It is time Ben Sandilands took off the blinkers with regard to Virgin Blue. Strong management team! Try listing the expensive bad decisions of the last few years building in cost at each turn:

  1. Live TV
  2. Introducing the E Jets which are as costly to operate as the Boeing 737 but have a fraction of the capacity (per seat kilometre costs are approaching Boeing 737 numbers and way ahead of the Qantas Dash-8). The fleet now has 4 distinct types of aircraft as the 2 E Jet models do not even share common engines, wheels and brakes, the really costly on going costs.
  3. Launching V Australia into the teeth of an economic crisis (ego ahead of mind).
  4. Introducing costly and inefficent overtime provisions for pilots rather than efficent crewing arrangements.
  5. Saying farewell to the genuine low cost model.

When they talk of changing costs, take a look at the value of the AUD and fuel in 2000/2001 when they launched.

Telstra has begun suspending service on landlines plus broadband when they are only a matter of days overdue. I personally know of seven such cases, two of which involved users who had previously been in default on the previous bill but had fully paid up.

Ten have the rights to the Accenture Matchplay (first leg of the World Golf Championship) starting this week. Ten is only showing the tournament on its HD channel. To the best of my knowledge, it will only be shown on HD in the capital cities, meaning people in regional areas will miss out on the coverage. When asked why this was the case, Ten told me it had purchased the rights solely for its HD channel. Where does this leave golf fans in regional areas? This event is of particular interest as it marks the return of Tiger Woods (who, incidentally, takes on Australian Brendan Jones in the first round).

Now that Heath Ledger has won the Oscar, we are sure to be treated to another egregious outpouring of confected emotion and ocker patriotism. Can you offer a spotter’s badge for the first reader to see a news story that links Heath Ledger to the bushfires?

Peter Fray

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