Sep 13, 2013

Melbourne’s T4 will roar, but Jetstar first to sign up

Jetstar has beaten Tigerair to be first to pay what Melbourne Airport asks for its new T4 low far carrier domestic terminal. Or as today's PR statement says, becomes its  'anchor' t

Ben Sandilands — Editor of Plane Talking

Ben Sandilands

Editor of Plane Talking

Jetstar has beaten Tigerair to be first to pay what Melbourne Airport asks for its new T4 low far carrier domestic terminal.

Or as today’s PR statement says, becomes its  ‘anchor’ tenant when it opens in the second half of 2015.

Not the best metaphor, as anchors are by design, made to sink.

However mere words aside, it is clear that both Jetstar and Tigerair and who knows whom else will in the future fill T4 to the rafters with punters using the fastest growing segment in aviation, even if they enjoy it less and less.

So mark this up as a big win for the owners of Melbourne Airport, remembering that when it comes to airports versus airlines in pricing for services, the airports always win.

Which, as has been the case since jet engines, raises the question as to who would invest in an airline if they could get a good price investing in airports? Even second airports like the one needed yesterday at Sydney, since the profits come from the growth in activity driven by improved infrastructure.

For those who get irritated by the Sydney Airport experience, you might like to contemplate the videos on offer at Melbourne Airport’s site.

The You Tube of the new Melbourne T4 is linked below.


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8 thoughts on “Melbourne’s T4 will roar, but Jetstar first to sign up

  1. ghostwhowalksnz

    What no shopping concourse ? The architects are to be congratulated in providing all those open spaces with barely a bookshop in sight… or am I imagining things. A bit of a long walk to the boarding gates… but of course there will be a travellator

  2. patrick kilby

    …and they seemed to have forgotten to show us the aerobridges as well, but then of course the travelator will take us to the plane so no need!!!!

  3. Dan Dair

    The first time I encountered genuine low-cost flying was some years ago with Ryanair, flying from Manchester (MAN) to Dublin (DUB).
    The lack of in-flight service & rush (run) for seats on the plane were a bit of a shock but what really surprised me was that the airbridges at either end of the journey weren’t used. We walked to and from the aircraft whilst the airbridges stood idle.
    I assume that there’s a driver for the airbridge & that Ryanair weren’t prepared to pay for that.
    Consequently, if it rains, you get wet & sit on the aircraft, wet & (even more) uncomfortable.
    However, if Melbourne’s T4 was built for low-cost carriers, why bother fitting stuff in the first place, that the carriers aren’t prepared to use & pay for.?

  4. Sean Doyle

    It does look like a little bit of a hike for anyone connecting to/from the other terminals, but given that it’s a LCC terminal, it’s not likely to be too major an issue. Good to see that it looks like it will be integrated with the other terminals. Development such as this and the third runway really make the idea of SYD being Australia’s main airport look a bit silly, in my opinion.

    @ghostwhowalksnz Please, this is MEL we’re talking about here. There’s more chance of the sun rising in the west than the terminal having a shopping maze for passengers to hike their way through.

    @Dan Dair: Pretty sure all airports charge airlines to use the airbridges and so it’s pretty much Ryanair policy to not use them. To be fair to Ryanair and its LCC cousins, I’ve been on a few full fare carriers that have done the remote park followed by a bus ride to the terminal. Some of them have done this better than others. Lufthansa did it to me at FRA, but as befits the national stereotype, had enough buses for all the passengers (no waiting for the first bus to come back if you weren’t first off the plane) parked and ready to go as soon as the plane doors were open. The less efficient procedure I had at 2am in winter (in HARBIN!!!) was somewhat less impressive.

    Whilst it’s probably not the best in less pleasant weather, it could possibly save taxi time (and a fair bit of aviation fuel) if planes were remotely parked near the runway and passengers efficiently bussed to and from. I also wonder if there is a point where it becomes too inefficient for some of the larger planes to do. Largest plane I’ve had this happen is a China Eastern A330. I wouldn’t want to be on a full A380 getting the bus back to the terminal.

  5. gapot

    The Singapore LCC terminal is being knocked down as we speak because they couldn’t get enough airlines to use it, even the leader in asian airlines AIRASIA uses terminal one with air bridges

  6. Ben Sandilands

    As does easyJet, which makes it the most civilised of the Euro LCCs in my opinion, but every bit as cramped as the rest.

  7. moa999

    Singapore LCC was well used, particularly by AirAsia and Tiger, but not by Jetstar who wanted to be in main terminal for connections.

    It was knocked down as the designers are plonking the new T4 in its place. It is still somewhat distant from the existing terminals, but will at least have aerobridges.

    Similarly the new KLIA2 at KUL will have aerobridges replacing the LCCT which has a large number of umbrellas on hand given the tropical conditions.

  8. Dan Dair

    I then refer you back to my previous point about operational costs.
    Don’t get me wrong, airbridges are brilliant, especially in cold, wet climates,
    However, as LCC’s everywhere continue to look for ways of shaving marginal costs, how long will it be before Australasian LCC’s get to this particular item & say to themselves “our customers can manage without it”.?
    Incidentally, the ‘remote-parking’ thing IS different.
    I understand the displeasure if there’s insufficient buses, but the bus (usually) drops you off at the bus-stop within the terminal, with lifts & escalators, etc.
    My gripe is specifically about being parked on a gate, with an airbridge & then having to walk across the tarmac & use the stairs instead.
    I posted on another subject the concept that Ryanair in particular seems to be pushing the limits, down to the point where it’s customers will no-longer buy their services.(& then presumably backtracking slightly)
    So far it’s been price over service every time…..
    Jetstar appears to be working on the same kind of plan.
    So as I said before “if Melbourne’s T4 was built for low-cost carriers, why bother fitting stuff in the first place, that the carriers aren’t prepared to use & pay for.?”

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