Did he really mean to say that? This week's Strange news rounds up some rather strange comments made by prominent figures in the airline industry.
Topping the Strange list is Israeli carrier, El Al. The airline’s CEO Eliezer Shkedi, is trying to fight off a parliamentary move to strengthen air travelers rights to compensation. Airlines in big alliances have workarounds, in case of delays, so the risk of having to pay compensation is reduced, he argues. So why not join an alliance? Shkedi says "we are unable to join any alliance because we're Jews, not due to any economic reason", says the Globes web site. Oy Vey.
Activist shareholder Stelios Haji-Ioannou, who continues to take EasyJet’s chairman, Michael Rake, to task for “paying too much for the new Airbuses and handing out fat-cat bonuses to a handful of executives” has described the airline’s treatment towards him as “like one of Putin’s elections in Russia,” according to Travel Weekly. His comments came ahead of this week’s annual general meeting of the airline’s shareholders, at which Haji-Ioannou says the airline tried to find a legal loophole to block him from voting.
Richard Branson last week complained to the European Commission about IAG’s deal to take over British carrier BMI from Lufthansa, says AFP. Branson argues that domestic U.K. routes would become British Airways monopolies and that competition would be eradicated to some European destinations, taking “British flying back to the dark ages”. Virgin Atlantic’s own commitment to domestic and European routes is so strong that it has a grand total of: ZERO services to these destinations.
Just hours before Air Australia was permanently grounded, the airline’s chief executive, Michael James, in a “Message from Michael”, told staff to “ignore speculation” that the airline was in trouble, saying it was “business as usual”, according to the Sydney Morning Herald. Just hours later, the airline collapsed and Michael is still nowhere to be found, says the paper.
For our F1 friends, Tony Fernandez may have hade to change the name of Team Lotus on his F1 cars for the 2012 season to Caterham Racing, but the AirAsia founder has not quite let go off the old name. The Team Lotus name, for now, lives on, at least on a lone A320 spotted here at the Kuala Lumpur LCC terminal.
And finally, ever wondered what a crumbling helicopter looks like? The Telegraph has footage of a Brazilian rescue helicopter that fell apart on landing. Watch it here.