Now then, yesterday the pointless 24/7 news channels were nothing but a broadcast on behalf of airlines here in the UK. We had airport execs and airline CEOs berating the Govt and generally pleading with the public to have some sympathy for their current situations. Personally I have no sympathy for them at all, quite the obvious actually.
These people seem to be oblivious to the pandemic, and each and every time seize upon the chance to put their cash need before the lives of you and me. To be honest, these people represent the worst examples of all that is wrong with UK society just now.
The UK has been a society blighted with a very few but powerful and greedy executive types for a decade now, this current health crisis has exposed them even more harshly.
It has puzzled me immensely that during a supposed lockdown situation the airports have remained open at all. It is estimated that around 95,000 passengers have arrived in the UK during the lockdown, many of whom were not even questioned let alone subjected to any form of testing. You have to have immense sympathy for the staff forced to work around this situation. I have yet to hear any Govt representative explain why this was a good idea? As i sit writing this it seems that some European countries are actively putting things in place to dissuade Brits from travelling to their countries. That tells me all I need to know. On a personal note, I have resisted the urge to make a 120 mile round trip to see my son and grandson due to the obvious risk factors involved. Why then, should these airline execs carry on as if only their greedy attitudes matter?
These airline bosses have been continually screaming about the dire circumstances their companies are now in, maybe some of that is due to the whole industry being over saturated in the first place. We went through the 3rd runway at Heathrow episode where these execs put forward the absolute dire need for huge expansion due to the ever increasing amount of traffic. This was ruled offside regarding the Paris Agreement. In simple terms they would have completely ignored the need to try and preserve our ailing planet in the rush to formulate projections of just how much MORE cash they could stash. To borrow a phrase from the Youth Climate Group, there really is no Planet B. Our airline execs really don't seem to be bothered.
Lets look at one or two of these individuals and their companies.
Ryanair. Chief Exec Michael O'Leary, described as one of Irelands richest people. He is often in the news talking about his airline. Just lately he is stating that Ryanair will not cancel any flights due to the quarantine. So, he is more than happy to just ignore it.
Along with that, consider this go here
So, Mr O'leary does seem to have one or two odd ideas does he not?. Any Ryanair passengers who had flights cancelled due to the virus have been informed they will "have to get in the queue and wait until after the pandemic to be reimbursed". This is how they roll. EU and UK Law says passengers should be reimbursed within 14 days of cancellations. I could go on, however you probably see my point already.
EasyJet, Chief Exec Johan Lundgren. Not heard much from him. Though you often hear things about the company. They are not looked upon well. Those fly on the wall documentaries you see on the tele often focus on EasyJet, and the unfolding chaos does not look good. Whether this is fair I have no idea, it is however a popular depiction. Again, you have to have much sympathy for the staff. Even more importantly, this company has paid out more than £1.8Bn in dividends since 2012. Owner Sir Stelios and his family interests taking in excess of £650M, staggering figures. This company refused to make up the 20% shortfall in employees wages affected by the furlough scheme, therefore taking tax payers money but reusing to dip into their own vast coffers. These cowboys recently went ahead with a £174M dividend payout and asked for a tax payer bailout from the Tories.
They did indeed receive £600M from the UK Govt.
Virgin We all know about that fine British businessman Richard Branson. Has his own sun drenched private island and plays with spaceships. In the 1970s he founded the Virgin Group which is said to control over 400 companies. Mr Branson is estimated to be worth 4.4 Bn USD . Branson is another one who has been pleading for Govt help. Or in other words some of your money. Virgin Australia went bust owing around 7Bn to 12000 creditors. Mr Branson still has his island, spaceships, and hand stretched out for some UK tax payers money. go here
Virgin Atlantic is 49% owned by USA giant Delta Airlines.
BA Willie Walsh. Interesting character to say the least. This company was for many years revered in the UK. A trusted and reliable top of the range flagship UK company that actually was well liked by just about everybody. Not so now.
Walsh really does personify the dark side of being powerful and rich. He is basically an extremist. No thought for his employees or anyone else but himself. I have no idea what will happen to any of the individuals I have spotlighted here, I can tell you this though, I hope Walsh is the worst affected and finds himself sat in the dark trying to scrape change together to buy an electricity card.
Anyway, BA took advantage of the Govt furlough scheme, set against a threat to axe thousands of jobs then went ahead and announced plans to axe those jobs. In attempting to attack the Govt quarantine Walsh put this forward " “The prime minister’s decision to quarantine people arriving in the UK, by air, and the health secretary’s comments that it was unlikely that ‘big, lavish international holidays’ were going to be possible this summer, have seriously set back recovery plans for our industry.”- now maybe it's me. I absolutely definitely could not care less about some people not being able to take big lavish holidays. If the absence of such things will wreck the airline industry then so be it. At this point, let me remind you that the Govt is not extending the voucher scheme for those kids who normally only see hot food at school through the upcoming summer holidays.
The Govt and BA are at odds here, the Govt expected Walsh to shelve the job cuts in return for the tax payers cash. Walsh had other ideas. Businesses in the UK have never had it so good over the last decade. Tax assistance, the most draconian anti workers rights legislation on the planet, shrinking unions, a Govt that is run by the city - not the the way round as it should be. The great altar of business and profit has ruled all. Now we get the likes of Walsh endlessly screaming for more. go here
It is not just the airlines themselves either. Airport Execs have been trying to convince us about the new and "exciting" experience which will be exhibited at our airports, the superb new measures which will be in place. How the places will be ultra safe and we all need not have any concerns at all. Big beaming smiles and enthusiastic attempts at delivering this absolute bull. One simple question here, during the flights aboard those thin cigar shaped cells, how many passengers will have sneezed? How many will have unknowingly been carrying this current virus, or any other come to that? All these airport execs are thinking about is again, money. They just hope that those passing through wander through the gift shops before they start to become ill.
So, why do we need all these flights anyway? Sure enough there are real needs for freight to be landing on UK soil. Along with our stuff being flown to other countries.
I have to ask though, Holidays? No, Those things are luxuries. Luxuries which are not worth risking spreading viruses around the globe for. I absolutely will never understand why our airports were not forcibly closed and barricaded on day 1 of CV19. I have to wonder what the death rates would have looked like if they had been. The Tories have pretended to impose a meaningful lockdown. Due to this people have suffered avoidable deaths. They stand accused.
Many jobs will be lost soon in the aviation industry. here's the thing though. Those planes still exist. Those routes still exist. It is companies that will cease to exist, not aviation. People will change their outlooks now. It will be a long time before holidays return to the top of the list of must do things for most. Airline staff are going to need support for a while. I do not see Execs abusing public money as being the way out.
Branson and Stelios will likely not notice the difference. That is a great pity.
Thanks for looking in. Please help by passing word.
Society not Economy.