TIR December17.pdf - Page 15



Personally Speaking
by John Wardall
Pub lunch was a family tradition
A
fter the Helen Zille storm in
a Chinese teacup, I hesitate
to compare anything to Singapore but you have to be
impressed by Singapore Airlines, which has
just ordered another 20 Boeing 777-9s and
19 787-10s, with options for an additional six
of each. SIA already operates 50-plus 777s
and had already ordered 30 787-10s.
What that means is that the airline will
be increasing frequencies and continuously
adding new routes.
Okay, it’s in the middle of the booming
Asian market and Singapore is a major international hub. However, impressive as the
carrier’s growth and professional leadership
may be, I wouldn’t dare offend the evervigilant PC brigade by comparing it to SAA!
As I continue to watch the bottomless
pit at Dudu’s former plaything, I received a
report that my old airline Air Canada, which
used to be a – admittedly self-sustaining
– state owned airline recorded an adjusted
profit of C$950-million (around R10-billion)
for just the third quarter of this year. Nonadjusted profit, which includes deferred
income tax, totaled C$1.8-billion!
I think caustic comments are necessary
for my faithful readers to see the comparative picture.
However, the Asian tourism market and
Asian destinations are certainly outstripping everywhere else. The World Travel
and Tourism Council recently released new
data, which showed that all 10 of the globe’s
fastest-growing tourism cities are in Asia:
Chongquing, Guangzhou, Shanghai, Beijing,
Chengdu, Manila, Delhi, Shenzhen, Kuala
Lumpur and Jakarta.
They are all recording tourism spending growth in excess of 10 percent a year,
while the world average is four percent. The
scale of total retail spending in Asia is astronomical. In one day alone last month, the
Chinese online trading company Alibaba recorded sales of US$25-billion. It makes you
wonder what happened to Africa. Surely,
with all of our natural resources, climate,
land and other advantages, we should be
matching China on a per capita basis.
I won’t mention Singapore – okay, I will. It
has doubled tourism revenue in the past 10
years, quite apart from its overall economic
surge, which supports 164,000 jobs on the
tiny island. And Delhi and Mumbai together
account for one-million jobs in the tourism
industry.
PS
It is always encouraging to see new airlines
DL AD0092 260x98x3 Travel Industry Review Final.indd 1
flying into South Africa. The latest, Eurowings, is Europe’s fastest growing airline, with
a large European network and expanding
international routes to North America, the
Caribbean and Asia.
The airline has joined the growing list of
low-cost carriers offering long-haul services
with flights from Cologne, Munich, Dusseldorf and Berlin, enabling a wide range of
connections from South Africa.
Its Airbus A330 operation from Cape
Town features three classes with the unambiguous names of Basic, Smart and Best.
The airline expects most of its Cape Town
business to be inbound but local bookings
can be made via Amadeus, eurowings.com
or the Eurowings app. There may be limited outbound capacity initially but the fare
structure will give a competitive option to
the indirect services to Europe, which have
had such impact in this market.
I am always puzzled about the viability
of anything less than a three-times-weekly
service for a standalone airline due to local contracts, staffing and infrastructure
requirements but the Lufthansa connection
will alleviate those issues, even though they
operate separately.
And, due to demand for Cape Town from
Germany, I suspect the once-a-week frequency will increase in future.
The airline has bought a bunch of aircraft
from the now-defunct Air Berlin, so will
have plenty available to meet expansion
plans.
Certainly the Lufthansa Group has confidence in South Africa as a destination, also
illustrated by the welcome return of Austrian Airlines next year.
As a year-end bonus, we got the news
that Alitalia is returning in 2018.
PS
The incremental fees saga continues… Economy passengers checking baggage on domestic flights in the US are filling the airlines’ coffers.
During just the second quarter of this year
alone, checked bag fees totaled US$1.2billion. This has prompted criticism from US
congressmen, one of whom commented
that passengers will soon have to show up
at the airport with two suitcases – one for
clothes and another full of money just to get
on the plane!
PS
Another incremental revenue exercise is
being adopted in some restaurants and
I nearly got duped by one in Cape Town
recently.
The bill arrived and I was about to add a
tip to the total in the space conveniently left
at the bottom, when I noticed a duplicitous
service charge of 15 percent buried in the list
of food and drinks.
It turns out this charge goes to the restaurant and any extra tip goes to the waiter. Pull
the other one, Sydney!
I had enjoyed the restaurant and the food
and service was good but it is the last time
they will see me there.
PS
Give me a break, Robert Mugabe, the senile,
fallen tyrant of Zimbabwe, where life expectancy has plummeted during his incompetent and despotic reign, was appointed
a goodwill ambassador by the UN’s World
Health Organization, until there was outraged response by the real world.
No wonder the United Nations has all
the credibility of Zoomer denials and the
hypocrisy of a Hillary Clinton and Barack
Obama Wall Street speech at US$750,000
a pop. The Mugger’s successor isn’t a very
savoury character either, another dodgy
former spook like the Zoomer, with a shocking track record of corruption, murder and
torture. So a positive change is wishful
thinking.
PS
The latest round of white farm grabs in Zim
are underway with the encouragement of
the now deposed Mugger in the lead-up to
next year’s elections.
A target last month was one of the country’s leading dairy farms where the cows
will, no doubt, soon be on the braai and at a
time when there is a severe milk shortage.
Meanwhile, the biggest agricultural research centre in Africa was also invaded and
taken over and the land was quickly divided
into non-productive plots.
I have given up trying to explain Africa
to friends in the real world. When I look at
China, I start to think the sooner the Chinese
take over, the better.
PS
Jacques Pauw’s book The President’s Keepers is the most astonishing catalogue of
corrupt, venal, power-mad, entitlement-
driven behavior I have ever read. There is
clearly something very wrong with South
Africa’s system when a blatant looter and
a man destroying South Africa’s future can
avoid facing justice for so long. Even the liberal Bloomberg, the world’s most influential
business media organisation, last month
referred to South Africa as “a brazenly corrupt state”.
That’s really going to motivate foreign
investment.
Meanwhile, I have received a message
with threatening undertones from the
SABC, reminding me of my “legal obligation” to pay my TV licence. It wasn’t even
due yet and I pay it every year without fail
and on time, albeit reluctantly. Another example of the bullying attitude so prevalent
in our society.
As the state security goons and even the
once-credible SARS rushed to try and have
the President’s Keepers pulled from the
shelves and prosecute the author and publishers, I rushed to download it to my Kindle.
It was already sold out in the bookstores.
I am now in possession of subversive
material and can expect the Stasi to come
kicking down the door in the early hours of
the morning.
It is all beginning to feel like East Germany in the 1960s. Before German reunification, I was hauled off a bus going through
Checkpoint Charlie, which separated East
and West Berlin, and interrogated by Russian border guards. I think it was because
of some of the stamps in my passport. Intimidating but I was released after about 15
minutes.
In fact, the Zoomer’s ocean of criminal
cronies, which have populated every state
institution in the land and at every level of
administration, puts the old East German
regime in the shade when it comes to financial gluttony.
It is beyond farce that the sinister spooks
are determined to try and intimidate the
author and publishers of the book but the
misnamed justice system seems to have no
interest in acting on the revelations in it.
Next on the agenda is the draconian Hate
Speech Bill and, if that goes through, we will
have transformed to Stalinist Russia and will
all have to take a vow of silence – or pack for
Perth.
PS
There’s nothing I like more when I am in
England than dropping into the local pub for
a pint of bitter.
TIR Southern Africa
continued on page 16

16.10.17 10:11
December 2017
15

Delta Airlines





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