You remember the tale of Sarah Bennett who innocently asked on Pprune "Does anyone remember my Dad?" He died in a Vulcan accident. (You can refresh your memory here.) Well, today was the day of the anniversary and below is the remarkable story of what happened.
January 2008 Archives
As a journalist I'm usually the one being accused of misquoting, quoting out of context, making up quotes, etc, etc, generally by people who said something to me that they afterwards regret. Well, I've got reasonable shorthand and I don't often get a quote wrong - but once in a while I have misunderstood what somebody meant, and in that case I hope I've always done the right thing and corrected it. But now I'm on the receiving end. And I really didn't say what the Cape Times of South Africa says I said.
London-based tabloid The Sun has got hold of a remarkable picture of the moment of the impact of the British Airways 777 as it touched down short of the runway at Heathrow last week. The story that goes with it will give you a chuckle.
I very much doubt it. You can read all about it at this special BALPA site. The boring reason is that there is considerable room for compromise, and the interesting reason is that I don't think the pilots are up for it. (This is all about merging - or not - seniority lists; and the terms under which mainline pilots might transfer to OpenSkies - and eventually the other way round.)
Way back in my early blogging days I wrote about the BA crew who suffered a near total loss of flight instruments in an Airbus A319 near London and happily carried on to their destination in Budapest when the fault mysteriously fixed itself. British investigators were, ahem, a mite surprised by the decision and even more so by the fact that nobody told them about it. Their report is out.
I think it's fair to say that Mike Stoddart was not the highest-profile analyst in the UK before Monday this week, and in aviation nobody knew him at all. But they do now. Mr Stoddart, of Daniel Stewart Securities, is the man who this week knocked more than a quarter of the value off premium-class transatlantic carrier Silverjet with a single devastating note to investors. He says Silverjet will inevitably fail, which has the virtue of clarity at least.
Iberia at Bilbao. Tengo control!
Press release heading from Austrian Airlines: CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER THOMAS KLEIBL TAKES INITIATIVE IN AMICABLE CANCELLATION OF HIS BOARD OF MANAGEMENT CONTRACT
So that's cleared that up then.
I confess to being genuinely surprised by this, Airbus' 2007 numbers are out and they've come in at 1,341 net orders versus Boeing's previously announced 1,413. The gross figures are 1,458 for Airbus and 1,423 for Boeing - but presumably the detail that will shortly be available will show that all the jiggery-pokery with the A350 makes those numbers largely irrelevant. (I don't have a lot of choice in confessing to my surprise, as my prediction is a matter of public record.)
For veterans of the end of year numbers game - and game it is - the really interesting thing is that Airbus is no longer playing.
Choosing to launch its mainland European subsidiary OpenSkies through the medium of a blog looks to be paying off nicely for British Airways - a day later they've got 53 comments! And they're virtually all positive, some wildly so.
And so is the A380, and the Boeing 747, and the A320, and....well, you get the idea. Everyone is suddenly interested in this question because of articles like this one on Associated Press which were sparked by this FAA regulatory filing. Some pretty staggering nonsense has been written about the issue since, including by people who should know better. There has also been the occasional sensible comment.
Showing himself to be the very model of a modern airline CEO, Dale Moss has gone public with British Airways' new operation from 'somewhere in Europe' to 'the New York area' by launching a blog. And he's done it primarily in the USA (in the sense that that's where all the contact details apart from the London snail-mail address are listed.)
It all began just about a year ago when a lady in England called Sarah enquired on Pprune "Does anyone remember my Dad?" It took a while to get going, but now Sarah knows more about her Dad than she probably expected, and certainly has a whole new understanding of the remarkable circumstances of his very sad death. It turned out to be yet another tale in the inexhaustible history of the Avro Vulcan.
There's a lot of talk about how Airbus will probably use some of its Chinese memoranda of understanding on 160 aircraft to get past Boeing's remarkable 2007 sales figure of 1,413 net orders. In fact, talking to the Seattle Times, Scott Carson gets mildly irritated about the whole thing. But my colleague Max Kingsley-Jones has done a nice piece of analysis showing that Airbus doesn't necessarily need those China aircraft to get ahead.