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New approach with a birds eye view....

As I headed south to London City Airport this week for the ABTA aviation committee meeting, little did I know how the journey would make me feel.

The flight up the winding Thames estuary is my favourite route into London, but because of head winds, this approach was a little different. We went right past the City Airport and banking sharply right at the Shard (I swear that it felt like I could almost reach out and touch it!), I found myself looking directly at Tower Bridge and the Houses of Parliament.

Heading back towards the Airport, we then passed over Canary Wharf and the O2 Arena (Millennium Dome) before making a safe landing in the heart of the city - just after the Thames Barrier. What I experienced in the five minutes before landing, was a fabulous mini tour of many of London's iconic sites. Fantastic.

However, it turned out to be a bittersweet journey, as I soon found myself at the scene of the recent terrorist attacks in Borough Market. The market is adjacent to the ABTA offices - I often stop there for something to eat from one of the stalls. When you are familiar with the area and the people, it really brings the reality of those horrific attacks home.

Without doubt, terrorism is having an impact on our industry. A recent survey carried out by World Travel Market indicated that up to 16% of people were so worried about the threat of terrorism that they had decided not to travel or had cancelled their holiday. On the other hand, the majority of the British public still seems fairly resilient, with more than half of those surveyed (55%) saying that it would not affect their willingness to travel.

It's a difficult one for our industry, but that willingness to travel and the resilience of the public is key. As I sat in the busy Borough Market, it very much struck me that life does and must go on as usual.....
 

 
Alan Glen SPAA President
28 June 2017 
 
 
 
 
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