Thursday, September 28, 2006

Branson to save planet again - another day, another press launch

Branson is at it again. This time he has a real idea that seems to make perfect sense on paper (or in front of the world's press). The intransigence of the airline industry is however legendary. Will Branson's energy and public profile be enough? This blog will be watching closely and will of course attempt to report on progress long after the hype and the journalists have gone. Here are three of the more pertinent paragraphs from the article to give you some flavour of the new idea.

Virgin Group chairman British billionaire Richard Branson proposed a plan Wednesday to cut aviation emissions at busy airports, starting at London's Gatwick Airport.

He proposed "starting grids" be set up at major airports which would allow a plane to be towed from its stand by a small tug closer to the runway before takeoff, reducing the time engines are running.

Using starting gates, rather than the current practice of keeping a plane's engines running from push-back to take-off, would cut fuel consumption and on-the-ground carbon emissions for Virgin Atlantic aircraft by more than 50 percent at London's Heathrow Airport and almost 90 percent at New York's John F. Kennedy airport, Branson said earlier.


Anonymous said...

New layout? not as good as before.

Rob Elliott said...

Apologies for new format. The side bar appeared too messy before with the faded blue font plus the fact that we do not really know what we are doing.

Charles Pretzlik said...

Hi. This blog looks great but I'd be interested to know more about what you think of Branson's efforts on renewable fuel. I've been collating blogs on my own blog at

Rob Elliott said...

Hi Charles, thanks for the kind comment.

Matt Cole commented on Branson's original press release on the day:

When we were generally supportive. We intend to post on the renewable fuel efforts this weekend.

I believe it's a good idea to link blog comments on your FT page.

Charles Pretzlik said...

Hi Rob, sorry I hadn't seen Matt's comment on the day. Just had a read and I think I agree with him. If this is how Branson chooses to invest his money, well great. I think that, if he really means it, it sounds like an awfully risky asset allocation strategy(a lot of eggs in one basket), but that's his problem. Anyway, I'll check in Sunday or Monday. I'm afraid I didn't see Matt's comments in time to cite them in the blog box I put together today for a related piece in tomorrow's paper. I'm sure there'll be another occasion, at least to link to you from my own blog.