Entries in New Zealand (4)


Australia, NZ airlines estimate ash costs; Fyfe, Joyce have it out

The Sydney Morning Herald estimated today that the June 4 eruption of the volcano in the Puyehue-Cordón Caulle Volcanic Complex in the Chilean Andes mountain range has cost "the local [airline] industry some $30 million" AUD (22.2 million EUR; 19.7 million GBP; 38.8 million NZD; 31.4 million USD).  Qantas Airways and its subsidiary QantasLink lost 21 million AUD according to estimates from the Herald this morning.

Jetstar CEO Bruce Buchanan indicated to the Australian Associated Press (AAP) that Jetstar and Qantas erred on the side of caution when it came to the decision on when to restart a regular flying schedule.  To justify such conservative decision making, Buchanan pointed to the absence in Australia, of the kinds of technology that enabled European-based carriers "to measure the density of the ash," when faced with a similar problem during the spring of last year.  Today, Qantas and Jetstar have cancelled all flights into and out of New Zealand, according to The Age, a Melbourne-based broadsheet daily newspaper.

The Icelandic volcano Eyjafjallajökull began erupting in March of 2010, and grounded air traffic in Europe for several days.  In its wake, a novel on-board ash detection system was debuted by the British budget airline EasyJet, but British scientific models of future ash movement wound up being roundly criticized, mostly by U.K.-based and Ireland-based airlines, for themselves being too conservative.

Meanwhile, a trans-Tasman tiff has erupted over an e-mail from Qantas CEO Alan Joyce, to the millions of Qantas frequent fliers.  The e-mail explained the Australian national airline's decision to ground planes for as long as it did.  Air New Zealand CEO Rob Fyfe got hold of this e-mail, and took it as implying that Air New Zealand (and other carriers such as Virgin Australia) acted recklessly by not grounding planes.  In a response, Fyfe pointed out Joyce's willingness to put ticketed Qantas customers onto substitute flights operated by Air New Zealand, "which seems like a strange thing to do for your customers if you have concerns about the safety of the airspace."  As of this posting, Joyce has not responded.

Fyfe is also hitting back against rumors out of Oz that Air New Zealand has grounded as many as six of its planes, supposedly damaged by ash, calling the rumors "malicious."  Air New Zealand instructed its pilots to detour around the ash (rather than ground its planes), after the ash swept down toward Antarctica, up across the South Pacific, and into Middle Earth airspace several days ago.

related stories

Volcanic ash wanders across Pacfic; snarls NZ, Australia air traffic (June 12, 2011)

U.K.-based easyJet will debut a new ash detector (June 5, 2010)

Airlines now criticizing British models of predicted ash movement (May 17, 2010)

Volcanoes in Iceland could affect aviation for decades (May 17, 2010)

The spread of volcanic ash from Eyjafjallajökull over time (May 4, 2010)

original stories

Fyfe: Air NZ's ash-damaged planes 'malicious rumors' (New Zealand Herald)

Airlines count flight interruptions costs (Sydney Morning Herald)

Some Australia flights resume, others nixed by ash (Yahoo News)

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Volcanic ash wanders across Pacfic; snarls NZ, Australia air traffic

The June 4 eruption of a volcano in the Puyehue-Cordón Caulle Volcanic Complex in southern Chile has affected air traffic as far away as New Zealand and Australia.  Unsafe levels of volcanic ash in the air have stranded upwards of 30,000 air travelers, at airports in those two countries, according to the Associated Press.

In reaction to the hazardous conditions, Australia's flag carrier airline Qantas Airways grounded all of its incoming and outgoing traffic at Tullamarine Airport (IATA: MEL; ICAO: YMML) in Melbourne, indefinitely.  Television New Zealand Online reported that the largest Australian airline did the same thing for all of its traffic at Auckland International Airport (IATA: AKL; ICAO: NZAA).  The New Zealand Herald Online reported that Qantas has cancelled all trans-Tasman flights indefinitely.

Air New Zealand was bolder in its determination to stay on schedule, but was eventually forced to alter several flight paths on account of volcanic ash in the region.  Australia's Sydney Morning Herald speculated that by Monday morning, airports in New Zealand would begin to be affected.

related stories

Iceland's Grímsvötn erupts; only 500 flights cancelled (May 26, 2011)

Mount Merapi erupts; many Jakarta flights cancelled (November 6, 2010)

U.K.-based easyJet will debut a new ash detector (June 5, 2010)

Airlines now criticizing British models of predicted ash movement (May 17, 2010)

Volcanoes in Iceland could affect aviation for decades (May 17, 2010)

Eyjafjallajökull damage report, and spectacular new video (May 13, 2010)

The spread of volcanic ash from Eyjafjallajökull over time (May 4, 2010)

original stories

Volcanic ash strands 30,000 in Australia, NZ (Yahoo News)

Chile volcano forces flight canellations (http://tvnz.co.nz)

Volcanic ash cloud cancels transtasman flights (New Zealand Herald)

NZ flights could face delays from ash (Sydney Morning Herald)

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Jetstar and American agree to codeshare flights

The Australia-based Qantas Airways subsidiary Jetstar Airways, and United States-based American Airlines, have arranged a codeshare agreement.  American Airlines posted to their website yesterday morning that it plans to put its codeshare symbol (AA) on five routes operated by Jetstar entirely within New Zealand, Australia's neighbor across the Tasman Sea.  Three of those are the Jetstar routes between Jetstar's focus city of Auckland, and the cities of Christchurch, Queenstown, and Wellington, the national capital.  The other two are routes between Christchurch and Queenstown, and between Christchurch and Wellington.

In addition, an interline agreement between the two carriers will enable American Airlines customers to access the regional network of Jetstar.  Jetstar’s CEO Bruce Buchanan said the codeshare relationship will enable customers to book flights on all three airlines, “as part of a single booking.”  In addition, Jetstar flights marketed with the Qantas codeshare symbol (QF) will be eligible for American Airlines frequent flier program reward points.

Qantas and American are both charter members of the Oneworld airline alliance.  Qantas is affectionately nicknamed “The Flying Kangaroo.”

Qantas was founded in 1920 in the Australian town of Winton, Queensland, as Queensland and Northern Territory Aerial Services.  Its official name is now Qantas Airways Limited, and it no longer uses its original full name for any official purpose.  It uses Kingsford Smith Airport near Sydney (IATA: SYD; ICAO: YSSY), and Tullamarine Airport near Melbourne (IATA: MEL; ICAO: YMML), as its hubs, and is based in the Botany Bay neighborhood of Sydney.

Jetstar was founded by Qantas in 2003 as a low-fare subsidiary, operating within Australia.  It is wholly-owned by Qantas, and has since branched out beyond Australia.  It flies 52 aircraft to 30 destinations in the countries of Australia and New Zealand, on the continent of Asia, and including the American state of Hawaii.  Its largest hub is Tullamarine Airport, and its main offices are in Melbourne.

American Airlines was founded in 1930 in New York, when dozens of smaller airlines combined to form American Airways.  It now operates 621 aircraft to 260 destinations, in North America, South America, Europe, and Asia.  It is the second-largest airline in the world by the former measure, and is the world’s third-largest airline by the latter measure.  The company moved its main offices to Dallas, Texas in 1979.  This relocation was criticized as a betrayal by then-New York mayor Ed Koch.  American’s main hub is Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport (IATA: DFW; ICAO: KDFW), and its main offices are in Dallas.

related stories

Japan Airlines and Cathay Pacific expand codeshare (September 17, 2010)

Delta and Hawaiian agree to codeshare flights (September 11, 2010)

Finnair will buy 20 percent of Finnish Commuter Airlines (September 9, 2010)

Aegean and Continental agree to codeshare flights (August 26, 2010)

Turkish Airlines and US Airways codeshare effective September 1 (August 12, 2010)

Brussels Airlines and Continental Airlines codeshare (August 7, 2010)

American and JetBlue launch partnership at JFK and Logan (July 20, 2010)

original stories

American Airlines and Jetstar Announce Codeshare and Interline Agreements (American Airlines)

American Airlines, Jetstar to code share (Sydney Morning Herald)

American Air deal for Jetstar (New Zealand Herald)


Continental schedules world’s first Boeing 787 Dreamliner routes

Continental Airlines announced this week that it intends to fly the very long range Boeing 787 Dreamliner jumbo jet from its hub in Houston to Auckland, New Zealand beginning September 16 of next year.  Continental intends to fly one flight in each direction daily on weekdays.  Development by Boeing of the eagerly anticipated aircraft has been delayed multiple times, but Continental chairman Jeff Smisek nevertheless expressed confidence in what the new route will do for the area around Continental’s current hub in Houston, Texas.  Houston-Auckland and the return flight are not currently flown non-stop by any airline.  The Boeing 787 Dreamliners used for the route (of which Continental has 25 on order) will have room for more than 200 passengers.  This includes 36 flat-bed BusinessFirst class seats.

The airline that became Continental Airlines was formed in 1931, and flew its first passengers in 1934.  In 2010, Continental approved a merger with United Airlines.  If the move is approved by the United States Department of Justice, the new airline would be called United Airlines and would be based at United’s headquarters in Chicago.  But according to the agreement, it would eventually be run by Continental management.

related stories

The United-Continental merger is not yet a sure thing (May 19, 2010)

United and Continental will probably merge (May 3, 2010)

original story (USA Today)