18 NOVEMBER 2019
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“If we manage successfully through a committed investment of £6.5bn, I can't see why will not be the world's favourite again.” The speaker BA chairman and chief executive Alex Cruz, on the podium at Royal Aeronautical Society last week for the Air League’s Sir Andrew Humphrey Memorial lecture.
A packed audience heard Cruz outline how he saw air travel for the future. “We are going backwards” he said. “The first jets across the Atlantic, the Comet and Boeing 707, took longer than their present-day successors,” pointing out the speed of the aircraft was much the same. The catch is the time on the ground lining up for a pier, Cruz explained, noting problems at JFK. It was a relaxed and confident speech.
Later on, at a dinner, Cruz welcomed as special guests four young people starting out on their aeronautical careers. Each made an introductory speech, led by David McDermott, an aerospace engineer working for Airbus on the A320 series.
The others were Jenny Ramsdale, a perfusionist at Bristol Royal infirmary, who is aiming to become a pilot; Francis Yalung, a 19-year-old Air League Scholar and aerospace engineering and pilot studies student at the University of the West of England, Bristol; and finally Dipeet Metha, formerly of Thomas Cook, who has been selected as a BA co-pilot. Cruz was the first to congratulate him.
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