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Why the Singapore Airlines Paris match could burn Qantas

Singapore Airlines has confirmed rumours that its next A380 destination is Paris. The puffery that accompanies the announcement of daily links between its Australian flights and a new daily schedule for the giant Airbus between Singapore and Paris from 1 June doesn’t go into the strategic implications for Qantas but they are considerable. Qantas has […]

Miracle in the Hudson River

Miracle in the Hudson River

The last major bird strike accident to a passenger flight was on 4 October, 1960, when an Eastern Air Lines Lockheed Electra turbo prop struck a flock of seagulls on leaving Boston’s Logan Airport and crashed killing 62 out of the 72 people on board. It was later found that the birds had stopped three […]

The party plane to Paris is on its way

The locally obscure French colonial carrier, Air Austral, has sprung a big surprise on Qantas and Virgin Blue. It has signed a memorandum of understanding to buy two giant Airbus A380s and use them the way the designers always said was possible, and fit each of them with 840 seats in an all economy class […]

Goodbye Nancy-Bird Walton (1915-2009)

Nancy-Bird Walton who died this afternoon in Sydney aged 93 never lost her way in the air or on the ground. On a clear winter’s day in June 2007, visiting the cockpit of an Airbus A380 that was making a demonstration flight out of Sydney, Nancy-Bird Walton leaned forward toward the captain’s ear and said […]

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Qantas and the Malaysian equation

Since almost everyone in the country is speculating on a Qantas deal with Malaysia Airlines it is my turn to have a shot. Maybe it’s looking at a Malaysian airline, not Malaysia Airlines. Maybe the play involves AirAsia, based in Kuala Lumpur, and involves AirAsia pursuing a reciprocal consolidation agenda by taking significant equity in […]

How well Rooted are jet biofuels?

Colleague Jane Nethercote has linked in Crikey blog Rooted to an assessment of jet biofuels in Wired’s ‘Autopia’ blog. It’s a good read, but quotes Jeff Gazzard of a UK based aviation action group who seems to be rooted in the past. His comments were loosing relevancy even a year ago. Since then the shameless […]

Being seen as mean, tricky and unaccountable harms Tiger

The latest ‘horror’ story about flying Tiger come with a consequence. Being seen as mean, tricky and unaccountable is very harmful for an airline. Tiger may have an explanation for its fictitious flight. It may have an explanation for its incapacity to promptly communicate schedule changes. It may even see virtue in screwing a customer […]

iPhone iFly iPay-by-the-minute

It’s a bold new way of flying. Wired blog Autopia reports on a South African idea to start a new airline where you pay by minutes for flights you book on your smart phone. The article explains it isn’t a done deal as yet, with the securing of aircraft but one of many loose ends. […]

Why a threatened oneworld split up means little to a real world

The chairman of British Airways, Martin Broughton, is being given space by the consumer and technical aviation media abroad in which to claim that the oneworld alliance will split up if it doesn’t get its way over yet another demand to be allowed to fix prices in concert with American Airlines on the North Atlantic […]

A lightning fast departure from Brisbane

A lightning fast departure from Brisbane

Linda Petrie doesn’t just enjoy Brisbane’s storm season, she videos it. While going through several hours of images recorded on 28 December at 10 to 12 frames per second she discovered this sequence of lightning zapping an unidentified jet which had just taken off from Brisbane Airport at 8.32 pm. The images show just how […]

Another entry for the Airbus A330 X-files!

The Harold E Holt naval communications base near Exmouth on WA’s North West Cape is about to get worked over again as a menace to airliners, at least in the excitable media. A short while ago the Australian Transport Safety Bureau released this brief but important statement concerning a Qantas A330-300 that experienced an unexplained […]

Virgin removes Qantas and Jetstar domestic fuel levies

It didn’t take long. Following Virgin Blue’s Christmas Eve announcement of its removal of domestic fuel surcharges from tomorrow, New Year’s eve, Qantas and Jetstar this afternoon scrapped theirs for all domestic tickets issued for flights from New Year’s day. However Qantas is making no further reductions of its international fuel levies which it recently […]

Qantas on-line check-ins slowed to a shuffle

Two short domestic holiday season flights on Qantas were on-time and cost less than Virgin Blue, which seems to be a common experience these days. But Qantas customer service has lost the plot when it comes to encouraging passengers to save the company money by promising them faster and easier check-in procedures if they do […]

Will Qantas turn shame into gain?

Virgin Blue’s elimination of domestic fuel surcharges announced on Christmas Eve seems to put Qantas to shame, but travel retailers are chatting about its likely response as being a headline grabber. Qantas doesn’t look good for hanging onto an $18 domestic fuel surcharge when its subsidiary Jetstar is charging only $9 and Virgin Blue and […]

It’s merger fantasy silly season

When Macquarie Equities allows itself to be reported as saying Malaysia Airlines would be ‘a better fit’ for Qantas, and the general media breaks out in a sweat over a fictitious story in a Kuala Lumpur newspaper that Jetstar is discussing a merger with AirAsia it means that the silly season for Qantas merger fantasy […]

Your Christmas flight might even be on time

Civil Air, the air traffic controller union, says there will be no industrial action during the holiday season. This might not eliminate problems however, as the statement points to the chronic shortage of controllers, whether union members or not, which has caused air traffic control disruption all year. The union’s tactic is to leave the […]

Qantas slashes fuel surcharges after most holiday tickets bought

Qantas and Jetstar reduced their fuel surcharges this afternoon but most Christmas holiday travellers will miss out on the long overdue savings. This is because the reductions only apply to tickets issued from tomorrow, 23 December. Most holiday period tickets have already been bought. On domestic routes the Qantas surcharge which was $21 per sector […]

Defining moments in deceptive conduct by airlines

Last week the ACCC told Plane Talking it didn’t monitor airline charges and would only intervene in the pricing of air fares if it believed a carrier was engaging in deceptive conduct. The ACCC clearly operates under a deceptive definition of ‘deceptive’ and perhaps should consider ordering itself to take out newspaper advertisments acknowledging the […]