Tag Archives: Australian Travel Industry

British Airways…Bah Humbug! to you too travellers

Its our rights, we want you to listen to us, if not then…we will strike over Christmas..so there!

As 90% of the British Airways cabin crews decide to ruin Christmas for everyone involved, you really do wonder at what they will achieve, more money..probably, better conditions..maybe, being fired, yes every chance in hell of that one…and they deserve to be.

I was brought up during the bitter Miners Strikes of the 70’s that achieved the downfall of the British Industry as we know it, so I don’t sing a Union’s praises.

But if you want to achieve your goals in bargaining the first thing you have to do is have pubic opinion and sympathy to your cause on your side, it’s the biggest chip you can bring to the table, but Unite (union) have already blew that one, pretty well everybody now not only loath’s them (that is not just like but hatred), by doing this again at Christmas to try to leverage their case, It failed, your members will be (have been) booed from every corner of the Aviation Globe including here, this sort of blackmail doesn’t get things fixed anymore but drives a wedge between you and pretty well everybody else and even giving sympathy to British Airways, which in most cases is very hard to do, and worse is the very opposite of what the union is trying to achieve.

Worse is the fact that at this time of the year, and boy what a fun year 2009 was with that Global Financial Crisis thingy, is that the very company you are working for (British Airways) is guzzling money at a rate that sends the CFO home looking like a zombie and putting a shaking drink to his mouth to calm the shakes he gets when he looks at the balance sheets, is the fact that in the season to be jolly is one of the few seasons that you can actually put up your airfares and recover some of the debris, which by some strange factor of twelve x fourteen is paying your wages that you  take home at the end of your shift to feed your families and pay your rent and if anything is left over can buy a present for your hunk of a man (same for gay stewards) to give you a hug and cry on Christmas Morn.

Worse still is the fact that come April the British Airways management will cut you up with a knife with sadly our overwhelming support.

You may have a completely valid reason to strike or ruin Christmas, need to be heard, give your side of the situation as companies can be callous bastards and treat their staff with the same regard as street people and vagrants, but this is not an effective strategy to help your cause, in 1969 yes, in 2009 it is close to murder.

You will gain nothing..and you lose everything.

If you are even close to having even a small brain, you may be able to save your job and meet me again in the cabin of a Boeing 777, if you don’t then it is to your loss next year….Merry Christmas.

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V Australia..About time?

Let the Pacific war begin

Let the Pacific war begin

V Australia in their opening up of the Pacific Routes from a monopoly which will have the greatest impact on Australian Aviation since Virgin Blue created the lower prices that stayed around for more than a few months (Impulse, Compass) , and will give Tourism Australia finally a reason to smile, Protectionism of this immensely profitable route will be a real head holding time for Qantas at Mascot, but the reality is Qantas has been a real thorn in the side of Australian Tourism in its approach of profitability on the Pacific Routes both ways, and shows that overly protecting a national Icon can really hurt the the very thing it upholds.

I was far more expensive to fly to Los Angeles and San Francisco than to go to London or Paris, with these gateway costs so high, a return fare to New York was astronomical, it was cheaper to get a around the world ticket than have a return fare to NYC, or fly to London and go across the Atlantic then return was the same price, in other words it was ridiculous.

Qantas has held the country to ransom and knew what it was doing, and the Politicians in Canberra are to take most of the blame in letting the Airline do so. Tourism Australia should have also banged it’s drum far louder than it did and showed more in its mettle in doing what was right and not what monopoly’s can get away with, but Australia has a history of such head in the sand approach, its Two Airline agreement reigned for years until it was finally buried.. again to the benefit of Qantas but not so to Ansett which went south, but since the demise of the policy the local Australian Aviation has thrived like no other with excellent LCC carriers and good fares, And Qantas even benefited too as Jetstar has been a success they could only dream of..

So why get in such a lava over all of this, well not only did Australians pay way over barrier than what they should like in the Two Airline Policy days, but In that it also made Australia a very expensive country to visit, it is far enough away from prime travel markets as it is, but this was keeping arrivals at far lower levels than they should have been and certainly for years and years this has cost Australian Tourism millions and millions in lost revenue to give Qantas a few extra bucks in the bank, in fact Qantas should apologise for its behaviour and give the Australian Traveller a better deal to make up for all its callousness and greed.

Qantas finally only when forced has the Airline has finally dropped its prices from Aus$ 2000 + to around $1200.00 return to counter V Australia’s prices to date of average $1199.00,(both include taxes) that is in some cases a $850.00 drop (or Profit which ever way you look at it), that is a big drop by any Airline standards, but the benefits for the country will now certainly be apparent, but is it a little too late, today with the economic crisis going at full speed the Americans don’t anymore have the spare cash to pop downunder, one benefit though is the exchange rate is well balanced in the USofA’s favour making Australia an excellent value destination, and it almost always tops the most “I want to go there” lists, But for Australians its a bugger of a bad deal, offset only by the cheaper fare.

Qantas has another problem is the 777’s V Australia is using is very competitive on the routes, only the newly minted A380 Airbus’s came just in time to save the day in efficiency and high load factors, Virgin’s product is usually very good too, there are always accolades on their service and the niceys they throw around, if Qantas only had their 747.400’s still running the line, Qantas would have had a small disaster on their hands, old equipment, old service, expensive to run over the same distance, the Airline would have lost money on every takeoff from Mascot if they had matched the new prices, the only saving grace would have been lower fuel costs, but even that would have helped V Australia more than Qantas..

LA – Sydney is first on the 27th February, Followed by LA-Brisbane April 8th, LA-Melbourne Follows in September, worse for Qantas is the Sydney – Johannesburg SA routes have also been applied for, another cash cow gone, so is all of this fair to Qantas?

The answer is no, they should have rationalised the routes years ago, they have to do it now because they simply have too, if the fares had been fair there would have been no competition needed to show the discrepancy of the high fares people have been paying, Qantas will of course state this or that reason of why the fare were slated so high, but the real reason is two fold, inefficient equipment and good profit, now they will be well behind the ball mostly on the Aus-SA route, with the Boeing 787 coming in sometime in the never never.

There is no doubt it will be a tough year for the boys at Mascot, but for everyone else and mostly for the country it should give V Australia a helping hand in doing something Qantas should have done years ago, give the country and its tourism industry a fair go price wise to one of the worlds largest travel markets, so …good onya mate!


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Qantas…its time to be careful on domestic agents

flight-picture

There is no doubt that Qantas have given Australian Travel Agents a poor deal, mostly since the duo-poly of the 90’s system died, Qantas thinks they can do whatever they like, when they like it and stuff everybody else..up to now this approach has done wonders, for Qantas, for shareholders and for profits, but this is not a good tactic in the long run, Tourism is one of the most volatile businesses in the world and now Qantas are really going to have to work harder than ever to compete in the slow periods forecasted in 09/10, and it will need every ally it can muster to the cause, but at the moment there is a huge chasm between two sections of the Australian Travel Industry that should be working together for the best of the Industry and not dividing it, both sides rely on each other, but Qantas has to realise the precarious position it holds, If Travel Agents and Wholesalers continue to slip away, the benefiters are certainly  Emirates, Singapore Airlines, Virgin (VAustralia), Etihad et all who are going to embrace the extra business with open arms, business once lost will be harder to win back if ever, And Qantas’s biggest cash cows, the Kangaroo Route via Singapore is seriously going to be threatened by Dubai and other middle Eastern hubs and its Pacific Routes by V Australia’s cheaper fares and Delta’s reemergence in Sydney, I am sure that Australian Travel Agents will be more than happy to book clients on these new (hopefully profitable) deals, Also another problem is Qantas’s other cash cow, business travel that will be also flat lined as well over this period or even longer while relying on Jetstar to carry the domestic flag, and there is no doubt that the internet has made agency commissions a thing of the past, but the Airline has to understand that Travel Agents are still its lifeblood, it’s cheap advertising of its products, it’s silent salesmen and women, working together will strengthen our industry, make us both money, and bring new ideas to the table to expand our sales and products to the world either through the internet or direct sales,  Qantas can lose or will, this last cash cow and the faith of a large Industry workforce like it will the other sections of its business, but if they want to compete and stop the cascading drift of business overseas its time for a new approach to the Industry.