FOXTROTS

Fox – sly.  Trots – left-leaning (Trotsky) plus its more insalubrious meaning.

Foxtrots – leading the industry in a dance.

 

Qantas changes the Gulf’s game

At first, I did not get it. Qantas talked of a game-changing plan for nonstop B787s Perth-London – albeit not until 2018.

 

Okay, it is a change, and impressive. But not in the sense that ‘game-changing’ should be used. This PER-LON flight would be just a new long nonstop – but in the same game as Singapore-New York, Dubai-New Zealand.

 

Qantas CEO Alan Joyce confused matters further by saying “Australians have never had a direct link to Europe before”. Of course he’s wrong; Australians, and indeed all other nationalities, have direct flights to Europe daily from Asia, the Americas, Africa.

 

Perhaps he meant from Australia?

 

But even then he’s wrong. There are about 100 daily direct flights to Europe.

 

Perhaps he mean nonstop from Australia?

 

(Professionals in the industry, of which I assumed Joyce was one, use ‘direct’ for same flight even if there are stops, and ‘nonstop’ for what Joyce probably meant. Do you see how hard it is to always understand precisely what important people are saying?)

 

Now I get it. But no help from official announcements and all those media outlets that repeat those official announcements.

 

But ‘it’ (the game change) is nothing to do with Qantas, Australia, or Europe. It has to do with the Gulf.

 

As a reminder, Emirates, Etihad, Qatar (EEQ, and to a lesser extent the now-fading Turkish), thrived because they offered a one-stop-shop between, among others, Asia Pacific and Europe. In the past, when no aircraft could fly Asia-Europe without a stop, there was no need for EEQ. When aircraft could do nonstops, it was a ‘game-changer’ for EEQ.

 

This new game-change is not great at all. Not even all of Australia; just the west with its tiny population and a quaint capital, Perth. That means EEQ will have a smaller market Perth-UK, but not much smaller.

 

Nevertheless, the game has started to change. And when Boeing produces the next range of its B787, enabling East Australia-Europe, that will be a more important change.

 

 

 

The Fox

Remember, I’ll be famous after I’m dead.

 

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