Qantas eyes off Haneda flight expansion

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It’s been reported that Qantas is considering adding new flights to Tokyo’s Haneda Airport after released two new airport slot pairs to Australian airlines.

The recent expansion of Haneda Airport has created four new daytime slots for flights to and from Australia. Two of these slot pairs have already been allocated to ANA and Japan Airlines, with two remaining and available for Australian airline use.

Bids for the landing and takeoff slots at Haneda Airport slot will close 31 October 2019 and become available for use from 29 March 2020. It’s expected Qantas will take up the slots as Jetstar’s Tokyo hub is based out of Narita and Virgin is currently in a state of reassessing its entire network.

Qantas currently flies the Boeing 747 daily from Sydney to Haneda Airport. If the airline were to take up these slots it would empower their business and leisure travellers with greater options in terms of landing and departures

Additional Haneda Airport slots would be a win for any Australian airline as its closer proximity and transport options to Tokyo makes it the preferred choice for business travellers.

Time will tell if Qantas takes flight with the new Tokyo Haneda options. Considering Haneda slots are as rare as hens teeth Qantas would be foolish to pass this unique opportunity up.

A321XLR to join Qantas fleet

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Qantas Group has inked a deal with France’s Airbus for an order of up to 36 of the new A321XLR jets, which are due for delivery from 2024. The deal also sees the conversion of 26 existing A320neo Family orders, plus a new firm order for 10 A321XLRs. The order comes on the back of American Airlines announcing that an order of 50 A321XLR aircraft (including the conversion of 30 of the 100 A321neos that they have on order). For Airbus this is a big news day!

The new fuel efficient aircraft will give Qantas Group new flexibility that it currently doesn’t have to be able to fly routes that current narrow body aircraft cannot such as Cairns to Tokyo. Whilst it is widely speculated that the order would see the majority of the aircraft go to Jetstar so that the airline would release its B787 fleet to Qantas, there is also strong potential for some of the aircraft to be paint with the red roo.

It’ll be interesting to see how the order is divided up. Qantas has a habit of purchasing conservatively (and rightly so in a market that changes continuously), so it wouldn’t surprise me if they snap up in the end around half of the agreed order. From that the likely destinations that the A321XLR would feature on for the red roo would be a trans-Atlantic route or the popular East-West Australia routes. 2024 is a long way from now (especially in aviation years), so naturally time will tell what happens next.

 

QANTAS TAKES OFF FOR FIJI

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Qantas for the last couple of years has moved slowly away from the business market and focused its energies on the recreation side of things. First it was the launch of direct flights to Bali (which was predominantly left to their Jetstar arm prior) and now Qantas has decided they want a piece of the island action in Fiji! That’s right folks, Qantas will be flying direct Sydney – Nadi from 31 March 2019.

Flying four times weekly, the flight will be serviced by a Boeing 737. QF101 will depart Sydney at 10.30am every Tuesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, to arrive in Nadi at 4.30pm. The QF102 return leg departs Nadi at 5.35pm the same day for an 8pm Sydney arrival.

The news doesn’t mean that Qantas will shy from its codeshare with Fiji Airways flight to Nadi, particularity now that Fiji Airways is a member of the Oneworld Connect scheme.

Will you be taking a leisurely island holiday to Fiji now that Qantas is in the game? Keen to hear your thoughts.

REVIEW: TIGER AIRWAYS TT247 B737; SYD-MELB

Flight: TT247, Sydney-Melbourne (17 July 2018)
Loyalty Scheme: N/A
Frequency: Multiple flights daily
Duration: 1 hr and 20 mints
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For years Tiger Airways had a shocking reputation, often seen as more pleb than budget compared to its competitor Jetstar. Heck Jetstar feels like a premium airline in comparison. When I first flew the airline it was a nightmare and vowed never to fly them again but here I am five years later and giving the airline another chance. Is this airline tiger still toothless or has it found the bite to be successful? TAT got onboard to find out.
The flight was delayed by half an hour from an incoming Tiger aircraft from Adelaide. The lack of announcements left many people baffled as to when they were going to start boarding. A positive unlike Jetstar is that the ground staff weren’t going out with a measuring tape and weights to assess passengers’ bags before boarding.

Seat

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Initial impressions count and stepping onto the plane for the first time I found the interior was fresh with newly fitted leather black seating with orange headrests throughout the cabin. I was flying one of the newly refitted Tiger aircraft and can confidentially say it has come a long way since it grey and beige interior days.

The cabin is all economy seating. One thing I noticed immediately when I sat down was how roomy the seats and leg space was. This was a pleasant surprise. Unlike Jetstar which usually had my knees touching the seat in front, Tiger offered enough room to stretch out the legs comfortably for a short flight.

Entertain me

Nothing to see here unless you find your weird fellow passengers some form of entertainment.

Wine and dine me (the food)

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Tiger being budget is a buy on board airline. There are no thrills unless you’re willing to put up the dollars. I had pre-purchased during the booking stage online a pie and sausage roll dish. All meals on Tiger include a free drink. When the cabin crew came round with the cabin service I was the first to be served my meal. The service was swift, relatively friendly but sadly not personalised.

 

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The food itself was tasty and simple and did the trick for the short plane ride. Pricing for the meal was on par with Jetstar but the bonus of the free drink was a nice extra that is  sadly missing with most Jetstar meals.

Summary

The short flight was more than enough for me on Tiger. The experience overall was a hell of a lot better than my first flight with them years ago. The interior of the cabin, seating and little food extras definitely added a bit of spark to what would have been a rather dull flight. Would I fly them again? They wouldn’t be my preferred option but if I had to look at options for a short haul 1-2 hour flight then Tiger would definitely be on my list of choices.

 

Service: 3 Stars

Seating: 3 stars

Food: 3 Stars

 

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QANTAS TOYS WITH SHOCKING BUY ON BOARD CONCEPT

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For years Qantas has prided itself on being an airline that is full service where everything from food, baggage and entertainment is included. As a full service airline you pay a premium and Qantas’ prices reflect that. Now the airline is rumoured to have some weird hair brain scheme to introduce a ‘buy on board’ for meals and inflight movies.

Before one jumps up and down madly at this idea, it is merely a rumour. That said I was privy to a Qantas Advisory Panel, an invitation-only group of frequent flyers regularly polled to assess the airline’s future plans. The hour conversation discussed a number of concepts, including new app designs and I was staunch on my position that as a full service airline I expected the basics included. I said to the group that if I wanted to purchase on board I would have flown Jetstar.

The cost cutting measure move would be a major u turn for Qantas who has for years sold its full-service promise that every passenger on every fare gets a meal and checked baggage. Instead passengers would be charged for meals, movies and even checked luggage under a new pricing model.

The concept isn’t anything new and has been for years embedded in Air New Zealand’s fare set up which offers three packages – Seat, Seat + Bag and The Works.

It is sad to see Qantas even entertaining the concept. Considering they have Jetstar for this already why would the airline go down this route? If that’s the case why not scrap Jetstar or best yet merge Qantas under Jetstar? Like a number of other loyal Qantas frequent flyers who have expressed anger at this possible concept, can only hope that such stupidity is dumped asap.

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Qantas on the road looking for new pilots

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Qantas is set to undertake a large recruitment drive for new pilots. The airline will soon host a number of roadshows in April for job opportunities available within their Qantas Group of airlines (Qantas, Jetstar and Qantaslink).

There are limited spots available and those interested in registering need to possess the following attributes:

  • Hold a Commercial Pilots Licence (CPL)
  • Hold an Instrument Rating (IR) and;
  • Currently working (or have recently worked) as a commercial pilot.

The roadshow will visit a number of cities and town centres over a period of two weeks. The list of locations include the following:

  • Sydney 5 April 2018
  • Brisbane 8 April 2018
  • Launceston 8 April 2018
  • Melbourne 9 April 2018
  • Perth 9 April 2018
  • Adelaide 10 April 2018
  • Broome 10 April 2018
  • Alice Springs 11 April 2018
  • Kununurra 11 April 2018
  • Cairns 12 April 2018
  • Darwin 13 April 2018

To register your interest as a Qantas pilot visit https://www.eventbrite.com/e/qantas-group-pilot-roadshow-ti… or alternatively email grouppilotroadshow@qantas.com.au .

Good luck to all those wanting to spread their pilot wings with an iconic airline such as Qantas.

 

QANTAS NOW FLYING DAILY MELB – BALI SERVICES

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Looking for your ‘Eat, Pray, Love’ moment in Bali but haven’t had the chance to drop everything like Julia? Well now Melbournians have a daily reason to with Qantas announcing it will commence a new daily Melbourne – Denpasar (Bali) service from 23 June 2018.

Operated by a Boeing 737-800 aircraft, the new route complements Qantas’ year round daily Sydney – Denpasar service.

The Melbourne – Denpasar service will be operated by a two-class Boeing 737 aircraft. Unlike Jetstar, checked baggage allowance, inflight entertainment and food and drinks are included.

The airline made the announcement based off strong demand from customers who wanted a full-service experience travelling to Bali. Last year alone Qantas and Jetstar carried 1.6 million customers between them.

Combined with Jetstar, the Qantas Group will now offer customers a choice of 84 return services to Bali from across Australia.

Fares for the new daily service are on sale today.