Thursday, August 30, 2007

First case analysis: the airline industry and why it stinks

Classes have begun, and I have soooo much work to do. We did our first case analysis in my strategy class on airline industry as of 2004. It was a bit frustrating because this professor told us to take the case as is and not take into account current information. This is obviously to get us to focus on answering the basic questions and learning the analysis process, but some of the facts and airlines in the article had changed radically in the past three years. It was my group's first opportunity to work as a team and I think we were dedicated and efficient. The latter is one of my favorite attributes in a colleague so if the first meeting was any guide, I will grow quite fond of my group members the shorter our meetings.

I read an interesting article in the Economist today. It was a book review regarding a new publication about Ryanair. It was an interesting commentary rather than analysis but brought up an important note about firm culture.

Michael O'Leary, the boss of Ryanair, wanted nothing to do with the project. As far as Mr O'Leary is concerned: "Business books are bullshit and are usually written by wankers.”

The article talked about no matter how crappy the service and how... brusque the CEO, Ryanair continues to make profits. This can be contrasted with Southwest, the consistently profitable airline in the U.S. Southwest is known for their friendly, happy employees and customer service, even if you have to pay for the extras like food and beverages.

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