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Articles by Ben Sandilands

PM makes it clear, MH370 search cannot continue at current costs

After a somewhat untidy handling of its attitude to the search for MH370 this week, Australia’s PM Tony Abbott has made it clear the government will wind it back rather than abandon it should nothing be found in the near future.

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When the MH370 ‘red-eye’ turned nasty, what we know a year on

  Crikey Insider today looks at the impending first anniversary of the disappearance of MH370 in terms of a scandal that apparently dares not fall from the lips of our gutless political leaders if this morning’s set piece statements by PM Tony Abbott or his feeble Labor opponent Bill Shorten to parliament are true indications [...]

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Rare fault found in one of two Qantas A330s in ‘near miss’

It was more than a case of air traffic control error when two Qantas A330s were inadvertently directed to fly toward each other in airspace near Adelaide in a ‘loss of separation’ or near miss situation in 2013.

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The day the music stops in Tamworth for Qantaslink

Virgin Australia is starting Sydney-Tamworth turbo-prop ATR72 flights six returns weekly from 25 May.  Which means there goes the music, in the country and western capital of Australia, as far as Qantaslink is concerned.

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CASA says Indonesia AirAsiaX now legal to fly here

More than two month’s after AirAsia X’s Indonesian franchise damaged the holiday plans of Australians booked on its Melbourne-Denpasar flights by cancelling them just before Christmas it has  been issued with an air operator certificate by CASA.

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MH17 wreckage put on display as MH370 anniversary approaches

In a grim preview to the first anniversary of the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, parts of the wreckage of another of its 777-200ERs,  which was operating its flight MH17 when it was shot down over eastern Ukraine last July, have been put on display at the Netherlands military airbase at Gilze-Rijen.

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NZ-US market challenges by AA, UA tread a fine line

Some years ago on a family visit by a US relative to Auckland, we treated our guest to an All Blacks game at Eden Park, complete with a full haka (there being no half measures when the action involves the Wallabies). She couldn’t quite get that the ceremony was all bluff, but alas, as usual, [...]

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Emirates launches daily Bali flights, what about Fiji?

Emirates delivers another lesson in market building, this time in Bali

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Virgin Australia opens new international strategy with Fiji

Fiji will be served in peak periods from 4 April by Virgin Australia A330-200s as well as the 737s which fly its current schedule on routes between Australia and Nadi, marking the start of its recently foreshadowed new international initiatives.

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Australia is keen to quit MH370 search soon, but why?

Recent well placed hints by Australia that it is looking to winding up the search for missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 have made it to the New York Times. The implications of this need to be carefully considered.

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Absurd MH370 related tracking statement made by Minister Truss

The Minister responsible for aviation and its safety, Warren Truss, has just released a statement about Australia participating with Indonesia and Malaysia in a trial of actually using to its potential existing non-radar based tracking technology on jet airliners flying across remote oceanic air routes. Such as the one believed to have been followed to [...]

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Contrasting tales of big profits, small jets on opposite sides of Atlantic

European airliner giant Airbus and Canadian ‘minnow’ Bombardier made very different headlines on either side of the Atlantic overnight.

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Goodbye Mr Spock, our kids’ kids will make that Star Trek

NASA has released the following photo on news of the death of actor Leonard Nimoy who was Mr Spock in the Star Trek cinema and television series.

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Qantas: Has it broken free of the need for protection?

Opinion By coincidence, yesterday’s strong return to viability by Qantas came on the same day as a Productivity Commission report refuting its special pleadings over restricting foreign competitors. It might well be the right time for Qantas to stop bleating about the claimed end-of-the-line geographical disadvantages of its network, or the cost advantages of its [...]

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Savings not safety drives Australia to merge civil military ATC

  An ABC report says the long overdue merger of civil and military air traffic control is at last firmly committed to by Government. This could save many lives, rather than just the money that is mentioned as driving the decision.

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Qantas beats consensus with strong profit rebound but no dividend

Qantas has posted an underlying profit before tax of $367 million for its first half results to 31 December, beating expectations of between $300-350 million but the dividend drought continues.

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MH370 search finds man made objects, none from jet

Also overlooked in the Senate Estimates treasure trove last night was news that the MH370 search being run by Australia, has found what appear to be man made objects as large as shipping containers.

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AirServices Australia grilled over integrity and competency issues

While media attention was understandably diverted elsewhere in Senate Estimates hearings yesterday,  AirServices Australia was given a grilling that raised some very serious safety, competency and integrity issues.

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