Tag Archives: indonesia

Ferry Sunk

FerryA few weeks ago I posted about the “Timor Ferry“; a high speed Darwin-Bali ferry service which, it was claimed, would be operational by the end of the year. A comment from ednaxe (who I suspect might know a thing or two more about ferries than I do) about the original post seems to put paid to this suggestion in a most comprehensive manner:

The site claims that the ships were built in Hobart, Tasmania, indicating that they were built by Incat. First of all, Incat has a list http://www.incat.com.au/domino/incat/incatweb.nsf/v-title/Ships%20in%20Service?OpenDocument of all the ships they have built, indicating that they have only sold three ships to Condor, only two of which are as large as the Timor Ferry site describes, and all of which are still in service. Secondly, even if Timor Ferry did buy these ships from Condor, their maximum service speed is 40 knots, meaning the Bali-Darwin trip would take at least 24 hours. The site makes reference to “reclining seats”, but realistically such a service would need to retrofit the ferries with sleeping berths, greatly decreasing capacity. Thirdly, the fuel costs on such a long route would almost certainly make high-speed service unprofitable (Stena Line found even the 100nm Harwich-Hook of Holland route was too long for high-speed ferries to meet fuel costs).

Unfortunately, Timor Ferry sounds more like an attempt to scam some “investors” than a realistic proposal.

I think, in the absence of some startling evidence to the contrary this is dead in the water, as it were. Cheers ednaxe for clearing this up.

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Royal Brunei Deals from Sydney to Asia unti 31st of May

Royal Brunei has some decent deals ex Sydney to many Asian destinations until 31st of May, its last day of service to Australa.

From

To

One-Way Fare Starting From

Return Fare Starting From

Sydney

Brunei

AUD 254

AUD 395

Kota Kinabalu

AUD 276

AUD 452

Kuching

AUD 276

AUD 462

Singapore

AUD 350

AUD 550

Kuala Lumpur

AUD 350

AUD 551

Bangkok

AUD 362

AUD 569

Manila

AUD 362

AUD 544

Jakarta

AUD 362

AUD 544

Surabaya

AUD 362

AUD 544

Denpasar

AUD 362

AUD 544

Saigon

AUD 395

AUD 637

Via OzBargain

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You may have missed… (12th of April)

Baggage handlers claim QANTAS’ 32kg baggage limit is breaking their backs and that the maximum limit should be 16-20kgs. QANTAS, for its part, feels the baggage handlers are breaking its balls.

‘Since privatisation, Australian airports have increased operational revenue by 42 per cent while reducing operating costs, and made capital investments amounting to $2.3 billion’. Sydney Airport in particular is doing quite nicely off budget travellers, thank you very much.

The Federal Government has launched a review about, well, everything, to do with aviation in Australia.

Oasis Airlines, the ambitious long-haul budget carrier connecting Hong Kong with London and Vancouver, suddenly ceased operations this week when its owners decided that losing $128,000 USD per flight had lost its allure. The immediate liquidation left many passengers stranded and, because the airline was not an IATA member, it could effectively tell passengers to find their own way home.

Indonesia has withdrawn flight permits for grounded budget airline Adam Air, but the airline may re-apply for the routes at the end of the three-month ban imposed in March if it was found to have improved safety standards.

The Age has a rather optimistic article claiming that VAustralia entering the trans-Pacific market will lead to a ‘shake-up’ of fares on routes to LAX which reads not-at-all like a Virgin press release.

Frontier Airlines in the US has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The International Herald Tribune surveys the industries woes in the U.S.. One reaction from airlines – off-shore maintenance.

The perfect time for the lazy traveller to see Machu Picchu – the four day Inca Trail is trek booked out until the end of August.

Australian regional Mac Airlines has been purchased and the new owner plans to rebadge the airline ‘Ansett’, presumably having discounted PanAm, TWA and Compass.

The EU, in what is obviously some sort of mistake, has done something that may benefit consumers – oredering that passengers should actually be able to find out which items are prohibited in carry-on luggage.

Boeing’s Dreamliner will remain just that for the foreseeable future. The gnashing of teeth has begun and the lawyers are circling.

NYT examines inflation in South East Asia.

6 people were injured when currency exchange workers were robbed of $1m at gunpoint at Kuala Lumpur International Airport.

Virgin Blue signed an interline agreement with Vietnam Airlines.

Abu Dhabi-based Etihad expects to establish its third route to Australia within two years.

Laos highway number 3 will be paved, a move which could when completed ‘cut driving time between northern Thailand and southern China to less than a day’.

Wired asks if planes of the future will fly on pond scum.

The Age examines the dramatically shrinking numbers of European flag carriers flying to Australia in the last few years.

UPDATE

A rail connection to Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport will reportedly be operational from December.

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Darwin – Bali Ferry Service to Launch?

The Timor Ferry?

UPDATE

Please note ednaxe’s comment below which has convinced me at least that there’s no truth to this.

Darwin may have a sea-link with Bali if the oddly-named “Timor Ferry” makes it from website to actuality. The single-page site claims two state of art catamarans – capable of carrying 750 passengers to ply the 950-odd nautical mile journey across the Indian Ocean – have already been acquired. The service will travel daily between ‘Cullen Bay Marina in Darwin and Bali Benoa Marina in South Bali’ with plans to launch the service ‘towards the end of 2008’. No word on whether it would accommodate vehicles.

This single website is only mention I can find of any planned service.

This seems a strange turn of events, even given that tourist numbers have been recovering recently (including tourists from Australia – despite the Australian government continuing travel warnings against travel to Indonesia, notwithstanding Indonesian protests).

I would be surprised if there was sufficient demand to justify a passenger ferry link or if such a link were competitive with direct flights from other Australian capitals (even if fares have become reasonably steep with only Jetstar ploughing the route as a budget carrier).

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