Magazine article The Spectator

Stand by for Take-Off and Fasten Your Seat Belts-Here's How to Land in the Soup

Magazine article The Spectator

Stand by for Take-Off and Fasten Your Seat Belts-Here's How to Land in the Soup

Article excerpt

Soup never seems to appear on my plastic tray from British Airways. I have assumed that it has been ruled out as being unstable during clear air turbulence. A new explanation now presents itself, as BA tells us that it is to set up its own cut-price airline. This will fly out of Stansted to Europe and offer cheap flights with no frills soup would count as a frill. Until now BA has lived well in Europe, where the air fares are the highest in the world and competition little more than the label on a file in Neil Kinnock's pending tray. Now it is settling down to undercut itself. The same bright idea occurred to Robert Townsend when he was running Avis in the days when it was number two and trying harder. He tells the story in Up the Organisation: `To increase our share of the market a few years ago, I was on the verge of announcing the start-up of a new subsidiary, which would compete with our own bread-and butter business, at bargain prices. …

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