An Insider Perspective On What’s Wrong In The Airline Industry
Milwaukeean’s are learning all too well that the airline industry is in trouble with Midwest Airlines recently cutting 1,200 members of its workforce and a eliminating a substantial number of routes.
Within days after the announcement by Midwest, other airlines were ready to move in and add flights.
Since Midwest announced its cuts Sunday, AirTran Airways has said it will add flights to Baltimore, Florida and Las Vegas. Northwest Airlines Corp. will add nonstop service to Los Angeles.
With the Midwest service cuts that take effect Sept. 8, and the flights being added this fall and winter by AirTran and Northwest, travelers from Mitchell will end up with eight fewer nonstop destinations: Hartford, Conn.; Louisville, Ky.; Muskegon, Mich.; Raleigh, N.C.; San Diego; San Francisco; Seattle; and Wausau/Stevens Point, via Central Wisconsin Airport in Mosinee.
So how did the airline industry end up stuck with a massive number of old, less efficient planes flying regular service? According to an anonymous insider, it all goes back to the dot com boom (and bust).
Christopher Hayes, DC editor of The Nation, posted an insider’s perspective on his blog after he asked his source the question “Why does flying suck so hard?” The response confirms a lot of things you were probably guessing, and makes you consider a few factors you probably weren’t.
Actually, people have been asking me this question for the entirety of the ten years I have worked in this business. I think the best thing I can do is to basically give you the answer I gave ten years ago, and then take you through the ways in which that answer has changed (or, really, gained additional layers and nuance) as 1) the tech bubble burst, 2) 911 and aftermath 3) the current fuel crisis happened.
Read the rest of the response on Chris’s blog. It’s highly intelligent and takes into account a lot of economic principles that your standard news cast and newspaper articles skip over.