For the airlines, adapting to the pandemic has been a matter of life and death. Every week or so, another airline goes bankrupt. Most recently AirAsia. And, rumors are circulating about Malaysian Airlines.
Back in March, we suggested that the pandemic might present strategic opportunities for your business and we used the airlines as an example. (Click here for that article.) Over the past 8 months, we have seen many airlines do those things mentioned in that article.
American Airlines accelerated the retirement of all Boeing 757 and 767 aircraft and recently announced the retirement of all Airbus 330 aircraft. Delta Air Lines just finished retiring all Boeing 777s. And, most major international carriers have retired the venerable Boeing 747.
One big question mark has been the Airbus 380. Prior to the pandemic, it was generally recognized that the Airbus 380 program was a financial failure, both for Airbus as a manufacturer and the airlines as operators. Only ultra-premium airlines would be able to make financial sense of it. As such, the pandemic has seen all A380s grounded. But, what about outright retirement?
Many airlines will be retiring their A380s. However, certain ultra-premium airlines will not be doing so. Singapore Airlines is using this time to complete its cabin layout upgrade — which was to take years — by the time the A380s return to service. United Airlines did something similar with other aircraft types.
The point is made that the airlines have used the pandemic to start or accelerate certain strategic initiatives within their business. And, so can you.
Now, not all initiatives have to be big. Certain Marriott brands are using the pandemic to swap out the toiletry brands provided to guests. Don’t laugh — little tweaks might be all you need. In either case, use this time to consider how your business will emerge from the pandemic stronger and better positioned for ultimate sale.