From the Dawn of Aviation: the Qantas Story, quoted Keith Hamilton, who helmed Qantas in the early '90s.

Hamilton said Qantas had become part of the fabric of Australia.

90 years of Qantas

1919 Former Australian Flying Corps officers Hudson Fysh and Paul McGinness see an opportunity for an aviation business carrying people across the outback.

1920 The pair come together with grazier Fergus McMaster to form Queensland and Northern Territory Aerial Services Limited.

It initally offers joyrides and taxi flights.

1922 Regular scheduled airmail and passenger services begin on November 2, 1922, from Charleville to Cloncurry in rural Queensland.

1928 Qantas operates the first flying doctor service for the Reverend John Flynn's Australian Inland Mission.

1931 The airline carries mail to Darwin as part of an experimental Australia tothe UK mail service.

1935 A Qantas plane flies on an international route for the first time as a DH86 travels between Brisbane and Singapore.

1938 Four-engine Empire flying boats are introduced and bring new levels of luxury and comfort to the Australia--UK route.

1940s Qantas maintains vital airlinks during World War II.

1947 Qantas takes delivery of its first pressurised long-range Lockheed Constellation, which goes into service on the famous Kangaroo Route between Sydney and London.

1950 Qantas inaugurates its own commercial services to Japan.

1956 The airline carries the Olympic flame from Athens to Darwin on its way to the Melbourne Olympics.

1959 Qantas enters the jet age by taking delivery of its first Boeing 707.

1971 The advanced B model of the Boeing 747 comes into service.

1989 The first Qantas Longreach series Boeing 747-400 is delivered.

1994 A Qantas B747-400 is painted in a striking Aboriginal design.

1995 The full privatisation of Qantas occurs.

2008 Qantas's first A380 makes its maiden journey.

2010 The airline celebrates its 90th anniversary.

2012 Qantas is set to receive its first Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner.
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Old November 16th, 2010, 08:09 AM   #687
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Source:http://au.news.yahoo.com/thewest/a/-...aten-holidays/

Quote:
Qantas problems threaten holidays
GEOFFREY THOMAS, AVIATION EDITOR, The West Australian November 16, 2010, 6:38 am

Qantas and Singapore Airlines are desperately trying to find planes and reschedule timetables for the busy Christmas season after revelations that the A380 superjumbos may be grounded for far longer than expected.

The news came as Qantas had another setback yesterday when a 747 flight from Sydney to Buenos Aires turned back because of an electrical problem.

Airbus said yesterday that Singapore Airlines might have to replace up to 20 of the Trent 900 engines in its fleet of 11 A380s and Qantas 14 engines on its fleet of six A380s.

The giant aircraft manufacturer revealed on Friday that new Rolls-Royce engines had a modification that rectified the oil leak that caused the catastrophic explosion on Qantas QF32 after take-off from Singapore on November 4.

Airbus has already offered to fly some engines out from the A380 production line to help Qantas, but with 34 new engines now required it may be February at least before the total A380 fleet is back in the air.

Both airlines say it is too early to access the full impact of the continued A380s problems on Christmas traffic but usually all flights are near full from December 15 through to January 5.

Some flights from Perth will be affected, with the major problems being out of Singapore to Europe and on flights to the US.

Qantas has already replaced some 303-seat A330 services with 265-seat 767s on flights to Asian ports and is chartering aircraft from British Airways.

The A330s are replacing 400-seat 747s that have been moved on to 470-seat A380 routes.

Qantas is due to get three more A380s before Christmas, including one before the end of the month, and they all have the upgraded Trent 972 engine.

However, the airline also wants to retire some older 747s as the A380s enter service, placing a strain on capacity.

The A380 program is over two years late and this has placed pressure on Qantas maintenance keeping the 747s up to the airline's standards.

In some cases, critical structural items such as undercarriages are close to the end of their cycles and hours and need to be replaced, which is time-consuming and costly.
Singapore Airlines spokesman Nicholas Ionides said the airline was "maintaining a full flight schedule, albeit with a switch in aircraft type to smaller 747-400s and 777s for some flights".
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Old November 16th, 2010, 02:39 PM   #688
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Sydney-Buenos Aires Flight Turned Back
16 November 2010
The Wall Street Journal Online

SYDNEY—A Buenos Aires-bound Qantas Airways Ltd. flight had to turn back after takeoff Monday due to a problem with the plane's electrical system, the latest in a string of midair incidents that have plagued the carrier in recent weeks.

The aircraft, a Boeing 747, was carrying 199 passengers, three flight crew and 18 cabin crew, and has since landed safely in Sydney. Qantas engineers are inspecting the plane to determine the cause of the incident. The airline said the forced landing was the result of an electrical problem, not an engine problem, as has been the case in the company's other recent plane groundings.

Qantas' latest bout of troubles began Nov. 4 when one of its Airbus A380 super jumbo jets was forced to make an emergency landing in Singapore after an engine blow-out. Australia's national flag carrier grounded its fleet of A380s, but in the interim Qantas has experienced three midair incidents that have forced landings of its 747s as well.

Monday's flight landed within two hours and 10 minutes of takeoff, after the flight crew requested priority clearance to land the aircraft back at the Sydney airport. The plane dumped fuel as it returned to Sydney, a spokeswoman said.

A Civil Aviation Safety Authority spokesman did not comment on the 747 landing Monday.

Investors and analysts didn't seem too worried about the impact of the incident on the airline, and Qantas shares ended the day down 1 Australian cent (1 U.S. cent), or 0.4%, to A$2.79. The stock was A$2.82 before news of the latest incident broke.

"I'm not concerned," Deutsche Bank analyst Cameron McDonald said. "They have focused on safety, and they've turned aircraft around and landed them safely."

The plane had GE engines rather than Rolls-Royce engines used in the A380s and at least one of the 747s that landed with technical problems in the past two weeks.

Qantas is the world's second largest buyer of the new A380 jumbo jet, which it has been looking to as a way to modernize its fleet. The average age of a Qantas plane is 8.6 years, compared with six years at Singapore Airlines.

Mr. McDonald said the airline's fleet had been getting progressively younger.

A Qantas spokesman said the airline has six A380s in its fleet, with three more scheduled for delivery before the end of this year. With the average price of an A380 at around A$350 million, the airline may have spent more than A$3 billion on its A380 investment so far.

There is still no timeline for when Qantas will put its A380s back in flight.

Over time, the A380s are expected to replace the older 747 aircraft. Qantas currently has 27 747s, according to its Data Book.

One analyst said because the airline is using the 747s more while its A380s are grounded, the chances of technical issues with the planes in service is higher.

"The likelihood of there being minor incidents has just increased," Russell Shaw, an analyst at Macquarie said. But unless widespread issues with the maintenance of the planes is uncovered, he said it's "hard to see" the string of 747 problems turning customers away from Qantas.
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Old November 16th, 2010, 06:39 PM   #689
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Source:http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2...16/3068217.htm

Quote:
Jetstar plane forced to turn back
Updated 5 hours 35 minutes ago

A Jetstar plane bound for Mackay has been forced to return to Brisbane after experiencing a mechanical problem.

A spokesman for Brisbane Airport confirmed flight JQ888 took off but returned shortly afterwards. None of the 164 passengers were injured.

Jetstar spokesman Simon Westaway says the A320 landed without incident and passengers were transferred to different flights.

"The issue was we were losing some hydraulic fluid. A directive was given to the captain that some fluid was left on the tarmac when the aircraft took off," he said.

"The aircraft would've been stranded in Mackay if it pushed onwards to Mackay and the decision, the right decision, was made to return that aircraft back to Brisbane."

Mr Westaway says engineers are examining the plane and the company hopes to have it back in operation within 24 hours.

"We have a major base and facility in Brisbane. That is the best place for that aircraft to be looked after," he said.

"The aircraft had only just recently taken off out of Brisbane so it made complete sense for the captain to bring that aircraft safely back into Brisbane.

"It was met by emergency services - they weren't required - but again this is all part of the safe management of our skies."

He says the A320s have three hydraulic systems and investigations are underway to discover which one failed.

He says it could have been the landing gear.

Jetstar says safety was never compromised.
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Old November 16th, 2010, 07:35 PM   #690
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$89 Oz fares as cheap as a cab to the airport
17 November 2010
New Zealand Herald

A cutprice airfare war has erupted on the Tasman, and some flights are now as cheap or even cheaper than the taxi fare to Auckland Airport from the central city.

Travel industry experts said yesterday airlines were trying to encourage bookings to fill flights during quiet periods.

Some said sales had been picking up as New Zealanders recovered from the recession, and discounts were a good way to get those who had not travelled during the economic crisis to plan a trip.

The latest sales end by tomorrow unless sold out earlier - some end today - and are for travel between February and June next year, depending on the destination.

Flight Centre this week advertised a one-way Auckland-Sydney fare, flying Emirates, for $89.

That deal ended on Tuesday but Emirates is offering a $174 fare until tomorrow.

Jetstar has a $99 fare on the same route, and an $89 one-way deal between Auckland and Gold Coast. These deals end at midnight tonight.

Some of these fares are cheaper than the cost of a cab from Auckland's airport to the central city and beyond, which can cost anywhere from $60 on a good day to $100 in rush-hour traffic.

Jetstar spokeswoman Andrea Wait said the $89 flights to the Gold Coast were the lowest Tasman prices the company had offered for some time.

She said the sale was to mark Jetstar's 5th anniversary of flying the Tasman.

The company is also advertising $99 flights from Auckland to Melbourne and $149 flights to Cairns.

Cheap tickets are not only being offered on flights to and from Australia.

Pacific Blue is advertising bargain fares to Pacific Islands, which airline spokesman Phil Boeyen said were a popular holiday destination for many New Zealanders.

``It's a great time for people to think about their travel plans beyond Christmas,'' he said.

House of Travel retail director Brent Thomas said New Zealand's appeal as an international destination meant many airlines flew here.

The airlines had to return aircraft during times of slow demand, so travellers wanting to leave New Zealand often benefited from specials, he said.

Mr Thomas and Flight Centre national product manager James Brooker said New Zealanders were travelling overseas more than last year.

Mr Brooker said airlines were aware of the renewed interest in travel, and were competing for passengers with ``early bird specials''.

Emirates' manager for New Zealand and the Pacific Islands, Chris Lethbridge, said trips to Australia were in high demand during school holidays and for major events including rugby games, but at other times travellers needed an incentive.

Emirates' sale was ``to encourage some early booking at times when we're anticipating that the loads might be a little bit lighter than the peak season''.

Alert Taxis managing director Robert Van Heiningen said most flights would cost more than a cab ride to the airport, and thought that paying $100 for such a trip was a ``little heavy''.

``Under normal circumstances, it shouldn't be anywhere near that.''

Fares were charged based on the distance travelled and the time the journey took, and were most often between about $50 and $70, he said.
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Old November 16th, 2010, 10:53 PM   #691
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Johannesburg - Sydney Qantas Flight Returns To Airport

16th November 2010 - VH-OEI in another airport return.
Boeing 747-438ER VH-OEI, involved in the QF17 incident yesterday, is reported to have again had to dump fuel and return, this time to Johannesburg whilst operating QF64 to Sydney. We have no further details on the incident at this time.

http://www.theqantassource.com/
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Old November 17th, 2010, 03:42 AM   #692
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Source:http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20101117...20101117012032

Quote:
Australian flyer Qantas hit by bird strike

SYDNEY (AFP) – A Qantas Boeing 747 had to turn back to Johannesburg after one of its engines suffered a bird strike, the airline said Wednesday, the latest in a string of incidents to beset the Australian carrier.

Qantas said the plane's number two engine shut down with turbine damage after sucking in a bird shortly after takeoff late Tuesday, forcing an emergency landing. There were 171 passengers on board.

"The aircraft is being worked on by engineers," a Qantas spokesman told AFP.

"It's just a bit of damage to some of the turbine blades, it's not a huge thing."

One of Qantas' smaller Boeing 717s was hit by lightning on a regional flight between the Australian destinations of Alice Springs and Darwin hours earlier, causing "minor damage" to the exterior.

The incidents follow the return to Sydney of a Qantas Boeing 747 bound for Buenos Aires on Monday after it suffered an electrical fault which caused smoke to pour into the cockpit.

Qantas has been plagued with mechanical issues since grounding its fleet of Airbus A380s after an engine exploded on one of the superjumbos on November 4, forcing an emergency landing in Singapore.

A Boeing 747 had to turn back to Singapore with a sparking engine the following day, and a Melbourne-bound Boeing 767 returned to the west coast city of Perth with engine vibration a week later.

The Qantas spokesman said the airline experienced bird strikes two or three times a year and it was a "pretty rare occurrence".

A US Airways Airbus A320 famously ditched in New York's Hudson River last January after a bird strike on both of its engines, in an incident widely known as the "Miracle on the Hudson" because there was no loss of life.
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Old November 17th, 2010, 05:11 AM   #693
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A bird strike cannot be controlled by the pilot, and better maintenance will not be able to prevent it. If anyone has to accept the blame, it'll be the airport authority that manages the runways. They should send the sharp-shooters out to scare these creatures away more regularly.
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Old November 17th, 2010, 05:13 AM   #694
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Sydney 'doesn't need second airport'
17 November 2010

AIRPORT SYDNEY, Nov 17 AAP - Sydney doesn't need a second major airport, Australia's airport operators say.

In addition to Sydney Airport's ability to meet forecast demand there are four smaller airports serving the state, the Australian Airports Association (AAA) says.

Bankstown, Camden, Canberra and Newcastle airports are all able to meet the aviation activity demand that is forecast in Sydney airport's Master Plans, it says.

AAA executive director Caroline Wilkie says the five airports can meet Sydney's medium to long-term aviation needs.

"Sydney Airport has the capacity to meet forecast aviation demand in the Sydney region to at least 2029," Ms Wilkie said in a statement on Wednesday.

"This is clearly shown in its Master Plan, which was approved by the Australian government in 2009."

In 2008, the federal government renewed a search for a site for a second major airport, which would cost around $15 billion by some estimates.

But Ms Wilkie said even if a new airport were be built, it would be very distant from Sydney and would need high-speed rail and augmented motorway infrastructure.

"The money needed to provide such infrastructure would be far better spent on improving existing ground transport infrastructure that would better link the Sydney CBD and current airport assets in NSW and the ACT," she said.
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Old November 17th, 2010, 05:20 PM   #695
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Passengers 'left on planes and forced off flights'
18 November 2010
The Sydney Morning Herald

AIRLINES have failed to meet a July deadline to submit plans on how to improve treatment of disabled passengers, as wheelchair-reliant, blind and intellectually impaired people flood government agencies with complaints.

The disability commissioner, Graeme Innes, says people have been left on planes for 45 minutes until cleaners have found them because staff have failed to assist them to disembark. Others have been lost in terminals or bumped at check-in because of limits on assistance dogs per flight.

Mr Innes blamed staff cutbacks and called for the government to step in and regulate to stop airlines ignoring the needs of disabled passengers.

Airlines were breaching the Disability Discrimination Act, Mr Innes said, and called for tougher aviation safety laws.

"I don't think airlines are taking this stuff seriously enough. I think that the government needs to regulate . . . They have had 17 years to get this stuff right, but they are still not getting it right," he told the Herald.

Jetstar caused an uproar last year when it forced the Paralympian Kurt Fearnley to check in his wheelchair as luggage, leaving him to crawl through Brisbane Airport in protest at the unsuitable alternative wheelchair offered to him.

An industry working group had agreed all airlines and airports would submit plans on how they catered for disabled passengers but only Rex and three airports met the deadline.

Mr Innes said incidents included three wheelchair users being told airline policy limited each flight to two wheelchairs, and an airline forgetting a passenger and leaving the person on the plane. "The cleaners rock up and say: 'Oh, what are you doing here?"' Mr Innes said.

Mr Innes said it was not an isolated case. "There just aren't enough staff. The things that are different - getting a chair to the door of the plane, guiding a blind person from the plane to the terminal - those extra jobs are the first ones to fall off."

His call for tougher laws was made at a disability and international aid forum attended by Coalition and Labor MPs, including the Foreign Affairs Minister, Kevin Rudd.

Mr Innes also expressed his disappointment that Australia's international aid program was not doing more to directly help the disabled, who were the "poorest of the poor" in developing countries.

Mr Rudd said $88 million had been allocated by AusAid since 2008 to disability-inclusive aid programs.

But Mr Innes, who is blind, said disability aid money was focused on preventing avoidable blindness and traffic accidents, which were health issues. "There's nothing wrong with preventing disability, just don't take it out of the disability budget," he said.

A spokeswoman for Mr Rudd said a $30.2 million in aid for disabled groups and equipment did not appear in a Labor election document but its funding remained intact.
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Old November 22nd, 2010, 10:31 AM   #696
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Source:http://sg.news.yahoo.com/afp/2010112...h-5a1703c.html

Quote:
'Rare' oxygen bottle blast holed Qantas jet: probe
AFP - Monday, November 22

SYDNEY (AFP) - Australian air safety officials on Monday ruled that a "very rare" oxygen bottle explosion was behind a dramatic mid-air blast which forced the emergency landing of a Qantas flight from Hong Kong in 2008.

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) said the "forceful rupture" of one of the aircraft's emergency oxygen cylinders had punched a large hole in the Boeing 747's fuselage, causing rapid depressurisation of the cabin.

Passengers had to use oxygen masks which dropped from the ceiling while the captain immediately brought the aircraft down to 10,000 feet and made an emergency landing at Manila International Airport.

None of the 369 passengers and crew was injured.

"The investigation found no record of any other related instances of aviation oxygen cylinder rupture -- civil or military," the ATSB said in its final report into the July 2008 incident.

"Given the widespread and long-term use of this type of cylinder in aerospace applications, it was clear that this occurrence was a very rare event."

The explosion, about an hour into the flight to Melbourne, was so forceful it blew a two-metre wide hole in the plane's body which had debris, wiring and cargo protruding from it at the time of landing.

Investigators were unable to retrieve the bottle, presumed to have been sucked out of the plane over the South China Sea, but the ATSB said a "comprehensive program of testing" was carried out on cylinders of the same type and from the same batch.

"(Testing) did not identify any aspect of the cylinder design or manufacture that could represent a threat to the operational integrity of the cylinders," the ATSB said.

"It is the ATSB's view that passengers, crew and operators... can be confident that the ongoing risk of cylinder failure and consequent aircraft damage remains very low."

The findings come as Qantas grapples with the grounding of its A380 superjumbo fleet following an engine explosion over Indonesia earlier this month.

The national carrier has been plagued with mechanical problems since the November 4 blast, with two Boeing aircraft experiencing engine trouble and a third grounded by a bird strike at Johannesburg last week.

Rolls-Royce has said it may have to replace up to 40 engines on A380s flown by Qantas, Germany's Lufthansa and Singapore Airlines after pinpointing a "specific component" as responsible for an oil fire behind the blast.
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Old November 22nd, 2010, 11:32 AM   #697
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Unruly passenger forces flight diversion
21 November 2010
Australian Broadcasting Corporation

Travellers onboard an international flight, which had to be diverted to Broome in Western Australia due to an unruly passenger, say airline staff handled the situation well.

The Virgin Blue aircraft was flying from Denpasar to Melbourne when a man became aggressive and struggled with staff who were trying to restrain him.

Passenger Katie Payne says two prison guards who were on the flight helped staff to handcuff the man and take him to the rear of the aeroplane.

"He was becoming increasingly aggressive to the point where the pilot and the crew feared for the other passengers' safety," Ms Payne said.

"The staff onboard were trying to keep us calm while it was all happening because it was a pretty unusual and quite frightening circumstance."

Mark Cornell, an off-duty prison officer from Melbourne, says he is glad he could help to ensure the safety of his fellow passengers.

"He had his arms up in the air and he was twisting and he had slight muscle spasms at the time," he said.

"By the time we landed his muscle spasms were quite, almost violent and we were having trouble actually keeping him pinned to the seat.

"He'd muscle spasm an arm out and the girl that was sitting next to him was trying to move away."

Police met the plane when it touched down and the man was taken to Broome Hospital where he is being assessed.

Police say it is unclear whether the man was affected by drugs or if he had mental health problems.

Virgin Blue says, because the plane landed prematurely, it had additional fuel on board and made a heavy landing.

An engineer has been called in to check the aircraft before it is expected to continue its journey to Melbourne.

Passengers have been accommodated in Broome.

The plane is expected to leave Broome late this afternoon, Perth time.
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Old November 23rd, 2010, 11:02 AM   #698
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hkskyline View Post
Sydney 'doesn't need second airport'
17 November 2010

AIRPORT SYDNEY, Nov 17 AAP - Sydney doesn't need a second major airport, Australia's airport operators say.

In addition to Sydney Airport's ability to meet forecast demand there are four smaller airports serving the state, the Australian Airports Association (AAA) says.

Bankstown, Camden, Canberra and Newcastle airports are all able to meet the aviation activity demand that is forecast in Sydney airport's Master Plans, it says.

AAA executive director Caroline Wilkie says the five airports can meet Sydney's medium to long-term aviation needs.

"Sydney Airport has the capacity to meet forecast aviation demand in the Sydney region to at least 2029," Ms Wilkie said in a statement on Wednesday.

"This is clearly shown in its Master Plan, which was approved by the Australian government in 2009."

In 2008, the federal government renewed a search for a site for a second major airport, which would cost around $15 billion by some estimates.

But Ms Wilkie said even if a new airport were be built, it would be very distant from Sydney and would need high-speed rail and augmented motorway infrastructure.

"The money needed to provide such infrastructure would be far better spent on improving existing ground transport infrastructure that would better link the Sydney CBD and current airport assets in NSW and the ACT," she said.
these idiots obviously don't know much about the geography of NSW. Canberra serving as a second airport? Even with a high-speed rail link to Central Sydney, it'd still be a pain in the arse.
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Old November 23rd, 2010, 08:10 PM   #699
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HAWAIIAN INCREASING SYDNEY-HONOLULU FLIGHTS TO DAILY SERVICE

HONOLULU, Nov. 23, 2010 /PRNewswire-AsiaNet/ --

Hawaiian Airlines today announced an increase in its nonstop service between Sydney and Honolulu in 2011, highlighted by daily flights for the period of April 6 - August 1, to meet customer demand during the peak travel season. Hawaiian currently serves the Sydney-Honolulu route with flights four days per week.

"We know how much Australian travelers enjoy their holidays in Hawaii, so we are increasing our flight schedule during their favorite time of year to travel. This gives them greater flexibility in making their plans, and the timing couldn't be better as Hawaii is a great value for Australians," said Avi Mannis, Hawaiian's vice president of revenue management and schedule planning.

From April 6 through August 1, 2011, Hawaiian's Flight #452 will depart Sydney Airport daily at 9:20 p.m. and arrive at Honolulu International Airport at 11:00 a.m. the same day. Return Flight #451 will depart Honolulu daily at 12:40 p.m. and arrive in Sydney at 7:20 p.m. the following day.

(Sydney is currently 21 hours ahead of Honolulu and the flight crosses the International Dateline.)

Hawaiian will be offering daily flights between Sydney and Honolulu for the first time since launching service on the route in May 2004.

Starting August 2, 2011, Hawaiian will begin offering flights five days weekly between Sydney and Honolulu, adding one more day to the current service schedule. Hawaiian's flight departures from Sydney will take place on Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays, with the return flights from Honolulu on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays.

Altogether, Hawaiian's increased service will add approximately 19,00 new air seats from Sydney to Hawaii's tourism industry in 2011.

Hawaiian will continue to operate the Sydney route using its wide-body Boeing 767-300ER aircraft. The twin-aisle B767 comfortably seats up to 264 passengers with 18 in Business Class and the remainder in Economy Class.

Adding to the enjoyment of the Hawaii travel experience is Hawaiian's promise to "start your Hawaii vacation the moment you board" with its distinctive and award-winning "Hawaii Starts Here" onboard service, showcasing the culture, music, natural beauty, and people of the Hawaiian Islands.

Travelers can purchase tickets for Hawaiian's Sydney-Honolulu flights from their favorite travel agent, online via Hawaiian's Australia website at www.HawaiianAirlines.com.au or its site at www.HawaiianAirlines.com, or by calling Hawaiian toll-free in Australia at 1300-669-106 or in the United States through its reservations center at 1-800-367-5320.

About Hawaiian Airlines

Hawaiian is the nation's highest-ranked carrier for service quality and performance in 2009 in the 20th annual Airline Quality Rating study, having earned that distinction in three of the past four years. Hawaiian has also led all U.S. carriers in on-time performance for each of the past six years (2004-2009) as reported by the U.S. Department of Transportation. Consumer surveys by Conde Nast Traveler, Travel + Leisure and Zagat have all ranked Hawaiian the top domestic airline offering flights to Hawaii.

Now in its 82nd year of continuous service for Hawaii, Hawaiian is the state's biggest and longest-serving airline, as well as the largest provider of passenger air service to Hawaii from the state's primary visitor markets on the U.S. mainland. Hawaiian offers nonstop service to Hawaii from more U.S. gateway cities (10) than any other airline, as well as service to Japan, the Philippines, Australia, American Samoa, Tahiti, and, starting in January 2011, South Korea. Hawaiian also provides more than 150 daily jet flights between the Hawaiian Islands.

Hawaiian Airlines, Inc. is a subsidiary of Hawaiian Holdings, Inc.
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Old November 24th, 2010, 03:35 AM   #700
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