news & views

Hanging On By Their Wingtips.

Posted on the 20th of January 2009 by Christopher Goddard, Managing Director

Have you noticed that everything is doom and gloom at the moment?

You would need to have been on a deserted island for the last 5 months if you hadn't heard that we are apparently heading for that dreaded "R" word.

Recession I hear you say.

Well I'm not thinking Recession - I'm actually thinking Rationalisation !!

In no way do I diminish the current situation that the global economy is in neither do I make light of the massive challenges that big companies are facing, but really, with the excesses that have occurred over the last 8 years or so wasn't it inevitable that things had to change?

I mean after all, isn't that why the top executives were paid massive and at sometimes obscene amounts of money? We were paying them these exhorbitant sums to expertly steer the enormous global companies through the minefield of international corporate life.

The aviation and hospitality industry was no different.

Admittedly, the remuneration packages of the top positions of hotel chains or airlines paled in comparison to those in the finance or telecommunication world, however their responsibilites were the same - regardless of their weekly pay packet.

And this is where I think we have got it all wrong.

I know that I am looking at this very simplistically but when did the good fortune of share holders overtake the satisfaction of the consumer or more importantly - the customer.

I'll tell you when it happened - it happened when the CEO's and top executives of these companies realised how much they could make on the shoulders of us very greedy and very demanding customers.

We wanted the best of the best at all times. For example, we wanted a "pillow menu" at hotels to ensure our total trouble free sleep - we wanted to be pampered to ridiculous levels on aircraft and what - we thought this was coming for nothing? No this was coming at a cost and guess what everybody, the debt collector has come to collect his dues.

What do you mean you don't have the cash to pay? Did I get this right, did you purchase all these excesses on credit? Well I'm sorry sir, I still need to collect my debt !

Welcome to the "R" word !!!

We all need to innovate, we all need to constantly strive for greater efficiencies and profitability to ensure that all those that want to work can do so. However, this constant need for bigger and better and easer has to be more reasonable and we need to be reasonable with it.

The fat cats had a great time making buckets of money over the last few years but I think that we have to shoulder part of the blame.

I think that we were the ones that were continually briging the milk to the saucer.