1. Clean house. Get rid of the entire management structure and bring in someone new, someone provem someone willing....
In fact, believe it or not, the management team that "made" WN
what it is today is readily available. They are all getting a few years on them, but when AA
got into trouble with CAArty a while back, the ringleader (M.Lamar Muse) offered to take over AA
for stock options and the pay of the most junior FA
on the premises. (Oh, he also wanted AA
to pay the rent on an apartment in Dallas). I think I would bring them in.
What would they do differently?
2. Chop the fares. Just slice them. It does no good to offer a fare of $458 one way between Buffalo and Philadelphia if nobody buys it. Chopping the walk up fare means more people buy them which means less people buy the cheap seats which ultimately means you generate more revenue.
Rational walk up fares also stimulate demand, which means you could add more flights, which means you could bring back employees, which means a more junior work force, which means your average labor costs go down.
3. Quit paying the commuter code share affiliates. If a route is worth flying, it's worth flying yourself. If it isn't worth flying, then don't fly it, or at the very least let someone who is willing and able and has the cost structure to do so fly it.
4. Dump the hubs. Fly in and out and around places that generate enough O&D traffic to make service worth your while. Will people make connections? Sure they will.....and if you do your O&D point to point right you open up as many if not more connection opportunities. The good news is they aren;t all concentrated in one place, subject to ATC, WX
, what have you.
5. Rationalize the fleet. It's a shame but you would probably have to go with Airbus and Embraer. All other things being equal I would have liked to have standardized on an all-Boeing fleet, but that's just me.
6. What to do with labor? Well, they've been kicked around and dragged through the mud so many times that you hate to do anything. But you probably will. The first things I would do, to let the various labor groups know that this is a different management philosophy:
A. Move the HQs out of Alexnadria, VA to either PIT
, or CLT
B. Decree that all management will ride in Y, and unless traveling on official company business will travel Space Available.
C. get rid of multitudes and multitudes of VP
positions. Sort of "dramatic increase in span of control." Every ticket agent will answer to the counter supervisor, who will answer to the station manager, who will answer to the VP
Ground Ops. Every rez agent on the phones will answer to the Shift Sipervisor who will answer to the Director of that Res Center who will answer to the Director of Reservations who will answer to the VP
D. All employees (managers) traveling on official company business will adhere to strict guidelines regarding what they are allocated on the road....hotel rooms? They get a standard room in a LaQuinta/Holiday Inn Express sort of facility. Rent car? They get an intermediate sized sedan from Budget or Dollar.
E. But you are going to have to touch the employees, somewhat....to make this all work. I think I would offer employees what basically amounts to the current WN
contracts and adjust their seniority to 58% of what it is today. That has the beauty of providing the employees with a "snap back" as the company gets thru these tough times, they start to re-accrue their lost seniority.