tip off

February, 2009


Michael O’Leary p*sses on the media from a great height again

It says much about how daft the British media and the UK in general has become in these times when Michael O’Leary, the rude, crude and hugely successful chief executive of Ryanair, p*sses on them again from a great height. On Friday O’Leary made a supposedly off hand comment on the BBC about how in [...]

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V Australia, Brer Rabbit and the Briar Patch

Virgin Blue might be playing Brer Rabbit pleading not to be flung into the Briar Patch over the misfortunes of its V Australia subsidiary. The generally negative coverage given to V Australia’s ‘ruinously costly’ tilt at the Qantas dominated routes between Australia and the US doesn’t quit fit into the hole dug for it by [...]

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Air NZ versus the French investigation

Air New Zealand’s CEO, Rob Fyfe, is indignant that the French accident investigation bureau, the BEA, did not take the airline’s input into its preliminary findings concerning the crash of one of its A320s into the sea near Perpignan, on 27 November last year. But why should it have done so? The purpose of the [...]

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Virgin Blue is red, but far from dead

No doubt to the dismay of those behind rumours that Virgin Blue is variously poised between imminent closure, or bleeding cash at a rate not seen since Ansett went down, the airline today posted disappointing but far from terminal results for the 6 months to 31 December 2008. The headline numbers in the real announcement, [...]

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Why aren’t the big Australian airlines doing better?

Tomorrow’s late morning (23 February) half yearly financial results announcement and briefing by Virgin Blue should fill in some of the gaps in the public knowledge of how well, or poorly, the main Australian carriers are performing. Virgin Blue’s CEO Brett Godfrey is the person primarily responsible for an airline that has held more than [...]

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Qantas Moodys the waters as shares sink deeper

New Qantas CEO Alan Joyce knows how to moody the waters to perfection. Moody’s Investor Services reduced its credit rating today from Baa1 to Baa2, causing the share price to tank by 4.28 % to a record low closing price of $1.675. In its commentary, the investment and risk rating company said “Qantas’s credit profile [...]

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Desperate times: Dismissal proof air fares offered in America

New York based ‘hip’ low cost airline JetBlue has launched dismissal proof air fares in the epicentre of the global financial crisis. Under its Promise Program, most buyers of air fares will be eligible for a full refund if they are fired before they fly. Small businesses and large families can claim refunds on bookings [...]

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Qantas ‘invades’ NZ with Jetstar

Although long anticipated, this morning’s announcement that Jetstar will invade the tiny New Zealand domestic market means it is backs-to-the-wall time for Air New Zealand. To summarise bluntly, Qantas has wanted Air NZ either dead or stuffed or under its complete control for a long time. The ‘stuffed’ scenario is looking strong today. Air NZ [...]

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Singapore to cut capacity and lop pay from the top down

Singapore Airlines says it will cut capacity by 11% in its next financial year starting 1 April. It is talking to its unions about sacrifices, and says any pay cuts will start at the top. This could cause consternation at Qantas. Can anyone recall any senior management in a major Australian company talk about cutting [...]

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How Airbus nearly killed 155 people according to an idiot

There is a rather childish email going around about the alleged truth behind the Hudson River water parking incident, headed An opinion about the A320 from one unidentified pilot! I didn’t know Sully the A320 pilot who landed in the Hudson River . I’ve seen him in the crew room and around the system but [...]

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The Apocalypse Now tactic for saving bushfire lives

Just as the complex failures of a delayed national emergency warning system hit the headlines about Black Saturday a startlingly simple suggestion, the Apocalypse Now proposal, has been made by an aviation authority. Colin Weir, the managing director of the auditing service Flight Safety, says emergency services helicopters should be fitted with loudspeakers easily heard [...]

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Air traffic controllers endorse possible industrial action

Air traffic controllers have voted by 701 to 42 in favour of industrial action as may be directed by their union Civil Air over grievances concerning pay negotiations and levels of overtime. This is not a vote for an immediate strike. While it could lead to a strike controllers say overtime bans are a more [...]

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Bowser theft by airlines continues to fall

Jetstar has just removed the last of its fuel surcharges by eliminating the remaining international imposts and savings its customers up to $68 each way. The benchmark fuel price has been below $US 40 per barrel in recent days and has sagged to $35 this morning. This welcome move, which one would expect Qantas to [...]

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FAA bends rules for Airbus as well as Boeing

The Seattle Times reports that the FAA has bent the rules for making fuel tanks lightning proof to help the much delayed Boeing 787 Dreamliner achieve certification. As usual with anything about the Dreamliner, this will inevitably cause a frenzy of fandom angst among those with a mental age of about 10. However the changes [...]

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Fake Qantas engineers. Does CASA do anything useful?

The ‘discovery’ of another fake licensed engineer at Qantas and rumours of more to come begs the question as to whether CASA does anything useful. In the previous two years CASA has shown that it can detect serious failings in small regional carriers like the defunct third level carrier Transair, which killed 15 people in [...]

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Branson’s unguarded moment concerning United Airlines

Richard Branson’s comments prior to the delivery of V Australia’s first Boeing 777-300ER would find strong support among many, many travellers but must have caused a bit of pain at Virgin Blue. A report in the Sydney Morning Herald says:- Sir Richard, the largest shareholder in Australia’s second-largest airline Virgin Blue, took a broad swipe [...]

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Hansen sorry but sticks to jets and global warming comments

One of the clearest voices expressing concern over anthropogenic global warming, James Hansen, has revisited his controversial interview in The Observer in which he refused to support opposition to a third runway for London’s Heathrow airport and which was mentioned earlier in Plane Talking. In a note Hansen says:- I have relearned a basic lesson [...]

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More rude wake up calls for airline investors

This morning’s cancellation of another 16 Boeing 787 Dreamliners, this time by Dubai based leasing company LCAL, has almost nothing to do with that airliner’s problems and everything to do with something far more worrying for all airlines and their shareholders regardless of their size or the aircraft they use. The problem is finance. There [...]

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