tip off

April, 2010


Virgins and Kiwis

Today’s terse ASX announcements that Virgin Blue and Air NZ have been in discussions for several months over a potential trans Tasman alliance suggests both want one very badly, but can’t agree as to exactly what it will involve, yet aren’t prepared to let go of the notion. An alliance would be very potent, given [...]

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Australia’s oldest Cessna flies on

The first Cessna to fly in Australia, and now one of the rarest light aircraft in the world, a Cessna C34 Airmaster, is to be flown-very carefully and on special occasions- from its new home on the Sunshine Coast. The aircraft has been bought by Steve Padgett, the managing director of Aeromil Pacific, Australia’s Cessna [...]

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Qantas goes mobile for check-in country wide

Qantas has hit the front in the race to deploy 2D barcode check-in services for web enabled smart phones, announcing that the service is now available just about everywhere except T2 at Sydney Airport where some of its full service customers can enjoy the Jetstar experience. Its country wide embrace of the process follows Virgin [...]

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How to stuff an A380-by Lufthansa

The Lufthansa A380, due for delivery to the carrier on May 19, seems to reflect the race for the bottom among European carriers. The lower deck of their A380 is all economy seating, like the Emirates A380 plan, but with 420 seats instead of 399. Qantas, which shares that deck with first class, fits in [...]

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Greens risk their own votes in call for a Very Fast Train

In political terms, Senator Bob Brown’s call for a new study on a VFT or very fast train between Melbourne-Canberra-Sydney risks provoking some fierce green negativity. However it probably says something about the chances for that issue getting an airing that since Friday when he launched the proposal it has vanished into media invisibility, thanks [...]

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More words and images about Russian aviation

In almost 600 posts on Plane Talking nothing has generated as much discussion in individual articles as Russian aviation, whether the stories of its airliners, or the Sukhoi PAK FA or T-50 rival (and it seems likely, terminator) of the JSF, closely followed by debate over numerous items solely about the Joint Strike Fighter debacle. [...]

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In defence of plane spotters, a.k.a. ‘anoraks’

Among the dumber mindsets in matters concerning security at airports there has been a crack down on photography in general and plane spotters in particular. The situation is not as bad in Australia as in Little Britain, India, the EU, and the US, but there have been anecdotal reports on sites dedicated to aircraft spotting [...]

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Snapshots of a very cold Boeing 787

Some postcards have arrived from inside the big ‘fridge’ or the McKinley Climatic Laboratory at the Eglin Air Force Base in Florida of ZA003, the third numbered of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner test and certification fleet doing a cold soak test. These freeze frames are from a video that should be posted on www.newairplane.com shortly, [...]

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The iJet age begins

There will be four very different forms of ‘smart’ check-in procedures in domestic air travel by the end of this year. The first of them, the Virgin Blue ‘Check-Mate’ system, was launched today, initially on flights between Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane. It will be followed by a second trial and introduction of a Jetstar procedure [...]

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Post-volcanic random acts of kindness break out

Sydney Airport is refunding the additional parking charges incurred by passengers and air crew who have been delayed overseas by the European volcanic ash crisis and also refunding or allowing free rescheduling of the pre-paid long term car parking bookings made by those who were unable to fly out when they intended. The airport says [...]

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Now that the volcanic ash is clearing…we see rip offs

Now that the volcanic dust is clearing over London you can see…rip off airfares! But not if you read The Age or Sydney Morning Herald. Both papers have killed the link to their exposé yesterday of airlines posting rip-off economy class fares to London as high as $11,429, which is exactly $100 less than this [...]

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Flights resume, and the fighting breaks out

Qantas has followed the other major kangaroo route carriers this afternoon and announced a resumption of services from London to Australia later today and the start of flights to London and Frankfurt from tomorrow. It is still vital for passengers booked on any airline to check with the carrier’s web site before leaving for the [...]

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Airbus takes on the Euro dust crisis and wins

The results from the flights of an Airbus A380 and A340-600 through the volcanic ash clouds over Europe early today Australian time have found no adverse effects on either jet or any of their engines. These long duration test flights were followed by strip down examinations of engine parts known to be particularly vulnerable to [...]

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What Avalon Airport is telling Sydney

Tiger’s confirmation of a deal with Avalon Airport sends a very sharp message to Sydney, which is ‘build a second airport at Badgery’s Creek.’ No, of course Sydney won’t listen. Nor will the Rudd Government nor the Abbott opposition, nor either side of NSW politics. Sydney is going to continue is slide into infrastructure grid [...]

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The ash cloud costs soar for passengers and airlines

Emirates has put a cost of $10 million a day on the volcanic ash crisis, Singapore Airlines says it is too busy looking after passengers to start counting, and Qantas agrees. This is the Emirates assessment: A Qantas spokesperson says that it is providing whatever assistance it can to passengers, and has been able to [...]

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Word from the trenches in the low cost airline fare war

While discussing matters volcanic with a Hong Kong analyst he mentioned that Jetstar Asia had filed late last week its financials for the 15 months to June 30, 2009. The salient figures for the period, which brings the Singapore based Jetstar franchise into alignment with the financial year of Qantas, which bankrolls it, was a [...]

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More signs for the desperate and flightless

Until last Thursday, when the ash cloud swept over the UK and parts of Europe, the mark of a successful airline was high load factors in the aftermath of the global financial crisis. But those load factors mean that those who were caught between Australia and Europe last week have limited opportunities to get seats [...]

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The ash crisis and the stranded and restless

The volcanic ash crisis is now well into its next stage, which is how to cope with the stranded and restless. Qantas and other carriers are telling those trying to fly to intermediate airports on tickets with an ultimate destination in Europe that they cannot fly, even though many services to Singapore, Bangkok, Hong Kong, [...]

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