Supersonic DreamsWhat a month in aviation, from “Nut Rage” to a plane flying on the sun’s energy and all things in between! I have often said the world of aviation is a crazy place, as so succinctly demonstrated this month by the jailing for one year of Heather Cho, a former executive of Korean Air, who ordered the plane she was aboard, and which was about to take off from New York’s JFK airport in December, back to the terminal to offload an air hostess who had served her nuts in a bag instead of a bowl. I wonder what Heather Cho would make of Ryanair?

I also had a wry smile when I read what Bjorn Kjos, who heads up Norwegian Airlines, is up to. Under his leadership Norwegian Airlines are currently seeking to reinvent themselves as a British carrier. Their stated aim is to “up end” the transatlantic market with super low fares to the US. Anybody remember the name Freddie Laker? I will keep you posted.

Air passenger duty (APD) is about to hit the headlines again; this is a tax is levied on every passenger seat sold in the UK. To put this in perspective, in 2013/14 this tax raised £2.9bn, with £200m coming from Scotland. If the SNP take control in Scotland, one of the powers that will be passed to them will be to legislate on this APD, and their initial proposal is to reduce this tax in Scotland by 50% with a view to scrapping it altogether. I wonder how Newcastle airport would fare under this potential new arrangement, and could we see a change of heart at Westminster over this unnecessary and punitive tax.

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