Customers of British Regional Airports
- be afraid, be very afraid
The 16th November 1997 marked the end of an air link between Inverness and Heathrow Airport (London's number one airport and a major world wide hub).
We are left with "Ghastly Gatwick", smaller planes, broken schedules, endless problems and a mess which, according to a British Regional Airways spokeswoman (Sue Redmond) has "[no] quick fix solution"! Well, thanks for nothing Mr. Ayling (Chief Exec - BA).
If you fly out of other Scottish airports, or even some regional English and Welsh ones, then don't feel to sure about your own future. You'd do well to note that Mr. Ayling declined to guarantee Aberdeen's future when he appeared before The House of Commons Scottish Affairs Committee on 12 November 1997...
Our slots at Heathrow, so vital to the growing but fragile Highland economy, have been grabbed away by a monopoly sized airline that seems to put its shareholders before the country at large. Flights into European destinations are stated as being a more "profitable" use of Heathrow space - so Aberdeen Airport and others should be extremely worried. After all, their slots can also be grabbed away in a flash and then all that beckons is Gatwick.
British Airways can pretty much do whatever it likes because it would seem that The Right Honourable Glenda Jackson MP, Transport Minister, hardly even knows where remote areas like Inverness are on the map, let alone cares about their difficulties. Life in London's Islington and Hampstead evidently doesn't depend on a conscientious national flag carrying airline.
This is what happens when essential services are privatised with no thought to controlling the future actions of senior management seemingly bent on maximising profits, whatever the social cost. Mr. Ayling, Chief Executive of British Airways naturally has BA's share price on his mind. It would be nice if he would explain just how much or how little he earns from the changing fortunes of that share price. We think that Inverness has simply found itself at the sharp end of a Tory policy of super-privatisation that has come home to roost. And, sadly, we can't see any relief coming from our New "Labour-ish" government.
Look out Scotland, England and Wales. We can't see that there is very much British about British Airways.
The world's favourite airline? Not here.