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Showing posts from March, 2020

Farewell to the Qantas 747

Isolating ourselves from the scourge of COVID-19, borders closed between states and other countries, even a simple drive of a few kilometres can become a noteworthy journey. What drew me out of the house was another casualty of the pandemic. The Boeing 747 has played a huge role in the history of Qantas, spanning a period of forty-eight years. This year marks the airline's centenary, but sadly there is little to celebrate now. By the end of tomorrow they will have no more international flights until restrictions are lifted, most of their workforce stood down. Today likely marked the final scheduled passenger flight of the 747 for Qantas, QF28 in bound from Santiago, Chile. They had already announced that the Queen of the Skies was to be retired this year , but no doubt had planned a greater celebration of its most famous aircraft. Instead, any celebrations must have been muted, with passengers whisked away to hotels for a mandatory two weeks of isolation. But I could

The Silence of the Skies

The aspect of the coronavirus pandemic lock down that frustrates me the most isn't the isolation from other people. Neither is it the inability to leave the house. It's the silence of the skies. As the border restrictions bite and the Qantas Group and Virgin Australia prepare to stop regular flights overseas and cut domestic frequency, other airlines have also culled their flights into and out of Australia. The near constant music of aircraft across the sky has fallen to an occasional distant hum. The rainbow parade of liveries has disappeared to white and red, the odd orange and silver. The variety of shapes and types shrinking, the queens of the sky stuck on land. Sadness as old favourites may never fly again. Fear for what the future holds. And all those people left without jobs. I cannot even go there. I have a love-hate relationship with flying. At its worst there overwhelming anxiety of turbulence and the tedium of being trapped in a small tube with no hope