Two airlines have had bad luck
with promotions that have coincided with tragedies totally beyond their
control – and Qantas pipped British Airways for this month’s Bad Timing
Award. BA ran a probably unnecessary apology for a print advertisement
in the Sydney Morning Herald offering cheap seats that appeared near a photograph of the distorted London double decker bus blown up last week.

Perhaps more unfortunate is the July issue of Qantas’s The Australian Way in-flight
magazine, which has a five-page spread in praise of Mt Hotham and how
great it is to be able to fly there. “It’s the only alpine airport in
Australia, the only airport within 20 minutes of a ski resort,”
enthuses Marshall Van, CEO of MFS Living and Leisure, the
Queensland-based property trust that is developing Hotham and Dinner
Plain in a joint venture with Ray Group. Yes, that was why Brian Ray
was flying there.

There was more written about the real estate
than the skiing. Roughly half the article was about various Ray Group
and MFS developments which include the March joint purchase of
Christopher Skase’s legacy of the Port Douglas and Gold Coast Sheraton
Mirage resorts. The pair plan to invest $500 million in Mt Hotham
infrastructure over the next eight years, says The Australian Way.

Ray, managing director of Ray Group before he died, is quoted as saying
that Mt Hotham is a sleeping giant. “Compared with other resorts in
Australia, Mt Hotham is underdeveloped and offers the greatest
potential to be a true 21st century ski resort,” he says in the article.

just as it’s having to deal with the death of its joint venture
partner, MFS has another problem – stockmarket scumbag David Tweed
appears to be launching an offer for MFS stapled securities. MFS is
writing to its security holders warning them about any offer from
Tweed’s National Share Purchasing Corporation Pty Ltd after he
purchased a copy of the trust’s registry with the names, addresses and
holdings of every MFS investor.

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey