Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Shrinks in the cockpit

Full article on

In the aftermath of the deliberate crashing of Germanwings Flight 9525, pilots cautioned against a knee-jerk reaction to the tragedy by airlines and safety regulators. With hindsight, perhaps, alarm bells should have been ringing about Andreas Lubitz, the 27-year-old first officer who flew his plane into the French Alps, killing 150. He had been treated for severe depression in 2009, and is thought to have hidden sick notes from his bosses before the crash. Yet we also know that Germanwings followed industry guidelines for dealing with mental-health concerns. Harbouring gloomy thoughts does not preclude someone from having a pilot’s licence...

Friday, 15 May 2015

You kill it, you carry it

Full article on

Examples of multinational companies forgoing business on purely ethical grounds are rare. Despite fine words, corporations are by nature profit-maximisers. Their remit is to make money without stepping over the law; separating right from wrong, they often argue, is the job of governments and regulators. Even so, there are occasions when a perfectly legal practice is so unpalatable to the public, and any association with it so damaging to the brand, that morality is difficult to ignore...

Friday, 1 May 2015

Interview: Saloua Essghaier, Tunisair President

Full article in PDF format

To many international observers, Tunisia’s Jasmine Revolution is best known as the catalyst for the 2011 Arab Spring uprisings across the Middle East and North Africa – popular demonstrations which, by and large, fell short of their lofty aspirations.

But, for Tunisians, the legacy of the Jasmine Revolution is much rosier. The country last year held its first open and democratic election since independence from France in 1956, swearing in 88-year-old Beji Caid Essebsi as its new president.

The Economist hailed the vote as “proof of a precious truth: the Arab world can change for the better, and Islam can be reconciled with democracy”. Such idealism may be hard to stomach when considering the disastrous effects of the Arab Spring elsewhere – unleashing civil wars in Syria, Libya and Yemen, and replacing one dictator with another in Egypt – but it is a kernel of hope that must be preserved...

Interview: Ulrich Ogiermann, Qatar Airways Chief Cargo Officer

Full article in PDF format

Ulrich Ogiermann successfully steered Cargolux, Europe's largest cargo carrier, through troubled times. But, as Martin Rivers discovers, the industry veteran has found an even greater challenge at growth-obsessed Qatar Airways.

Following years of uncorroborated allegations against the Gulf's fast-expanding carriers, the release of a 55-page dossier detailing $42 billion of government subsidies over ten years has put the region's big three operators firmly on the defensive.

Qatar Airways is front and centre in the dispute, facing accusations by America's Partnership for Open & Fair Skies – a lobby group headed by three US legacy carriers – that it has benefited from $16 billion of unfair state support...

The new silk road

Full article in PDF format

With so many column inches about the Gulf carriers devoted to their fast-expanding passenger operations, it is easy to forget that Qatar Airways, Emirates Airline and Etihad Airways carry more than just human cargo. Beneath the main decks of their passenger aircraft, the region’s big three airlines are also driving rapid growth in freight traffic over Doha, Dubai and Abu Dhabi – turning the Gulf into a bridging point for goods as much as travellers.

The numbers are staggering, even for a sector long associated with breakneck expansion. Middle Eastern carriers nearly tripled their share of global air cargo traffic from 4% to 11% between 2003 and 2013, according to US aircraft manufacturer Boeing...