Thursday, July 06, 2006

We agree... ; )

Interesting article in Travel Weekly. (free subscription required)

5 Comments:

At 7:57 AM, Anonymous Tucano Bandeirante said...

Interesting story, but again, if I had a dime for every would-be airline that wants to fly, I could buy my own airplane. I hate to be a buzzkill, but talk is cheap - my grandmother could announce tomorrow that she wants to start GrandmAir, but just because she says it doesn't make it so.

Come on - Air Gumbo has been spouting this crap since 1998, but Ralston does talk a good game. But please - does anyone really think this pig will fly? Is there really a market for the service Ralston is proposing?

Other planned startups I can name off the top of my head are Primaris, Northern, Oneida Air, California Coastal, London Air, Ed Beauvais' Project Roam and Heartland, among others. I could go on, but you get my point.

I want to see startups with either hard cash on the table or deep pockets ready to open the money spout. I think about when JetBlue started -- they had a strong management team, $150 million+ in the bank AND financier George Soros onboard before they even bought the first A320. That gave them unusual credibility for a start-up airline.

I like what I'm seeing from the SkyBus team. But look at what's happening with Virgin America - despite all their pluses, they are still struggling to get in the air. And I could do a whole separate post on whether what they're offering is even enough to make them competitive.

So I'm not adverse to startups. I think there are still some possibilities, but I want to see innovation, strong management AND cash/investors at the table.

 
At 10:54 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tucano,
Nobody disagrees with the qualifications you are making, but they are painfully obvious to people with a shred of knowledge about the industry.

Most everyone will get behind fully capitalizaed, fully certified start-ups...if that is your qualification list then you'll be in a long line to support them at that point in the game.

The team here should feel free to correct me...but it seems to me that this blog is at least partially about identifying & analyzing those that *may* be viable before they actually are viable, and that is pretty damn interesting & potentially useful to me.

 
At 12:15 PM, Anonymous Tucano Bandeirante said...

Anon:

I see your point, and I don't disagree. They are painfully obvious, but I think reminders are never a bad thing.

I guess my problem is that I have seen far too many of these operations promise airports and passengers the moon, take their money and die a quick death before ever getting off the ground.

And DOT/FAA have gotten a lot tougher in analysing potential airlines' fitness for service.

I hope that this blog will continue to point out those startups they think can fly, excuse the pun. I'm all for competition and more choices for passengers.

 
At 1:27 PM, Blogger Emerging Airlines said...

To Tucano's point...If you get on board too early, you take unnecessary risk. To anon's point...if you get on board too late, then you have probably already missed the opportunity. The opportunities lie in-between...but it is as much an art as a science.

 
At 4:47 PM, Anonymous planespotting@gmail.com said...

ok....what's Skybus up to? I haven't heard more than a peep out of them lately....

 

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