The southern winter weather has taken its toll on Grant this week, so Steve flies the segment solo. In the news, the constant doom & gloom surrounding aviation maintenance job losses was brightened slightly with the announcement by Air New Zealand & Etihad of an agreement to use each other’s line facilities in Melbourne and Los Angeles. In a boost for Melbourne, Etihad’s local line maintenance facility will service Air New Zealand aircraft. In return, their aircraft will be serviced in LA at Air New Zealand’s facility.
In an era where QANTAS continues to claim that Australian aircraft maintenance is not viable, Etihad has shown that the opposite can be the case. It also operates a line maintenance facility in Sydney.
Steve also catches up with 17 year old Alex Fisher as he continues his Flight of Solidarity around Australia in a Cessna 172, raising awareness of – and funds for – the Royal Flying Doctor Service. Last week we caught up with Alex at Weipa in the north and this week we find him in Perth, Western Australia. While he’s made it through about half of the distance around Australia, some of his biggest challenges are ahead of him as the winter weather comes rolling through the south of the country.