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Old February 1st, 2005, 07:40 PM   #81
huaiwei
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I am interested in some topics, especially those pertaining to the Australian aviation market, because it is intrinsically linked to the Singaporean aviation market. Notice almost every major movement in the Australian aviation landscape will trigger talk related to Singapore's aviation scene? It is fun trying to predict what will be their next move!

Feb 1, 2005
Patrick Corp may settle for control of Virgin Blue


SYDNEY - PATRICK Corporation, Australia's biggest port handler, may settle for a controlling stake of Virgin Blue Holdings, amid expectations Sir Richard Branson's Virgin Group will thwart a full takeover of the discount carrier.

Sydney-based Patrick, with 45 per cent of Virgin Blue, last week offered A$1.90 a share, or A$1.1 billion (S$1.4 million) for the remaining stock. London-based Virgin Group responded by buying about 0.5 per cent of the airline, raising its stake to 25.1 per cent and prompting shareholders including Deutsche Asset Management's Mr Andrew Fay to speculate a full takeover may fail.

Patrick 'would like to have operational control' of Virgin Blue, said Mr Fay, who helps manage A$28.5 billion at Deutsche. 'They've been somewhat frustrated with some of the decisions that have been made.'

Patrick's chief executive Chris Corrigan made his Jan 28 offer about a week after Virgin Blue said rivalry from Qantas Airways would cut profit, sending the company's stock to its biggest slump in more than five months.

Mr Corrigan may want to gain control to shift the airline's focus to earnings maintenance from slashing prices in a price war with Qantas.

Patrick may have to increase its offer to A$2.06 a share to match the highest price paid for Virgin Blue shares by Virgin Group on Friday, Brisbane-based Virgin Blue said in a statement to the Australian Stock Exchange (ASE) yesterday.

Under Australia's Corporations Act, takeover offers are required 'to be at a price which equals or exceeds the maximum consideration that the bidder or an associate of the bidder provided or agreed to provide in the four months before the date of the bid', Virgin Blue said.

Patrick disputed the contention that it may have to raise its bid and told Virgin Blue it was seeking a ruling from Australia's Takeover Panel and the Australian Securities & Investment Commission, Virgin Blue said.

Patrick, Virgin Blue's biggest shareholder, said in its bidder's statement last week that it intended to retain the airline's senior managers. The airline would no longer trade on the ASE if Patrick acquired all its shares, the statement said.

Virgin Blue, Australia's second-largest carrier, advised its shareholders 'to do nothing at this stage'. -- BLOOMBERG NEWS

SIA not interested in acquiring stake

SINGAPORE Airlines (SIA) said yesterday it had no interest in acquiring a stake in Australian budget carrier Virgin Blue, with its main focus Down Under being to secure a route to the United States.

'In the last few days, there have been some media reports concerning the bid by Patrick Corporation to increase its stake in Virgin Blue. Some reports have mentioned Singapore Airlines,' SIA said in a statement to the Singapore Exchange.

'Singapore Airlines has not had any discussions with Patrick Corporation about the bid ... SIA is not in the market for, nor considering, any investment in Virgin Blue.'

SIA said its interest in Australia 'is very much focused on seeking the right to provide competition to benefit the travelling public between Australia and the US'.

SIA and Singapore are lobbying the Australian government to allow full competition on the lucrative Australia-US routes. -- AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE
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Old February 1st, 2005, 08:18 PM   #82
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Quote:
Originally Posted by huaiwei
I agree. As far as I know, your knowledge of the world is seriously retarded despite your travels!
Obviously a person with a lack of travelling experience and open mind is too incompetent to judge.

Jetstar begins new flights to Adelaide
1 February 2005
Australian Associated Press Financial News Wire

JETSTAR SYDNEY - Qantas Airways Ltd's low cost carrier Jetstar today began flying to Adelaide.

The airline will initially operate 42 flights a week to and from the South Australian capital from the Gold Coast, Hobart and Melbourne Avalon airports using 125 seat Boeing 717s aircraft.

The airline also said it planned to begin flying from Adelaide to Cairns from June 2, using 177 seat Airbus A320 planes.

It will be the first time an airline has operated a direct Adelaide-Cairns service.

Jetstar chief executive Alan Joyce said the route will allow the Qantas Group to offer access to South Australia to an increasing number of international tourists now arriving in Australia via Cairns.

Qantas currently operates six return international services to Cairns per week, while Australian Airlines operates 18 weekly return services.

"The launch of a new four times weekly direct Adelaide-Cairns service ... keeps Jetstar at the forefront in continuing to pioneer new point to point domestic flights," Mr Joyce said.

Qantas shares were steady on $3.56 at 1120 AEDT.
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Old February 1st, 2005, 08:19 PM   #83
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Let's see what more is happening outside my backyard :

Qantas CEO says Virgin Blue is a good operation
1 February 2005
Australian Associated Press Financial News Wire

QANTAS SYDNEY - Qantas Airways Ltd chief executive Geoff Dixon believes low cost carrier and domestic market rival Virgin Blue is a "good operation".

In an interview published in this week's The Bulletin magazine, Mr Dixon agreed that Virgin Blue was a solid business.

"I don't want to be giving a plug to my competitors but they've a pretty good operation," he said.

"They've had their ups and downs, but they're a solid business."

Virgin Blue is currently the target of a takeover offer by its 45 per cent owner Patrick Corp Ltd.

The offer is in doubt until the Australian Investments and Securities Commission resolves whether Patrick can be exempted from a section of the corporations law.

The section stipulates that a bid be made at a price no less than the highest price paid in the four months before the offer is posted to shareholders.
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Old February 3rd, 2005, 06:02 PM   #84
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Thursday February 3, 4:06 PM
Virgin Blue suitor says Australia air price war cannot continue

SYDNEY (AFP) - Virgin Blue suitor Chris Corrigan said he wanted an end to aggressive fare price discounting in Australia, signalling a move away from the strategy British tycoon Richard Branson used to build up the discount airline.

Patrick Corp boss Corrigan also accused Virgin Blue of failing to respond adequately to the launch of a rival discount airline by Qantas even though he was chairman of the airline until last week when his offer was launched.

Corrigan, whose 1.99 billion dollar (1.54 billion US) or 1.90 a share offer was rejected as too low by Branson, said the airline needed to adapt to Australia's changing domestic aviation market.

He said the airline had been wrongfooted by Qantas's launch of no-frills rival Jetstar last year.

"We need to adapt this model to the Australian environment," he told reporters at Patrick's annual general meeting. "We underestimated the impact of Qantas."

Corrigan said the price war with Qantas was unsustainable, singling out super cheap fares offered by Virgin Blue for as little as one dollar

"They can't keep going down at the catastrophic rate that they have been," he said. "(Virgin Blue) recently quoted fares at one dollar -- I don't think anybody here would expect that we make a lot of money out of a dollar."

Corrigan's Patrick bought into Virgin Blue on Branson's invitation in 2002. He is a conservative, suit-wearing businessman, whose style often appeared at odds with Branson's flamboyant style.

Corrigan told shareholders that Patrick, which already holds 45 percent of Virgin Blue, wanted to take greater control of the airline.

"We do have some ideas about key strategic decisions," he said.

He denied trying to force out Branson, who founded the airline just over three years ago.

"We are satisfied with a controlling stake ... I welcome him to stay on as a shareholder," he said.

Corrigan also criticised the airline for expanding capacity too quickly in the face of limited demand and said Virgin Blue's profit in the six months to September and a profit warning issued last month were both disappointing.

"Profitability hasn't been as good as hoped," Corrigan said. "Since Jetstar, the operating environment has been much more competitive."

Virgin Blue shares closed steady at 2.12 dollars in a firmer overall market.
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Old February 4th, 2005, 04:37 PM   #85
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The Australian
February 3, 2005
Qantas management shuffle
SOURCE: MATP
Steve Creedy, Aviation writer

QANTAS chief executive Geoff Dixon has boosted the responsibilities of his potential successors as part of a management restructuring aimed at fine-tuning the airline's operations.

Chief financial officer Peter Gregg and Qantas Airlines executive general manager John Borghetti will take responsibility for fleet and network issues, tasks previously handled by alliances general manager Paul Edwards.

"I have decided to make changes to the Qantas management structure to better enable the company to meet the ever-changing needs of the aviation industry and, in particular, the competitive pressures," Mr Dixon said in a memo sent to staff last month.

The two executives have long been seen as potential successors to Mr Dixon, with Mr Gregg -- a board member -- considered the stronger bet.

Mr Dixon's contract was extended last year to mid-2007.

Mr Gregg takes responsibility for fleet and long-term network development while Mr Borghetti assumes network management, including scheduling.

Mr Borghetti will also continue to chair a group that co-ordinates Qantas, Qantaslink, Jetstar and Australian Airlines.

Mr Edwards maintains responsibility for long-term alliance relationships and takes on a new role overseeing Qantas investments in other airlines such as Jetstar Asia and Air Pacific.

Mr Dixon's memo reiterated earlier comments about the need to introduce further efficiencies and tighten integration across the group.

He cited this as a reason for requiring Fiona Balfour -- the executive general manager of business services and the chief information officer -- to report to Mr Gregg instead of directly to Mr Dixon.
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Old February 8th, 2005, 03:20 PM   #86
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UPDATE 1-Australian regulator confirms Qantas/BA alliance

SYDNEY/LONDON, Feb 8 (Reuters) - Australia's antitrust regulator said it would allow an alliance between Qantas Airways Ltd. and British Airways Plc on the 'Kangaroo Route' between Sydney and London to continue for another five years.

Between them, Qantas and BA carry 40 percent of passengers flying between Australia and Europe and 30 percent of passengers travelling from Australia to Southeast Asia.

The alliance between the two airlines has been in place since 1995 and is set to continue despite BA selling its 18.25 percent stake in Qantas last September.

Richard Branson's Virgin Atlantic and its discount sister airline Virgin Blue Ltd. had sent submissions to the regulator claiming the way Qantas and BA cooperated on the routes was anti-competitive.

A Virgin spokeswoman said the group had not yet decided whether to appeal the decision.

"Virgin Atlantic is very disappointed with this decision and we cannot understand why the ACCC would have reached this decision," the spokeswoman said.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) ruling confirms its draft decision last August that the Joint Services Agreement (JSA), under which Qantas and BA coordinate their operations, could continue.

"It is clear from submissions made to the ACCC that there has been strong price competition on the Kangaroo Route, particularly for leisure travellers, over recent years, and the ACCC is satisfied that this price competition will continue," it said.

The ACCC said that while the alliance did lessen competition for business travellers on Australia/UK routes, this was outweighed by cost savings, the availability of discount seats and schedule connections.

BA welcomed the decision which it said followed a 21-month investigation.

"The JSA on the kangaroo routes has been in place for 10 years and we have always said it is pro-consumer and pro-choice," Roger Maynard, BA's director of investments and alliances, said in a statement.

Qantas shares closed up 1.1 percent at A$3.73 in a weaker overall market on Tuesday, while British Airways had added 1.6 percent to 275 pence at 1140 GMT.
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Old February 9th, 2005, 05:20 PM   #87
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No. of Plane Crash Deaths in Australia Declines in 2004: Report

CANBERRA, Feb 9 Asia Pulse - There were 13 fewer deaths in aircraft crashes in Australia last year than in 2003, a new report shows.

In 2004, 21 people died in aircraft crashes, while 34 people were killed the year before, the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) said.

There were 133 crashes in 2004, one less than in 2003.

Victoria recorded the most deaths of any state, with 11.

It was also the scene of one of the worst crashes last year, when a Piper Cheyenne aircraft flying from Sydney to Benalla, 200km north-east of Melbourne, crashed in rugged terrain.

All six people aboard were killed.
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Old February 10th, 2005, 05:21 AM   #88
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Melbourne Airport Set for Major Expansion

MELBOURNE, Feb 10 Asia Pulse - Melbourne Airport plans to expand its international terminal to cater for growing passenger numbers.

It is the second major project announced by the airport in the past month, after it unveiled plans to widen its north-south runway for the new double-decker Airbus A380.

The terminal expansion project is part of a $A220 million ($US169.4 million) development program to accommodate an increase in international passengers and the new Airbus.

L U Simon has won the contract for the work, which will add 5,000 square metres of floor space to the terminal.

Airport acting chief executive Kirby Clark said Melbourne's international passenger traffic had grown 7.2 per cent, twice the Australian average, over the past seven years.

Construction is expected to start at the end of February and completed within a year, in time for the Commonwealth Games in March 2006.
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Old February 10th, 2005, 09:06 AM   #89
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Associated Press
Singapore Airlines Accused of Interference
02.09.2005, 05:57 PM


Singapore Airlines Ltd.'s invitation to Australian lawmakers to fly as its guests to its city-nation base provoked accusations of undue political interference Thursday.

The debate is over whether the airline should be allowed to compete on the U.S.-Australian route or not.

Singapore's Transport Minister Yeo Cheow Tong will meet his Australian counterpart John Anderson in the Australian capital Canberra next week to seek rights for his country's national carrier to fly onward to the United States from Australia.

The visit comes as 10 members of a parliamentary transport committee consider an invitation to fly to Singapore at the airline's expense to examine its operations.

Opposition Labor Party transport spokesman Martin Ferguson urged the lawmakers to refuse the invitation.

"I'm astounded that in the year in which Singapore Airlines is lobbying the Australian government hard to open up the trans-Pacific route to their advantage that they are trying to, in essence, unduly influence politicians by offering all-expenses-paid trips to Singapore," Ferguson told Australian Broadcasting Corp. radio Thursday.

Ferguson said Singapore Airlines was entitled to have its bid to compete on the trans-Pacific route considered on its merits.

"I simply say that their offer at this point of the policy consideration of the issue is unnecessary and, frankly, just plain wrong," Ferguson said.

Committee chairman Paul Neville said committee members wanted to accept the invitation but were awaiting approvals from their government.

"If we were to receive those approvals, we would carry out our activities in a very open and transparent way," Neville told ABC. "Singapore Airlines have made these opportunities available in the past and people haven't been heavied on those delegations."

"We wouldn't do anything that was not in Australia's interest," he added.

Neville described Singapore as the world's best transport hub and the trip promised a unique opportunity to study transport infrastructure and talk to Singapore lawmakers.

Australian government protocol dictates that the government pay for the lawmakers' airfare and accommodation if they are on official committee business.

However if the trip was not approved, they could travel at Singapore's expense in an unofficial capacity.
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Old February 11th, 2005, 12:30 AM   #90
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Qantas plans Airbus base - Maintenance won't go offshore
Steve Creedy
11 February 2005
The Australian

QANTAS is to establish a maintenance base for its new Airbus A320 aircraft in Australia, quelling fears that the work might go offshore.

The group's low-cost unit, Jetstar, is expected to announce today that the maintenance work will go to Newcastle. The NSW regional centre was among a number of options being canvassed by Qantas that included sending the work to New Zealand or awarding it to the former Ansett maintenance facility in Melbourne.

Asia was also touted as an offshore possibility, but New Zealand was considered more likely because of its proximity and the fact Air New Zealand already operates an A320 heavy maintenance base.

The decision to keep the work in Australia comes despite recent warnings by Qantas chief executive Geoff Dixon that Qantas could no longer afford to be an "all-Australian business".

Mr Dixon told The Australian last month the airline had no choice but to source more of its people, services and products overseas.

Jetstar already has a maintenance facility in Newcastle servicing the 14 Boeing 717s inherited when Qantas swallowed Impulse Airlines.

But Jetstar is progressively replacing the 717s with the bigger, 177-seat A320s and plans to operate an all-Airbus fleet of 23 A320s by the middle of next year. The A320 program is believed to be bedding down well with two more aircraft due to arrive from Jetstar Asia next month.

It was not clear yesterday how many additional maintenance jobs the bigger A320 fleet would ultimately bring to Newcastle, but sources estimated it would be in the order of 50 to 60 above current staffing levels.

They said the figure could be slightly more if Jetstar won a contract to maintain eight Boeing 717s due to be transferred to Qantas regional subsidiary Qantaslink for deployment in Western Australia, the Northern Territory and Queensland. Jetstar has been vying with Adelaide-based National Jet Systems for a contract to maintain and operate the Qantaslink 717s. A decision on the competition could be announced as early as today.

Some expect a split decision, with NJS retaining the flying and Jetstar keeping the maintenance.

Qantaslink proposes to replace eight 65-76 seat BAe-146 aircraft now flown by NJS with 717s reconfigured to 115 seats and a 32-inch seat pitch.

It will deploy the bigger planes to Western Australia, the Northern Territory and Queensland.

Routes include Perth to Broome, Kalgoorlie and the Pilbara, and Alice Springs to Uluru, Broome, Cairns, Darwin and Perth.

Qantaslink says the changes and a $200-million plan to buy seven Bombardier Q400 aircraft will lead to more discount fares for regional communities.

The faster, 72-seat Q400s will replace 50-seat Dash 8-Q300s on some routes. The displaced aircraft will in turn replace 36-seat Dash 8-100s and 200s on other routes.
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Old February 11th, 2005, 11:28 AM   #91
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Posted: 11 February 2005 1436 hrs

Singapore Airlines rejects Australian Labour Party allegations

SINGAPORE : Singapore Airlines (SIA) strongly rejected allegations by Australia's opposition Labour Party it had offered free flights to Australian lawmakers as part of lobbying efforts to gain access to lucrative Australia-US routes.

SIA spokesman Stephen Forshaw said the carrier had invited members of the Australian Parliament's transport committee to visit Singapore but only to be briefed on the airline's operations and scale of its investments in Australia.

He said Singapore-Australia talks for an open-skies agreement agreement were being held at a government-to-government level which did not involve the transport committee members.

Australian Labor Party tourism spokesman Martin Ferguson yesterday criticised SIA for offering an all expenses paid four-day trip to Singapore to the 10 members of the House of Representatives' transport and regional affairs committee.

Speaking on national radio, Ferguson linked the offer to SIA's efforts to convince the Australian government to give it access to the lucrative Australia-US routes now dominated by Australian flag carrier Qantas.

The exchanges come ahead of a trip by Australian transport minister, Deputy Prime Minister John Anderson, to Singapore next week for talks with his counterpart on the issue.

"We reject absolutely any suggestion from Martin Ferguson that the visit is linked to the ongoing air services talks," SIA spokesman Forshaw said in a statement.

He noted that that air negotiations are being held between the Australian and Singaporean governments and that the parliamentary committee is neither involved in the discussions nor does it negotiate Australia's air rights.

"SIA is a major player in the Australian market. We fly over 4,300 flights a year into Australia and carry almost two million passengers a year into and out of Australia.

"We invest hundreds of millions of dollars a year in the Australian economy, train all our pilots in Australia and are the largest overseas airline flying to and from Australia by passenger numbers," Forshaw said.

"It is just a natural part of our place in the Australian market to ensure that politicians and the wider community understand our business, the size and scale of our operations in Australia and the issues we face."

He described Ferguson's remarks as "part of what has become a very bitter campaign being waged against SIA by those who seek to maintain protection of Qantas on the US route, which is unquestionably one of the most protected air routes in the world."

SIA remains "resolutely focused" on providing travellers on Australia-US routes a wider choice, he said.

Last month, SIA chief executive Chew Choon Seng said the Australia-US routes are a market "crying out for additional supply of capacity and (more) competition."

Singapore Transport Minister Yeo Cheow Tong said earlier this week the city-state is aiming for a full open-skies agreement with Australia within two years. - AFP
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Old February 11th, 2005, 11:31 AM   #92
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Feb 11, 2005
Hopeful signs for S'pore-Australian aviation talks
Real chance of deal giving SIA greater access to Australian market

By Roger Maynard
Australia Correspondent

TALKS aimed at persuading the Australian government to authorise an open-skies agreement allowing Singapore Airlines (SIA) to fly its planes on the lucrative North American route in direct competition to Qantas will get under way here on Monday.

Singapore's Transport Minister Yeo Cheow Tong will meet Australia's Transport Minister John Anderson in the hope of making headway in the campaign to win greater access for SIA in the Australian aviation market.

While both sides are some way from agreement, sources believe that there is now a very real chance of reaching a deal later this year.

That could mean a phased introduction of services, possibly involving Brisbane or Melbourne in the early stages, rather than Sydney.

'It certainly won't happen overnight,' an SIA spokesman in Sydney said.

The main stumbling block to an agreement is Qantas, which argues that an open-skies policy would be to its distinct disadvantage.

Chief executive Geoff Dixon has made his position clear, pointing out that such a deal would not deliver reciprocal opportunities for Australian carriers due to restrictions in Australia's bilateral agreements with third countries.

For instance, Qantas does not have the rights to match SIA on routes to North America via Taipei, Tokyo, Hong Kong or Seoul. It would like greater access to some European cities as well. Canberra has to resolve these issues if it gives the go-ahead to Singapore's demands. The Australia-United States route Qantas' most profitable route.

Further competition across the Pacific, which provides about 15 per cent of the airline's profits, would clearly have an impact on its earnings.

Equally, Singapore is so keen to secure an agreement that Mr Yeo has offered Qantas 'whatever they want' in return.

Canberra first rejected the idea of an open-skies policy in 2003 on the grounds that the aviation industry was still suffering from the financial impact of the Sept 11 attacks on the US and the Sars epidemic.

It postponed further talks on the matter until the aviation market had recovered.

SIA chief executive Chew Choon Seng believes that point has now been reached. Last month he said in an Australian newspaper interview that 'the time has come'.

'The (record) results from Qantas have been promising. Demand for travel on the (North American) route is as stable as it can get. By all measures stability has returned.'

Qantas has not been slow to recognise the improvement in the market either, announcing the launch of Jetstar Asia, which has been backed by the Singapore Government.

Aviation industry observers believe the Australian government will find it extremely difficult to resist Singapore's call for an open-skies policy for much longer.

Given that Qantas is keen to get a slice of the action in Asia through Jetstar, it can hardly complain about Singapore wanting a foothold in the Australian market, an industry source said.
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"My Settlement of Singapore continues to thrive most wonderfully - it is all and everything I could wish and, if no untimely fate awaits it, promises to become the Emporium and the pride of the East" - Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles, 10th September 1820
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Old February 11th, 2005, 06:07 PM   #93
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February 10, 2005
Virgin slams ACCC
The Australian
SOURCE: MATP
Steve Creedy

VIRGIN Atlantic has launched a stinging attack on the competition watchdog for allowing Qantas and British Airways to continue a price-fixing agreement, saying the deal would be deemed illegal in other jurisdictions.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission on Tuesday approved the BA-Qantas joint services agreement (JSA) for a further five years after ruling it delivered an overall benefit for consumers. The deal allows the airlines to co-ordinate scheduling, marketing, sales, freight and customer service on the kangaroo route to Europe.

But Virgin Atlantic head of Asia-Pacific Mackenzie Grant yesterday labelled the agreement anti-competitive and said he could not believe the ACCC had renewed it without at least imposing conditions and limits.

He said the reasons for originally forming the alliance a decade ago no longer existed and the deal was pushing up prices in the business travel market.

"What they're actually doing is giving Qantas and British Airways immunity from prosecution for doing something that would be illegal in other aviation markets," he said.

"Certainly in Europe and the US, this would not be allowed -- two carriers who have a dominant position being able to fix prices. It doesn't make any sense."

Virgin Atlantic began flying to Australia via Hong Kong in December and objected to the JSA because it thought the deal gave Qantas-BA an unfair advantage.

Mr Grant said he believed Virgin Atlantic had been the only airline to object to the agreement because it and Austrian Airlines were the only carriers still flying to Australia from Europe.

"All the other European carriers have long since stopped serving Australia and I believe the reason for that is partly due to the joint services agreement," he said.

Despite the unwelcome news, the Virgin executive said the airline's new Sydney route was going "quite well".

Virgin is flying two-class A340-600s on the route and has been pitching its generous sleeper beds, limousine service and in-flight bar to business customers.

"We're slightly ahead of where we'd thought we'd be at this point," he said.

"Two months into a new route is not a long way and usually we like to give the route six months to settle down before we comment, but certainly I can say it's going in the right direction.

"We've had a lot of support from the travel agent community in general in Australia and we also had some good consumer support. We're pretty pleased with the outcome."
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Old February 13th, 2005, 11:06 AM   #94
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Lion Air expands Feb 8
Lion Air started flights between Jakarta and Seoul via Denpasar and Manila on Sunday and between Jakarta and Phusan - also via Denpasar and Manila. Flights are to operate 5x a week. The airline is also planning to inaugurate service from Jakarta to Perth in June
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Old February 14th, 2005, 11:13 AM   #95
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Just curious, I wonder how SIA would react if QF inaugurated SYD-SIN-JFK service if they ever got their hands on a few A350's?
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Old February 14th, 2005, 04:31 PM   #96
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elfreako
Just curious, I wonder how SIA would react if QF inaugurated SYD-SIN-JFK service if they ever got their hands on a few A350's?
Just scream louder...if anyone hears them? Sometimes, even the CAAS dosent care!
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Old February 14th, 2005, 06:43 PM   #97
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With many staff not calling Australia home, morale at Qantas isn't soaring
Robert Wainwright
15 February 2005
The Sydney Morning Herald

The Flying Kangaroo may be one of our most famous marketing images, but it appears Qantas staff are not as warm and fuzzy about the airline as the public.

A six-month survey of more than 8000 staff has thrown up mixed results about their "engagement" with the company and its future. Though senior managers will not confirm the figures, staff briefed in a series of forums in Singapore last month say they have been told the results, which - in some areas - are among the lowest recorded by the international human resources company, Hewitt Associates.

While about three quarters of the staff employed by companies such as Hewlett Packard, Virgin Blue and Australian Airlines were engaged in their work, Qantas domestic or short-haul staff rated just 53 per cent, and international or long haul 22 per cent.

It comes as the company pursues controversial plans to move as many as 7000 jobs offshore while preparing, next week, to announce a record interim profit result on the back of improved international operations and cost-cutting.

Kevin Brown, Qantas's executive general manager of people, would not discuss specific results except to say the company had been rated as "stable" overall and that there was a range of results.

"This is the first time we have done this type of survey, which is quite appropriate considering the changes the company has been going through," he said.

"It was not a satisfaction survey. We have asked a sample group of staff about how they feel about the changes and if they are willing to play a role. I suppose, like any other company, you are going to find a range of opinions among a staff of 38,000."

"The overall result was that Qantas sits in a stable zone. That's to be fully expected."

But one Qantas employee said the message to staff at overseas forums in January had been much starker. "We were told the 22 per cent rating was among the lowest of any survey done by Hewitts ... The bottom line was that people went to work and did their best [but] many didn't care about the company because they felt the company didn't care about them.

"The managers said they were devising a five-year plan to turn around staff attitudes. They wanted ideas."

Mr Brown rejected the criticism: "It was no surprise that there is a range of views out there, but it is not true that this means there are large numbers of people who hate each other and the company.

"It means that on balance, and compared to other companies, our staff are prepared to participate ... We are actually going out and asking staff what they think it means. I think customers would be pleased that we are talking to our staff."
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Old February 15th, 2005, 03:08 AM   #98
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I didn't even know Virgin Atlantic flew to Australia.
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Old February 15th, 2005, 03:49 AM   #99
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Virgin Atlantic just recently started flying to Australia via Hong Kong. This route became possible after Hong Kong struck bilateral air services agreements with Britain and Australia.
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Old February 15th, 2005, 09:27 PM   #100
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$300m to expand Canberra airport - Approval expected today
By John Thistleton
16 February 2005
Canberra Times

Federal Government approval today of the Canberra Airport's master plan will open the way for a $300million five-year expansion, including a new terminal and runway extensions, and direct flights to New Zealand, Asia and the Middle East. Deputy Prime Minister and Transport Minister John Anderson is expected to decide today on the 20-year master plan after a 90-day public-consultation period. Approval will mean confirmation of a 24-hour, curfew-free status for a freight hub, direct flights to Wellington and Auckland this year, to Singapore in three to five years, and bypassing Sydney airport with flights to the United States via New Zealand. The major components of the expansion, the runway extension and new terminal, capable of handling twice as many passengers and accommodating five million passengers by 2024, are expected to cost $150million. Four carriers have been talking to Canberra Airport about its plans to make Canberra a globally linked national capital.

An Air New Zealand spokeswoman said last night that if the opportunity arose the carrier would naturally consider flying out of Canberra direct, but had not made a commitment at this stage. Canberra Airport's managing director, Stephen Byron, said Air Pacific, Qantas, Air New Zealand and Jet Connect (New Zealand), had been approached about direct flights from Canberra. He expected either Qantas or Singapore Airlines to offer direct flights to Singapore within three to five years, making the trip to Europe more efficient. Flying to Auckland would give passengers the opportunity to continue on to the US west coast. ''It is much more efficient than going through Sydney, we haven't achieved that yet,'' he said. ''Canberra Airport is covered by the Federal Government's open-skies policy for major secondary international ports, and we would welcome the opportunity for Singapore Airlines to fly from here now, or any other airline. It's a question of us building the infrastructure to get the capability and doing the deals with the airlines so we can connect the cities.'' Domestic passenger numbers had grown by 20 per cent over the past 12 months and direct international flights to the Pacific, New Zealand and Asia would attract about 250,000 passengers within the life of the master plan. Direct services to Asian and

Middle East hubs - Singapore, Bangkok and Dubai - would follow within five to 10 years. The master plan includes developing Fairbairn and a proposal to have Air Services Australia's national fire-fighting training moved to Fairbairn from Brisbane. This would create 150 jobs in the short term and 250 over the next five years. Approving the master plan would allow the airport to transform into Australia's most modern and efficient transport hub. International flights would mean more engineering support services and prestige for Canberra, and a freight hub would provide a huge economic boost to the region, from the logistics of freight on and off airlines to distribution and road infrastructure.Keeping rural corridors north and south of the main runway free of residential development would mean that increased flights would not impinge on 99.5 per cent of the Canberra and Queanbeyan communities.

Mr Byron said the airport would work with the ACT, NSW and Federal Governments to have the question of whether a residential development at Tralee should go ahead resolved by June. ''This issue must be put to bed. I think the community is sick of it,'' he said. ''I think the community knows what they want. They don't want to be living under flight paths. I think the planners are acknowledging we can grow to 800,000 across Canberra and Queanbeyan and we can both grow in harmony and not have one new house under a flight path.'' Deputy Chief Minister and Minister for Business, Economic Development and Tourism Ted Quinlan said Canberra and Queanbeyan were fortunate to have a high-noise corridor which did not impinge on existing residential areas and that should not change. Building houses under or near flight paths defied logic. The Government had already expressed concern regarding uncontrolled commercial development at the airport and said it had to be planned in the context of the whole city. Village Building Company chief executive Bob Winnell, whose company is planning the Tralee development, said last night he would wait to hear Mr Anderson's views before making any comment on the master plan. Queanbeyan City Mayor Frank Pangallo said the council did not believe the plan would affect its future developments but said of 24-hour airport operations that ''[flight noise] in the middle of the night would be devastating''. The council was waiting on a commission of inquiry into the Tralee development before making a decision on the proposal. This was expected in the middle of the year. The council had to abide by Australia-wide standards for its developments. ''We've always said, and will continue to say, we will abide by those restraints,'' he said.
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