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Australia’s regional airline battle heats up

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Virgin Australia and Link Airways have unveiled an extensive codeshare partnership that will significantly expand Virgin Australia’s regional presence.

Under this partnership, Link Airways will operate over 90 weekly services, with Virgin Australia codesharing on these flights.

Regional Australia will see substantial improvements as Virgin Australia and Link Airways embark on an expansive codeshare partnership, bolstering Virgin Australia’s presence in regional Australia by approximately 45 percent.

Notably, the expansion includes services to destinations like Inverell, Wollongong, and Biloela, which currently lack major airline services.

Velocity members

Velocity Frequent Flyer members will reap the benefits of this collaboration, earning both Points and Status Credits on 17 new regional codeshare services. Furthermore, this agreement opens up the possibility of seamlessly connecting regional Australia to Virgin Australia’s broader domestic network.

Customers can book these services through Virgin Australia’s travel agency partners, with fares available on virginaustralia.com from March 2024.

Codeshare services

Seventeen fresh regional codeshare services, equivalent to 90 weekly flights, will be integrated into Virgin Australia’s domestic network through the collaboration.

Velocity Frequent Flyer, boasting nearly 12 million members, stands to gain from this partnership as they will now earn both Points and Status Credits on Virgin Australia codeshare services operated by Link Airways, encompassing crucial regional centers across the nation.

For Velocity Platinum, Gold, and Silver members, additional incentives such as bonus Points and extra baggage allowances will be available when traveling on Virgin Australia codeshare services operated by Link Airways.

Eligible Velocity members can also enjoy access to Virgin Australia lounges during their travels on these codeshare services.

Virgin Australia Chief Strategy and Transformation Officer, Alistair Hartley said “Today’s announcement in partnership with Link Airways underscores our commitment to delivering great value, flexibility and choice to Australians, and boosting connections for customers living in regional Australia,” he said.

“Importantly the partnership is also set to support regional trade and tourism in destinations like Inverell, Wollongong and Biloela, which are not currently serviced by any other major airline.

“Together, our networks will be operating up to 365 daily flights across Australia, offering 42 domestic destinations for guests to explore, all while ensuring guests can enjoy seamless connectivity and loyalty benefits under our award-winning Velocity Frequent Flyer program when they travel.”

New regional routes available as Virgin Australia codeshare (in both directions):

Brisbane <> Coffs Harbour (BNE-CFS)

Brisbane <> Bundaberg (BNE-BDB)

Brisbane <> Biloela (BNE-ZBL)

Brisbane <> Inverell (BNE-IVR)

Brisbane <> Narrabri (BNE-NAA)

Brisbane <> Dubbo (BNE-DBO)

Brisbane <> Orange (BNE-OAG)

Brisbane <> Tamworth (BNE-TMW)

Brisbane <> Armidale (BNE-ARM)

Brisbane <> Wollongong (BNE-WOL)

Sydney <> Narrabri (SYD-NAA)

Sydney <> Inverell (BNE-IVR)

Melbourne <> Dubbo (MEL-DBO)

Melbourne <> Orange (MEL-OAG)

Melbourne <> Wollongong (MEL-WOL)

Canberra <> Hobart (CBR-HBA)

Canberra <> Newcastle (CBR-NTL)

It comes a year after 777 Partners launched Bonza in Australia, a low-cost operator focusing on regional markets.

Bonza CEO’s big plans after bumpy start for airline

Seamless travel

Virgin Australia customers will now have the convenience of traveling seamlessly to 42 Australian destinations through a single booking, complete with check-in and baggage transfer.

Link Airways Chief Executive Officer, Andrew Major said “Link Airways is very pleased to join Virgin Australia in announcing this codeshare agreement which will provide significant additional travel opportunities to passengers Australia-wide, particularly those in regional areas.

“Benefits will include better connectivity and more choice for regional customers thanks to Virgin Australia’s expansive route network,” he said.

The partnership marks a significant step forward for Virgin Australia and Link Airways, promising enhanced connectivity and convenience for travelers across Australia.

Ahron Young is an award winning journalist who has covered major news events around the world. Ahron is the Managing Editor and Founder of TICKER NEWS.

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Jesse Baird and Luke Davies – Two bodies discovered in search for missing Sydney couple

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In a tragic turn of events, two bodies have been found in the search for missing Sydney couple Jesse Baird and Luke Davies, who were allegedly murdered by a serving police officer.

The grim discovery comes after days of intense searching across multiple crime scenes, culminating in the retrieval of the couple’s remains near a remote property approximately two hours south of Sydney on Tuesday afternoon.

Detective Superintendent Danny Doherty said during a press conference that homicide squads opened a new crime scene in Bungonia, which was about 20 minutes from the original crime scene.

‘There were two surf bags that have been found,’ he said.

‘And some debris and other items of interest of significance that are located.

‘And at that stage it was declared a crime scene and immediately the family were informed of the development.’

He also said Lamarre-Condon revealed where the bodies were located after he received legal advice.

It was the first time he cooperated with police during the investigation.

Prior to becoming a police officer, Lamarre-Condon was a celebrity blogger

‘We are very confident we have located Luke and Jesse,’ she said.

‘Today, this afternoon, detectives attached to Strike Force Ashfordby located a second crime scene in Bungonia which is a separate scene which they had been searching yesterday and earlier.’

The unfolding tragedy began to unravel when Senior Constable Beau Lamarre-Condon was charged with the murder of Channel 10 personality Mr. Baird, with whom he reportedly had a brief romantic involvement, and Mr. Davies.

The young couple is believed to have been shot dead at a residence in Paddington on February 19.

Assisting police

Following the discovery of bloodied clothing and personal items belonging to the couple in a skip bin in Cronulla, a manhunt was launched on February 20.

Despite initial resistance, Lamarre-Condon eventually surrendered to authorities at Bondi Police Station on February 23.

Police allege that Lamarre-Condon’s predatory behavior towards Mr. Baird escalated following their breakup in late 2023.

Furthermore, evidence uncovered by investigators, including blood and a bullet cartridge matching the constable’s service weapon, suggests a meticulously planned attempt to conceal the murders and dispose of the victims’ bodies.

Detectives say Lamarre-Condon assisted police with locating the bodies during an interview on Tuesday.

“He was forthcoming about the location of the two people.”

“What we will allege is the accused went back to the property and moved those bodies to the current location.”

Various locations

The van allegedly utilised by Lamarre-Condon to transport the victims’ remains was tracked to various locations, including the crime scene in Paddington and a property in Bungonia, before ultimately being located in Sydney’s southern suburbs.

Detectives assert that Lamarre-Condon also purchased tools and equipment, such as an angle grinder and weights, in further efforts to cover up the crimes.

Despite the constable’s initial refusal to cooperate with authorities in locating the bodies, information provided by Lamarre-Condon eventually led to the discovery of the couple’s remains near the remote property in Bungonia. The tragic end to the search for Jesse Baird and Luke Davies serves as a sobering reminder of the complexities and challenges inherent in law enforcement investigations.

 

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After string of flops, Disney’s live action movie head departs

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Disney has announced that Sean Bailey, the head of its live-action movies division, will be stepping down from his position.

The news comes as part of an executive shuffle within the entertainment giant, with Bailey’s successor named as David Greenbaum, former co-president of Disney’s Searchlight Pictures.

Greenbaum will assume the role of president of Disney live action and 20th Century Studios.

The decision to appoint Greenbaum to this newly created position is aimed at fostering greater collaboration within Disney’s production slate.

The move aligns with the company’s strategy to streamline operations and enhance efficiency across its various divisions.

Activist investors

The reshuffle at Disney comes at a time when the company is facing pressure from activist investors.

Notably, activist Nelson Peltz has urged Disney to focus on improving streaming margins and to undertake a review of its creative processes to enhance output from its studios.

Despite the change in leadership, Searchlight Pictures, under the leadership of President Matthew Greenfield, will continue its operations. Greenfield assumed the presidency alongside Greenbaum in 2021.

In the wake of his departure from his executive role, Bailey will remain involved with Disney as a producer on upcoming projects, including the highly anticipated “Tron: Ares” movie.

The announcement of Bailey’s departure and Greenbaum’s appointment underscores Disney’s commitment to adapting to the evolving entertainment landscape and maximizing its creative potential.

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Is China’s space rise a challenge to the U.S?

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As China accelerates its space program, the U.S. finds itself navigating uncharted territory, grappling with the implications of an emerging space power.

The space arena, once dominated by the U.S., is witnessing a paradigm shift.

China’s advancements include the successful deployment of advanced satellites, groundbreaking research in space weaponry, and the establishment of a lunar base. #featured #ticker today

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