Stephen Rees's blog

Thoughts about the relationships between transport and the urban area it serves

Fuel issues will ground the airline industry

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AC Jazz Dash 8 YVR 2007_1008_1640

Anthony Perl and Richard Gilbert add some weight to my recent comments about the future of the airline industry.

Last week, the chief financial officer of American Airlines Tom Horton said “there really is no playbook now for $110 a barrel oil.”

They argue that we are going to need to use buses and trains a lot more. This idea will not sit well with the “business as usual” folk but it is inevitable that the days of the cheap airline ticket are over. It is going to take time to get all this organised, and we should already be moving. But governments, chambers of commerce and boards of trade are still talking about airport expansions and better road connections for them.

It is not just here either. One of the really big issues at present in London is the proposal for yet another runway at Heathrow.

Sadly our political elites are still behind the times. Their idea of planning is still based on “previous trends recover and continue” not that we have entered a new era, that demands fresh thinking. Although to be fair, the idea that Canada needs decent passenger trains is hardly new. It just has not occurred to the governments and railway operators yet.

Written by Stephen Rees

May 5, 2008 at 8:16 am

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