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Articles by Ben Sandilands

Qantas to fly where Emirates fears to go, but for how long?

It isn’t clear for how long Emirates and Qantas will be saying different things about the missile risk over Iraq, but for the time being Qantas is going to fly where its business partner fears to go, right across territory contested by the ISIS insurgency.

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MH17 Admissions of safety failure by Malaysia Airlines?

Malaysia Airlines’ airline’s commercial director, Hugh Dunleavy, is reported to have made a series of comments about the MH17 shoot down which might cause dismay among industry observers.

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Satellites duck one comet, while another looks like a Duck

High over southern hemisphere winter skies this last week the stage was set for two astonishing encounters with comets.

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Turkish wrestle over future of 747-8 makes headlines again

Turkish Airlines might just rescue the slow selling 747-8 Intercontinental from a production shutdown of what is the last and largest passenger version of the iconic wide body airliner. 

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Crashes in Mali and Taiwan make it two bad days for air travel

Updated Wreckage located in Mali desert  The SwiftAir MD83 which has crashed on its way from  from Ouagadougou in Burkina Faso to Algiers with 110 passengers on board is one of two used for UN Humanitarian Air Services charters in some of Africa’s most troubled and disadvantaged regions.

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Are we in for five weeks of Qantas-woe-is-us reporting?

Commentary  The possibility that Qantas is as inept at PR strategy as it is in running its airline activities is underlined by more news reports and proprietary financial analysis anticipating massive losses when it reveals its year to 30 June financials, both underlying and statutory, on 28 August.

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Cone of silence drops over Tigerair Australia losses

In Singapore, the Tiger Airways Holdings company has flagged shifts away from some elements of the low cost airline model. However as far as Australia is concerned, it has also dropped a cone of silence over losses in Virgin’s 60 percent owned Tigerair franchise.

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Etihad to Jet (Airways) from Australia to India

Etihad as 24 percent owner of Jet Airways says the India flag carrier will make routes to Australia one of its focuses in a three year plan to bring the airline to profitability.

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Virgin Australia drops MEL-LAX, goes daily BNE-LAX

By coincidence or not, Virgin Australia will drop its 777-300ER Melbourne to Los Angeles flights from 25 October just four days before United launches non-stops on the route with 787-9 Dreamliners.

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MH370 Does this video hold the key to the mystery?

The silence from Boeing and safety regulators about a troubling security hole in Boeing 777s is of concern. It existed on the 777 that mysteriously disappeared while operating Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 with 239 people on board between Kuala Lumpur and Beijing on 8 March.

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Qantas doing the splits again, peculiar pre loss stories begin

The use of the media to soften up the public, the shareholders and the employees in advance of bad financial results is a well established PR technique. In the case of the Qantas full year results, due 28 August, the informed speculation season is open!

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Hawaiian rolls over, cancels A350-800 for A330-800neos

The last obstacle to Airbus shelving its -800 ultra long range smaller capacity version of the A350 family appears to have been overcome with Hawaiian Airlines converting its order for the unwanted variant to six of the newly launched A330-800neo type.

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Israel flights grounded after rocket attack on key airport

Unlike the situation in Ukraine, it has only taken one rocket which landed near Israel’s gateway Ben Gurion Airport at Tel Aviv  to shut down foreign carrier flights to and from Israel.

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MH17 Rebuild confidence pledge may be poorly timed

At a time when the media is full of confronting images from the MH17 disaster scene in east Ukraine, Malaysia Airlines has today issued statements that could reflect very poorly on the competency and judgement of its management.

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MH17 UN resolution is some comfort for bereaved, none for regulators

The fields of horror in eastern Ukraine where MH17 fell to earth will now give up their secrets to an impartial investigation, and those who lost their loved ones may receive their mortal remains.

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MH17 Documents show airlines using Ukraine routes were warned

Although they have already been widely circulated on technical and closed user forums there are documents that show that airlines that continued to use Ukraine airspace for overflights until the MH17 atrocity caused their closure were given specific and unambiguous warnings which they chose to ignore or discount.

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MH17: Why Malaysia Airlines must be confident about Syria safety

This isn’t new, as a practice, but Flightradar24 shows the extent of Malaysia Airlines’ confidence in the aviation friendly nature of the Syrian conflict.

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On this day, 45 years ago, we walked on the moon

On the other side of the dateline, it was on this day 45 years ago that our species first stepped onto the moon. It’s a memory that makes a break from the madness and anger of today’s news.

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