For those of us that have put forth our careers, our blood, our sweat and our tears with any airline it is never easy to see that airline be merged or sold for parts to anyone else. We have put our souls into building and maintaining our dream.
In reading the posts about the demise of this carrier, or that carrier, it is unfortunate. But, when deregulation was acted upon in 1978 by President Carter we all knew consolidation, bankruptcy and the formation of new carriers would happen from this act. Since then, in the USA we have seen carriers born, die, bankrupt and even soar to the levels imagined by the founder of deregulation.
As harsh as it might sound, business is business and what is done to improve the financial status of one company almost always has trickle down effects on everyone in both companies and the flying consumer. Does it hurt when your airline goes bankrupt and you have a family to support and you are stuck in South Africa trying to get home - it happened to me in the 1990's when USAfrica went bankrupt? Have I had to move jobs within an airline because to save my airline job due to my division being sold or outsourced I could be placed in another division of the company? Does it hurt when you are told your ESOP shares will be worth millions only to be worthless and then worth nothing after that airline emerges from bankruptcy? Shall I go on? I have felt the pain first hand both emotionally and financially.
I am sure many of you throughout your careers have felt emotional and financial pain from the commercial airline industry, but also working on the corporate aviation side, we too have our mergers and fall outs that hit home.
But over time I have come to learn that business is business and although we all take incredible pride towards the carrier we work for, at the end of the day if the airline cannot make it any longer, it simply cannot make it any longer. Does it mean it is your fault? Absolutely NOT. Sometimes things just happen. And sometimes things happen for a reason we may not know until much later in life. The good news is that there is demand for air travel which means there will always be work out there for all of us, there is enough to go around.
As the consolidation Olympics begin keep in mind deregulation had consolidation in mind and at the end of the day it is a free market economy.