Australia, New Zealand & the Pacific Airline and RPT Rumours & News in Australia, enZed and the Pacific

QF DFW in - SFO out

Old 19th Jul 2011, 10:52
  #121 (permalink)  

Nunc est bibendum
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I'll try and answer them. Sorry for the brevity.

Not all ground air is suitable for packs. Sometimes it's only good for engine starting. Sometimes there are other restrictions. Sometimes someone else got the equipment first.

There probably is no agreement but traffic from DFW, Mexico on those sorts of tracks out over the pacific is probably minimal. Getting levels wouldn't be a huge drama. Besides that, the 744 is actually pretty good if you get 'caught low'. As long as you're prepared to let the CI slow you down, you can end up 6000' below optimum after 5-6 hours and it will cost you about a ton of fuel (I haven't flown the 744 for about three years so I'm going on memory). You will have lost 10-15 minutes over the plan but you won't drop that much fuel.

QF fuel policy isn't 15% for the whole flight. It's 15% up to a maximum figure (can't remember the 744 one). There are some other nuances as well. in short, as long as we have fuel to a 'suitable airfield' at all times during flight we're golden.
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Old 19th Jul 2011, 12:09
  #122 (permalink)  
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Good reply Keg,However,if he is a G.A. driver,he may not appreciate what "Cost Index" is.
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Old 19th Jul 2011, 12:18
  #123 (permalink)  
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* cost index is a number you tap into a box in the fms. Low = slow, high = not slow.
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Old 19th Jul 2011, 14:13
  #124 (permalink)  
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Sorry Keg, but since when has variable in QF been 15% of anything?

Typo I assume based on the previous question.

VFR on a -400 is 10% of the climb, cruise and descent fuel up to a maximum of four tonnes but may be reduced under certain conditions. Which is generally when you're payload limited and really want the fuel.
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Old 19th Jul 2011, 14:35
  #125 (permalink)  
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Thanks Keg,

Yeah im sorta aware of what a cost index is, inputs with fuel cost, fuel burn, maint costs, crew costs, even leasing by the hr cost. i believe and one airlines cost index of 80 can vary from another airlines of the same number.

How does the planed replan in fligth work when you dont in theary have enogh range to make it legal.
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Old 29th Aug 2011, 05:14
  #126 (permalink)  
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QF 8 yesterday went via Nadi (fuel) broke down and a crew had to be bought over from Brisbane. Aircraft arrived in Brisbane last night 14 hours late.
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Old 29th Aug 2011, 18:50
  #127 (permalink)  
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Yes, it went to Nadi after unforecast fog formed in Tontouta, Noumea. No, it did not break down. The crew ran out of hours, having diverted back to Nadi while proceeding to Tontouta [NOU went to 300M RVR, without warning, nothing on the TAFOR].
Brisbane was cactus all night.
A replacement crew was flown in on a normal commercial flight from BNE.
Tough day all round.
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Old 29th Aug 2011, 23:59
  #128 (permalink)  
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DFW-BNE is turning out to be a winner for the pacific island airports.
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Old 30th Aug 2011, 00:43
  #129 (permalink)  
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According to passenger account published on Crikey it seems that the ground handling of pax was poor.

Fair enough, the longer diversion was necessary because of weather at NOU and there was always going to be a delay until the replacement crew arrived (on Virgin!!) but keeping pax on the plane with seatbelts on for 1.5 hours seems harsh. Likewise it appears there was no ground support from QF or JQ groundstaff and all the DFW crew apart from the captain decamped the scene fairly quickly leaving a planeload of tired pax sitting around a transit lounge for $10 with nothing more than a $10 meal voucher.

When NOU became unviable, would it have been viable to continue to AKL? At least there would be significant ground support and replacement flight opportunities there. Maybe there was insufficient fuel and NAN was the only option but QF should have done better for it pax whilst they were stuck there.
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Old 30th Aug 2011, 00:48
  #130 (permalink)  
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Somebody Goofed ~Again

Fort Worth route
August 29, 2011 – 6:20 pm, by Ben Sandilands

A passenger account of how yesterday’s Qantas service from Dallas Forth Worth to Sydney was delayed for almost 10 hours in a diversion to Nadi Airport in Fiji illustrates the abysmal passenger care standards and technical incompetence of the airline’s management, and helps explain why it is bleeding passengers to competing carriers.
Dallas Fort Worth-Brisbane-Sydney is a route Qantas launched in May with Boeing 747-400ERs which cannot reliably fly that route with a full payload, or with any assurance that passenger luggage might not be offloaded and travel on a later flight.
The launching of the route illustrates the same lack of technical competence in senior management that saw it shift its Rolls-Royce RB211 engine maintenance to a Hong Kong centre just as that power plant, used on different 747s from the ones used on the Dallas service, began to experience abnormal rates of in-flight failures.
Dallas Fort Worth is advertised as a reliable means of flying to and from New York and other American Airlines destinations via the hub established by that carrier midway between the two Texas cities.
It has proven to be anything but fast or reliable. On this particular flight the passenger account makes some startling revelations:
  • Qantas tried to extend the duty hours of the pilots after they were forced to land at Nadi and would have exceeded the legal maximum had they resumed flight after refuelling and this was, not surprisingly, refused permission by CASA
  • Nadi was the last card the crew could play, as all other alternatives were closed by weather or significantly compromised in the case of Noumea.
  • The jet landed with 45 minutes worth of fuel, underlining the poor quality of flight planning and following in which Qantas operations had ample time in which to adopt an alternative route strategy, including delaying the departure or offloading more passengers or under floor baggage and freight.
  • Passengers were forbidden to use the toilets for a period after landing, adding to their discomfort.
  • They were also kept on board for a long period before being allowed into the terminal, handed a pathetic refreshments voucher, and not offered the use of hotel rooms, as was once a normal Qantas courtesy, so that they could at least shower and sleep.
This account shows all the tell tale signs of a cost obsessed operation that doesn’t care two hoots about the normal courtesies and amenities that once loyal Qantas passengers used to expect from a full service carrier.
What continues to be a mystery is why Qantas was so focused on its relationship with American Airlines that it subjects passengers flying back to Sydney via DFW to a mandatory stop in Brisbane and the risk of a mid Pacific diversion when the airline’s A380s offer more comfortable cabins and much more reliable non-stop services from Los Angeles.
In answer to queries about this full service brand shambles, a Qantas spokesperson said:
“The QF8 service diverted to Nadi, Fiji due to forecasted fog in Brisbane. Due to the expiry of crew operating hours, a replacement crew was required to operate the service to Brisbane.
Qantas remains confident in our Dallas/Fort Worth service and the operation of the Boeing 744ER on the route.”
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Old 30th Aug 2011, 01:44
  #131 (permalink)  
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The seatbelt sign was off from the time the aircraft arrived at the remote bay until just before it was towed over to the terminal. Certainly passengers in the front part of the aircraft were moving about freely. I'm not sure why this comment was made.
For a short period after the aircraft arrived, the passengers were asked not to use the lavs, as the 'honey tanker' was sucking out the waste and the water tanker was refilling the potable tank in preparation for a possible departure. The water does not flow during this time.
Qantas' handling agent in Nadi is a local company called ATS. They did a sterling job of cleaning the aircraft, servicing it and whistling up nearly 300 meals at short notice for the NAN-BNE flight. [How do they do that?]. Their uniformed staff did a pretty good job under the circumstances. Unfortunately, they could not give any answers to the most frequent question, 'so, what happens to my connection to XXX' as those decisions are not made by 'head office' until the aircraft's arrival time at Australian ports is accurately known.
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Old 30th Aug 2011, 02:03
  #132 (permalink)  
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I have been waiting for someone to suggest that Qantas go lease a couple of A340-500s for this route!

Qantas has plenty of A330 drivers who would need only a couple of SIM rides to convert. The 340-500 would make it with plenty to spare.

And it's a much nicer aircraft to sit in for 17 hours than a 747...
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Old 30th Aug 2011, 02:33
  #133 (permalink)  
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I don't think Qantas even have ground staff in Fiji anymore, since they don't fly there except as a codeshare with Air Pacific. Can anyone confirm?
The replacement crew that were flown in from Brisbane were the crew that had been waiting to take the flight on from BNE/SYD. They were called as normal at 0320 dressed and ready to depart for the airport to operate the flight to SYD when Operations called back to tell them the flight had diverted due fog at BNE airport and that they would most likely be passengered to Nadi to crew the flight back to SYD via BNE.
Qantas booked full fare commercial tickets for the pilots and cabin crew on the first flight out of Brisbane which was on Pacific Blue at 0945. The flight departed in time to get the passengers into Sydney via Brisbane before curfew (thankfully).
Disrupted Qantas pax were overnighted in either BNE or SYD and put on next available flights to their final destination.
a big day for everyone concerned.
A big thank-you to the passengers. You were delightful!
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Old 30th Aug 2011, 03:28
  #134 (permalink)  
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Not a bad suggestion I think, could work well for Jo'berg and Santiago as well. Of course that would involve new aircraft for mainline, money that they would rather gamble in Asia.
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Old 30th Aug 2011, 03:38
  #135 (permalink)  
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Obviously the only airport without alternate req was CNS. Would have made more sense to go top CNS than dick about and head back to Nadi

I cant fathom how much damage this does to QF's reputation and they refuse to admit the route is unworkable
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Old 30th Aug 2011, 04:13
  #136 (permalink)  
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You called?

1a, you need to get your head into a map to appreciate that Auckland and Cairns are not options when it comes to going to an alternate. Just too far!

Map Here
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Old 30th Aug 2011, 06:31
  #137 (permalink)  
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Noumea Diversion.

In the B747-238B era, Qantas operated a Sydney-Noumea-Sydney service, the landing/take off at Noumea was made in daylight hours only, it was something to do about the airport facilities I think.
If an A380 on the Dallas-Brisbane service has to divert into Noumea what time of day or night would it arrive. If it is a night time arrival then has the airport been improved or have the restrictions been relaxed. ??
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Old 30th Aug 2011, 06:51
  #138 (permalink)  
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No night landings RWY 29 all QF types due to terrain issues. No other restrictions for QF aircraft apart from A380.

A380 can only land RWY 11 and has additional company restrictions to arrive basically in the early morning hours on most days and afternoons on Tues and Weds - dunno why - ground handling issues maybe?
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Old 30th Aug 2011, 07:06
  #139 (permalink)  
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In the B747-238B era, Qantas operated a Sydney-Noumea-Sydney service, the landing/take off at Noumea was made in daylight hours only, it was something to do about the airport facilities I think.
I landed in NOU at 2AM on a QF 742 in 1986. Original 762 flight was delayed after plane went u/s and ended up flying on light load replacement 742 12 hours late.

Obviously the only airport without alternate req was CNS
Good suggestion, CNS, TSV or ROK can all handle 744s and would be a lot quicker when it came to getting replacement crew in place etc.
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Old 30th Aug 2011, 15:39
  #140 (permalink)  
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I have been waiting for someone to suggest that Qantas go lease a couple of A340-500s for this route!

Qantas has plenty of A330 drivers who would need only a couple of SIM rides to convert. The 340-500 would make it with plenty to spare.

And it's a much nicer aircraft to sit in for 17 hours than a 747...
And I do say, the time that I've flown on a 340 (not sure which variant, a 600 maybe? It was Cathay) it was a much nicer plane to fly on than the 777-300 (Emirates) that people keep saying that Qantas should have! The 777 is a damn noisy bugger while the 340 was nice and quiet. Though I do find Boeing's to be noisy in general when compared to the competing Airbus.
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