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On a wing and a prayer

Some say that Qantas’s woes are due to global economic circumstances others will insist that its poor leadership from Alan Joyce as their CEO Personally I say that both factors are right up there along with my personal favourite , namely that the era of cheap air travel will not last or be at all enduring, it has only existed this long because so many governments have, for political reasons and a desire to enhance national prestige been propping up so many airlines.  Essentially air travel has been heavily subsidised and no that this country has a government who won’t play the same game it hardly surprising that Qantas  is in such a dire circumstance. With that in mind lets consider the Union response as reported in the Fairfax press.

click for source

click for source

Street marches? Digging their heels in? Do these dinosaurs understand nothing of reality? What it boils down to here is the simple reality that the choice is to have a far leaner Qantas  or no Qantas at all  and it would not matter a damn how many street marches they have  the public are just no longer buying into this kind of stupid industrial campaign and no matter how much the usual suspects will insist that we should keep the jobs in Australia their rhetoric is not matched by their credit cards when it comes to their own air travel. Oh its easy to propagate a sort of aviation jingoism about Qantas but if the flying public don’t vote with their bums and chose Qantas above the other purveyors of high altitude near death experiences then the company won’t be able to make a quid and if the company can’t make a quid then the protesting unionists may was well move their protests to their nearest Centerlink office.

On a wing and a prayer Comrades

The spitfire certainly is an elegant looking aircraft

The spitfire certainly is an elegant looking aircraft

Air Australia, the death of an airline is a portent for the future


I know that its going to upset the latte sipping class but there is one thing that I’m certain of and that is the simple truth that we are facing the end of “cheap” mass air travel, as the cost of the fuel that powers the planes keeps increasing there is just no way that we won’t see the prices of those tickets to any destination remain affordable to the ordinary people. Companies that try to keep their planes in the air will either have to substantially increase their ticket prices of run the risk  of going out just like Air Australia when they can’t afford to fill their planes:

With this and the news that Qantas is doing even more cost cutting in its maintenance facilities in this country which has seen the premiers of both Queensland and Victoria publicly grovelling in their attempts to see the other have to wear the loss of jobs that will result from this “downsizing”. Its hardly a dignified example of the politician’s role but I reckon that it is something that we are going to see a great deal more of over the next few years as the Air industry declines in the face of ever increasing fuel and wage costs.

There is an upside though and it is this, all of our global warming true believers will be able to avoid the charge of hypocrisy because they won’t be able to afford those expensive and emission heavy overseas holidays instead they will have to enjoy sojourning in places closer to home during their vacations, its not like we lack enough natural wonders or delightful accommodation  in this country to please even the most jaded Latte sipper now is it?

I have seen the future and in it there are far fewer aircraft are flying…

Cheers Comrades


The future of mass air Travel

Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

Pardon my indifference but I just can’t get too excited about the current crisis that Qantas is in at present,Yes I think that the Pay rise given to the CEO is obscene, and yes I acknowledge that its a big deal that all of that company’s flights have been cancelled but in the long run I think that it just demonstrates that we are seeing the beginning of the end for cheap and affordable air travel, quite simply because there is no getting around the fact that with ever increasing fuel, labour and infrastructure costs its is getting ever more difficult for any carrier to make a quid.
In the conflict with its unions this looks awfully like an all-in bet from Qantas and I expect that they will be ordered to stop their lock-down later today. Which will result in them being able to demonstrate their bravado and determination without it costing them too much. Its a smart move that has put the unions and our government onto the back foot and non flyers like yours truly can only roll our eyes and think what slaves our society have become to the cult of fast and cheap travel…

Cheers Comrades

Gasp! It may affect the big race next Tuesday! sadly I don't care about that either.

Air travel, really safe?

PerthNow.com / Kristin Anderson

Ordeal ... A passenger from the downed A330 jet is admitted to Exmouth Hospital. Picture: PerthNow.com / Kristin Anderson

TEN passengers are recovering in hospital after they were injured when a Qantas Airbus A330 was involved in a mid-air incident over Australia’s north-west.

They were hurt when the passenger jet carrying 313 people experienced a “sudden change in altitude”, forcing the pilot to make an emergency landing near Exmouth.

The Royal Flying Doctor Service said at least six of those hospitalised had suffered serious spinal injuries. A further 30 people suffered slight injuries.

WA police said at least 20 passengers were seriously injured, with broken bones and lacerations.

Inspector Wayne Silver, of WA Police, said preliminary information suggested there had been some sort of “instrument failure” and turbulence, forcing the emergency landing after a mayday call.

Emergency services and medical staff were at the airport.

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau said the pilot of the Qantas flight from Singapore to Perth declared an emergency after a mid-air ‘upset’.

The incident apparently caused passengers to be flung around the cabin, breaking some passengers’ bones.

Qantas confirmed that “a number of passengers and crew sustained injuries, including fractures and lacerations … following a sudden change in altitude.”

As the article goes on to say thousands of people are injured each year in this sort of indecent, and they insist that this sort of travel is safe…
If the good lord had intended us to fly Comrades

There but for the grace of God….

and they claim air travel is safe?

It is very easy to quote statistics about the safety of air travel but the inescapable fact is that in the event of a mechanical problem with the machine that your chances of surviving the resulting crash are very slim indeed. Those passengers on this particular plane should count themselves as being very lucky indeed and i offer a very big hat tip to the crew who managed to avert disaster.
Of course among the public is the notion that cheap air travel opens the world up, and it has certainly been the case in the last twenty years or so but you have to wonder just how sustainable it will be into a future where oil continues to be so expensive, and how long will it be before we see the return of sail for long distance travel overseas? This would of course be a particularly good option for those of the green faith if they are keen to avoid either death in the sky or the charge of hypocrisy, spewing many tons of CO2 into the air for the sake of something as frivolous as a holiday.

There have for some time been suggestions that sails may be added to some freight vessels to save fuel costs…
Cheers Comrades

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