Ansett - the real story

 
Old Feb 13, 02, 7:21 am
  #16  
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Good to have you onboard, AN Dude !

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Old Feb 13, 02, 7:57 am
  #17  
 
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<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by Ansett Dude:
Patience will see AN become a viable business competitor to the red monolith but only if pax support us. Otherwise, be prepared to pay top dollar at the only gig in town.
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The patience issue is one that has to be hurting AN. The longer they screw around with ANII running the show, AN email going out through an NZ mail server, no frequent flyer scheme, no Star Alliance membership, etc, the longer folks will get used to flying QF and DJ. If they really want the premium market, not providing anything for those old GR points would be insane, but releasing no frequent flyer scheme information at all is even worse.

However, the price issue is already apparent. I've booked an AN flight in March for $441 (incl. tax). Same itinerary, would be $501 on DJ (with awful flight times) or $838 on QF!
QF is already making a mint out of the situation.

Koru Flyer, I'm sure I saw a Star logo on Fox's luggage tags, so I'm guessing it was a Star carrier.
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Old Feb 13, 02, 6:17 pm
  #18  
 
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Welcome onboard Ansett Dude!

Great to see how all those PPRuNers were wrong with their crap about AN ending operations on Wed night.

1116, EST and AN118 to BNE just departed half a hour ago.

Cheers,

Justin
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Old Feb 13, 02, 7:04 pm
  #19  
 
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On the news today it has been revealed that the Howard Government fabricated the election winning stunt of throwing babies overboard.

Hopefully, one day, information will come to light showing:

1. The so called QF option in purchasing the failed AN was nothing but a stalling tactic.

2. SQ's purchase of half of AN would damage the big QF - therefore all stops were pulled out to ensure that this didn't happen ("your Government does nothing but send us mixed signals" CK Cheong)

3. The Easter debacle was politically driven pending the QF1 accident report to ensure Mick Toller looked at least half reputable (QF had an incorrectly serviced slide deploy in flight but I dont recall them being grounded)

4. Despite Howard saying he would do everything to help AN (Hahahaha) he is hell bent on seing DJ become QF's only rival. This would ensure two things. Firstly, it would hand Dixon huge leverage to cut staffing costs during EBA negotiations. Secondly, it would ensure that QF would be almost un challanged in the domestic high yield market.

The AN story is a sad tale of an airline grounded despite being one of the safest in the world and being sold to a second rate cash strapped incompetent carrier against all of the warnings from industry experts.


[This message has been edited by Ansett Dude (edited 02-13-2002).]
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Old Feb 13, 02, 8:46 pm
  #20  
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I have a few comments on FR (Ryanair) and AN:

1. FR is a low cost, "no thrills" airline in the Southwest model.

2. Tesna-AN, if the hype is to be believed, is to be a "high thrills" 2 class airline, lounges, FF scheme, the works.

You cannot simply apply the business plan of (1) to (2) and guarantee success. I am concerned by the slashing of jobs to 3,000 for ANIII to really do the full service thing. There's not room in our market for two low cost, no thrills carriers (IMHO) and it doesn't seem as though there's room for 2 high cost, high service ones either. ANIII seems to want to be a bit of both, but I don't see how it can do that.

You can't employ high costs (catering, lounges, FF programs etc) with low fares ($77 one way jobs) and expect to make a profit. You won't. That's why Ryanair works - they give you transport at a cheap price with NOTHING else. If weather delays your flight - tough. If your plane has a mechanical - tough. etc etc. FR won't put you up in a hotel, or reroute you on another carrier and all those costly perks that you'd expect from an AN, QF, UA etc.

While it is true the pricipal backers have come from CO and FR, they are different models in action (though CO is closer I will grant, but AN doesn't have Bethune at the controls, either). Hogan from BD is perhaps a fair choice, as they are a similar size carrier in a pretty much similar situation against BA (we'll leave VS out of that as they don't compete on UK regional, short haul routes).

Let's not forget though, Franke comes from HP - otherwise known as America Worst Airlines. In fact I saw a recent analyst view that HP has recovered somewhat ".. since Franke left" - makes you real confident, doesn't it?

And how did HP get into a hole in the US? Overselling planes with deep discount fares, then giving massive $ amounts for DBC, plus muddled maintenance screwups, or dare I say, omissions in terms of cutting regular checks and so on (remember when the FAA was this close to shutting them down over this?).

I am not saying Franke will turn AN into another HP (though it's half way there on it's own) but you have to wonder.

I still feel the big issue is costs. Right now the ONLY people flying AN are the low cost "I want to fly there AS CHEAP AS POSSIBLE" VFR types. I wouldn't be surprised if no C seats have been sold post March 1st... and that's gotta hurt.

Just my 2 cents.

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Old Feb 13, 02, 9:49 pm
  #21  
 
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<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by Ansett Dude:
If people are concerned about blowing their dough at AN then thats too bad, but dont spend your hard earned cash at DJ as things there are no better. DJ are suffering, but unlike AN, have no investor waiting in the wings.
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Ansett Dude, welcome. Could you please expand on the above statement a little please? I thought DJ were doing pretty well?
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Old Feb 13, 02, 10:10 pm
  #22  
 
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Welcome on board Ansett Dude, though of course, we'd far rather you be saying that to us as we board your planes http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/smile.gif

I agree with Richard in that costs are AN's main problem. FLEW can't be that serious about merger talks when they go over to Europe and sign a LOI for 30 Airbus aircraft when DJ fly 73G's and 738's! What is going on here?

Surely, Branson won't pull DJ out of Australia to give AN a free leg up. He's already said that he's here to stay, or at least DJ's CEO has.

If what some people are saying is true, and DJ stick to leisure travellers and AN takes corporates and those 2 fight QF as an alliance, then what AN could try is to use a MidWest level of service, which I believe had a very comfortable configuration. Would this be possible? Why does AN not at least go to a DL Shuttle configuration and give customers 36" pitch and 1000 mile minimums in a revamped FF program. I reckon that could work, it would reduce the needs of yield management in having to work out business class pax as well. Higher status fliers could be seated closer to the front for easier exit etc. I might have gone off topic here, but I believe that the only way for AN to survive in this type of media-induced semi-hysteria about its survival, is to offer the Australian public something TOTALLY new. 36" economy seating with winged headrests is something that would definitely appeal, especially to people who fly to PER and would not have been experience by that many people here in Australia. They would notice the difference more than PTV's IMHO.
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Old Feb 13, 02, 10:45 pm
  #23  
 
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I don't really care for PTVs but they seem to have more 'marketability'/novelty value. Give me legroom any day.

Airlines claiming to have more comfort seem to have as much credibility as politicians' promises =) If AN does put more legroom (I think a Y+ is best, an AA MRTC increases seat mile costs) in Y, it will have to start offering a real C, not this funny convertible business. I know many at AN don't love NZ, but NZ has the best C cabin in a 737, with probably the best product in the world on a 737, quite frankly. You can't put 36" in Y+, and then put 38-40" in C - why bother fly C, then?

Why are people concerned about AN's backers? They aren't the management. If they were, I'd sure as hell hope Solly Lew has cleaned up his act.

Ansett Dude, if you want to tar Howard again. Just remember who allowed AN to be sold to NZ =) I'd concede one thing re. CASA - the QF744 didn't have all of its slides inoperative (unlike from what I heard about the AN762).

Although the QF tactic was a stalling one (especially the so called "A320 deal"), I don't know whether it made much of a difference at the end of the day.

As for costs, well consider the fact that this is not just AN with newer planes and shrunk. I know some people that have taken fairly significant pay cuts. They'll never approach DJ costs though, and I don't think they're trying - how the hell can you match DJ's seat mile costs, when they pack so many pax into a 737!

As for the Midwest option. Are there that many corporates ready to jump back onboard AN now? QF has snared most of the really important travellers, and locked them into contracts, I thought. AN just needs time to prove itself - when it does, then people will start to really return. That's why it's nonsense that QF will just sit there with 70-80% of the market for the rest of eternity. I think AN can work. Old AN had a sound product, it just was poorly managed and had ridiculous costs.

AN just has to take the right steps now, to begin its recovery. If they don't, some in management really deserve a slap in the face, and too many people will have to go through the same hell post September 14 2001.

To Any AN staff out there,

Don't worry, do your best. You're the underdogs, and I'm sure you won't let complacency get to you. I'll be back to support you!

Cheers,

Justin

BTW: Richard, Are you basically saying there is no room for AN at all. It seems that way.
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Old Feb 13, 02, 11:23 pm
  #24  
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I am saying I am pessimistic for AN's chances *if* they want to try to fight both DJ and QF on both fronts (leisure pax down the back on loss making fares, and high yield C pax up the front). It won't work - they tried that already.

An alliance with DJ would be nice, but I honestly can't see that happening - DJ seems very much the "go it alone" crowd appealing to the bargain flyer (and more and more business pax, if the reports are accurate). Southwest doesn't interline or align itself with anyone in the US, nor does Virgin Express in Europe - I can't see DJ accepting AN when they would compete on so many routes.

I like the YX (Midwest Express) style idea, but the costs would be huge. I've been on YX configured MD-80's and they're very nice. 36" or so pitch, real china with meals, and C type meals to boot. Pax in the US pay higher prices(slightly) for this, but also YX fills a niche market as it doesn't really impinge on other network carriers hubs (who else would want to base at MKE? ). Would it work for ANIII? Irrelevant as FLEW (I like that) are playing the 2 class game with the 320's.

Would aussie pax really care so much about a Y+ product and PTY's? Hard to say! On a MEL-SYD, SYD-BNE and even MEL-BNE flight (ie: anything 2 hours and under) you really don't need that level of inflight entertainment. Great for longer hops (ie: PER in/outbound). But the novelty might get some pax in, but how many will buy a ticket with sufficient yield to AN to justify the expense, maintenance costs, etc?

I long ago suggested AN should do something different in the market place, like offer more pitch to all, or configure the 320's in a 2x3 layout, or somesuch to differentiate themselves from QF.

Yes, all the big corporates have long ago been signed up and locked by by QF, who are rubbing their hands in glee all the way to the bank, and AN won't get those flyers back, and even still how many will say "once bitten, twice shy?" (specially after Christmas '00 and easter '01).

I really don't see how AN can dig itself out of this hole (the marketing challenge of the century!).. and that is so sad, and I mean absolutely no ill-will to Ansett Dude and the other employees (former and current) who might read this. WE ARE BEHIND YOU ANSETT!!

I guess we just have to wait and see how the game plays out.

Come on Tesna, prove me wrong and shove it up Terry McCrann! http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/smile.gif

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Old Feb 13, 02, 11:37 pm
  #25  
 
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I wouldn't go with a 2-3 seating layout, a real waste of space. More pitch for all is much better. Consider this, if you turned the A320 from 6 abreast to 5 in Y, you would be losing 23 seats (current config, 144 pax, 2 rows of J, 23 rows of Y). That's basically 4 rows. 4 rows removed from an aircraft that's 37" in Y. That's pitch greater than the old J (35")!

I think real perceptions of space come from pitch, not width. The A320 is hardly an aircraft wanting for width, anyway.

One thing I'd ask. You're pessimistic of AN's ability to go at QF & DJ, but isn't QF doing what AN wants to do? Isn't AN in terms of its positioning just trying to be its old self again? What's different?

QF has cheapies out there, and they're not impossible to get.

Cheers,

Justin
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Old Feb 13, 02, 11:56 pm
  #26  
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<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by Skystar:

One thing I'd ask. You're pessimistic of AN's ability to go at QF & DJ, but isn't QF doing what AN wants to do? Isn't AN in terms of its positioning just trying to be its old self again? What's different?

QF has cheapies out there, and they're not impossible to get.

Cheers,

Justin
</font>
Exactly why I fear for AN-III....


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Old Feb 14, 02, 12:28 am
  #27  
 
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Well,

Which market does it go for? What other market does it go for?

Cheers,

Justin
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Old Feb 14, 02, 12:59 am
  #28  
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That's the perceived problem with the business plan (that we know of, anyway). They can't attack the low cost sector because a) DJ has that, b) they can't compete on cost and won't make any money. At the high end, QF has the customers and the corporate accounts.

Star Alliance pax feed will not make AN and the middle ground looks very rocky indeed.


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Old Feb 14, 02, 1:08 am
  #29  
 
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Well, AN & SACL are meeting at AN as we speak. Hopefull there'll be a good outcome by tonight.

I'm a bit more hopeful for AN, but as I've said many times before, the fundamentals need to be right. Not alienating previous customers is a good start [hint, hint, wink, wink] =)

Cheers,

Justin
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Old Feb 14, 02, 1:36 am
  #30  
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I think the Tesna FF scheme might have to involve a big kiss from the F/A's for boarding an AN aircraft more than once, and if you're a paying C pax, you get one from Solly or Foxy !

*shudder* http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/biggrin.gif

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