Thursday, September 04, 2008

The Wall Street Journal Europe read by rocket engineers

It is not too clear on the picture, but it was very clear to me. Through the doors of the Hilton City Brussels hotel I spotted a Wall Street Journal Europe reader. He turned out to be a high ranking IATA officer, always traveling the world. He usually picks up the WSJE on airlines and in 4 to 5 star hotels. He loved our compact format, especially handy on airplanes. He was very positive about our 'value chain', meaning wherever in Europe he was able to pick up the newspaper on day A (free or paid), which was not always the case for USA Today he added. He was remarkably well informed about all what is happening around our newspaper. He likes WSJE, but doesn't like Murdoch's Fox Channel (the man is Italian, but lives in Canada) in the US. "The only good thing about Fox is the Simpsons on Sundays", or "The experts on Fox Channel are first of all good looking"...

When we talked a bit about aviation industry and the future of aviation he educated me as follows: "Yesterday planes were flown by 3 pilots. Today they are flown by 2 pilots. Tomorrow they will be flown by 1 pilot and a dog. The pilot is there to look at his computer, the dog to prevent the pilot of touching the sticks." Surely an IATA joke.

Speaking to this man, undoubtedly well educated (as a rocket engineer I learned), with a very bright eye on the world, it again illustrated to me the high quality of our readership.