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Monday, 17 August 2009

Airport rebranding shock

The BBC has reported today that tiny little Oxford Airport, 60 miles from London, has changed its name to London Oxford Airport in the hope that the rebranding would "raise its international profile". The airport is in Kidlington, a large village which is just about big enough to feature on Wikipedia but whose entire population would fit into Wembley Stadium more than six times over.

Claire Prosser, policy executive of the Thames Valley Chamber of Commerce is reported as saying that this was a "good idea" which could benefit the whole region:

"Oxford and Oxfordshire is a place in its own right but you're linking tourism and business and it's an excellent business opportunity. We appreciate most orbital London airports are never that close, this shouldn't be that different".
Left: Kidlington offers special facilities for planes too small to land at Heathrow

The IPKat thinks this is an extraordinary piece of misplaced oopportunism, which may confuse the unwary foreigner but is unlikely to bring business and commerce into the Thames Valley. Merpel wonders whether this is just a desperate attempt on the part of Kidlington to avoid confusion with the great metropolis of Pidlington ...

Design your own airport here.
Thames Valley here
Chad Valley here

4 comments:

Mark Schweizer said...

a somewhat similar case in Germany led to litigation between Lufthansa and Ryanair: the airport Frankfurt-Hahn is about 120 km from Frankfurt, and not to be confused with the airport Frankfurt. Ryanair advertised prices for flights from Frankfurt-Hahn without clearly stating that this is not *the* Frankfurt airport. The OLG Hamburg (30.09.2004) saw a violation of unfair competition law unless the advertising clearly pointed out the actual location of the airport Frankfurt-Hahn.

MaxDrei said...

That last comment brings to mind a sketch from long ago (was it "I'm Sorry I'll Read That Again" readers?) about Londoners plagued by tourists asking for directions. Confronted with one asking the way to, say, "Oxford Circus" one would hail a passing cab and helpfully explain to the driver that the tourist wished to see the wonderful circus acts performing that evening in Oxford. For an even funnier (!) example, I think "Waterloo" was given.

Rob Harrison said...

The latest rebranding by Ryanair of an Airport in Germany is that well-known airport in Memmingen which has been baptised Munich airport by Ryanair. Needless to say that has not gone unnoticed by its larger brother north of Munich which is one of Lufthansa's main hubs.

Mark Anderson said...

Speaking as an Oxfordshire resident, it would be nice if you could fly anywhere from [London] Oxford Airport. But as I don't have a corporate jet [yet...], and don't want a summer flight to Jersey, the airport is of limited interest.

Any interest in clubbing together to buy a plane for the exclusive use of IP practitioners? FlIP...

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