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New VA CEO ideas.

Old 6th Feb 2019, 01:58
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New VA CEO ideas.



Starting a thread of constructive ideas on the future of VA.
Essentially, what would you do if you were made CEO of VA to bring it to profitability?

If a quote from a recent newspaper article is correct then substantial change has to occur...

”Virgin has run at a statutory financial loss every year for the past six years, running up total losses of $1.6 billion over that period, and peaking at last year's loss of $653 million”.

I take the view that the logistical structure within aviation is the most important, it is an upside down version of the traditional corporate structure.
At the top are “frontline troops” e.g. tech crew, cabin crew, engineers, ground staff etc. The staff who actually get passengers from A to B. They are the most important staff and as such should be supported and rewarded well for their skills. They also are the best people to tap for advice on further efficiencies within the airline and customer experience.
At the base of this model is the CEO and management heads, they are the “support team” for the frontline troops. They provide whatever’s required for the troops to make the airline run.
So to answer my own question, basically if you’re not doing a job that helps get the aircraft airborne then you’re gone.
Close down the Sydney offices, Tigerairs Melbourne head office etc. Run the airline only from the Brisbane “village” with minimal staff, but not under-staffed.
Purchase the best software available (or design your own) with a simple user portal that all staff can access through company provided iPads. A workforce that is connected and informed. Flight and cabin crew rosters should be simplified keeping the same crew and aircraft throughout their duty where possible. A big reduction in overnight expenses and increase in staff morale.
Employ the best fuel hedgers money can buy, pilfer Qantas’ excellent team if possible.
Outsourcing is problematic in aviation. “In-source” all frontline staff; more expensive but ultimately provides stability, experience and loyalty (teamwork). This includes creating Virgins own catering and tarmac operations company. The staff are employed by VA but available to tender work to other airlines as well.
Approach VA shareholders and look for the best synergies e.g. lobby the Chinese for much greater mainland access and run the A330 to these multiple destinations. Offer our politicians “sweeteners” to help here similar to Qantas.
Tigerair should be a low cost domestic and international airline. Purchase REX Airlines (owned by Singapore/Temasek). REX feeds Tigerair and they feed Scoot or fly directly to Singapore. Purchasing REX would also alleviate some of the recent Qantas/ Alliance purchase pressure.
These are just some ideas, there’s so much potential within the VA Group to not only become profitable but a real force within the Pacific. It doesn’t have to be at the behest of Qantas either. Imagine if both airlines (and AIr New Zealand) worked in a loose alliance, a legal cabal. At the very least to cover our Australian “turf”.
Apologies for the long post, glad to hear constructive thoughts on how to turn VA around. A lot of people’s futures depend on it.





Rotate2 is offline  
Old 6th Feb 2019, 04:52
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Click bait.
InZed is offline  
Old 6th Feb 2019, 04:55
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What are you saying Rotate ?
Do you mean an integrated homogeneous business model , like what Qantas had before Geoff , Alan and the MBA Wunderkin business consultants spun their siloisation magic ?
As a wag at work keeps saying , “ When you’re run by clowns , you inevitably end up becoming a circus ! “ .
blow.n.gasket is offline  
Old 6th Feb 2019, 05:27
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Great first post Paul.
The Bullwinkle is online now  
Old 6th Feb 2019, 05:58
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Cool

That's scurrilous!!
30/30 Green Light is offline  
Old 6th Feb 2019, 06:20
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Customer and Team first culture. No airline has nailed this yet.

IT overhaul. Look at Woolworths, quite impressive what they they done within their business. Delta has done a lot in this space also.

Tiger needs to be fixed once and for all. Too many people have been playing with it over the past decade. Potential is there. Scrap the fantasy of operating 20 year old machines. Scoot is phasing out it’s 10 year old fleet to the neo, what a great chance to get hold of them.

The Alliance dream can’t go on forever. Need some medium term planning when it eventually caves in.

wheels_down is offline  
Old 6th Feb 2019, 06:37
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I'm wasting my time here, but hey, I have a little on my hands.

Originally Posted by Rotate2 View Post
Close down the Sydney offices, Tigerairs Melbourne head office etc. Run the airline only from the Brisbane “village” with minimal staff, but not under-staffed.

Or, perhaps, just consolidate it all in Sydney? Interestingly, with Scurrah based in Brisbane I expect he will be seen at the Village more often, and more executive functions may drift north. Shutting down Tigerair's Melbourne HQ would mean integrating it into VA, which would be a waste and see Tiger lose (the very little) advantage it still has in the market. Keeping Tiger at arms' legth operationally but close strategically is the best way to have it, or it will just end up being subsumed by the parent carrier

Originally Posted by Rotate2 View Post
Outsourcing is problematic in aviation. “In-source” all frontline staff; more expensive but ultimately provides stability, experience and loyalty (teamwork). This includes creating Virgins own catering and tarmac operations company. The staff are employed by VA but available to tender work to other airlines as well.
Imma stop you there - outsourcing is not a problem in aviation at all. Every carrier does it to some extent, and in most cases the customer can't tell the difference. VA's outsourcing at some ports has actually worked well in its favour. But tarmac and catering would have huge overhead costs to bring them in-house, when Gategroup has a lot more customers to spread those fixed costs over, so will always be cheaper than in-sourcing - even if VA Catering and Ground did third-party work.

Originally Posted by Rotate2 View Post
Approach VA shareholders and look for the best synergies e.g. lobby the Chinese for much greater mainland access and run the A330 to these multiple destinations. Offer our politicians “sweeteners” to help here similar to Qantas.
'Sweeteners' are already offered by way of The Club. Also, you presume that the HNA Group can overturn bans that the CAAC has that stop the biggest airports from adding new routes. HNA's troubles at the moment are much bigger than trying to get a piddly little partner slots at Shanghai Pudong or Beijing Capital.

Originally Posted by Rotate2 View Post
Tigerair should be a low cost domestic and international airline. Purchase REX Airlines (owned by Singapore/Temasek). REX feeds Tigerair and they feed Scoot or fly directly to Singapore. Purchasing REX would also alleviate some of the recent Qantas/ Alliance purchase pressure.
Rex isn't owned by Temasek at all - its largest shareholder is executive chairman Lim Kim Hai, who is Singaporean, so I can see the potential for confusion. But given VA's ability to stuff up the integration of VARA and Tigerair, let's just say that they should keep the chequebook closed for a while.

For all intents and purposes, VA is kinda right where it needs to be now and not a lot needs to change in the short-term, at least from the high-level perspective. The domestic mainline market is making money, international is starting to lose less money, and for once the whole enterprise is cashflow positive. New cabin innovations can come in with the Maxes arriving later this year, but there is no need to go all-out spending on bells and whistles.

But they need to sort out Tigerair because it is a mess financially, especially with the half-in, half-out fleet plan.
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Old 6th Feb 2019, 07:18
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What would happen if you gave each Captain $2000 worth of shares on their DOJ anniversary each year, each Engineer $1500 worth, each F/O $1000 worth and each Purser $500 worth? How would that affect the company long term?
Edited to add; VA shares.....not Qantas shares.
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Old 6th Feb 2019, 08:31
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Bung sweeteners to the regulators to allow a merger

Merge with QF. Cut flights, raise prices. Profit!
Freehills is offline  
Old 6th Feb 2019, 11:02
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I'm amazed the VA Board didn't look to PPRuNe for a new CEO....the expertise trotted out here means an online interview and Pruners can vote on the outcome...
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Old 6th Feb 2019, 11:29
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I think that Rotate 2 makes some valid suggestions. The reverse pyramid is not so silly.
industry insider is offline  
Old 6th Feb 2019, 12:20
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  • A single integrated group operations centre would enable total visibility of all the group resources to manage the day of operations.
  • Capable and supported technology is an important enabler in managing the operation. Work smarter not harder. But airlines don't build their own aeroplanes, nor should they build their own in-house IT solutions.
  • Simple crew rosters and keeping crew paired together is a fantastic idea. But requires minimal complexity work rules that are aligned across tech and cabin crew EBA's (12 EBA's across the group).
  • A consolidated efficient young fleet across the group. Reliable aircraft with high service rates = happy crew, happy passengers and stable network. Have sufficient spares and support equipment for the fleet.
  • In-house simulators. Have control of the scheduling and a revenue stream when not required for in-house training. Instead of paying the competitor to use theirs at undesirable times.
  • Stop kicking own goals. Do the due diligence, assess the risk and reward and have a back up plan if it goes wrong.
  • An end to the negativity and pessimism. Those in Leadership roles (including crew) set the standard. The standard you set for yourself is the standard you should expect from others.
  • Recruit to a high but achievable standard of values, attitude, qualifications and experience. Retain and reward those demonstrating same. Boot those no matter how high or low (including crew) who are not adding value and are generally a drain on everyone's time and energy. Give the job to someone who actually wants it.
  • Give the new CEO reasonable time and a fair go. Don't expect change overnight or have a meltdown if it doesn't.
Jethro27 is offline  
Old 6th Feb 2019, 14:40
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Why would you do that... have to get away from this belief that because Pilots are highly trained they are geniuses who can turn the company around... there are FAR MORE people working for an airline, ground for example, if they don't cooperate crew may as well stay home... and in my experience, in many cases, VA's engineering division are part of the problem - criticise everyone else while rebutting any criticism when stuffing up themselves.
AerialPerspective is offline  
Old 6th Feb 2019, 21:39
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Get rid of that outdated B737 and get some much better A320's.
Very much better to pax in and far more efficient in baggage stowage etc.
Poor old B737 . it was good in it's days but it is old airframe technology that cant be updated much more.
RodH is offline  
Old 6th Feb 2019, 22:57
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My thoughts:

- Focus on doing what the airline is good at and just do that. Don't try to be Qantas and don't try to chase Qantas because you will burn a lot of cash. Figure out what Virgin Australia is, and nail that. It started as Virgin Blue then morphed into this 'are we like Qantas, but we're not quite so let's burn a lot of cash trying to figure that out'.
- If a route ain't making money but you're doing it just to compete, cut it. You win some, you lose some. But it's a heck of a lot worse when you are losing cash.
- Keep your employees happy and motivated. Remember, they are the front line and they cop all the day to day abuse of having to deal with the public which is not easy.
- Further to above, keep the crew happy. No crew = no flight. Customers also react positively to good crew.
- Don't hire any consultants that have no idea about the aviation business and get them to give you 'advice'. That's also wasting money.
- Re-think the international routes. If they're not worth it, cut them and focus on being an awesome domestic airline. Use partner airlines to feed in domestic traffic (perhaps get more partner airlines?).
- Keep the fleet as efficient as possible.

This is just my opinion and I am not a CEO, and I certainly appreciate that running a large organisation is not so easy, especially with all the stakeholders involved. Everyone from the comfort of their own home can critique, but this is just my opinion as I love analysing businesses.
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Old 7th Feb 2019, 03:31
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Brilliant!!!! 80% of you with your great ideas are just spending more money. Exactly what you all criticised the soon to be gone CEO for. MAKING money is exacly what you complain the company doesn’t do. How you were all overlooked for the CEO job I cannot fathom.....
porch monkey is offline  
Old 7th Feb 2019, 05:49
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Well why not go back to paper logs, paper charts, paper manuals, no IPADs, BYO Headset, Run scheduling on Excel, Windows '98, No ACARS etc etc.

Think of all the savings right there.
non_state_actor is offline  
Old 7th Feb 2019, 08:10
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Doesn't save anything. Would cost money to go retro now. My point is making the most of what the company does have now, not just buying shit and spending money willy nilly. Oh and the BYO headset thing? Already plenty doing that, especially after the telex debacle. We still use paper logs.
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Old 7th Feb 2019, 09:06
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Reading the QF Pravda News it’s Paul Scurrah.
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Old 8th Feb 2019, 01:23
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737 vs 320

True but the horse has bolted on that one.

Must admit the NEO’s look to be a good product. 321 NEO is incredible from what I’ve read. Max 10 has dissapointing range in comparison.

Last edited by Berealgetreal; 8th Feb 2019 at 01:50.
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