Ah yes, the same balloon theory we’ve spouted on in the past. Try to regulate the free market human condition and it’s like pushing on a balloon… there will be an equal reaction someplace else, and probably where it’s not expected. A hat tip to The Stalwart for bringing us this tidbit of regulatory nonsense.
Britain’s third-largest airline, bmi, will fly near-empty aircraft
from this autumn to preserve multimillion-pound take-off and landing
slots, The Times has learnt.
The rise in fuel prices and an expected slump in passenger numbers
after the summer mean that many airlines will have to cancel flights,
but bmi does not want to lose its coveted slots at Heathrow, which are
valued at £770 million.
There is waste here on so many levels it’s hard to even calculate. Environmental, fuel, human activity required to service the planes… you get the picture.
Tim Bye, deputy chief executive of bmi, told The Times that
his airline would prefer to cancel uneconomic flights, typically those
in the middle of the day from London to the North of England and
Scotland, but “we have to fly that service eight out of ten times”.
Theresa Villiers, the Shadow Transport Secretary, said: “It is
imperative that the system for running slots does nothing to push the
airlines into flying empty planes. Besides damaging the environment, it
makes absolutely no economic sense.”
As Joseph Weisenthal of The Stalwart surmises,
Well, it probably does make economic sense for the airline, given that
they are choosing to do it. Perhaps Heathrow’s use-it-or-lose-it rules
are more the problem. Rather than attack the airline, probably more
constructive to review the rules. Or at least let them not fly and then
just say they did…