Saturday, August 26, 2006


I have always been very critical of the Barcelona airport. It is a cute airport, do not take me wrong, but the head of operations is clearly below standards (see my previous posting OK, OK, Barcelona sucks a little bit). Besides I have always been an advocate of cutting ties with Iberia and transferring the control of the Catalan airports from the central government to the Catalan government.
Recent events like the "wild strike" of AENA (a central government owned company) personnel at the Barcelona airport that left stranded thousands of travelers in the middle of the holiday season the announcement of Iberia saying that it would dramatically reduce the flights in & out of Barcelona and concentrate most of the air traffic in Madrid, further justify my position.

Personally, I would like to see Iberia disappear from our skies. It is a lousy airline in all aspects and the best that could happen to us Catalans is that name of our country does not get polluted by association to such a substandard airline. This can only happen if, among other things, the airport competencies are transferred from Madrid to Barcelona.

But, so far, the reality is very different. Madrid receives more than 50% of the total investment in airtraffic infrastructure, even though, only 22% of the traffic goes through that province and I do not see any signs of this changing.

As a containment measure, Iberia announced that it would create a low cost carrier that would be based in Barcelona and that would most probably be called Cat Air. This move was intended to calm down the Catalan people, who were getting pretty upset with the "jacobinic" company.
I never believed that the low cost company would be named Cat Air, even though everyone knows that the name was created after the attached videoclip and that has reminiscences of CATania, CATalina the Great, CATamaran and CATering. Nevertheless the remote event that someone would associate CAT with CATalonia scared the hell out of the Iberia management.

And reality has proven me right. In the meantime, the new low cost company has been created with the name of ClickAir, thus avoiding any potential boycott, resulting of a very provoking name as CatAir. The company is headquartered in Madrid, although the operations center will be in Barcelona. This means that most of the work will be done in BCN, but the revenue and taxes will go to Madrid.
However I must admit that I do not dislike the ClickAir name. So I have decided that if you can't take Mohammed to the mountain, take the mountain to Mohammed. For that reason, I am proposing to rename our country with the techy name of Clicktalonia (Clictalunya in Catalan). The name has a dual advantage: it can help dissipate some of the prejudices against Catalonia and it puts us in the forefront of the new technologies.
I hope you will support this move.
Ian Llorens, a Clicktalan.


Ale said...

THAT is funny- haaaaha- ok i support it!

Jun said...

Hi Ian!

Just to tell you that I have just linked you, for the Blogday:

O, by the way, I support it, too! XD

ian llorens said...

Thanks Jun. You really drew a lot of traffic today. I hope your readers enjoyed it.

Tom said...

Iberia is the worst airline I've ever flown with. One of the most irritating things about their service (for me) is when they operate a flight I've booked with British Airways (who are also awful). With BA, I can reasonably expect to be offered a snack and a beer which helps the flight go a little better. But when Iberia operate the flight I booked with BA, they try to charge me for the same level of service I've already paid for! The idea of EasyJet is that I pay less for a basic service... and extra for the extras. With Iberia you pay more than for a 'budget' airline but get none of the fringe benefits. Bastards,

Sorry, this is a bad topic for me. I love aeroplane food though.

Habibi said...

I dislike Iberia very much. Especially the proppeller planes that I use in the Eivissa - Mallorca route. I even dislike the logo.
I have only been onece out of Europe and I flew with AirFrance, which was fine. But, within Europe, I think it is a waste of money to fly with companies like Iberia or BA (except if it is something like a 3hours flight, but my usual route LDN - REU is fine with easyJet or RyanAir). Perhaps I am an stingy Clicktalan. Cuz I am so supporting it.

Tom said...

Yeah EasyJet's usually fine. But if I'm connecting in Heathrow to go east (my Dad lives in Australia and I have family dotted around in Asia) then it just makes more sense to avoid hassle and transfers... and have a 'free' beer.

ian llorens said...

I use to fly United or Northwest. It is fine in business class and acceptable in economy plus. However the level of service is far inferior to the prime Asian airlines. Singapore Airlines is, by far, the best.
I do not like Southwest. It is like a bus, efficient but more suitable to transport cattle. And a beer, five bucks.

Habibi said...

Hey, Ian, something is happening with your last post "Jo també tinc sang catalana" because I can read it on Google Reader but not at the blog.
And, btw, I can't post a comment propperly as you are not a Beta user (but soon I'll be able).

ian llorens said...

I think I fixed it. I have been having a lot of problems to upload pics this weekend. Finally I decided to publish "I also have catalan blood" without the picture of Raymond Domenech. I will retry on Monday, but you should be able to see the rest of the article including Shakira's videoclip by now.
Are you in London this week? How was the flight?

Tom said...

I [heart] SIA

Habibi said...

No, I am in Eivissa right now, flying with Spanair next week to Barcelona and then, hopefully in October, moving back to London.