Chapter 30

At first, there were two distinct areas: 1) Australia, New Zealand, and the Pacific Islands; i.e., Fiji, Samoa. This areas Salesman was Bill Kindle who had been handling the area for approximately four years. 2) The Philippines, New Guinea and Hong Kong. This area was handled by Helga Griesbeck. When I came on board, the cry was to get down to Australia; Trans Australia wanted to purchase the MD-80. So I packed my bags, got a passport, took my shots, grabbed Bill Kindel and took my first trip into the Pacific.

First, we met our Agent in Australia, Colin Macdonald and his Assistant, Leo Britt. Each of these will be covered as we go along. What I found at Trans Australia were a group of Government employees waiting for Frank Ball, the General Manager, to retire. They had recently put five Airbus A-300's into service which were too large of an aircraft for their route system. Even before they took delivery, they were trying to get rid of the aircraft. They had been criticized heavily for this decision and were not in the mood to make another decision, at least while Frank Ball was active. I also determined that there were indeed people who would like to see Douglas sell aircraft to TAA; however, there was a group in Management that were listening to Boeing. They were not anyway near ordering aircraft and, at least, Douglas equipment. I made an aggressive move at assisting to take the A-300s to try to stimulate them into replacing the aircraft with MD-80 aircraft, but this was a government airline.

Ansett, the privately owned aircraft and the leader in purchases of aircraft in Australia, had recently placed Boeing 767s on their system and, like Trans Australia, were attempting to dispose of the aircraft. However, they were not interested in the MD-80, being committed to the 737 aircraft. Without them, it would be a tough sale in Australia. Both of these carriers were located in Melbourne, a city in expanse similar to Los Angeles, but the climate of San Francisco. Sydney, where Quantas was located, was San Francisco with a Los Angeles climate. It was a beautiful and interesting city with a magnificent bay. Our visit to Quantas was about as successful as Trans Australia. Quantas was the International carrier for Australia and was deeply ensconced in the 747 program to meet their requirements. It was a pleasant meeting and seeing Sydney was a pleasure.