CEO of Qatar Airways Akbar Al Baker: “… we have no other alternative but to maximise the yield.”
(See translation in Arabic section)
Sydney - M E Times Int'l: The boss of Qatar Airways has urged the Federal Government to rethink its strict caps on incoming traveller numbers or the airline will cut flights to Australia.
The Doha carrier has kept up more flights to Australia than any other airline during the pandemic and has brought more than 180,000 Australians home.
But the thousands of travellers and expats still stuck abroad are facing increasing difficulties getting home as Australia’s strict limits on incoming arrivals – which restricts airlines from 25 to 60 passengers per flight – has intensified demand and seen prices skyrocket to as much as $10,000 a seat.
Qatar’s chief executive officer Akbar Al Baker has warned the airline may need to withdraw its 16-hour flights from Doha to Australia if the Federal Government doesn’t relax passenger caps.
“We have between 38 and 42 seats in our business class. Because we have such a limited number of passengers that we can carry, we have no other alternative but to maximise the yield that we get because you know very well Australia is at the end of the world,” he said.
Which restrictions in Victoria will ease from midnight
Victorians will notice small changes to their otherwise strict lockdown when it hits midnight on Monday.
Harsh stage 4 lockdowns had been drafted to end on Sunday, but Premier Daniel Andrews last week announced case numbers needed to be driven even lower before this happened.
“If we go too far too soon, the modelling also tells us we’d be on track for a third wave by mid-November,” he said last Sunday.
“That’d mean we’re back to where we are now, maybe even worse. Days, weeks, months of sacrifice – gone. Confidence for business – destroyed. More families suffering. More lives lost.
Gladys Berejiklian confirms she will work with Barilaro after koala policy coup
Sydney: NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian says it is her “responsibility to work with the leader of the Nationals” but pointed out the appointment of the deputy premier was not hers to make.
Her comments responded to Deputy Premier John Barilaro’s failed coup to overturn a Liberal party policy on koala conservation last week.
Mr Barilaro and his breakaway group of Nationals MPs ultimately backed down on Friday morning after a one-on-one meeting between the deputy premier and Ms Berejiklian.
During Sunday’s press conference the NSW Premier reinforced it was her job to "provide strong and stable government”.
“I am Premier of NSW, not one part of the state or another, but the whole state.
Federal budget next month will see 'big deficits out as far as the eye can see'
Canberra: Andrew Clennell says the budget next month will see “big deficits out as far as the eye can see”, adding an even bigger deficit than the $184 billion we saw in the budget update in July”.
“The political research tells the Federal Government at this stage in the crisis, the deficit figure does not even matter - all rules can be broken - and with the government indicating bringing forward income tax cuts and business investment tax breaks to stimulate the economy, it looks like even more spending is in store,” he said.
“Next year, the government believes, when things are hopefully better, the government will be under more pressure to behave like Liberals and start paying down the debt.”
Barilaro abandons Coalition threats
Sydney: The New South Wales Nationals are trying to recover after a fiery day in state politics over a koala protection policy.
Police Minister David Elliott is demanding leader John Barilaro step down, saying his actions are “unforgivable” and his position untenable.
Investors have 'largely left' property market
Sydney: Australia is yet to see the full impact of the coronavirus on the housing and rental market, as new data reveals how conversations about the property market have changed in the last six months.
REA Group Chief Economist Nerida Conisbee told media however investor activity remains very low.
“We can see enquiry levels are well down in every city,” she said. “At the moment the risk is highly concentrated.”
Palaszczuk 'has turned the borders into a political weapon'
Brisbane: Queensland’s Opposition leader says Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk needs to stop playing the victim because “she is not the victim here”.
Premier Palaszczuk said she would not bow to intimidation and bullying after the Prime Minister appealed to her to grant a young woman an exemption from hotel quarantine to attend her father's funeral.
“The victims are the people who are caught up in her political warfare over the borders and it’s just unacceptable,” she said.
The 26-year-old Canberra woman was blocked from attending her father’s funeral in Queensland on Thursday creating a national outcry.
"The Premier has turned the borders into a political weapon and it's just unacceptable," she said. Premier Palaszczuk was also accused of double standards after Hollywood star Tom Hanks and AFL executives were given special exemptions under state border laws. “We do need strong border controls, but we also need common sense, consistency and a bit of compassion,” she said. “The system is broken and needs fixing.”
California 'is a disaster' but the governor 'blames global warming and Trump'
James Morrow says California is the "progressive nightmare made real" and US President Donald Trump must highlight this every step of the way.
Fellow Rita Panahi said it has "just been a disaster in California at the moment," and that the California Governor Gavin Newsom hasn't taken any responsibility for what is taking place. "Not only did it have the massive bushfires, but they've had mass blackouts, they're completely dependent on renewables and it's not going well," Ms Panahi said. "But Gavin Newsom just blames global warming and Donald Trump".
US-Taliban peace talks resume following 9/11 anniversary
Following the 19th anniversary of the 9/11 terror attack which triggered a war between the United States and Afghanistan, long-awaited peace talks have resumed in an effort to end the fighting.
After a war which has killed tens of thousands of people, both parties appear to be looking for a peaceful solution to the violence.
Voter turnout and mail-in ballots to determine 2020 US election
Former Chief of Staff to Nancy Pelosi John Lawrence says the United States Presidential election outcome will be determined by voter turnout and mail-in balloting.
Mr Lawrence told media the polls have “remained remarkably consistent over the past several months”.
“Vice President Biden is somewhere around 8-8.5 points ahead in the national poll and somewhere around 4-5 per cent ahead in most of the frontline states," he said.
“The real question here is, is there anything the President is going to do that’s going to shake his 43-44 per cent? …and the same is basically true of Biden."