Uplink ALPA - The Voice of Aviation

The New Zealand Air Line Pilots' Association Newsletter. As of April 2020 Uplink ALPA is a 6-monthly publication.

International aviation news


The Qantas Group says it will reach zero carbon emissions by 2050 in a major expansion of its commitment to a more sustainable aviation industry. 

The airline says it will: 

• Immediately double the number of flights being offset

• Cap net emissions from 2020 onwards 

• Invest $50 million over 10 years to help develop a sustainable aviation fuel industry 

These initiatives make Qantas the only airline group to commit to cap its net emissions at 2020 levels, and the second to commit to net zero emissions by 2050. The airline says its commitments are the most ambitious carbon emission targets of any airline group.

Qantas and Jetstar will double the number of flights offset by matching every dollar spent by customers ticking the box to fly carbon neutral.

It will also continue to reduce its emissions through investment in more fuel efficient aircraft, more efficient operations such as single-engine taxiing, and smarter flight planning to reduce fuel burn. Decisions on replacement aircraft will be based on fuel efficiency and Qantas notes that innovations such as electric aircraft engines are still some time away. 

“We’re doing this because it’s the responsible thing to do, but hopefully it will also encourage more people to choose Qantas and Jetstar because of the action we’re taking,” says Qantas Group Chief Executive Alan Joyce. 

Read more HERE.



Virgin Australia is cutting its seasonal Christchurch to Sydney direct service and reducing the frequency of its Auckland to Sydney service from 19 to 14 times a week. 

Stuff reports that these changes are part of a review of the airline’s network and fleet. Virgin Australia is trying to reduce costs after an underlying loss of A$71.2 million last financial year. 

“Flying to the right destinations, with the right customer demand, and the right sized fleet will improve our financial performance,” said Paul Scurrah, Virgin’s Chief Executive and Managing Director. 

Read more HERE.

The Airlineratings.com website has more detailed information about the changes HERE.



Qantas and Virgin Australia are facing fresh calls to inspect their entire Boeing 737 fleets following the discovery of more pickle fork cracks in aircraft that had not met the threshold for mandatory checks, according to the Sydney Morning Herald

In October the United States Federal Aviation Administration ordered all 737 NGs worldwide that had operated more than 30,000 flights to be inspected within seven days, and for planes with more than 22,600 flights to be inspected within their next 1,000 flights. 

Qantas has now grounded three Boeing 737 aircraft for pickle fork repairs. The news site says Boeing and airline regulators are saying that the cracks do not pose an immediate safety risk. 

Indonesian airline Lion Air found pickle fork cracks in two aircraft with less than 22,000 flight cycles. 

When a crack is detected the aircraft is grounded until repairs are completed, which can take several weeks. 

The Guardian news website reports that 50 aircraft have been grounded worldwide due to cracks, including those operated by Ryanair, Southwest Airlines and Brazilian carrier Gol.

Read more from the Sydney Morning Herald HERE.

Read more from The Guardian HERE.


The Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) requires drones weighing more than 250 grams be registered from the start of next year, according to a report on Air Transport World. 

It says drone enthusiasts have a three-month grace period until 2 April 2020 to register their aircraft. After that it will be an offence to operate or fly an unregistered, unmanned aircraft in Singapore and offenders face a fine of up to S$10,000 and/or imprisonment of up to six months.

The new regulations conform with drone registration requirements in the United States, Canada, Australia and European countries that specify a minimum weight of 250 grams. 

There are also rules around the minimum age for drone operators, the requirement for labels showing the drone’s registration number to be displayed, and there is a registration fee. 

“Mandatory registration is an important part of our enhanced regulatory framework to ensure that unmanned aircraft can be used in Singapore safely,” CAAS Director- General Kevin Shum said. “To further encourage users to fly responsibly, we will also be stepping up efforts to educate and help users comply with regulations.” 

Read more HERE.


Qantas’ industrial relations may be an obstacle in the way of its planned Project Sunrise non-stop flights from the east coast of Australia to London and New York. 

The Sydney Morning Herald reports that Qantas Chief Executive Alan Joyce is playing hardball with international pilots over pay and conditions for the flights – which would become the longest routes in commercial aviation history. They would be serviced by either Airbus A350-1000 or Boeing 777X-8 aircraft. 

The news website says longhaul Qantas pilots are not willing to repeat the experience of being “done over” by management when Boeing 787s were introduced.

It says Qantas’ industrial relations position has become increasingly difficult in recent months “with a new crop of more aggressive members joining the traditionally management-friendly Australian and International Pilots Association. 

“If Joyce can’t get around the impasse with the long-haul pilots, Qantas will have to make a decision about whether giving up some ground eats too much into his 30 per cent productivity ambitions.” 

Qantas says it must reach agreement with the pilots this year if it is to maintain slots Boeing and Airbus have left open for the airline. 

Read more at HERE.



Attached Files

Comments are closed.

<< New Zealand aviation news Photo highlights of the year >>