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bastew
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BA/Virgin/BMI C1989

Sat Apr 07, 2012 12:07 pm

Hey guys,

Came across this really interesting clip from 1989 and the UK airline industry.

Includes interviews with all three of the airline CEO's: Sir Colin Marshall, Sir Michael Bishop, Sir Richard Branson.

So much has changed and so little has changed!

BMI is now being taken over by BA.

The need for a 3rd LHR runway was being highlighted on this clip!

BA talks of their aspirations of a single BA dedicated terminal at LHR.

SRB is talking of winning 'Airline of the year' and 'Best Transatlantic Airline'. As well as clips of him acting as Cabin Crew.

So who were the successful and not so successful? Would it have been forseen that BA/VS/BD are where we find them today?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CFy5PSF_OkI&feature=relmfu
 
virgincrew
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RE: BA/Virgin/BMI C1989

Sat Apr 07, 2012 1:01 pm

Love that clip - not much has changed I think lol

VS is still relatively small compared to BA, the same stories exist lol

SRB still does the dressing up thing and will still serve his passengers on flights.

The main change is the demise of BMI.
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tonystan
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RE: BA/Virgin/BMI C1989

Sat Apr 07, 2012 2:00 pm

Does Sir Dickey still write a personal letter to every passenger delayed over 90 minutes??? LOL!
My views are my own and do not reflect any other person or organisation.
 
virgincrew
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RE: BA/Virgin/BMI C1989

Sat Apr 07, 2012 2:52 pm

Quoting tonystan (Reply 2):
Does Sir Dickey still write a personal letter to every passenger delayed over 90 minutes??? LOL!

LOL I very much doubt it !  
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Btblue
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RE: BA/Virgin/BMI C1989

Sat Apr 07, 2012 3:06 pm

That's really cool and, I remember watching that very programme - I even cut my thumb while making a sandwich and still have the scar. All because I was distracted by the 747 taking off.

Nice find.
 
anstar
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RE: BA/Virgin/BMI C1989

Sat Apr 07, 2012 5:26 pm

Nice clip - Looks like the copnfig the LGW VS fleet are still in now before the refits :p

I like the bit where they mention AA as a big bad competitor to BA...

Ohh and the comment about BAA only being interested in being a shopping mall lol
 
virgincrew
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RE: BA/Virgin/BMI C1989

Sat Apr 07, 2012 5:28 pm

Quoting anstar (Reply 5):
Nice clip - Looks like the copnfig the LGW VS fleet are still in now before the refits :p

Don't think they are lol, the LGW fleet has been upgraded since then lol
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anstar
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RE: BA/Virgin/BMI C1989

Sat Apr 07, 2012 5:58 pm

Quoting virgincrew (Reply 6):
Don't think they are lol, the LGW fleet has been upgraded since then lol

lol - was just joking - you know I am a VS fan boy heheh

Just been watching the other parts of the series (thanks bastew for posting) really interesting to watch!

The delivery part in the 3rd part is quite interesting to watch all the little bits and bobs that need to be checked!
 
vv701
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RE: BA/Virgin/BMI C1989

Sat Apr 07, 2012 6:44 pm

The two BA 744s being 'deivered' to BA in the last few sccenes of the video are G-BNLA, which is now parked in the desert at VCV, and G-BNLC that was broken up at CWL last November.

That part of the video was shot on 30 June 1989. Although it shows BA Chairman, Lord King, receiving two sets of keys only 'LA was actually delivered that day. 'LC was not delivered until three weeks later on 21 July.
 
anstar
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RE: BA/Virgin/BMI C1989

Sat Apr 07, 2012 9:22 pm

Quoting VV701 (Reply 8):
and G-BNLC that was broken up at CWL last November.

Wash your mouth out! How can a beauty like that be broken up   Sad times...
 
CapEd388
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RE: BA/Virgin/BMI C1989

Sat Apr 07, 2012 11:25 pm

Quoting bastew (Thread starter):
So much has changed and so little has changed!

lol thats for sure lol.

Like someone mentioned before, VS is still small compared to BA, but still maintains relatively higher level of service compared to BA.

BA now has their own terminal at LHR

BD went from being an independent domestic carrier, to being a LCC subsidiary of LH to becoming part of BA....WOW! What a rollercoaster lol

There is one thing that i have been wondering for a long time and maybe some of you can help me out. What is the big deal with LHR and the 3rd runway? I know that this has been a big issue that even the PM talks about. I know it all has to do with politics, but can someone explain why they are against it.

Please forgive my ignorance on the topic. I need to read up on it.

[Edited 2012-04-07 16:25:50]
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Gingersnap
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RE: BA/Virgin/BMI C1989

Sun Apr 08, 2012 9:29 am

Quoting CapEd388 (Reply 10):

They're not so much against it now as they were in the past. Unfortunately, much of what politics in this country is about is how to score the most votes. It doesn't always matter whether certain policies are detrimental to industry, as long as they can ensure they will secure votes when it comes to election time.

That is just one part of it however. The other is this country's obsession with everything "green". Whether or not you believe in global warming isn't a factor here. However, the aviation industry in the country especially is unfairly targeted and singled out as a polluter. I don't have the source to hand, but I do understand that the aviation industry itself contributes to less than 5% of pollution worldwide. I would suspect that figure is similar on a national level as far as the UK is concerned.

However, aviation is taxed greatly and very little infrastructure is invested in to alleviate some of those problems. It's very much a financial decision on top of that. They understand that many people will not give up their holidays or business trips overseas, and thus the government can stand to make a lot of revenue out of the industry just by adding a bit of tax here and there.

The runway problem is also not helped by the various NIMBY projects set up around airports. Many of these projects it should be noted, are run by people who moved into the area well after Heathrow for example was almost running to capacity.
There are people as far the center of London who complain about the aircraft noise, and also want various arrival and departure routes to be changed. At an airport the size of LHR, you simply can not do this and then whoever else hears it will also be inconvenienced.
Everybody is just fighting for position, and at the moment the aviation industry in the UK is an easy target. Whether it's a pollution, price or noise based argument to name a few....it's so easy to "pick on" the aviation industry over here.

Massive investment is needed into existing and future infrastructure and there are so many pressures from various angles that are preventing that.
A simple runway extension at BHX for example, has taken years of planning and negotiating and it won't be ready for a few more years yet.
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planejamie
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RE: BA/Virgin/BMI C1989

Sun Apr 08, 2012 10:30 am

Nothing much has changed, BD was (pre-buy out) still "squeezed" on Domestic/European networks (BA have always been operating larger aircraft on the same routes as BD), VS still complain about the size of BA and act like they're the underdog. BA still buy the latest generation aircraft (albeit no longer being the first to), e.g. with the 767s and 777s (except the 777-300ER, they were a bit late with that one, and the 787 & A380)

To be honest, the only thing that has changed are who runs each airline (except VS), British Midland becoming bmi (with SK/LH having shares in it), BA became far larger and finally got it's own Terminal (however now I believe the share it with IB, so essentially IAG have their own terminal) and I can't see Richard writing a personal letter to each customer everytime there's a 90 minute delay (my parents were delayed at MCO in 1992 with VS for over 7 hours, the only thing they got out of it was a cheap dinner somewhere in MCO)

I feel that the British government was still as short sighted/stupid then as it is now as they recognised the need for a 3rd runway, before any green activists would block it, had they just gone ahead and built it there and then, I think there would be less of an issue today (then again, they might have been needing a 4th runway today!)
 
vv701
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RE: BA/Virgin/BMI C1989

Sun Apr 08, 2012 11:18 am

Quoting CapEd388 (Reply 10):
There is one thing that i have been wondering for a long time and maybe some of you can help me out. What is the big deal with LHR and the 3rd runway?

The big deal is what happened back in 1946. Then the British post-war government selected Heathrow as the future London Airport. (The previous London Airport had been at Croydon due south of central London but closer to the centre than Heathrow.)

When westerlies are blowing aircraft on final approach to LHR fly out of the stacks located to the north east of London at Ockham and the sotheast at Biggin Hill. They fly directly over the City of London where they turn to the west near to Tower Bridge and head effectively up the River Thames towards Heathrow.

As is true of virtually all significant conurbations with a long history of development, the poorer suburbs are upwind of the centre of the conurbation - in this case the London East End - because the aerial pollution from the conurbation blew in that direction. The more expensive, up market residential development - the West End - is, naturally, to the west. That area is blessed for the most part with westerly breezes and wind reaching it from open country brining fresh, unpoluted air. Note here that it is not coincidence that Buckinhham Palace, Hampton Court Palace and Windsor Castle - the existing or former Royal Residences - are all to the west of central London.

So the approaches to LHR from the east are over the City of London, the West End and the relatively affluent western London suburbs. Londoners whose homes are overflown by aircraft therefore have more money and are generally better organised to protest. Their votes are also valuable. So politicians make rash promises to gain those votes. These promises are basically to do nothing.

So if we go back to July 1958 we then had LHR as the main London Airport operating with three runways and Queen Elizabeth opening the newly constructed paved runway at LGW (where there had previously been a grass air strip). Since then the only thing that politicians have done about the rapidly growing demand for air travel in the southeast is talk about it (creating more hot air and pollurtion?).

Although the approaches to that new LGW east-west runway were over open country from both directions, country folk are also vocal, quite well off and also have valuable votes. So to get the locals to accept the new LGW runway back in the 50s the then government agreed that no additional runway could be built at LGW for at least 60 years ~(or before 2017).

Since the sole LGW runway was opened the shorter southwest-northeast LHR runway that, anyway, was only used when there were near gale force southwesterly winds and, when in use, effectively closed or significantly reduced the operational capacity of the two main LHR runways, has been closed. In the whole of the southeast of England the only new runway that has been constructed since the LGW runway is the rather specialised LCY runway. So that means the net number of operational metalled runways in southeast England has not increased by even one in over 50 years (since 1958).

Of course the ever growing demand for commercial air travel which hardly existed back in 1958 has required additional airport capacity. So pre-existing runways such as the single runway at STN that was constructed by the USAAF in the second world war as a logistics runway have taken up some of the demand.

The problem is therefore basically two fold:

LHR was built in the wrong place.

The population density in southeast England and particularly the London conurbation is too high and so contains too many voters.
 
commavia
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RE: BA/Virgin/BMI C1989

Sun Apr 08, 2012 12:05 pm

What an interesting documentary to watch (all five parts). I agree with others - definitely thought-provoking to consider how much has changed, and also how much has remained the same.
 
CapEd388
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RE: BA/Virgin/BMI C1989

Sun Apr 08, 2012 7:37 pm

Wow! Thank you gingersnap and VV701 for the great information.

You gave me a quick history lesson on LHR, I really appreciate it.

Its interesting to see how things work over there and how the airline industry is viewed by government and its citizens.

I found it sort of strange that they are being bullied for "polluting". Here in the U.S. airlines are not targeted for polluting, I mean we all know (government included) that airlines do contribute to the pollution problem, but we also know that it is a very very tiny percentage compared to cars, semi trucks and buses. I rarely see regular people attacking the airlines for polluting or for noise.

Another thing I found interesting is that they put so much national importance and attention to an airport runway. Like i said before, I remember watching a clip of David Cameron talking about the third runway and I remember thinking to myself "wow even he is getting involved?" We don't see that here in the U.S. I just cant picture Obama arguing about an additional runway at LAX or DFW or even IAD, this is not part of his job and he has 10 million other things to worry about. I also can't imagine a runway being a voting topic around election time. Here in the U.S., airports are part of the city and state and usually that's where it remains. The president would never get involved in something like this. People here in Texas have no business fighting or supporting or voting on an additional runway in LAX or ORD.

Another thing that surprised me is that there seems to be this battle between government and airlines. It seems like your government doesn't like that airlines too much. Here in the U.S. airlines have had their battles with the government, but things seem to be better now. Government does not go out of their way to bully the airlines. Even the president seems to support the airline industry especially United, being that it is headquartered in his home town.

When he visited Boeing a few weeks ago, he toured a 787 that belonged to United and in part of the speech he mentioned how he was cheering United or how he liked that specific 787 because it belonged to United and they are from Chicago. Pretty cool if you ask me.


I understand that the UK is way smaller than the U.S. and things work differently in both countries, but I just don't get it lol.

One thing both our countries do have in common is that people hate airlines. The difference is the reasons. People in the U.S. tend to dislike airlines primarily because of their crappy service, high fares and extra fees. People in the UK hate airlines primarily because they pollute and they make noise.

Thank you again gingersnap and VV701 for the great info. Very useful info. I found it interesting to learn how things work over there.
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vv701
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RE: BA/Virgin/BMI C1989

Mon Apr 09, 2012 2:22 pm

Quoting CapEd388 (Reply 15):
I found it interesting to learn how things work over there.

Thanks. In my opinion the most significant difference between the UK and the USA is space availability. We have a population (62 million) of one-fifth of that of the US. Yet the UK (94,247 square miles) is smaller than Colorado (104, 104 sq m). It is only 2.6 per cent the area of the USA (3,,618,766 sq m).

Like Colorado's Rocky Mountains, the UK has its own sparsely populated regions. They include the Scottish Highlands and Islands, the Lake District and Pennines in northern England and the Welsh Mountains. There are therefore huge pressures both to build on and not to build on green field sites in other more populous areas. The population is still expanding (from 58.7 million in 2001) and so much local land is already urbanised. In terms of the London area the population density has been variously assessed as being the third and the sixth highest in the world.

I believe the balance in views between a third LHR runway and its replacement by a new airport in the Thames Estuary has yet to be realistically established.

The third runway option would require the destruction of the village of Sipson and around 600 home. It would also increase noise pollution over west London.

The construction of a new airport would move 76,500 LHR on-airport jobs away from Heathrow. It would reduce off-airport direct and indirect jobs that would simply disappear. It was recently estimated that 220,000 such jobs were dependent on just long-haul flights out of LHR The local area would loose, for example, its status as a major hospitality industry centre as many hotels closed. This site lists what it calls 125 "Heathrow Hotels":

http://www.laterooms.com/en/p1291/pv...=vyxPguxKWBkAAIJv:20120409140354:s

although some are not exactly just down the road from the airport. However each one is likely to see at least some loss of business and most would likely close.

It is also not a coincidence that many multinational corporations have a significant local presence. Glaxo-Smith-Kline are HQed at Brentford, BSkyB are at Osterly, BP have a significant presence at Sunbury and, of course, BA are at Harmondsworth, all close to Heathrow. Many years ago my own American then employer moved its European HQ and my job from central London to Hammersmith, just down the M4 from Heathrow.

I do not think the environmental impact of the estuary airport has yet been fully evaluated. The proposal includes an estuary barrier. How that would effect both estuary wildlife and the tides and therefore the flooding of land areas to the east of the barrier has not yet, to my knowledge, yet been fully understood. (I believe the barrier is necessary to protect the proposed airport from a tidal surge like that of 1953 in which 1,836 people died. The casualties were mainly in Zeeland in the Netherlands. But they included 307 in England, primarily on the north side of the Thames estuary.)

I also think there must be some doubt about costings of the proposed estuary airport. Its proponents are quoting a figure of £20 billion to build an airport to handle 150 million passengers a year. They also quote a further £20 billion to be spent on new ground transport infrastructure to get passengers and employees to and from the airport and £10 billion on other infrastructure that presumably includes homes, schools and other facilities for the 100,000 airport employees and their families and the 250,000+ direct and indirect off-airport jobs that would be created in Kent and Essex to the south and north of the airport.

£20 billion to build the proposed airport seems to me (with no expertise in the area of construction costs) to be a very low figure . Why? Well compare £20 billion to recover land from the sea, build an estuary barrier and construct a four-runway airport to handle 150 million passengers with the actual cost of LHR T5. With construction starting in 2002 it cost £4 billion. With actual inflation that £4 billion would be £5.2 billion if construction started today.

T5 is only big enough to handle 35 million passengers a year. So, the proposed airport will need four and one quarter times the terminal capacity to handle the proposed passenger numbers. Pro rata, (with an allowance for inflation over the ten years since the construction of T5 started), that cost would be £22 billion in today's £s. That leaves less than nothing to recover the land from the sea, build 4 runways, build all the associated taxiways and construct all the other necessary airport infrastructure. That infrastructure would range from a control tower to aircraft maintenance and cargo handling facilities and all the office accommodation for the desk jobs at the airport plus the usual facilities required at all airports such as car parks. And , of course, the estimated cost does not include the additional off-airport investment in facilities like new hotels without which the airport could not function properly.

In addition to these costs there would be the investment required in the Heathrow area in order to stimulate the economy following the sudden loss of several hundred thousand jobs and the impact on, for example, the local real estate market.
 
Gingersnap
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RE: BA/Virgin/BMI C1989

Mon Apr 09, 2012 2:41 pm

Quoting CapEd388 (Reply 15):
Thank you again gingersnap and VV701 for the great info. Very useful info. I found it interesting to learn how things work over there.

Pleasure.

My view is that of a more outsider take on things, and I formed my own opinions based on what I've read and heard.

VV701 is certainly a much better source of information than myself, but my pleasure all the same.
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sq_ek_freak
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RE: BA/Virgin/BMI C1989

Mon Apr 09, 2012 2:54 pm

Quoting CapEd388 (Reply 10):
Like someone mentioned before, VS is still small compared to BA, but still maintains relatively higher level of service compared to BA.

Let's agree to disagree on this one  
Keep Discovering
 
CapEd388
Posts: 182
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RE: BA/Virgin/BMI C1989

Mon Apr 09, 2012 3:56 pm

Thanks again VV701 for the info.

I have a couple questions for both you and gingersnap.

First, What are the political parties (politicians) that are FOR and AGAINST the 3rd runway?

What side typically supports the airlines and what side is typically against them?

I would also be interested to know how you both feel about the 3rd runway? What side do you support?

Quoting sq_ek_freak (Reply 18):
Let's agree to disagree on this one  

lol I should take my statement back because to be honest, I have never flown with neither BA or VS. So i really do not have the right to decide who is better, but I am going by what I see and hear.

[Edited 2012-04-09 08:57:35]
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Gingersnap
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RE: BA/Virgin/BMI C1989

Mon Apr 09, 2012 6:14 pm

Quoting CapEd388 (Reply 19):
First, What are the political parties (politicians) that are FOR and AGAINST the 3rd runway?

I can pretty much answer this one. None of top 3 political parties are totally keen on the idea, and are only reviewing it through pressure and economic reasons.
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vv701
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RE: BA/Virgin/BMI C1989

Mon Apr 09, 2012 11:32 pm

Quoting CapEd388 (Reply 19):
First, What are the political parties (politicians) that are FOR and AGAINST the 3rd runway?

The last Labour government had all but given final approval to a third runway.

The Conservative Party tried to take political advantage of this by declaring in their manifesto before the last election that they would scrap the plan.

The Liberal Democrats have always been vehemently opposed to a third runway,

Conservative Lord Mayor of London - arguably the second most powerful political office in the UK - is the original proposer of what is sometimes called 'Boris Island'. He is facing an election next month.

It has been reported that one of the conditions that the Conservatives agreed with the Liberal Democrats when they formed the current Coalition Government was no third runway.

The Conservative party now appears to be wavering slightly. They declared they would produce a paper reviewing possibilities for a future national aviation policy but it would exclude any reference to a third Heathrow runway. This caused outrage amongst key industrial and business leaders who argued how could the UK economy recover if we only had limited flights to the BRIT (Brazil, Russia, India and China) countries and all were from Heathrow.

If you have a few minutes this article is worth reading:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/n...s-aviation-U-turn-on-Heathrow.html

However I think 'U-turn' is a bit strong. My own assessment is that his previous position has softened a little. But we will certainly see little if any evidence of this until after the upcoming local elections including that of the London Mayor.

Quoting CapEd388 (Reply 19):
I would also be interested to know how you both feel about the 3rd runway? What side do you support?

I moved to my current home in January 1971. It was a new build and when I first became interested in buying it in 1969 it was proposed to build a new London airport at Cublington / Wing just 12 miles to the north, That was rejected. Since then we had had five different proposals for Thames estuary airports, Maplin / Foulness in the early 70s, Sheppey in the 90s, Cliffe in the early naughties, Shivering Sands in 2008 (the original Boris Island) and the current proposal named Thames Hub, also referred to as Boris Island and located at the Isle of Graon / Hoo Peninsula. In between we have had proposals for second runways at STN, LGW and even LTN.

Whatever eventually happens it will not be a timely solution. Although a third LHR runway is not an ideal solution it is the one I now favour because I believe it could be completed more quickly than any of the other numerous proposals and is likely to be the most cost effective.

Quoting CapEd388 (Reply 19):
What side typically supports the airlines and what side is typically against them?

Industry and business support aviation and the third runway. Labour were in favour of the third runway but never seem to say anything about it now. All politicians seem to me to speak as if the only polluter of the atmosphere are commercial aircraft. Hence APD (Air Passenger Duty) which is escalating the cost of flying. But perhaps with my interests I~ am showing a bias.

Here is a possible scenario: British politicians will wake up when the economy recovers and the voter feels more confident about the future. He or she will then look to book overseas holidays in increasing numbers but find they cannot afford the air fare because of taxes and fuel surcharges. All of a sudden being anti-aviation become a vote loser. Or possibly it will be pigs that fly. Who knows?
 
CapEd388
Posts: 182
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RE: BA/Virgin/BMI C1989

Tue Apr 10, 2012 1:35 am

Quoting gingersnap (Reply 20):
Quoting VV701 (Reply 21):

  

Thanks again for your input Gingersnap and VV701, really appreciate it. I find all the info very interesting.

Thanks for the links VV701.

It seems like it is going to be an issue that will be discussed and discussed for years to come. Its like the high speed train proposal over here in the states. Whenever it comes to very big (controversial) proposals, you can bet that the politicians will debate about it for years and years.

Well, heres hoping that your government decides on something soon.

Thanks again for the info.


  
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heebeegb
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RE: BA/Virgin/BMI C1989

Tue Apr 10, 2012 8:36 am

Does he still want phone calls when any of his flights are more than 90 minutes delayed and wrote a personal letter to every passenger to apologise I wonder?
 
anstar
Posts: 3361
Joined: Sun Nov 23, 2003 3:49 am

RE: BA/Virgin/BMI C1989

Tue Apr 10, 2012 8:44 am

Quoting heebeegb (Reply 23):
Does he still want phone calls when any of his flights are more than 90 minutes delayed and wrote a personal letter to every passenger to apologise I wonder?

Probably not as Chairman... wasnt he the CEO back in those days with a much more hands on approach?
 
eg777er
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RE: BA/Virgin/BMI C1989

Tue Apr 10, 2012 9:15 am

These videos are part of the 'Airline' documentary from the BBC in 1990. This episode is 4 of 4. 1 of 4 is 'Jet Jockeys' which you can also find on Youtube. Episode 3 was "Kings Way" about Lord King, and episode 4 was "Mission to Sell" about product and service.

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