Recommended Reading

“For those who agree or disagree, it is the exchange of ideas that broadens all of our knowledge” [Richard Eastman]

These weeks I have been asked many times about which “older” articles from the blog are the most famous and/or useful ones, which I recommend for reading “first”? So let’s have a look at the archive. Which depends a bit on the topic…

Static Pages

Like the Archive, the “static pages” are classics. I do quote a lot what you find in the Quotes Page. And also from Lazarus Long, a character by famous author Robert A. Heinlein.

Following previous publications of the annually updated graph, I gave the map overlaying the German purchasing power map with the German airports it’s own page. I use that graph frequently to visualize the impact of airports to regional commerce.

If you’re in “online” marketing, I’ve paid a fortune to get myself up-to-speed on “online marketing” and the buzzwords SEO, SEM, SEA., unhyping them.

Social Media College, 3 courses, 100% each

The other static pages are compiled from blog-series, the one being personal with my friend Saphire on philosophical issues, we called SapPhilosophy. The other being the posts during the start and first peak of the Corona pandemic. I keep this, as I happen to refer to this, both as a proof of early sound assessments, but also of mistaken interpretation of the developments.

The First Post

Shift Happens YouTube screenshotTaken over from the predecessor of this blog, I’ve used the first-ever post in honor of one of the best YouTube-videos of all times: Shift Happens (Narrated) is based on a presentation Karl Fisch, a U.S. teacher gave to parents to emphasize the impact of the world wide web and digital world to global change and to the future of his students. While there were others that copied the idea years after, trying to update it, nothing I’ve seen so far matches the original. Still having it’s justification and value.

Frequently Referenced and Visited Posts

There are some posts, I keep very frequently referring to, they are also the most visited posts.

Corona – the New Measles? Or more like the Flu? Recently virologists question that there will ever be a super-vaccine and that the antibodies disappear within three to four months after the infection. And previously infected people reinfect on minor variants of the “Coronavirus”. So there is not “the” Coronavirus… And we know SARS since 2003 – Corona being a variant of a virus we know for many years?

Meteor kills DinosaursEvolution … or why should we save the Dinosaurs? Why should we bail-out the large players that show neither interest in sustainable aviation (beyond greenwashing), nor social responsibility? Lufthansa Group received € 9 billion bail-out by the German government, more by Swiss and Austrian government. Germany has a short work system that allows them to register and send their staff home at 70% pay until business recovers. That was just extended from one to two years. Nevertheless, instantly after they got the bail-out confirmed, they announced to fire 11,000 of their staff. Sure not on the senior management levels. Socially responsible? Or abusing “shareholder value” for “maximizing profits”?
Developing Kolibri.aero we learned that the development of sustainability and social responsibility done right will contribute to the profits.

December 2019

In December, I published two of my better articles it seems:

Why Do Airlines Keep Failingairline money burn was based on my experiencing working on the due diligence of airline startups. The reasons why I call all the cheap “virtual airlines” one-day-flies. They fly one summer, maybe two. Then “winter” hits so surprisingly and they go bust. Or they have high cost but sell cheap. The failure to understand their cost and optimistically compete with the mega-carriers, both classic and low-cost, with a far lower cost base…? Or when an airline CEO on the question “What’s your USP” tells me “We’re local”. While they compete with three low-cost mega-carriers at their home-base?

And The Financial Impact of Air Travel was based on a presentation by Ged Brown of LowSeasonTraveller on why airports need to focus on incoming traffic. Their job is to bring money and value to the region. Holiday flights leak money to the destinations. While they have some value, they can’t, they must not be used to justify the airport operations.

2017 … 2016

I think this time we got the numbers right ... we just don't know which ones to use.On The Bias of Route Viability Analyses, I expressed the shortcoming of most of those fancy “route viability analyses”, being data-driven, based on existing statistical data. But failing miserably when looking at routes that have not been served before. On regional routes. Recently (2020), I registered for a webinar by famous ASM, about their catchment area analyses on route-level. Kicked-out on last minute confirms to me, that they work on more biased data without sound source. As there simply are no sound data on a city to city level, not even region to region. Best commonly available is region (NUTS-3) to country. Northern Italy or South? Rich or poor? South or North-East Germany? What a difference!

The other noteworthy article was on Delay and Disruption Management as the most neglected and undervalued cost factor!

Data SilosIn 2016 with The Numbers Game, I addressed the lousy data quality with what we deal with in aviation. In 2020, the analysts in September base their analyses on data from March! And while the industry celebrates flight services quickly recovering back to normal, they fail to address the plummeting load factors and ticket prices. The few “full” flights have abysmal ticket revenues. Even inside the airline, access to accurate, real-time data is something most airline managers can only dream about. For the industry that once was global leader in cloud computing when there was no world-wide-web, it is simply an embarrassment. And hey, yes you big ol’ IT dinos, I urge you to tear down the walls! But most of them still create more data-silos! Something I also addressed in my more recent post on cloud, COTS or tailormade. Nothing new, we have this problem for years. Also simply embarrassing. Which reminds me of that article Not Invented Here, posted right after The Numbers Game…

And in line with The Numbers Game and Delay and Disruption Management was my post about On-Time Performance and Punctuality League. With quite controversial data from the big players, they simply disqualify each other, don’t they? And c’mon, give me a break. The best ones operating at 85% on-time flights – in aviation +/- 15 minutes? That is again embarrassing. And it did not improve ever since, every year, I keep posting the article when they publish their statistics – still way off each other! It’s the article about KPIs I published the same year and how managers don’t use them to improve, but to threaten. Or justify or cover up for their own shortcomings.

2015 … 2014

There was an SITA enforced outage in 2015, disallowing personal blogs by their employees. Instead, they require access to their employees social network profiles to feed their marketing messages to the followers of their staff. Ever since, I’m afraid I have still friends in SITA but I take their posts as what they are: SITA Marketing. And as they fire large parts of their workforce every year, they have to learn a lot about “social responsibility”. I’ve seen too many excellent people – not just myself – made redundant by their “HR Managers”. In my case, I was told by a VP who wanted to hire me that that is impossible as long as their Senior HR manager doesn’t make himself redundant.

2014 I wrote another article on data silos and silo thinking addressing APOC, OCC, NMOC and A-CDM – a Bigger Picture. The other still valid article addresses the shifting global economic center of gravity. Small, conservative thinking in Europe can’t stand up to developments in other regions of the world.

2013 … 2012 … 2011

In October that year, mighty American Airlines, the company where I started in aviation decades ago was acquired by US Airways, dropping their AA-brand in the process. It might be noteworthy that many ideas we had for Kolibri.aero resemble things I learned to value back in those days. Including to value staff and despise the use of “HR” (see SITA above), showing disrespect for people. People ain’t resources but we have a corporate social responsibility!

The other article from that year I keep to date referring to is about Big Data.

In 2012 I had some personal or also biased articles, but I also did address a core question. Ethics in our industry. If you wonder about my recent articles, the topics are not new.

Emirates A380 Hub Dubai

And in 2011, I addressed the UAE in a still fitting analysis. Today the A380s are a burden, but given the UAE’s rulers different priorities, I expect them to turn that back into an advantage once we recover from Corona. I expect Emirates to become the global long-haul carrier operating the high-density routes like Pan Am back in the days flew around the world.

2010 … 2009

Being Head of Marketing & Communications at state-owned airport Erfurt-Weimar, blogging was forbidden to me, I had to stick to the airport official publications. The airport at the time operated mostly offline and that came from the IT experts at the airport and resulted in one of my last posts in that time period: The Threat of IT and the Internet. As most airports today still try to use social networks and other activities as a “push medium”, just like SITA 2015. No, it did not change much. Most my LinkedIn and other airport contacts still tell me they are not allowed to publish anything on LinkedIn. Living in the past.

The other article will likely explain, why I believe if you want to make money in aviation, you got to change the game. The article is called The Power of Bureaucrats

There are other articles, older than 10 years I still refer to, but that might do for a starter to give you

Food for Thought

As usual, I appreciate your interest a lot, but I take it with my friend and early mentor Richard:

“For those who agree or disagree, it is the exchange of ideas that broadens all of our knowledge” [Richard Eastman]

Your comments are welcome. As yes, I also learn from your posts, your comments, your criticism, your support. Ask me!

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