Are Australian airports safe?

Workers protested at all main airports on Tuesday over poor pay and conditions as a report shows low standards are impacting on aviation safety and security. Protests also took place around the world as part of a global day of action by airport workers.
Protesters demanded an end to forced part-time hours that sees workers rostered to work as few as three hours a day and just 60 hours a month. Coupled with this, low pay and split shifts are forcing some workers to sleep at airports.
“My work roster changes week to week. Sometimes you can do overtime but it has to be on split shifts,” ramp and cargo worker Bob Popovski told media at the protest. “Split shifts are a major concern for all of us. Sleep patterns and family life are affected. Job security is really bad.”
A TWU report to the Productivity Commission inquiry on airport regulation links the poor conditions to safety and security breaches. The report calls on the Federal Government to mandate that airports and airlines take responsibility for labour standards in their supply chains.
“When service providers bid for contracts, workers are rushed in and there’s not enough time to train them,” Popovski continued. “That’s where accidents happen and that’s our biggest concern.”
“Airports and airlines are engaged in a public war of words over who is ‘gouging’ from who, but it is airport workers who are the real losers. Beyond the shiny facades of our airports and outside the slick airline lounges, workers are struggling to pay bills and are even forced to sleep at work. High staff turnover rates and poor conditions are impacting on safety, security and services. Airports and airlines at the top of the supply chain are highly profitable and they must be held to account for this,” said TWU National Secretary Michael Kaine.
The TWU report shows some aviation companies have almost their entire workforce on part-time hours. At the same time profits for the main airports were over $2 billion in 2016-17, while Qantas Group made profits of $1.6 billion.
Glaring examples show the impact on safety and security. High turnover means staff without full security clearances are accessing secure areas of the airports; in Sydney airport there were 132 injuries among a staff of 324 over a one-year period; in Perth airport an Aerocare baggage handler forced to unload an aircraft alone allowed passengers onto secure airside to collect their own baggage. Overseas Jetstar cabin crew are working domestic routes with no training on how to board domestic aircraft and base pay as low as $100 per week.
The report also shows airports and airlines outsource much of their work to companies without any required labour standards.
“Billions of dollars in public money are being poured in to building airports and there should be a better dividend for the community than what is currently happening. Billions of dollars are also being poured into trying to make our airports more secure while poor labour standards are clearly affecting safety and security. The Federal Government must put a stop to the race to the bottom in aviation. It’s not just the workers that are at risk here. It’s only a matter of time before something gives and there are no second chances at 30,000 feet,” Mr Kaine added.

One more on the Future Planet towards carbon-free logistics

To demonstrate the strength of electric vehicles, Qantas and Tesla conducted a world first, where the all-electric car successfully towed the Dreamliner as part of a Guinness World Record attempt, as the heaviest tow by an electric production passenger vehicle.

DHL Supply Chain has joined in a partnership with Qantas through its Future Planet program to make its supply chain carbon neutral, for and together with its customers and business partners.
DHL invited its Australian customers to contribute to the cause based on their emissions, on World Environment Day last week, ensuring all warehousing and DHL road transport operations are carbon neutral well into 2019.
CEO of DHL Supply Chain Australia & New Zealand Saul Resnick said: “We are dedicated to our environment conservation responsibilities and take them very seriously. We intend to reduce all logistics-related emissions to zero by 2050. This is a step to help offset for the short term; our long-term goals will continue to focus on reducing the emissions altogether. We are very proud to share the same principles with our customers and appreciate their dedicated support towards the cause and the program.”

Qantas’ Future Planet program has already offset over three million tonnes of carbon emissions over the past ten years, with the help of participating organisations that contribute towards verified carbon offset projects that collectively help nourish communities while mitigating environmental impact. DHL’s warehousing and road transport will, along with its customers, join the initiative and continue to contribute to the Australia-wide cause.
Goodman Group is a partner of DHL, sharing the common goal and sentiment of offsetting its carbon footprint and giving back to the community and is excited to support this initiative. General manager of the Goodman Group Australia Jason Little said: “We feel great about being able to do our part in cleaning the climate and creating a sustainable future for Australia. Qantas’ Future Planet program aligns very closely with our organisational values and we are very excited to be a part of this cause.”
DHL’s continued efforts towards cutting its carbon footprint has achieved significant carbon efficiency goals in the recent years. These efforts include solar panel installations, use of natural light, solar reflective paint, and heating and energy-saving lighting amongst other initiatives, to reduce CO2 emissions in warehousing.
“Through our GoGreen initiatives, DHL is working towards reducing all logistics-related emissions to zero by the year 2050. To support this mission, we have set an interim goal to increase our carbon efficiency by 50 per cent compared to 2007 levels by 2025,” Saul added.

Love not lost between Qantas and Emirates, and the ACCC likes them, too

The alliance between Qantas and Emirates has not been dented by Qantas’ withdrawal from Dubai, and the ACCC has also granted re-authorisation for a further five years, subject to a condition.
The global alliance covers Qantas and Emirates’ air passenger and cargo transport operations remains in force following Qantas’ change of routing from Dubai to Singapore on the way to Europe.
The terms of the ACCC’s authorisation granted are largely unchanged from last month’s draft decision.
“The continued coordination by Qantas and Emirates of their air passenger and cargo transport operations will likely lead to a range of public benefits such as improved connectivity and loyalty program benefits,” ACCC Commissioner Roger Featherston said.
The ACCC has imposed a condition of authorisation to address continuing competition concerns on the Sydney – Christchurch route.
“The alliance must report to the ACCC on seats and passengers flown, fares and route profitability on routes between Australia and New Zealand. The condition allows us to set a minimum level of capacity on the Sydney to Christchurch route at any time, if needed,” Mr Featherston said.
Further information about the application for authorisation is available here.
The ACCC first authorised the alliance in 2013 for five years, subject to conditions on trans-Tasman routes.
Qantas and Emirates were seeking authorisation for a Restated Master Coordination Agreement under which they will continue to coordinate their operations, including in relation to: planning, scheduling, operating and capacity, sales, marketing, advertising, promotion, and pricing for passengers, freight customers and agents, connectivity and integration of certain routes, codeshare and interline arrangements, frequent flyer programs and all aspects of customer service (including ground services and lounge access).
Authorisation provides immunity from court action for conduct that might otherwise raise concerns under the competition provisions of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010. Broadly, the ACCC may grant an authorisation when it is satisfied that the public benefit from the conduct outweighs any public detriment.

ACCC approves Qantas arrangements

The ACCC will re-authorise the Qantas Emirates alliance as well as allowing Jetstar’s Asian brands to coordinate.
Qantas and Emirates
The ACCC is proposing to grant re-authorisation to an alliance between Qantas Airways Limited and Emirates for a further five years.
The global alliance covers Qantas’ and Emirates’ air passenger and cargo transport operations. The ACCC first authorised the alliance in 2013 for five years.
“The ACCC considers that the alliance is likely to continue to result in a range of public benefits,” ACCC Commissioner Roger Featherston said.
“Combining the networks of Qantas and Emirates provides customers with access to more flights and destinations under a single airline code and improves connectivity.”
“Loyalty program members will also continue to benefit from the ability to earn and redeem points on both networks and use lounge access and other reciprocal benefits,” Mr Featherston said.
“However, the ACCC is concerned that the alliance is likely to significantly impact competition on one route, Sydney to Christchurch; Qantas and Emirates are the two major operators on this route and their only competition is from the Virgin Australia and Air New Zealand alliance.”
To address this concern, the ACCC proposes to impose a condition requiring the Qantas and Emirates alliance to provide the ACCC with regular reports on seats and passengers flown, fares and route profitability. The condition would also allow the ACCC, at any time, to set a minimum level of capacity on the route. For example, if these reports indicated that the alliance was limiting the number of seats on this route to raise airfares, the ACCC would require the alliance to add extra seats.
In 2013 the ACCC imposed reporting and capacity conditions on four routes between Australia and New Zealand. However, since starting direct services between Auckland and Dubai in March 2016, Emirates has withdrawn from the Sydney to Auckland route, and will withdraw from the Melbourne and Brisbane to Auckland routes in March 2018. The ACCC considers that the capacity conditions are no longer required on these routes.
The ACCC is seeking submissions from interested parties on its draft determination before making a final decision on whether to re-authorise the conduct and impose conditions. Submissions are due by 7 March 2018.
The ACCC has also decided to re-authorise the continued coordination of three Qantas Asian-based joint ventures: Jetstar Asia, Jetstar Pacific and Jetstar Japan.
The Jetstar joint venture airlines are also seeking to coordinate with their shareholding airlines Qantas, Japan Airlines and Vietnam Airlines, on passenger and cargo services within Asia.
The decision continues an ACCC authorisation made in 2013.
By coordinating, the Jetstar-branded airlines are able to operate as a single fully integrated organisation on matters such as flight scheduling, sales and marketing, and pricing.
“The ACCC considers that continuing this coordination should lead to public benefits, such as better products and services, and more convenient flight times for consumers,” Mr Featherston said.
“This conduct is likely to result in little, if any, lessening of competition. Our view is the joint venture airlines would be unlikely to compete directly with each other or their owners in the absence of the proposed coordination.”
The re-authorisation does not extend to allowing coordination between the owners of any of the joint venture airlines.

Qantas claims world-first US-Australia biofuel flight

Qantas has conducted what it says was the world’s first dedicated biofuel flight between the United States and Australia, QF96 from Los Angeles to Melbourne, on 29 January.
The historic trans-Pacific 15 hour flight operated with approximately 24,000kg of blended biofuel, saving 18,000kg in carbon emissions.
Qantas used biofuel processed from Brassica Carinata, a non-food, industrial type of mustard seed, developed by Canadian-based agricultural-technology company, Agrisoma Biosciences (Agrisoma).
The flight was part of the partnership announced in 2017, which will also see the companies work with Australian farmers to grow the country’s first commercial aviation biofuel seed crop by 2020.
Across its lifecycle, using Carinata-derived biofuel can reduce carbon emissions by eighty per cent compared to traditional jet fuel.
The ten per cent biofuel blend used on the flight would therefore have seen a seven per cent reduction in emissions on this route, compared to normal operations.
Carinita requires no specialised production or processing techniques. It is water efficient and The University of Queensland field trials in Gatton, Queensland, and in Bordertown, South Australia, have demonstrated it should do very well in the Australian climate.
It is sown in either fallow areas where food crops fail or in between regular crop cycles, known as ‘cover cropping’.  Rotational or break-crops can improve soil quality, reduce erosion for food crops and provide farmers with additional income.
Qantas’ first trans-Pacific biofuel flight was made possible with the support of AltAir Fuels and World Fuel Services.
What is Carinata?
Carinata produces high quality oil, ideal for aviation biofuel, bio-jet for aircraft and bio-diesel for airport vehicles. It is a ‘drop-in’ crop and requires no specialised production or processing techniques.

Carinata-based fuel offers a more than 80 per cent reduction in carbon emissions in comparison to standard petroleum based fuel.
The crushed Carinata seed produces a high-quality, high-protein, non-GMO meal for the Australian livestock, dairy and poultry market.
One hectare of Carinata seed yields 2,000 litres of oil, which produces 400 litres of biofuel, 1,400 litres of renewable diesel and 10% renewable by-products.

Qantas to be first to bio-fly from US to Australia

Helena Tavares Kennedy, Biofuels Digest
Qantas will operate the world’s first biofuel flight between the United States and Australia early in the new year in collaboration with World Fuel Services and Altair Fuels. Qantas’ new Dreamliner is being powered by Brassica Carinata (carinata), a non-food, industrial type of mustard seed that has been around for years but is seeing increased use and viability thanks to new developments and improvements with the feedstock for biofuels, animal feed, chemicals, and other uses.
The news of the flight follows Qantas’ signing of a landmark partnership with Agrisoma Biosciences, the Canadian based agricultural-technology company that developed the carinata seed. The two organisations will work with Australian farmers to grow the country’s first commercial aviation biofuel seed crop by 2020.
“Our long-term goal with this partnership is to grow the crop at a target of 400,000 hectares, which will ultimately produce more than 200 million litres of bio jet fuel for the airline,” said Steven Fabijanski, Agrisoma’s president and CEO.
Bringing carinata production to Australia
Qantas International CEO Alison Webster said the early 2018 historic flight and the partnership mark the first step in developing an aviation biofuel supply in Australia. “We are constantly looking for ways to reduce carbon emissions across our operations but when it comes to using renewable jet fuel, until now, there has not been a locally grown option at the scale we need to power our fleet. Our work with Agrisoma will enable Australian farmers to start growing today for the country’s biofuel needs of the future. The trans-Pacific biofuel flight is a demonstration of what can be achieved locally.”
“The longer-term strategic goal of the partnership is to grow 400,000 hectares of carinata, which would yield over 200 million litres of bio-jet fuel each year,” said Ms Webster. “This will support the development of a renewable jetfuel supply and bio-refinery in Australia to power our fleet and further reduce carbon emissions across our operations.” Another part of the plan down the road is to grow seeds elsewhere around the world to support Qantas’s global travel network.
The University of Queensland field trials in Gatton, Queensland, and in Bordertown, South Australia, have demonstrated that carinata should do very well in the Australian climate. It is sown in either fallow areas where food crops fail or in between regular crop cycles, known as ‘cover cropping’. Rotational or ‘break’ crops improve soil quality, reduce erosion for food crops and provide farmers with additional annual income.
Agrisoma CEO Steve Fabijanski said carinata-based fuel offers a significant reduction in carbon emissions. “Our commercial operations in the USA, South America and Europe are certified as producing fuels with more than 80 per cent reduction in carbon emissions in comparison to standard petroleum-based fuel,” said Mr Fabijanski. “Importantly for farmers, the crushed seed also produces a high-quality, high-protein, non-GMO meal for the Australian livestock, dairy and poultry market.”
The production of Agrisoma’s carinata is being expanded to multiple locations globally to provide a supply of sustainable, non-food oils for meeting the demand for sustainable biofuels.
Why carinata?
Carinata is a pretty impressive feedstock, producing up to 140 gallons of jet fuel per acre with some trials reaching as high as 200 gallons per acre. Carinata fuels could be eligible for support via the LCFS and the US Renewable Fuel Standard — up to $0.80 due to the LCFS and another $1.50 in advanced biofuels RIN. (Yes, advanced biofuel RIN are priced around $1.00 — but consider that jet fuels have 1.5 times the energy density of ethanol, so they get added RIN). That provides $4.00 to the value chain – growers, oil crushers and hydrotreaters.
The Qantas news on choosing Agrisoma to establish an Australian-based supply chain for its carinata-based jet fuel is not just another big announcement by another big airline. It’s another move in the needle. It’s another commercialisation champion moving forward to make things happen. It’s getting bio jet fuel from being a pie in the sky idea to a fly in the sky reality.

Crown can help you lift your Qantas points

Crown Equipment is offering Qantas Business Rewards members the opportunity to earn Qantas points when buying or renting from its range of electric and internal combustion material handling equipment.
To celebrate the partnership, Crown is offering membership to the Qantas Business Rewards program for any lift truck purchase or new rental agreement during October and November.
Points can be redeemed for a range of rewards including flights, upgrades or over 7,000 items from the Qantas Store.
Crown Equipment director of sales and marketing Craig Kenchington said the partnership provides another strong incentive to consider material handling equipment and warehouse products from Crown.
“Crown has had a presence in Australia for over 50 years and is well known as a source of durable, reliable equipment,” Mr Kenchington said.
“We are immensely proud to partner with an iconic Australian brand, Qantas Business Rewards, and offer small to medium-sized businesses the chance to earn Qantas points through working with us.
“The partnership is another great reason to rent or buy Crown equipment, which has helped many small to medium-sized businesses become larger, successful entities.”
“Qantas has long been a supporter of small to medium-sized companies,” head of Qantas Business Rewards Eric Jelinek said.
“While we fly thousands of business people every day, we know not all of them are regular flyers, which is why the Qantas Business Rewards program gives businesses the opportunity to earn Qantas Points on the ground on over 50 everyday business expenses, including fuel and credit card spending.
“We’re pleased to welcome Crown Equipment as our newest partner to give our members the opportunity to earn Qantas points on its material handling equipment.”
Some conditions apply. For more information call 1300 323 272, email or visit

Qantas to use renewable biofuel from 2020

Qantas has announced its Los Angeles-based aircraft will be powered by biofuel from 2020, reducing the airline’s carbon emissions on its services operating between the US and Australia.
The goal is to have the LAX to Australia flight powered on an ongoing basis by 50% non-food plant based biofuel and 50% traditional jet fuel starting in 2020.
Over the next ten years, the airline will buy eight million gallons (30 million litres) of renewable jet fuel each year from US based bio-energy company, SG Preston.
The fuel consists of 50 per cent renewable jet fuel produced from non-food plant oils, blended with 50 per cent traditional jet fuel. Compared to standard jet fuel, the biofuel emits half the amount of carbon emissions per gallon over its life cycle.
CEO of Qantas International and Freight Gareth Evans said the commercial biofuel agreement is the first of its kind in Australian aviation history.
“The partnership with SG Preston is part of our commitment to lowering carbon emissions across our operations and sees us becoming the first Australian airline to use renewable jet fuel on an ongoing basis.
“Our agreement with SG Preston allows us to secure a supply for our Los Angeles-based aircraft, where we have a large fuel demand and where the biofuel industry is more advanced.
“Through our biofuel program we are also exploring renewable jet fuel opportunities in Australia and continue to work with suppliers to develop locally produced biofuels for aviation use.
Renewable jet fuel is chemically equivalent to, and meets the same technical, performance and safety standards as conventional jet fuel. SG Preston’s biofuel is produced from renewable plant oils, which do not compete with food production and which meet Qantas’ stringent sustainability certification requirements.
The announcement comes after a 5-year-long testing period. In 2012, Qantas and Jetstar operated what Qantas says were Australia’s first biofuel trial flights. Qantas’ A330 Sydney-Adelaide return service and Jetstar’s A320 Melbourne-Hobart return service were both powered with biofuel derived from used cooking oil (split with 50:50 conventional jet fuel) certified for use in commercial aviation.

AusPost partners with Qantas on supersized air-freight

Australia Post and Qantas have welcomed the largest aircraft to join the dedicated domestic air network used exclusively by Australia Post and StarTrack customers.
Bob Black, Chief Operations Officer, Australia Post Group and CEO, StarTrack, said the addition of the B737-400 was great news for Australian consumers and retailers, and further strengthened Australia Post’s delivery network.
“We’re delighted to be able to offer local businesses access to the best value delivery service in the market; a fully integrated eCommerce and logistics network in the sky and on the ground,” said Black.
“This new aircraft is the largest type of freighter aircraft operating scheduled services in Australia and gives us greater capacity and flexibility.
“We know that online shopping continues to grow because of the price, range and convenience of products available on domestic and international marketplaces.
“The main aim for us is to help Australian businesses, including those in rural and regional areas, stay strong in a competitive and global market, and this new plane sets us apart from our competitors.”
The B737-400 freighter is capable of carrying 16,500kg of cargo and is part of a dedicated network of six aircraft – all branded in StarTrack livery.
The air-freighter’s arrival is part of a five-year contract worth more than $500 million for the transport of Australia Post and StarTrack’s range of premium and express products and services until mid-2020. The agreement includes priority access to cargo space in Qantas Group’s passenger fleet.

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