Topic archives: air transport

Some notes about Virgin Blue and media amnesia

June 4, 2010 5

There used to be a thing called a ‘library’ in newspapers, which might have been useful if consulted by the writers of some stories about Virgin Blue this week following its profit downgrade ambush last week. The plan to enact single branding of the Virgin Blue group, which includes Pacific Blue and V Australia, was […]

Five amazing airliners for the future

Five amazing airliners for the future

May 20, 2010 15

How does a ‘virtual window’ for passengers, or a cockpit where the pilots fly lying prone grab you. Or a total of 25 seats across in a flying manta ray blended wing body airliner. A NASA funded program to identify advanced airliner concepts for the 2030s has produced five subsonic designs that address tough rules […]

Greens risk their own votes in call for a Very Fast Train

Greens risk their own votes in call for a Very Fast Train

April 25, 2010 17

In political terms, Senator Bob Brown’s call for a new study on a VFT or very fast train between Melbourne-Canberra-Sydney risks provoking some fierce green negativity. However it probably says something about the chances for that issue getting an airing that since Friday when he launched the proposal it has vanished into media invisibility, thanks […]

Boeing sees biofuels becoming viable by 2015

Boeing sees biofuels becoming viable by 2015

April 14, 2010 6

Seen from afar yesterday morning’s Boeing hosted Aero Environment Summit in Sydney placed far more emphasis on the near term use of non-fossil carbon releasing fuels than the first such event in 2008. This reporter intended to be there, but had an in-flight diversion, to stay in metaphor. So with the benefit of the pictures […]

So you’re flying to Paris tonight

So you’re flying to Paris tonight

April 10, 2010

If you want to prepare yourself for the 21 hours it will take you to fly from here to Paris and in the confines of economy class, nothing could surpass this compilation of previously obscure as well as better known movies of Charles Lindbergh’s first solo flight across the North Atlantic on 20-21 May 1927. […]

Hong Kong-the boom is back

Hong Kong-the boom is back

March 14, 2010 2

All the vital signs from the Cathay Pacific and Dragonair operating statistics for February indicate that the boom has resumed in China. Fingers crossed. Fuel is too high. And the demand for premium products has not recovered at the same pace as underlying demand, which makes sense of reports that Cathay Pacific will start introducing […]

Tiger’s generosity to Australia continues apace

February 25, 2010 4

Singapore Airlines controlled Tiger Airways is giving away seats for nothing except the compulsory taxes and charges across most of its network on every Tuesday and Wednesday between April 7 and May 31 from today. This is incredibly generous. Having lost more than $70 million on its Australian operations since November 23, 2007, and locked […]

Virgin Blue takes the middle seat, and the money

Virgin Blue takes the middle seat, and the money

February 24, 2010 3

Virgin Blue didn’t just return to profitability in the six months to December 31, but became the first jet airline with an Australia wide network to earn better profits , whether per jet, per seat, or in aggregate, than the much larger Qantas group of airlines. It made a net profit after tax of $62.5 […]

A hard look at the Jetstar Customer Guarantee

A hard look at the Jetstar Customer Guarantee

February 11, 2010 5

Jetstar launches the first customer guarantee by an Australian airline this Friday morning (including its Asian and New Zealand franchises) by way of social media on YouTube and through media press releases. Why is it doing this? To neutralise the intentions and risks of proposed air travel consumer protection measures contained in Chapter 5 of […]

Futility meets impossibility in costly new Australian air travel security measures

February 9, 2010 5

Looked at clinically, the $200 million air travel security upgrades including body scanners announced by the Prime Minister Kevin Rudd today are a case of futile measures meeting an impossible task. That is because there is no remotely practicable combination of procedures and technology that can remove the risk of a terrorist attack on the […]

Japan Airlines and the language of failure

January 20, 2010 7

The analysis and commentary that preceded the Japan Airlines bankruptcy filing yesterday was conducted almost entirely in the words and terminology of failed  airline business models. The carrier was going to be able to ‘lock in’ more traffic by ditching one alliance, Oneworld, for another, Skyteam. It was assured (as is almost certainly true) of […]

Qantas declares the good time are back

Qantas declares the good time are back

December 21, 2009

Qantas is now predicting a first half profit before tax of between $50-150 million, and today reported a strong rise in passenger numbers for the group airlines of 9.7% in its provisional November operating statistics when compared to a year ago. Most of that growth came from its domestic and international Jetstar services, as shown […]

A reality check from Paul Keating and Peter Morris on Sydney’s 2nd airport

December 17, 2009 5

The Aviation White Paper has brought Sydney to a critical cross road. It can go without adequate airport access and wither as a centre for commerce, or it can build a relevant second airport. This is the text of a statement by former PM Paul Keating and former Hawke government transport minister Peter Morris published […]

Jetstar smells Tiger blood

December 14, 2009 1

There is so much more to this morning’s announcement that Jetstar will fly multi-daily between BOTH Melbourne airports and Brisbane from July 1. This is Jetstar v Everyone. That is, Qantas (who owns it) and higher cost Qantas pilots, flight attendants and managers, Virgin Blue and especially the Singapore Airlines controlled Jetstar clone, Tiger. Officially, […]

The Dreamliner awakes, the hour of first flight nears

The Dreamliner awakes, the hour of first flight nears

December 13, 2009 1

It’s at last late September 2007 at Paine Field, Everett and the Dreamliner prototype is ready to fly as originally promised for that deadline shortly after it was rolled out on July 8, that year. Much has happened to that jet since. It has real doors, a proper undercarriage, and all of the intricate monitoring […]

As lift-off approaches Boeing also lifts 787 weights

December 11, 2009 4

Jon Ostrower’s report on heavier specifications for the 787 Dreamliners clarifies some of the uncertainties about the capabilities Boeing will be selling for its ultra light-weight high composite medium sized jets. There is nothing surprising in manufacturers increasing the weight of new airliners to ensure they meet original specifications, although for some time now there […]

Jets v Developers at Canberra airport

December 8, 2009 13

The cultural and political wars that dog airport developments in this country are on display once more, this time at Canberra Airport. There is an article and discussion on this on the Crikey subscriber site today and through its email bulletin, but the key elements have been apparent ever since Victoria decided in the 60s […]

Qatar Airways, what, where and why?

December 7, 2009 12

Is it another ‘kangaroo route’ competitor, a change maker, or both these things and perhaps a lot more? Qatar Airways today becomes the third Arab emirates airline to currently serve Australia with an initial three flights a week between Melbourne and its home hub at Doha. For those interested in the product side of its […]

Two irreconcilable views to join in search for 2nd Sydney Airport site list

November 30, 2009 10

It seems like the ideologues and realists are going to be forced together to find a 2nd Sydney Airport. The announcement this afternoon that the Aviation White Paper will be released on December 16 comes with reference to a joint Federal/NSW study to short list sites. But the Feds want it to be outside the […]

A capital airport photo history

A capital airport photo history

November 27, 2009 3

The history of ‘things’, such as a wharf, or a railway station, is a useful way of linking the everyday experiences of generations of Australians to our times. Ginette Snow’s book, Canberra Airport, a pictorial history, is a part of this vital genre, and a ‘must have’ for collectors of images and narratives of the […]