United upbeat on Australian routes

N38950 UAL B789 34 YMML AA-3483 Bernie Proctor

 

United’s improved on-board offering and the use of Boeing 787-9s on all Australian and New Zealand services will ensure the airline remains competitive amid new carriers and new services in the market, a senior executive from the airline says.

The Australia-US market is currently in a period of expansion, with American Airlines commencing its own flights from Sydney to Los Angeles in December, while its alliance partner Qantas has returned to the Sydney-San Francisco route.

And there is also çapacity growth coming across the Tasman, with American to start Auckland-Los Angeles from June and United to begin Auckland-San Francisco flights the following month in cooperation with partner Air New Zealand, which itself launched flights to Houston in December.

United managing director for Japan and Pacific sales Alison Espley describes the current conditions as a challenging revenue environment.

However, Espley believes United’s revamped service on Australian routes – recent changes have included bringing back the two checked baggage allowance, as well as complimentary beer and wine, in economy – have ensured the airline is able to continue to meet the needs of the travelling public.

Schedules have also been tweaked to allow for an earlier arrival into the United States, ensuring shorter connecting times for passengers travelling to points such as New York, Chicago, Miami or Las Vegas.

“We are responding to what customers have told us they wanted,” the Tokyo-based Espley told Australian Aviation in an interview during a recent visit to Australia to celebrate the airline’s 30th anniversary in this country.

The switch of the Boeing 777-200ER to the 787-9 on its Sydney-San Francisco and Sydney-Los Angeles services is due to take place on March 27 and 28.

Although the aircraft change means United will no longer offer first class to Australia, it does represent an improvement in the business cabin with a 2-2-2 configuration in 787-9 business cabin compared with a 2-4-2 layout on the 777-200ER featuring a mixture of forward-facing and rear-facing seats.

United already flies the 787 on its Melbourne-Los Angeles nonstop flights that kicked off October 2014.

“The Dreamliner flights to Melbourne have been very encouraging and we are confident the customer satisfaction will be similar when they start flying to Sydney,” Espley said.

In terms of the impact on its Sydney-San Francisco flights following the return of Qantas on the route at Christmas, Espley said United was holding its own in the face of the renewed competition.

The United executive said the strength of the airline’s San Francisco hub with more than 100 connections, coupled with the millions of United’s MileagePlus frequent flyer members and its profile in Australia built up in the 30 years since it first commenced flights to Australia, leaves the airline in a good position to compete.

“We are very pleased with the performance of the San Francisco route,” Espley said. “It is still meeting expectations, as are all our Australian routes.”

 

Australian Aviation

Video technology for the Hyundai A-League?

Representatives from every Hyundai A-League club at the interactive 2015/16 season launch.

The Hyundai A-League could be one of the first leagues in the world to implement new video technology designed to assist referees.

The International Football Association Board (IFAB) confirmed that ‘live trials’ will be implemented by the 2017/18 season following a meeting in Wales over the weekend.

The technology will be used to help referees with “game changing” moments – when a goal is scored, penalty decisions, straight red cards and cases of mistaken identity.

Australia is one of 12 football associations to have expressed an interest and FFA CEO David Gallop believes the A-League is the perfect competition to trial the new technology.

“In our view, the A-League would provide an ideal environment, given that the Australian TV industry has years of experience and technology know-how in this area,” Gallop told the Herald Sun.

“We spoke to IFAB officials on the sidelines of the FIFA Congress in Zurich last week and we will be contacting IFAB and FIFA again this week to press Australia’s credentials to be at the forefront of this exciting development.”

New FIFA president Gianni Infantino believes the introduction of video technology is an important step forward but insists the governing body will take a common sense approach with its application.

“I think we cannot close our eyes to the future, to technology. They are big tests that we are doing here and we have to be very careful when it comes to protecting the game of football and the flow of the game is crucial,” Infantino told fifa.com.

“We need to look at it and then we will be able to take a decision on whether it is the right thing for football or not. We have to be open to tests and leading the discussion.”

Football Federation Australia

RAAF’s AOSG becomes Air Warfare Centre

The newly unveiled ‘Air Warfare Centre' (AWC) sign outside the AWC Headquarters at RAAF Base Edinburgh.

The RAAF has formally stood up the Air Warfare Centre, a key element of its Plan Jericho transformation plan, during a ceremony at RAAF Base Edinburgh on February 25.

Air Warfare Centre (AWC) replaces the former Aerospace Operational Support Group (or AOSG) and achieved an initial operational capability (IOC) on January 11.

“The future of the AWC is as dynamic as it is exciting. Importantly, you will have a key role to play in the transformation of the Air Force in the future,” AWC commander Air Commodore Stephen Meredith said at the ceremony.

“The RAAF AWC is a first for Air Force and is an extremely exciting opportunity not only for my staff but for the wider Australian Defence Organisation.”

The old AOSG comprised the Development and Test Wing and the Information Warfare Wing, and also had responsibility for the Woomera test range. In its place the new AWC is structured into directorates, comprising Integrated Mission Support, Capability and Logistics, Test and Evaluation, Information Warfare, Air Force Ranges, and Tactics and Training. Like AOSG, AWC’s headquarters and most of its units are based at RAAF Base Edinburgh.

“By working with the other force element groups, Army, Navy and defence industry, the AWC will allow Air Force to generate rapid, cogent and integrated capability solutions that are needed now and into the future,” Air Commander Australia Air Vice-Marshal Gavin Turnbull said at the opening.

“It will identify innovative solutions and translate those into capability by driving integrated tactics and advanced warfare across Air Command.”

The establishment of an air warfare centre was heralded by then Chief of Air Force Air Marshal Geoff Brown in his launch of Plan Jericho in February 2015.

The subsequent Plan Jericho ‘Program of Work’ document notes that: “Air Force lacks the systemic ability to generate rapid, cogent and integrated combat capability solutions in response to current and future capability gaps and bottom-up innovation opportunities.”

In response it promises that: “an Air Warfare Centre … will become the centre of innovation and thinking for integrated operations.”

Air Warfare Centre’s full operational capability (FOC) is scheduled for 2020.

 

Australian Aviation

Football Federation Australia launches Female Football Week

Jets striker Tara Andrew was on hand to help launch FFA's Female Football Week on Monday.

Football Federation Australia Chief Executive Officer David Gallop today officially launched FFA’s Female Football Week, a national promotion and celebration of the role of women and girls in the game.

The week of activities across Australia are dedicated to developing Female Football in Australia coincides with tomorrow’s International Women’s Day and the Asian Football Confederation’s Women’s Football Day.

Speaking at the launch, Gallop said female football in Australia was pivotal to the game’s future development.

“We are proud that more than 20% of our entire participation base of outdoor club players are female. No other footy brand can compare with that,” said Gallop.

“Females represent the fastest growing segment in our participation base. Girls starting out in football have a pathway that goes to World Cups and Olympic Games, and there are fantastic role models in the Westfield Matildas, who are on show at the moment.

“In May last year, FFA released a Whole of Football Plan, a 20-year vision for the game.

“We made a critical strategic call; that women’s football will not be treated as a separate pillar in the game’s development.

“It’s too important to our future to the carved out from the everyday. It must be part of everything we do.

“Whatever the program, whether it’s elite player development, coach education or referee recruitment,we will place women’s football in the equation at the outset,” concluded Gallop.

FFA Head of Community and Women’s Football, Emma Highwood, said that the Female Football Week is a fantastic opportunity to highlight all the positives of Female Football in Australia.

“Last year we saw record participation numbers in our female grassroots registration levels with over 100,000 females playing regularly for clubs throughout the football season,” said Highwood.

“We hope to surpass that number this year following the recent success of the Westfield Matildas on the world stage increasing the profile of Female Football around the country.

“Football is a great sport for Girls and Women to get active and develop personally and socially.

“FFA is committed to continue developing Female Football and promoting Gender Equity in Football whenever possible,” concluded Highwood.

Throughout Female Football Week each of the nine State and Territory Member Federations of FFA will be conducting a range of activities all aimed to celebrate and recognise Female Football which include:

  • Female only coaching courses- Advanced and Community
  • Referee Courses
  • Girls Football Festivals and Gala days
  • 5 a-side football friendlies
  • AIA Vitality MiniRoos for Girls Kick-off programs
  • Parent and daughter sessions
  • Administrator Networking Functions
  • Women’s Leadership Workshops
  • Women’s National Premier Leagues Launch
  • Community Club female engagement education workshops
  • Regional Club visits
  • Westfield Matilda & W-League Player signing sessions

For more information regarding details of the activities of Female Football Week please contact your local member federation.

Member Federation Website
Capital Football www.capitalfootball.com.au
Football Federation Northern Territory www.footballnt.com.au
Football Federation South Australia www.ffsa.com.au
Football Federation Tasmania www.footballfedtas.com.au
Football Federation Victoria www.footballfedvic.com.au
Football NSW www.footballnsw.com.au
Football Queensland www.footballqueensland.com.au
Football West www.footballwest.com.au
Northern NSW Football www.northernnswfootball.com.au

Football Federation Australia

Deniliquin Council links up with Wellcamp

Lenn Bayliss First 747-8 to Wellcamp Airport Monday 23 November 2015 (2)

Deniliquin Council hopes to upgrade its local airport to establish a regional freight hub in the NSW Riverina and begin sending goods the world via Brisbane West Wellcamp Airport in Toowoomba.

The council is looking for government funding to support construction of a 2,000m runway at Deniliquin Airport, which currently has a 1,200m asphalt runway and a 1,500m dirt/grass runway. There are no regular public transport services (RPT) services at the airport, although the a Deniliquin Development Control Plan 2016 showed the council had developed an airport master plan to attract RPT flights.

To that end, the council said on Monday it had signed a memorandum of understanding with Wellcamp Airport with a view to starting freight services between Toowoomba and the southern NSW regional centre.

Deniliquin Mayor Ashley Hall described the MOU as the first step in developing Deniliquin Airport to become an air freight hub, noting what the new Wellcamp Airport had done for Toomwoomba.

“It has given Toowoomba’s economy a huge economic boost and the possibilities that are presented through our association have the potential to also provide our economy with a multi-million-dollar annual injection,” Cr Hall said in a statement.

Wellcamp Airport owners Wagners have been keen to develop the facility, which opened in November 2014, as a new freight hub for Australian producers to export their goods to Asia and beyond.

In November, Cathay Pacific brought a Boeing 747-8F to Wellcamp for a one-off freighter service, the first international flight from the airport.

Wellcamp Airport general manager Phil Gregory said the MOU with Deniliquin recognised the potential of the airport as a freight facility and the airport was in ongoing discussions with several airlines to establish regular international freight flights.

“The freight opportunities ahead are exciting and it would be fantastic to be able to work co-operatively with likeminded businesses,” Gregory said in a statement.

 

Australian Aviation

Perth Glory 2 x 0 Newcastle Jets

Perth Glory have surged into the Hyundai A-League top six with a comfortable 2-0 win over a 10-man Newcastle Jets at in the nib  Stadium on Monday night.

Andy Keogh sent the hosts on their way with a well-taken header in the opening stanza before Gyorgy Sandor extended the hosts’ advantage less than 60 seconds into the second half.

Newcastle’s Daniel Mullen was dismissed for two bookable offences either side of half-time, effectively ending any hopes of a Jets revival.

GOALS

1-0 (Andy Keogh 37’) – Diego Castro ripped apart the Jets defence with an incisive ball in behind which was expertly controlled by Aryn Williams under heavy pressure from Nigel Boogaard. The fullback whipped in a teasing ball across the six yard box with Keogh rising highest to nod past the helpless Mark Birighitti.

2-0 (Gyorgy Sandor 46’) –  Castro picked up the ball inside the area after a mistake from Jets midfielder Steven Ugarkovic before showing great composure with Birighitti bearing down on him. The Spaniard calmly turned away from danger before teeing up Sandor who slid the ball into an empty net.

KEY MOMENT

With the game in the balance after a somewhat cagey opening, the Jets had a glorious chance to open the scoring through Serbian striker Milos Trifunovic. Brazilian playmaker Leonardo cut the Glory defence apart with a beautiful through ball but Trifunovic got the ball caught between his feet with only Ante Covic in front of him. Alex Grant did well in cover for the hosts but the Serbian will be disappointed not to have at least fired an effort on goal.

HIGHLIGHTS REEL

Diego Castro was a maligned figure in the early stages of the season but the former Malaga midfielder has exploded to life in recent months. The 33-year-old was again in scintillating touch against the Jets with his vision, touch and close control causing all sorts of problems for the visitors throughout the contest. Was instrumental in both of Glory’s goals and forced a neat save from Birighitti with a stinging effort in the second stanza.

COACH KILLER

Down 2-0 and already on a booking, Daniel Mullen clumsily barged into Chris Harold near the halfway line leaving the referee with little choice but to show him a second yellow card.  A silly challenge from an experienced player and extinguished any chance of a second half fight back for the visitors.

CASUALTY WARD

Jets striker Milos Trifunovic and Glory defender Aryn Williams were involved in a sickening head clash just prior to half time, with the forward coming off second best. The Serbian had blood pouring from his face after suffering a nasty gash which forced him from the field for the remaining five minutes of the opening stanza.  Williams was unable to return to the field after the break, replaced by Dino Djulbic.

THE FINAL WORD

Perth have leapfrogged Sydney FC into sixth spot and are now in the box seat to lock up a finals berth after a difficult start to the campaign.

The Glory will fancy their chances of finishing even higher on the ladder with matches against Central Coast, Wellington and Newcastle again in the next three weeks.

 

The finals are slipping away from the Jets and they will now need to win at least three of their last four to have any chance of featuring in the post-season.

It doesn’t get any easier for Scott Miller’s side with matches against the Wanderers and Victory to come in the next fortnight.

TEAMS

Perth Glory: Covic (gk), Grant, Risdon (c), Lowry, Williams (Djulbic 45’), Marinkovic (Garcia 71’), Sandor, Harold (Petratos 78’), Vadócz, Castro, Keogh

Newcastle Jets: Birighitti (gk), Cowburn, Mullen, Hoffman, Boogaard (c), Ugarkovic, Poljak, Nordstrand, Leonardo (Kitto 67’), Alivodic, Trifunovic (Kantarovski 61’)

Scorers:  Keogh, Sandor

Red cards:  Mullen 58’

Yellow cards:  Lowry 21’, Hoffman 27’, Mullen 47, 58’, Nordstrand 78’,Boogaard 94’

Conditions:  Warm, 33C

 

Football Federation Australia

Tigerair chooses CloudStore IFE system for 737 Bali flights

Tigerair Australia's first Boeing 737-800 at Melbourne Airport.

Passengers on board Tigerair Australia’s flights to Bali due to start at the end of March will enjoy streaming inflight movies and television programs delivered via the Cloudstore by Arconics software platform.

Tigerair has chosen to go its own way with the wireless delivery of content from media servers already fitted on board the aircraft to passengers’ own personal devices such as mobile phones, tablets or laptops in deciding to go with Cloudstore by Arconics, given parent company Virgin Australia utilises BoardConnect by Lufthansa Systems.

The three Boeing 737-800s Tigerair will operate to Bali from Adelaide, Melbourne and Perth will offer a mix of free and paid content such as Hollywood and Australian movies, international and local television programs, music and real-time destination mapping, Arconics said in a statement. There would be more features added over time, the company added.

Tigerair commercial director Adam Rowe said the airline wanted to provide “value and choice” for travellers.

“The CloudStore Wireless IFE solution is not only focused on the customer experience, it is also in sync with our low cost model,” Rowe said in a statement.

“We’ve deployed this software from Arconics because our passengers’ needs come first. Our customer satisfaction is at an all-time high and we look forward to bringing our customers great value in-flight entertainment for the first time.”

The first flights to Bali begin March 23.

A supplied image of the Tigerair Australia IFE from Cloudstore by Arconics. (Arconics)

Arconics chief executive Niall O’Sullivan said the Cloudstore platform also supported airlines’ efforts to grow ancillary revenues.

Further, airline staff could “publish their own content builds and prepare aircraft media: they no longer have to wait to import media from an integrator, and can update content on the platform without delays”.

“We’ve worked hard with some of the world’s smartest airlines to create an IFE platform that’s a generation ahead of competition,” O’Sullivan said.

“Passengers demand the freedom to use their own devices to access entertainment, communications and retail services while they’re flying and CloudStore delivers on the promise of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD).

“CloudStore provides the flexibility, analytics and real-time insight that revenue managers need to drive ancillaries and our faster, simpler content loading removes effort and complexity for engineering and ground operations.”

The fleet of three ex-Virgin 737-800 have been repainted in Tigerair livery and feature Tigerair cabin crew. However, the trio will remain on Virgin Australia International Airlines air operator’s certificate and have Virgin pilots in the flightdeck.

The 180-seat all-economy cabin features three rows of extra leg room seats with 34in pitch at the front of the aircraft, while the regular economy seat has 31-inch pitch. There are also two over wing exit rows that feature 39in pitch.

 

Australian Aviation