CBC reports today: Air Canada losing money, patience.
I have no patience for Air Canada, nor for any of the other ailing airlines looking to be propped up in this inarguably troubling time.
Here’s the thing: shit happens. Granted, recent shit is bigger shit than we’ve seen in a long while. But there are ups and downs in the world. It’s a big, complicated, organic psycho-stew out there, and sometimes people are going to want to travel by air more than other times. This is inevitable. Your airplanes will crash. Other guys’ airplanes will crash. The economy will go sour. Train service will get better. Pilots will go on strike. And terrorists will crash airplanes into buildings. All of this is inevitable; the specifics may be unexpected. But shit happens. It’s the way the world works.
Airlines are a business monoculture. They do one thing: fly from place to place. And they appear to base their business model around the notion that nothing will ever go wrong and that there will be no rainy days. This won’t work over the long term; it’s simply not a sustainable system, especially once the jig is up and millions are no longer available to pour in from our tax dollars.
What happened to the idea of putting money aside for a rainy day?
What about diversifying the business so that when travel’s down you’ve got other activities that are up? What about creating a sustainable business ecology where you concentrate on the long view, and where you build in the assumption of disaster, evil, bad economy, etc. into the model?
These are all things that small businesses are expected to do to survive. These are lessons that farmers know well, and have known well for many generations. These are habits that most families know well (or wish they knew well) when it comes to basic home budgeting.
I have no patience for stupid, greedy airlines that don’t think this way. You reap what you sow.