PCDU Episode 77: Qantas Crisis: After the Grounding

Almost one year after the QF32 incident, Qantas is again in the news around the world and for a short time again appeared to be on the brink of a major disaster. At 5pm on Saturday the 29th of October, Alan Joyce (CEO of Qantas) announced that he & the board of directors had decided to ground all of Qantas’ domestic & international flights (about 108 aircraft). This unprecedented step disrupted the travel plans of almost 70,000 passengers in order to avoid a “death by a thousand paper cuts” due to ongoing damage from industrial disputes with three unions.

The three unions represented the pilots, engineers and baggage handlers working for Qantas’ “mainline” operations. The Jetstar, QantasLink and JetConnect operations were not involved in the grounding.

We have assembled a collection of discussions with a number of people involved in the disputes or monitoring it from the outside. It is our intention that we provide you with an overview of what has happened, why it happened and where things might go from here. Unlike the commercial broadcast media, our time is not rigidly controlled so our guests are able to take their time to explain their views & concerns without being restricted to sound bites.

While we also express our own views during this episode, we have tried to present enough information for you to get a better understanding of the situation & form your own decisions.

The discussions in this episode include:

We’d also like to thank Colin Lipiatt, the Manager of Coporate Communications at Virgin Australia, for taking the time to chat with us about their ability to quickly respond with extra capacity to help affected travellers. While we couldn’t include him in the show, he provided plenty of useful information for us.

While putting this episode together we did attempt to contact Qantas’ media department to arrange a representative who could talk to us about the items raised during the discussions listed above. Unfortunately we did not hear back from them and can only assume that, like Anthony Albanese (Minister for Infrastructure & Transport), they were too busy dealing with the big issues and the mainstream media to spare any time for us.

We trust that you’ll enjoy this special episode of content specifically covering the Qantas Grounding situation. It’s been a marathon effort to arrange & record the interviews then put it all together for you. It has certainly been educational & eye opening for us as we discussed the issues with our guests, and that’s got to be a good thing :)

The Aus Air Services advert is provided courtesy of Star FM 94.3

The Jetstarisation of QANTAS is not over yet

Thanks to an opportunity presented by Shashank Nigam, Grant’s just had an article about the ongoing Jetstarisation of QANTAS published on Shashank’s Simpliflying site.

It provides a background on the birth of Jetstar, its growth to date and how it is destined to consume more of QANTAS’ mainline routes & aircraft. Head on over to Simpliflying and check out the article.

Thanks to Shashank for giving us the opportunity to gain further exposure to the global aviation world, it’s very much appreciated :)

PCDU Episode 23: Australia: A TSA free zone (for now)

Even down here in Australia we’re being impacted by the out-of-control antics of the TSA, so what the heck, we’ll have a bit of a c’est la vent moment about it. We also have our usual opinionated discussion on some other news items and chat with Shashank Nigam from SimpliFlying.

Here’s how the show proceeds:

As usual, our theme music track is “YouNameIt5” by Brian Simpson (aka t3cat5) and our sound effects come from SoundSnap.com.

PCDU Episode 8: Riding Our Segways

We thought we’d have this episode out within a few days of our previous one, but there was so many news items to review, so much to discuss and so many bits to splice together that it took a whole week to bring it to you. Weighing in at almost 2 hours, this episode has interviews, GA, follow ups and much much more.

Continue reading PCDU Episode 8: Riding Our Segways

PCDU Episode 5: Jet Lag Recovery

Steve’s back from his trip to the USA and, despite some jet lag woes, he’s in the recording studio and the banter is flowing in our longest episode yet. Sadly, the first 15 minutes sound like Grant’s testing NASA’s new Interplanetary Internet and experiencing a really crappy connection. Not to worry, it soon clears up and the rest of the episode quite clearly reveals our usual commentary on this week’s local aviation news stories, including the following topics:

TweetUp at the Asia Pacific Aviation Outlook Summit 2009

From the 3rd to 6th of August 2009, the Asia Pacific Aviation Outlook Summit 2009 is being held in Sydney at the Four Seasons Hotel down at the Rocks end of George St (near the Harbour). Shashank Nigam from SimpliFlying will be in town to attend the conference and present a keynote.

You may have heard Shashank interviewed on episode 29 of the Airplane Geeks podcast. He’s also been interviewed on CNBC Arabia, the Things With Wings blog at Aviation Week, Asian Airlines & Airports (PDF) and many other places.

I’m going to fly up to Sydney for the day on the 5th August to meet Shashank and interview him for the podcast. We’re also going to hold a combined SimpliFlying/PCDU TweetUp while we’re there.

In addition to having a drink and mixing with other aviation enthusiasts, the event will also offer a panel discussion moderated by Shashank and featuring Karla Courtney from the Frequent Buyer blog and myself. More panelists are being arranged and I’ll list them as they sign up.

Update: Karla’s going to be at the Summit on behalf of her work with the QANTAS Travel Insider site and their associated Twitter account, QFTravelInsider.

You’re more than welcome to come and ask questions, suggest topics and otherwise join in. Dress is smart casual and we’ll be starting at 5:30 on Wednesday 5th of August.

Sign up to follow the event via TwtVite and Facebook. You can also post a comment here or email us so we can keep you updated about when & where we’re meeting.

So, if you’re in Sydney on the 5th of August and can make it down to the rocks from 5:30 onwards (exact venue to be confirmed), you’re more than welcome to come and join us for a few drinks and join in the discussion. It promises to be a great night of fun and information.

Update: Venue has been locked in: Top level bar at Jacksons on George (176 George St) – looking forward to seeing you all there :)