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TRAVELWISE 6 APRIL 2010. AUSTRALIAN AIR TRAVEL. THE BEST WAYS TO TRAVEL BY AIR IN AUSTRALIA.

 article about TRAVELWISE 6 APRIL 2010. AUSTRALIAN AIR TRAVEL. THE BEST WAYS TO TRAVEL BY AIR IN AUSTRALIA.
2010-04-05 18:50:28

This article belongs to Travelwise column.


Regular readers might have seen and read the various advisory and no-fly notices in relation to the various airlines in Australia.

The latest episodes with Australia's national airline Qantas highlights the fact that, now more than ever, air travellers within Australia and the immediate region should apply caution as to which airlines they use in terms of getting around the place.

First of all there are the two airlines that have been subject to Travelwise 'no-fly' notices for some time and they shall remain until I am completely satisfied the concerns I have about those airlines have been appropriately dealt with and have been rectified.

First there is Tiger Airways.

The reliability factor with this airline has been generally unsatisfactory. Passengers have been treated like they were part of the 'great unwashed' and while the fares might be cheap, so is the service as well as other aspects of the airline.

So, in overall terms, forget about Tiger Airways unless there is really no other alternative.

The second 'no-fly' airline is Jetstar, a Qantas subsidiary.

The problem with this airline dates back to the days when the airline began operations with Boeing 717-200s. The reliability factor was appalling and there was mechanical incident after mechanical incident with those aircraft. On the domestic scene, the airline no operates A320s and A321s. Reliability has improved since 717 days but there have been incidents with Jetstar services that I have been and still am dissatisfied with.

Once again, if there is a better alternative, take it.

On the international scene, once again there have been incidents with Jetstar aircraft. Unless there is no other alternative, fly with someone else.

Then there is Qantas. On the international scene, there is plenty of choice in terms finding better airlines rather than Qantas. The choices are many and good and the services provided by some of these airlines are very good in a number of cases.

On the domestic scene, Qantas has improved reliability but problems appear to persist.

On the shorter Adelaide-Melbourne-Sydney-Brisbane routes I would not fly Qantas as a better alternative is available while on the longer routes between Sydney to Perth or Sydney to Darwin I would consider Qantas because the fact that larger aircraft are often used on those routes. In those cases, there may be a bit more room to move and food is supplied.

Virgin Blue is the airline that I would use on the Adelaide-Melbourne-Sydney-Brisbane routes as well as Brisbane-North Queensland destinations, services running out of Canberra as well as some of the shorter more regional routes.

On the longer distances things get a bit 'tight' on Virgin 737s and that I find to be somewhat of a disadvantage. At least the reliability is in accordance to my expectations.

Virgin also operates Pacific Blue throughout the Pacific region and domestically in New Zealand.

Throughout the Pacific, Air New Zealand and Pacific Blue are the best bet in terms reliability and service.

Virgin also operates V-Australia which runs internationally for longer distances with 777s to and from the various Australian destinations. For regional services there are Qantaslink, Regional Express, Virgin Blue and Skywest.

Take your own pick out of that lot keeping in mind any trunk or international connections.

So there you have it. The best best ways to get around Australia by air.

Henk Luf.
Travelwise.




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