Tuesday, November 24, 2009



Over the last two years I have flown a lot with bmi between London and Damascus. And really, I've found it, with only one exception, a very enjoyable experience whether in business class or economy. bmi have a great local team at Damascus airport, which really helps, and their agent here, Tawfik Jabassini, is outstandingly helpful. It is altogether infinitely preferable (I'm somewhat sad to say) than flying SyrianAir on the same route. There is plenty of room in bmi's business class, unlike the two rows in SyrianAir's Airbus; the planes are clean(er); the cabin crews are professional, and there aren't clouds of cigarette smoke wafting from the bmi flight deck, as there always are on SyrianAir planes.

The snafu occurred in 2008 when I was booked on a bmi flight from London codeshared with BA. I double-checked the flight time on the BA website, but when I rang bmi just before leaving for Heathrow, I was told that the flight had already left as the schedule had changed. The details are in another post so I won't repeat them here. I wrote to bmi's chairman to complain, and Helen had a flight of hers upgraded to business class as a result which was good.

In general though I've enjoyed travelling with bmi. Their operation at Heathrow is now very slick; check-in staff are smart, helpful and charming. The business lounge is excellent. Even their in-flight magazine is interesting. There are a couple of things I would suggest they improved if anyone consulted me (chiefly their telephone support), but overall it's been a pleasure, so thanks bmi.

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Wednesday, November 11, 2009


An end in sight

Well, I have finally done it. I've just sent a letter of resignation to Mrs Assad, proposing that I step down at the end of March next year. We had discusssed the possibility that I might move from this role on to a sort of Chairman role, but I now believe I should cut the knot completely. It's never a pleasant thing to do, but for all sorts of reasons I feel it is the best thing for me, the family and for the project, although it may take people some time to see the latter. Anyhow, it's final, and I will have to wait for her response to see how we go forward.


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