Today, it is being announced that I accepted the position of Executive Vice President with InterVISTAS Consulting. The press release.
I began drafting “The Last Swelblog” about a week ago thinking that a look back would be a nice way to end the writing of the blog. But lo and behold, my new boss, InterVISTAS President and CEO Deb Meehan, said she did not want to be the one to end the swelblog. So we will keep it going and I promise to write more than I have in 2013.
Much of this year has been spent looking for opportunities to get back into the game some way, somehow all the while continuing to do what I love – working with MIT rock stars like Michael Wittman and many others. I miss the advocacy opportunities that day to day consulting provides. I miss working with a team each and every day and that is something I have not had since 2006. As the industry embarks on its “new normal”, it is time for me to establish my “new normal”. Thanks to Deb Meehan for making me an offer I could not refuse.
Without a doubt, this is the most exciting time in the airline business than any other time during my career. The consolidation of a fragmented industry is largely done. A new vernacular when discussing the business is in place. Capacity discipline presents a “Prisoners Dilemma” for the carriers engaging in the practice. And now we wait to see who breaks the mold. There is a lot of capacity that could be deployed quickly by simply increasing the utilization of the respective carrier mainline fleets.
Is what is going on between Delta and Alaska in the west a precursor of what is coming? Or is it simply an acute geographic battle between two carriers with different network orientations and strategic objectives?
The “LCC” and ULCC strategies will be interesting to watch. Does Bill Franke have the magic in him to transform what has been a directionless Frontier into another success story like Spirit? While not a true believer in today’s magic of Southwest, it will be exciting to watch the carrier as it vies for slots and gates the DOJ required American and US Airways to divest; it will be fun to watch the strategy employed at Love Field as the Wright Amendment goes away; and finally it will be interesting to watch the carrier approach international markets from its Houston gateway in 2015. Southwest will indeed be a carrier to watch over the next couple of years whether from a network as well as a labor cost perspective.
Finally, kudos to the New American for tying a portion of their compensation to the achievement of certain post-merger synergies. A really nice touch and message to the employees of the new company.
Anyway, More to Come.