Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

City Spy

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

City Spy

Article excerpt

EVER wondered where those first class British Airways toiletries bags left behind on the plane end up? City Spy can reveal the answer: eBay. Every day, up to a dozen BA "amenity bags" end up going under the hammer, fetching up to [pounds sterling]15 a go. It may sound like a lot of dosh for a few tiny pots of eye gel and face-revitalising mist, but there is a growing number of collectors of the things. This raises the question, how do they get there? Given that sellers often have several bags up for grabs, the finger of suspicion surely points at those most regular travellers: the cabin crews. Perhaps BA chief Rod Eddington might like to look into the identity of one "rosalind25" who, City Spy notes, has seven identical bags on offer at the moment. Not to mention 14 other items including flight socks and assorted BA knickknacks...

AS Eddington sends his sleuths to work, he is busy ruminating on another great intrigue: the future of Swiss. Formed out of the remnants of bust Swiss Air and regional carrier Crossair, the new international airline is struggling to make headway. Only last week, it announced the closure of three of its four Swiss call centres in an effort to cut costs, and results next month are expected to show Swiss made a loss last year.

It finds itself sandwiched between the premium operators and the low-budget flyers - not sure what it is or where the future lies.

For some time, Swiss has been searching for a suitable private equity partner, prepared to inject cash into the business. But that idea is thought to have been abandoned in favour of a tie-up with one of the big three European airlines - BA, Air France or Germany's Lufthansa. The word is that BA, for one, isn't interested, preferring to see Swiss go under completely.

The Swiss directors, meanwhile, are in danger of leaving themselves open to accusations they are not doing enough by their shareholders and should be exploring all avenues. …

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