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Ansett Mark 2 - Absolutely Fabulous

Sun Sep 30, 2001 9:01 pm

Absolutely Fabulous - Ansett Mark 2


By Jim O'Rourke, Workplace Reporter

These may have been given only mineral water in a plastic cup but the 144 passengers on the 1st flight out of Sydney on the resurrected Ansett couldn't have been happier.

Dubbed Ansett Mark II, the troubled airline was back in business yesterday when flight AN-713 left Kingsford Smith airport at 9am bound for Melbourne's Tullamarine.

Dumped into voluntary administration by parent company Air New Zealand on Sep 12, and grounded by the 1st administrator 2 days later, Ansett has been cobbed together with a limited schedule of flights to the delight of its passengers and 16,000 employees.

Ansett reported that as of yesterday afternoon it had recieved 7,000 bookings on the new "no frills" airline.

Each of the 1st three flights out of Sydney and Melbourne were fully booked, passengers able to buy Sydney-Melbourne one-way seats for as little as $99m ranging through to &198.

As passengers on the 1st flight walked into the almost empty Sydney terminal, they were greeted by hundreds of Ansett staff who had formed an inpromptu guard of honour.

The proud workers applauded and cheered every passenger as they made their way to the sole check-in desk.

At the departure gate another guard of honour was formed as the passengers filed on to the A320 Airbus for the 85 minute flight.

The 1st person on board AN-713 was Jemma Hamilton, who managed to grab a $99 ticket to fly south for the Australian Football League grand final.

The mad Essendon supporter, who regularly flew Ansett between the 2 cities, said she heard about the cheap fare on the radio and immediately called to make her booking.

"I had always planned to come down to see the final with my dad, but when Ansett was grounded I didn't think I'd ever make it," the Sydneysider said.

"I always fly Ansett so I was more than happy to support the airline and get on the plane."

The $99 "kick-start" fares will only last until October 7.After that, they will be avaliable to previous Ansett customers who were left holding tickets following the airline's grounding.

Once able to operate more than 400 flights a day, the company was only able to put 28 flights in the air yesterday between Sydney and Melbourne.

It is almost the same schedule for today - a flight leaving every hour, on the hour, from 7am. Tomorrow's flights start at 6 am.

The pilot for the 1st flight out of Sydney, Andrew Ogilvie, welcomed passengers and thanked them on behalf of all Ansett workers for choosing the airline.

"Our staff is our biggest asset," Mr Ogilvie sauid. "We intend staying around for the long run."

The aircraft took off as passengers and four flight attendants clapped and cheered.

During the flight, the attendants joked with passengers that the water they were giving out was "champagne without the bubbles".

When passengers from An-713 walked into the Ansett terminal in Melbourne, they were greeted by hundreds more cheering Ansett staff as well as a brass band and dozens of blue and yellow balloons.

Administrator Mark Mentha allowed the use of four airbus aircraft this weekend as a sign to potential buyers that Ansett is capable of becoming a viable business proposition again.

"The administrator was scheduled to begin meetings with 5 potential buyers from tomorrow.

The Sun-Herald


Way to go Ansett!Way to go......
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RE: Ansett Mark 2 - Absolutely Fabulous

Sun Sep 30, 2001 9:28 pm

Love the picture and a great article too!! I saw some of these A320 aircraft, doing what they were designed to do, yesterday, high in the sky over New South Wales. It was lovely weather for flying too.  Smile

On another note, I saw on the news bulletin that some later flights were not very full at all, sorry to sound pessimistic but I am a little worried...  Sad have to just wait and see what this week brings...
Time now to spread your wings, to take to flight, the life endeavour - Savage Garden
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RE: Ansett Mark 2 - Absolutely Fabulous

Sun Sep 30, 2001 11:30 pm

With no advance bookings for the flights I wouldn't be too surprised by the fact the flights were quiet. Infact I didn't think the numbers were too bad, a 62% break even and just under 50% loads on average, with no advance bookings I think that's pretty good. Time will tell at least, an Ansett with good service (in the human sence) as they had, that charges reasonable fares (not traditionally their strong point!) would make a very good airline. Good luck AN!
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RE: Ansett Mark 2 - Absolutely Fabulous

Mon Oct 01, 2001 12:54 am

Well they just re-started service...it's hard to capture passenger's faith that quickly as people are starting to travel on DJ and QF...the days without AN.But i guess Aussies will get back and fly on Ansett...afterall there's no harm to have 1 more airline rite?And Aussie should support Australian!
They should provide More beverages actually,no food no harm actually.....just can't always announce on the plane that they are now providing Champagne without bubbles (Water) hehe~

Best Regards

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