There was a rather stupid letter in SCMP on Monday (Hidden cost of budget airlines - subscription required) about the recent problem Oasis had with a flight delay.
Here they go again - "Flat tyre takes the wind out of Oasis Flight" (April 8). The airline's inaugural flight last October was delayed for 24 hours because of problems getting clearance from Russian authorities.
In October a tow-bar snapped on a vehicle towing the plane on the tarmac at London's Gatwick Airport. By the time the aircraft taxied out to the runway, the airport's curfew hour had arrived and it had to close for the night. Oasis missed it by one minute.
Oasis' general manager of sales and marketing, Raymond Ng To-wing, said he was waiting for the report on why it took hours to fix a flat tyre. In Apple Daily one passenger said the captain informed them the landing gear had problems, then blamed it on a flat tyre and later claimed that the aircraft wings had a problem.
Legislator Howard Young, representing the tourism sector, said it was not unusual for new airlines to run into technical problems, but it was important to have enough planes to provide a good quality service. I agree.
If travellers choose budget airlines such as Oasis to get from A to B, they should be prepared not to arrive at their destination on time.
Eugene Li, Deep Water Bay
Eugene Li, "Hidden cost of budget airlines" (April 23), seems to feel that those who pay budget airfares should not complain when they arrive late.
Perhaps he may want to explain why hundreds of people paying full first-class fares, business-class fares, economy-class and discounted economy are still arriving late on full-fare airlines that apparently have planes to spare? Except, of course, when one gets a technical hitch that strands passengers in London because there is no spare plane available. Having paid HK$70,000 for this inconvenience recently, I would be much happier being late for HK$16,000!
Mark Peaker, The Peak
No airline is perfect. On two recent flights I took on Cathay, the entertainment system was suffering from a "software problem" that meant that none of the advertised movies were shown, and on another occasion they excelled themselves by sending me an SMS announcing that my flight would be two and a half hours late - the catch being that actually it left on time. Good trick - nearly caught me out with that one...
Nothing remarkable in any of that, and the only reason for mentioning it is that I can't help feeling that if Oasis suffered any of those problems then they would be on the TV news and in the newspapers. Or in stupid letters to the SCMP.
Meanwhile, Oasis seems to have dropped Oakland as its next destination in favour of Vancouver (Oasis Airlines to Fly to Canada in June), which does sound like a more attractive option. So far they are only selling tickets through travel agents in Hong Kong (they cannot be purchased online or in Canada), which seems to indicate that this has all been arranged in rather a rush.