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Mark Baljak's picture

JQ launching Mel-Wlg in April - looks like 4 weekly

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Qantas743's picture
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Mark Baljak's picture

Interesting move

Paul Little to start VIP jet terminal in six months

Businessman Paul Little is building a $30 million world-class private air terminal at Melbourne Airport in Tullamarine to target not only the world’s superstars and sports heroes, but also to tap the growing legion of Asian super-rich with their private jets.

Construction of the private jet facility, designed by Cox Architecture, is due to begin within six months and should take between 18 and 24 months to build, the former Toll Group boss told The Australian Financial Review.

Mr Little said the facility will offer a more integrated package of services such as hangarage, immigration and customs, pilot accommodation and refuelling to private jet clients, than anything currently offered in Australia.

He said talks have already started with potential customers about using ­Melbourne as their base rather than Sydney.

“We have entertainers, sports people, everyone from the Prime Minister down,” he said. “Currently the services. . . are adequately provided for, but we think with a new facility we can turn it into world-class jet base. We want to make it not only the best fixed-base operator in Australia, but also globally of a higher standard.”

Mr Little, whose private company in June acquired the Melbourne Aviation Precinct from construction company John Holland, says the 19.5-hectare space on which he has a 30-plus-year lease, as well as Tullamarine airport’s lack of curfew and ability to offer around the clock service gives his planned facility the edge over Sydney or even the neighbouring Essendon airport, which are both subject to curfews.

“Trying to build, or replicate, this within Sydney airport would be impossible,” he said.

“But I’ve got no ambition to do that, or in another state in Australia. Melbourne is the geographic hub. It is also the area that can attract a lot of Asian aircraft. That’s our ambition – to get this facility as a first port of call.”

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Qantas743's picture

Good stuff!

Hopefully another nail in Essendon Airport's coffin.

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Mark Baljak's picture

CA probably 2 daily from next summer, what happened to planned Wuhan flights?

Beijing – Melbourne daily from 25OCT15
CA165 PEK0200 – 1530MEL 330 x246
CA166 MEL2040 – 0630+1PEK 330 x246

Shanghai Pu Dong – Melbourne eff 01JUN15 Service reduces from 5 to 4 weekly.
CA177 PVG1915 – 0805+1MEL 330 x246
CA178 MEL1035 – 1915PVG 330 x357


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Melbman's picture

I would expect that the PEK flights were chosen instead by CA to operate into MEL.

It will be interesting though with significant China capacity into MEL:

CA 11 x weekly from Oct (PEK daily, PVG 4 x weekly)
MU 10 x weekly (PVG - Increases to 2 x daily in peak seasons)
CZ 14 x weekly from July (CAN)
3U 3 x weekly (CTU)

A few other carriers are said to be looking at MEL- China flights, Including Hainan Airlines, Spring Airlines and Xiamen Air.

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Mark Baljak's picture

China southern mid winter increase, I wonder what's in store next summer? Third daily or 77W?

CZ343 CAN0900 – 2030MEL 333 D
CZ321 CAN2100 – 0840+1MEL 333 D

CZ344 MEL1030 – 0810CAN 333 D
CZ322 MEL2230 – 0600+1CAN 333 D

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Qantas743's picture

Sri Lankan gearing up to launch MEL services from November.

Looks like it will be initially 4 x weekly with an A330:


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Mark Baljak's picture

^^ it's been a long, long time coming

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Mark Baljak's picture

Build airport rail or drown in traffic, Melbourne Airport chief warns

Adam Carey

Melbourne Airport is on track to become the busiest airport in the world without a rail link within 10 years, risking costly gridlock on the Tullamarine Freeway, airport boss Chris Woodruff has warned.

In a forceful broadside aimed at the Andrews government, Mr Woodruff lamented that building a passenger railway to Tullamarine had fallen off the political agenda since November's election, despite rapid growth in visitor numbers, particularly from Asia.

"We need a rail link to the airport," Mr Woodruff said. "It's a compelling argument. It was on the last government's agenda; it doesn't seem to be a high priority on this government's agenda."

The airport chief, who is due to step down this year, told an audience at a Trans-Tasman Business Circle discussion panel in Melbourne that visitor numbers are on track to grow to more than 45 million people a year within a decade.

"In 10 years time Melbourne Airport will be handling 46 million passengers a year from the current 32 million," he said. "There is no other airport in the world at that level that doesn't have a rail link."

While welcoming the planned widening of the Tullamarine Freeway, locked in after CityLink owner Transurban struck a deal with the state government, Mr Woodruff said roads alone would not cope with airport-related traffic.

"If you can, imagine the road congestion that would be created from that sort of traffic, even though the government – or I should say Transurban more than the government – has committed to building an upgrade. So for productivity, for ease, for maintaining our status as a liveable city, we do need that rail link to the airport," he said.

The former Napthine government pledged to build a rail extension to Melbourne Airport by 2026, attaching the promise to its reworked version of the Melbourne Metro rail tunnel, via Fishermans Bend.

In response, then opposition leader Daniel Andrews said airport rail was not a priority, because most Melburnians would only use it once or twice a year.


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Qantas743's picture

Pathetic. Embarrassing.

The politicized (non) delivery of transport needs to end.

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johnproctor's picture

Maybe if melbourne airport had been stronger advocates for a rail link over the last 10-15 years instead if building yet more car parks on their land then the government would have built one. Instead melair has continuously advocated for expansion of the tullamarine freeway and seen rail as a threat to income.

Only been johnny come lately in supporting it.

Personally I think within 5 years airport rail link will come back on the agenda. Once melbourne metro is properly committed (construction starts) airport rail is a logical next major rail project to get started. Helped by now obviously an engaged airport that is interested in being helpful which is very important for construction on their land and also the work done over the last few years through the liberal government study Means it is more ready to go with limited start up times.

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Qantas743's picture

I hope to God that you're right...

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johnproctor's picture

having said the above read ALan Davies article today.

hits the nail on the head perfectly with Airport Rail.

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Mark Baljak's picture

Air Asia and Indon Air Asia landed about a minute apart this morning for the latters first flight

Avalon Airport chief executive Justin Giddings says the airport, near Geelong, has one month to convince the carrier to stay.

“Jetstar are going through a review and are currently working with the Victorian government, but it’s a matter for them,” he told ABC radio on Wednesday.

The airport has been discussing various cost-saving measures and marketing strategies in a bid to boost passenger numbers and retain the Jetstar contract.

Jetstar has been operating out of Avalon for 11 years, but flights have been reduced to just a Sydney route, leaving five times a day.

Mr Giddings said more flights and destinations were needed to maintain the competitiveness of the airport.

The airline operated 14 flights a day to various destinations six years ago, but ceased operation of many routes because of low passenger numbers.


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Melbman's picture

^^ It shifted most of its flights purely to stop TT getting too much of a foothold at MEL.

Its easy to forget that back in 2004 JQ saw AVV as its main Victorian base, with flights to SYD, BNE, PER and ADL. MEL was used as a Leisure flight base really, in line with the QF groups plans for JQ at the time, leaving both mainline and the budget brand away from each other''s routes. It talked up how well things were going at AVV, but then TT came along, built its HQ and main base at MEL a few years after and those plans went out the door.

Secondary airports around the globe have found things tough these days. In both Europe and the US the LCC (and ULCC) carriers have now actively moved flights into the main hubs they steered away from for so long. With capacity still available in the major hubs, they can generally offer a higher yielding operating environment, which often still makes more sense to chase in the face of higher charges to use many of those larger airports.

AVV is not alone on that front, and as its direct market (Geelong) is relatively small (200k), along with not having many attractions or general tourist appeal, there is not many benefits to operating there.

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Mark Baljak's picture

fairly underwhelming by way of design

Tullamarine - News, Projects & Construction

Tullamarine - News, Projects & Construction

Tullamarine - News, Projects & Construction

Tullamarine - News, Projects & Construction

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Qantas743's picture

Big upgrade for Air China's PEK-MEL service:

Air China plans first class, Boeing 777 on Melbourne-Beijing flights


Melbournians could soon be swanning their way to Beijing in Air China first class, with the airline contemplating a swap from the current A330s – offering business class and economy – to its larger Boeing 777s, complete with first class.
Huang Bo, Chairman of Air China Limited confirmed the plan to Australian Business Traveller, adding that the change would most likely occur during peak travel periods as previously seen with Air China’s Sydney-Beijing flights.

China’s national airline currently serves Beijing from Melbourne via Shanghai but is dropping that connection to go non-stop from June 1, and then ramping up the route from four-times-weekly flights to daily from October 25.
“We’ll also keep the (Melbourne to) Shanghai flights as they are,” adds Yan Han, Air China’s General Manager Melbourne.
When offered to Sydney, “the demand for first class is really strong actually,” continues Yan.
“Many people, for example, are calling us and asking if first class is available on this route – these are people that would normally travel with Air China but wouldn’t, because we didn’t provide a first class seat.”
Air China Boeing 777s: what’s on board

In first class, you’ll find eight private suites in a 1-2-1 layout, complete with a 23-inch touch screen monitor, AC and USB power outlets, a private wardrobe and the option of converting the centre pair into a couple’s suite by opening the central divider:

A Boeing 777 would also bring with it newer seats in business class: still fully-flat beds as you’d already find flying to Melbourne, but similar to those you’d see in BusinessFirst on United’s Melbourne-Los Angeles Dreamliner flights.

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Mark Baljak's picture

777-300 would be nice

PEK01:05 MEL14:35 - not the best departure time out of Beijing

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Qantas743's picture


Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews expected to keep commercial flights at Avalon


The Victorian government is expected to reveal a new funding package to ensure commercial flights are maintained at the Lindsay Fox-owned Avalon Airport near Geelong.

Premier Daniel Andrews is scheduled to make an announcement about the future of the airport at 2pm AEST on Monday, just three days before a government-backed funding package is set to expire.

The $11 million package between the state government, Mr Fox's transport company, Linfox, and Jetstar was signed 18 months ago. Qantas's budget offshoot contributed $2.75 million.

However, Jetstar warned last month that it was continuing to review its services at Avalon Airport, emphasising that it was in ongoing negotiations with the state government and the airport about the viability of its services there.

Jetstar was left as the only airline to fly to Avalon in late 2011 after what was then-branded Tiger Airways ditched services after air-safety investigators grounded its fleet because of safety concerns.

Tigerair Australia has also been in negotiations with the airport about resuming services there after a four-year absence. However, the possibility of the Virgin Australia-owned budget airline returning to Avalon is understood to be contingent on Jetstar pulling out after 11 years of flying to the airport.

Last month, Mr Andrews said the government would leave Jetstar in no doubt that it wanted the airline to keep flying to Avalon, which is 22 kilometres from Geelong and 56 kilometres from Melbourne, because the airport was an important employer in a region hit by closures at the Ford factory and Alcoa smelter.

The newly elected premier said at the time that any deal to secure the future of Avalon would include conditions on an airline to add more flights to the airport.

Jetstar declined to comment on Monday while Tigerair and Avalon Airport could not be reached. The premier's office also declined to comment.

Avalon Airport has struggled to compete against the might of Melbourne's Tullamarine Airport.

While Tigerair pulled out in 2011, Jetstar has also reduced its services there in recent years in favour of Tullamarine.

The airport suffered a further blow early last year when Qantas closed its heavy aircraft maintenance base there, and centralised its engineering operations in Brisbane.

Avalon has found it difficult to fill the hole left by Qantas because its three largest hangars – each 10,000 square metres – had been used for maintenance work on 747 jumbos.

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Melbman's picture


Judging by this article, Air Canada is likely to go with BNE over MEL for its new destination.

I can only really think it would do that due to aircraft range considerations, as even a 789 would be pushing it on a YVR-MEL sector. The article even points out that MEL would be the more logical destination, but geographical considerations likely play a part in this decision making process, which leaves us at a disadvantage in some cases.

Considering the growth though that MEL has had, with many new operators and frequencies over the past few years, we can't complain too much :)

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Qantas743's picture

MEL is desperately under-served in terms of direct services to North America.

The sooner someone breaks the cosy UA/QF duopoly the better...

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Peter Maltezos's picture

Aerial view of terminals.

Tullamarine - News, Projects & Construction

Aerial view of international terminal.

Tullamarine - News, Projects & Construction



I collect, therefore I am. thecollectormm.com.au

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Qantas743's picture

Jetstar has announced new AVV-OOL flights.

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Qantas743's picture

China Airlines to launch 3 x weekly TPE-MEL-CHC in October:


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