If I had to start again...

Sir Michael Bishop. I'd start my business career later and probably go to university.

I'd start my business career later and probably go to university. I picked up a broad range of knowledge later in life, but it would have been useful to have it upfront. I was 36 when I bought British Midland and found that I lacked some of the skills I needed in accounting and legal matters. I really did fly by the seat of my pants for the first 10 years.

Running an airline is a high-pressure business, and I had to concentrate on work to the exclusion of other interests. I'm a fan of the arts, and I'd like to have dedicated more time to that, but to become a really talented musician - a pianist or violinist - you have to do it 10 hours a day, to the exclusion of everything else. Whichever path you take, you're missing out on other things, so I don't regret the sacrifices I've made.

There have been some really difficult times and tough decisions to make - we've operated in the face of oil spikes, September 11 and Sars - and overcoming such challenges is a 24/7 job. We had a very serious aircraft accident in 1989. That was a real low point and very tragic to go through.

Sign in to continue

Sign in

Trouble signing in?

Reset password: Click here

Email: mtsupport@haymarket.com

Call: 020 8267 8121



  • Up to 4 free articles a month
  • Free email bulletins

Register Now

Get 30 days free access

Sign up for a 30 day free trial and get:

  • Full access to managementtoday.co.uk
  • Exclusive event discounts
  • Management Today's print magazine

Join today