False claims of Sept 11 and the recession in airlines

Martin Spellman mspellman at cix.co.uk
Fri Sep 21 02:41:14 MDT 2001

	There are claims in the media that fear of terrorism, in the wake of
September 11, is responsible for the current spate of job losses in
airlines, particularly British Airways. However, this was obviously well
underway months ago.
	I include, at the end, an item from the Toronto Globe and Mail of 4 July
about the situation in Air Canada at the time. This was universal -- not
just restricted to Canada. United Airlines has run an advert, until
recently, on British TV (probably elsewhere as well) on how they 'lost 7000
seats' with footage of airline seats in barber shops and baseball stadiums
etc. Virgin also ran a long series of ads. Companies cutting back on
travelling was common talk among workers months ago -- so I don't think many
will be fooled by this. There are also similar idiotic claims about fear of
terrorism being responsible for the drop-off in trade in London's West End
	It is all designed to feed a climate of needless fear and tension, and put
the blame for the recession on September 11 rather than where it should be.

Martin Spellman

Air Canada urges staff to voluntarily cut hours


Globe and Mail

July 4, 2001

Air Canada chief Robert Milton is urging employees to voluntarily reduce
their hours or take a leave of absence to help the airline cope with the
economic slowdown.

There is little hope left for an economic recovery in the second half of the
year, the president and chief  executive officer told employees recently in
a recorded telephone message.

As a result, Air Canada is looking to aggressively reduce all its expenses,
including introducing new programs to lower labour costs.

"When these programs are revealed, I ask all of you who would be in a
position to accommodate reduced work  hours to please consider them
seriously, especially throughout the slower winter months," Mr. Milton said.

Air Canada outlined a plan last month to boost revenue and cut costs by
$1-billion by next March.

In his message to employees, Mr. Milton said the $1-billion plan will
involve all areas of the Montreal-based  airline's business.

"It is about right-sizing our fleet, moving to optimal seating layouts on
our aircraft in the face of diminished  business-class demand, changing our
product specifications and pricing, and more effectively competing with  our
new low-cost competitors. But we clearly also have to look at labour costs,"
he said.
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