Malaysia Airlines – 80% discount off fares

Qantas is clearly not the only airline suffering reduced travel sales – suffering a 71% decline in profit since 2008!

The Australian reported that the airline will be slashing up to 80% off selected ticket prices in a hope to boost domestic and international passenger traffic. Managing director Idris Jala said radical action was needed to survive in the current economic climate.

“I am very convinced that must be the way to survive in this environment – to tailor (the products) based on the size of the customers’ wallet.”

All airlines across the globe are being severly affected by the travel drought with some of the lowest prices available for passengers in a long time. Despite the lowerest costs ,I seriously doubt the average person can afford to travel right now, let alone take a holiday from their jobs!

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Published in: on April 15, 2009 at 10:36 am  Leave a Comment  

Tourist influx good for local economy

Dubbo has a suprising busy weekend over Easter, as tourists travelled into the city rewarding businesses with increased trading. The Daily Liberal reported strong attendance numbers at the Western Plains zoo, with ticket sales up to 30% more than the previous year.

Dubbo City Tourism Association noted “most motels” were full across Friday, Saturday and into Sunday, and that this Easter was a good time for “employers and employees alike” with increased patronage requiring additional labour.

Rain in the area over the weekend was also good for farmers, who have been suffering under the central west drought for the past few years.

Published in: on April 14, 2009 at 4:00 am  Leave a Comment  

Qantas slashes 1750 jobs

Alan Joyce Photo: SMH

Alan Joyce

We knew it was coming!

Qantas has formally announced that they will be cutting 1750 jobs, grounding 10 aircrafts and defering the delivery of jumbo A380 aircrafts. The Sydney Morning Herald reported on the announcement, saying that the Qantas airline was suffering the most of all Australian airlines, reducing fares by up to 50%

“Market conditions have deteriorated, especially in our international business,” [Alan Joyce] said today. “We are experiencing significantly lower demand, particularly in premium classes, and considerable price pressures with extensive sales and discounting by all carriers.”

The Australian Financial Review also reported that Qantas would be reviewing their 2008/2009 full year profit which is likely to be downward from $500 million to $200 or $100 million.

I kind of feel for the airline at the moment; I hope Joyce is able to pull the airline out of the hole the recession is pushing them into. They have been receiving quite  a lot of negative media attention over the past year and while it is unfortunate that they will be making all these cutbacks I think the media needs to remind the public that a majority of companies are making these sorts of necessary cutbacks. Qantas just seems to be in the line of fire.

Published in: on April 14, 2009 at 3:44 am  Leave a Comment  

The Big G20

The big 2-0. The G-2-0.

Everyone is waiting for the results of the leaders summit, but a few people are concerned it will be useless information in terms of pulling the economy out of the current recession. Blogger Simon Johnson thinks the summit  will not be able to pin down the cause of the crisis or what will be able to sustain a recovery

Almost all the important issues are kept off the table by anachronistic diplomatic niceties: monetary policy around the world, Europe’s impending crisis, and how to escape the overweening power of major banks in almost all industrial countries.  The G20 summit has substantially failed even before it begins.

The Australian Financial Review also voices concerns for the event, fearing that it will be a failure if the leaders cannot agree on bold stimulus targets.

Let’s cross our fingers and hope that we have something left up our sleeves. With the highest unemployment rate in 4 years its clear we definitely need something!

Published in: on March 31, 2009 at 2:05 am  Leave a Comment  

Qantas announces a second wave of redundancies

Qantas is rumored to be announcing a reconstruction plan this week which will include a second wave of redundancies within a year. The Financial Times reports that the airline plans to make cuts in senior and middle management, a decision made under new chief executive Alan Joyce.

 Staff and unions will be told the job losses are needed to match reduced capacity requirements as passenger revenues have deteriorated.

Over 100 senior jobs are likely to be cut in addition to the 1500 cuts that Qantas announced last year.

An analyst for the Sydney Morning Herald said that the airline was too overstaffed in its senior executive ranks.

What has Qantas got? They’ve got a chief executive, chief financial officer, a treasurer, they’ve got a couple of people in investor relations, a few in media relations, then there is government relations….

They were set up for a slightly different era as they were once a government department and these things take years and years to unwind.

Airlines around the world have been witnessing a massive drop in passenger loads in February, with Singapore Airlines reporting one of its biggest monthly drops on record. European airlines Air France-KLM and Lufthansa also announced more capacity reductions. 

The Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation, an industry consultancy, last week warned that airlines in Asia could only be weeks away from grounding up to 10 per cent of their fleets as they contend with weak revenues, falling passenger loads and excess capacity. 

While Australian Airlines are all suffering under the economic recession, the news will only further damage Qantas’ reputation with the Australian public. It’s hard to find positive articles about Qantas at the moment, but seeing as they are Australia’s largest airline (and would probably employ the largest amount of staff) it’s no wonder the media is critiquing their recent job cutbacks.

Published in: on March 23, 2009 at 11:20 am  Leave a Comment  

New power station provides 300 jobs in Wellington

The local economy is stoked as ERM Power has been given the approval to construct a $700 million gas-fired power station in Wellington. The announcement last week has given residents a well needed boost as the plant will provide over 300 jobs during construction and at least 10 permanent jobs once it has been completed.

ERM Power NSW director Andy Pittlik said the joint announcement between the company and the NSW Department of Planning could not have come at a better time.

“It is major projects like this that will help give the local economy a much-needed boost,” he said, ” We anticipate that the Wellington Power Station will contribute $100 million to the local economy during its construction.”

The Dubbo Daily Liberal reported that gas station would provide 5 percent of NSW’s power supply during peak periods, and would provide extra capacity for business development and growth. The news of the massive power plant has locals looking forward to new job opportunities; a sigh of relief in the tough economic times.

Published in: on March 23, 2009 at 10:20 am  Leave a Comment  

Job cutbacks at the Dubbo Council

The Dubbo city council has deicded to go ahead with plans to conduct a financial sustainability study of departments and projects within the local council. Dubbo newspaper, the Daily Liberal, reported that the study, which will begin in the new financial year, could result in job losses and project cutbacks within the council

The study – which a council spokeswoman said would “document the condition of council’s infrastructure and finances” – will examine the core business in each department, Councilor Richard Mutton said.

The report will list information on around 70 projects (namely parks and ovals) that were cancelled last year when the council’s request for a 4 per cent rate rise was knocked back by the State Government.

The council has confirmed that there won’t be another rate rise in 2009 which suggests the risk of more project cuttings this year is quite high. Consequently this could mean that a lot of council employees might find themselves without work this year.

Cr Richard Mutton said the study could result in job losses, or could see council simply not increase staff.

“I emphasise could, it could see cutbacks in some services and cutback in jobs,” he said. “It could also mean we don’t increase staff or use natural attrition to cut numbers.

I think many employees at the council would be worried by this news, which could be a bit premeditated at this stage but the media coverage will insure that the employees take extra effort to sustain their jobs. 

While Dubbo appears to be downsizing projects, Orange is boasting a giant surge in unit and duplex development. The Central Western Daily reported that:

In the past five years more than 200 duplex and unit developments have been built in the city, with newer areas the focus of builders and investors snapping up corner blocks as soon as they go on sale.

Real estate agent Libby Seamean suggested in an interview with the Central Western Daily that the reason for the increase in unit development was the demand for smaller apartment-style homes that suited first-home buyers and young professionals. With the economic recession underway this type of development would be more appealing and affordable for many.

 

Perhaps the Dubbo Council should follow Orange’s lead and focus on this type of residential development as opposed to expansion of parks and ovals. The media coverage would be a boost for Orange’s ego.

 

Published in: on March 17, 2009 at 12:48 pm  Leave a Comment