Tuesday 02nd of September 2014

News from Compare Car Rentals Australia.

  • Qantas experiences increased competition

    A strong Australian dollar is good news for travellers and for airlines. However, flag carrier Qantas, which has seen an upsurge in bookings on its budget brand Jetstar, is also facing an increase in competition. For the year to 30 June, Jetstar was responsible for 26 per cent of its parent’s total earnings.

    Out of A$644 million, A$169 came from the low-cost carrier. Other budget airlines are aiming to tap in to the market, and as of this summer Scoot, owned by Singapore Airlines will be putting the pressure on the flying kangaroo by shuttling 400 people per day to holiday destinations in Asia.

    Malaysian-based Air Asia X is also cashing in. The company recently announced that it would be slimming down its operations in Europe because of the high… Read the full story

  • Qantas jet forced to land in Mount Isa

    A Qantas passenger jet flying to Brisbane from Darwin has been forced to make a landing in Mount Isa in Queensland. The incident occurred after the crew decided to take a precautionary measure after a smell in the forward cabin was detected. The plane had 161 passengers on board.

    Everyone managed to get off the plane safely after a forklift with a cage was used to evacuate the aircraft. The forklift was used because there are no stairs available for the use by passengers at the regional airport. All of those on board were then put onto another flight which has since arrived in Brisbane.

    According to passenger Carl Hannin, the ground crew did a good job and managed to get everyone safely onto the tarmac. He said that a… Read the full story

  • Airbus confirms that A380 superjumbo is safe to fly

    Airbus has eased concerns over the cracks which have been found in the wing brackets of its A380 planes by saying that it understands the problem and has a simple way of fixing it. European safety authorities last week ordered an inspection of the planes.

    Singapore Airlines has already inspected four of its fleet of superjumbos and said that it had found cracks in the wings of all of them. Repairs have already been made to one of the planes, and it has now returned to service. Another is due to resume flights today.

    Qantas has 12 A380s in its fleet, but because they are relatively young compared to other airlines, the carrier has been told that inspection is not compulsory. The Qantas superjumbos are also used for some of… Read the full story

  • Qantas dispute ends with pay agreement

    The dispute between Qantas and its engineers has come to a close after the endorsement of a three-year agreement by Fair Work Australia. Licensed engineers will now be given an annual three per cent pay rise and extended hour roster restrictions will be eased. There are also now some new arrangements pertaining to retirement.

    Alan Joyce, chief executive of Qantas said he was thankful that the dispute was finally over. The situation came to a head when Mr Joyce ordered the airline’s global fleet to be grounded at the end of October last year.

    The airline still has to go through compulsory arbitration at some point this year with the unions representing its pilots and ground workers. However, neither of the groups are allowed to take industrial action.

    Mr Joyce… Read the full story

  • Qantas planes rerouted to avoid solar storm

    Qantas has joined a number of other airlines in rerouting planes to avoid the possible consequences of a solar radiation storm. Jets have been sent on routes further south of the poles than they would usually travel because solar storms can interfere with communication systems. Planes travelling over the Arctic use high-frequency radios, rather than satellite systems on such routes.

    According to solar physicist Doug Biesecker the current storm is the strongest to occur since 2003. Other airlines to have confirmed that they will be adjusting their routes include Delta Air Lines and Air Canada.

    Delta’s Anthony Black said that in order to avoid radio disruptions services would avoid the pole, which would add around 15 minutes to journeys. Airlines fly over the arctic because it is the fastest way… Read the full story

  • New electric town car unveiled in Europe

    A new electric vehicle could be seen on the streets of some European and US streets before the end of the year as the prototype of the Hiriko is unveiled in Brussels. The dome-shaped town-car has been designed to fold in on itself so that when it is parked it will take up less space than a Smart car.

    The vehicle has been developed by MIT in the US with backing from a number of Basque businesses and with the support of the Spanish government. If trials later this year are successful, then the two-seater could go into commercial production as soon as the beginning of next year.

    Each of the Hiriko’s four wheels is powered by its own motor and steered individually. This makes the vehicle more manoeuvrable, say… Read the full story

  • Qantas not required to inspect A380s

    The Australian Licensed Aircraft Engineers Association has called on Qantas to subject is fleet of Airbus 380s to checks after cracks were found on the wings of superjumbos flying with other airlines. The European Aviation Safety Agency has said that visual checks need to be made by some airlines, but have excluded Qantas from the ruling.

    Paul Cousins, president of the ALAEA, said all A380 fleets should have to undergo inspection. He explained that there was a concern that the cracking could have a knock on effect. The problem has been found in a wing bracket. If that bracket continues to deteriorate, then extra pressure could be placed on other brackets, causing the problem to cascade.

    According to safety authorities, the damage found in the brackets which join the skin… Read the full story

  • General Motors regains position as number one carmaker

    General Motors is claiming that it sold more than 9 million vehicles in 2011, which means that it has taken back the crown for largest carmaker on the planet from Toyota. A rise in sales of 7.6 per cent meant that it topped Toyota’s sales of 7.9 million cars last year. However, Toyota’s figures were dented by the earthquake and tsunami in Japan, and the widespread flooding which hit Thailand.

    Volkswagen has questioned the validity of GM’s figures, claiming that it was in fact the largest car manufacturer in 2011. The German firm said that GM had boosted its figures by including vehicle sales of Chinese firms which it merely holds shares in. Volkswagen said that when it had published its figures of 8.1 million vehicles sold it had not… Read the full story

  • Captain of the capsized Concordia turned too late

    Reports in the Italian media suggest that the captain of the cruise liner which capsized in the Mediterranean last week may have given the command to turn away from the island of Giglio too late. A leaked transcript of Capt Francesco Schettino’s interrogation has him telling investigators that he miscalculated the point at which he made the turn.

    More than 20 of the 4,200 people who were on the Costa Concordia remain unaccounted for. The death toll currently stands at 11, and rescuers have suspended operations for the time being.

    According to reports, Capt Schettino told a judge that he had made the decision to take the ship closer to the island so that he could salute a former captain who lives there. He allegedly admitted that he was operating… Read the full story

  • Airport ratings list published by Frommer’s

    A new list of the best, and the worst, airport terminals on the planet has been released by Frommer’s which places the Hajj Terminal at Jeddah’s King Abdul Aziz International Airport at the top of the best, and Terminal 3 at JFK Airport in New York at the top of the worst.

    The ratings system took into account factors such as ease of travel in and out of the city, on-time departures, navigation, services and cleanliness. Interestingly, the best terminal in the world will never be seen by many as it is only open for six weeks a year and caters to Muslims who are making a pilgrimage to Mecca.

    Frommer’s was impressed by the cooling effect of the terminal’s tent like structures which help to funnel out the desert… Read the full story