Alliance Airlines focused growing non-mining flying given resources downturn

An Alliance Fokker 50. (Rob Finlayson)

Alliance Airlines says the focus for the year ahead is on securing more non-mining work and reducing costs amid a “sustained downturn in the resources industry” after posting a full year $36.6 million statutory net loss in 2014/15 due to fleet writedowns and other one-off charges.

The full year result was impacted by the first half charge taken on the carrying value of the fleet, as well as restructuring costs for sending its Fokker fleet overseas for heavy maintenance, one-off costs from the sale of two Fokker 100s and staff redundancies.

The $36.6 million net loss for the 12 months to June 30 2015 was down from net profit of $10.3 million in the prior year.

When the impairment charges and other one-off items were excluded, Alliance said underlying net profit after tax was $13.2 million for 2014/15, which was broadly in line with company guidance and up from $10.9 million a year earlier.

Revenue was down slightly at $199.4 million, from $200.2 million in the prior year, due to the lower fuel prices, Alliance said on Thursday, given fuel savings and increases are passed through to customers in most of the company’s long-term contracts.

“There is likely to be limited growth in long-term contract revenue in the resources sector,” the company said in its full year results release on Thursday.

“The financial outlook for Alliance for the year ended 30 June 2016 is a product of moderating contracted revenues, developing the ad-hoc charter market, new revenue sources and reducing expenditure, in particular capital expenditure.”

Lower capital expenditure was expected to come from the outsourcing of heavy maintenance to a Lufthansa subsidiary in Austria, which resulted in the end of heavy maintenance work at Brisbane and Adelaide.

At June 30, Alliance had 25 aircraft in service comprising 13 Fokker 100s, seven Fokker 70s and five Fokker 50s. In May, the company sold two Fokker 100s for $15.1 million. In August, Virgin confirmed it was the buyer of the two Fokker 100s.

“The rationalisation of the F100 fleet over the past 12 months and the change in the mix of aircraft will allow Alliance to respond to the needs of its customers and secure new opportunities as and when they arise,” Alliance said.

“Alliance has sufficient aircraft to meet the forecast in future years with some additional capacity to secure any new opportunities, particularly outside of the traditional FIFO peak between Tuesday and Thursday.”


Australian Aviation

All Blacks feature in Air New Zealand latest safety video as Men In Black

Air NZ's latest safety video is called Men In Black Safety Defenders. (Air NZ)
Air NZ’s latest safety video is called Men In Black Safety Defenders. (Air NZ)

New Zealand’s rugby team the All Blacks are the stars in Air New Zealand’s latest safety video, which has drawn inspiration from the Men In Black movie franchise of the late 1990s.

Called Men in Black Safety Defenders, the video features All Black Israel Dagg rapping the safety message alongside Australian-born artist Stan Walker.

“I grew up listening to the iconic Men in Black movie soundtrack song. Hopefully I’ve done it some justice,” Dagg said.

Actor Rip Torn, who played the chief in the first two Men In Black movies is also in the video, while there are cameo appearances from non-Kiwi rugby greats Australia’s David Campese, England’s Martin Johnson and Augustin Pichot from Argentina.

The Men In Black Safety Defenders video can be seen here:

Air NZ, a self-described “crazy about rugby” airline, renewed its major sponsorship of the national rugby team for more five years in July and painted a number of aircraft in an all black livery over the years, including a Boeing 777-300ER and 787-9, Airbus A320 and Beech 1900D.

An Air NZ Link Beech 1900 next to a big brother 777-300ER.
An Air NZ Link Beech 1900 next to a big brother 777-300ER.
ZK-NZE arrives in Sydney. (Lee Gatland)
An Air NZ Boeing 787-9 in Sydney. (Lee Gatland)
Air NZ's All Black A320
Air NZ’s All Black A320

“We’ve worked with the All Blacks on previous safety videos and thought it would be fun this time around to have them step into the shoes of the other highly trained Men in Black. The result is not only entertaining but makes people sit up and take notice of the key safety messages,” Air NZ head of global grand development Jodi Williams said in a statement on Thursday.

All Blacks Captain Richie McCaw, who was joined for the safety video by teammates Dan Carter, Kieran Read, Keven Mealamu, Sam Whitelock and Dagg, as well as coach Steve Hansen, said everyone enjoyed the experience.

“We had a lot of laughs on set and were blown away by Israel’s hidden singing talent. If rugby doesn’t work out for him he clearly has a promising career as a back-up singer,” McCaw said.

Air NZ said the safety video was created in collaboration with Sony Pictures Entertainment’s Content Licensing group, Sony Pictures Imageworks and Sony Pictures Entertainment’s Archives & Collections.

Sony Pictures Entertainment executive vice president Emmanuelle Borde described the concept the safety video as “really clever”.

“It’s been exciting to help Air New Zealand bring the Men in Black universe to life in this unique way,” Borde said.

The All Blacks also featured in a 2011 Air NZ safety video:


Australian Aviation

BAE Systems Australia appoints new chief executive

NUSHIP Canberra and NUSHIP Adelaide sit alongside the Naval Dockyard Williamstown, Victoria.
NUSHIP Canberra and NUSHIP Adelaide sit alongside the Naval Dockyard Williamstown, Victoria.

BAE Systems has confirmed that Glynn Phillips has been appointed as chief executive officer of its Australian business, replacing David Allott.

Phillips joined BAE Systems Australia in January as the finance director, and had been working as the acting chief executive since April. He has held senior executive roles within the wider company, including working as group financial controller and finance director for the Maritime Sector in the UK.

Guy Griffiths, group managing director international, said in a statement provided to Australian Defence Business Review that Phillips has managed a number of significant change-management activities and is therefore well placed to lead BAE Systems Australia through the business review that is currently being undertaken.

In addition, David Bond, who is currently the managing director of Combat Vehicles in the UK, has been named as chief operating officer for the Australian business.

Allott has a new role working with the global commercial and procurement team based in the UK. He had been chief executive of BAE Systems Australia since September 2011.

The leadership change comes at a difficult time for BAE Systems, which announced a further reduction in the workforce at its Williamstown shipyard in Melbourne on August 12.

The company said in a separate statement that the loss of an additional 125 positions will take effect in September or October, explaining that the job cuts are the result of a continuing decline in work as current projects near completion.

Since October last year, following the delivery of the first Canberra class amphibious assault ship HMAS Canberra, the shipbuilding workforce at Williamstown has lost almost 500 personnel. This latest announcement brings total reductions to about 600 people.

“[The] announcement is necessary because we are a project-based business, and our employee numbers must match the needs and status of our ongoing and upcoming projects,” said Bill Saltzer, director of Maritime at BAE Systems Australia.

Current naval shipbuilding work being undertaken at Williamstown includes the second amphibious assault ship NUSHIP Adelaide and hull modules or blocks for the Air Warfare Destroyer (AWD) program.

NUSHIP Adelaide will embark on its final period of sea trials next week in preparation for delivery. Meanwhile, the company is due to complete building AWD blocks by early next year; at that point, all naval shipbuilding activity will cease.

The federal government has expressed disappointment at the news that BAE Systems intends to further reduce the workforce at its Williamstown shipyard.

Minister for Defence Kevin Andrews was quick to point out that the government understands that the company’s position is that the shipbuilding job losses are not a result of or influenced by recent announcements made by the government.


Australian Aviation

Aerial Application Association of Australia adapting to the needs of its members with name change

QBE has launched an aerial ag scholarship program.

Aerial Application Association of Australia chief executive Phil Hurst says the organisation’s recent name change better reflects the wide range of aviation businesses and pilots from both agricultural and firefighting sectors the organisation now represents.

Previously known as the Aerial Agriculture Association of Australia, the name change took place following AAAA’s July’s annual general meeting.

Hurst said the AAAA was adapting to the changing needs of its members, as it has done since it was founded in 1958.

“In addition to supporting farming clients by protecting crops, sowing seeds and applying fertilizer, the firefighting sector has emerged as an increasingly important sector in need of strong representation through a united voice,” Hurst said in a statement.

“AAAA’s track record of positive government relations, safety promotion, environmental protection and whole of life professional development means that both agricultural and firefighting companies and pilots are now able to support an association that is clearly focused on their needs.”

Meanwhile, Hurst said the AAAA’s recent aerial firefighting operators conference in Albury had been well supported and was likely to return in 2016.


Australian Aviation

Dan Heffernan happy with FFA Cup draw

Heidelberg United striker Dan Heffernan in action against Broadmeadow Magic. Image: Heidelberg United FC - Stace Ioannidis

Heidelberg United star Dan Heffernan says his club’s Westfield FFA Cup Round of 16 clash with Sydney United is “winnable” and can help bring new fans to the ambitious Melbourne club.

In the FFA Cup Round of 16 draw at Fox Sports on Wednesday, Heidelberg drew Sydney United at home in Melbourne.

The tie pits two former NSL clubs with big histories together in what should be a high-quality encounter if their respective Round of 32 clashes are any  gauge.

“It’s a good draw, obviously a home advantage,” Heffernan told

“It’ll be a tough game but it’s definitely a winnable one for us. I’m sure they’ll be thinking the same.

“I’m sure those behind the scenes at Heidelberg wanted an A-League club but from what I can gather, Sydney United have quite a big history.

“There’ll be a fairly large crowd. With the magic of the Cup it won’t just be our fans that’ll show up but it’ll be fans  of the game.

“It’ll bring neutrals to the game so I’m expecting a large crowd.”

The central striker was on target in United’s impressive 3-1 win over Broadmeadow Magic in the FFA Cup Round of 32 at Magic Park in NNSW.

And as a trialist at Hyundai A-League club Central Coast, he hit a sensational hat-trick in a friendly against Western Sydney Sydney Wanderers in Coffs Harbour last Friday.

Heffernan, 28, from Manchester in England, was named in the FFA Cup All Stars for the Round of 32 and is confident of hitting the back of the net again in the Westfield FFA Cup Round of 16.

“I’m always confident going into games in terms of scoring,” the striker said.

“As long as I get the service, I’m confident of putting it away. If I’m available to play it’ll be another game I’ll be going in looking to add my tally.

“But as long as the team wins, that’s the more important goal.”

Football Federation Australia

Tom Rogic played 90 minutes for Celtic overnight.

Tom Rogic played 90 minutes for Celtic overnight..

Tom Rogic’s revival at Celtic continues with the Socceroo midfielder playing a full game in the team’s 2-2 draw away to Kilmarnock overnight.

On Sunday, the 22-year-old made his first league appearance for the Bhoys since November 2013.

The attacking midfielder formerly of Melbourne Victory and Central Coast netted a clever opener as the Scottish Premiership champions cruised to a routine 2-0 win over Partick.

That 60-minute performance earned the praise of Hoops manager Ronny Deila.

Now, with a full 90 minutes under his belt it is another encouraging sign that Rogic is coming back to full fitness after a groin injury shattered his World Cup 2014 dreams.

It wasn’t all good news though with Deila disappointed to drop two points after his side conceded a penalty in the 87th minute at Rugby Park.

The Bhoys are home to Inverness this Saturday.

Football Federation Australia

Hyundai A-League an option for Socceroo hero James Troisi

James Troisi says he is open to a return to the Hyundai A-League.

The Socceroos’ Asian Cup final hero James Troisi says he will consider a short-term Hyundai A-League move as he seeks regular first-team football in 2015-16.

The 27-year-old attacking midfielder is owned by Juventus but has never played for the Turin giants and is unlikely to feature in their Serie A title defence during the coming campaign.

Troisi enjoyed a productive loan spell at Belgian club Zulte Waregem last term but appears no closer to securing his next loan move or permanent transfer.

And the man who scored the winning extra-time goal in the Socceroos’ 2-1 Asian Cup final win over South Korea in January may have to accept a temporary return home, where he starred on loan for Melbourne Victory in 2013-14.

“I’m open [to a move] but whether it’s Europe, Asia, the Middle East or the A-League, it has to be the right move,” he told News Corp.

“I’m not 21 anymore, I’m 27 and I’ve been travelling quite a bit so I’m looking for a bit more security. If it’s the A-League though then I would be prepared to accept something more short-term.

“It’s only a few weeks before the transfer window closes so if nothing happens then I may have to go to Juve.”

Football Federation Australia

Melbourne City FC have signed Uruguayan striker a Bruno Fornaroli two-year deal.

New Melbourne City striker Bruno Fornaroli says working hard and scoring goals will be the only way to win over the club’s supporters and prove himself in the Hyundai A-League.

The 27-year-old, brought in by John van ‘t Schip’s ambitious A-League outfit on a two-year deal, has a considerably lower profile than two of City’s recent centre-forward recruits.

World Cup, La Liga and Champions League winner David Villa arrived on a guest stint to considerable fanfare last year but managed just four games in the A-League before leaving to link up with New York City FC.

Socceroos striker Josh Kennedy was then brought in as Australian marquee mid-season only to retire at the end of the last A-League campaign.

A former Nacional, Sampdoria, Panathinaikos and Danubio player, Fornaroli won’t be instantly recognisable to the City faithful.

Nevertheless, should he stay fit and hit the back of the net with any kind of regularity, the low-profile newcomer could yet outshine both Villa and Kennedy’s efforts in a white and sky blue shirt.

“Fans can expect lots of sacrifice for the shirt, that’s the first thing I put in my head when I arrive at a club; to give it my best,” he told the club’s website.

“I believe that with the ideas of the coaching staff, who like a pressing style, I will do this to the best of my ability, but it is difficult when a striker isn’t scoring, so my intention is to score goals.”

Fornaroli had the opportunity to train with Manchester City’s Elite Development Squad – coached by retired Arsenal and France great Patrick Vieira – before his arrival in Australia, one of the advantages of the A-League team’s status as a member of the global City Football Group.

“I was very grateful for training under a coach like Patrick Vieira, who is a very big name in football,” he said.

“The facilities in Manchester were amazing and I would like to thank the City Football Group for giving me the opportunity to train at the facility and prepare me for Melbourne.”

As for his arrival in Australia and first session with his new A-League team-mates, the forward said: “I felt very comfortable, but it is a long time before the start of the season so I will take my time to make sure I am fit.

“The club has made me feel very welcome, the whole staff and the playing group have received me well and made me feel comfortable.

“The facilities are very good, it’s going to help the team lift for the season.”

On a lighter note, Fornaroli also cleared up any confusion about his unusual nickname.

“The name ‘El Tuna’ or ‘Prickly Pear’ came from my hairstyle, because when it is very short, it looks like a cactus.”

Football Federation Australia

Flashback: The Socceroos’ last game in Perth

On March 29, 2005 the Socceroos faced Indonesia in a friendly at Subiaco Oval in Perth – a match used to raise relief funds for those affected by the Asian Tsunami months earlier.

The Socceroos eased past the Indonesians 3-0 thanks to two goals from a man who’ll be sitting on the Socceroos’ bench on September 3 when they return to the WA capital.

Ante Milicic bagged two goals for Australia that night with David Zdrilic grabbing a late third for the Socceroos.

Milicic, who went on to play and coach in the Hyundai A-League, is now one of Ange Postecoglou’s assistant coaches as Australia plot a fourth consecutive FIFA World Cup qualification.

Other names in the Australian squad that night in Perth included current Western Sydney Wanderers coach Tony Popovic, his club’s new goalkeeper coach Zeljko Kalac, WA favourite Stan Lazaridis, brilliant defender Jon McKain and Socceroo great Brett Emerton.

In fact it was fan favourite “Laza” who set up the first goal for Milicic on 24 minutes.

The winger sent a cross into the box and Milicic’s deft header glanced the ball into the far net to open the scoring.

A second goal came 15 minutes after the break. Popovic winning a header from a corner and Milicic was Johnny on the spot to get a slight touch and guide it home.

A host of substitutions were made in the second half as the game lost a little of its momentum in its final stages.

Zdrilic wrapped up the scoring in the final five minutes to make it 3-0 on the night.

An easy win for the home nation but, more importantly, vital funds were raised for those affected by the Tsunami in Asia months earlier.

Football Federation Australia

5 Socceroo bolters for Perth

Who’ll be selected for the Socceroo squad to take on Bangladesh in Perth? Here are five bolters who just get that special phone call.

Mustafa Amini (Randers FC)

After learning his craft at Central Coast then four years at German powerhouse Borussia Dortmund, we’re now starting to see the best of the likeable midfielder. His move to the Danish league in the off-season is giving the 22-year-old valuable first team game time as he eyes the Olyroos Rio 2016 qualifiers as well as a spot in the Socceroos.

Aaron Mooy (Melbourne City FC)

The 24-year-old’s stunning goals in the Westfield FFA Cup two more reminders of the technical ability of City’s new, re-signed, marquee midfielder. He’s been on the fringes of the national team but now he could be ready to step up permanently into the national team.

Jackson Irvine (Ross County)

The Olyroo midfielder from Melbourne was named in the latest Scottish Premiership team of the week by Ladbrokes. After making his loan move from Celtic permanent, Irvine is benefitting from regular first team football with the Staggies as the 22-year-old rising star’s game develops in the Scottish league.

Awer Mabil (FC Midtjylland)

An excitement machine with a style of his own who now has a new challenge ahead of him after leaving Adelaide United for the Danish league with FC Midtjylland. The 19-year-old still has a way to develop but he could be on the national team radar as he fine-tunes his game overseas.

James Meredith (Bradford City)

Powerfully built 27-year-old defender who’s built a strong career in England where he’s a club favourite at York City but now calls Bradford his home. The defender is a regular at his League One club. A former Derby County academy player, Meredith has spent his entire professional career in Britain and Ireland, without representing Australia at any youth level.

Football Federation Australia