New Budget Airline for Australia

Feb 25th, 2004, 12:15 PM
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New Budget Airline for Australia

Thought those of you who are interested in flying domestically in Australia would like to know that Qantas have launched a new buget line - Jet Star - flights to start in May at this stage only on the East Coast.
At the moment they are offering AU$29 fares but these are being rushed needless to say.
However, predictably it has started a price war with Virgin - so there will be bargains to be had.
prue is offline  
Feb 25th, 2004, 01:33 PM
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The article in today's "Sydney Morning Herald" mentions that " city travellers might have to use suburban and regional airports rather than the major airports, and all JetStar's Sydney-to-Melbourne flights will land at Avalon airport, 55 kilometres (34 miles - NC) from the Melbourne Central Business District.... Qantas's chief executive, Geoff Dixon, said he was considering whether Sydney's Richmond air base could be suitable for JetStar's future use. When fights begin on May 25, they will use Terminal 2 at Sydney Airport."

I don't know how seriously one should take Mr Dixon's comment. Richmond air base is about 58 km (36 miles) from "downtown" Sydney via a woefully inadequate road or a suburban electric rail service with many stops.

I'm not sure how the Federal Government would react to such a proposal either - they have a sitting MP to lose. There's only one runway and the town of Windsor abuts one end, and Richmond the other. Past suggestions to convert Richmond to a civil airport have caused outrage among local residents. (I grew up in Windsor and the noise of C-130 transports doing "circuit and bump" training flights at night was a pest.) And protracted morning fogs are common in the area. Arrival delays and diversions caused by adverse weather conditions can cause massive downstream disruption to flight operations, hardly ideal for a low-cost airline.

So I guess the message is, read the fine print. Flight time Sydney-Melbourne is only about 1hr 20m - potentially you could spend as much time at each end of your trip. Having said that, it's hard to believe the Richmond story.
Neil_Oz is offline  
Feb 26th, 2004, 04:43 PM
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Just an update on the last post - the government has ruled out the use of Richmond as a civil airport, so presumably JetStar will be using Sydney Airport until they have a better idea. And it seems that only flights to/from Sydney will be using Melbourne's Avalon airport.

Qantas' CEO has said that he's not trying to kill off Virgin Blue. Of course, if Virgin was dying of natural causes I guess he wouldn't be the first to call an ambulance.

Neil_Oz is offline  
Feb 26th, 2004, 04:47 PM
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Of course, if Virgin was dying of natural causes I guess he wouldn't be the first to call an ambulance.

Neither would I.

Qantas is back in favour with me as I had 65 kg of baggage the other night and it cost me $10 - well $10 I don't mind paying as it would have cost 15 times that to send it Australia post.
lizF is offline  
Feb 28th, 2004, 11:17 AM
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Yes, its interesting to see how this Jet Star goes...and what a load of crock about the CEO's comment regarding Virgin. Sorry, but why does Qantas need to start this airline up considering they have Eastern Airlines (is thats what its called? my memory is droll this hour of the morning!)

I'm still miffed at Qantas and a big fan of Virgin (no secrets there! he he) I've had nothing but bad experiences with Qantas, from very rude service, to constantly long delays etc.

I also have an issue with Qantas, in that when there was no "competition" they charged astronomical fare prices - they showed exactly they're "commitment" to the general Australian public - something I am slow to forgive - cause not until Virgin came have they dropped the prices. If Virgin hadn't arrived, we'd still be paying something like $430 one way to melbourne!

I understand passengers have been charged with Virgin for excess luggage (which I haven't experienced yet, but when I went to the Sunshine coast with Virgin, considering i packed for 2 young toddlers as well - I thought for sure I was done for - but no!)

When I looked at the prices for fare's between virgin and qantas - even if Virgin slugged me for excess luggage - the price of the airfare was so much cheaper I wonder if it would still be less.

So it will take alot more for me to fly with Qantas again. I just hope Virgin can also get some business through all the big commonwealth departments who are bound to Qantas but hopefully not for much longer.

My concern is, if Virgin does go, then be prepared to pay those extraordinary fares again (it was more expensive to holiday in Australia than go overseas!) ridiculous. I understand they're a business, but Qantas seemed to do business like the "banks" as far as I was concerned.

Sorry, its way to early! he he
Chris7 is offline  
Feb 28th, 2004, 01:02 PM
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I don't think you have to be a strategic genius to realise that jetstar is a construct to destroy Virgin.
Unfortunately Qantus will finance that by predatory pricing on its (regulated) direct usa-sydney flights.

But i guess domestic consumers should get the cheap prices while there on.
johhj_au is offline  
Feb 28th, 2004, 03:54 PM
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Actually I doubt that Qantas has any serious expectations of destroying Virgin. And there's nothing wrong in principle with their spinning off a low-cost subsidiary - strategically it was either that or become progressively marginalised as an airline for the well-heeled and business travellers. What they won't want is for JetStar to cannibalise more profitable Qantas business, which is why they don't plan to service Canberra.

I agree that the federal government should be doing more to patronise Virgin Blue. I'm told that in most if not all agencies there's nothing to stop staff booking with Virgin, but many don't know that.

If you want government business you have to invest in adequate sales resources. And your company has to be flexible in meeting that market's needs. Virgin Blue's mass-market business model may not be as well adapted to developing corporate business as Qantas' - but for the rest of us it's got off to a good start.

Neil_Oz is offline  
Feb 29th, 2004, 07:07 PM
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prue is offline  
Feb 29th, 2004, 07:25 PM
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All right, I'm going to expose myself as a know-nothing rank amateur .... but what does "ttt" denote? And for that matter "lol"?
Neil_Oz is offline  
Feb 29th, 2004, 08:12 PM
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ttt = to the top! and LOL - laughing out loud -
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