tip off

BEN SANDILANDS | August 12, 2014 | TOURISM | 12 |

Australian tourism, costly, unreliable, yet real good

There is a thoughtful but critical overview of Australian tourism in Arab News that is worth reading for the attention that it gives to policy issues that work against leisure travel making as big a contribution to the national economy as it could.

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BEN SANDILANDS | August 11, 2014 | LOW COST CARRIERS | 2 |

AirAsia’s business friendly flex deal adds to Malaysia Airlines woes

Today’s official launching of Air Asia’s Premium Flex deal could be seen as a brutal reminder to the renationalised Malaysia Airlines that its home grown rival isn’t cutting it any slack as it goes after its most valuable business customers.

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BEN SANDILANDS | August 11, 2014 | AIRPORTS | 16 |

Tigerair forces Sydney Airport to reverse its terminal decline

Tigerair forces Sydney Airport to do some heavy lifting: Photo by James Morgan

Sydney Airport has blinked after Tigerair sought relief from its inaction over improved access to the T2 domestic terminal shared with its major stakeholder Virgin Australia and low cost carrier competitor Jetstar.

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BEN SANDILANDS | August 09, 2014 | ROUTES | 12 |

Etihad Alitalia deal means many roads will lead again to Rome

All roads lead here, to the Forum Romanum: Wiki Commons

The significance of the (all but totally) completed deal by which Etihad invests massively in a revitalised Alitalia should become apparent to Australian travellers in the latter half of next year.

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BEN SANDILANDS | August 09, 2014 | AIR SAFETY | 31 |

Why did Qantas persist with Iraq overflights for so long?

Recent map of ISIS controlled areas (red) or claimed (lighter red) courtesy BBC

Serious questions remain unanswered about the inability of Qantas to take on board security advice from its business partner Emirates when the latter announced on 28 July its intention to cease Iraq overflights which crossed ISIS contested regions of that country.

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BEN SANDILANDS | August 08, 2014 | STRATEGIC INVESTMENTS | 2 |

Malaysia Airlines to be nationalised, then rationalised rather than privatised

The ‘privatisation’ of Malaysia Airlines is a temporary renationalisation, aimed at deep restructuring and relaunching according to a financial strategy expected to involve returning it to publicly listed status

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BEN SANDILANDS | August 08, 2014 | ROUTES | 21 |

Siberian flights threat could revive Cold War jet bans

Russian airspace effects in USSR times, compared to now: Wikipedia graphic.

As Russian forces are reported massing on the east Ukraine border the earlier threats made by Moscow to ban US and EU carriers using Siberian overflights as ‘shortcuts’ are causing concerns and forward planning by some of the airlines that would be severely affected.

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BEN SANDILANDS | August 07, 2014 | SPACE | 18 |

Rosetta probe: This isn’t a dirty snowball!

Tell us again, this is a dirty snowball? ESA Rosetta image

Amid the richly deserved celebrations of the arrival of the Rosetta probe at periodical comet 67P Churyumov-Gerasimenko the science continues to be rubbished by scientists who have given in to PR babble speak rather than factual astronomy in their commentaries.

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BEN SANDILANDS | August 06, 2014 | AIRLINER DESIGNS | 5 |

Airbus shows off A350 to a Virgin ready to make a choice

A350 MSN5, the all new wide body design just seen but not heard in Sydney and Auckland

Virgin Australia CEO John Borghetti wasn’t giving anything away as to what the airline might choose as a replacement for its 777-300ERs and A330-200s when he took a detailed look at the Airbus A350-900 making a world tour when it was in Sydney yesterday.

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BEN SANDILANDS | August 05, 2014 | AIRLINER DESIGNS | 9 |

Airbus A350XWB: A new day brings new jet to Sydney

The dawn twilight arrival of A350 MSN5 at Sydney today: Airbus photo

The largest all new airliner design likely to be seen for many years, the Airbus A350XWB, reached Sydney from Johannesburg just before dawn this morning.

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BEN SANDILANDS | August 05, 2014 | AIR SAFETY | 9 |

Was MH370 a botched hack attack that killed 239 people?

Hackers reward? Messages to MH370's dead at a shrine: Commons photo

The possibility that missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 was destroyed because of a botched hack attack on its computers and electrical systems will force itself back into the spotlight this week at the Black Hat hacking conference in Las Vegas.

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BEN SANDILANDS | August 03, 2014 | SPACE | 5 |

Comet target starts giving up its secrets to Rosetta probe

Four days from orbital capture, this is Rosetta's view of Churyumov-Gerasimenko

As the European space probe Rosetta closes in on the strangely shaped nucleus  of periodical comet 67P Churyumov-Gerasimenko  it brings to mind another moment of forgotten fame for the iconic radio telescope, The Dish, at Parkes in NSW.

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BEN SANDILANDS | August 02, 2014 | AIR SAFETY | 47 |

Qantas stops Iraq overflights

On 28 July we asked how long would it take for Qantas to discontinue its overflights of Iraq while its partner Emirates considered them too unsafe?

The answer is five and a half days.

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BEN SANDILANDS | August 01, 2014 | AIRLINER DESIGNS | 6 |

Unofficial: Regional Airbus A330s to be assembled in China

Globalisation becomes less about lowering costs and more about nailing down sales in massive emerging markets

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BEN SANDILANDS | August 01, 2014 | HEALTH RISKS | 6 |

Ebola outbreak could cause rapid flight and border closures

The interactive Ebola timeline posted by ABC News, link at bottom of page

The Ebola virus outbreak in parts of Africa is a terrible tragedy that has the potential to cause rapid and cascading border closures right around the world.

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BEN SANDILANDS | July 31, 2014 | AIR CRASHES | |

MH370 next phase progress statement merits very close study

These are extraordinary times in the Australian media, in that press freedom in this country has been suppressed in relation to a fobidden topic while the Asian media, particularly in some countries has been naming names and informing their readers of a scandal of considerable magnitude.

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BEN SANDILANDS | July 31, 2014 | CABINS | 6 |

Qantas adds extra seats to 737s, but also better IFE

The only worrying thought about the new Qantas 737s with more seats and ‘more efficient use’ of toilet space, is that we might wet our pants in the queue.

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BEN SANDILANDS | July 31, 2014 | RAIL | 34 |

Rail lunacy in Sydney goes beyond botched Opal card

Sydney's Opal card, the badge of bureaucratic stupidity: Commons image

Commentary  Bureacratic and ideologically driven madness is the natural enemy of good people in public office, and the hard working NSW Transport Minister, Gladys Berejiklian, could be said to be much more the victim rather than cause of the so called Opal smart card for commuters disaster in Sydney.

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