Letter: To hell (but not back) on British Airways

Sir: British Airways has been caught dabbling in commercial espionage. But the adverse reaction to the company should, I believe, be tempered by the fact that within the last 10 years, the airline has been changed from a national disgrace into (until this week's admission) an airline that is held in high esteem by regular travellers and airlines around the globe.

Every year, overseas visitors pour hundreds of millions of pounds into the UK economy through the purchase of air tickets on BA flights in preference to their own national carriers. The man most responsible for this is Sir Colin Marshall. Calls for his resignation over this scandal are misdirected. Instead, Lord King, with whom the buck should stop, must bring forward his departure from July of this year.

But this latest example of BA throwing its weight around must lead to a change in government policy if the smaller UK airlines are not to be squeezed out of business. Therefore, might I suggest that BA be forced into giving up its UK domestic routes (which are basically loss-making for the airline anyway) in return for the 'green light' on the Dan Air 'gift'.

This would enable the likes of British Midland and Air UK to start building a stronger revenue base with which to secure their future. At the same time it would serve as a reining-in of BA's immense power; because, as they say, power corrupts.

Yours faithfully,

J. KEITH MILLER

Bartley, Hampshire

14 January

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