Friday, 31 August 2012

Jet! When Britain Ruled the Skies: a great BBC documentary about the start of the commercial jet era

I hope you will enjoy this documentary as much as I did. "Jet! When Britian Ruled the Skies", recently aired on the BBC, tells the story of post-war commercial aviation in Britain and the development of the first jet airliners. An era that was full of hope and promise for the British aviation industry...Absolutely recommended!

(Note: the BBC iPlayer is not available in all countries outside the UK, but luckily, someone has already uploaded it on Youtube so you can enjoy it wherever you are)

Thursday, 16 August 2012

Best aviation and airline books for the summer

Many of us take advantage of the summer holidays to slow down a bit and catch up with readings. Although it is not the most prolific literary genre out there, I thought it would be a good idea to put together a short list of books about the airline business that I have enjoyed and can recommend.

I actually have a longer list of aviation and airline books I would like to read as soon as I find the time, so hopefully I will be able to update this list soon. In the meantime, I hope you enjoy this one!

1) Flying Off Course: Airline economics and marketing, 4th Edition
by Rigas Doganis

This is the latest, updated, edition of what is, by all accounts, the book I would recommend for anyone willing to understand the basics of the airline business. If you know of any other book that fulfills this mission better, please let me know!

Ryanair: How a Small Irish Airline Conquered Europe
by Siobhan Creaton

This is a short book that explains the roots of Ryanair, the role of Michael O'Leary in completely revamping the business model of what used to be a struggling small Irish airline to make it Europe's low cost champion. Besides the purely airline-related part of the story, it also provides a vivid picture of the personality of the Irish airline's larger-than-life CEO.

EasyJet: The Story of Britain's Biggest Low-cost Airline
by Lois Jones

This book is similar to the previous one, although maybe less focused on the caracther of Stelios than the Ryanair book is about O'Leary. It makes an interesting read not only for aviation enthusiasts but also for anyone interested in reading case studies of how marketing and operational innovation can disrupt industries.

Overall I must say that, although these books are a nice read, I was expecting to find many more high quality books about such a fascinating industry. If you have any suggestions, do not hesitate to share them here!

Monday, 13 August 2012

The Olympics from the air: an airship comeback

A privileged view of the Olympic Park

A few days ago I mentioned in this blog how surprised I had been to see over the skies of London an aircraft that looks like from another era: an airship.

Well, I saw it again, and this time, of all places, it was hovering over the Olympic stadium before and during the closing ceremony. If you watched it on TV, some of the footage might have come from this airship!

By the way, if you would like to learn more about how aerial footage of the Olympic Games events has been delivered, do not miss this report on Flightglobal about the helicopters of the Olympics: "How the Olympics were filmed from above".

And if you are interested in airships, there is also this other blog entry for you: "Remembering the history of Airships"!

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Some aviation video recommendations for the summer

It's been a while since I last published a video-post, so I thought that it would be a good time to put together some aviation-related footage to enjoy during the summer holidays.

First of all it's a BBC documentary that I found really fascinating: it shows the whole revision and refitting of a British Airways' Boeing 747, from the time it arrives at BA's maintenance facilities in Cardiff to the time it leaves to get back to service.

Also of interest is this footage of LAN's first Boeing 787 taking off for the first time from Boeing's Paine Field, near Seattle, WA, that Marcelo De Biasi just posted on Twitter.

It is going to be a season of "firsts" for the 787 as Boeing rolls out Dreamliners out of the production line to hand them over to the first airlines that pruchased the type.

Also recently we were able to see via live streaming the unveiling of United's first Boeing 787.

And in case you wondered how a Boeing 787 looks in the inside, do not miss this cool video of Flightglobal's editors Mike Targett and Graham Dunn touring Qatar Airways's Dreamliner at the latest edition of the Farnborough Air Show.