Strategies and tactics: December 2008 Archives
Merry Christmas. Do not be alarmed. The pilots at United have not been a happy lot for a long time, what with messing up their ownership of the carrier then struggling through a really long bankruptcy and seeing their pay pared way back. Since Glenn Tilton came in to United's executive offices, they've been really on the warpath over his pay and perks. Now they're posting a letter to flyers that says, "We are very much aware that the friendly skies have become less friendly in recent times because of increased costs, reduced flights and cutbacks in in-flight service and amenities. We have been at the forefront when it comes to resisting these cost-cutting initiatives because we do not believe that our passengers should be penalized for the mistakes of United's management. We still feel that way and are still fighting the fight on behalf of our passengers."
Left Field happened to hear Wolfgang Mayrhuber, the chief executive of Lufthansa, who was in Chicago for a Star Alliance chief executives meeting. He spoke over breakfast with reporters as news emerged that Lufthansa was not just buying Austrian but might buy SAS and after LH said it was taking over the stake in bmi that it didn't yet have. The Cologne-based carrier has been on a buying spree for several years, starting with its 2005 takeover of Swissair, now Swiss International, but Mayrhuber repeated his mantra, "We don't just buy airline to have airlines." He went on to explain Luftie's 'modular' approach:
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