Okay, up until a year ago, you mention double-dip, and I think of that episode of Seinfeld when George breaks social etiquette norms again by dipping a potato chip (okay, crisp), taking a bite, and dipping the chip again. But double-dip these days means the uncertainty surrounding the economic recovery in Europe and the US.
While in London for the formal unveiling of their transatlantic joint venture with Iberia (read more here), American Airlines and British Airways bosses Gerard Arpey and Willie Walsh were both asked for their takes on the state of the recovery. And while hardly jumping up and down and generating a wave of feel-good optimism that the good times are here, both did at least believe things are improving and do not see signs a double dip recession is on the way for either Europe or the US. Here is what they had to say:
Willie Walsh (after BA's September premium traffic grew 4.3%)
"They [September traffic results] were clearly positive from a premium volume point of view and that's very encouraging to see. As well as seeing positive volumes in our premium cabins, we also continue to see a more positive yield environment in the premium and non-premium classes So things have improved from where they were 12 months ago, but it is an improvement off a very low base and we are still a long way away from where we were in the peak. But there is no question in my mind that things are improving and that the general economic environment continues to move forward, in some cases moving forward at a slower pace, but it is moving forward and I'm not seeing any evidence to support concerns that are being expressed in some quarters of a double dip."
"Clearly business has improved and we have seen return of business traffic, and that is encouraging. The industry has always been and remains, highly dependent on the economies around the world. I'm encouraged that it increasingly doesn't look like we
are headed for a double dip in the US, and that is encouraging, but I would have to describe the recovery as fragile and heavily dependent on economic activity in the US and around the world."
And for those of you not familiar with George and the double-dip, here's the exhange from Seinfeld.
[At a wake (!): George takes a chip from the bowl, dips it, takes a bite, and then dips again. Timmy (the brother of George's girlfriend) hurriedly comes over.]
TIMMY: What are you doing?
TIMMY: Did ... did you just double-dip that chip?
GEORGE: Excuse me?
TIMMY: You double-dipped the chip!
GEORGE: "Double-dipped"? What are you talking about?
TIMMY: You dipped the chip. You took a bite. And you dipped again.
TIMMY: That's like putting your whole mouth right in the dip! From now on, when you take a chip - just take one dip and end it!
GEORGE: Well, I'm sorry, Timmy ... but I don't dip that way. [George takes a chip]
TIMMY: Oh, you don't, huh?
GEORGE: No. [dips the chip] You dip the way you want to dip ... [takes a bite of the chip] I'll dip the way I want to dip. [double-dips the chip]
TIMMY: Give me the chip! [Grabs George and the chip goes flying.] Give me the chip! [George and Timmy start to struggle.]