Author Topic: A New Qantas Airline  (Read 1205 times)

Offline M.A.D

  • Also likes a bit of arse...
  • Wrote a great story about a Christmas Air Battle
A New Qantas Airline
« on: February 20, 2016, 09:32:53 PM »
Just re-hashing some old alternative stories, I posted on another forum some years ago.....

It is February 2009

With the widening effect of the American ‘Credit Crises’ becoming more realistic and relevant to the rest of the worlds, Australia is not spared, as once hoped.
Like so many large and powerful corporations in Australia, which were thought to have been safe, it is revealed that many of their corporate boards and CEO’s thought it more important to over exaggerate their true asset value and profit margins in order of assuring their known expected and just as exaggerated bonuses!

With many of these big corporations making their announcements of massive write downs, a higher than expected number of everyday Australian families are financially affected, to the grave detriment of the national economy, and job figures.
There are mass out cries and street protest outside the head offices of these corporations and Parliament House by the average Australian ‘Joe Blow’, demanding the Federal Governments to investigate this corporate corruption and to hold their CEO’s and Boards accountable for corporate fraud.

The Australian government is at first reluctant to bring the full weight of the law down on the Australian corporate world, for fear of making the already gutted share market worse.
The Australian public smelling this political fear and reluctance to act, interprets this as political special treatment of the corporate world.
‘One law for them and another law for us’ became the publics catch cry.

But this political reluctance ends, when the media begins their own witch hunt of CEO’s and Board members, promoting their exuberant life styles and spending sprees and assets, while the average Australian struggles to put food on their families table.
Out of frustration, people begin to take matters into their own hands.
The offices of local, state and federal members of parliament are vandalized, with graffiti denoting that the given members are sympathisers and on the pay roll of the big corporate world.
Large and prominent CEO’s and Board members are taunted and assaulted in public, and to and from their offices and residences.
Members of parliament are told outright by their voters that their lack of action and upholding of the law will be costing them both their jobs and public support at the next elections.
Even the State and Federal Opposition parties are told by their constituency that their use of the economic crisis as a political tool is not welcomed and in poor taste!

In April 2009, one of Australia’s biggest icons – Qantas Airlines, is caught up in another price fixing scandal within Australia, in the attempt to crush the new and up and coming opposition Tiger Airlines.

The Federal Government uses this embarrassing corporate fraud case to implement a Senate enquiry into Australian Corporate behaviour and the failings of the corporate watch dog ASIC (Australian Securities & Investments Commission) to both detect and act against this kind of corporate corruption.

In an attempt to stem the public’s anger and frustration, it is deemed behind the closed doors of parliament to once again take government control (52%) of the once proud national airline – Qantas and put some confidence back into the Australian public, as well as sending a clear massage to other corporations that they could be next.

Whilst the Senate & ASIC investigate the CEO and Board members of Qantas and the company’s running, the Prime Minister announces that he has designated a well-known and trusted Australian public figure to the difficult and challenging role of the CEO of the new Qantas.
Peter Cosgrove (General Ret) AC, MC was tasked to use his military skills of leadership and command to put the ‘Australian’ back into Qantas.

As tasked, he took this directive by the Prime Minister literally, as though it was a war directive.
Many deficiencies became obvious; the subsidiary model of the budget airlines was robbing Peter to pay Paul!
Way to much fictitious money was going back and forth, which had eventually lead to short falls in hard currency for the parent company – Qantas!
One of the other big operating problems was the many differing types and models of aircraft within its fleet.
This problem had been compounded by the purchase of the very large and complicated Airbus A380, which had run into production problems, which resulted in expensive delays of deliveries and operations.
Pilots and maintenance crews had spent a great amount of time in training, just to be forced to wait on an aircraft that had not just been delayed, but now due to the economic crisis – airline travel had almost halved!
The purchased fleets of the super Airbuses were now deemed unwarranted and unwanted.
Peter Cosgrove very quickly shows his leadership skills, when he negotiates with the heads of EADS Airbus the cancellation of twelve of Qantas A380’s original twenty aircraft ordered, with the compensation to Airbus, that Qantas will overlook and drop its claim for overdue deliveries compensation.
Although this meant the loss of production to Airbus, it allowed Airbus to recuperate hard currency it desperately needed in these economic hard times.
The loss of the Qantas A380 order was also semi off sided by Peter Cosgrove’s announcement that it would precede with the purchase of Airbus A330-200’s to replace its 23-year old fleet of Boeing 747-300’s
The new board of Qantas estimated, after technical advice that with the drastic decline in domestic and overseas passenger use of their fleet, that the current Boeing 747-400 fleet could continue effectively and economically for another ten years – hence the reduction in Airbus A380 purchases.
But Qantas could not stand idle, and fight with its competitors for what passenger business remained alone.
This is where Peter Cosgrove, as the new CEO came into his own element.
With his valuable past military experience, he had experienced first hand, as both the leader of the international forces (INTERFET) in a peacekeeping mission to East Timor and latter Chief of the Defence Force (CDF), the plight that the ADF (especially the Australian Army!) with its overseas military commitments, and the ability to deploy the forces and equipment needed to achieve these missions.
Remembering the embarrassment of having to charter corporate owned and flown giant transport aircraft the likes of Volga-Dnepr’s Antonov An-124 Ruslan 

Peter Cosgrove said that the Ukrainan company Volga-Dnepr between 2005 and 2006, transporting 156,000 tons of cargo had generated $725 million in revenue.

Up until this time, Qantas airlines history had been specialised in passenger transport.
But this proud and renowned history had been somewhat watered down by the previous CEO and Board, when they elected to begin a subsidiary cost and staff reduction program, which was to prove costly to Qantas world wide reputation as one of the world safest.
This came to the publics attention when the airline began to suffer a string of accidents and operation problems.
Peter Cosgrove, decided that if Qantas was to survive, it was critical that it rebuild its reputation.
At this critical time of rebuilding both the airline and its reputation, the new CEO and Board agreed that Qantas must branch out of its traditional market.
A priority market and commercial research study, was to support Peter Cosgrove’s thoughts and belief that the Pacific Region, with its massive economic and industrial boom did have a great demand and market for heavy and outsized cargo air transportation.
Added to this Peter Cosgrove, would use his political and military contacts to generate a fantastic contract that would both benefit Qantas and the Australian Defence Force greatly.
For Peter Cosgrove was able to utilize his first hand knowledge of the demands and stress put on the RAAF’s busy fleet of Lockheed C-130 Hercules and Boeing C-17 Globmaster III’s.
Which he had a proposal to remedy, whilst strengthening the National Airline’s reputation.
The Australian Government announced that it had come to a financial and operational agreement between itself and Qantas Airlines.
The Australian Government would purchase –
- Two new-built Antonov An-124-210s heavy transport aircraft
  (which were re-engine with more powerful, and more fuel efficient Roll Royce RB211-524H-T turbofans – as used by the Qantas Boeing 474 fleet, in place of the original Ivchenko Progress D-18T turbofans, as well as also being fitted with Western avionics and a modern Western glass cockpit.)
- Two new-built Boeing C-17A Globmaster III’s
- Three refurbished Ilyushin IL-76TD ‘Candid’ (re-engined with four- CFM 56-7B27 turbofans - as used by the Qantas Boeing 737-800 fleet and Westernized cockpit).

As part of the deal, Qantas was to –
- pay for the maintenance and operating costs of this cargo/transport fleet;
- be responsible for the maintenance and overhaul work for this cargo/transport fleet, at their own expense;
- The Australian Government was to given top priority in time of need/crisis to the use of this cargo/transport fleet, at very short notice for both support of the ADF and humanitarian / disaster relief airlift capability worldwide;
- The extended deployment of these cargo/transport assets, would be under a chartered / lease payable agreement, so that Qantas Airlines is not out of pocket.
- Qantas Airlines agrees to the supporting of an Air Force Reserve pilot scheme, where ex-RAAF transport pilots and flight crews will be kept efficient and maintain flight time via crewing these Qantas cargo/transport aircraft.

During these Government/Qantas negotiations leading to the purchasing of this small but effective transport / cargo aircraft fleet, it become apparent, with the operational tempo of the ADF, that these aircraft would be committed to the support of the ADF operational deployments (in Afghanistan, Iraq, East Timor and the Solomon Islands), they would wear the RAAF grey colour scheme all over, bar their tail fins, which would carry the world rewound red and white flying Kangaroo, and Qantas livery on its fuselage.

The delivery of the An-124-210’s and C-17A’s went as planned, and they were immediately put to work in support of the ADF (transporting of RAAF F/A-18 Hornets from RAAF Williamtown to Canada for centre barrel replacement in Canada and return, there is also the transporting of Bushmaster APC to the Dutch and Australian Army in Afghanistan etc; the constant and ongoing transportation of Singapore’s military equipment to a from their Australia based training facilities) and transportation of outsized civilian payload through out the Asian Pacific region (which would include new Singaporean-built trains for the troubled Victorian State Government; mining equipment and machinery to China).
But the modified IL-76CFM’s would be delayed much longer than anticipated, due to the problems of integration of the of the new CFM 56-7B27 turbofans and fuel feed systems.
This delay was compounded even further with a delay with certification by Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) and the Australia Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB).
But once certified, and the bugs ironed out, the IL-76’s would be put to substantially high operational tempo in the use of Australian Government humanitarian / disaster relief operations all around the world.
It did not take long for the IL-76CFM’s to prove their ruggedness and capability of operating in the worse environments and from the some of the roughest makeshift airfields in parts of the world, which would have otherwise damaged their Western equivalents.
Also it did not take long for Qantas to both recognize and acknowledge the time delayed fitting of the new CFM 56-7B27 turbofans as being a worthwhile decision, as the statistics quickly showed the monetary savings in fuel burn and maintenance, over that of the original Soviet/Russian Soloviev D-30KP turbofans.
It did not take very long for Qantas to begin to gain a market share lead in heavy / outsized cargo air transport, even to the point that it began to squeeze out its primary competitor Volga-Dnepr’s.
In 2010, the CEO of Qantas, Peter Cosgrove, announced that with the findings of the Royal Commission into the disastrous 2009 ‘Black Saturday’ bushfires in Victoria, which shattered a nation with its vast devastation and loss of life, that Qantas Airlines would be purchasing as a donation to the people of Australia three Modular Airborne Fire Fighting System III (MAFFS III) for fitting and operating from its IL-76 aircraft so that in time of Bushfire season in Australia, they would act as Airborne Water Bombers, which will be able to deploy to any part of Australia, after a 1.5 hour installation time.
Each IL-76CFM can carry up to 49,000 litres (13,000 U.S. gallons) of water for Water Bombing (this is 3.5 times the capacity of the C-130 Hercules Waterbomber).
After some Australian aviation magazine backlash as to why Qantas did not select the C-17 conversion over that of the IL-76CFM, Peter Cosgrove personally answered this criticism by stating that the IL-76 design was a more rugged design, which could handle the rough field dispersal landing and take off in the Australian bush and outback, which it would need to carry out forward operation at remote location to both refuel in water/ fire retardant and fuel, without having to return to fixed runways/airports.
Also importantly incorporated into the IL-76CFM’s, but not taken at face value, was the removal of the Russian radar sets and their replacement by a Northrop Grumman APN-241 radar. This radar was critically important, for its terrain-following capabilities added an important safety feature into the fire-fighting mission of the IL-76CFM, when flying through the heavy blanketing smoke created by bushfires (it also add a commonality with RAAF C-130J and C-27J transport fleet!). Added to this blind-flying commodity, was the replacement of the ‘Candid’s superfluous lower radome with a fairing for a UV line scanner (forward) and a semi-retractable Wescam MX-20 E/O turret (aft). [Thanks’ Apophenia!]

As well as supporting firefighting in Australia, during the Australian bushfire season, Qantas IL-76 / MAFFS III crews would travel to the United States every year to train with U.S. Forest Service (USFS) aviation operations personnel, before Australian Bushfire season to ensure the proficiency.
The Qantas IL-76 / MAFFS III combination would go on to give much needed help fighting fires in both Australia and the Asia Pacific region.

Through these bold and forward looking efforts, Qantas was able to diversify its business, which was to go a long way in helping the airline through the world economic crisis, as well as re-earning the respect of the Australian public once again, through its humanitarian efforts 

P.S. When I originally did this backstory, it was supported/made by the wonderful profiles (An-124, C-17 and IL-76 Qantas profiles) by Maverick! Unfortunately, I no longer have copies of these profiles. I would also like to thank Apophenia for his recent contribution and awesome artist depiction of the Qantas IL-76CFM’s!

M.A.D
« Last Edit: March 01, 2016, 02:59:36 PM by M.A.D »

Offline apophenia

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Re: A New Qantas Airline
« Reply #1 on: February 25, 2016, 06:48:39 AM »
Good stuff! And inspiring too  ;)

Here's my take on the IL-76CFM: http://beyondthesprues.com/Forum/index.php?topic=351.msg103797#msg103797
Under investigation by the Committee of State Sanctioned Modelling, Alternative History and Tractor Carburettor Production for decadent counterrevolutionary behaviour.