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Old February 1st, 2008, 02:18 AM   #121
Qantas743
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AirAsiaX to expand its Australian reach

http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au...-23349,00.html

AIRASIAX chief executive Azran Osman-Rani joined the great Australia Day weekend commute on Monday as he checked out the journey between Newcastle and Sydney.

The airline boss wanted to get a personal feel for whether Newcastle could work as a secondary airport for the northern Sydney area.

It is part of a push that Mr Osman-Rani says will see the Malaysia-based long-haul low-cost carrier significantly expand its Australian reach.

The airline, which has 25 Airbus A330-300 aircraft on order, is already flying to the Gold Coast and plans to add Melbourne in October.

The Gold Coast services are reportedly going well, with load factors for December and January averaging 80 per cent. The airline has talked to Melbourne Airport and the Lindsay Fox-owned Avalon Airport, near Geelong, about its next destination.

"Both have their pros and cons but either way we expect to get our first brand new plane around October this year and very likely we'll start our Melbourne service then," Mr Osman-Rani said.

The Victorian and Sydney additions are part of a five-year plan that will eventually see the airline fly to five Australian cities.

"Most likely we'll be looking at one city a year," the AirAsiaX chief said, noting that Victoria and NSW would probably be next. But the airline was staying away from Perth for now because of competition from Tiger Airways.

Mr Osman-Rani said he would like to start selling tickets for Victoria from March to capitalise on the increased brand awareness stemming from AirAsia's sponsorship of the Formula One Grand Prix.

"If I can firm up the deal with the airport, what I'd love to be able to do is actually almost commence ticket sales during that Formula One race even though our flight might be in October," he said. "There's a lot of Malaysian and Singaporeans down there and getting that awareness and the big lead time is going to help me fill up the planes.

"We didn't have that luxury with the Gold Coast because we were rushing to get our licence and permits but we've got that all now and it's just a matter of getting the airport deal."

He said the airline had already learned lessons from its Gold Coast service. Australians heading to Malaysia comprised 48 per cent of passengers, with the remainder coming this way from Malaysia and Southeast Asia.

"In the last 10 days of December, we sold out all of our Gold Coast to KL with all the Australians coming up," he said.

"And we couldn't get Malaysians to fly down to balance the flights because they couldn't get a ticket back up to KL until the third week of January because it was all full."

AirAsiaX is also watching Jetstar's short-haul international strategy with interest but does not see it as a competitor for its long-haul services.

"It is a big difference," he said. "You're talking about at least a two-hour difference with transit.

"If they were competing just against a full-service carrier, they could easily pull it off.

"But we come into the market and we keep throwing out our $199 one-way fares direct, that's going to be a challenge to them."

Mr Osman-Rani said the opening up of the Singapore-Kuala Lumpur route to AirAsia was already prompting Singaporeans to travel to Kuala Lumpur and then on to the Gold Coast.

On the Australian end, 11 per cent of the airline's customers were travelling to the Gold Coast from Melbourne and 6 per cent from Sydney.
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Old February 1st, 2008, 02:19 AM   #122
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Airservices planning revamp of airport control towers

http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au...-23349,00.html

AUSTRALIA'S peak air traffic authority is seeking technology suppliers as it prepares to modernise its ageing control tower infrastructure nationally.

Airservices Australia said it expected to release a tender later this week for new communications and technology equipment required as part of an upgrade that could involve 26 airports.

"We're looking at newer technologies to improve operations and safety in the tower," an Airservices Australia spokesman said.

Preliminary tender documents released by Airservices indicate that the modernisation program would be carried out in three phases.

The first would involve building new control towers at airports in Melbourne, Adelaide, Canberra and Rockhampton.

The second, the Tower Technology Project, would require installing new hardware and software in the new towers before being extended to remaining sites around Australia.

The third phase would involve assessing the potential for refurbishing and refitting towers at other sites operated by Airservices.

Suppliers will only be guaranteed contracts to provide equipment and technical service at the four new towers being built under the modernisation program.

The contractor will also be required to provide to train controllers and maintenance staff. The successful bidder may secure additional work to supply equipment at remaining sites once the third phase of the program is completed.

"The successful contractor is not guaranteed of this work, but it is Airservices Australia's desire to have a consistent technology system and support arrangements across all ATC towers," the authority says in preliminary documents about the project. The preliminary tender documents say some of the tower sites in the project's scope have not been refurbished since air traffic control services began operation in Australia.

They also say others "will become outdated in the near future and are reaching the end of their supportable life".

The Airservices spokesman said Australia's air traffic towers were operating safely but the authority wanted take advantages of new technology that could improve controllers' awareness of situations.

"The current design and structure of the towers works well, but we know we can work it better in the future by doing this," he said. The air traffic authority is also planning to replace its Aeronautical Information Management System, as part of a separate project.

The new system, codenamed Project Mercury, will include a new Aeronautical Data Management System database.

The tender for Project Mercury will close in July.
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Old February 1st, 2008, 08:59 AM   #123
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Why do people hate Tullamarine? Every time I used it I haven't found it too be terrible. Though I haven't flown out internationally yet (but plan too this June).

The terminals are not state of the art but seems quite fine to me, much different to what I heard from relatives in Melbourne who were embarrassed by the airport. I guess my question is what seems to be the biggest issue the airport faces interms of being in need of renovation?
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Old February 1st, 2008, 10:46 PM   #124
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An airport is your first impression of a city, so you want it to impress, and Tullamarine does not impress. It has that "60's" feel, but in a bad way.
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Old February 2nd, 2008, 12:21 AM   #125
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agreed, the airport is the few things that dosen't reflect the changes Melbourne had had over the past decade. Its great that the intl terminal is getting redone but seriously, virgin terminal needs an overhaul. Its pathetic.
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Old February 2nd, 2008, 12:34 AM   #126
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shumway View Post
An airport is your first impression of a city, so you want it to impress, and Tullamarine does not impress. It has that "60's" feel, but in a bad way.
I think that's a bit of a hyacinth bucket view of the world. The interiors are contemporary, access is straightforward, it's nice to exit, because (unlike many airports) it has quite nice trees and gardens and you can see the sun.

The downsides of Melbourne are the Customs and Immigration staff - who can be real pricks, particularly to foreigners, and the stupid baggage carousels - which are a terrible design. I've seen bags squashed and torn open because they have a closed top to them.

It's not the nicest or most impressive of buildings, but the airport experience is generally good. In any case, the first impressions are made over the first day or so, and any fantastic terminal will soon fade from memory if there are negative experiences in the city itself.
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Old February 2nd, 2008, 08:50 AM   #127
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Tullamarine International is World class --- granted you are a departing passenger. It actually has the feeling of being quite an impressive airport once past customs -- however arriving into the international terminal is BELOW departures -- so the spaciousness and openess from the sweeping views are not there -- there is simply the feeling of being "processed" by Australian Customs (which can be quite a daunting experience due to quarantine).
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Old February 2nd, 2008, 11:46 AM   #128
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Airports should be funcional first not jawdropping beautifull I would rather get through quickly and efficently rather that standind around a overblown palace.
Melbourne Airport does its job of shifting passengers as good as any decent sized international airport I used.
At least its 24/7 with unlimited space to expand unlike some other airports around the country.
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Old February 2nd, 2008, 11:53 AM   #129
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Airports should be funcional first not jawdropping beautifull I would rather get through quickly and efficently rather that standind around a overblown palace.
Dubai, Singapore, JFK, Hong Kong...They are all jaw droppingly beautiful and functional.
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Old February 2nd, 2008, 12:22 PM   #130
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I had a shitful time at Dubai airport...
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Old February 2nd, 2008, 12:33 PM   #131
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I had a shitful time at Dubai airport...
What happened?
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Old February 2nd, 2008, 12:48 PM   #132
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There were very long queues for transiting passengers, although second time through was smoother. Basically the terminal felt too small for the number of people in it and was all-round boring. There were few shops of any note, apart from the huge duty free outlets, I didn't think there were many food outlets, people were allowed to smoke inside, they drive those little indoor car things back and forth the whole time, there weren't enough seats, people were sleeping in sleeping-bags on the floor. I didn't even think the decor was particularly appealing. I also think it could have done with more natural light.

Personally I prefer teminals with the various concourses instead of one huge long one with everything inside of that.
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Old February 3rd, 2008, 12:38 AM   #133
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Edward View Post
Dubai, Singapore, JFK, Hong Kong...They are all jaw droppingly beautiful and functional.
JFK?
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Old February 4th, 2008, 12:54 AM   #134
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I think that's a bit of a hyacinth bucket view of the world. The interiors are contemporary, access is straightforward, it's nice to exit, because (unlike many airports) it has quite nice trees and gardens and you can see the sun.

The downsides of Melbourne are the Customs and Immigration staff - who can be real pricks, particularly to foreigners, and the stupid baggage carousels - which are a terrible design. I've seen bags squashed and torn open because they have a closed top to them.

It's not the nicest or most impressive of buildings, but the airport experience is generally good. In any case, the first impressions are made over the first day or so, and any fantastic terminal will soon fade from memory if there are negative experiences in the city itself.
Hyacinth Bucket view of the world? Interiors are functional yes, access is straight forward yes with both terminals being connected, it's easy to leave the airport upon exit yes. No protest there. However it's time for a major update, (more than a fresh coat of paint, or some new carpet) although I'm well aware it'll probably never happen anytime soon.

It doesn't negate the fact that form and function are both very important when it comes to such an important building. An international airport is more than just a bus depot, and it's design, look and feel should reflect that.
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Old February 4th, 2008, 12:56 AM   #135
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Hyacinth Bucket view of the world? Interiors are functional yes, access is straight forward yes with both terminals being connected, it's easy to leave the airport upon exit yes. No protest there. However that doesn't change the fact that it's time for a major update, although I'm well aware it'll probably never happen anytime soon.

That doesn't negate the fact that form and function are both very important when it comes to such an important building. An international airport is more than just a bus depot, and it's design, look and feel should reflect that.
But it is getting a $300m update... The international terminal anyway....
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Old February 4th, 2008, 01:42 AM   #136
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Oh I'm aware of that http://www.news.com.au/heraldsun/sto...8-2862,00.html

Most of my gripe comes with the exterior, and the low roofs everywhere, the feeling of being in a mall not an airport (I know I'm exaggerating a bit but it aint no special experience). My expectations are probably too high for any significant changes to be made, but it's a shame that Melbourne airport will never be one of the great airports of the world.
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Old February 4th, 2008, 03:13 AM   #137
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Oh I'm aware of that http://www.news.com.au/heraldsun/sto...8-2862,00.html

Most of my gripe comes with the exterior, and the low roofs everywhere, the feeling of being in a mall not an airport (I know I'm exaggerating a bit but it aint no special experience). My expectations are probably too high for any significant changes to be made, but it's a shame that Melbourne airport will never be one of the great airports of the world.
It's interesting to consider what an airport should be. I agree that the exterior could do with an upgrade, and it is nice going inside some of the more open and airy airports (excuse the pun). But on the other hand, air travel is not what it used to be. The sectors which are growing fastest are at the low cost end. To that end, large investments in airport architecture may actually not provide a cost benefit to the airport, as keeping landing fees low, ensuring good functionality, and good capacity are more important to the traveller.

BAA in britain has been criticised for it's strategy of building expensive palatial airports such as Stansted and T5 at Heathrow..

Quote:
Originally Posted by www.telegraph.co.uk
Link to article “The situation has now reached crisis levels,” said Jim Calllaghan, the no frills carriers head of Regulatory Affairs.

“BAA have doubled passenger charges in Stansted airport and passenger numbers have fallen for the first time since Ryanair began operating to Stansted in 1991.

He added: “BAA also continues to waste money and ignore the needs of users by building inefficient, gold plated airport facilities at Stansted Airport, which will lead to another doubling of passenger charges and a further reduction in passenger numbers and routes from London."
So for Melbourne I think that the current expansion is of the standard best suited to expanding their business through both better air related and retail facilities. I personally think the design is awful, as it creates a series of Ikea-style paths through endless duty free. As for the lack of ceiling heights and big spaces, if it allows more and cheaper flights through cheaper landing fees, then it is successful in my book.
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Old February 4th, 2008, 07:56 AM   #138
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To all the above:

T2 is getting a make over and Qantas terminal in my opinion is the best in the country. It's really only the DJ and REX terminals that are in desperate need of a makeover. Not only is it ugly and out dated, but it's actually falling apart from what I've seen!
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Old February 5th, 2008, 12:05 AM   #139
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"Aah, for the days when aviation was a gentleman's pursuit -- back
before every Joe Sweatsock could wedge himself behind a lunch tray
and jet off to Raleigh-Durham."
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Old February 5th, 2008, 08:07 AM   #140
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Finnair will place its code on Cathay flights to MEL, SYD and PER from March.
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