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New Business History Collective Webinar: Friday July 31, 2020 4:00 PM – 6:00 PM BST

  • 1.  New Business History Collective Webinar: Friday July 31, 2020 4:00 PM – 6:00 PM BST

    Posted 07-28-2020 09:34

    Business History Research on The Politics of Air Travel

    This webinar will take place on place on Friday, 31 July, 4 to 6pm UK time.

    Please register in advance here.

    Paper 1 -

    Presenter - Adrian Cozmuta (Glasgow and Kyoto)

    Title - Selling 'The World's Favourite Airline': British Airways' privatisation and the motives behind it

    Abstract -

    On the 11th of February 1987, the world witnessed one of the most historic moments brought about by neoliberal thinking-British Airways (BA), the United Kingdom flag carrier was privatised, making it one of the very first major airlines to ever reach flotation.

    This paper examines the motives behind the privatisation and how these changed during the process. I answer this by examining the usual suspects associated with the British experience of privatisation-reducing company borrowing, improving company efficiency, curbing trade union power, fostering competition, and encouraging wider share ownership.1 In doing so, this analysis uses archival material from BA and the UK National Archives, among other to provide the reader with a comprehensive and current analysis.

    Paper 2 –

    Authors: Tobias A. Jopp / Mark Spoerer (both at Regensburg)

    Title: How Political Were Airbus and Boeing Sales in the 1970s and 1980s?

    Abstract: When, in the second half of the 1960s, governments and aircraft manufacturers in Western Europe discussed a possible joint project called "Airbus", the markets for civil jet aircraft were dominated by two US firms, Boeing and McDonnell Douglas. After a disappointing start, Airbus Industrie, founded in 1970, had become a serious competitor only a decade later. Since the early 2000s, Airbus and Boeing have been competing head-to-head for market leadership for jet aircraft with more than 100 seats. Boeing has persistently complained about Airbus receiving loans on favourable terms and other subsidies from European governments, and that the latter would use political pressure to make operators buy Airbus aircraft. Based on a record of all wide-body jets delivered between 1969 and 1989 and a dataset built thereupon on all airlines having acquired a brand-new wide-body, we subject the latter reproach to an empirical test by asking for the political determinants of Airbus and Boeing sales. We find suggestive evidence for airlines' ownership status and their home countries' former colonial ties to as well as trade relations with and development aid flows from the Airbus consortium member countries and the US to have mattered.

    Andrew Smith, Senior Lecturer in International Business
    Director of Research (Strategy, International Business, and Entrepreneurship Group)
    University of Liverpool