View Full Version : The Australian Domestic Market 2011

30th Dec 2010, 02:32
2011 is shaping up to be somewhat interesting year for the Australian Domestic Market? Here are some of my thoughts!

Virgin- With the new CEO at the helm we shall be seeing quite a few changes with the 'Virgin" Brand as we know it. Basically we can say "Out with the old, In with the New". With the new A330's coming on line for the West / East coast runs enabling Virgin to snare bigger chunk of the Business market. With the recent gains of the AFL contract and more its definate that Virgin are serious.
The EMB-170's are out, a very wise choice in anyone's eyes. High DOC's compared to Turboprop aircraft they were a very bad choice [Similar to Kendall's venture into CRJ-200's]
Will we be seeing an order of ATR42/72 aircraft this year?

Qantas- We have probably seen the 'New' Business class seats on board the A330, this comes straight to my mind...

What the heck were they thinking?

When those aircraft deploy on the West/East coast runs, watch the Business punters flock to Virgin Business class product. Although we havn't seen what Virgin has to offer, it has to be better than cloth 3 - Abreast seating!
The move by Qantas to purchase of Network Aviation is interesting. There are plenty of 'rumours' floating around of what Qantas has to gain for this purchase mainly from increased FIFO revenue. The Fokker F100 are excellent examples of aircraft, cheap and have one of the lowest DOC's in the market the FK100's operate with.I guess we will have to see what happens in this market?
One thing that stands out is now Qantas has access to a Perth Hanger which we will more likely see the 737's stay in Perth for its A - Checks, avoiding costly flights / schedule to the East Coast.
What does Qantas have in store for us this year?

Skywest- Finally the A320 has arrived! WA's True regional airline... With the WA Governments near completion of dividing up WA market routes, Skywest looks likely to snare a majority share of these routes.
Could we see another A320 coming in shortly and see them operating more RPT services interstate and abroad?

Strategic- I wonder what goodies they have in the bag for us this year? Could thinking out of the box routes be Strategic's gain??? From all accounts their PER - DPS routes are actually doing quite well up against the cheaper options and lower operating cost International Airlines.

REX- Australia's largest regional airline. Operating probably the worlds largest fleet of Saab 340B aircraft where will be seeing them operate this year?

I am interested to hearing everyone's thoughts of what they expect / or think
of what the carries will do this year. I know I've missed a few, so anyone can stump up!

Mr. Hat
30th Dec 2010, 05:03
Qantas Will finally "lose it" with Boeing over the 787 and tell them to jam it. Will purchase several F100's for growth of Network. Will inject more money into Jetstar and grow Jetstar aggressively. Question is - will the big Q buy Alliance and finish off their FIFO plans?

Jetstar Will push ahead with "Pan Asian" strategy. Singapore and NZ operations will run well. Cadets will become a bigger and bigger part of the resource process eventually phasing out other sources apart from DE Captains within 5 years.

Virgin Will announce its new branding. Will announce an Asian partner (this will be the big news of the year). At the end of the year will announce a turbo prop to replace the Embraers and finally compete with Qlink.

Tiger Will start a Gold Coast base and annoy the living crap out of Jetstar in doing do. Will get their EBA thru. Will end up with an Australian partner...:E

Not sure what the GA charter companies will do. Probably more GA charters..

30th Dec 2010, 05:36
Okay, Hope I'm wrong about some of this...

Qantas: Will continue to shrink with the rise of Jetstar. :confused:

Jetstar: Will continue to expand at the expense of Qantas. HOWEVER... The Senate enquiry may force a re-think of their employment practices. We can only hope! :mad:

Virgin: Will ponder the diversity of their fleet, the areas that are losing money, and finally bite the bullet. Those pilots not on an EBA may find themselves at the Governer's pleasure.:ooh:

Tiger: Unless they follow through with their original planned fleet size (30 aircraft) they are gone. I mean honestly how long can you justify the losses, and make no mistake, they cannot grow to profitability with just 10 aircraft! :rolleyes:

Qlink: More Q400's. Hardly a state secret though. And no, progression will not be offered to domestic. :{

REX: Absolutely no change whatsoever! Although there may be some schedule reduction, depending on the amount of blood loss to the Majors. Feburary 2011 will not be a pretty time for REX Crewing and Customer Service staff. :(

30th Dec 2010, 06:08
2011 does remind me of the Confucian curse: "May you live in interesting times."

QANTAS - I have thought ever since they announced Jetstar that the plan was to shrink QANTAS mainline back to the J curve plus Perth. In other words, where ever there is a substantial business market. Running full-service flights to holiday destinations packed with people who want the cheapest flight does not work in todays environment. Leave the bogans to others.

Jetstar - is the stalking horse of Australian aviation. It is the test bed to see just how far pilots, government and the community will tolerate lower terms and conditions before someone bites. While it can continue to offer cheap fares no-one but the aviation community will give a damn. However, watch the hypocrites crawl out from under their rocks come the bent airframe.

Virgin - for me is the interesting one. Its survival was being questioned not so long ago and now with Borghetti at the helm some tough decisions will have to be made. It has been pushed closer to the QANTAS full-service model but I doubt that it can afford to go all the way down that path which is extremely risky without very deep pockets. However, it wants the cream of full-fare pax and especially the business class traveller. It is now complicating its fleet structure by introducing the A330 on top of the E-jets with commensurate increase in costs, so why keep further complicating that by introducing yet another type which would not have the "jet" advantage in selling seats to the punters. If they are going to keep the E190 then why not expand that fleet?

Skywest - I don't know enough about the west coast market but if QANTAS is going to get fully involved in the FIFO market then look to a charnel house come negotiation time for the contracts.

Rex - with its all-caring attitude to its staff may yet find life extremely tough in the coming year when nearly all of its senior drivers suddenly find a sunnier future somewhere, anywhere else.

The The
31st Dec 2010, 11:07
My Predictions for 2011

Qantas - Decides to split the brand again. Pays millions of dollars to come up with the name Trans Australia Airlines for the domestic operation. International ops are nationalised and the brand becomes known for safety quality and innovation (hang the cost).

Jetstar - Spins off a low cost subsidiary, calls it "Impulse". Buys a fleet of cheap B1900's and ships newspapers around the country with them.

Virgin - The carcass of Jetstar is merged with Virgin. Pays a few million more to brand consultants and comes up with the name "Ansett". Air New Zealand and Newscorp buy a strategic stake (Rupert smiles slyly).

Tiger - Brian Grey becomes CEO. Brand consultants decide "Compass" is the best name and remarkets the airline (for a few weeks anyway).

REX - Changes name to Hazelton and provide a profitable niche regional market until bought out by some big idiot who stuffs the lot. Counts on a pilot cadetship to pull it through the tough times.

Me - My speculative shares pay big dividends and I finally retire ( for the 3rd time and finally by choice) a wealthy sod. Buy a farm with lots of water rights and sell them to the government (during a drought). Sell the land for a freeway bypass and move to the far south west coast of Tasmania. Global warming makes the area a tropical paradise and I grow bananas as a hobby (might even build a big one as a tourist attraction).

31st Dec 2010, 12:23
Some excellent speculation and exciting possibilities posted. But I would like to know the answer to some of the following questions if somebody has a crystal ball handy for 2011 ???

1) Will Strong James continue to wear bowties to Qantas board meetings ?

2) Will Smiths Dick return as Director of Aviation Safety, CASA ?

3) Where will Trevor Jensen pop up next ?

4) Will Anthony Albanese wear lenses or contacts in the new year ?

5) Will Darth return to Qantas and perform one more public display of erotic affection with Margy for old times sake ?

6) Will GA become a focus of government strategy due to the government realising GA's absolute relevance to a multitude of Australian businesses ?

7) Will there be a 'White Paper Part 2' which will contain lots of irrelevant data, nil defined commitment to anything and be filled with words such as - 'robust, transparency, worlds best practise, cohesive, enhanced, empower, innovate, promulgate and strategic framework ?

2nd Jan 2011, 06:53
Virgin and Skywest will tie up and Skywest will be virgins turboprop arm.

2nd Jan 2011, 07:21
10000Ft says Virgin and Skywest will tie up and Skywest will be virgins turboprop arm.

Nice dream but that wont happen. VB want to expand there own base in PH and get more FlyInFlyOut stuff on their own. Expect to see 73s based in Perth this year.

2nd Jan 2011, 09:31
Virgin would be mad to get into the regional turboprop market, for all the reasons discussed on this forum about a year ago.

About the only way they could achieve regional dominance is to effectively decimate the opposition, and that won't happen unless of course they do something really wild, like stand outside the REX carpark and sign up all the experienced crew on 20% increase in salary and eventual progression to jet jobs! :}

Ooooo! :ooh:

Arnold E
2nd Jan 2011, 09:47
like stand outside the REX carpark and sign up all the experienced crew on 20% increase in salary and eventual progression to jet jobs! http://images.ibsrv.net/ibsrv/res/src:www.pprune.org/get/images/smilies/badteeth.gif
Dont think you can talk your way into a pay rise that easily. Your going to have to do the hard yards yourself, sorry, but true.:cool:

2nd Jan 2011, 10:56
Just stirring the pot Arnie'.

Truth be known of course, no airline manager worth his/her salt would ever offer a rise in salary to attract crews to a new operation, let alone progression. In fact the opposite is true. ie: E-jet - 20% drop in salary, 777 - Further 20%, NZ and Sing positions on A320/30 for less money than many turbo-prop captains. etc, etc, Bawahaha! :}

My point is, the Only way for Virgin to compete in the regional market would be to decimate it's opposition before the first shot is even fired. The only way to do that would be to bleed white the opposition's skilled workforce, and the only way to do that would be to offer a deal in excess to what would amount to a "sideways step". That of course would go against the very nature of airline management (they are only interested in driving conditions down), and like you, I am well aware of that being something that will never happen.

As for "hard yards". I'm sure we could compare notes on that subject!

2nd Jan 2011, 11:03
Virgin will be operating turboprops within the 2011/ 2012 timeframe but REX will not be operating them. The owners of REX have told Virgin the only way they will operate turboprops for them is if Virgin buys them out. Virgin have told them thanks but no thanks and are now looking at other options.

2nd Jan 2011, 11:10
Ok F111,

Do you know how many Turbo-props Virgin intend on operating?

2nd Jan 2011, 11:36
I've heard 15-20, but that could change if the 190's leave the fleet in a few years time.

2nd Jan 2011, 13:46
Very interesting.

Now this has been done before, but my prediction for Virgin Turbo-props in 2011-12.

If it does happen, I hope Virgin have a rabbit to pull out of the hat, either that or virgin management are even more inept than I first feared. Frankly I don't think even they would be that naive or reckless. Why?

I'm assuming 15-20 aircraft would be to compete with REX and QLink on the East Coast and possibly SA. REX have 45 aircraft opperating on approx 90% monopoly routes. Qlink a similar number. Dubbo, Albury Balina, Wagga Wagga, Ad-PLQ, and Mildura are the only routes with competition. These prime routes are fully serviced by REX and/or QLink (except Ballina), and like most regional services the profit margins are fairly tight.

REX have arguably the lowest Debt/Equity ratio of not only any airline in Australia, but most other businesses as well! With almost total ownership of assets (aircraft included), REX posted a profit of around $24Mil last financial year. It is a very tight financial organisation.

Now, how much to set up a regional Turbo-prop organisation from scratch? What would be the cost of say 15-20 ATR72/42's? $200-$300 Mil? and that's with less than half the fleet size of just one of the competitors. Then there's training, Engineering, port infrastructure, additional terminal space at the capitals, not to mention the need for approx 200-250 pilots and flight attendants. How much will the initial set-up cost? What will the returns be?

Mind you VA has consumed around $250Mil of Virgin's cash reserves for nil profit, so maybe they're on to something!

I'm not sure why this rumour persists, but if what you say is true F111, I for one would like to know the rationale. If you are in the know, please share with the forum. Serious question, maybe I'm missing something, because IMHO such a move would be disasterous for all concerned!

2nd Jan 2011, 20:15
Qantas - All future 738 will be owned/crewed by Jetconnect, to allow them to operate domestic flights with cheaper crew and using the 1:50 ratio for crewing.

Jetstar - Will continue to outsourcing crew, to the point of using off shore bassed crew for domestic services.

Virgin - Will operate the first half of the year under the Tasman alliance, doing everything to the book. Allow them to megre the full airline with NZ & becomes Ansett2

2nd Jan 2011, 23:08
QANTAS - mainline pilots will unite and stand against the rubbish. The 787 will be secured in the LH EA. More promotional opportunities for crew with the new arrival of 380's, 330's and 73's, as well as the handing back of the 330's given to J* (because now QF will pay for JQ 787's instead....:ugh:) Increase in the premium market. AJ's contract not renewed.

Jetstar - senate inquiry will mandate a minimum 1500 hrs for FO's. Cadet program blown out of the water. Forced to recruit through the usual channels. Moderate expansion in Asia, nothing much doing in Aus. 330's will be crewed by overseas pilots, but when the EBA is up (not sure when) J* guys and girls will tire of the bullshit and make a stand. Finally realising that being undercut by the next lowest bidder is bloody frustrating........

Jetconnect - FWA will rule that Jitconnict crew to be paid the same as mainline crew, or they have to stop wearing the uniforms, calling themselves the spirit of Australia and screening the JT safety demo which says there are QANTAS pilots up the front. A reduction in flying as the Tasman flights are slowly recrewed by mainline

Virgin - will keep plodding along, being cast aside by QF and J*. Will sneak under the radar, and before you know it, wil be a fully competitve outfit, turning a profit, with engaged staff, solid management and open communication

Rex - starts bleeding pilots again due to the scrapping of Jetstars cadetship. Rex will be allowed to keep operating their's though.

QLink - Same same......

GA - spurred on by the scrapping of the J* cadetship, the lack of a QF cadetship, newbies will be forced to go through the industry via GA again. More pilots competing for the first job. Probably less people learning though.

I thought it was time for a more positive (i guess depending on where you sit...) response

pprune or ppdreamne????

Brian Burke
2nd Jan 2011, 23:25
Re: DJ A330's

Not yet, but it's not far off till the first one arrives! :ok:

BB :cool:

3rd Jan 2011, 10:08
Krusty, they have the cash but are they ready to part with the war chest for the sake of turboprops ? I'm not so sure. It is a big gamble. If China's economy takes a dive then in 18 -24 months time there may be no need for these aircraft on the west coast. Redeployment to the east coast to service FIFO due to LNG projects is possible, but it is a huge risk right now. If they want to borrow the cash from somewhere who is going to support such a huge risk and back them during a time when the economy IS NOT even on the road to recovery ?
Anything is possible when you look at the past decade in AUS, but I don't think DJ is going to purchase and set up a bugsmasher operation in the near future.
Mind you, Clive Palmer could probably back them financially and in return ask for a percentage of the profits and become a part-time board member. If the whole thing went tits up at least Clive would only have a small dent in his wallet as he could afford the loss. However Il Deuce would have some explaining to do.....

3rd Jan 2011, 12:58
I agree gobbledock. I just can't see the logic. I mean the margins are thin. I would think Virgin would be looking to decrease the complexities of the fleet, not increase it?

Mind you nothing would surprise me after the last 10 years we've been through.

3rd Jan 2011, 22:03
Interesting thread, and some interesting points, my view?

QANTAS: International will continue to flounder with the influx of ME airlines and cheap low cost international airlines. The international arm of the airline is becoming stale, basically through the inept management style in place. Domestic? Game on with VB, although the dispatch rate of the 767 and 734 (which will start to be withdrawn) will become a problem and an advantage for VB. Huge loss of buisness patronage? Not yet, just a gradual decrease of market share, but eventually a large share will go to VB. Eventually be enough for the board to start asking questions in regard to the companies present directions. Might see a lot of money being thrown QANTAS domestics way towards the end of the year, but unfortunately a bit late.

Virgin Blue: Exciting year. New look, engaged staff. No regional turboprop just yet, too much on their plate this year, and although they have a big war chest, JB won't risk it all at once. Main thing VB need to do is distance themselves from the bearded one, he will do more damage than good in attracting the buisness clients. JB management style and knowledge of the industry will make it a good year for VB.

Jetstar: Industrial problems and a media nightmare. More rapid expansion for dubious gain in a declining lesuire market will put a huge drain on QANTAS in a time when they are being attacked on both high and low yeild market. With little employee loyalty manpower will become a problem, and this will lead to moe operational problems. European flying will begin but will become a huge problem with Asian full service carriers providing better value at the same price. All in all a huge headache for the Qantas group.

Tiger: A hard one! With a leisure market under strain and a huge excess of seats in Australia, this could be a hard year for Tiger.

Qlink: same as usual, with limited expansion in WA

REX: New type announced, same as Qlink, quiet year of consolidation.

The rest? It all depends on the economy.......could be a year of hurt for some smaller Airlines.

I think a really interesting year!

Mr. Hat
4th Jan 2011, 00:24
Great thread. Great to play crystal ball and maybe revisit it in a years time. I sometimes go back and have a read of the GFC threads (sad I know).

like stand outside the REX carpark and sign up all the experienced crew on 20% increase in salary and eventual progression to jet jobs!

There will be no need for them to offer much at all KRUSTY. Young mates who have changed sides would be quickly giving their mates the update on what the company is like to work for. What the sims are like, what the culture is like. And on this, REX hasn't a hope in hell. Money is one thing, culture is another and its is 10 times more powerful. The whole Virgin fleet will merge under one brand and I suspect young up and commers will see the opportunity to get a foot in the door with the potential to fly a 777, 330, 737 or Ejet one day down the track. Lots of choice for lifestyle/stages. The rostering is also a strong point that others don't have. Much like QF you cannot beat a major for choice and options.

Virgin and Skywest will tie up and Skywest will be virgins turboprop arm.

They're already tied up and directing people off F50's directly onto 73's to the east coast. I can't see REX or XR becoming the turbo prop arm. They'll buy new aircraft and start from scratch. One thing is for sure. If the regionals have trouble finding pilots now wait till VB get a turbo prop. The big factor of course will be not if they do it but how they do it. If they do it ala Qlink which is separate recruitment for QF then it probably wont attract as many. If they do it under one banner with progression onto different types this could attract many applicants. Who knows even a cadetship onto the turboprop arm?

There is a theme amongst some that VB in particular should stay with just a 73 and that getting other types weakens their position. This is a pretty bizarre idea. Do they let Qlink and J* 330's have cash cows to themselves? Sure the Ejets and a 777 with Cessna 210 size cargo doors wasn't the smartest of ideas. Neither was that stupid QF copy paint scheme. (rumoured to be the scheme of choice for the group)

Choosing the correct aircraft for the route is probably the way to go. The Ejet wasn't the right type but an ATR might be. Perhaps the turboprops wont happen in 11 but maybe in 12? The question you have to ask is this:

If JB could snap his fingers and replace all Ejets with a fleet of ATRs would he? I suspect he would.

I'm sure REX is very profitable and so is Qlink and this is why ATRs might just turn up in V colours one day.

Of course it could all change depending on what the VB EBA reveals. It could go back to 30 emirates interviews/departures a month or it could be THE job to have in Australian aviation. Time will tell.

4th Jan 2011, 03:39

I injected a dose or reality with a few comments concerning DJ and turboprops. See the thread entitled New SE Aust Airline starting on page 5 of GA and Questions for any one interested.

The Oracle

4th Jan 2011, 07:07
Gidday ORACLE et'al.

I must admit when I first noticed the thread on New SE Aust Airline my eyes glazed over, mainly because it was done to death about a year ago, and lets face it, we all know the situation here, or more to the point we all should.

I've revisited the thread and as usual your in depth analysis and years of practicle knowledge in this area do the subject much more justice than I could ever do. I tried to extract some sort of usefull debate from F111 a few posts ago, but honestly if what you had to say to him in December didn't sink in, I don't know what would.

Don't get me wrong F111, I'm not trying to be negative, or disparage you, but you should re-read ORACLE'S post, and refer to his sage advice when Virgin's foray into regional turbo-prop operations is still-born, or heaven forbid, they actually embark upon such a folly!:{

porch monkey
4th Jan 2011, 07:25
This is of course the same oracle that argued black and blue not 2 years ago that VB was doomed and we should all get out.:confused:

4th Jan 2011, 07:26
I do wonder with all these Virgin expansion plans if they will not spend too much money too quickly.
There is not that much spare cash floating around in the airline industry and these things do cost a lot (V-Aus, dumping Ejets, new A330's, new business class, presumably new club lounges, new uniforms, new names, new paintjobs, new inflight service, turboprops to new markets?, alliances, expensive managers from other airlines (QF), etc the list goes on).
It takes time to produce a new product and even longer to get a return on a new product.
How much money do Virgin currently make?
How much cash do they have on reserve?

The best thing going for Virgin's future is Qantas's lack of focus on the high yielding market.
As a QF employee I wish VB the best in their premium focus as I believe it is a positive for Qantas mainline product to have a viable competitor.

4th Jan 2011, 11:42
Krusty etc, the big boss (JB) has told crew Virgin will be operating turboprops, with his last conversation about them taking place during early December. At one of the roadshows he was asked about Qlinks dominance of regional Australia and if he has plans to do something about it. His reply was yes he has a plan and it would be known to all sometime between 1 Jan 2011 and 31 Dec 2011.

Don't expect any announcement within the 1st quarter of this year, as the focus is getting the A330 into service, introducing the new product and uniforms.

Remember he knows how much profit Qlink adds to the Qantas bottom line and just like his plans to grab more of the business market, he knows he dosen't require 50% of the market to make money, 20 - 30% is all that's required.

REX could have been the operator, but the owners want it all their way ie a total buy out. The bearded one learnt from his last purchase of an airline, they come with to much baggage and vowed never to buy another airline. Plus the cost of purchasing another airline could be used to fund other aircraft.

Regarding finding crews and how much to pay them, if the apply the 20% number they used to come up with the Ejet pay scale then Captains would be paid around $112000 plus allowances and getting 14 - 15 days per month with progression onto a jet within 3 years, so I'm sure they will have no problem finding crews.

Markets at a guess would be;
NSW: AY, PMQ, CH( replacing ejets), DU, TW and WG
QLD: BUD, EMD, GLA and perhaps HVB

4th Jan 2011, 12:12
Thanks for the detailed reply F111, what I was fishing for from the beginning. Going to be an interesting 12-24 months if JB goes ahead with what he has said.

As for the pay, conditions, and progression, are those numbers being bandied about at the roadshows, or is it speculation at this stage? I ask because IMHO that is pretty close to what would be required for people to jump ship in significant enough numbers.

Needless to say Virgin can try to recruit people from wherever they like, but in the upcoming battle (and it will be a battle), the abilty for all sides to maintain schedule (amongst other things) may very well be crucial to the final outcome.

We'll stay tuned.

4th Jan 2011, 12:39
No specifics at the roadshows the 20% is based on the Ejet crews getting that much less than the 737. Even if they offered around $100K for Captains I'm sure they would have no problems finding pilots.

4th Jan 2011, 19:25
Hullo Porch,

How nice that you remember my earlier comments on the future of DJ. Those comments focussed squarely on the colllective ineptitude of the previous CEO, his 'team' the original Board and how they had taken a business that had listed on the ASX at over $2.00 and creatively reduced its share value to less than 0.17 cents near the lowest point.

Notwithstanding the abilities of Mr JB and his positive impact, DJ remains a 'virtual' airline with debt well in excess of any equity and this is reflected in both DJ's dreadful share price and its current poor profitability. While the inter-line agreements with Ethhad, ANZ and Delta (if it proceeds) will certainly help to create 'mass', market conditions remain tough and it seems for DJ particularly that cash is very tight.

The Oracle

4th Jan 2011, 21:12
All JB has to do is announce the purchase of Q400's and offer DEC to existing Eastern/Sunstate pilots and its over for Qlink. Same money but better life style would do it!

4th Jan 2011, 21:44
newsensation says" All JB has to do is announce the purchase of Q400's and offer DEC to existing Eastern/Sunstate pilots and its over for Qlink. Same money but better life style would do it!

Yes I am sure that would make the 500 Virgin fo's very happy ....
Nice dream for the Qlink boys and girls but will never happen.

Mr. Hat
4th Jan 2011, 21:48
The big questions are:

Will it be separate to vb ala qlink?
Will the ATR/Q400 be in addition to the Ejet or replace them?

Turbo props were mentioned right back when he first started but as F111 says he's concentrating on the 330 first.

4th Jan 2011, 22:09
I think I know where your coming from Pammy'.

When/if parts of the E-jet fleet are replaced by the Q400/ATR/Bristol Box-kite or whatever, what will become of the F/O's, especially those at the bottom of the list?

I still look for Commies' under my bed at night as well. Personally I would imagine these people would progress onto the proposed expanding Virgin Jet fleet? All things being equitable. Unless of course you are suggesting that some Current Virgin Jet F/O's would have their noses out of joint because of lost command opportunities onto a Turb-prop!

All crewing issues, that will need to be sorted as just one aspect of what would be a complex and risky excercise.

4th Jan 2011, 22:32
Just noticed that Embraer has included the EMB-120 at the bottom of its commercial jets list on their new web site.

Is this a tempter for potential customers?

Two years ago embraer suggested they were looking at a new turboprop but hinted more at a re-engine rather than complete redesign.

Maybe there is something behind the scenes which may be announced later in the year. A modern, efficient, re-engined stretched E120 would be very competitive against the Dash and SAAB.

Being already involved with Embraer could VB be the launch customer for a new turboprop?

Mr. Hat
4th Jan 2011, 22:47
I don't think vb will ever buy anything from Embraer ever again.

Yes I am sure that would make the 500 Virgin fo's very happy ....

Suspect the majority wouldn't go back to flying a turbo prop in a pink fit. I also suspect it would be much like the current system: Can get a quick command on Ejet or wait a decade or more for the 73.

If you look at QF they have very experienced FO's that sit and wait. I suppose there is no other option.

6th Jan 2011, 07:53
Correction Mr Hat - lastest round of 737 command slots offered to FOs with as little as 3.5 years service. :}

Mr. Hat
6th Jan 2011, 08:26
Interesting. I assume thats Sydney.

Do you have estimates on the other bases

I"ll start it:

Brisbane: 100 years..haven't got the key for infinite on my mac :)




6th Jan 2011, 09:56
Yes it was only for Sydney, my guess is Brisbane 737 commands still require 7+ years of service and Melbourne 5+. Don't think there will be 737 commands in Brisbane for a while.

6th Jan 2011, 10:19
7 years for Brisbane?? Tell him he's dreamin! Current lot of guys getting melbourne 737 are around 8yrs in the company, as for Brissy...I guess anything is possible around here, but I wouldn't expect a new 737 command there for a very long time. The base will not grow, and those that have commands there sren't likely to let them go!

Reality is, anyone joining now who would like a 737 command in the next 10 years, start making friends in Sydney!

Captain Sherm
6th Jan 2011, 21:48
Mr Hat.....you just press Option and 5 together and you get infinity on your Mac

Hope this helps


7th Jan 2011, 08:53
Would be nice seeing a mix of ATR42/72 aircraft in the red livery!

Warped Wings
7th Jan 2011, 09:13
7 years for Brisbane?? Tell him he's dreamin! Current lot of guys getting melbourne 737 are around 8yrs in the company, as for Brissy...I guess anything is possible around here, but I wouldn't expect a new 737 command there for a very long time. The base will not grow, and those that have commands there sren't likely to let them go!

All depends on the rate of A330 expansion I would say.

Mr. Hat
7th Jan 2011, 09:38
Would be nice seeing a mix of ATR42/72 aircraft in the red livery!

It'll be in v australia colour if anything:yuk:

7th Jan 2011, 09:55
Would be nice seeing a mix of ATR42/72 aircraft in the red livery!

Maybe take a look at the history of the aircraft type before wanting one, good for the tropics and maybe northern states.

7th Jan 2011, 12:37
Maybe take a look at the history of the aircraft type before wanting one, good for the tropics and maybe northern states.

43, I assume with the northern states comment, you refer to icing accidents involving the ATR series aircraft? Would you be so kind as to elaborate on that remark?

9th Jan 2011, 06:52
Since Virgin is meant to be getting 'rid' of the E-170's. Does anyone know if Virgin has found a buyer for them as yet?

9th Jan 2011, 07:23
The aircraft are owned by a leasing company - Jetscape, which are being offered for either sale or lease.

Goat Whisperer
9th Jan 2011, 09:53
If the E170s were leased in, they would be sent on their way; Jetscape are acting as brokers for their sale.

9th Jan 2011, 10:04
If the E170s were leased in, they would be sent on their way;

Not true...

You can just say from tommorow we no longer operate the EMB-170! You still have routes to fly, passengers to carry - you can't just switch off and ground them1

Howard Hughes
9th Jan 2011, 10:07
NSW: AY, PMQ, CH( replacing ejets), DU, TW and WG
if the apply the 20% number they used to come up with the Ejet pay scale then Captains would be paid around $112000 plus allowances and getting 14 - 15 days per month with progression onto a jet within 3 years,
Where do I sign? Hang on a minute that would actually be a paycut!:}

9th Jan 2011, 10:53
My belief is that Virgin will continue to grow in the right direction with the leadership of JB. Their fleet wil expand, may include a regional prop (Q400 or ATR). Given JB was at Qantas, he should know how much of a money making cow the Q400 is, it would be no brainer for him to not consider it replacing the E-jets.

Rex will continue to bleed pilots and struggle to staff their planes due to their poor pay and condition. Their cadets scheme will eventually dry up with the introduction of 1500 hours by CASA, and thus cries foul! More experienced crews will move on to better paying jobs from Virgin, Tiger and Jetstar.

Qantaslink, like Rex but could be in potential big trouble IF virgin decided to get some 400s to play and offer a CAREER progression into their 737s, A330 or the E-jets. I would not be surprise if majority of the pilot will jump ship.

Jetstar will continue to grow while Qantas will continue to shrink. They will only offer NZ or Singapore based for future employees. A few of their recent employed will realise how s*** of the deal they got but have no real way out until their contracts finish. Qantas' will loose business passenger to Virgin due to their incompetent management and awful new buisness class offering. AJ will further try to cut cost wherever he can except his paycheck. Employee become less engaged (Don't know whether that's still possible) than previously.

This of course is based on

9th Jan 2011, 23:05
Announcement has been made, Skywest is the winner and will operate 18 new turboprop aircraft for Virgin Blue. Looks like QLink and REX will have some competition with Skywest opening up bases on the East Coast.

Mr. Hat
9th Jan 2011, 23:42
Apologies goes to the 8 post veteran 1000 ft who said:

Virgin and Skywest will tie up and Skywest will be virgins turboprop arm.

The 1700 post Hat says:

They're already tied up and directing people off F50's directly onto 73's to the east coast. I can't see REX or XR becoming the turbo prop arm. They'll buy new aircraft and start from scratch

No idea.. guess pprune is all speculation but 1000ft either took a good guess or is awfully well informed! Well done:ok:

Feel free to provide any other predictions..lotto numbers etc..

We were all wrong on the dates though. This Borghetti fella does he actually go home and sleep? Insane work ethic!

10th Jan 2011, 02:17
Well done Mr Hat,

At times I have found your posts offensive but after the post above my opinion of you has changed. Well done for admitting your errors and apologising.

The VB rumours have been floating around Skywest for a while now but credit to the Skywest guys and girls they have resisted temptation and kept them off this forum.

Skywest and VB both being listed on the ASX are subject to certain reporting rules so I dare say further information will be released soon.

Certainly a very exciting time at Skywest.

Mr. Hat
10th Jan 2011, 03:35
No worries at all XR. Don't be offended by my comments! I don't mind a stir now and again! Its only prune.

10th Jan 2011, 03:51
The biggest loser out of this is REX, they will not be able to compete against two operators operating 70 seat aircraft.

10th Jan 2011, 06:06
I did tell everyone the numbers would be between 15 and 20 and that REX wouldn't be operating them, just didn't get the Skywest bit.

So what do the REX supports have to say now?

Mr. Hat
10th Jan 2011, 06:18
So what do the REX supports have to say now?

Where do i apply?

10th Jan 2011, 10:27
Will we be seeing an order of ATR42/72 aircraft this year?

I nailed it on the first post!

10th Jan 2011, 10:41
How are you so sure of type...no announcement yet is there?

10th Jan 2011, 10:52
you'll see. Turboprops are on the wya!

10th Jan 2011, 11:55
:ok: JB sticking it to Qantas......he's doing great things for the domestic market and great things for VB and the XR/DJ tie up is very interesting and will shake up the regional markets a bit. It makes sense getting XR to run the prop fleet, looks like XR could potentially/is going to become the regional/charter arm of DJ, so only a matter of time until we see them running the E190's round the place. Ala QF and QF Link.......

There is ALOT of $$$ involved in the FIFO business and with more and more projects coming up in the Pilbara it's only going to get better for someone.

Can't wait to see what DJ comes up with for the big re branding and overhaul , going by JB's record so far it can only be good and hopefully he gives a J class worth paying for unlike the Qantas joke that was put on the latest 330.

It does make you wonder if he had of been given the top job at QF what he would of done with the rat...........could of turned it around too instead of letting the little leprechaun slowly poison it to death.

10th Jan 2011, 22:07
Be interesting to see if these Turboprops that are coming in will ultimately replace the EMB-170 routes they fly in?

Mr. Hat
11th Jan 2011, 03:07
Hmmm I think the turbo props are the begining of the end for the Embraer. JB knows there is no competing with the Q400.

Howard Hughes
11th Jan 2011, 05:36
The biggest loser out of this is REX, they will not be able to compete against two operators operating 70 seat aircraft.So they won't, they will continue to make a mozza from the routes where they are the sole operator!;)

11th Jan 2011, 09:43
I reckon the money is on the ATR42/72 split. But I wouldnt put anything past the Q400, quite a few on the market that can be snapped up

11th Jan 2011, 09:59
ATR are pushing the new -600 model which features a new full glass flight deck with cat 3 AP and ACARS. It also a newer larger engines which makes it faster than the current -500.

In the phone hook-up yesterday Skywest confirmed the VB deal is for a 70 seat turboprop so we could see the 72-600 used on the east coast and the 42-600 in the west. They also said they are looking for the best deal, so with ATR keen to get the 72 into Australia I'm sure they will sharpen their pencil.

Going Nowhere
16th Feb 2011, 00:41
Seems like QF finally woke up. :rolleyes:

Qantas 747s to fly Perth-Sydney - The West Australian (http://au.news.yahoo.com/thewest/a/-/wa/8847209/qantas-747s-to-fly-perth-sydney/)

Qantas 747s to fly Perth-Sydney

Qantas is applying blow torch to Virgin Blue’s plans to snare some of the corporate market with a new business class product by introducing 747-400s on the Perth-Sydney route from May.

The new 747 service will leave Sydney at 10am for Perth and will depart Perth for Sydney at approximately 1pm.

The 747-400 will be in an international configuration with business class lie flat beds, premium economy and economy layout.

Virgin Blue will introduce a new business class product in May with its first two 300-seat A330s which will be dedicated to Perth services from Sydney and Melbourne.

Qantas will also announce today that it will reconfigure some of its A330s reducing the number of business class seats to a six across layout.

In December, Qantas re-introduced a business class layout on its A330s of seven across in a 2-3-2 setting.

The airline tried this when it first took delivery of the A330s eight years ago but pressure from corporate accounts saw it scraped.

Most Qantas A330s are still in the six across business class layout.

Qantas will also add another 1700 seats a week on its Brisbane-Perth route with an additional daily A330/767 service.

piston broke again
16th Feb 2011, 03:35
Surprise surprise. It's the only way QF can expect to retain a reasonable share of it's business customers. Can't wait to see VB's 'almost' lie flat business seats. Unless QF can match this on all their services, there will still be an exodus of it's regular business pax. I dare say the route frequency and the frequent flyer scheme will be the only thing keeping them at Qantas. If borg's comes up with a strategy to beat that which I'm sure is in the works, then it's game on in 2011.

16th Feb 2011, 03:49
The new 747 Syd-Per flights are at awful times for business travel.....

Mr. Hat
16th Feb 2011, 05:06
What sort of turn around time would one expect for a 74-400?

16th Feb 2011, 05:52
It is sad to see Qantas has no eggs left in their basket!! They have to recycle the old B747's and use them as domestic machines, clearly not what they were designed for! All the new equipment is going to Jetstar....shame on the Qantas board!!

16th Feb 2011, 06:00
Qantas management yet again displays it's "reactive" approach to everything they do.

Not an original thought among them....

stubby jumbo
16th Feb 2011, 10:28
What "Genius" dreamed this one up?

1000am departure from SYD ......:rolleyes:
1300 departure from PER...........:{


Did anyone bother to ask any business people in SYD or PER-consult the Platinum data base and do a ring around of the idea.

Nope ! Just find a spare 744 and plonk it into the network where it fits OUR F:mad: needs.

WAKE UP....... JB knows this market. He is already sniffing the breeze and smells the scent of decay!

Overhere-the Perth locals are sick of the 2nd rate treatment QF dishes out.

Hey....try something new. Talk to the customer. Ask them what they want.


16th Feb 2011, 12:02
Stubby jumbo: it's actually a 1010 departure SYD and an arrival into PER around 1300 LCL. The 744 then departs PER around 1435 and arrives SYD 2020 LCL.

Given all the A330 and B767 flights both earlier and later in the day, what exactly is the problem? You want a later 744 departure out of PER and have the plane end up in MEL or BNE because it's missed the SYD curfew? One of the eastbound flights has that problem every day - you want to simply switch the types around? Or are you wanting the 744 Skybed on the redeye PER-SYD? That would be nice but the skybed is not really targeted at 4 hour sectors. You really have to consider where the Skybed is wanted at night: coming overnight into Aus on long sectors from HKG, SIN (ie Europe) and from the USA. So it really isn't as simple as it seems.

A look at June's timetable shows 7 QF flights doing SYD-PER-SYD, all at different times of the day, to meet demand throughout the day no doubt. Perhaps putting all that extra 744 capacity on in the middle of the day means that now business class pax won't be struggling to get a J-class seat on any of the other 6 flights!? Greatly improved flexibility for the suits!

There is just no satisfying some people though.... We could bring caviar back onto the menu and no doubt you would smell something fishy in that.

16th Feb 2011, 12:26
Actually... YES... you would like the skybed on the red eye when you are trying to SLEEP!

The whole idea is that the 747 provides a better Business Class offer, but business people want full days... they don't want to arrive or leave in the middle of the day!

16th Feb 2011, 19:20
Speaking from many years of domestic flying experience, including a lot of Red-Eyes: the problem is I don't believe the demand is there to have a 350+ seat plane with 65 Skybeds doing the PER-SYD Red-Eye. Sounds lovely for a pax but I reckon that would be a loss-maker overall. AT MOST what is needed is an A330 doing the Red-Eye but we seem to be short of those, for some reason.....

And yes, I still question the whole cost/value/benefit thing of a Skybed on a "relatively" short sector such as PER-SYD. Granted, it's a miserable night-time leg but you would only be tucked up in the Skybed proper for about 2.5 hours, 3 hours max. But I'm sorry, but these are expensive things and are not in unlimited supply. They are used on genuine long haul routes where people will get/want to get 6,8+ hours of sleep. The airline could not justify the return on the investment putting them on PER-SYD at the expense of foregoing them elsewhere on longer sectors.

So why do SYD-PER-SYD during the DAYTIME with the 744/Skybed? Exactly as they say: using the aircraft when they would otherwise be sitting on the ground, prior to heading to Europe overnight. This is all about increasing total capacity and you'd do it with A330's if they were available (again, where are they...?). The Skybed is just a bonus and the marketers are playing it up - maybe they shouldn't.

Domestically, on SYD-PER-SYD you provide a J class product that is roomy enough, seat reclines a good distance and is private (ie, no 7th seat -something QF has stuffed around with for years, going back and forth on that 4 times so far, by my count).

There will always be people who want more and more but at the end of the day are not prepared to pay for it. In the case of a Skybed on the PER-SYD Red-Eye: it would cost QF a LOT in foregone revenue if it sacrificed European/USA Skybed services in order to put it on Red-Eye. Would pax pay an increased J-class fare to offset that? Not a chance.

stubby jumbo
17th Feb 2011, 08:10
.........thats precisely my point Ushuaia.

Its NOT about whats best for Qantas.

It should be whats best for the customer. Let me tell you.....there are loads of people here in the PER business market prepared to pay for the 744 on the Red Eye. There are many many Execs associated with the Resources Companies who are time poor who would (or their companies) be more than happy to pay the premium.

Hey ....why not ask them ??????

.........Not some one with "plenty of years of domestic flying experience" sitting beyond the thunderdome !!!

17th Feb 2011, 09:35
Mate, if you are going to derogatory and resort to insults ("...sitting beyond the thunderdome...") you will quickly lose respect and attention. But I'm happy to ignore that for now.

It's actually not just what is best for the customer. And certainly not what's just best for Qantas. It's actually about finding the right balance, "partnership" if you like (sounds a bit stupid but that'll do) that works for both parties, from all points of view - schedule, frequency, commercial viability, etc.

By way of example, using your logic Qantas should be operating services to Algeria, Pakistan and Trinidad because that would be best for one of our huge customers: BHP Petroleum. But it just wouldn't be commercially viable for Qantas. So of course Qantas is not going to simply operate those services at a constant loss just because "it's best for the customer."

Now I don't know the exact numbers in the to/from PER market, nor am I the number cruncher. However if you reckon you've got enough people to pay the equivalent revenue Qantas would lose by swapping a 744/Skybed doing SYD-LAX with an A330 doing PER-SYD then go ahead and put it to Qantas; maybe they will take up the idea. But you know, despite your assertions I don't reckon people would really pay the significantly higher fare that would be associated with that. And there are smarter number-crunchers/analysts/market-surveyors (yes, true) in QF who I suspect would say the same.

The 744/Skybed is a large aircraft with a very low seat-pitch in a large % of its cabins, so it has to go a long distance and earn bigger revenues to pay its way. Despite what is best for some passengers. No airline would make any money at all if the latter was the only criteria. As far as I know, DJ is not putting a full Skybed equivalent into its A330s either. They plan to compete on price point and sounds like a cool product also. But not flat bed on a Red-eye.

17th Feb 2011, 11:42

I appreciate your arguement regarding utilisation of the 744, however I can't imagine that they'd be flying long haul after they return from Perth. The aircraft won't be back until just before curfew, and well after any of their long haul flights depart.

I assume that they will have excess 744's as the A380s come on line, and this is a way to utilise the 744 instead of sending them to the desert.

I don't believe the opportunity cost is sending these planes on long haul flights. So if you're going to utilise the aircraft in this way, you may as well use it when the customer would most benefit from what it has to offer.

Well, that's what I think anyway!

17th Feb 2011, 13:19
If they have excess 744's why don't they keep SFO open?!

17th Feb 2011, 13:22
Good question qfguy!

17th Feb 2011, 13:29
I know someone will say that it's not making money. Then why isn't it? One of the highest seat loads in the network in the past few months and a cheap operation to run.

With only UA and QF flying to SYD from SFO and both are usually full then what is QF doing wrong?! If they aren't making enough $$ then charge more for the seat! There is clearly a demand.

17th Feb 2011, 13:42

Answer: because they will make more money out of it when the orange plague is gifted the route. Wake up and smell the roses.:ugh:

17th Feb 2011, 13:53
No argument Norm. But that's not happening in the near future. Not in SFO anyway.

17th Feb 2011, 18:33
Beerman, yeah, you are absolutely right - the current planned return time to SYD is too late to turn the jet around and send it to Europe. There is one late departure, the QF21 to Tokyo (departs 2205 at present) but even that is too tight given that the aircraft would have to be towed across to the international terminal also.

So it's probably more a combination of arrival times from long-haul overseas constraining the departure time from SYD to PER. And I expect this is more a case of using 2 or 3 different airframes on certain sector combinations over a 48/72 hour period, not just 1 airframe coming in from o/s, doing a quick SYD/PER/SYD and then immediately heading o/s again. More likely 1 aircraft in from o/s in morning, do a SYD/PER return immediately then night stop SYD for maintenance, o/s again next morning.

I really don't know what they are planning (it's a long haul type and not my area). If it turns out to be a dedicated airframe doing SYD/PER/SYD each day, then yeah, it ought to be on the red-eye. But I would also question the rationale for dedicating such a big aircraft to a relatively short sector.