It’s pretty uncommon for airline CEO’s to give advice to one another, especially a new startup airline trying to take on an industry juggernaut, but this situation just happened in Australia. A 10-year old boy has launched a new airline, Oceania Express, and has asked for some advice from their hero, CEO of Qantas Alan Joyce.
Our competitors don’t normally ask us for advice, but when an airline leader reached out, we couldn’t ignore it.
Naturally, there was only one way to respond: CEO to CEO. pic.twitter.com/JTFpzn5a6Y
— Qantas (@Qantas) March 11, 2019
Warning, this story contains cuteness.
What are the details?
Alex Jacquot, a 10 year old from Australia has decided to start up his own airline. Already, he has successfully filled in all roles such as Vice-CEO (held by his best friend) and others such as Head Of Legal, IT Support, and more. Not only this, but he has also decided what aircraft he will be using and figured out how to cater to all the passengers.
He then decided to write a letter to his competitor, the CEO of Qantas, Alan Joyce. If you or I were to write a letter to an airline CEO, we would not expect a quick reply (or perhaps a reply at all). However, this was not the case for this lucky young lad.
Joyce explained that normally he does not provide his competitors with advice. However, this time he made an exception as he remembers also being “a young boy who was so curious about flight and all its possibilities.”
Qantas A380 takes off. Photo: Qantas
In the letter, Alex asked two questions:
- Do you have any tips on starting an airline? I’d be very grateful to know what you’d have to say.
- I’m thinking about, as you are, about an A350 for Sydney/Melbourne to London flight. Seeing as it is a 25 hour flight, we are having a lot of trouble thinking about sleep. Do you have any advice?”
The young man asked to be taken seriously and that Mr. Joyce actually give him advice as a fellow CEO, and surprisingly, he did!
A detailed reply
Regarding the first question, he always suggested that he place “safety front and center” in his airline, saying that passengers need to know that they are safe and getting to their destination is the top priority. For the second question regarding sleep on the long journey between Sydney and London, Mr. Joyce mentions that they are looking for different cabin designs to make the journey as comfortable as possible.
Mr. Joyce closed off the letter by inviting young Alex to meet him to discuss options (such as the A350 or 777X) for Project Sunrise. This is the code name for the Qantas mega flight planned to connect Australia’s east coast to London direct. He offered the young entrepreneur a tour of the Qantas command center too, as part of the proposed meeting.
Overall, it’s great to see a company take the time to respond to fan letters and actually put in some effort. We wish the best of luck to Alex and Oceania Express and request to be the first to conduct a flight review.
What do you think? Are you excited to fly on Oceania Express?