Posts Tagged ‘Australia’

Qantas Airlines named its future fleet of 20 Airbus A380 aircrafts after famous Australians in aviation.

From Asia Travel Tips

The full list of people who will have an A380 named after them are:

Nancy-Bird Walton – the first woman to fly a commercial aviation service in Australia.
Hudson Fysh – one of the founders of Qantas and the airline’s first Managing Director.
Paul McGinness – one of the founders of Qantas.
Fergus McMaster – one of the founders of Qantas and the first Chairman of the Company.
Lawrence Hargrave – inventor of the box kite, linking four of these together in 1894 to fly 16 feet.
Charles Kingsford Smith – Australia’s most famous aviator, who made the first trans-Pacific flight from the USA to Australia in 1928, and founded Australian National Airways Limited.
• Charles Ulm – Co-pilot, on Kingsford Smith’s record-breaking trans-Pacific flight between the USA and Australia in 1928 and co-founder of Australian National Airways Limited.
Reginald Ansett – Founder of Ansett Airways Pty Ltd.
David Warren – Inventor of the Black Box Flight Recorder.
Bert Hinkler – Pilot of first solo flight from Britain to Australia in 1928.
John and Reginald Duigan – First Australians to design, construct and fly a powered aircraft, in 1910.
Phyllis Arnott – First Australian woman to gain a commercial pilot’s license.
Keith McPherson Smith and Ross McPherson Smith – winners of the famous ‘Air Race’ between London and Australia in 1919.
Lester Brain – Piloted one of the first Qantas routes in 1925 and ferried the first wartime Catalina Flying Boat delivered by Qantas Empire Airways in 1941. Later appointed General Manager of Trans-Australia Airlines in 1946.
Lores Bonney – First woman to fly solo around Australia in 1932 and the first woman to fly solo from Australia to England, in 1933.
Norman Brearley – Founder of Western Australian Airways Limited, which operated Australia’s first scheduled air service on 5 December 1921.
P G Taylor – Navigator and co-pilot alongside Charles Kingsford Smith and Charles Ulm on many record-breaking flights between Australia and the United States and England and Australia. Taylor was awarded the Empire Gallantry Medal in 1937 for one of the most revered acts of bravery in the history of aviation.
Scotty Allan – Co-pilot alongside Charles Ulm and P G Taylor on the 1933 record-breaking flight from England to Australia and later joined Qantas and flew DH86 aircraft on the Brisbane-Singapore route.
John Flynn – Founder of the Royal Flying Doctor Service.
Gaby Kennard – First Australian woman to fly solo around the world in 1989.



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Qantas’ chief Geoff Dixon will step down next month with US $8.5 million (Australian $11.92 million) package this year which is still less than $10.3 million that United’s Glen Tilton received in 2007. But it does make Mr Dixon the second highest paid airline head! It is interesting to note that his compensation is much higher than the other US, European and Asian heads.

The compensation of $11.92 million includes $3 million cash bonus and $6.4 million in share based payments ($ = Australian $ here).

This seems to be really surprising for Qantas Employees, esp. when the airline is going through –

  • 1500 layoffs by Christmas of 2008
  • 3% cap on wage raises
  • Global airline industry demand weakening?
  • Higher costs due to high cost of fuel?

I do understand the need for paying big $$$ to CEOs when the industry and the airline is performing excellently (like in 2007). But in current times with 1500 layoffs, etc. the compensation does not make any sense. Does anyone check executive compensations and contracts?

From The Age

Qantas declared in May this year that it was freezing senior
executive pay in response to high fuel prices, just two months before
the airline announced the job cuts.

Mr Dixon’s latest salary beats even the pay packet of Gerard Arpey,
the head of AMR Corporation, which runs the world’s largest commercial
carrier, American Airlines.

Mr Arpey’s total pay was $US4.6 million in 2007, including a base salary of $US656,000 and stock awards of $US3.1 million.

The Australian also trumps the $US7.73 million Northwest Airlines
paid its boss, Douglas Steenland, in 2007, and the $US7.31 million
Continental gave its chief executive, Larry Kellner. US Airways, the
fifth-largest airline in the US, paid CEO and chairman Douglas Parker a
package of $US5.4 million, including a base salary of $US550,000.

British Airways’ boss Willie Walsh pocketed £701,000 ($A1.57
million) for the year to March. He turned down a £700,000 bonus after a
disastrous opening of Heathrow’s Terminal 5 in London.

Air France-KLM paid chief executive and chairman Jean-Cyril Spinetta
€1.39 million ($A2.5 million) for the year to March, which included
€750,000 salary.

Europe’s second-largest airline, Lufthansa, gave its chief, Wolfgang
Mayrhuber, €2.4 million in 2007, including a €1.4 million bonus.

Singapore Airlines paid its boss, Chew Choon Seng, about $S3.5 million ($A3.2 million) for the year to March 31.

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V Australia, Virgin Blue’s long-haul offshoot, was supposed to launch its service from Sydney to Los Angeles on December 15th, but due to the strike at Boeing headquarters has forced the launch until February of next year!

The airline has suspended advanced sale of tickets for travel December 15 2008 to February 28th 2009.

The strike is very unfortunate! The way the airlines work is that they use the delivery date for new airplanes to add new flights and sell tickets in advance. Any delay in delivery date means loss of revenue for the airlines. The aircraft manufacturer might have to pay delay costs to the airlines (depends on the contract). This seems to be a big opportunity for Airbus (Airbus had problems with A380 and A350 deliveries which now seem to be on track).  

From Herald Sun –

Virgin Blue
said Boeing had advised it of the delay and said it cannot predict the
duration of the dispute at its Seattle plant and therefore could not
guarantee the delivery date of V Australia’s launch aircraft.
V Australia has three Boeing 777-300ER aircraft in the advanced stage production at the plant.
Blue said it had a revised the V Australia launch date and expects its
offshoot to commence services on February 28, 2009.

V Australia’s Executive GM Scott Swift said – (from here)

In a letter to passengers with tickets booked, V Australia executive GM Scott Swift said the carrier was “very sorry to have to tell you” of the deferred launch.

“Boeing has advised us that it cannot predict the duration of the strike. It is in these circumstances that we feel we have no choice but to delay our V Australia launch and have nominated a revised V Australia launch date of 28 February 2009 to protect the interests of our Guests,” said Swift.

“We are one of a number of airlines impacted by the strike. V Australia has three Boeing 777-300ER aircraft in advanced production at the factory. The strike has no bearing on services operated by Virgin Blue, Pacific Blue or Polynesian Blue,” he said.

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September 21st 2008, Sydney got its first landing by an Airbus A380 with Qantas’ first A380 delivery.

Some highlights of the event –

  • Like Father like son – Captain Peter Probert flew the plane (his father flew the first Boeing 747 into Australia in 1971)
  • Flight – Flew from Toulouse, France (Friday night) and landed in Sydney about 9am local time.
  • Passengers – 86 passengers (with “team of
    technicians, Qantas executives, chef Neil Perry, head designer Marc
    Newson and a large media contingent”)
  • Luxury on Flight – On board this flight, the passengers were treated to “Dom Perignon champagne and Penfolds Grange 2001 vintage”


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Another Qantas jet (Boeing 737-800) had to make an emergency landing. The plane made an emergency landing at Adelaide Airport (37 minutes after taking off from the airport) after a door opened during flight to Melbourne. The airline did announce that “the door covering the wheel bay was not closed properly during take-off“.

This is the second incidence of emergency landing from Qantas Airways in the last 7 days and is bound to cause attention on safety for the airlines.

A Passenger’s account from The Guardian

“The latter version of events was supported by a passenger, Rocco
Russo, who said that he heard a rattling noise about 10 minutes after
take-off and the pilot announced that there was a problem with a door
closing above the plane’s wheel.
“He then continued to fly and
said that he was going to contact the engineers and then a few minutes
after that came back on and said the engineers had gotten back to him
and the advice was to return to Adelaide,” Russo told ABC News.”

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A Qantas 747-400 (QF 30 from London to Melbourne) was cruising at 29,000 feet when there was a loud boom. The boom was because of a hole which grew with a time extending from cargo hold into the passenger cabin. The cabin lost pressure and the aircraft started losing altitude (quickly descended 10,000 feet). The plane made an emergency landing at Manila airport (Philippines) and all the 346 passengers landed safe (though some vomited after landing).

From Associated Press

“”One hour into the flight there was a big bang, then the plane started
going down,” passenger Marina Scaffidi, 39, from Melbourne, told The
Associated Press by phone from Manila airport. “There was wind swirling
around the plane and some condensation.””

“”There was a terrific boom and bits of wood and debris just flew
forward into first (class) and the oxygen masks dropped down,” she told
Australia’s ABC Radio. “It was absolutely terrifying, but I have to say
everyone was very calm.””

“Bob Vandel, executive vice president of the independent, Virginia-based
Flight Safety Foundation, said the hole caused the plane to lose
pressure and oxygen, which required the pilot to start a quick, initial
descent to normalize oxygen levels, said Vandel.”

Video –
One of the passengers took a video inside the aircraft with landing. For video Click here

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Brazil is the most popular South American destination for Australian travelers and Thailand is Australia’s 6th largest destination.

Under a new federal government (Australian) agreement, flights to/from Thailand will immediately increase from 35 per week to 40 per week and 45 per week starting March next year. Also flights to/from Brazil will increase from 7 to 14 flights a week.

This means that since the capacity will increase, hence the ticket prices might be cheaper (though it depends a lot on oil and competition).

From Sydney Morning Herald

“From March next year, the maximum number of seats on flights
between Australia and Thailand will reach more 1.87 million
annually, 28.6 per cent more than were available under the old
bilateral aviation arrangements, Transport Minister Anthony
Albanese said.”

“”The removal of most restrictions on air routes between
Australia and Brazil will, over time, provide more choice for
travellers … and allow our airlines to take advantage of the
rapidly growing economies of South America,” Mr Albanese said in a

Great Book on Thailand -> Thailand (Country Guide)

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