Scottish tabloid newspaper The Daily Record has reported an alleged outburst on quite a shocking scale from Aden Murcutt, managing director of troubled UK regional carrier flyWhoosh, which was forced to suspend services in December after its Polish operator White Eagle Aviation discontinued operations.
The report claims that trainee teacher Liam Sturrock tracked Murcutt down at one of his other businesses and called to ask for a refund on behalf of his parents. Murcutt is said to have responded to Sturrock with a torrent of abuse.
When contacted afterwards by The Daily Record, Murcutt is reported to have come out with the following gems: "I'm not going to be lectured by someone whose potential earnings will amount to little more than three farthings to buy a Ford Fiesta"; "Liam Sturrock was getting out of his tree for a sum of money that wouldn't even buy you a decent dinner and a night out"; "I answer only to the Civil Aviation Authority and Trading Standards"; and "I don't regret the way I spoke even slightly. It's an old adage that those who can, do, and those who can't, teach."
On the last point, may I suggest that after leading failed transatlantic start-up FlyWho (formerly FlyBlu) and now at the helm of another failed airline, Murcutt should himself consider a career in teaching. On a more serious note, surely every responsible business person knows that you ultimately answer to the customer, without whom you would not have a business.
On its website, FlyWhoosh lays the blame for its failings firmly at the feet of White Eagle Aviation. Perhaps the airline and, in particular, its managing director should look a little closer to home.