As you look at summer, you know how things are.
Well, you think you do.
You believe that there will be no other (big) tide of COVID. Even if there is, you will finally believe in what was called a normal summer, which includes travel, family, love, sun and even, perhaps, fun.
I do not want to belittle your dreams and desires. However, I would like to warn you of something that Southwest Airlines has just revealed.
In his last call for profits, the new CEO Bob Jordan suggested a slightly different point of view from the one you can expect.
After all, airlines have long claimed that they are now turning their attention and timetables to leisure travelers.
The airlines claim that it is enough for people to stay at home. They desperately want to stay in the sky, two inches from those who may not be the nicest, or the most polite, or the healthiest, just to go and relax somewhere on the beach.
Either way, business travel hasn’t come back in years. According to the general opinion.
It is strange to think that the airlines’ chewing on people’s psyches and predictions for the future may have been wrong.
In Southwest, for example, CEO Jordan said the airline has noticed significantly more enthusiasm for, oh, business travel.
According to the company: “Revenues from managed business in March 2022 decreased by 36% compared to March 2019. Given the previous statements of many airlines – especially those of Southwest – you may have thought that business travel will be reduced by, say, 70% compared to two years ago.
It was January. And Southwest estimates it will fall 40% in March. But the road warriors were suddenly falling apart.
That’s all well and good, you might think. For airline revenue, but not so good for your fun and sunshine.
Right now, you see, the airlines only have so many cabin crew and so many pilots. So, given the new speed of business travel, Southwest is changing things. Or maybe down. More flights between business cities, fewer flights to Hawaii.
Your dreams of recharging – or even being a digital nomad – may be there.
southwest admitted the airline was desperate when it came to hiring more staff. He is trying to find more employees through social media. He even offers “immediate offers” at the end of the interviews. But then these new employees need to be trained. And Southwest has already acknowledged that there are not enough pilot trainers, for example, to do the job.
Some point of view on the huge task: the airline is trying to hire 10,000 people this year – 1,200 of them pilots.
In addition, in any job, newly trained employees will not be immediately wonderful. However, Southwest promises to have enough staff to handle the scheduled flights.
But as weather intervenes – something the Southwest is particularly vulnerable to, as there are no centers like United, American and Delta – the most common teasing in one part of America can affect so many flights in other parts.
When I say other parts of America, I can mean Florida, where there is often the prospect of unruly weather. And where there is few problems at the moment with air traffic control.
Maybe then, if you really want to get away, you may want to plan a few business trips in the short term and a longer holiday-type adventure, well, some time in the future. Or mix the two.
Please consider Jordan’s own view: “As we focus on the fundamentals, our priorities for 2022 are clear: providing the right staff and returning to historic operational reliability; restoring our advantage in customer service; expanding our fleet with The Boeing Company’s state-of-the-art fuel-efficient 737 aircraft; adding flights and rebuilding our network, especially business routes over shorter distances; investing in technologies to increase efficiency; and generating steady quarterly profits. “
Do you see this emphasis on business travel again?
When it comes to travel, it may not be the summer of love as you know it. Or, as Southwest prefers, LUV.
It could be the summer of business love.