BestWestern
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Aer Lingus CEO, CFO, COO Quits

Wed Nov 17, 2004 6:06 pm


Oh, am I annoyed this morning!

When politics and aviation mix the only people that win are the laywers (and recruitment consultants). These three have turned this carrier around in three years, and although I don't like the direction its heading in for personal reasons, it is better than the result if they didnt follow this line - bankruptcy.

Willie walsh has won countless aviation awards for making Aer Lingus a success, and all the politicians can do is fudge.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/airlines/story/0,1371,1353049,00.html

Aer Lingus's top three executives quit yesterday, in the middle of a political row over the future of the Irish national flag carrier.
The airline's chief executive Willie Walsh, chief operating officer Seamus Kearney and chief financial officer Brian Dunne all tendered their resignations, which take effect in May.

Their unexpected departures came as the Irish government mulls the ownership of the airline. A cabinet subcommittee is considering whether to sell off a stake to raise fresh capital.

Mr Walsh has been a long-term advocate of private cash. His plans envisage turning Aer Lingus into the world's first long-haul, low-cost airline, concentrating on lucrative transatlantic routes involving €1bn (£700m) of investment.
You are 100 times more likely to catch a cold on a flight than an average person!
 
gkirk
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RE: Aer Lingus CEO, CFO, COO Quits

Wed Nov 17, 2004 6:10 pm

FFS, and they were doing really well now as well  Sad
When you hear the noise of the Tartan Army Boys, we'll be coming down the road!
 
star_world
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RE: Aer Lingus CEO, CFO, COO Quits

Wed Nov 17, 2004 6:20 pm

The key point here is that it's happening in May of next year. Rumour has it that they are using this as a way of forcing the government into granting them a management buy out, which they have been trying to do for some time without success. 6 months is a long time, the situation could be quite different by then!
 
BestWestern
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RE: Aer Lingus CEO, CFO, COO Quit

Wed Nov 17, 2004 6:27 pm

I understand that the government is getting a lot of pressure from industry to stop Aer Lingus going down the Low Cost only route..

The economy needs Cargo and a Business class product to make Ireland attractive to inward investment....

This is a Governments job, and the seem to want EI help them do it. As they own EI they have a right to ask them to do it it seems...

Politics and Aviation do not mix.  Sad

Star - six months is probably their notice period for leaving

[Edited 2004-11-17 10:32:51]
You are 100 times more likely to catch a cold on a flight than an average person!
 
kaitak
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RE: Aer Lingus CEO, CFO, COO Quits

Wed Nov 17, 2004 7:39 pm

I thought about the effect on government, but at the end of the day, EI's management had a brief in 2001: turn this airline around and make it profitable and growing. There are aspects of the strategy I don't like - principally the lack of interlining and the failure to invest in their t/a service product. However, there are realities to be faced and I'd much rather a growing no frills airline than one which had 4 star service, but was floundering. Europe has enough of these. Ireland is a small economy and we need low cost access. I would have thought that the tourism industry at least would be delighted with the prospect of EI launching services to so many new destinations.

With regard to the mgmt, they must have been exasperated at the govt's failure to do anything, so that EI needed to push and prod them towards a decision. Do we say that the govt has won here? Unions? Who, exactly. It says something that FR has agreed with the management's apparent view and called the govt a "fudge factory". With this govt, you need to push, force and almost embarrass them into doing their job. Otherwise, nothing will be done.

I think it's time the PDs put their oar in as well; Bertie's new found socialist leanings are a blast from the past. This is a new world and it needs realistic decisions. Either the govt provides money or it gives EI access to this. Only two choices; really not a lot of room for fudge.
 
star_world
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RE: Aer Lingus CEO, CFO, COO Quits

Wed Nov 17, 2004 9:53 pm

Bestwestern - yes, they may have something in their contracts that would result in a 6 month notice period, however I'm pretty sure they are also doing it for maximum effect. It's very clear how well they've turned the airline around in the last few years, and the thought of them going to somewhere new and starting all over again, most likely as a competitor to EI, would definitely scare the government. I'd be amazed if this is the end of the story and they just leave in 6 months time with no further developments...
 
kaitak
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RE: Aer Lingus CEO, CFO, COO Quits

Wed Nov 17, 2004 11:19 pm

There will certainly be developments between now and then. For a start, until the resignations yesterday, there was no commitment by the govt for a firm date to make a decision; originally, it was September/October; that obviously passed and no firm date was set and now, Our Great Leader has said a decision will be made before Christmas. That wasn't the case before this crisis blew up in the govt's face.

Our Great Leader was speaking in the Dail (the Irish parliament, pronounced Daw'il) yesterday and apparently criticised the airline's management for trying to rush the govt into a decision. Aww ... naughty airline, did they try to rush poor little Bertie-wertie into a decision. Such anathema to you Bertie, having to make decisions.

He also pointed to the serious industrial relations position in the company. Well, duh! Was it not previous govt's who had tried to pack EI to the gills with employees? Does he not understand (he who previously acknowledged that EI was one of the most efficient flag carriers in Europe after its turnaround) that this could not be achieved without making staff cuts. Furthermore, these cuts are entirely voluntary. There have been no compulsory redundancies. But we can go on all day discussing who did what; the fact of the matter is that Bertie Ahern's chronic tendancy to put hard decisions on the long finger put the senior management in the position they are now. They've done all they could with what they have; the govt needs to make decisions on ownership and how the money needed to fund the new fleet is going to be obtained.
 
ei2ksea
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RE: Aer Lingus CEO, CFO, COO Quits

Thu Nov 18, 2004 6:24 am

Talk this evening also seemed to put the issue of them being pressured to move. The supposition from some quarters was that Willie and his band of merry men were purely forcing redundancies in order to have EI ripe for an MBO or other form of privatisation where, god forbid, the private sector might eventually make a profit (i.e. have taxpayers fit the bill for the redundancies). This was one point of note which Walsh was deeply unhappy with and they may have wished to pre-empt any murmerings from unhappy unions and leave for greener pastures (ironically enough...) - if anything what this just goes to show is that any persons who positively influence any public sector company in Ireland will eventually be forced out by unions and interference...

ahhh, so the rot continues....can they not just privatise the damn thing?????? This stupid rubbish has been going on for too long.

Regards
Ph
Next Flight: DUB-BOS (EI), BOS-DEN-PDX (SWA), SEA-BOS (AS)
 
BestWestern
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RE: Aer Lingus CEO, CFO, COO Quits

Thu Nov 18, 2004 6:34 am

Also heard that the merry men of three basically tried to hold the government to ransom by saying - Allow us to buy the airline, or we will resign.

If this is true, I am glad the Irish government stood up to them!

You are 100 times more likely to catch a cold on a flight than an average person!