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Bali’s Mount Agung Volcano Disrupts- What to do if affected.

 The Indonesian disaster management agency has raised the threat level for Mount Agung (around 75km from Bali’s tourist hub of Kuta) to the highest possible level 4, amid fears of a greater eruption. Ash up to half a centimeter thick has settled on villages around the volcano and masks were distributed on the weekend. Rumbling can be heard up to 12km away. Since July 2017, Agung has been discharging volcanic gases after being inactive since 1964.  Its eruption in 1963 killed 1,549 people when Agung spewed ash ten kilometres into the air with lava flowing seven kilometres from the…

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Qantas/Emirates: Positive, Negative, Alternative

With a spectacular flyover Sydney by two Airbus A380s, the Qantas/Emirates “partnership” was officially “birthed” a week ago. Announced in July, 2012, Qantas CEO Alan Joyce claimed this was the most important deal in the 92 year history of the airline. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission gave final approval for the alliance after deciding that the deal will not lead to negative effects for passengers. It however, rejected Qantas’ argument that its international operations face a ”terminal decline” without the Emirates alliance. There are lots of pluses for Qantas passengers but  I have yet to be convinced…

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Branson Wears Dress

Tickets will be auctioned off for charity for a special Lumpur to London Air Asia flight next May. The focus of the flight will be the sight of Virgin Atlantic owner Richard Branson wearing a female Air Asia flight attendant uniform and serving drinks. The reason for the dress is a 2010 bet between the two over which team would finish higher in a Grand Prix race. AirAsia chief executive Tony Fernandes Lotus team finished 10th and Virgin 12th. No doubt there will be plenty of photos! Will Branson be wearing his beard too?    

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Virgin Australia’s Next Move

The Australian airline industry has become  like a giant game of chess. Virgin Australia 18 months ago, upped the ante with a dramatic series of movies including new planes, refurbished cabins, a business class product and expanded lounges. These changes began in tandem with new partnerships with Delta, Air New Zealand, Singapore and Etihad which plugged the airline into a worldwide network for a much reduced cost. The aim was to poach as many of Qantas customers as possible. Qantas responded by forming a major alliance with Emirates. This threw the gauntlet down again. I have been…

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Virgin Australia A330 Per – Syd Business

In aviation, a year can make a huge difference. A year ago Virgin Australia was Virgin Blue.  They did not have A330s and they had no business class. All that changed in May, 2011 when the discount carrier became “ahem” less discount. Since then, my observation is that Virgin have continued to improve their product. Significantly, they managed to increase profits by 118 per cent last year. Not an easy feat in this industry.  Today, I review their A330 Business Class product. Booking: 9 out of 10 Virgin Australia has a very simple and straight forward booking system at www.virginaustralia.com.au All…

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Trip Report: Etihad Evaluated

Nine years ago,  Etihad did not exist. Today the airline flies over seven million people to 82 destinations in 64 planes.  They have the record for the fastest growing airline in the world and for one of the largest aircraft orders in commercial aviation history, ordering at Farmborough in 2008, 205 aircraft – 100 firm orders, 55 options and 50 purchase rights. They sponsor football fields in Australia and the UK, the Irish hurling championships, some teams and the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. They have won awards for being the “World’s Leading Airline”  in 2009, 2010 and 2011. They have also…

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