Your Business Angels - Re-invention – the story of flight

Re-invention – the story of flight


Gavin Waring CEO Your Business Angels

Already stories are appearing on the reinvention of businesses. As some collapse, others will grow out of that. Can you reinvent your business, no matter how humble it is?

More than 16,000 passenger jets are grounded worldwide, according to industry researcher Cirium, as the coronavirus obliterates travel and puts unprecedented strain on airline finances.

Aircraft are expensive. A Boeing 737-800 such as Virgin uses is priced in at $82 million USD. Airlines typically have low margins so very few airlines can afford to pay cash for all their fleet.

Commercial aircraft, such as those operated by airlines, finance these Airlines with sophisticated leases and debt financing schemes. So, a good number of the planes sitting are costing daily who knows.

There probably was a real scramble to have financiers settle with debt deferment knowing their money was now tied up in aircraft that may never fly again and sit in a dry desert somewhere eventually.

But we need airlines. Travel has become a part of the world we live in, we need freight moved around Australia and like New Zealand as other airlines have closed, we need “locals” who can carry freight into the Australasian markets.

The Air New Zealand bail out came quicker than what is starting to progress in Australia. The New Zealand government has agreed to bail out the nation’s only major airline, Air New Zealand, with a $NZ900 million ($891 million Aus.) loan facility if it were to run out of cash amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The airline’s chairman Therese Walsh “The loan facility ensures that Air New Zealand can continue to play a vital role in connecting New Zealanders and our businesses with each other here at home and around the world.”

The writer is also thankful that part of the deal was that Air New Zealand was to keep flights operating “across the ditch” and was able to return on one of two flights a week out of Auckland to Melbourne and occupied his part of the cabin as the only passenger.

But since then things have started to happen. Yes, most staff have been stood down most of the planes are grounded but the Airline seems to be reinventing itself.

Air New Zealand has been contracted by European Governments to fly thousands of visitor’s homes and the repatriation flight business for a short time anyway is proving a useful revenue. It’s been contracted by the German and Dutch governments to either meet planes or take citizens home. The airline has also made flights to Seoul. The Governments are under writing the flights that make them very commercial. Its also involved in getting Kiwis home from places the airline has never flown before.

The Airline now run ad-hock freight services between New Zealand and its major trade partners. There are stories in the New Zealand Press that seats are being stripped out of the planes as they become major freight carriers.

A good friend of my sister’s son is a pilot for Air New Zealand, and he has kept his job because he is an instructor in the simulators. He is teaching pilots to land at new airfields where freight is to be delivered.  

Foreign Affairs Minister of New Zealand Winston Peters has hinted at a potential “trans-Tasman bubble” of relaxed border restrictions between New Zealand and Australia if both nations can progress in their response to the coronavirus pandemic.

In Australia, the cash strapped and close to administration Virgin Airlines is being “slightly” cashed up by the Federal Airlines and the Queensland Government to get back in the Air, but who known if there will be a Virgin Plane in the Air after administration – not as Virgin Airlines anyway.

Australia has a considerable road network, but planes carrying freight and not necessarily people is needed in the Air. The funds for Virgin won’t save it but will keep it going. There is also funding for Qantas to have flights, especially for freight.

We need planes in Australia. We need freight moved before people. I guess it’s a long, long way before we plan a Bali holiday, but because of need there is reinvention going on in this industry even for freight.

So, what has this to do with you?

As we keep working or recover from the shock of what happens or look to the horizon of work in the future one thing is certain, we will need to re-invent in some way our business.

Think of all the skills you have.

A domestic home builder who can organize contractors could also take new Government contracts in the commercial field. If you understand any trade, there is endless variations available to you,

Planes fly. So, one day you move people, the next you are in the freight business, one day you are a domestic plumber, now you are a roof specialist.

You are going to survive this and again flourish. Your participation can make all the difference to your future.

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