03 March 2011

Ryanair - Looking At All Options

Ryanair is not letting the moss grow under its feet. Having been spurned by Boeing while it ponders what to do with its aging 737 - clearly Airbus is not biting yet either with the A320NEO; so what other options does the spunky Irish LCC have at its disposal?

Well the answer is several.

At the moment there is no need for either of the two big boys to play the Two Michaels game. With Fuel Prices at nearing historical heights due to the conflicts in the Middle East Region - there are many others looking to cut deals to meet Ryanair's demands for a low cost aircraft. Remember that Ryanair is still shopping a 300 plane order. Probably the largest order for jet aircraft ever. As I wrote in January this is a story that will run for a bit.

So now the Michael Crawley (Ryanair #2 man) has hinted at the Russians or the Chinese as options. The Bombardier or the Embraer aircraft are likely to be a bit too small for the pack 'em in crowd.

So I have a suggestion - and I am prepared to throw my hat into the ring with another idea.

Re-engining Low Time MD80/90s and B717s with a GTF engine. There is a huge number of these aircraft. The total cost of this process would be about half of the new aircraft in small numbers - in volume the savings could rise to about 60% or more for a fuel load penalty of perhaps 10 - 5% over the existing 737NGs. Another factor in its favour is that they come in varying size which would enable FR to serve additional smaller markets. I thought about 737 Classics and NGs but the cost to re-engine these machines while attractive requires the addition of fixing the undercarriage which has so far stumped some of the best minds.

Just a thought.


When a Blogger Courts Attention - a Cautionary Tale - and a Promise.

With thanks to one of the Professors for bringing this story to my attention.

There is a Blogger who seems to have led a rather charmed life and done an incredible amount of things. At least by his own reports. The web has a way of exposing the truth. And lord knows we are all guilty of transgressions (and yes I am a sinner). But so far no one has started a blog that specifically targets me personally for something I may or may not have done. But it seems this blogger in question has done just that.

So I bring this cautionary tale to my adoring readers (you do adore me don't you! ;-) as what happens when you upset the delicate atmosphere of the Blogsphere.

The blogger in question is Flying with Fish. He has apparently transgressed so badly that he now has his own site of detractors. He has even done something so bad as to have had his Twitter account suspended (and then reinstated).

I bring this to the Professor's readers so that we can know that when you do something that other people don't like for what ever reason then you had better be prepared to accept the consequences. Social Media has some really great attributes but it is still the wild west. Journalistic ethics are often ignored and never enforced. in my view one must be careful as to what you say and how you express it.

This blog is about opinion. I cover a narrow area related to Aviation Travel and Tourism. Note that I also write for other sites and have to conform to their principles and guidelines. Everyone should always try and stick to the moral high ground. Spelling and Grammar may occasionally be off the mark - and for that I will apologize.

But let us all do what is the right thing. We need to stick to being good and doing no evil and decidedly not to target others for our own personal gain or profit. Dear Reader know that I will try and do that and continue to bring the thousands of you who read this blog the best that I can. On that you have my word.


The Battle for Video Standards puts Google as The White Knight - but is that a good thing?

I am never happy with the big guy and usually in favour of the little guy. There is now a battle royal brewing over the standards of video on the web that you and I watch every day.

Frankly I detest the idea of patent hoarders (greenmail is the nicest thing you can say about the process). But also I recognize the importance of Intellectual Property and its protection.

IP is governed by an imperfect set of rules and regulations. Not least of which because IP is so easily transported across jurisdictions and the legal systems do not match that. So to say that the law has not kept up is an understatement.

I wont bore you with the details - the WSJ has done a good enough job of explaining the battle between the current collective standard representing some 1700 Patents that are collectively the high-definition video encoding standard known as H.264. Google is promoting the alternative as VP8 for which it paid $125 million.

The issue is whether anyone should be allowed to control video. Clearly Google didn't buy the standard just for altruistic reasons. So there is no reason to pity the poor little rich boys and girls at the Googleplex. But this has become political with now the politicians stepping into the game to ask the question as to whether there is funny business going on between the collective managed by the MPEG LA group and Google.

Tsk Tsk - I dont think the law should get involved in this fight. This is a no harm crime at the moment. Google can take its knocks. Let them use some of the rest of their cash pile to address the issue. And then leave our politicians alone to do their usual work of stuffing the general populace.


Olympic Comes Out Swinging Against the EC

Olympic was initially thwarted in its proposed merger with Aegean. Now it has made its response clear.

It is pulling back from highly competitive markets and moving instead to bolster its near and domestic market.

As reported in Flight, they will close several major routes including London, Vienna Brussels and Paris. This essentially means that the former national Greek carrier has retrenched from most Western Europe markets with the exception of Amsterdam.

This is somewhat sad as OA was once the pride of Greece.

02 March 2011

The Case For Consumer Protection UK vs Australia

There is a certain amount of cheering going on as a result of the IRISH (that is not a misprint) beating the English at Cricket in the World Cup. The shock defeat was not due to just poor performance by the English - but rather a stunning performance by the minnows from the Emerald Isle. Congrats to the Pink Haired Mr Kevin O'Brien.

Given the relative approaches to cricket and travel from the British Isles to the Antipodes it is interesting to see the difference between the level of consumer protection provided in the Northern Hemisphere and that in the South.

An consultation paper entitled "Consumer protection in the travel and travel related services market" A Consultation paper dated March 2011
was commission by the Canberra Government and found that the regulatory cost of consumer protection and travel licensing in Australia is nine times the value of compensation paid to consumers each year, the independent report into financial protection has found.

In the UK the nature of the Consumer Protection has been in disarray for many years and successive governments have passed the buck. The result has been that the coverage for travel in the UK is poor and essentially the fund covering it is in deep deficit. Yet at the same time a string of Her Majesty's Administrations has taxed and levied costs against the air traveller. The current cost for a family of four to travel between the UK and Australia is close to a thousand pounds of APD - Air Passenger Duty. The latest proposals by HMG have managed to please just about no one.

So a little advice for the Government of Ms Gillard - free, no charge - don't change it. Keen the high level of the cost structure you have in place today. If you do you will be sorry. However there are some good recommendations in the report.

REPOST on SQ and Paypal

Professor Andy B was a bit challenged today and left this as a comment. So I have deleted it there (Because he doesn't speak Gaellic) and am posting it here as a complete item on its own. The question he poses is valid. And at the end - please read my answer....


I don't usually bother sending on the daily industry e-mail updates, as I assume you mostly also see what I see.

But this one is interesting - is it a signal that the march by IATA / legacy carriers towards direct distribution is gathering pace, perhaps?

Technlogy News
Singapore Airlines customers in the US, Singapore Malaysia, Hong Kong, Japan, Taiwan, Australia are now able to pay for their flights with PayPal on Singaporeair.com.
The plan is to add more countries to the Paypal options which will make this the largest collaboration between PayPal and an Asian carrier.
A year-long global marketing campaign will be launched to celebrate the collaboration between Singapore Airlines and PayPal.

I know that American is leading the move to DD in the US market. Are they into offering Paypal as a direct settlement channel yet?

There is a consultants argument (really based on a re-cycling of domino theory, from the 60's..) that, without the prior existence of Paypal, then E-Bay could never have grown in size to be the force that it now is.......



Andy most US airlines already have Paypal. Northwest I think was the first - followed by Southwest and now almost all airlines operating domestically support it. it works just fine and I use it for Southwest bookings because its faster. (Its linked also to my WN credit card).


The Professor

01 March 2011

Willie Walsh: Hey Branson nach bhfuil rud ar bith do bhranda fiú

Rough translation:

Hey Richard Branson your Virgin brand is worth squat but I will take your slots.

I didn't think it was appropriate to translate the rest of his statements...

However if you would like to read them in English go here:



28 February 2011

New JAL Logo Looks Mighty Like the Old Old One

The Crane is back!

Compare this to an old JAL logo on a DC10 Model.