Open Jaw: 'The people of Beirut are warm and welcoming'
Where readers write back
Saturday 20 November 2010
Qantas grounds A380
I suspect it's too early to say what the long-term effect on Rolls-Royce and Qantas will be. If I understand the issue correctly, this engine represents a significantly new generation of technology from anything currently powering other wide-body jets. Assuming that RR develops a fix that works, the damage may not be lasting.
Probably the nearest comparison is the cargo door and engine pylon design flaws on the DC-10. Following the aircraft's introduction in the early 1970s, there were several highly publicised accidents.
Travel agents reported that customers demanded a guarantee that they would not be flying on a DC-10. But the flaws were fixed, memories faded and the planes kept flying.
By the time the last major airline phased them out (Northwest in 2006), no one thought twice about travelling in the DC-10 and their overall safety record was very similar to that of the L-1011 and early generation 767s.
Despite the fact that it was Qantas who identified the fault and took swift action to ensure no aircraft or lives were lost, it still cannot fly until the engines have either been fixed or replaced. No doubt there will be some customer fears to overcome as well. This may well delay getting the A380 into the air at peak time when peak fares are demanded.
I'd fly Singapore Airlines for the safety, service and comfort anyway. Best airline by a mile.
Pontin's goes into administration
Pontin's has been in decline for years – this is no surprise. Bourne Leisure, who own Butlins, Haven, etc, have been well run and have invested £79m in their sites over the last year, where Pontin's has just become more run down.
Take a look at any of the reviews for the Pontin's sites – you will struggle to find a positive one.
This has nothing to do with the economy or politics, it's just down to poor management.
Once Cameron's benefit cuts really start to bite, places like Pontin's would have found their bookings dropping sharply anyway as the poor would no longer be able to afford to go anywhere for a cheap few days.
Cruising to Russia
If you are on a Baltic cruise ship, you can only get into St Petersburg on a collective visa if you are going as part of an organised tour.
Lebanon wants easyJet
We would like to inform you that a group of Lebanese enthusiasts has been working on that same objective for six months now. We've set up a Facebook group, (http:\\on.fb.me/c2H0FD) with more than 2,000 members supporting our cause.
I am a frequent visitor to Beirut and have found the fares charged by Middle East Airlines extortionate.
I love the input from the Lebanese tourism minister – he really humanises a country that's just a stereotype for so many Brits. By the way, I'm from Putney. You know the place: "Friendly locals, beautiful scenery, proud history, delicious cuisine and rich culture..."
"Snoman", London SW15
I have been to Beirut several times. It's an electric place rich with culture, diversity, ancient history and modern life. The people are warm and welcoming. This is what makes the city – you have to go to discover just how extraordinary it is.
Secret surfing in Morocco
Don't I wish I could take a couple of weeks off and get down there. Sounds superb.
"Big Bad John"
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