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Does Ansett Expect Aircraft Donations?

Mon Apr 16, 2001 10:17 am

Read this article please, then tell me your opinion on the question at hand.

I'm sorry, says Ansett chief

ANSETT boss Gary Toomey flew into Melbourne last night to take charge of the airline's crisis as its 767s remained grounded indefinitely.

Facing mounting criticism about his refusal to return to Australia over Easter, Mr Toomey – chief executive of Ansett's owner Air New Zealand – abandoned his Auckland base yesterday to take over handling of the crisis.
He arrived as Civil Aviation Safety Authority engineers prepared to begin a physical inspection of the first of the 10 grounded Ansett Boeing 767s today.

Ansett's vice-president of operations, Trevor Jensen, has been managing the crisis in Australia.

Spokesman Geoff Lynch said Mr Toomey had been in constant contact with executives here and had been spending 20 hours a day on the phone securing additional planes from other airlines.

Mr Toomey said in NZ he would stay in Australia "as long as it takes" to resolve the crisis.

"I'm sure there will be individuals out there who have been delayed and I sincerely apologise," he said. "Obviously there will be some people who are upset and I really do apologise to them.

"But the majority of people are being carried and I haven't seen at this stage any great cancellation of bookings."

Australian airports are bracing for further chaos today as Ansett attempts to fly almost 40,000 passengers home after the Easter holidays.

In other developments at the weekend:

FOUR Ansett employees in the maintenance and engineering areas have been suspended, but will not be made scapegoats, according to the airline.

ANSETT has asked its Star Alliance partners for replacement aircraft.

ABOUT 25,000 passengers were flown around Australia yesterday with few delays.

THE Civil Aviation Safety Authority said it came close to grounding Ansett's whole domestic fleet of 55 planes on Thursday.

Ansett has begun an internal inquiry to determine if disciplinary action against the four staff it suspended is justified.

Mr Lynch said reports at the weekend that maintenance workers in Melbourne had blown the whistle about apparent safety concerns at Ansett late last year were "a furphy".

But Doug Cameron, national secretary of the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union, warned any action by Ansett against its maintenance staff for telling the truth would provoke a strong union response.

Ansett finalised contingency plans late yesterday afternoon so it would have enough planes today to carry 37,000 passengers with minimal disruption.

The airline carried a light load of 25,000 passengers without any hitches yesterday.

Mr Lynch said Ansett had borrowed planes from parent company Air New Zealand, and Singapore Airlines to meet today's 9500 seat shortfall.

Any other shortage would be accommodated by rivals Qantas, Impulse and Virgin Blue.

CASA's director of aviation safety, Mick Toller, told the Nine Network's Business Sunday program yesterday he had seriously considered grounding the entire Ansett fleet last Thursday.

But neither Mr Toller nor Mr Toomey offered any reason why CASA decided against grounding the entire airline.

CASA spokesman Peter Gibson said the authority hoped to begin physical inspection of the first of the grounded 767s some time today.

CASA staff are examining every document since Ansett bought the planes. Mr Gibson said it would be at least a fortnight before the entire fleet of 767s – which range in age from five to 17 years – was back in the air.

An Ansett spokeswoman, Heather Jeffery, denied the airline had been slow in providing CASA with records.

Engineers have been conducting random checks on all Ansett planes in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.

Ansett has been given three weeks to show why it should keep its licence and is believed to be losing up to $1 million a day.

This line in particular interested me: "ANSETT has asked its Star Alliance partners for replacement aircraft."

My question is, does Ansett expect some other star airlines to actually donate aircraft. I know Air NZ already gave them a 767, but that's because they own them. Which Star airlines have the spare aircraft to help support Ansett?

I think that United is down one 767, because that incident at OGG probably put it into the shop for a while.

Could Air Canada lend them a hand? They have lots of 767s and Ansett was expecting some from them anyways later in the year.

What about Singapore, I know they are probably still down one 744 and need to use all the aircraft they have. What about an Airbus jet. Either the 340, which would be better for Ansett, or even an A310. I wonder if they have any 310s sitting around at Changi airport that are probably not being used. I wonder if Singapore could let Ansett use them for a while. Could Ansett 320 pilots fly these planes, or would Singapore need to send their own pilots. Isn't it in Singapore's best interest to rid Ansett of its problems anyways?

ANA, they have lots of 767s. Could they (or counterpart ANK) lend anything. They have a somewhat close bond with Ansett, at least codesharing on Asia-Australia routes. ANK flies 320s, which Ansett would probably happily accept.

Sure there are 10 other airlines in the alliance, but most of them don't have a very close link with Ansett.

So what do you all think? Do you guys (and gals) think that they will get any donations (and from whom?), or are they going to have to continue to rent planes from Impulse and Qantas?

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RE: Does Ansett Expect Aircraft Donations?

Mon Apr 16, 2001 10:39 am

What I said earlier about the UA plane being in for a check up, that wasn't from the 767 incindent at OGG, rather at JFK. My mistake.
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RE: Does Ansett Expect Aircraft Donations?

Mon Apr 16, 2001 2:12 pm

I think Ansett expects it.
Singapore Airlines HAS leased a 744 to Ansett already - and ANZ has leased I think 4 aircraft (don't quote me on this).
I wonder why SIA gave Ansett the 744? Singapore Airlines should be down one 744 (like you said)

The spirit of Australia
Spirit of Australia
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RE: Does Ansett Expect Aircraft Donations?

Mon Apr 16, 2001 2:16 pm

SQ has taken delivery of two 747-412's since the loss of 9V-SPL at TPE. Their rego's are:




RE: Does Ansett Expect Aircraft Donations?

Mon Apr 16, 2001 2:18 pm

Aio86, why do you say A340 would better for Ansett tha 744? The 744 could carry more.

Cathay Pacific
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RE: Does Ansett Expect Aircraft Donations?

Mon Apr 16, 2001 3:16 pm

i thought the rego of the Taipei accident was 9V-SPK

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RE: Does Ansett Expect Aircraft Donations?

Mon Apr 16, 2001 5:05 pm

Rumour has it that 1 Megatop has been sent to Ansett Airlines, because of the incoming of 9V-SPO, technically the 38th Megatop.

So, they can get rid of a Megatop for the while. Good for AN. THis is probably for free though right?
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RE: Does Ansett Expect Aircraft Donations?

Mon Apr 16, 2001 6:19 pm

Do you really think that SIA gave AN a megatop for free? Like any airline I am sure that AN is paying top dollar to lease aircraft at short notice. A lot of traffic will be picked up by rival airlines in Australia but no airline from any alliance is going to have aircraft to just give away for free. They all have to be paid for somehow. Although airlines have aircraft on the ground none are actually just sitting there doing nothing as inevitably they are written into a schedule somewhere.
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RE: Does Ansett Expect Aircraft Donations?

Mon Apr 16, 2001 6:34 pm

What an incredible mess! Why was this dickhead Toomey so reluctant to come over and sort it out? This is an airline Air NZ have just bought, it's probably the same size as Air NZ itself, and the regulator is talking seriously about grounding the whole airline! And he doesn't think this justifies a visit? My god, Air NZ are even worse than I thought. This is the Balkan Bulgarian Airlines scenario all over again. Poor Ansett.
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RE: Does Ansett Expect Aircraft Donations?

Mon Apr 16, 2001 10:15 pm

Ooops, thanks for pointing out the error in my earlier post, Cathay Pacific. Indeed, it was 9V-SPK in TPE. Sorry for the typo.


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RE: Does Ansett Expect Aircraft Donations?

Mon Apr 16, 2001 10:36 pm

Gary Toomey's reason for delaying his visit - quite legitimate I thought - was that making the trip would lose him 5 or 6 valuable hours (3-4 hours for flight, 1-2 hours for preparation).

Believe it or not, New Zealand does have telephone and computer links to the outside world (shock horror!), from which people can hear Mr. Toomey just as clearly as through Australian lines - or did you think he was going to arrive in Australia and stroll down the road to the nearest Singapore Airlines Bargain Leasing Depot, or the Angry Passengers in Perth Collective?

Agreed, he does need to be in Australia to sort out the crisis - he's now there, after having delayed his trip to sort out stuff that needed to be done BEFORE a 5-6 hour trip was undertaken.

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RE: Does Ansett Expect Aircraft Donations?

Mon Apr 16, 2001 10:52 pm

Well SIA are either giving the lovely Megatop for free or very cheaply. Remember, it is in their own interests that AN and ANZ get back on their own two feet. This could just be teaching them how to walk again.

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Breaking News (In A Way)

Mon Apr 16, 2001 11:04 pm

SIA to lease plane to Ansett

SINGAPORE, April 16 (Reuters) - National carrier Singapore Airlines (Singapore: SIAL.SI - news) (SIA) said on Monday it had agreed to lease a Boeing 747-400 to Australian airline Ansett, following the grounding of 10 of its aircraft over safety issues.

The grounding by Australia's Civil Aviation Safety Authority

(CASA) just before the peak Easter holiday period was prompted by the discovery of hairline cracks on engine mounts.

"We are aware of Ansett's problems and are being kept closely informed," an SIA statement said.

It was assisting Ansett on Monday and Tuesday this week by providing the aircraft to ferry domestic passengers between Melbourne and Sydney.

SIA said Australian authorities had granted approval.

It added that it was sending a small team of four engineers to Melbourne to provide general assistance to Ansett, following a request from parent Air New Zealand.

SIA declined comment on whether it was considering taking a direct stake in Ansett, enabling the airline to directly fund the purchase of new aircraft. SIA, which has a 25 percent stake in Air New Zealand, ended unchanged at S$12.20 ($6.74) on Monday
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RE: Does Ansett Expect Aircraft Donations?

Tue Apr 17, 2001 4:41 am

So, do you guys think that any other Star-Alliance airlines will help them out?

Boeing744, of course the bigger the plane the better for Ansett, however I thought it would be more convenient for Singapore to send them an A340. Guess I was wrong.

Another point, have they gone to any charter companies to get a wet lease on any aircraft. Are there any large charter airlines in the Australia/NZ/Asia region like World Airways?

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