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    The Air Industries Rollercoaster Ride

    Friday's travel news featured two airline stories that reflect the increasingly contradictory nature of the industry as a whole. First we hear that Co-operative Travel has stood up against the proposal of a third runway at Heathrow, the first major travel company to do so. Then secondly Emirates announces the world's first in-flight showers. The so called 'Timeless Shower Kits' require an extra tonne of water to be carried, the weight equivalent of twelve extra passengers and all the fuel that requires!

    The Co-operative Travel's announcement is part of the organisation's new strategy to support responsible and sustainable tourism. The company also calls for further technological research to allow the travel industry to develop further without compromising greenhouse gas emission targets. I've got a feeling in-flight showers and all the 'extra weight-to-fuel-to-emissions' they demand will not be welcomed by the Co-op! Also, I must admit to a tendency to agree, can we really not shower on terra firma?

    Then we see Easy Jet profits down to £110-120 million (instead of £138 million as predicted) blamed on rising fuel costs. Quite amazingly the company claims to have offset around 50% of its increased fuel bill through cost cutting. With increases reported at £185 million that suggests they have cost cut to the tune of £90 million plus. What were we paying for previously I wonder? And how much is a cheese sandwich now? Quite obviously its hard times for aviation and we can expect to see many changes to current operations in the future. Personally I'd predict a reduction of inaugural luxuries - such as showers and business class only flights - to cut down the number of empty seats alongside the inevitable raging extra runway debate.

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