More destruction for your money!


On Monday British Airways launched a new exclusively fat-cat service from one money Mecca to another. The route from London City to JFK airport is designed for high fliers to go 'City to Wall Street'. It's an attempt to win back business passengers (the backbone of BA's market share) to save them from losing £40 million a month.

The new flight comes as we hear about the impacts of BA's plans to pusht their loss onto - no, not the shareholders, silly - their staff. The airline said about 4,000 staff had volunteered for unpaid leave, 1,400 will switch to part-time work and 800 put their names forward for unpaid work, while 740 overseas staff also volunteered for the cost-saving drive. Suggestions that they should just fire the management and run the airline as a workers' co-operative aren't being taken seriously.

It should be obvious that jobs in aviation are unsustainable and insecure. We should using this recession to create and promote jobs in sustainable transport, but instead we could be moments from bailing out a company whose sole efforts to stay afloat involve pandering to the richest while asking their staff to work for free or face the boot.

Luxury, first-class air travel is the most polluting sector of the aviation industry (with the possible exception of jet packs). With a whole 32 passengers per plane, the City-JFK route reaches new heights of the super rich burning money, ignorant of any environmental consequences. Then again climate change won’t affect the rich nearly as much as the poor so why should they worry?

The flight costs up to £5000 per seat for passengers and about 61,127.9 kg of CO2, 24,462.27 kg of H20, 482.6 kg of NOx, and 194.1 kg of CO to the planet. As BA clamour to save themselves it is telling of the industry that they do so in the most damaging way possible. The aviation industry look hard set on destroying the economy and the environment.

Hooray for the climate-credit-crunch-crash!

Newham approves expansion at London City Airport


No expansion flight attendants

Last night Plane Stupid had the opportunity to witness the failure of democracy first hand, as Newham councillors voted 5-1 in favour of a 50% increase in the number of flights using London City Airport (LCA), accepting the airport's generous promise of a one million pound sweetener to spend on noise abatement in the area.

This was in the face of a flash-mob gathered outside the town hall and in the teeth of the large number of very pissed off residents who had come to register their objections, telling tales of noise intrusion and asthma mortality for the communities living around the airport. A local teacher told how his students had carried out a project monitoring aircraft noise around their neighbourhood over a number of months, and consistently read average levels of 85 – 90db. This is well in excess of what the airport admits to – anything over 57db is judged to be a nuisance.

Boris backs City Airport expansion


Boris green

Fresh from appointing BA Chairman Willie Walsh as an advisor on making London a global city (whatever that's supposed to mean), Mayor of London and tossle-haired tosser Boris Johnson has given his backing for the expansion of City Airport.

City Airport sits in the heart of Docklands, and flies very important people in suits about to meetings that probably could have taken place by telephone. It already blights some of the most deprived areas of East London, with aircraft noise, pollution and chaffeur-driven traffic. The latest plans will add 50% more flights - mostly to destinations reachable by train in roughly the same time.

The Mayor did add a small caveat though, saying that it would be hard to justify any further expansion. I'm sure that's a great relief for the sleep deprived residents. If Boris thinks City is so great for the local area, perhaps he'd like to dump it in the heart of Kensington. Thought not...