Wednesday, March 11, 2009

BA London City Airport First Class Flights In Exchange for First Class Pollution in East London

BA have launched the first look at the new 32-seat aircraft interior cabin layout of the all-business Airbus A318s it will use on transatlantic routes from London City Airport.

"That's our new cabin, that's the London City product that will come on line in the autumn," said Silla Maizey.

Can't say we've noticed that the Civil Aviation Authority have given this jet approval to fly from London City Airport to date - probably because they haven't. Still Silla, an accountant has to try to look on the bright side when the economy is threatening every thread of BA's business.

We note Silla doesn't have to live under a flight path and that her two dogs and cat can breathe air less toxic than a 4 year old has to breathe around Drew Primary School. Lucky her! What is funnier is that Silla is head of BA corporate responsibility. So what do Silla and British Airways say to the children who go to the school which is less then 600 yards from where their polluting planes take off? Or to the highest mortality rates in asthma sufferers under 30 in Newham in the whole of the country? It's all just an inconvenient truth to British Airways no doubt. Or is it as simple as sending the London City Airport Barney the Bear to the class room with a handful of logo'd LCA sweatshirts?

British Airways don't give a stuff about communities affected by their activities, a bit like Richard Gooding of London City Airport and Sir Robin Wales and the Newham elected labour councillors - they do not care that residents are dying premature deaths in London from toxic air pollution, and that children's development is being affected so much so that schools around the airport all have children with above average levels of learning difficulties.

But this plane is for the uber-rich. 32 seats and tickets wont be cheap (unless you are a lucky Newham Councillor who receives free flights from the airport). So who cares about the most socially deprived borough in the country which so far has benefited from just 120 directly employed airport jobs in 20 years of operation of the airport?

As usual BA and LCA are off the mark. Only a few days ago BA cancelled its Dublin route and then admitted it is set to make two years of losses running into several hundred millions of pounds after an unprecedented 20% collapse in passengers travelling in first and business class, the cabins where it makes most of its profit. But of course, apparently they only cancelled the Dublin route due to the crash at the airport and the investigations that continue into the BAE146's that have taken some out for checks. So we'll be expecting to see the British Airways Dublin route re-scheduled as soon as they have all been serviced then, right? We don't think so!

No mention of any cancellations on the London City Airport web of spin, only preferring to announce positive spin. No mention anywhere of the two crashes , route cancellations or Flasher the Angry Swiss Air Pilot.

Even more shocking is the environmental impact that this jet will allegedly have. The Business Travel Research Centre at Cranfield University in the United Kingdom found that the carbon emissions level from first class may be more than double of those of passengers in the economy section.

More harmful pollution over East London and those primary school children just a few minutes walk from the runway - still when there's money to be made - that's nothing to worry about at all in the world of aviation!! It's a small price, especially when it is the state that picks up the bills, and the pieces.

We look forward to seeing how the airport will be spinning this. But maybe its ok - Perhaps Hill And Knowlton are about to help them out seeing as the last few months have been a PR disaster for them.