FOXTROTS

Fox – sly.  Trots – left-leaning (Trotsky) plus its more insalubrious meaning. 

Foxtrots – leading the industry in a dance.

November 5 2010

 

Imex, Ryanair. Laugh, Grimace.

 

 

 MORE travel industry observations:

[] Imex America, a MICE event planned for 2011, makes some amusing remarks in its desire to hype-up simple comments, viz:

-Buyers will be ‘highly-qualified’. Thank goodness; I hate meeting ‘lowly-qualified’ or even just ‘qualified’ people.

 

-80% of buyers will come from North America, and 20% from international markets. I’m glad they told me where those 20% came from; otherwise I might have wondered if there were any buyers from Mars (the planet, not the company).

 

-Irrepressible Imex chairman Ray Bloom tells me that forecasts for exhibitor numbers and hosted buyers for the US Imex are likely to be exceeded. He often tells me that about his other shows as well, so I suspect forecasts are pitched low so they can be easily exceeded.

 

Another way of looking at it – as the event is still one year away, and Bloom expects the forecast to be exceeded, then he should change his forecast. A forecast is supposed to be an expectation, not a PR plus point.

[] I have great admiration for Michael O’Leary who has driven Ryanair to wondrous success – loved by investors (usually), and passengers. Only the carping media seem to dislike the man, or his success.

And many of those that provide services to the airline (such as airports and licensing bodies) must understandably want to dislike him, even if they need to work with him.

OL’s latest outburst is against BAA, nee British Airports Authority, the Spain-owned company that owns London Heathrow and Stansted airports (and others) and until recently also owned London Gatwick. Courts have decided that BAA must sell some of its airports, and probably Stansted will be one of them.

OL is crowing, and hysterically describes BAA a ‘monopoly’ incessantly. We presume he is sufficiently educated to know that is a joke – or every airport in the world is a monopoly because by definition there can not be two airports on one site.

 (Or could there be? Military and commercial operators share many airports. Could two companies work on one site, as now some train services operate on the same but separately-owned track?)

 

But BAA is not even a monopoly in London, and was not even before it sold Gatwick. There are two other London airports, City and Luton. And they compete with one another.

OL says BAA’s ownership of Stansted is the reason for its traffic decline this year. At half year, Stansted was falling 8%, but Luton was down also 8%, City 1%, Gatwick 4%, and Heathrow 4%. Not quite as clear-cut as OL would like – but he often does not bother with niceties.

 

The Fox