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Will Qantas return to London before Perth?

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They are strange times we live in, when Australia’s national carrier could soon return to London before flying Sydney to Perth.

Project Sunrise has been hailed as the holy grail for Qantas. 230 years since the first fleet set sail on a months long voyage, modern aviation has linked far flung corners of the globe.

Qantas set out a challenge to Boeing and Airbus to deliver an ultra long-haul jet capable of linking the east coast of Australia, namely Sydney and Melbourne, to New York or London. Hopefully with a good entertainment system to boot.

Project Sunrise route map
Project Sunrise route map from Australia’s east coast.

Project Sunrise setback

In May, Qantas announced that Sydney would be the first city to launch Project Sunrise.

At the investor briefing, after announcing a $2.3 billion loss, attention quickly turned to when Qantas might restart international flights.

Right now, m Australia is locked up, with Western Australia becoming the hermit kingdom, completely separated from Sydney and Melbourne.

While Qantas chief Alan Joyce fumed at the domestic border closures, it could be the airline’s international arm that drags the Qantas group back to profitability.

Throughout the pandemic, New South Wales has been the anti-lockdown state, preferring to focus on keeping business humming and reluctantly heading into lockdown.

New South Wales residents are fast on their way to receiving 6 million vaccination jabs, seemingly hungry to reopen despite the rise in cases to above 1000 per day for the first time during the pandemic.

It’s the same strategy used by the UK, and requires a leader who can hold their ground despite rising case numbers.

In Australia, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian is the closest you can get to the British PM.

A Qantas 787 Dreamliner
A Qantas 787 Dreamliner

Freedom day

And just like the UK, may look to a freedom day whereby restrictions are dropped once the population hits the 80% vaccination mark. NSW is among the fastest in the world to take up the vaccine in recent weeks.

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has already flagged the possibility of COVID passports once vaccines reach 80%.

How it works

The IATA Travel Pass provides:

  • Governments with the means to verify the authenticity of tests or vaccinations and the identity of those presenting their certificates.
  • Airlines with the ability to provide accurate information to their passengers on test requirements and verify that a passenger meets the requirements for travel.
  • Laboratories with the means to issue certificates to passengers that will be recognized by governments, and
  • Travelers with accurate information on test requirements, where they can get tested or vaccinated, and the means to securely convey the results/certificates to airlines and border authorities

That could see Qantas almost do the unthinkable opening up travel from Australia to London before internal borders are open.

A sign of how far Australia has come, or how far it has to go.

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Business

Toyota announce Koji Sato as new CEO

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He’s the grandson of the founder, and a true titan of the industry.

 
But the question of who should replace Akio Toyoda at the top of Toyota had become a growing concern.

Now we have the answer.

The auto giant has announce its veteran boss would step down as chief executive, and become chairman.

Toyoda said he would be succeeded by chief branding officer Koji Sato from the start of April.

Sato says he loves making cars, and hopes to propel the company further down the Electric Vehicle path over the coming years. #Toyota

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Taylor Swift ticketing fiasco enters the U.S. Senate

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Live Nation is in the firing line over its inability to stop scalper bots from purchasing Taylor Swift tickets

U.S. Senators have grilled the boss of Live Nation over the lack of transparency relating to concert tickets for Taylor Swift’s upcoming tour.

The entertainment company, which owns Ticketmaster is under fire after bots purchased tickets for Swift’s ‘Era Tour’ last year, in an attempt to resell them for a higher price.

Joe Berchtold is the chief financial officer of Live Nation, who apologised to the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee hearing.

“We apologise to the fans, we apologise to Ms. Swift, we need to do better and we will do better.”

Senators criticised Live Nation’s fee structure and inability to deal with bots, which bulk buy tickets and resell them at inflated prices.

“There isn’t transparency when no one knows who sets the fees,” Democratic Senator Amy Klobuchar said.

Meanwhile, Republican Senator Marsha Blackburn called Live Nation’s bot problem “unbelievable”.

Ticketmaster reportedly occupies more than 70 per cent market share of primary ticket services for major U.S. concert venues.

“You ought to be able to get some good advice from people and figure it out,” Ms Blackburn said.

Ticketmaster cancelled sales of Swift’s tour to the public because of the “high demand”.

The entertainment giant reportedly sold over 2 million tickets, which is enough to fill 900 stadiums.

Taylor Swift said the situation was difficult, and called for accountability for music promoters.

“It’s really difficult for me to trust an outside entity with these relationships and loyalties, and excruciating for me to just watch mistakes happen with no recourse.

“I’m not going to make excuses for anyone because we asked them, multiple times, if they could handle this kind of demand and we were assured they could,” she said.

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Business

Amazon is taking on traditional pharmacies

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Amazon subscription service will give millions of Americans access to medications

 
How would you like to ditch going to the pharmacy?

Amazon has revealed a $5 monthly subscription plan for U.S. Prime members, allowing people to have generic drugs delivered right to their doors.

The program includes 50 medications which are used to treat 80 conditions.

Unfortunately individuals enrolled in Medicare or any other government healthcare programs will not be able to use the service.

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