I’ve been grounded this week which, after a lot of travel, has been a real blessing. Aviation has been unavoidable however. Thursday’s long-awaited announcement that British Airways and Iberia are to merge (whilst maintaining their brand identities for route and landing slot reasons) seems to have been generally welcomed.
With little route overlap there is much sense in this ‘merger’ although as someone described it ‘it’s like two drunks propping each other up at a bar’. In otherwords they need to sort out their cost base and quality issues – quickly.
This seems to be only the beginning – a further ‘merger’ with American Airlines would see an airline which would dominate The Americas and Europe reaching into Asia from both sides.
The clichéd cries of foul come from Virgin’s Richard Branson. His entrepreneurial zeal always falls short of other players being able to adapt to a changing market place. It never ceases to amaze me that he is seen as the consumer’s friend.
So this looks like one takeoff that will happen – eventually. Not quite the status over at Everett, Washington State where Boeing continue to suffer more setbacks on the all ready 2 years late 787 program. Now delamination issues surrounding the composite materials being used throughout the airframe are causing concern. Without doubt this is going to be an excellent aircraft but the project management failures are worthy of a couple of text books.