Well the quick answer is me…
That’s because of my sterling efforts at mastering the simulator at Turkish Airlines http://www.turkishairlines.com in Istanbul.
I went out for the opening of the biggest airport in the world, the Istanbul Airport, last year.
You get an immediate sense of Istanbul being at the crossroads of the East and the West when you travel through Istanbul Airport.
That’s before you even get out onto the Bosphorus.
Or visit the Blue Mosque, the Grand Bazaar or the hamam where Florence Nightingale, Rudolf Nureyev and John Travolta all visited… https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/wham-bam-thank-you-hamam/ .
Hub of the world
And you see a troupe (I don’t know what the collective noun is) of Hasidic Jews travel through the terminals. Istanbul,
I discovered it is the biggest hub for Jews returning to Israel.
You could fly an airplane through our airports now (they’re so quiet).
Which I very nearly did after scraping the Statue of Liberty and coming down nose first at JFK in that simulator flight at Turkish Airlines HQ.
The crisis facing our airline industry has been somewhat subsumed.
By the bigger challenges of health and the economy facing the whole world right now.
But the immediacy of the threat to the sector has to be addressed. Alas,
Travel has forever been treated as frippery and indulgent by politicians and Big Business compared with other industries.
Only tourism is at the heart of every country’s economy, before we even get onto its importance to business.
And while it is obvious that virtual tourism cannot replicate the joy of seeing a county or its people first hand.
And our providers have done a stand-up job in recreating their destinations this way during this crisis.
The same applies to business.
Dealing with real 3D people first hand over a beer or bottle of wine while sampling local cuisine is the best way to forge relationships.
Oh, yes, there’s the conference meetings too.
But don’t we all just look at our watches or the time on our phones when we’re stuck in one of them?
We must fight against the high heed yins, or suits, who will want to stick with Zoom and other digital platforms.
In an effort to cut costs rather than fly their executives out to each others’ countries.
I can just see those faceless, soulless, personality vacuums, the numbercrunchers pushing for a retention of this contactless-free zone we all live in now.
And where do we stand today… with a third of British Airways http://www.britishairways.com staff worried for their jobs, their operation at Gatwick at risk.
Our crew and pilot friends
Ryanair http://www.ryanair.com planning to cut 3,000 jobs and reduce staff pay by up to a fifth?
And Virgin Atlantic www.virginatlantic.com furloughing its staff and raising the alert as to its futurez
And airlines around the world facing similar heart-wrenching decisions.
Every one of those employees is valuable and their struggles are ours.
I have come to know some of them professionally and personally and my heart goes out to them all as they too foresee an uncertain future.
We are continuously having it drilled into us that ‘we will all get through this together’.
But let’s just think about the sectors and real people who are falling through the cracks.
Save our sector
We must have a Travel industry and an air sector to return to for the good of us all.
It cannot all be left to the Trade and the Public.
It is time for those politicians in their private planes to remember the rest of us.
MEET YOU IN THE SKIES