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Backpackers Xpress eyes Darwin base

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Backpackers Xpress eyes Darwin base

Old 5th Sep 2004, 02:09
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Backpackers Xpress eyes Darwin base

Northern Territory News

Cheap flights tourism pitch
By PAUL DYER
September 4, 2004

Up to 2000 backpackers could fly to the Territory each week on a new low-cost international airline that is looking to use Darwin as its base.

BackpackersXpress plans to offer five weekly flights between Australia and Europe -- three from Manchester in Britain and two from Munich in Germany.

Founder and managing director Glenn Millen said about 100,000 backpackers could fly directly into Darwin each year -- starting from November.

After scrapping plans in June to fly into Melbourne, Mr Millen has opted for a base in either Darwin or Cairns in North Queensland.

He is in Darwin this week to begin negotiations with the Territory Government and the local tourism industry, facilitated by local consultant and former CLP minister Mick Palmer.

"There has been a lot of pro-activity -- and that is probably one of the most critical things for us in terms of hubbing the airline out of Darwin," Mr Millen said.

"If it works out, Darwin may very well end up with its own international airline."

Mr Millen said he would be putting a formal proposal to the Territory Government next week, seeking business support and marketing assistance.

Chief Minister and Tourism Minister Clare Martin last night said: "We certainly welcome their interest and we look forward to receiving their proposal."

Mr Millen said the business would relocate from Brisbane to either Darwin or Cairns.

Mr Palmer, a former NT primary industry minister, said there was also an opportunity to send more than 100 tonnes of freight direct to Europe each week, including fresh seafood, cut flowers, and tropical fruits and vegetables.

Northern Territory News

==========================================
Wirraway is offline  
Old 5th Sep 2004, 08:05
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a backpacker airline? run by backpackers? or targeted at backpacker?

if its targeted at backpackers then the airfares must be cheaper than a train ticket!

and what of working conditions!
Ultralights is offline  
Old 5th Sep 2004, 10:22
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They intend to use a knackered old 742 - now would you go on that or a shiney new A345 like one of Emirates, mmmmm, hard choice.
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Old 5th Sep 2004, 13:31
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if its targeted at backpackers then the airfares must be cheaper than a train ticket!
I hear it's quite expensive taking the train from Europe to Australia .
AerocatS2A is offline  
Old 5th Sep 2004, 16:43
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Mung-Bean Airlines.

An all-economy load-out of 500 or so "students" out to bang their way around the top end.

Imagine the stench of all those unwashed pommy backpackers' botties locked into a tube for 15hrs or so. uughh..

And the hairy arm-pits and legs on all those chicks.... Never before would so much feminine body hair be gathered in one place.

I feel sorry for the hosties who will be working this wonderful job. Who says the glamour's gone from flying......

Will the backpackers do the standard backpacker end-of-trek move and hang a "For Sale" sign on the Jumbo when they arrive?
air-hag is offline  
Old 5th Sep 2004, 22:34
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Hosties? Surely they'd just need a few "dealers"! It'd make the trip go faster too! I imagine it would also be the only "smoking" flight around too.
Buster Hyman is offline  
Old 5th Sep 2004, 22:38
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Air Hag - well said !!

There was a company that operates into Australia during summer called Airtours.

They flew London - Bahrain - Singapore - Sydney.

They managed to squeeze over 290 pax into an all economy B767-300 ER and catered primarily to backpackers on this run.

Like an old family friend that served on submarines during WW2 said, "the ship stank of ar$eholes and armpits" - but nothing compared to 290 in a similar sized tube !!!
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Old 6th Sep 2004, 00:34
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BCD. For the record, Britannia had around 290 on a 762!!!!! For passenger comfort, they reduced it to about 270 for long haul Oz flights!!!
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Old 6th Sep 2004, 01:46
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Well I gotta tell you this formula was used very succesfully in the early seventies to service the VFR business to the Motherland on the Roo route and literally forced the the intro of the APEX type fares by QF into Oz.

QF management then, refused to believe the market existed.

Yup they were the days when you had to be interviewed by the local QF manager and found to be a suitable person (suit and tie recommended and socks and sandals an automatic NO, before you were permitted to buy a seat and could prove that you would not be "bumping" a staff ID90 or FOC educational or whatever they called it then.

We had to fight a guerrilla action with the IATA inspectors = QF in those days and literally ship em out to the nearest airport out of Oz or do the "discounted transfer priced" full fare airline paper routine with airlines like SQ, MH Thai and Olympic and the pax had to join a "travel club" but it worked.
And yes the QF UK office blokes were on the bandwagon too.

All economy B707 338s and 250 pax DC8-63, boxed meals, tea and coffee.
But hey, return airfare less than half the "protected" one and a stopover with accom, transfers and and a tour each way to top up the old duty free.

Ahh thems were the days.

You know you are on to a winning formula when you have "mainline" staff and families as regular pax.

It is a fact that their nemesis SQ and to a lesser extent MH waxed fat on the traffic and are perhaps where they are today as a result of that "Imperial" attitude.
One wonders what would be the result today if the then QF management had allowed the youngsters (my peers) who were breaking their necks to get into it to do so.
gaunty is offline  
Old 6th Sep 2004, 12:11
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Hi, Y’all,

Ah guess ah learned sumthun new t’day, that fella Gaunt, why he invented the cheap air travel business, as well as inventin them thar commuter airlines, and that corporate travel business and all.

Damnation, must be ma’ memory’s just a little bit hazy, could have sworn I read somewhere that that dumcluck mob Qantas put in the first $700 London returns, the bazzabout, ‘bout the time good old Malaysia/Singapore Airlines, MSA, was still being run by a team from Qantas, with a little help from BOAC. Seem to this old brain that was just a little before MAS ‘n SQ wuz invented after that little tribal bustup between Singapore and them there ol’ friend on t’other side of Ponkol Crik.

Ah just can’t figure why this Gaunty fellas ‘bin sellin little houses and playin’ with his joystick all these years, by rights he should’a run Ansett or Qantas.

Ah just had this notion, just a’maybe he was a’runnin’ Ansett.

Yehaaaah
’t ‘li’l fella.
poison_dwarf is offline  
Old 6th Sep 2004, 12:20
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According to the official line from the CAA here in the UK, Qantas got allthe slots from the UK to Australia that were on offer recently - and BacpackersXpress got nothing because of their poor business plan.
Also, Manchester Airport sources say they have no news on BackpackersXpress intentions.
Vuelo is offline  
Old 6th Sep 2004, 14:19
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Some of the older types here might have the wrong idea when you talk of backpackers.

It's something the Aussie tourist industry has only just woken up to (in the last 5 years). I seem to recall that the backpacking crowd actually spend more money in Oz than any other group of tourists (japanese, etc). OK, they spend it over a ~6 month period, but that fact remains.

Most backpackers are not poor types, dreadlocked hair feathers in hats and chanting wierd stuff. They are mostly well educated, at least middle class and have substantial money behind them. They are also not only 18 year old pommies and swedish babes. Many are mid 30's professionals who are taking time off in a mid carrer sabbatical.

That these backpackers try and shop around for a $10 bed instead of $12 is their mentaility - their dollar goes that bit further and they can spend that $400 on the scuba/abseiling/kakadu tour or stay in oz that bit longer before heading home into the real world of work.

The market is there, good luck.
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