View Full Version : Minister For Qantas

Lead Balloon
19th Dec 2003, 10:40
Verbatim quote from Crikey.com

Waiting here in LAX for QF12 to Sydney, with Dick Smith and Partner in view in the First Class Lounge, I can't but wonder that I would love an alternative to having to fly the rat to Oz. Especially as they are ALL full until the 26th and I had to bump someone from the plane using my status to get on. Not the first time it has happened either. The USA to Oz route is always full.


"Our insider at Qantas reports that CEO Geoff Dixon has been in Singapore at least 4 times in the last 6 weeks. Apparently he is trying to stitch up a deal with Singapore Airlines to stop them bidding for the Pacific route, the greatest profit maker for Qantas.

Dixon has once again duped the Minister for Qantas, John Anderson, into believing that the status quo is the way to go.

Qantas claimed as late as two days ago that capacity on the Pacific route (LA to the Australian east coast) is not capacity constrained yet the Australian Tourist Commission has evidence that if they raised the seat capacity on the route by 20%, the planes would still be full.

Makes one wonder what John Anderson's agenda is? Dixon continues to argue that if the Federal Government grants rights to Singapore to fly the Pacific route, he would have to cut services to regional Australia as they are "loss" making routes.

Have a look at the last two Qantas annual reports and they clearly show that these routes are in profit and made $66 million the year before last.

If Anderson backs Qantas yet again, so much for increased inbound tourism from America and the mega dollars this would bring into Australia. And so much for open skies.

The Minister for Qantas had blood on his hands after the Ansett collapse and it is amazing that he even lets Qantas through the door for briefings these days. Afterall, didn't Geoff Dixon do a presentation to Anderson that suggested there was no way Ansett could go broke?"

Metro Boy
19th Dec 2003, 12:23
Well I guess business is business.

19th Dec 2003, 12:47
Look at it this way folks.

Like it or not Qantas being the dominant player on the Sydney-LA route means more jobs for Australians, more jobs for pilots and the money staying in Australia rather than going offshore.

Australian governments over the past 30 years or so have seen fit to sell off our institutions to foreign investors with little regard to the consequences of not only jobs, but eliminating certain industries from this country altogether.

Remember the govt paying sheep farmers $14 to kill sheep a number of years back while importing lamb from NZ?
What about Brazilian oranges and pineapples in our supermarkets - and for the same price!

If it means more jobs to Australians and you want to see foreigners reap the benefits then whine away lads.

19th Dec 2003, 15:02

I agree and disagree.

QF needs competition. Sadly, it never got it from Ansett International and that Virgin Blue is not pressured into Long Haul operations( as opposed to Virgin Atlantic ) political ignorance.

We need Australian based competition for QF. Our air routes are lucrative, yet count the foreign tails versus national tails at our airports. 20, 30 to 1?

We should be careful giving rights to ailrines such as EK and SQ to cherry pick our routes. Considering the political advantages they have as dictatorships and labour laws.

19th Dec 2003, 17:05
You have to think a bit beyond the flight deck on this one Timmee.
It would appear that there is a lack of capacity on the Pacific routes. This means that tourist and business dollars are unable to get to Oz. So while it might be good for QF to keep its flights full on these routes, it is not helping the tourist industry, or the economy as a whole. Who knows, those bought in by a foriegn carrier may have to travel QF to get around that great big country.
Interesting that both EK and SQ are mentioned here, as both operate from true open sky countries, and the competition does not seem to be hurting them too much.
So I am sorry, but I do not agree with this we must protect QF from all the bad guy operators from overseas. If it is OK for QF to operate to SIN and beyond, then why shouldn't SQ be able to do the the same in Oz. If QF is not up to the challenge, well they need a better management, not government support. :E

19th Dec 2003, 18:00

Why can't QF have government support? Or more likely afforded a degree of protection?

EK and SQ are heavily protected. The industrial relations in this part of the world gives an unfare competitive advantage.

Competition in the Arabian Gulf? Who are you kidding? Emirates, Qatar, Gulf Air, Kuwaiti, Eitarad etc-all government backed and subsidised by a modern day slave trade of sub-continent workers.

This "globalisation" of lucrative Australian air routes would not be neccessary if we had a second, home grown international carrier.

20th Dec 2003, 00:33
Fortunately EK does get to fly to a few places outside of the Gulf. So it does get to compete with a few of the big boys as well.
I guess the difference is that airlines like CX, SQ and EK are basically only around as life lines for the growth of their countries. More bums into and out of these places are how they (the countries) survive, so competition is encouraged. The greater economy takes priority over that of the airline.
If you think its ok for the government to support an airline to the detriment of other industries (tourism etc) well thats ok...but I do not agree.
Seems that industrial relations are not too much of a problem at QF. If they were in the past don't they just start new airlines to get around them? Almost as bad as the slave labour at EK!!!!


20th Dec 2003, 04:12
This was just a small sample and I'm not saying flights don't go full all the time, however I just checked staff travel for two of the flights departing tomorrow for LAX, all classes had seats avaiable. (total of 50+ each)

Pole Vaulter
20th Dec 2003, 05:47
Problem with the figures you pull out of the computer is that when you do a seat availability it allows the 100 or so overbooking factor that is allowed. Depending on the actual flight that figure can vary from about 50 to 100 so all looks good until you get to the airport and find nil seats available.

20th Dec 2003, 14:01
Nice back pedal Don.

For a moment I thought you were only thinking of the EK Flt Deck or trying to blind us with idealism from the MidEast.

I am not saying QF should be totally protected. But politicians must be aware of non-profitable & government backed airlines such as EK, cherry picking routes that sustain Australian jobs. That EK is further subsidised by a 21st century slave trade tilts the level playing field.

This, of course, balanced against tourism benefits.

If I was a politician I would give rights to Etihad Airways in Abu Dhabi. That would be fair and would bring trade advantages, aswell as levelling EK's Government backed expansion into Australian markets.

Richard Kranium
20th Dec 2003, 14:44
You are dead right Lead Ballon...Anderson had it in for Ansett for some reason with Max Moore-Walton whatever his name is...Howard was in the USA at the time of 9-11 so as the acting Prime Minister sank Ansett without a wimper...despite the fact Ansett was carrying close to 40,000 pax a day...

Maybe Anderson wants a seat on the Qantas board when the Libs loose the next election, or maybe a huge amount to payola was exchanged, but the Ansett story has not been told yet...the New Zealanders were plainly stupid as usual, but why Anderson scewed Ansett I would like to know...

There is no doubt, that if SQ got hold of Ansett, Ansett would be a huge hit accross the Pacific (or to Europe for that matter) with passengers from all walks of life, not only that, over 16,000 AUSTRALIAN jobs would have been saved, infact Ansett would have expanded and more jobs would have been created..

Recently a family friend tried to come from LHR to MEL via Singapore...ALL FULL on QF10 for days, so managed to squeeze in on QF32 to SYD then domestic to MEL, there is no doubt that QF needs competition on all quaters as they too have the blood of Ansett on their hands, just ask the Melbourne airport manager what he thinks of Qantas.

20th Dec 2003, 17:36
Richard K

If the NZer's are guilty of being stupid, then their stupidity was in getting involved in Business with Austrailians!.

I think "desperate" would be a better adjective,

Pleased to see your slowly getting the picture Re Anderson. It's remarkable the Aust Minister Of Aviation was seen on NZ
National News lobbying the NZ Govt to to reject the SQ,NZ,AN Merger.The beautiful thing is, ANSETT had the (Brazilian)
Pineapple (partly) inserted from within and still doesnt seem to realise it.........unbelievable or maybe........ stupidity!
Blame the Kiwi's (or who-evers convenient) then you dont have to face some HOME- truths,
Hmmmm this sounds like your whole Aviation industry at the moment... blame everyone/thing but yourselves!!!!. Its not a level playing field out there, accept it and get on with it, otherwise someone else will.

I can hardly believe you seriously think ANSETT would have survived the LCC assault currently happening in Aust. the clock was ticking, SQ's involvement would have been to dig a deeper hole that both ANSETT & Air NZ would not have crawled from, but I guess you would have prefered that eh!

Here's a prediction...you will hate this...NZer's are still desperate, the Jury's still out, sometime's things happen right under your nose and you still cant see them.

Ralph the Bong
20th Dec 2003, 19:01
Slam, SQ made no secret of their plans to expand Ansett international into the Pacific market if they acquired News Corps. 50% stake. Both AirNZ and Qantas did not want to see this happen as it would impinge on their most profitable routes. I rather suspect that this was part the AirNZ board's stupid decision to purchase the remaining stake without performing due diligence. It was when AirNZ realised that AN needed capital injection and restructuring that we were cut adrift and scuttled. It is pretty evident that Anderson met with Helen Clarke to lobby against SQ buying further into AirNZ and providing funds for AN's restructing(and I dont think anyone from AN would disagree that restructuring was needed). The result was that AN went broke and the NZ taxpayer had to bail out AirNZ to the cost of $880M. All so Helen would not be seen to be selling off the farm prior to an election! She really has taken the NZ public for a massive ride! Had SQ/AN/TE been aligned by way of common ownership, the result would have been an enhancement of services across the Pacific and better competion in Oz. Not only that but there would be enhanced job security NOW for those at AirNZ. And THAT would have been a good idea! Fact of the matter is that lower fares=more PAX fromUSA=more demand for tourism services in Oz and NZ+more jobs for pilots.

20th Dec 2003, 20:58
No back flip at all. Just a statement of fact. Some governments put the prosperity of the nation before that of the national airline., for the greater good and all that tripe. It is interesting to note that these same airlines seem to be doing pretty good for themselves regardless, and to think they bring more dollars into the land as well....who would have guessed.
I think QF should be able to stand on its own two feet and take on any challengers. Must be pretty depressing to be told that you are so crap that you need a Government to be constantly looking over your shoulder to keep the boogie man away. Surely QF is better than that.
Very interested to hear how SQ and EK are cherry picking Australian routes...(as that fish and chip owner once said!) PLease Explain?

21st Dec 2003, 05:54
Gnadenburg, I'm sure your comments are quite true regarding EK/SQ cherry picking the SYD-SIN-LHR/CDG/FRA routes. What I have problems reconciling is them cherry picking the:




It's quite possible that these routes are viable only because of the slave labour conditions at both these airlines. As such it's just another version of the LCC theory providing a service to the free market at the expense of........ Well the next time we all want to go on holidays let's go the long way round and support the local full service airline for a change. Now let's define service.

Richard Kranium
21st Dec 2003, 10:21
Look Slamer...no one in Ansett wanted to do anything with Air New zealand....no one put a gun to the New Zealand board to buy Ansett we wanted nothing to do you with you people...unfortunately TNT and NEWS sold out...but before that Air New Zealand was a half partner for about 2 to 3 years...Singapore was to buy for 500 mil...the wise NZds paid 680 mil after stopping SQ...WHY because exactly right mate Ansett would just about wipe Air new Zealand of the Pacific route, and put a huge dent into QF.

Why do you think SQ bought into ANZ, thats right to get at Ansett through the back door, but the obstacle was the foreign ownership of ANZ so who better to stop that than that pinacle of human intelegence Helen Clark that would belive anything Anderson told her...the fact is SQ AN and ANZ would have been a formidable force and Dixon knew this, Anderson was Dixons pawn to stop this...as it was easy after the great and inteligent New Zealanders stopped the SQ buy of Ansett...and what did Helen Clark say..."before we were made to buy that limon" really..why didn't you New Zealanders just go away, but no, its egos of the likes of Cushing and the rest of the stupid Air New Zealand board getting even for all the years of Ansett flying around in NZ that clouded their judgment and of course scared of a formidable Ansett accross the Pacific.

As was said in crew rooms around the network in Ansett...and it was said with enourmous anger and venom at Air New Zealand at the time when Air New Zealand stymied SQ " Those F......G!! New Zealanders would rather have 100% of nothing than 50% of something "

This whole episode was so pathetic and only at the hands of New Zealanders it could have happened..as I called it the Midas Touch of the New Zealanders....meawhile the NZ taxpayer took it up the you know where with the so called pineapple with the rough end first...just look at how much money was waisted at this sorry episode, and Murdoch is laughing all the way to the bank...he surely must love New Zealand now...and is saying what smart people they are, as he has over 1.3 billion reasons to say that...

22nd Dec 2003, 16:06
Great post Richard , a Richard Cranium you certainly aren't !