Watch part two
Just back from the Dubai Airshow, from where we will bring you this week's broadcast.
What an amazing event. I will confess ... it was my first airshow and given the scale of this global depression I had my expectations tempered.
But in a place like Dubai, there is no such thing as tempering expectations - they just (pardon the pun) open the hangar doors and throw everything at it.
Imagine, standing on the tarmac of one of the world's busiest aviation hubs and in one visual sweep, seeing everything from a double-decker super-jumbo A380 to a group of unmanned military drones, to an F-22 jet which is so new and advanced that they are not even selling it (!) to a brand new Qatar Airways B777, just delivered from Boeing headquarters in Seattle - it has not even taken a commercial flight yet.
Actually, I was given a guided tour of the new Boeing 777 - an interesting aircraft for Qatar Airways who - from this plane onwards - have chosen not to include a First Class cabin.
I interviewed Akbar al-Bakar, Qatar Airways' CEO, who said the decision was taken so that the airline could get more premium-paying customers on board.
The theory is that so few people can afford First Class, so why bother having it when you can have a bigger Business Class (which was quite frankly up there with a lot of other airlines' First Class) which people can afford.
|Me and Randy Tinseth live on Al Jazeera English [Courtesy Randy's Journal/Boeing]
Not bad thinking ... we will have to see if it pays off or not. I think some people still aspire to travel in First Class - the Holy Grail of commercial air travel.
Anyway, back to this week's show, and talk about some big names! Tom Enders, the CEO of Airbus, Akbar al-Bakar from Qatar Airways who I mentioned earlier, Simon Keith from BAE Systems for a look at the military side of things, and Randy Tinseth, a Boeing executive who was game enough to come on air live with us.
Plus our reporter Dan Nolan took a look inside one of Qatar Airways' new executive jets.
Forget about the debate over First versus Business - this is another step up altogether.
I will not post any pictures ... you will have to see the story for yourself. All I will say is this - gold plated ashtrays!
So make sure you check out Counting the Cost from the Dubai Airshow.
Source: Al Jazeera