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Articles by Ben Sandilands

Indonesia’s president makes a point about travel classes

How worried must (or mustn’t) Qantas and Virgin Australia be on news that the President of Indonesia, Joko Widodo, flew economy class between Jakarta and Singapore on Friday?

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Virgin Galactic states its case anew, but there are issues

The Virgin Galactic website has been relaunched, and makes a dignified, respectful, deeply moving and encouraging case for opening the experience of sub orbital (and eventually orbital) space flight to far more of us than has so far been possible.

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AirAsia X reported to be cutting back Australia flights

There are more signs of distress in the longer haul low cost part of the Australian international air travel market.

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Delta could be set to fly new Airbuses to Australia

For an airline which drives hard bargains for ‘run out’ model jets, Delta has broken its recent form by ordering 50 new, indeed, as yet not in service wide-body Airbus models.

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What if JetBlue had entered the Australian airline scene?

JetBlue has ‘delighted’ Wall Street but disappointed consumers by giving in to demands to downgrade its generously spacious cabins, cram in more seats, and charge for checked bags.

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Qantas letter confirms international spin off process underway

A letter to a highly placed union official by Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce confirms that the company is in full pursuit of the creation of a new entity to take over its international operations.

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Key indicators continue to move in Virgin Australia’s favour

As the heat goes out of the apparently dying embers of a capacity war with Qantas, and fuel prices sag to levels no-one in the airline game dared dream about even a few months ago, Virgin Australia is cautiously optimistic about the future.

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Pel-Air and Seaview anniversaries highlight safety failures

At a time when the Minister responsible for aviation safety, Warren Truss, appears to be invisible in relation to the shameful Pel-Air crash and its aftermath, it is worth remembering the Seaview disaster of 1994.

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RAIL|

Eurostar, like Emirates, promises free wi-fi for all

Coming after a week in which other media carried stories about airline passengers being ‘robbed’ of up to $1200 in an in-flight wi-fi  ‘gotcha’ for going past their paid data allocation there were two good news stories,  from Emirates, the airline, and Eurostar, the high speed rail network.

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Airbus lands role in future of US manned space flights

It wasn’t just a 10 year old comet lander that put the European Space Agency in the astro-science spotlight this week but a contract for Airbus Defence and Space to supply an important part of America’s Orion manned spacecraft project.

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Qantas JV with China Eastern will cut out Shanghai hassles

Wherever else it leads the Qantas joint venture with China Eastern 中国东方航空公司 will make life so much easier for Australians using flying kangaroo services through Shanghai’s main international airport from day one.

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Why Wellcamp Airport is REALLY important

The opening of Wellcamp airport, way ,way ,way to the west of Brisbane today, ought to strike fear into the heart of those who push grossly inflated prices for new transport infrastructure projects in Australia. Or alternatively, deep envy at a political and public level. 

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NASA maps 556 fireballs burning up over earth in 20 years

Off the radar when it comes to the daily concerns of the airline industry, NASA has published an interesting guide to where bright fireballs were recorded over the 1994-2013 period from small asteroids or meteors (or even fragments of comet debris). 

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About your next flight, no make that next x-ray

Earlier this month, NASA science writer Dr Tony Phillips, took a radiation logger with him on a transcontinental US flight and found, as reported on SpaceWeather.com, that the radiation dose rate at 39,000 feet was 30 times higher than it was on the ground.

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Historic Aircraft Open Days return to the Illawarra

At last, the hard working crew at the Historical Aircraft Restoration Society, based near Wollongong south of Sydney, at the Albion Park aerodrome, are doing monthly Open Days again.

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Is a quality war replacing a fare war in Australia?

If the big dots are connected Qantas appears to be turning back to quality rather than price as a selling point in the Australian market.

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Comet lander Philae stuck in a rocky badly lit place

Although it wasn’t known when scenes of jubilation broke out in the control room of the Rosetta mission when its comet lander Philae touched down on the dark surface of Churyumov-Gerasimenko, it ‘flew’ for another 113 minutes.

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Virgin Galactic survivor didn’t know critical lever was unlocked

In its latest update on the crash of the Virgin Galactic space tourism vehicle, America’s NTSB says the surviving pilot didn’t know a critical control lever had been unlocked at the wrong speed.

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Womens Agenda

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