Jiml1126 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Posted (13 years 6 months 3 weeks 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 798 times:
In a blow to its ambitions of dominating Europe's skies, budget airline Easyjet has learned it will not be taking the Blairs on their summer holidays.
In late July, Downing Street announced that Tony Blair and his family were planning to use Easyjet to travel to the south-west of France - the first time the prime minister had travelled on a low-cost airline.
But it has now emerged that the prime minister will be travelling with Ryanair, the Irish airline which is Easyjet's main competitor in the cut-price market.
Easyjet had incorporated the Blairite seal of approval into its summer advertising campaign, adding the slogan "Even Tony Blair got a bargain this summer" to its distinctive orange posters.
An Easyjet spokeswoman was unable to confirm that the airline had been dropped by Number 10, pointing out that Mr Blair's ticket purchase would have been anonymous in any case.
But she said that the airline would be "disappointed" to lose his business.
"We were delighted at the publicity" when Mr Blair first decided to fly Easyjet, she said.
She speculated that multiple bookings may have been made for security reasons.
As for the losses incurred on the now-obsolete summer advertisements, the spokeswoman said the campaign was only ever intended to be short-term in any case.
Downing Street has not said why the Blairs have changed their minds about Easyjet.
Their decision to fly with a budget airline in the first place was justified because "it was convenient".
But Downing Street acknowledged that there had been criticism of the prime minister's decision to use the Royal Air Force to take his family on previous holidays.
Mark_D. From Canada, joined Aug 2001, 1447 posts, RR: 5
Reply 1, posted (13 years 6 months 3 weeks 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 773 times:
Maybe a little political signal to go with Ryanair, after all the Irish-British government work over the Northern Ireland Peace agreement. Or perhaps spreading the business and associations around, just so it'd look more like he wasn't in any conflict of interest with the Easyjet guys or anything. Maybe the Ryanair flight was simply the more convenient. Who knows, all kindsa possibilities.
Toady From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2001, 724 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (13 years 6 months 3 weeks 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 761 times:
No. More likely is that Ryanair (for the publicity to be gained from having a high profile passenger) offered Blair an entire aircraft for his exclusive use and promised to have it fitted with full leather upholstery, wall to wall Wilton carpet, Champagne by the bucket load, and a dozen FAs to tell him how wonderful he is.
His ego wouldn't let him take a bog standard Easyjet