The Cassandra-effect: When I addressed the situation on the crude oil market to airline managers earlier this year, looking back I feel like 1994, addressing the Internet: I was “the freak”.
The kerosine price explosion sped up the szenarios I did address. Just a brief recap of my theses: Flying will become a luxury again. How much longer until the low-cost-airlines need to update their models? The cost of operations exploding, airline managers become “creative” (the current FVW special addresses their dilemma). In order not to increase the visible price, airlines charge extra for each and every “standard” service. Kerosine charge, taxes, airport, credit card and even invented fees, a (increasing) fee for each and every bag, for the meal, the inflight entertainment, excessive passenger weight. This “procedure” is extremely short-sighted with a negative repercussion: The travelers feel cheated, the “public opinion” strikes back.
Airlines (not only the low cost) reduce frequencies, park aircraft. No longer records in aircraft orders, options are being returned to Airbus, Boeing, etc.. Am I the only one to see these facts? Kerosine-powered travel is doomed, new solutions will now be developed, tried – and succeed!
Some years ago, Jürgen Weber, at the time the boss of Lufthansa, questioned that the use of light crude oil may need to be confined to the aviation industry as all other industries would have possible replacements. So it is not the question that airline travel will become expensive again. Who in his right mind believes the crude oil will become cheaper again? Evolving into a luxury product, I question the “cost reduction” on staff and services. A friend lately compared it: They try to sell a Rolls Royce with wooden benches.
What now these weeks to me came nevertheless as a big surprise. In some of my presentations, I used this idea of a WIG powered with a hydrogen-engine as an example alternative to the fuel-consuming aircraft.
Meanwhile, I received a serious inquiry, asking if this is realistically possible. Research confirmed the feasability of the idea, so now the idea is being addressed with investors. Can it be true that I may become an “aircraft maker”???
While discussing this szenario ideas suddenly are being considered that have been Science Fiction from the 60s until today. Surprisingly even for me, who these people are, asking me for my ideas and opinions. Obviously, the prices finally exceeded the point, where such “Science Fiction” leaves the fiction and becomes a viable concept and a commercial possibility.0 - click to show Jürgen you liked the post