AOB – February 2019

19 February 2019

Emirates announced today it will launch a four times weekly service between Portugal’s second largest city, Porto, and Dubai, from 2 July 2019.

18 February 2019

From the Economist:

And nearly five years into army rule, the concentration of power and wealth in the capital has worsened, to the resentment of the provinces. Credit Suisse, a bank, reckons that just 500,000 Thais control two-thirds of the kingdom’s assets. According to the World Bank, over 70% of the budget is spent on Greater Bangkok—the most extreme split between capital and periphery seen anywhere.

15 February 2019

Emirates Airline chief digital and transformation officer Christoph Mueller has apparently resigned from the airline and plans to return to Europe. Did he resign or was he pushed.

Mueller joined Emirates in September 2016; at that time he was both the great hope for change in the airline and also the presumed successor to Sir Tim Clark.

Yet Clark is still in charge and Mueller is out of the door. In little over two years it is doubtful if he has changed anything except the size of his bank balance.

The 57-year-old Mueller has held numerous senior executive positions in the airline industry. Among others he was CEO of Aer Lingus from 2009 until 2015 and joined Malaysia Airlines as CEO before moving to Emirates.

At Emirates, he was eventually tasked with a relaunch of the airline’s digital activities (not much evidence of that) and kept very much in the background, away from the daily running of the business.

I guess banging your head against a wall for over two years must take its toll. Hopefully wherever Mr Mueller goes to next he will have a greater impact and profile.

12 February 2019

Back from a couple of nights in BKK with Tai. Our little Bangkok apartment is a little cramped for two! But no regrets. It is a good development in a good location. And ideal for Tai while she studies there.

But traffic – even on Saturday night was horrible.

Went to the new Icon Siam mall on Sunday. Was surprised to find that I liked it more than I had expected to. There are some nice open public spaces overlooking the river. The sook thailand is well done – and there are new stores there making their debut in the country. Sadly no book store.

2 February 2019

The European Tour are playing golf in Saudi Arabia this week. They should not be. My comments can be read on twitter.

But his as reinforcement is Golf Channel analyst Brandel Chamblee highlighting the Tour’s woefully bad call.

“I cannot imagine what economic incentive it would take to get me to go to a place that is so egregiously on the wrong side of human rights,” he said. “I don’t think they fully understand what they are doing.

“I don’t understand it from an economic point of view, I don’t understand it from a business point of view and I don’t understand it from a moral point of view. They are legitimising and enriching the rulers of this regime. I won’t even watch it on the TV. They should not be there. By participating, they are ventriloquists for this abhorrent, reprehensible regime.”

Exactly

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Qatar won the AFC Asian Cup beating Japan 3-1 in the final in something of a big surprise.

The tournament was of course held in the UAE who continue to choke on the success of the neighbours they have blockaded.