On the subject of how to reach obscure parts of China and sub-Saharan Africa, Chris Baker-Brian has become something of an expert in recent years. As co-founder and chief technology officer of BBOXX, which hires solar-powered energy packs to homes and businesses on monthly payment plans, he has made 11 overseas trips during the past year. He knows the difference that a direct flight can make to a business schedule, without valuable hours being wasted in departure lounges waiting for a connecting flight.
Baker, 29, has based his business in Chiswick, West London, for its proximity to Heathrow. Yet in spite of London’s prime airport being one of the world’s biggest hub airports, at present only one of his three regular African destinations can be reached directly.