On the Wing.

It seems more appropriate to say this than on the road since I tend to fly

to most of my out of state assignments. The occasional exception being

a conference I am heading towards this weekend in Detroit.

Detroit is about a six hour drive from Chicago and since my associate

and I have to work together on this particular automotive conference

I anticipate a pleasant drive. It’s a chance to share conversation

together and listen to CD’s in the car’s sound system.

Hopefully less stressful than waiting inline to go through security,

customs and baggage check-in points.

This is the everyday experience at airports around the world.

Having just finished a conference for the North American branch of

the AIC it seems that even the airlines and their administrators

have a lot to contend with too.

Changing regulations, shrimking public support and no financial

bail-out  in sight  from the US government are the new normal.

Despite the hard work that is constantly demanded of them,

the admistrtors and supporting industry staff I met this last week

were very friendly and enjoyed the chance to meet with each other to

discuss the evolving state of the industry.

Two economists who spoke at the last part of the conference seemed to

say that although the Great Recession had ended it’s aftershocks were

still with us.

Oil prices will continue to raise and Asia will continue

to become a stronger force to be dealt with in economic terms.

I found it odd at first to hear that based on it’s history,

( as a few speakers  pointed out to attendees this week); the airline

industry’s survival is remarkable given that it has such a lack of

continual profit over time.

I am no expert but this seemed like a astonishing statement to make

given how much prices have gone up and how much airlines charge for

tickets , baggage and  the high volume of flights that take

place everyday around the world.

But the costs involved in operation of an airline or an airport are

substantial and with the merger of Southwest and AirTran this week

it seems that consolidation within the industry will continue as well.