tip off

How RAAF controllers put a Virgin 737 and a Westwind on a head on course at Newcastle

Defence air traffic controllers at Newcastle Airport put a Virgin Blue 737-700 and a Westwind executive jet on a collision course that nearly ended in disaster in February last year according to a damning ATSB report issued today. The 144 seat Boeing  737 was assigned to depart from what is primarily the RAAF base at [...]

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A Virgin with tatts is one of world’s top earning jets

There is more than a new identity applied to the Virgin Samoa 737 announced by the Government of Samoa this morning. It’s got tatts! It is also believed to be among the top earning 737s of the world, having earned more than $20 million a year for its owners, the Samoa Government (49%) Virgin Blue [...]

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The twin towers fall, Ansett collapses, Qantas gets kicked from 2001 to 2007 overnight

This is the 4th and final extract from an Ansett dossier in a series of articles about the 10th anniversary of the collapse of the airline on 14 September 2001 Article 1 is The Twin disasters of September 2001 Article 2 is Extracts from the Ansett files, before the towers fell Article 3 is The [...]

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The Ansett diary: Pacific Star or Australian Star?

This is the third in a series of articles marking the 10th anniversary of the collapse of Ansett Airlines on 14 September 2001 Article one is The twin disasters of September 2001 Articles two is Extracts from the Ansett files, before the towers fell 5 September 2001, the morning after the cheque ripping incident, is [...]

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Extracts from the Ansett files, before the towers fell

In the days immediately before Ansett’s first receivers padlocked the terminals on the morning of 14 September 2001, even before the last midnight horror from Perth to Sydney could unload its passengers,  it became clear to everyone, even those who were in denial, that the airline was in severe crisis. Ansett was 100% owned by [...]

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The twin disasters of September 2001

With no disrespect to the terrible events of 11 September 2001 there was another disaster in that month in Australia as financial collapse came to Ansett. It took a story of the magnitude of the mass murder that occurred in Manhattan, Pennsylvania and at the Pentagon on that day to consign the, to many people,  [...]

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What difference did Tiger, and Jetstar, really make to cheaper air travel?

Now that Tiger is back, just what difference did it and Jetstar make to cheap airfares on domestic routes up until now? One measure is the BITRE survey of domestic airfares, which sets indices benchmarked at 100 for business class, full economy, restricted economy and best discounted economy fares in July 2003. In July 2003 [...]

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Will the Minister connect the dots before AirServices Australia merges the blips into one big disaster

There is a need for the Transport Minister, Anthony Albanese, to read two reports by the ATSB into serious near mid air collisions, one of them released a few hours ago, and connect the dots before the blips get connected in a disaster. In the latest report, into a near miss between a Cathay Pacific [...]

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Qantas goes west, goes ‘fun’

Australian Business Traveller tweeted the above pic of a ‘cash mob’ doing ‘Go West’ at yesterday’s fifth or sixth relaunch of 747s on the Perth-Sydney route. Hmm. Looks like Amanda Bolger, the original Virgin Blue media czarina is steering Qantas in her new gig in its media division toward ‘fun’. And why not? When the [...]

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Is Qantas about to get done over dinners?

Today’s ambush-by-trolley for unsuspecting Virgin Australia economy class travellers on higher fares, who were served free meals and drinks, is the latest move by former Qantas executive general manager John Borghetti to turn former Virgin Blue into the Qantas he had in mind before being recruited as its new CEO early last year. Overnight Virgin [...]

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A last blue day at Virgin

It’s the last blue day today for the Virgin brand in domestic airlines as the myth making cranks up a notch or two for tomorrow’s launch of Virgin Australia. Richard Branson will touch down in Sydney in a new or ‘evolved’ looking Airbus A330-200. Across the carrier’s network the temporary badges saying Virgin Blue that [...]

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Behind the Virgin Blue ‘gold’ door, a fast track and an intriguing gamble

The class war in domestic air travel spread to new territory this morning when Virgin Australia opened its exclusive Premium Entry and Premium Valet services at Sydney Airport, as the once low cost carrier escalated its ambitions for winning higher fare frequent flyers off Qantas, and in particular, off corporate accounts that make it the [...]

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Delta and Virgin Australia file amended agreement to soothe US concerns over pending trans Pacific alliance

Delta Airlines and Virgin Australia have specified a set of metrics for economic disasters that would permit them to break their capacity commitments in the newly revised trans Pacific joint venture agreement  the airlines filed with the US Department of Transportation in Washington DC on Friday, April 15. The triggers included: The DOW index falling [...]

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Pacific Blue pilot charged with endangering safety, but airline’s safety culture not questioned!

New Zealand authorities have charged a Pacific Blue pilot with endangering safety during an after dark take-off at Queenstown last June  yet taken no action against the Virgin Blue subsidiary. This is something that ought to sound an alarm for travellers. In air crash litigation in general, and world wide, airlines are responsible for everything [...]

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The rise and fall of airline empires, brick by brick

The approval announced this morning for a comprehensive code sharing arrangement between Air New Zealand and Etihad isn’t big news, yet it adds to the growing framework of links between those carriers and separately, each of them with Virgin Blue, that is starting to throw a shadow over a shrinking Qantas. A highly respected figure [...]

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Perth-Sydney nose jobs compared

Following today’s announcement that Virgin Whatever-it-is-going-to-be-called is starting Perth-Sydney wide bodied A330-200 flights with (gasp) middle seats in its ultra premium domestic business class, a comparison of this airliner’s nose jobs with the soon to be rebranded airline and Qantas could be useful. Or totally irrelevant, if it’s your money, or the company is not [...]

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How more terminally budget does Melbourne Airport want to become?

News that Melbourne’s main airport is considering putting up a remote T5 budget terminal at the  southern end of the Tullamarine site begs the question how more desperately budget it could be given the state of its international terminal and the very ordinary performance of its Virgin Blue and Qantas/Jetstar domestic wings. Melbourne Airport, as [...]

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The fuel crisis and tiny cramped seats

No-one who filled up their car yesterday would be surprised by this morning’s third fuel levy increase in quick succession from Qantas. It’s not just Qantas, and more announcements by airlines everywhere will flow thick and fast in the day ahead. The airlines are at the moment leading the awareness campaign about a fuel price [...]

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