FOXTROTS  Fox – sly.  Trots – left-leaning (Trotsky) plus its more insalubrious meaning.  Foxtrots – leading the industry in a dance. 


2007 June 22

  Airlines. Not code share – plane share.   I have an idea.   This one is borrowed or rather a mix of current practices – code share by the airlines, and mixed-category/single-site hotel buildings.   You will know of those two-or-more hotel complexes where different standard hotels are operated. A Holiday Inn and a Crowne Plaza, for instance, or a Novotel and a Sofitel.   In fact there are some within the same building – with separate entrance and floors for the budget hotel, and for the mid-range hotel.   Flash over to the airline business.   Why not apply this concept to airlines, particularly those that will be operating the double-deck A380?   Most suited would seem to be in Australia, where Qantas is in the process of turning over much of its expansion to its lower-cost division, Jetstar.   (That is not, I hasten to add, how Qantas describes its strategy, but I am just reading what Qantas is doing, and not just what its management is saying it is doing.)   At one recent presentation, Qantas made a rather odd statement. That Jetstar was the natural airline to operate into West Japan, meaning that Qantas was the natural airline to fly into Tokyo, on the east.   Eh? Not quite sure where nature got into this, but to me the reason sounds like business – Jetstar is better for routes to Nagoya and Osaka than Qantas.   But why, for instance, could not Qantas fly its A380s into Tokyo, and alongside (or, rather, just below) Jetstar fly into Tokyo? Check-in could be separate, as could boarding. And, of course, inflight service. There would still be links between the two levels of the aircraft, but available only to staff. Downstairs, you pay for coffee; upstairs, free champagne!   And the (downstairs) level when not being used by Jetstar, that aircraft could be used by Qantas on its London flights – configuration in Qantas economy would be the same as Jetstar’s all-economy.   Design of the cabin could be ‘airline neutral’ with the personalisation in the form of cabin crew, seat pocket material, or even stick-on identifiers. After all, who cares?


  The Fox