Emirates and Guns in a Bathroom

The NY Times has an interesting article looking at aviation in the Mideast. Specifically, how Emirates has continued to expand it business profitably in a down market in a region that many consider tumultuous (Dubai is by no means a danger zone, but most Americans don’t know that). Emirates begins nonstop flights to the US this summer. The article also notes that up-and-coming carrier Qatar Airways (the airline would win Best New Artist if it were up for a Grammy) has purchased two A380s (the double decker planes) and will soon be serving 60 destinations. With little-to-no fanfare in the US, Qatar Airways has carved out a small empire for itself in the Middle East.

And in the complete insanity department, a US Air Marshall left her gun in a bathroom at Cleveland Hopkins Airport.

Speaking of insanity, I need to point something out about the recently released White House briefing memo about the possible Al Qaeda threat. Many commentators and the current administration have argued that nothing could have been done with the information provided in the August 2001 memo regarding Bin Laden’s desire to hijack an airliner that would have prevented the September 11th attacks. However, after September 11th, myriad security rules were put in place at US airports to try to….stop hijacking. Unfortunately, the hijacking had already occurred. If the airport security rules we now have are so effective, why weren’t they put in place at the very THREAT of hijacking? If making us take off our shoes at security lines is an easy way to prevent hijackings, why was that implemented AFTER the hijacking. Was it considered too onerous on the airlines to change the way security was handled? Or was it to protect an already ailing airline industry? Just a thought…

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