John MacKenzie (and the grossly rotund morning host Michael Bailey) spent Wednesday morning spinning up the bullshit machine in support of Gavin King's announcement of Silk Air service to Cairns from Singapore.
King, along with tourism minister Jann Stuckey, all were reading from the same press release - "The first service from Singapore to Cairns since 2001, when Singapore Airlines ended service".
After reading what SILK AIR has to say about the service, it's much less than what has been hailed by the LNP spinmeisters.
Service from Singapore Airlines, cancelled in 2001 after 9/11, was non-stop service.
This Silk Air service (Silk Air, a subsidiary of Singapore Airlines) requires the time-consuming stop in Darwin. For the majority of travelers, this stop will be required in BOTH directions. We had this kind of "direct" service from Virgin Blue and Jetstar previously. Just what travelers to/from Cairns DON'T want - another stop on their flights to/from Europe.
This little factoid was conveniently left out of the announcement by Gavin "Don't Rape Me" King. Silk Air already serves Darwin Monday, Thursday, and Saturday with services that are generally heavily booked.
King and Stuckey then parroted another exaggeration lie - "this will add 20,000 seats per year to Cairns from Singapore". Well, actually not even close. Since the service is an extension to the current Singapore to Darwin service, many of the seats between Darwin and Cairns are guaranteed to be empty as the Darwin passengers (many of whom are transiting to other points in Australia) vacate their seats. Silk Air is not allowed to carry passengers between Cairns and Darwin (called "cabotage").
This is shaping up as a stinky deal, rushed into existence by an LNP desperate to put "runs on the board". Silk Air has apparently been given money (OUR money!) from the Attracting Aviation Investment Fund, the same bag of money that was used for China Eastern service to/from Shanghai. And we know how long THAT lasted.
Meanwhile other international airlines have been allowed to add services to Sydney and Melbourne without honoring the requirement that they offer "triangulated" service with Cairns (or other regional destinations) as a requirement of being given this new service. Just last month United Airlines began new nonstop Melbourne/Los Angeles service. Instead of overflying Cairns on this trip, wouldn't we see a lot more Yanks traveling to Cairns if they could use this service instead of having to backtrack to Sydney?
Cueball MacKenzie in his usually breathless spruiking for Gavin King and the LNP acted as if Moses had flown in from Singapore with the news. The facts of the announcement however are only a spit in the ocean, and this service is much less than needed. Sure, any additional service is important. But don't piss on our shoes and try to tell us it's raining.