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Eighty years since first flight touched down in Sharjah – BA

L-R Sir Martin Broughton, Ms Laila Bin Harib and Paolo De Renzis

British carrier celebrates 80 years in Middle East

October 10, 2012 3:22 by

Many airlines in the industry continue to suffer financially…

Yes, airlines suffer. It is an inherent part of the industry. There are carriers that should be allowed to go bust but they continue to be propped up by funding and their government support. A classic example is Air India. It should have gone bust a long time ago and if hadn’t been continuously propped up it wouldn’t even exist today. Airlines in the GCC, if you are speaking in general terms are very strong airlines but they are also state backed here.

How do you compete with low-cost carriers in the region?

We don’t. Low cost carriers don’t affect us. In a market you need to learn to co-exist with other competitors. They deal with short-haul business; we deal with the long. It’s really up to the consumers to decide at some point whether it’s cost or service that’s more important to them. We do compete with low-cost carriers in Europe but not here. What we have is a lot of experience in Europe when it comes to competing with them.

Particularly in the UK, there are Ryan Air and Easy Jet which are huge airlines and have been there longer than anywhere else. We are used to living alongside them now.

Latest on Carbon taxes

Well, yeah as you know the EU has enacted that law and we are working on the basis of abiding by that law. It’s a green one yes but I’m not sure we think it’s the most effective way of managing the green issue. You’ve seen the reaction to it with North American carriers, Chinese carriers, Indian carriers and Russian carriers. If they don’t play along with the EU’s rule or abide by it then the European carriers that do will be at a disadvantage. The EU needs to ensure that it doesn’t happen.


“The growth of the aviation industry has been one of the most significant developments in travel and we are especially proud to have been a part of it in the Middle East. British Airways has always been committed to using our expertise, experience and knowledge to make flying an enjoyable and exciting experience for customers. We’ve pioneered many aviation firsts and are currently two years into a £5 billion investment plan that includes new aircraft, smarter cabins, elegant lounges and new technologies,” said Sir Broughton.

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