2010: The Year in Review





January foreshadowed a year of partnerships with the announcement of Flight Centre’s renewed commitment to Travelport and an alliance between Jetstar and Air Asia. Late in the month, the industry was gifted a nice AU$20million from the Australian government.

Top 5 read stories

  1. Controversial nudist and swingers resort put on market for $1.5 million
  2. British Airways cabin crew may strike over Easter
  3. Let’s face it, climbing Uluru should be banned now
  4. GA Australia/New Zealand tax update: effective 1 January 2010
  5. 8-year-old Boy Scout placed on terrorist watchlist



February was a month of mixed fortunes for the flying kangaroo. The ACCC approved a five-year extension of the Joint Services Agreement between Qantas and British Airways. However the carrier was beaten by Virgin Blue for the first time as its profits took a nosedive.

Top 5 read stories

  1. Chinese New Year Parade Gives Roaring Start To Festive Hong Kong 2010
  2. Australian flight attendant found dead in Thailand
  3. Sex discrimination dispute: Qantas fires 14 female staff
  4. V Australia gives back Fiji rights to Pacific Blue
  5. Royal Caribbean brings Radiance to Australian waters


Source Campaign-Brief

On the home front, Tourism Australia launched its ‘There’s nothing like Australia’ marketing campaign as a bit of shuffling among the Aussie carriers saw former Qantas executive John Borghetti take the reins of Virgin Blue. Across the seas, travel chaos loomed with British Airways cabin crew walking off the job and Chile being rocked by an 8.8 magnitude earthquake.

Top 5 read stories

  1. Cyclone expected to hit Fiji tonight
  2. Naughty snaps of BA cabin crew surface
  3. Engine fault forces Pacific Sun to return to Sydney
  4. Flight Centre throws down the gauntlet at Explore Holidays
  5. Death on Princess Cruises shore excursion



Despite comedian Jon Stewart begging we just call it ‘Kevin’, in April the world persisted in attempts to pronounce the name of a once little-known Icelandic volcano whose eruptions caused mass air travel disruptions – the ongoing delays almost overshadowing the massive news of British Airways’ merger with Iberia.

Top 5 read stories

  1. OVERHEARD: Which two travel agency chains are lying low this week?
  2. Qantas A380 tyres burst upon landing
  3. e-Travel Blackboard to participate on the new Amazing Race Australia
  4. Iceland’s Eyjafjallajokull volcano continues to cause chaos
  5. Cathay Pacific disaster averted by Aussie heroes



May was the month of mergers, alliances, memorandums of understanding and a plethora of synonyms to describe agreements between industry stalwarts: Virgin Blue and Air New Zealand requested permission to create an alliance on the trans-Tasman; United and Continental Airlines formally announced their merger plans; and e-Travel Blackboard exclusively broke news that Jetset and Stella were in merger talks.

Top 5 read stories

  1. OVERHEARD & UPDATED: Stella, Jetset deal in final stages 
  2. Rumour: Qantas Holidays’ management team may face changes
  3. New ‘Big Brother’ customs rule leaves travellers red-faced
  4. Stella/Jetset Travelworld merger seen as a ‘positive step’
  5. MasterChef films epic cooking challenge on Pacific Jewel



Whilst most of the world’s focus was on the World Cup in South Africa (and experts debated its effects on travel) Virgin Blue announced its intentions to tackle Qantas in the domestic corporate arena as Garuda Indonesia returned from the sidelines for its European comeback.

Top 5 read stories

  1. Cathay Pacific, Air France-KLM introduce airbags in economy
  2. FIFA 2010 WORLD CUP RESULTS proudly sponsored by The Africa Safari Co
  3. Twitter & Facebook Have A New Rival Major Alert For Tourism Industry
  4. Garuda Indonesia makes triumphant return to Europe
  5. Qantas revises International Ticket Reissue Policy



In July, as the industry celebrated its success at AFTA’s National Travel Industry Awards, UK’s Cruise1st sailed to Aussies shores, while Jetset shareholders read the hefty ‘Explanatory Memorandum’ on the proposed JTG/Stella merger.

Top 5 read stories

  1. Air Pacific loses big, Qantas bails
  2. Virgin must enter Tiger, Jetstar price war: analyst
  3. Qantas launches new inflight entertainment program
  4. Surprise wins, a first ever after party and a cow prod: 2010 NTIA
  5. Borghetti to integrate V Australia into Virgin Blue 



Perhaps winner of the best source of headline puns, the joint venture between THAI and Tiger Airways was announced. A plan to codeshare with Etihad saw V Australia abandon flights to Johannesburg and Phuket, a plan Qantas didn’t like despite the flag carrier posting big profits.

Top 5 read stories

  1. V Australia pulls out of South Africa and Phuket
  2. Emirates reshuffles flights, aircraft to Australia
  3. Jetstar boss doesn’t fly with pilots
  4. Virgin Blue, Etihad partnership will be a real game changer
  5. Virgin Blue Group cuts the fat, repositions fleet



The merger between Jetset Travelworld Group and Stella Travel Services was officially announced as was confirmation of Oprah’s Down Under visit. Qantas and Virgin had a bad month as Qantas was forced to repay millions of dollars to travel agents in fuel surcharge commissions and Virgin’s hopes to merge with Delta and Air NZ were stalled. The stranding of thousands due to a system outage really gave the Virgin Blues.

Top 5 read stories

  1. Oprah Winfrey to visit Australia in December  
  2. Sir Richard Branson unveils Virgin Hotels
  3. Best Flights fined $6000 over misleading fares
  4. TripAdvisor under review, 400 may sue
  5. Qantas relinquishes Etihad to Virgin Blue



2000 passengers were offered a full refund by P&O Cruises after it was forced to cancel its Pacific Sunsets cruise. Sunnier news saw Paul McGrath named as the new managing director of Creative Holidays.

Top 5 read stories

  1. Thousands disrupted as P&O cancels Pacific Jewel
  2. Crocodile on flight kills 19
  3. American Express launch prepaid travel card
  4. Abandon Sydney Airport: Ex-Virgin CEO
  5. Qantas gear changes for Frequent Flyers


Rolls Royce engines came under close scrutiny in November after a Qantas A380 jet lost one of its engines in a mid-air explosion. In a boost to the industry, Tourism Australia announced plans to double the country’s overnight expenditure by 2020, from $70 billion to $140 billion. Across the Pacific, American Airlines announced that it would charge Travelport users outside of the US with new per sector charges.

Top 5 read stories

  1. Virgin pulls plug on ‘status match’ Qantas frequent flyer promotion
  2. Branson set to don AirAsia uniform
  3. Cunning web scam cons Aussie travellers
  4. Oprah announces ‘outback’ show
  5. Qantas celebrate 90th anniversary with Travolta



Oprah! Oprah! Oprah! Oi! Oi! Oi! Whilst Oprah heated up audiences in Australia, mother nature put a freeze on travel in the northern hemisphere, sending throngs of travellers (un)packing from airports across Europe and North America. Earlier in the month, the ACCC gave draft approval of Virgin Blue’s proposed alliance with Etihad and Air New Zealand.

Top 5 read stories

  1. Oprah audience arrives in Sydney
  2. O-Travel Blackboard for travel news Oprah-style
  3. United Airlines: Ready to take-off
  4. Kidman, Urban celebrate Oprah’s Aussie countdown
  5. Singapore Airlines prepares A380 for LA
Source = e-Travel Blackboard
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