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If You Could Be CEO Of Any Airline, Which One?  
User currently offlineEvilForce From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Posted (7 years 2 days 1 hour ago) and read 5192 times:

If you could be the CEO / CFO / COO / CMO of any airline, anywhere in the world, which airline would it be and why would you want to have your position?

For me I would want to be CEO/CMO of AirAsia. I think it would be great to be bringing a product to a part of the world that can really benefit from low cost travel. In addition they are a dynamic airline with 65+ planes currently with another 150+ aircraft on firm order.

For me it's more exciting to be building an airline from the ground up, rather than manage a United/NW/DL or whatever with all the labor problems and existing issues. I'd rather be the scrappy new kid on the block vs. the flag carrier any day of the week.

How about you? What company would you like to run, or be in charge of a dept?

[Edited 2008-01-25 18:25:39]

37 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
User currently offlineDeltaL1011man From United States of America, joined Sep 2005, 9766 posts, RR: 15
Reply 1, posted (7 years 2 days ago) and read 5169 times:

Delta or United
with Delta i would build up Asia all alone from LAX and ATL. I would order 737s,787s,777-200ERs more 777-200LRs and 777-300ER.

and with UA i would Build up Europe from ORD and IAD. I would order 737s,787s,777-200LRs and 777-300ERs.

ok I will wake up now.

User currently offlineFlagshipAZ From United States of America, joined Jan 2001, 3419 posts, RR: 14
Reply 2, posted (7 years 2 days ago) and read 5169 times:

American. In the fleet planning department. AA would have an all twin-engined fleet consisting of
73Gs, 738s, 752s, 763s, 772s & 783s.
BTW, this topic belongs in Polls & Preferences.

"Beer is living proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy." --Ben Franklin
User currently offlineLN-MOW From United States of America, joined Jan 2000, 1909 posts, RR: 13
Reply 3, posted (7 years 2 days ago) and read 5158 times:

A small airline with a large cash reserve operating one-two Dash 8's in the Caribbean between a couple of islands with a leasurly schedule. .....

- I am LN-MOW, and I approve this message.
User currently offlineAviateur From United States of America, joined Apr 2004, 1360 posts, RR: 11
Reply 4, posted (7 years 2 days ago) and read 5120 times:

Cape Air (get some f&%#* turboprops already).


Patrick Smith is an airline pilot, air travel columnist and author
User currently onlineAA1818 From Trinidad and Tobago, joined Feb 2006, 3448 posts, RR: 4
Reply 5, posted (7 years 2 days ago) and read 5111 times:

Emirates- unlimited cash, exciting expansion plans, not too many headaches.

AA- just 'cuz they are airline of choice when I fly (price, schedule, destinations etc- not service!)

Caribbean Airlines (BW)- Getting back in the black, new airline, on the cusp of expansion.


“The moment you doubt whether you can fly, you cease for ever to be able to do it.” J.M. Barrie (Peter Pan)
User currently offlineRampart From United States of America, joined Aug 2005, 3172 posts, RR: 6
Reply 6, posted (7 years 2 days ago) and read 5098 times:

Quoting LN-MOW (Reply 3):
A small airline with a large cash reserve operating one-two Dash 8's in the Caribbean between a couple of islands with a leasurly schedule. .....

Now you are talking. I'm the same, except transport me back a few decades. Cheap fuel. Cheap aircraft. Load factors of 10% were OK. I'd use something smaller, like an Islander or a Twin Otter, maybe with floats, in the Pacific Northwest or Maine. Or better yet, a used Lodestar, hauling daily (or twice weekly) necessities as well as the occasional tourist along with the regular folks. Surely there were some neglected but viable communities just waiting for my brand of competent yet friendly service. I was born in the wrong era.


User currently offlineAviateur From United States of America, joined Apr 2004, 1360 posts, RR: 11
Reply 7, posted (7 years 2 days ago) and read 5091 times:

Quoting AA1818 (Reply 5):
Caribbean Airlines (BW)- Getting back in the black, new airline, on the cusp of expansion.

Sort of, except BWIA was around for 60 years before being, um, reborn as Caribbean.

The demise of BW was lamented here....


- PS

Patrick Smith is an airline pilot, air travel columnist and author
User currently offlineUN_B732 From United States of America, joined Jul 2001, 4291 posts, RR: 4
Reply 8, posted (7 years 2 days ago) and read 5078 times:

ExpressJet, I'd love the challenge of having 69 RJs, and basically doing whatever I want with them that doesn't involve Continental's turf. I'd scale-back branded ops bigtime.


What now?
User currently offlineSpartanmjf From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 514 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (7 years 2 days ago) and read 5064 times:

Southwest, hands down.

Great operations, great balance sheet, fleet plan in place, and how many years of consistent profitability?

 stirthepot   stirthepot   stirthepot 

"Nuts to the man in 21D!"
User currently offlineIceberg210 From United States of America, joined Dec 2005, 147 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (7 years 2 days ago) and read 5024 times:

Easy AA.

My first priority would be service, without it AA is just any other airline but when the service that used to be there on a perfectlly consistant basis, and you can still find from time to time, shines through you see how this airline got to where it is today. In order to do this I would distribute gripe sheets to passengers on our flights where they could write down any problems, praise or concern with the airline. All gripe sheets that were turned in with commments or anything would be immediately responded to on a company blog and in any way that the customer specified on the sheet, even if that means I have to meet them face to face. Service is going above and beyond what anyone expects, and that's what we'd have to do to fix the service issues on AA.

Beyond that I'd hold mounthly "Meet the CEO" meetings with customers and employees where they could come and ask questions, or send them in, call in whatever. These would be places where the administration of the airline would have to be in plain sight because not only would this be a live town council type of meeting but it would also be webcast and put on the website in video format. By making the executives accountable to both the employees and the customers we can weed out problems before they become to big to handle in an easy way. The best way to solve problems is to sit down and talk with the people who are having the problems and ones that can fix the problems which these meetings would provide.

I'd also completely rehash Eagle. The first way would be by going up to Embraer and talking to them about making a new EMB-120 program, and at the same time talking to Bombardier about an improved DHC-8 Q200 and have the two compete for replacement of many of the ERJ's (and iany other manufactures who wanted to join the race whether they be SAAB or even Beech). I'd also tie it to an order for the winners larger jets such as the EMB-170 and CRJ-700 (or DHC-8 Q400) for growth by replacing the smaller jets with the larger ones. It is obvious to everyone that fifty seater jets just don't work anymore in most cases and by replacing them with new generation props we would increase effiency and profitability. The other thing that this would do is tailor our fleet more to the types of flying that is being done by the various aircraft.

In order to make the scope clauses work I'd implement a new strategy with the pilots. The problem these days is that the airlines are so hell bent on little planes little salaries they alienate their pilots. I'd immediately work out a situation where Eagle pilots (and other staffers) would get raises to levels while still below that of AA it would bring them closer to the same level and tie that in with a relaxation of the scope clauses. Another thing you would do is that you would order some 787's from Boeing telling the pilots that these aren't on condition and that whatever happens with the other negiatioins you're still buying those 787's. This way they know you're not just baiting them and trying to do a punishment reward scenario.

There are many other things that I'd try and do and lord knows if any of them would work but I'd try and knowing that I"m not a CEO nor have the training for it yet it probably wouldn't work so well, but hey we can dream can't we??

Erik Berg (Foster's is over but never forgotten)
User currently offlineIceberg210 From United States of America, joined Dec 2005, 147 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (7 years 2 days ago) and read 5014 times:

Quoting Spartanmjf (Reply 9):
Southwest, hands down.

Southwest is my favorite airline and surely they'd be a blast to run, but I'm looking for a challenge and a place where I could leave my mark. Southwest will always be Herb's airline.

Erik Berg (Foster's is over but never forgotten)
User currently offlineERJ170 From United States of America, joined Apr 2004, 6794 posts, RR: 17
Reply 12, posted (7 years 2 days ago) and read 4997 times:


There is so much that could be done..

1. Make the 732 cargo planes.. fly for VRF cargo and true cargo shipments.. and charge the hell out of cargo
2. Lease 5x 737-700 for Large tier US, Canada, Caribbean, and South American cities
3. Order 5x Q400 for Mid tier US and Caribbean markets
4. Keep the 6x Q300 for the Small tier Caribbean markets
5. Keep NAS hub, open BDA hub
6. Blanket as much of the US and Caribbean as I can.. anything from 2x weekly up to 4 x daily...
7. Codeshare with Virgin Atlantic and Virgin America for London and West Coast US service..
8. Cancel Codeshare with US.. they aren't doing anything good with it..
9. Hook up with a Vacation Company to offer scheduled charter flights a la USA3000 for the 2 & 3 weekly flights
10. Outsource maintenance to a company that makes sure all FAA rules are observed... make it a RON destination.
11. Offer genuine Bahamian and Bermudian cuisine and beverages on flights..

Just a couple of thoughts..

Aiming High and going far..
User currently offlineTAN FLYR From United States of America, joined Aug 2000, 1924 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (7 years 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 4950 times:

TWA or Pan American...about 1978-80 and beyond. In short summation:

PA..would have never bought NA. Develop a logical domestic network. Ordered MD-80's for most of it, as it would have been short to mid length feeder flights to the International Network. Phased down some 747 ops, ordered more 1011-500's to make it a viable sub fleet. Eventually 767-300 ER, and then 777's. Also 752's for domestic trans-cons and some Latin American services. A lot of internal improvments also..too many to list.

TWA.. No.1.priorty would have been to stay out of Ichans hands. However, to have made it TWA would have needed a revolutionary management style and focus. Somehow found the monies to retire the 707 fleet earlier, Order 757's earlier as well as expanded the deal with Mc Donnell on the MD-80's. Found a way to either partner or develop Latin American services and get back to Asia. Hopefully found monies to retire the 747's by the mid-90's and all TATL would have been 767 or 777.

I would (with hindsight as 20/20 vision!LOL!) have enjoyed the challenge of keeping one of these legacy carriers as a viable enterprise into the 21st century.

User currently offlineHPAEAA From United States of America, joined May 2006, 1026 posts, RR: 1
Reply 14, posted (7 years 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 4937 times:

Alright I'll bite.. CEO of AA.. why? because they are at the bottom of the barrel right now in the investors eyes.. and little improvement could yield massive gains... there are so many areas in which AA could make gains in passenger experience, to marketing, to data mining that the assets and potential are almost unlimited compared to any other carrier in the world, however current management has failed to realize the potential that their peers have on smaller scales, that an the unions are up for renegotiation... granted, I may cause a walk out, but in the long run, it would be worth it...

Why do I fly???
User currently offlineMattRB From Canada, joined Apr 2005, 1624 posts, RR: 9
Reply 15, posted (7 years 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 4900 times:

COO of CO between 1994 & 2004. Wouldn't mind having the opportunity to learn a few things from one Mr. Gordon Bethune on how to run a business..

Aviation is proof that given, the will, we have the capacity to achieve the impossible.
User currently offlineFalcon84 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 16, posted (7 years 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 4888 times:

Continental, of course.

I don't think there is a better bunch of people, overall, in the business, than my co-workers. I'd stack them up against anyone in the world.

User currently offlineShadez From United States of America, joined Sep 2007, 205 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (7 years 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 4875 times:

Skybus.... I like a challenge.

User currently offlineSteeler83 From United States of America, joined Feb 2006, 9319 posts, RR: 21
Reply 18, posted (7 years 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 4851 times:


I would do everything I can to improve customer satisfaction (better seats/more world-class interior, encourage the staff to be more friendly and attentave to pax)

I would tweak DEN a little so that the market is more appropriately served (according to other posts about F9 and UA at DEN. I would continue to make ORD better to help with congestion and delays. Expand IAD. Convert to an all Boeing fleet and order the 748.

my pipedream: open MCI and PIT as small focus cities to complement IAD, ORD, and DEN, and open FLL focus city/secondary hub for Latin/South America flights. Of course, this pipedream would likely prove to be suicidal...

Do not bring stranger girt into your room. The stranger girt is dangerous, it will hurt your life.
User currently offlineRedTailDTW From United States of America, joined Oct 2006, 757 posts, RR: 3
Reply 19, posted (7 years 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 4836 times:

I would choose NORTHWEST because I could turn the airline around better than stupid Steenland has been doing. Introduce some IFE to the planes, actually serve snacks on the planes and introduce newly updated cabins (especially in first class). The are more things that could be done but tat's basically all I could think about at the moment.

Mason (Long live Northwest Airlines!)

Northwest Airlines. Now your flying smart!
User currently offlineB747forever From Sweden, joined May 2007, 17181 posts, RR: 10
Reply 20, posted (7 years 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 4831 times:

SAS or EI and make them back in the shape they where once!!!

Work Hard, Fly Right
User currently offlinePe@rson From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2001, 19283 posts, RR: 52
Reply 21, posted (7 years 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 4813 times:

Quoting B747forever (Reply 20):
SAS or EI and make them back in the shape they where once!!!

What, unprofitable?

"Everyone writing for the Telegraph knows that the way to grab eyeballs is with Ryanair and/or sex."
User currently offlineNWASkyking From United States of America, joined Jan 2008, 73 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (7 years 5 hours ago) and read 4756 times:

emirates because of the great service, and great hub.

also NW because they are one of my favorite airlines, and it would be awesome to replace steenland

User currently offlineLobster From Germany, joined Oct 2008, 49 posts, RR: 0
Reply 23, posted (6 years 12 months 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 4708 times:

I'd pick NW. There are my "hometown" airline and I fly them alot. Given the flights I've had, I think there are definitely some changes I'd make. Overall though, I think they do a good job. Airlines just need more and better customer service.

User currently offlineKstateinALB From United States of America, joined Dec 2006, 754 posts, RR: 0
Reply 24, posted (6 years 11 months 4 weeks 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 4676 times:

I'd have to choose UA. It would be a tough time, but someone has gotta do it.

The first thing would be to loosen up the company. Make it a family/team..... where everyone works together for a common cause, to remain profitable and allow our passengers to have a safe and cheap flight.

I'd increase customer satisfaction ratings. Adding PTV's may be a stretch, but I would create a system which they could be put on all mainline a/c except for 733/735. The system, along with having movies/music, and the like, would also be able to allow passengers the ability to choose food/drink on the touchscreen, to possibly save time for the flight crew.

Personally, I'd start phasing out the 733/735 fleet, and order some A318's as well as the other a/c we have on order, in terms of the A319's and A320's. The A318's would give us some leverage on some flights which could use more than 70 seats, but less than 130, such as MCI-IAD, etc. I would also put in an order for the 787, no question, as well as the 748, to help out when we are in the situation to take out some of our older 744's.

Sad but true, I have been thinking of a way to allow college students the ability to fly when needed for a cheaper price. Something where a college or university can sign up to be a part of it, and in return, allows their students the opportunity to buy a ticket for a cheaper price than some. This could bring more passengers in and gain more revenue for future gains for the airline.

Someday I feel I have the ability to take over an airline...who knows....

25 PavlovsDog : I would happily take over SK which isn't even coming close to living up to it's potential. Step 1- buy Frontier Airlines Holding Frontier Airlines of
26 DFWMzuri : I'll take SQ - Singapore Airlines. Singapore is a beautiful city, a great hub to fly in and out from. I think this is a great airline with great servi
27 Post contains images WILCO737 : I think I dont want to be CEO of any airline! I prefer doing the flying job! I would rather be Chief Pilot or something like that... WILCO737 (MD11F)
28 Post contains images Steeler83 : That sounds like a very good idea. May I consider a New Years sale to entice students to travel for Spring Break?
29 Post contains images KstateinALB : Wouldnt want to be the gate agent on those flights.....
30 Post contains images Steeler83 : Nah I suppose not. Any mob of 18-21-year-olds would be sure to scare just about anyone over the age of 30 or so away...
31 Stratosphere : I wish either one of you had been CEO in 2005 instead of that rat face bastard Steenland and his henchmen.
32 Post contains images Babybus : I'd like to take on BMI. I think I'd be able to make a better job of it.
33 PHXmd80 : That would be Greg Brenneman, the guy that later turned around PwCConsulting, Burger King, and is currently at Quizno's. Prior to CO, he was a consul
34 RedTailDTW : Northwest has had some of the worst CEO's over the past decade. Steenland needs to just walk away and let someone else come in and change the airline
35 Alfa75 : Virgin. Sir Richard just looks like he is having too much fun.
36 PlaneWasted : SAS would be nice, if I got to decide everything. The problem with SAS i think, is that the CEO can't do what he wants because of governments and unio
37 A380US : there we go well if you got EK ill take EY any plane i want any time Hey maybe well build or own airport
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