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Topic: Why Is BNE Not As Popular As Before?
Username: JakeNorton
Posted 2013-04-21 00:06:57 and read 9058 times.

About 5-10 Years ago, BNE used to be as popular as SYD and MEL , which BNE was slightly more popular than MEL.

Any ideas what has happened to BNE this past years??

Topic: Why Is BNE Not As Popular As Before?
Username: IndianicWorld
Posted 2013-04-21 00:19:31 and read 9043 times.

More popular?

BNE has not been busier than MEL or SYD at any stage overall, nor has it had a larger international pax count. It has been fairly distant 3rd over the years, although it was starting to make inroads to MELs international count for a few years but that gap is around 2 million now.

BNE's relative stagnation in international figures has come with a rise in OOL's pax count and extreme weather events also not helping. The loss of Japanese services, with JL suspending services to BNE and JQ moving flights to OOL has been a dent also.

Topic: Why Is BNE Not As Popular As Before?
Username: RickNRoll
Posted 2013-04-21 01:09:16 and read 8907 times.

Unlike Sydney, which also needs to expand capacity, BNE has OOL just down the road ready to take up any pent up demand. Not as convenient, perhaps, but close enough.

Topic: Why Is BNE Not As Popular As Before?
Username: TruemanQLD
Posted 2013-04-21 01:52:50 and read 8760 times.

Quoting JakeNorton (Thread starter):

About 5-10 Years ago, BNE used to be as popular as SYD and MEL , which BNE was slightly more popular than MEL.

Any ideas what has happened to BNE this past years??

I would have said the opposite to be honest. BNE has experienced fantastic growth (2nd fastest after PER IIRC). BNE will still be third for a while, but wouldnt be unexpected if it does overtake MEL in the long run.

I dont think it can be reasonably argued that OOL can take BNE capacity... look at how that worked for AVV. OOL works because it is a destination in itself and people flying into OOL arent going to BNE (ex. LCC International flights), likewise not many people are flying domestically into BNE that want to go to the Gold Coast. The 'genius' current LNP government seems to think that sending flights to OOL and the Sunny Coast is a logical answer to the current capacity restrictions due to only having one runway... however people that want to go to Brisbane arent going to fly into OOL domestically.

Topic: Why Is BNE Not As Popular As Before?
Username: koruman
Posted 2013-04-21 03:38:22 and read 8468 times.

It's just a simple splintering.

a) International
Brisbane is the commercial centre, and is dominant in terms of outbound demand.

But no tourist in their right mind would choose a holiday in Brisbane. Inbound demand to Brisbane is strictly low-yield VFR, and the actual demand is to the Gold and Sunshine Coasts, which is why OOL now dominates in terms of Japan flights and now also has inbound A330 flights from Singapore and Kuala Lumpur.

b) Domestic
Brisbane's population is around 60% of the southeast Queensland conurbation, and until recently people travelling to/from the Gold and Sunshine Coasts were often funnelled via BNE. Qantas, for example, had withdrawn from OOL and a resident of the northern Gold Coast (e.g. Hope Island) was likely to fly from BNE rather than OOL if they wanted full service.

BNE will always be the dominant airport in southeast Queensland. But OOL will always be the airport serving the actual tourist strip.

Topic: Why Is BNE Not As Popular As Before?
Username: thegeek
Posted 2013-04-21 04:04:11 and read 8367 times.

In addition to the above, LCC pax can use OOL and the time penalty isn't severe so long as you are starting from south of the river. Fares to OOL are similar to BNE ($15.94 vs $16 ex-Sth Bris).

Topic: Why Is BNE Not As Popular As Before?
Username: IndianicWorld
Posted 2013-04-21 05:21:35 and read 8142 times.

People were saying not long ago that BNE would be as large or larger than MEL by now, especially with International pax.

As the results show, that's not the case so in this industry it's too hard to tell what will happen when looking at trends.

Topic: Why Is BNE Not As Popular As Before?
Username: cosyr
Posted 2013-04-21 08:55:47 and read 6921 times.

Quoting koruman (Reply 4):
But no tourist in their right mind would choose a holiday in Brisbane

I disagree. On my first trip to Australia, I enjoyed Brisbane as a city more than Sydney. Also taking the river cruise up to the Koala sanctuary was fun. If we're talking strictly tourism though, most of these major airports are jumping points to go to other places outside the cities in Australia. I see the appeal to visit Melbourne and Sydney as a tourist, I'm just saying that Brisbane had plenty to do as well.

Topic: Why Is BNE Not As Popular As Before?
Username: B707MT
Posted 2013-04-21 13:44:34 and read 5091 times.

Quoting koruman (Reply 4):
But no tourist in their right mind would choose a holiday in Brisbane.
Quoting cosyr (Reply 7):

Quoting koruman (Reply 4):
But no tourist in their right mind would choose a holiday in Brisbane

I disagree. On my first trip to Australia, I enjoyed Brisbane as a city more than Sydney.


With the admission of a little local bias and having lived for many years in both cities, I have to concur with cosyr. Brissie is doing an increasingly better job of marketing its attractions, despite the superior scoffs of the bigger southern capitals.

By the same token, we're spoilt for choice - two sets of differently-fabulous stretches of beaches to north and south, plus rainforests, mountains, rural countryside all within a 45-60 minute driving radius.

Not much point in having beaches like Bondi, Tamarama and Coogee right on your doorstep if you can't find a parking spot, a seat at a cafe, or anywhere to spread a towel on the sand!   

It's being saddled with a "one-and-a-half runway" airport that's holding BNE back at the moment. While the imbroglio over who's going to pay for the parallel runway 01/19 - and when - remains stalled, BNE airspace remains a place to avoid in morning and evening peak hours.

During recent months, when the cross runway 14/32 was closed so plumbing could be laid for the eventual sand-pumping for the eventual parallel 01/19, flow rates were slowed right down because of the traffic mix on the main strip. Anecdotally I'd heard a remark that BNE was the second-busiest single-runway international airport after LGW, as a result, but haven't been able to verify that.

Will be interesting to see the outcome of the airspace management review recently completed, to see if we can improve utilisation while the fight over funding goes on in the boardrooms.

Topic: Why Is BNE Not As Popular As Before?
Username: eaglefarm4
Posted 2013-04-21 14:47:04 and read 4686 times.

Having worked for QLD tourism for 30 years the feedback i got from tourists both internationally and domestic were these.

1/ A very clean modern city.
2/ Friendly helpful people
3/Beautiful weather
4/Feel safe.
5/Great restaurants
6/Centrally located to all local and nearby attractions.

On the negative.

Poor local transport on weekends and late at night.

Topic: Why Is BNE Not As Popular As Before?
Username: RyanairGuru
Posted 2013-04-21 17:24:24 and read 3791 times.

Quoting B707MT (Reply 8):
With the admission of a little local bias and having lived for many years in both cities, I have to concur with cosyr

I do love Sydney as a city to visit, but it's interesting to note that all of our friends/family who have come out from the UK to visit us have said that they preferred Brisbane to Sydney. Admittedly they wouldn't have gone to Brisbane if we weren't there (actually they wouldn't have come to Australia) but there is more for a tourist to kill a couple of days with than some would presume

Quoting koruman (Reply 4):
Inbound demand to Brisbane is strictly low-yield VFR

Not totally, BNE is still the major port to the whole of Queensland. International visitors connect over BNE to get to CNS, HMI etc. US visitors, for example, often aren't "low yield". Therefore, while the actual Brisbane inbound leisure market might be VFR-oriented, that certainly doesn't mean that all BNE inbound leisure passengers coming from LAX or SIN are "low yield".

Topic: Why Is BNE Not As Popular As Before?
Username: thegeek
Posted 2013-04-21 17:41:26 and read 3686 times.

Quoting eaglefarm4 (Reply 9):

On the negative.

Poor local transport on weekends and late at night.

I would say that this is no longer true. I'd rather rely on Brisbane's bus system than Sydney's transport late at night, any day of the week (speaking metaphorically). BUZ services have been a revolution to Brisbane and Sydney won't operate a bus at 10pm or on weekends every 15 minutes unless there is significant demand. But if you're on a rail line, sucked in.

Topic: Why Is BNE Not As Popular As Before?
Username: koruman
Posted 2013-04-21 20:24:07 and read 2964 times.

Quoting RyanairGuru (Reply 10):
Not totally, BNE is still the major port to the whole of Queensland. International visitors connect over BNE to get to CNS, HMI etc. US visitors, for example, often aren't "low yield". Therefore, while the actual Brisbane inbound leisure market might be VFR-oriented, that certainly doesn't mean that all BNE inbound leisure passengers coming from LAX or SIN are "low yield".

That's my point though, isn't it?

Brisbane is the capital and largest city and acts as a hub for distant parts of the state. That's why most scheduled carriers rightly fly there.

But it is not a major tourist destination in itself, whereas the Gold and Sunshine Coasts are, and their airports are consequently now attracting more of their own O+D traffic.

The only tourist attraction in Brisbane which anyone has identified in this thread is Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary, which is frankly trivial compared to the Currumbin Sanctuary on the Gold Coast and Australia Zoo on the Sunshine Coast. Both of which the vast majority of interstate and overseas visitors to those regions don't even visit.

You can make a few days in Brisbane very nice: stay in a riverview hotel room, eat at nice restaurants etc. But the beaches, resorts and tourist attractions are, in order,

1) Gold Coast
2) Cairns (including Palm Cove / Port Douglas)
3) Sunshine Coast.

Topic: Why Is BNE Not As Popular As Before?
Username: airbear
Posted 2013-04-21 20:44:43 and read 2875 times.

Quoting thegeek (Reply 11):
But if you're on a rail line, sucked in.

Meaning what, exactly? If you mean that if you "live" (I use this word used only in the physiological sense, as in terms of "quality of life" , then that and "Sydney" are mutually exclusive concepts IMO...) in Sydney, and you live on a rail line, then you are outta luck? In which case, untrue. Given that most weekends - or at least on one day or the other - we have no trains on our line due to "trackwork", we can send our kids out to play soccer, or ride their bikes on the tracks without any fear of their being hit by a train. Now that HAS to be a PLUS that's hard to beat in any other big city in the known universe, right?  

As far as the airports go, from frequent experience over many years, but particularly so in the past 2 or 3 years I find, BNE's main problems are 1) weather and 2) seemingly slack ATC procedures, whereby a lot of the time coming from the south, you (as a passenger) get the full 30-or-so-minute Grand Gold Coast/Tweed/Byron Tour whilst waiting for clearance to get into BNE. And before anyone brings this up, the last time this happened it was a beautiful clear evening with only light winds. So ATC wouldn't have had that excuse. I have to say that with a lovely sunset it was a great experience and I have some lovely photos from that orbit. But I'm glad that I wasn't connecting to FNQ that evening.

Cheers, all. Airbear

Topic: RE: Why Is BNE Not As Popular As Before?
Username: RyanairGuru
Posted 2013-04-21 22:05:37 and read 2583 times.

Quoting koruman (Reply 12):
That's my point though, isn't it?

Is it? In which case I misunderstood what you were saying and we are (I think) in agreement

Quoting airbear (Reply 13):
last time this happened it was a beautiful clear evening with only light winds. So ATC wouldn't have had that excuse

Congestion, in a word. Unless they build a new runway soon then BNE will probably have to become slot controlled, at least between 4-7pm.

BNE is now the most delay prone airport in Australia. Even if the future development of OOL and MCY (and maybe even TWB) somewhat dampen demand, BNE will continue to be the primary airport for the region. That isn't going to change, and movements are only going to keep going up year-on-year. We really need to do something before it starts to hurt the regional and state economy by deterring trade and investment in Brisbane. Without making this political, I have been really disappointed by the Newman government failing to recognise the strategic important of BNE.

Topic: RE: Why Is BNE Not As Popular As Before?
Username: airbear
Posted 2013-04-21 22:21:10 and read 2513 times.

Quoting RyanairGuru (Reply 14):
I have been really disappointed by the Newman government failing to recognise the strategic important of BNE.

Likewise the inaction on the mythical 2nd SYD airport, which is both a Fed & a State matter. In either case (i.e. inaction with both SYD & BNE) it will be the entire AU economy that will suffer. That said, I am confident that BNE's issues will be sorted long before SYD.

Perhaps they should exhume good old Joh B-P. Even as a corpse, he would have more get-up-and-go and could make things happen faster, than anyone alive in government today!

Topic: RE: Why Is BNE Not As Popular As Before?
Username: huldoch
Posted 2013-04-21 23:05:02 and read 2368 times.

Possibly because most tourists go to the Gold Coast and now there are a lot of international carriers flying into there.

Topic: RE: Why Is BNE Not As Popular As Before?
Username: B707MT
Posted 2013-04-21 23:38:17 and read 2225 times.

Quoting huldoch (Reply 16):
Possibly because most tourists go to the Gold Coast and now there are a lot of international carriers flying into there.

Don't forget that OOL is itself a bottleneck in the making, with the Commonwealth Games coming in 2018.

Its extended Rwy 14/32 has pavement and length limitations mitigating against anything much bigger than the current A330s to KUL and KIX. And even if the southern end of the strip could be further extended into NSW, there's still the matter of parking capacity - neither airside nor landside has anywhere to grow, between the movement areas and the surf beaches.

MCY has some growth capacity, and a dynamic airport operator, but itself is a long way from even having a full length parallel taxiway for 18/36, and its terminal/ramp area is constrained by the southwest corner of the runways' intersection.

BNE doesn't need any more 'retail city' airport land developments, high-rise offices, hotels and apartments on the approach roads - it needs a parallel runway and it needed it "yesterday". We don't have to fully reclaim it, like SYD did in Botany Bay, we just need the decision-makers to get off their holding patterns and work the means.

I had relatives coming up from CBR last month, on the last flight of the day (scheduled arrival 1955) and was watching their progress on FlightAware - no less than three holding orbits, at an elongated 50 NM a side for each 'racetrack', over the border ranges before the aircraft finally landed close to 2100.

They were in and out of Queensland so many times before they actually set foot on the ground, I wasn't sure whether to greet them with an apology or a Dramamine.

[Edited 2013-04-22 00:02:38]

Topic: RE: Why Is BNE Not As Popular As Before?
Username: QF15
Posted 2013-04-21 23:43:58 and read 2203 times.

Most of BNE growth of late has been domestic traffic revolved around mining/resources sector to places like GLT, EMD and MOV, all which have seen very large increases in traffic over the last 5 years and help congest the airport. :p
Even both BNE-MKY/PER routes which have a large amount of resource related pax have nearly caught upto BNE-TSV (and will probably pass in 2013/14) in passenger numbers which was almost double at one stage last decade if i recall correctly.
Qantas have added 2 or 3 new routes to ports in northern WA to cater for such demand.
The airport will continue to see increased movements from Fokker's, Bae146's, Dash 8's etc for this market.


On the international side Brisbane has gained new routes from CAN, DFW and HNL. But have lost NRT and HKT.
Garuda and Philippine Airlines are coming back this year although with narrow bodies from existing cities.
Air Fiji will operate their first flight to BNE tonight i believe though not an entirely new carrier.
The lack of 2nd runway has minimal affect on international flights as the vast majority of long hauls arrive late night or early morning.

Regarding international expansion to new cities:

+Virgin did talk about flying to Tokyo a few years back but didn't have the correct aircraft, maybe this may change as they get more A332's, also rumors of JAL's return with 787's, which is probably more likely imo.
+Air Canada have talked about opening a second port in Australia recently (2014 timeframe), this will either be BNE or MEL so time will tell with that.
+Air China and China Eastern rumors have been on off the last couple of years about starting new routes to China.
+I expect Qatar Airlines will be more interested in starting DOH-BNE once they join OneWorld later this year.

Topic: RE: Why Is BNE Not As Popular As Before?
Username: RyanairGuru
Posted 2013-04-22 00:07:23 and read 2085 times.

Quoting B707MT (Reply 17):
I had relatives coming up from CBR last month, on the last flight of the day (STA 1955) and was watching their progress on FR24 - no less than three holding orbits, at an elongated 50km a side for each 'racetrack', over the border ranges before the aircraft finally landed close to 2100.

A couple of seeks back I flew CBR-BNE, ETA 11:10. We had a 20 minute holding pattern at 11 am!!! Unbelievable

Topic: RE: Why Is BNE Not As Popular As Before?
Username: IndianicWorld
Posted 2013-04-22 00:15:24 and read 2048 times.

Quoting QF15 (Reply 18):
Air Fiji will operate their first flight to BNE tonight i believe though not an entirely new carrier.

Correct. Air Pacific = Fiji Airways

Quoting QF15 (Reply 18):
Virgin did talk about flying to Tokyo a few years back but didn't have the correct aircraft, maybe this may change as they get more A332's, also rumors of JAL's return with 787's, which is probably more likely imo.

Virgin could make itself a decent market on the NRT/HND routes from BNE and MEL.

They have other priorities at present though and will manly rely on their partners for the time being.

Quoting QF15 (Reply 18):
Air Canada have talked about opening a second port in Australia recently (2014 timeframe), this will either be BNE or MEL so time will tell with that.

This will be interesting to see how they go.

In a way MEL has the advantage of being a larger market and a single terminal complex but BNE is closer to YVR.

Quoting QF15 (Reply 18):
Air China and China Eastern rumors have been on off the last couple of years about starting new routes to China.

China routes to all over the globe are becoming ever more common. I think its garaunteed that another srvice will come in the next few years to BNE from China.

Quoting QF15 (Reply 18):
I expect Qatar Airlines will be more interested in starting DOH-BNE once they join OneWorld later this year.

Not so sure. Its taken years for EY to move from 3 X weekly to Daily flights to BNE, and even then its via SIN. That is with VA giving it a strong partner to feed its flights.

Qatar airways has fairly much maxed out its frequencies to Australia at present I think so not sure you will see any additional flights to Australia by QR in a fair while.

Topic: RE: Why Is BNE Not As Popular As Before?
Username: RyanairGuru
Posted 2013-04-22 00:27:10 and read 2013 times.

Quoting QF15 (Reply 18):
Most of BNE growth of late has been domestic traffic revolved around mining/resources sector to places like GLT, EMD and MOV, all which have seen very large increases in traffic over the last 5 years and help congest the airport.

Good point, this thread has been somewhat derailed by discussing inbound tourism even though the number of international movements is practically minuscule compared to intra-QLD, let alone domestic more generally.

Quoting IndianicWorld (Reply 20):
I think its garaunteed that another srvice will come in the next few years to BNE from China.

I think that MU is inevitable, especially if the MU-QF partnership comes to fruition.

Quoting IndianicWorld (Reply 20):
Not so sure. Its taken years for EY to move from 3 X weekly to Daily flights to BNE, and even then its via SIN. That is with VA giving it a strong partner to feed its flights.

Qatar airways has fairly much maxed out its frequencies to Australia at present I think so not sure you will see any additional flights to Australia by QR in a fair while.

I agree that QR isn't coming to BNE anytime soon, but I think it's due to bilaterals rather than EY's experience. EY's commitment to the market has been pretty atrocious. Whether that's due to poor marketing or whatever, compare how EK, SQ, CX, MH, TG, and *gasp* QF have increased flights out of BNE since 2008. In comparison EY have gone backwards in absolute terms, as it has been several years since we had the seasonal upgauge to the 77W. I wouldn't use them as a barometer for demand from BNE.

Topic: RE: Why Is BNE Not As Popular As Before?
Username: B707MT
Posted 2013-04-22 00:42:46 and read 1993 times.

Quoting RyanairGuru (Reply 21):
I agree that QR isn't coming to BNE anytime soon, but I think it's due to bilaterals rather than EY's experience. EY's commitment to the market has been pretty atrocious.
Quoting IndianicWorld (Reply 20):
Not so sure. Its taken years for EY to move from 3 X weekly to Daily flights to BNE, and even then its via SIN.

Both EK and EY have taken a bit of a tentative approach to the BNE market since their debut on the route. It was a few years, IIRC, before EK gave BNE its first nonstop to DXB, and that service remains in a relative minority of the ex-BNE offerings going northwest.

"One stop to anywhere" doesn't hold a lot of water if you have to go via SYD or SIN first.

Topic: RE: Why Is BNE Not As Popular As Before?
Username: IndianicWorld
Posted 2013-04-22 01:52:54 and read 1921 times.

Quoting B707MT (Reply 22):
Both EK and EY have taken a bit of a tentative approach to the BNE market since their debut on the route. It was a few years, IIRC, before EK gave BNE its first nonstop to DXB, and that service remains in a relative minority of the ex-BNE offerings going northwest.

I think that points to a trend if 2 airlines as aggressive as EK and EY are being tentative with their BNE approach. Maybe the demand, and more importantly the yields, are not stacking up for them yet.

If BNE ends up getting an EK A380 flight soon, the amount of capacity will increase on the non-stop flight which will give the market a good test of its overall performance for further service.

Topic: RE: Why Is BNE Not As Popular As Before?
Username: RyanairGuru
Posted 2013-04-22 02:05:55 and read 1897 times.

Quoting IndianicWorld (Reply 23):
Maybe the demand, and more importantly the yields, are not stacking up for them yet.

If that's how you would interpret it then fine. The point remains that EK have more than doubled capacity in the past 5 years even before the A380 comes in October.

Topic: RE: Why Is BNE Not As Popular As Before?
Username: B707MT
Posted 2013-04-22 02:13:53 and read 1902 times.

Quoting IndianicWorld (Reply 23):
I think that points to a trend if 2 airlines as aggressive as EK and EY are being tentative with their BNE approach. Maybe the demand, and more importantly the yields, are not stacking up for them yet.

Ah, the eternal conundrum of capitalism and market economics ... one of those chicken-versus-egg questions.
It's a fine line between 'prove your business case first' and 'if you build it they will come' - easy to argue from either corner, but someone's got to "stump up" (cash, equipment, resources, bottoms-on-seats) to prove it either way.

Bit like the overdue parallel runway issue really ...

Topic: RE: Why Is BNE Not As Popular As Before?
Username: IndianicWorld
Posted 2013-04-22 02:36:33 and read 1863 times.

Quoting RyanairGuru (Reply 24):
If that's how you would interpret it then fine. The point remains that EK have more than doubled capacity in the past 5 years even before the A380 comes in October.


I think that the growth has been good on the added capacity by EK, but there are some that obviously expect more and more, faster than has been delivered. There has been an added daily that has gone from A345 to B77W and EY finally increasing flights will be interesting to see.

EY not going yet non-stop and not moving from 3 x weekly to daily for many years was a tentative move but that indicated their reservations in making it work. In that meantime they commenced MEL daily non-stop flights and increased SYD services.

[Edited 2013-04-22 02:37:33]

Topic: RE: Why Is BNE Not As Popular As Before?
Username: IndianicWorld
Posted 2013-04-22 02:40:00 and read 1860 times.

Quoting B707MT (Reply 25):
Ah, the eternal conundrum of capitalism and market economics ... one of those chicken-versus-egg questions.
It's a fine line between 'prove your business case first' and 'if you build it they will come' - easy to argue from either corner, but someone's got to "stump up" (cash, equipment, resources, bottoms-on-seats) to prove it either way.

If anyone was going to try the build it and they will come it would be airlines like EK and EY.

Most are becoming quite conservative overall and are more likely to prove a business case these days.

Topic: RE: Why Is BNE Not As Popular As Before?
Username: RyanairGuru
Posted 2013-04-22 04:40:17 and read 1719 times.

Quoting IndianicWorld (Reply 26):

Sorry if I came over as a bit abrasive. I see what you mean about EK growing relatively slowly, but the percentage increase has been greater than at SYD or MEL, and they are now pretty much maxed out so there isn't much more room for them to grow apart from more 380s.

Topic: RE: Why Is BNE Not As Popular As Before?
Username: thegeek
Posted 2013-04-22 05:14:40 and read 1672 times.

Quoting airbear (Reply 13):
Meaning what, exactly?

What I meant was that BNE has an awful rail service. Except Darra-Bowen Hills and arguably Park Rd-Northgate. I think it was reasonably clear in the context.

Topic: RE: Why Is BNE Not As Popular As Before?
Username: RyanairGuru
Posted 2013-04-22 06:59:48 and read 1585 times.

Quoting thegeek (Reply 29):
BNE has an awful rail service

Well I wouldn't go that far, it could be a lot worse and they are currently adding frequencies to almost all routes. And I would argue that apart from the Busway routes, the BUZ service isn't that fantastic. I used to live in Moggill which is served by the 444BUZ, but from Roma Street onwards it is on public roads with no bus lanes. It was a nightmare in peak time. Before that I lived in Manly which was much better for being on a rail line, at least at peak times. The timetable was pretty exact as the train didn't get snarled up in the road congestion. The Busways, though, are admittedly a breath of fresh air!


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