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Which is the big story?

IATA reports today that it expects airlines to make losses
of $9.3bn over the next three years, at ?5.2bn significantly less than the
Olympics (?9.3bn) ? but then the Olympics are arguably an investment. IATA
points to the ?toxic combination? of high fuel costs and reduced demand caused
by the recession. 25 airlines have gone out of business since January. However,
the ?toxic combination? has so far only caused a decline in growth, in July the rise in global passenger numbers
was the lowest for five years. It may be that rising fuel prices and the
recession caused in part by other shortages will stem the growth of air travel
and GHG emissions ? but we are still only talking about declining growth not
reductions.

 

British Airways announced yesterday that it carried 100,000
fewer passengers in August, with its short haul flights particularly badly hit.
Perhaps shortages and consequent price inflation and currency devaluations will
achieve what public policy has failed to do: reduce GHG emissions form aviation.
Bit I doubt it will be enough.

 

The airline crisis got a mention on the front page of The
Guardian ? on page 9 Ryan Air announced a winter sale 6 million seats at ?10
one way (including taxes) ? what chance rail?

 

Meanwhile a story about a 19 sq mile piece of the Markham ice shelf in Canada‘s
Arctic breaking off from Ellesmere Island got
2 column inches on page 7 of the Metro [it is on the BBC website at http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/7595441.stm

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