Keeping our capital working for the UK

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Business needs to fly

By Jo Valentine, Chief Executive, London First:

London is the trading capital of the world. Without access to its world markets, London could lose its crown to New York or to increasingly influential Dubai or Shanghai. So London business is ever more reliant on international travel.

I don’t mean to say that the global environment can be ignored. International emissions trading agreements should soon give aviation and its customers every incentive to play a part in reducing man’s impact on the global environment. With the growth of video conferencing, business carbon-reduction programmes and recent hikes in the oil-dependent price of air travel, air travel is a tough business to be in, as confirmed by the fate of Alitalia and XL. But any halt to the inexorable rise in demand for business travel looks temporary.

Bluntly, business needs to fly.

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A truncated version of this article appeared in the Evening Standard letters page, 24 Sep 08

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