Week on the web 29 April

Washington DC bureau reporter Edward Russell marked Earth Day with a look back at what seems like an impossibly distant past – when a US president flew commercial. In December 1973, Richard Nixon left his presidential Boeing 707 behind and bought 24 seats on United Airlines flight 55 from Washington Dulles to LAX, flown by a roughly 222-seat Boeing (then Douglas) DC-10. The aircraft, pictured above, carried the unique callsign “Executive One” while Nixon was on board. The president eschewed Air Force One to “set an example for the rest of the nation during the current energy crisis”. Modern security would no doubt prevent a repeat performance by Barack Obama but, muses Russell on the Airline Business blog, a ride to the airport via Washington’s Metro light rail system would make a conservation statement.

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