Skeen still in denial

Old Jan 3, 06, 5:59 am
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Skeen still in denial

First let me wish the best of luck to the employees of FlyI, and that I certainly enjoyed the flights I took on them. It is unfortunate that your management could not figure out how to come even close to breaking even.

In today's Post Skeen has the following to say:

"When we planned to launch, it was a whole different world in terms of the fuel situation," Skeen said in an interview yesterday. "The industry turned wrong on us. Nothing is perfect."
Of course, had fuel been free, FlyI would still have lost money.

Even as fuel prices climbed and the airline tried to grow, competitors slashed their prices, awarded bonus frequent-flier miles and added flights on routes where they competed with the beleaguered airline.

"Every outside pressure kind of manifested itself," Skeen said.
You mean airlines matched other airlines prices? That never happens in the airline industry! And they competed with new entrants by adding flights and bonus miles? What a totally new concept!

They had numerous chances to adjust their business plan to give themselves a chance but stubbornly refused.
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Old Jan 3, 06, 6:18 am
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I Still Admire Them

I also read the Wash Post article. The "traditional" airline analysts seemed to pressure FlyI to go a "traditional" route, e.g. to be a commuter carrier for one of the big six. I've also listened to the most recent employee recorded message.

I admire FlyI for trying something new, and for taking a risk. I admire FlyI for bringing low fares to the IAD market, and for underscoring the importance of high quality customer service. Are the big six taking risks? Not really as I see it, there tune seems to be to cut cut cut in the service department, and to nickel and dime the customer with increasing fees, etc.

FlyI took a risk, and didn't make it. But I still admire them for doing this, instead of going along with the ho hum advice. They will always have a legacy of bringing low fares and high quality customer service to the IAD market.

More companies should take risks, instead of just worrying about this quarters profits. More companies should adopt innovative customer centric business models.
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Old Jan 3, 06, 6:19 am
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As I recall, the main reason given by believers in FlyI's business plan was that they raised a lot of money. It's amazing how much stupid money is out there.

Best of luck to the staff. I don't think it's as dire as many in the media have been saying. Their track record suggests optimism.
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Old Jan 3, 06, 7:55 am
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Originally Posted by whlinder
Of course, had fuel been free, FlyI would still have lost money.
Yes, but FlyI would still be around. The plan was centered on the ability to hold out long enough to make the A319's a more substantive part of the airline. Anyway, remaining a UAX carrier would not have bode them much better. In this competitive climate, he who has the cheapest operating costs wins the contract. When AirWis lost the UA flying, its employees thought it was on its death bed and a bunch of them left. UA went from 3 UAX partners (after shedding Great Lakes) to god knows how many when ACA left. US Air at one point had NINE express partners. Express carriers get traded and swapped like playing cards, and anybody who thinks that is a stable business is nuts. UA did to its express partners what NW did to its mechanics -- screwed 'em. They did have iron clad contracts until UA hit BK.
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Old Jan 3, 06, 10:16 am
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I agree that they took a risk and honestly thought they had a chance when they started. However, as soon as they released their first fares for sale, didn't join the GDS' and had no semblance of a loyalty program they were obviously doomed considering who they were competing with. That has been my biggest problem all along. They had a business plan that sounded like it might have a shot, but messed up some really important pieces. I thought they had a chance. But then some problems with their plan became painfully obious. Then they failed to correct the problems (marketing, pricing) or took a while to correct it (distribution).

I know they would still be alive if fuel had stayed at 30, or 40, or 50. As I just wrote above, I think they miserably failed from the beginning in 3 critical areas of their business, which is why Skeen blaming it on fuel and competition is ridiculous.
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Old Jan 3, 06, 2:50 pm
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Read today's piece on Enplaned. It's very informative and lays out why FlyI never stood a chance, given some of the decisions they made.
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