SIR – Only for the purpose of research did I view for the first and only time the replay of RTÉ’s Late Late Show pertaining to the Aer Lingus flights to and from to Beijing.
The studio was reminiscent of a collection of terracotta sculptures depicting the armies of Qin Shi Huang, the first Emperor of China or a futuristic Orwellian setting.
You’d imagine from the hype spurred on by the over-paid presenter, on up to a half a million euros a year funded by the taxpayers, lauding the gargantuan effort, that Aer Lingus crews had been first on the moon or outer space, that they put their lives in danger, that they had to route through an active war zone.
They travelled to and from one modern Capital city airport to another and back via safe well-established air corridors.
If the show was meant to be a real soap, the checking of the cargo strapped into the passenger seats every 15 to 20 minutes would be a humorous punch line. A charter company with built-for-purpose cargo planes would have done the job, without any song-and-dance, at a fraction of the cost.
Was the decision to engage Aer Lingus (no longer an Irish-owned company) a commercial or political decision rather than a patriotic humanitarian gesture? Whatever, the Irish taxpayers are left to pick up the tab for the costly Chinese take-away.