Episode 607: Quarantinny News from Down Under

It’s been a while since our last Australia Desk and the boys have been busy in their isolation. Grant’s picked up a new, sexy microphone & studio gear while Steve’s been busy perfecting his speed editing while working on more podcasts than even Max produces!

Despite Grant not being able to fly on an airliner since early March, he’s not let that stop him from obtaining new status levels with airlines around the planet. He’s even managed to obtain Qatar Platinum status which is the equivalent of One World Emerald, all while working from home. Who knew?

During the COVID lockdowns and border closures, Qantas and Virgin have been operating repatriation flights between overseas locations and Australia to return citizens and residents, where-upon they will undertake a mandatory 14 day quarantine period in a hotel at the tax payers’ expense. Unfortunately the subsidies for these flights from the Federal Government are winding up this weekend so both airlines have said they will suspend them.

Out of interest, New Zealand has declared itself COVID free after going 17 days without a new case turning up. While this has many Australians talking of a “Trans Tasman Bubble” of flights between the two countries, the Kiwis are less than enthused about opening up their borders to any country that still has new cases appearing.

Meanwhile, Virgin Australia is in adminstration (like Chapter 11 in the USA) and the field of suitors has been whittled down to two serious bidders: Bain Capital and Cyrus Capital Partners. We should know more in a few weeks how this plays out as the Queensland government are apparently working with both groups to ensure that Virgin Australia keeps its headquarters in Brisbane and it’s likely that the company’s many debts will be written down.

So that’s about all the news and info we could fit into this episode, even though we’ve gone over our usual 10 minute limit, although we did note that Max was talking on a certain British show about hanging out in seedy podcaster bars. What could possibly go wrong with that? Well, listen to the end to find out… :)

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Episode 583: Political Enquiries, a Jetstar Strike & more RAAF Airframes

It’s time for the annual OzDesk update and the boys are back with the following news items:

After references to kidneys (the price of entry is steep!) and Max’s name, the boys aren’t sure if they’ll be allowed back next year, but then, you never know… :)

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Episode 500: Spartans are great even without the roll

How could the boys not crash a milestone 500th episode? With a nod to the bulk of their past reports, they present a standard Oz Desk episode with news reviews, discussion and fewer sound effects (mostly :) ). The topics covered today are:

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Episode 484: Dusting off the Studio

Max managed to get the boys back into the studio to record an Australia Desk segment for the end-of-2017 “Bits n Pieces” episode. By the time they’d cleared out the dust, fired up the generators and caught up on what they’d each been doing since the last Oz Desk (way back in March), there was only time to talk about the Australian Government relaxing 457 Visa requirements for foreign pilots to help address the shortage of qualified pilots within Australia.

After that they have a chat about the future of the Plane Crazy Down Under podcast and admit that, perhaps it’s run its course and needs to be closed down as Steve’s working in aviation (including producing the Australian Aviation magazine’s podcast) and Grant’s being kept very busy working in Defence in addition to his Australian Ballooning Federation work.

That’s it from us for 2017. Hopefully we’ll have another Oz Desk before the end of 2018 :)

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Episode 442: We’re back at the Avalon Air Show

We’re back, babies (well, at least for this year :) ).

Steve and Grant are at the Avalon Air Show 2017 and they interview Ben Morgan, CEO of the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association of Australia who is working hard to increase membership and champion improvements to the General, Recreation and Sport aviation environments in Australia.

They also talk about the arrival of Australia’s first two F-35A aircraft (A35-001 and A35-002) that made their public debut at the show. Yes, they’re loud. Yay! :)

RAAF F-35A (A35-002) arriving at Avalon

Meanwhile, this show Steve and Grant are working at the air show on tasks other than Plane Crazy Down Under:

That’s about it for this year’s episode. We’ll be back next year … maybe :)

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