Lufthansa pilots are back on strike. Air France Pilots ended their strike not too long ago, costing their troubled company millions of euros. Air pilots are smart, capable people. But they are human. They are also vulnerable to their own blinders.
LCC’s and high-speed trains have unsettled the market
During the last decade network-airline profitability has been performing poorly. There are many reasons. Low labor productivity is one of them. It would not be fair to only blame the pilots for all the problems. Top executives are also to blame. Nevertheless, pilots refuse to accept that the world has changed. Pilots’ salaries and perks at some airlines are simply out of sync with today’s market.
LCC’s and high-speed trains have unsettled the market. Short-haul flights today look like the old stagecoach rides of Utah Territory. Long gone are the glamorous days of quality-service and good food in aviation. Exclusivity remains only for private jets.
The long-haul market is also changing. European companies are now facing fierce competition from overseas airlines. Nearby hubs such as Istanbul and Dubai are quickly gaining ground due to – among other reasons – the strategic geographical location of their hubs.
Network airlines are struggling. They remain profitable despite cutthroat pressures on fares and soaring costs. Everything I am writing here is well known across the industry. Pilots need to realize they must give up something to help their companies – and eventually to save their jobs. The impaired ability of some pilots to see reality is sometimes puzzling. Weren’t they supposed to have perfect sight?