Monday, 31 October 2011

Running an Airline 101

It seems Qantas got the Willie Walsh effect. In an era where Unions have never been as moderate it seems that Airlines get the yips and decide to take them head on for no good reason.

Over a long period, amidst all his other disasters like buying a dead airline, the Terminal 5 Fiasco, launching an All premium Class Service to New York to ferry bankers back and fore when we hated them, Willie Walsh faced down the Unions as his loyal Cabin Crew defended their jobs. In Walsh's case, it was hard to see the strategy as he had no clue which he wanted - high class staff for Premium services or dimwits to run a budget airline. In between he had more staff than he could shake a stick at in the back rooms whereas the battle would be won up front. It was a silly plan.

In buying a Spanish Airline, you still cannot get a Heathrow to Valencia flight with either BA or Iberia. Class.

Qantas have fallen foul of the same self-harm instinct that BA has. By grounding all its 108 aircraft in the face of some flights which was peeving a number of customers, they decided to shaft every one of them. That really was going to endear the Airline to its customers. In fact, in true BA and Easyjet fashion, Qantas informed their customers of the stoppage by merely putting up a one liner on a screen. But, I suppose, at least Qantas had a plan - they wanted to expand into the lucrative Asian travel market.

It seems Corporations are into this public 'auditing' of its management decisions and techniques and there a few like BA, Qantas, and HP who seem to be failing rather spectacularly.

I dare say, if you were booking a flight to Australia today, Qantas would not be first choice.

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