Behold, dear readers, for Air Observer is back.
After a couple of weeks of laziness and vacations, I am back on tracks for more aviation and insane avgeek news. First article to be scheduled in the afternoon on Ryanair’s business offer and how it inspired itself from Vueling.
Another article this week will be dedicated to air travelers rights. See you soon and thanks for waiting!
Okay, this is an instant, out-of-the-blue nightly rant on the story of the pilot and the “fake arm”. We all heard it. We all saw it. Everyone with a little piece of interest in aviation and who’s not turned his comp off for the vacations heard about it. So there was a flight incident. A Flybe pilot temporarily lost control of his plane after his prosthetic left arm fell. This unmanned pilot was, according to the company, one of the most experienced and trust worthy pilots of the airline.
But media didn’t shy away from preying on the story. For repeating it over and over, in a sadistic circle that became as voyeuristic as ghoulish. Even BuzzFeed gave it a go. Hell, since when did they start caring about aviation incidents anyway? I mean, seriously, did any of these guys think a second about how this man must feel, now that they have been pinning the label “fake arm” on him? Not the slightest consideration of humanity.
At least they didn’t spill out the name. Though I am sure they would have if they could have.
You might argue that it is a matter of safety. Sure it is. And I’m sure British authorities will look at it closely, so will Flybe and actions will be taken so that it never happens again. But I can’t stand the fact that media jumped on a crispy info and adds unspeakable pressure on the poor fellow’s shoulders. Especially since there are like so many other important things to look at… Like, maybe, this recent study of RunwayGirl Network on the toxicity of cabin air.
Sometimes, saying nothing is probably the best way to behave. At least that’s what I think.
How about you avgeeks? How did you feel about this whole media fury?
I know. It isn’t the kind of titles you’d expect to see on my blog. Nevertheless, as time goes by, I realized that Ryanair was increasingly taking notice of what I say. Alright pause on that – joking.
I don’t think they care so much about a poor lonesome blogger, however, it is funny to see that a fair amount of things I’d warned about happened and, more surprisingly, Ryanair took the decision to do what I said they should do. Basically, they’d have saved precious months had they read and listened to me.
For a transient moment, rumour had it that Air France-KLM, the third biggest European airline consortium, and Wizz Air, the ultra-low-cost carrier from Hungary, were in talks over a potential buying offer. The information from the Dutch newspaper Luchtvaartnieuws.nl was swiftly denied by Air France KLM, which put an end to this great dream of an East & West association of things that fly.
Still the subject is golden and for the fun of it, I still decided to discuss the pro and cons, from both players’ position.
CMO Kenny Jacobs announced it with great fanfare in Marketing Weeks lately. Ryanair is now looking forward to developing the future in terms of online travel, in the form of a user-centered start-up venture fancily-named “Ryanair Labs”. To be successful, the venture will need to find about 200 collaborators by December in order to tackle their user generated content strategy.
But will they make it in time?
Sorry about messing up this week, but there won’t be any article on the blog. Personal life was hectic, time’s a runner (and I can’t seem to catch up) and I didn’t want to deliver a poor quality job on my blog.
But as I refuse to leave you hanging for nothin’, I believe it’s best that you read the articles that (should) have been written, provided I had the time:
- Subject n°1: easyJet and the businessman lawsuit
The pitch? easyJet got into an argument over refund with a businessman who of course refused to pay the hectic charges – because even if Ryanair is the best at it, EZY does it too. Could this result in a precedent that would ruin the orange airline model? Mhm mhm. I would daresay, hell no, and the reason is simple: simply too many a passenger takes for granted the airline’s position that states “No Refund”, even when they are entitled to one. Bummer!
- Subject n°2: Lufthansa’s dog days, far from over?
I don’t generally pay too much attention to flag carriers, but when one of them chooses to go low-cost, man does it interest me. Lufthansa is currently considering painful decision to keep its competitive edge and remains the best European airline, while confronting the Gulf carriers’ competition. Is it a good choice? Should it yield and abandon its model? And does it have the choice anyway? Finally, how will the pilots, the one concerned the most by the change, will welcome the decision?
- Subject n°3: did Ryanair finally learn his lesson?
Ryanair’s decision to launch a Ryanair lab is far from being nothing. It shows quite well how the carrier has finally understood the importance of the digital age. Something it could have never understood without recruiting an outsider, Kenny Jacobs, to do the job. However, their motives may be “righteous” and match a well-thought strategy, I don’t think that Ryanair Labs will really pick up anytime soon. Not because they don’t have the money: simply because their appeal is almost below zero on the seduction rank.
How can it be any different when one considers their horrific management culture, compared to their direct competitors – a.k.a Google, Facebook, and all the other fantastic companies which reside in this beautiful tax-friendly Ireland country?
- Subject n°4: Air France-KLM and Wizz Air, the missed opportunity
As a matter of fact, this article was 90% written, on the basis that Air France-KLM was REALLY courting Wizz Air. Unfortunately, the French – Dutch group firmly denied this some hours ago before I posted, and I couldn’t muster the strength to either rewrite it completely or add a few quick changes that wouldn’t have been too relevant. So half-way there, so to speak.
Which one would you want?
I wouldn’t want to leave without any fresh insights. I PROMISE to publish at least two articles, one new and one from above. The question is, which would you like? Please feel free to give me some feedback!
Airlines are experiencing a bad moment. easyJet is sentenced to 60,000 Euros damages for discrimination towards a person with reduced mobility (PRM). Ryanairforbidden to apply extra credit card charges fees (again). Looking at facts alone, it seems that airline industry in Europe is experiencing a slow but steady harmonisation of its consumer practices. Sure, some still manage to get out of trouble blue-handed: but overall, the rights of the air passenger have become more and more protected. Which is a good thing.
Yesterday, we learnt in the Daily Mail that a Ryanair flight went completely out of control. Irish family downing cans of Guinness, one of them urinating on the floor, shouting and hitting a passenger. It wouldn’t be information worth writing for, if another incident involving hadn’t happened the day before, and another two weeks before that. (more…)
Last two days, Ryanair lawyers spent them in court instead of enjoying the notoriously sunny climate of the south de la France. What kept them busy was the continuation of an everlasting lawsuit related to the flouting of labour law. (more…)
AENA, the Airports Authority that settles airport charges all over Spain, is set to undergo a partial privatization, according to a recent declaration of Transport Minister Ana Pastor. Immediately, Ryanair declared it was “seriously interested” by the 28% that should be open to private investors.
Great news for Ryanair. Dublin-based carrier’s bond issue earlier this week was a terrific success – the kind one had never seen in aviation before. The budget airline managed a “no frill funding” of €850M for a ridiculously cheap credit rate: a financial coup de maître which kind of reminds of 2001’s acquisition of Boeing. (more…)
After the savings generated by the Transform 2015 plan, Air France now seeks to bounce back by finding new opportunities for growth. At Doha, aside to IATA’s general Assembly, Alexandre de Jugniac (Air France-KLM CEO) and Frédéric Gagey (Air France CEO) met with journalists and discussed over the future. And obviously, it will be painted with Transavia colours. (more…)
Finally, the six-month-old saga of Alitalia’s survival may soon come to an (happy) end, we learnt from Bloomberg today. According to the financial newspapers, Etihad’s CEO James Hogan expects a “positive conclusion of the transaction submitted by Alitalia”. The Gulf airline has proposed to help the nearly bankrupt airline with a €600M investment, under the conditions that it readies itself for restructuring. However, considering the need for cash, it seems that all the lights are green for Etihad to acquire about 40 pc of the Italian flag carrier. (more…)