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Article: OzJet cuts flights, old planes playing up

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Yada Yada

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Sydney Morning Herald said:
OzJet cuts flights, old planes playing up

Stand by for take-off … the airline could be losing $2 million a month.
By Scott Rochfort - December 5, 2005

JUST five days after its first commercial flight, OzJet now not only faces a lack of passengers but mechanical glitches with its fleet of 737-200s.

It has emerged that the cancellation of two of the eight OzJet return services between Sydney and Melbourne last Thursday was not just the result of a lack of passengers, as cited by the airline's founder, Paul Stoddart.

The cancellation may also have been caused by mechanical problems with one of OzJet's 30-year-old 737s.

Mr Stoddart did not return the Herald's phone calls yesterday. An OzJet spokesman said he was unaware of any problem but said any comment should be left to the "owner of the airline".

It is understood the part of the wing flap which helps the plane slow down during landing, known as the slat actuator piston, had "let go" or failed on an OzJet 737.

This is not considered a serious safety issue nor an unusual event for an aircraft. However, it will no doubt be a major disappointment - and embarrassment - given Ozjet's claims that its fleet of three 737s were recently given a major overhaul in Romania.

At the launch of OzJet's first commercial flight last Wednesday, Mr Stoddart said the aircraft had had "D" checks, which involved 18,000 man-hours and the replacement of every moving component that needed replacement.

After the cancellation of the flights last Thursday, Mr Stoddart blamed it on the lack of midday and mid-afternoon demand. But on Friday OzJet resumed the flights that were cancelled on Thursday.

Mr Stoddart told the Herald last week that OzJet would decide whether to have flights at the weekend. Judging by the airline's website yesterday, OzJet has decided to scale back its services from eight to six return flights between Sydney and Melbourne today and tomorrow.

However, flights have been bumped back up to eight flights from Sydney to Melbourne on Wednesday but maintained at six in the other direction.

Despite saying OzJet only had a "couple" of passengers on some of its mid-afternoon flights, last week Mr Stoddart said the business-class-only airline was filling 43 per cent of its seats on average, about 25 seats for each of the airline's 60-seat 737s.

In another blow to the airline, which boasts that one of its advantages is its on-time performance, OzJet has so far proved a tardy performer in its first days of operation. For instance, at least two of the airline's flights were about 40 minutes late on Thursday on top of the two that were already cancelled.

The scaling back of OzJet's schedule could make it tougher for the airline to secure business and government travellers. Virgin Blue and Qantas fly a combined 100 return flights a day between Sydney and Melbourne and, on top of that, both have frequent flyer schemes and business lounges.

In a bid to draw more passengers, OzJet has cut its standard one-way fares from $325 to $249 until the end of January.

OzJet has previously stated it only needed to fill 50 per cent of its seats to break even, based on the $325 air fare.

 

QF WP

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Should that photo be captioned " How many fingers can you see"... :D
 

NM

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Lindsay Wilson said:
Should that photo be captioned " How many fingers can you see"... :D
Or it is a rude comment to the photographer :shock: .
 

NM

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or perhaps telling his mate on the ground to go order the beers :D .
 

Yada Yada

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No, he is indicating how many passengers they have on board. :(
 

JohnK

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Sad to hear O7 having all these teething problems. Need to have some positive PR to regain some of the lost faith of the passengers that would have supported them.

A few of us here commented on the age of the plains and the prior LCC's flying them.

Yada Yada said:
...given Ozjet's claims that its fleet of three 737s were recently given a major overhaul in Romania...
I would be really worried if any plane was given a major overhaul in Romania. :shock: :?
 

Yada Yada

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Here's an update, hot off the 'net:

theage.com.au said:
Ozjet increases services, cuts prices
December 6, 2005 - 4:59PM

New discount business-class airline Ozjet is already offering cut-price seats and has revised its flight schedule following an awkward launch.

Ozjet began its Sydney-Melbourne service last Tuesday, but bad weather in Sydney and a mechanical problem on a flight two days later disrupted its schedule.

The airline is now offering a $249 one-way OzFest fare until the end of January and has added an extra flight to its morning and afternoon schedules, Ozjet chairman Paul Stoddart announced Tuesday.

"What we are hearing from the market loud and clear is that business services are required at peak times of the day," Mr Stoddart said in a statement.

"We've adjusted our schedule to reflect that.

"The original schedule was geared around continual services every two hours from each city, but with the revised schedule we get greater frequency at the times that business people want to travel."

The new schedule will begin on Wednesday - the extra peak flights are at the expense of services in the middle of the day.
I guess at least they are reacting swiftly!
 

Dave Noble

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The new schedules seems to make sense in the main

Weekdays

SYD-MEL 06:20, 08:30, 09:30, 13:30, 15:30, 17:30, 18:30, 19:30, 20:30*
MEL-SYD 06:30, 07:30, 08:30, 13:30, 15:30, 16:30, 17:30, 19:30


* Friday only

Saturday

SYD-MEL 11:00, 11:30
MEL-SYD 09:00, 11:00

Sunday

SYD-MEL 16:30
MEL-SYD 14:00, 18:30


I cannot see why they would have an 11:00 and 11:30 on a saturday , but the weekday schedules do give hourly service in the rush hours rather than the 2 hourly service throughout the day

Dave
 

NM

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Dave Noble said:
I cannot see why they would have an 11:00 and 11:30 on a saturday , but the weekday schedules do give hourly service in the rush hours rather than the 2 hourly service throughout the day

Dave
probably more a positioning requirements following the 20:30 SYD-MEL, and that aircraft operates the 9am MEL-SYD on Sat. So the aircraft does not get into SYD in time to operate anything earlier than 11am departure.
 

Mal

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Finally some good(ish) press for Ozjet.

They really get a bagging from various parts of the media don't they!
 

needaholiday

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More bad news for OzJet in the Australian....

Ozjet struggles to fill flights
From: By Steve Creedy
December 15, 2005

STRUGGLING business-class start-up Ozjet has been operating flights with as few as three passengers and will cut its schedule over Christmas because of poor demand.

Ozjet chief executive Hans van Pelt confirmed yesterday that some flights had run with only a handful of passengers.
"There are few of those, and there are a few that have got 20, 30 or 40," he said. "We're a new kid on the block and the load factors are improving."

Mark Day, a columnist with The Australian, said he flew on a 3.55pm flight to Melbourne on Monday with two pilots, four cabin crew and just three passengers. Day said his flight back to Sydney on Tuesday was cancelled because of aircraft service difficulties and he was bumped to Qantas (qan.ASX:Quote,News). Another report said a plane was evacuated after a fault triggered a false fire alarm.

Mr van Pelt admitted the airline had suffered "a few technical issues" and people had been taken off planes.

The Ozjet chief said the airline was maintaining its overall schedule integrity and its on-time performance was no worse than its competitors.

It would reduce its flying during the Christmas week and the first week of January but was still working on details. However, it expected to bounce back when the business market began to pick up in February and was due to take delivery of a fourth aircraft in January.
Ozjet raised eyebrows among an already sceptical aviation industry when it decided to launch at the end of November and at the start of the traditionally quiet Christmas business travel period.

Asked about the launch timing, Mr van Pelt said regulators had not given the green light earlier and it was a choice of sitting out a quiet business travel period or trying to get some momentum going.

"We knew that in December and January, we were going to lose money. We budgeted for it, it's tough to do, but we've taken this approach that we'll get as many people on board as we can to convert them."

Mr van Pelt said Ozjet was getting a positive response from passengers, the travel industry and was signing corporate deals.

The airline also expected to get a boost from deals with distribution systems that would allow it to start selling e-tickets by early next year.

"I think we'll get very quickly to the point where we won't have enough seats in the market and we'll be turning people away," he said.

Civil Aviation Safety Authority spokesman Peter Gibson said Ozjet was under increased surveillance because it was a start-up but this was a normal practice.

It was also required to do additional checks and maintenance because of its older aircraft, but he was not aware of any major problems.
http://finance.news.com.au/story/0,10166,17571822-462,00.html/
 

NM

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Re: More bad news for OzJet in the Australian....

Ozjet struggles to fill flights
Mark Day, a columnist with The Australian, said he flew on a 3.55pm flight to Melbourne on Monday with two pilots, four cabin crew and just three passengers. Day said his flight back to Sydney on Tuesday was cancelled because of aircraft service difficulties and he was bumped to Qantas (qan.ASX:Quote,News). Another report said a plane was evacuated after a fault triggered a false fire alarm.
I wonder if he was bumped to Qantas Business Class or Economy? If economy he would not have been a happy camper given the difference in the in-flight amenities and service.
 

clifford

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Yada Yada said:
...given Ozjet's claims that its fleet of three 737s were recently given a major overhaul in Romania...
I would be really worried if any plane was given a major overhaul in Romania. :shock: :?[/quote]

Perhaps it was done by the inmates of one of the secret CIA torture camps there.

:)
 
M

MetroAir

I don't want them to go under - at least not before they fly out of BNE.
 

Dave Noble

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Re: More bad news for OzJet in the Australian....

NM said:
I wonder if he was bumped to Qantas Business Class or Economy? If economy he would not have been a happy camper given the difference in the in-flight amenities and service.
Someone who I know was bumped from O7 to QF due to a technical problem and ended up in QF Economy

Dave
 

NM

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Re: More bad news for OzJet in the Australian....

Dave Noble said:
Someone who I know was bumped from O7 to QF due to a technical problem and ended up in QF Economy
I wonder what the fare type was? Did they earn full econpmy SCs or discount economy SCs? Assuming of course that the bump ticket was eligible for FF benefits :? .
 

JohnK

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MetroAir said:
I don't want them to go under - at least not before they fly out of BNE.
You want to experience a flight where the crew outnumber the passengers? :D Closest I got to it was a Phuket Air flight from BKK-HKT.
 

N860CR

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I'm guessing that was after their long haul routes ran into some issues :D
 

JohnK

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danielribo said:
I'm guessing that was after their long haul routes ran into some issues :D
Possibly.

My flight was in 2003 and does not seem to be a very popular airline. I think Thai and Bangkok Airways have most of the business BKK-HKT.
 
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