Posts Tagged ‘jetstar’

Java volcano disrupts air services

Friday, January 28th, 2011

Airline passengers bound for Bali are facing travel disruption as Mount Bromo in Java continues to throw volcanic ash into the skies. Qantas’ budget arm Jetstar has said it will be cancelling services to the region until it is safe to resume, as has Virgin Blue. Other airlines have also said they will not be flying into the area until experts say it is safe to do so.

However, passengers flying with Garuda Airlines to Denpasar from Melbourne were not disappointed as the carrier’s 11.00am scheduled flight left the runway. Air Asia has also said that it will be continuing to fly to the region.

Both Singapore Airlines and Cathay Pacific are being more cautious and have cancelled flights until they are told it is safe to fly to destinations affected by the eruption. Virgin said that it had decided to postpone its services after taking advice from the Darwin-based Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre.

Jetstar is due to fly to the area from Melbourne, Sydney and Darwin later in the evening, but said it was monitoring the situation and would decide whether or not to carry passengers depending on advice from aviation experts.

Simon Westaway, a spokesman for the airline, said the number one concern had to be passenger safety. With this in mind the carrier will be closely monitoring the situation and will only fly customers when they are guaranteed there is no danger, he added. Last night, Virgin Blue customers flying out of Brisbane and Sydney spent the night in Darwin because of the eruption.

Virgin Atlantic stake may be sold by Singapore Airlines

Wednesday, January 5th, 2011

Airline analysts are watching Singapore Airlines closely to see how its new chief executive officer will deal with the carrier’s underperforming stake in Virgin Atlantic. Goh Choon Phong took over the top job from Chew Choon Seng on 1 January. His predecessor had already expressed an interest in divesting the airlines shares in Virgin.

Since 2000, when SIA acquired its 49 per cent stake, the shape of the airline industry across Asia has changed dramatically. Fierce competition is now coming from budget carriers like Jetstar and AirAsia. SIA’s market share of the extremely lucrative business market is also under renewed attack from airlines such as Korean and Cathay Pacific.

A further challenge is being offered up in the Middle East where airlines including Emirates, Etihad and Qatar are rapidly building their fleets on routes via their hubs to Asia and Europe. It is therefore believed that SIA will want to give up any plans for global expansion and concentrate its efforts on defending itself against the increasing pressures of the Asian market.

Virgin Atlantic has announced that it has been approached by various international carriers about a possible tie-up. The airline is 51 per cent owned by Sir Richard Branson, and unless he gives up his control, and SIA sells its share, it is unlikely that any other carrier is going to be willing to enter into an alliance.

Deutsche Bank has been put in charge of looking at the options available and, according to Virgin, Singapore Airlines has been supportive of the move.

Australian Paralympian drags himself to plane

Friday, November 27th, 2009

Australian budget airline Jetstar has apologised to Paralympic champion Kurt Fearnley after staff removed his wheelchair, forcing him to drag himself across the floor of a busy airport.

The 28 year old, who won the marathon gold at both the Beijing and Athens Games, hauled himself through Brisbane Airport and onto the plane when the company said his specially adapted wheelchair must be checked into the hold.

Fearnbley, who had just completed a 60 mile trek through the jungles of Papua New Guinea, was offered the use of an airline wheelchair, but refused it claiming that it was an insult to his independence.

He said that he did not wish to be pushed around by airline staff, saying that it was the equivalent for an able bodied person having your legs tied, pants pulled down and being carried or pushed through the airport.

Instead, Fearnley registered his anger by dragging himself through the airport using his arms, visiting the lavatory, and even boarding the aircraft without any assistance.

Jetstar, a low-cost subsidiary of Qantas, has now issued an apology saying any embarrassment and hurt was not intentional.

The airline has said its policy for passengers in wheelchairs was for them to transfer to the airline wheelchair, which is more manoeuvrable on the plane at the boarding gate, and have reassured Fearnley that they were working on an alternative boarding procedure for disabled passengers.

Australian airline offers frequent flyers permanent boarding passes

Friday, November 13th, 2009

Australian carrier Qantas aims to half its domestic check-in times by using microchips in its frequent flyer cards that would give holders their own permanent boarding pass and allow them to skip queues.

The new system would allow passengers to scan their card at stand-alone kiosks in the terminal before proceeding through security to their gate.

A simplified baggage drop would be provided, with frequent flyers given a permanent microchipped bag tag electronically connected with their boarding pass.

Boss of Qantas, Alan Joyce, said that the new technology, due to start next year, would benefit all Qantas passengers by reducing check in times.

She service would become available to the six million members of the Qantas Frequent Flyer program and all Qantas Club members.

Chief executive Alan Joyce said that the Qantas’ Airport of the Future initiative would begin next year with the introduction of the next generation check in system.

He said that Qantas Frequent Flyer cards would be embedded with an intelligent chip, transforming them into a personal boarding pass linked to permanent bag tags.

This would enable passengers to swipe their Frequent Flyer card on a reader and head to a simplified baggage drop or straight through the security process to the gate.

Joyce also confirmed his commitment to maintaining the standard of Qantas premium services, promising not to ‘Jetstar-ise’ the full service air carrier under his watch.