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Wednesday, 12 December 2012

World's Newest Airliner Avoids Sydney

Qatar Airways claimed bragging rights today as the first airline to be flying the Boeing 787 Dreamliner on regular scheduled services to Australia.

Qatar will fly the 787 on its Doha - Perth service from February, which it currently operates three times a week.

The aircraft is regarded as something of a technological "game changer", & is on order with Qantas & Jetstar, with the latter expecting their first Dreamliners later in 2013. The ever-shrinking Qantas meanwhile, recently cancelled a number of its 787's it currently has on order.

The interesting thing to note in the reports from the media was the blatant ruling-out of flying the 787 into Sydney "until it becomes a 24-hour operation".

Last month, a united representation of all major Australian airlines & aviation industry groups, backed up by a number of foreign airlines, again made a heavyweight submission to the Federal Government to sort out Sydneys' second airport, preferably Badgerys Creek, fast. It also slammed once again the ridiculous curfew that exists over Sydney Airport, which just happens to be right next to the electorate for the federal Transport Minister.

The curfew is seen as a conflict of interest in the ministers duties, as no such concern for residents is given for those who live near Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth, airports, etc. The airlines want greater flexibility in their schedules & the airport will make a truckload of money out of the increased traffic. The only thing stopping the minister from lifting, or even reducing the curfew, is the backlash from a relatively small number of voters keeping him personally in his job.

It all smells pretty rank to me. It restrains untold millions of dollars worth of commercial activity, & the opportunities & employment it could bring to Sydney. Everbody in the airline industry knows it. And the minister couldn't care less.

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