Saudia set to soar

Jaan Albrecht, CEO Saudia

The Saudi Arabian market is changing. Relatively closed for a long time, it’s beginning to open to increased competition. There’s evidence of dynamic new energy in the market. Unlike neighbouring States, Saudi Arabia has a substantial local population of 33m people; this underpins a large point to point market which […]

Emirates and IAG - Chalk and Cheese of the Airline Business

Sir Tim Clark and Willie Walsh at WTM 2016

I had a rare opportunity to interview 2 of the airline world’s most successful leaders, President of Emirates, Sir Tim Clark and CEO of IAG, Willie Walsh, on stage together at the World Travel Market.

Like chalk and cheese in many respects, Emirates is in […]

Qatar Airways Al Baker: watching like a hawk

Akbar Al Baker was on great form when I met with him at the recent Arabian Travel Market in Dubai. Our discussion was wide ranging and appropriately for a part of the world which is a home to falconry, his eagle eyed attention to detail is impressive.

On aircraft, Airbus is in the firing line. […]

Brexit - A step backward for airlines

Does the topic of Brexit have anything to do with aviation? Actually, quite a lot.

Some readers may not recall (or may not believe!) that there was a time when an airline couldn’t just put a fare on sale in Europe; it had to get Government approval. Not just from one government but two, (at […]

Rising to the Challenge: Christoph Mueller take the helm at Malaysia Airlines (MAS)

It’s only a matter of months since Christoph Mueller took up the reigns as CEO of Malaysia Airlines (MAS) and he’s wasted no time getting to work on the many challenges. I talked to him at the recent World Travel Market.

2014 was a terrible year for MAS with the loss of two of its […]

Clash of the Titans: American airlines versus the Gulf carriers

The big guns of the airline industry are lining up for what could be one of the biggest battles in recent aviation history. On the US side: American, Delta and United. On the Gulf side: Emirates, Etihad and Qatar Airways. The Americans launched the first salvo with a 54 page report supported by over a […]

Are the stars aligning for Virgin Atlantic & CEO Craig Kreeger?


It’s hard to believe that when Virgin Atlantic took flight just over thirty years ago in 1984 it operated just one Boeing 747 on one route from London Gatwick to New York Newark. Whereas today it operates a wide body fleet approaching 40 aircraft on a network embracing the North Atlantic, Africa, the […]

Seizing the right moment: the rise of Low Cost Carrier Wizz

Wizz CEO Jozsef Varadi with John Strickland

When airline ‘Wizz” kid Jozsef Varadi woke his wife to tell her he’d been sounded out to take the hot seat as CEO for the struggling Hungarian national carrier Malev , she told him “You’d be really stupid to take it”.

With good reason: He’d left the […]

Summer madness in the airline industry as the Farnborough season takes off?

The atmosphere at the Farnborough Air Show is always electric – with the excitement of new aircraft types and the buzz of new orders. Plane manufacturers set out their stalls and airlines cluster round like bees at the aviation industry’s honey pot. But this year is there a danger of a shopping frenzy? Ahead of […]

Low Cost Airlines: Tales of Arabian Flights


Just back from Dubai, where I was impressed by how the arid desert landscape is nurturing some stunning success stories for low cost airlines in the region.

Take Air Arabia, now 10 years old. It’s Chief Executive Officer, Adel Ali, has been there from start. His inspiration for the airline came from understanding the […]