Extracts from the BUSINESS PLAN

Revolution in the air: an end not only to the Concorde but to all other fuel guzzling commercial jets: Photo - DPA
Bye-Bye, Birdie, Goodbye!
EFFECT on the

© Copyright Dr Milson Macleod 2005

Revolution in the Air: Travel - Corfu Shore, copyright Milson Macleod 1994

Although there may be no reasonable alternative to travel by air for many business and pleasure purposes, the prospect of air travel these days gives rise to much trepidation.

Apart from the variety of taxes levied on the air traveller, which often add up to one-third of the actual air fare, the increased inconvenience of examination procedures prior to boarding has certainly made the trip far less exciting, and has undoubtedly resulted in a drop in bookings.

Financial woes have added to the inconvenience and uncertainty of air travel. Will the carrier still be in business when I make the return trip? Will the aircraft leave on time? and will I miss a critical connecting flight if it is delayed?

Weather conditions often contribute to delays and cancellations. If there are insufficient bookings on a specific flight (to make it economical), the airline will often cancel the flight altogether and transfer passengers on to the next outgoing flight.

Imagine a time coming when there are NO extra taxes to be paid and the Gestapo-like examinations at airports have been done away with. That will certainly be a step in the right direction, and the announcement of N.E.S.A.R.A. will herald that.

Now to put the icing on the cake.

Imagine flight times cut to a fraction of what they are today.

Imagine that air fares to all destinations are reduced to perhaps only 20% of the current standard rate, and that late bookings are not penalized by outrageous pricing.

What effect would that have on a prospective traveller? The demand would be insatiable.

And here we have exactly that situation - and a little more. With the introduction of non-polluting shuttles, able to land on a dime (or a penny) without a runway, hitherto inaccessible tourist centres can be reached without a problem. This opens up the way for individual hotels, spas and minor destinations to encourage special flights directly to their establishments. Businesses also might arrange annual or sales meetings at locations previously not reachable by air. Private charter flights become affordable to all - that is, an aircraft chartered for a special flight.

It all adds up to increased enthusiasm for air travel and a phenomenal potential increase in business.

The introduction of such shuttles should also counter the financial problems which airlines have endured for some time past. If airlines have insurmountable debt, however, and it is not forgiven under the provisions of N.E.S.A.R.A, it might be necessary to restructure or start all over again on a sound financial footing. No more fuelling costs and the attractive purchase price of shuttles should help in that. That adds up to a more stable industry, which would be welcomed not only by the general public but by the industry as a whole and its suppliers.

The shorter flight times will surely be welcomed also by pilots and crew, who at the moment complain of long hours and the stress of being overworked.

The skies are surely brightening.

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