Ever wonder about that fuel surcharge that Qantas and others put
on your air ticket? From my calculations they are making a profit on
the surcharge alone without taking into account the airfare itself.
Consider a recent flight from Melbourne to Sydney by a Boeing
737-800 (the new ones with the bent wingtips). 150 passengers on board.
(92% load factor). Fuel surcharge $31 per head = $4,650. Actual fuel
burn. 3,500KG = 4,600 LITRES approx. Fuel is hedged at better than $1 per
litre. Do the math. Don’t forget this is a SURCHARGE on top of the fare,
whatever that is. The profit is supposed to be in the airfare itself.
How do I know this? I was there.

Recently it
came to me that an ABC Crew went to Iraq.
They were with the Australian
Army over there. They were issued a machine gun and a pistol to protect
themselves. My understanding is that the cameraman accepted the
sidearm. This is a
Melbourne based
crew and most likely shooting Foreign Correspondent. The ABC OH&S Unit is
aware of this matter but is keeping a lid on it. I am not sure of what if any
action has been taken against the cameraman.

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey