With summer 2010 set to be marked by repeated airspace shutdowns and airline strikes, suddenly that trip to Cornwall in a caravan looks like a winning alternative to spending hours trapped in an airport terminal.
Yup, that’s right. The most hated and ridiculed carrier on the entire continent is the best. The uber-loathed, toilet-charging, seat-removing Michael O’Leary leads an airline that carries more passengers, makes more money and is worth more than any other airline in Europe.
British Airways has become a real chatterbox of late.
Chief Executive Willie Walsh is attempting to stage a recovery from a year of record losses and a business-class focus that has proven rather ill-suited to a recession. He has been scaring staff and shareholders rigid with his ‘fight for survival’ rhetoric, but how does he plan to wage this battle?
He’s not just flying to New York to host his airline Virgin Atlantic‘s 25th birthday party. It’s champagne at breakfast, girls on stilts, and a stroll out onto the wing of a plane carrying supermodel Kate Moss.
Recent weeks have seen smatterings of good economic news. Sectors that took the full weight of the recession last year said they were staggering to their feet now spring is here.
When the government established the British Airports Authority in 1965, its aim was to make airports more flexible and profitable. Profitable they may have been but flexibility is not something that Britain’s larger airports are renowned for.