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First Qantas A380 returns to Australia as international travel demand picks up

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A familiar and hard-to-miss sight will return to Australian skies today with one of Qantas’ iconic A380 aircraft set to land back in Sydney, 593 days after it departed Australian shores

Almost 600 days after it left Australia to be placed into storage, Qantas A380 Hudson Fysh, named after one of Qantas’ founders, is expected to touch down at Sydney Airport around 3.00pm more than 19 hours after it departed Dresden, Germany. The aircraft recently underwent scheduled maintenance for a new landing gear, after spending the best part of two years in storage during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Its early return comes as the airline gears up for the first two of the superjumbos to return to service in April 2022, following strong demand for international travel, particularly on key routes to Los Angeles and London.

Qantas has taken close to half a million domestic bookings in the past two weeks, compared with around 20,000 in a two-week period in August.

Jetstar’s recent international sale saw 75,000 seats sold in 72 hours

Demand for seats on Qantas’ London to Sydney service has been extremely strong, with Aussies reuniting with family and friends in time for Christmas and more flights added as a result.

Originally expected to remain in long term storage in the Californian desert until the end of 2023, Qantas has since announced that five A380s with upgraded cabins would return ahead of schedule with two to operate flights to Los Angeles from April 2022 and three to operate flights to London from November 2022.

The airline is now working to further accelerate the return of the A380s, with superjumbo flights to London brought forward to July 2022. In addition, a sixth aircraft will arrive before the end of calendar year 2022, with the remaining four A380s expected to return to service by early 2024.

Hudson Fysh will undergo additional maintenance checks in Australia before taking to the skies again in coming weeks as part of crew training

Qantas Chief Pilot Captain Richard Tobiano said it was a terrific day, not just for Qantas crew but also passengers who love flying onboard the national carrier’s flagship aircraft.

“The A380 is a fantastic aircraft and we are very excited to welcome it home today. The early return is symbolic of how quickly demand for international travel has bounced back and this aircraft will play a key role in preparing our crew to return to A380 flying operations in the new year.

“Many of our crew have found other jobs during the pandemic doing everything from working in vaccination hubs and hospital wards to driving buses and tractors, and painting houses.

“Over the next few months, pilots will undergo an extensive retraining period including simulator sessions, training flights and classroom courses to prepare for take-off.”

While it wasn’t flying during the pandemic, the aircraft was cared for by Qantas engineers who carried out regular inspections before it flew to Dresden earlier this year

Six of Qantas’ A380s have had an interior redesign featuring new premium upper deck with new supper club style lounge and brand-new seats across the Business Class and Premium Economy cabins, as well as a main deck refresh including new carpet and curtains. The remaining aircraft will be refitted before they return to service.

The 485-seat A380 is the only aircraft in the Qantas fleet that offers a First Class cabin, popular with Frequent Flyers for its comfortable suites with fully lay flat beds, premium Neil Perry multi-course dining experience, award winning Australian wine cellar and Martin Grant designed First Class PJs.

Anthony Lucas is reporter, presenter and social media producer with ticker News. Anthony holds a Bachelor of Professional Communication, with a major in Journalism from RMIT University as well as a Diploma of Arts and Entertainment journalism from Collarts. He’s previously worked for 9 News, ONE FM Radio and Southern Cross Austerio’s Hit Radio Network. 

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Apple exec fired over crude TikTok video

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Apple’s vice president of procurement, Tony Blevins, has been fired from the company after his crude remarks in a TikTok interview went viral

Apple has fired its vice president of procurement, Tony Blevins for making crude comments in a viral TikTok video.

It all started with an interview that went horribly wrong. Creator Daniel Mac posted a video where he asked Blevins what he does for a living, and Blevins response didn’t reference anything respectable.

“I race cars and play golf and fondle big-breasted women. But I take weekends But I take weekends and major holidays off,” Blevins replied.

The video has been viewed over 1.3 million times.

The video didn’t identify Blevins by name and didn’t reference his position at Apple, though Blevins does note that his job offers “a hell of a dental plan.”

But Apple moved quickly to fire Blevins, saying the comments don’t align with their values and respect of women.

Apple is known for being a family-friendly company, so it’s no surprise that they wouldn’t want an employee making crude jokes on TikTok.

This just goes to show that you should be careful what you say on social media.

Ton Blevins

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Apple downgrade signals broader tech problem

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Apple’s downgrade by Bank of America sparked a selloff in tech stocks, sending shares of Alphabet and Microsoft to one-year lows.

The move came as investors rotated out of growth stocks and into more defensive assets to deal with higher interest rates and get ahead of a possible recession.

Apple’s stock fell sharply after the downgrade, while shares of other major tech companies also tumbled.

The selloff in tech stocks weighed on the broader market, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 both falling sharply.

The market’s declines were broad-based, but the tech sector was hit particularly hard.

The Nasdaq Composite Index fell more than 3%, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 both declined more than 2%.

The market’s sell-off was sparked by a downgrade of Apple’s stock by analysts at Bank of America.

The downgrade came as investors are increasingly worried about the outlook for the tech sector.

Shares of Apple have fallen sharply this year, and the stock is now down more than 30% from its highs.

Other major tech stocks have also been under pressure, with shares of Alphabet, Facebook, and Amazon all down significantly from their highs.

The market’s sell-off on Thursday was a continuation of the recent trend of investors rotating out of growth stocks and into more defensive assets.

The rotation out of growth stocks has been driven by concerns about higher interest rates and a possible recession.

Investors have been flocking to safe-haven assets such as gold and government bonds.

The market’s sell-off on Thursday also came as oil prices fell sharply, with West Texas

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Stadia gaming goes in Google cost-cutting

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Google’s digital gaming service Stadia is shutting down, the latest casualty in the company’s ongoing cost-cutting efforts.

Launched in 2019, Stadia ran on phones and the Chrome browser but failed to gain traction with users. In a blog post Thursday,

Google says the company had made “the difficult decision to begin winding down our Stadia streaming service.”

It’s is not the first time Google has shuttered a gaming project.

In 2016, the company closed down its Nexus Player game console. And in 2019, it stopped selling its Stadia controllers and canceled a planned cloud gaming service for smartphones.

With the closure of Stadia, Google becomes the latest company to abandon the cloud gaming market, after a difficult year for the industry and tech stocks.

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