30 May 2008

So yes Virginia there is a recession Version 2.0 this time with proof.

The recent study by TIA makes sobering reading. Trips not taken, unhappiness with the process. The chief drivers of revenue are the most pissed off.


I think we are all now feeling the pinch. The anecdotal evidence is overwhelming.

The problem that has overcome us all have been shielded by older data forms and statistics that are from a bygone era. I believe we could ask any person in the country (GWB exempted) and she/he will tell you that the world is in recession. Even the Oracle from Omaha calls it that way.

We draw our evidence from the following sources:

GDS sectors are way down (latest to report is Travelport) so far Sabre and Amadeus are not talking.
Savage cuts are now showing up across the board. Hawaii we believe we be down by 20% or greater before the end of the year when all the elements are in.
Significant cuts are being planned. Ryanair was first to announce its Winter 08-09 cuts. Now we see it across the board.
American will drastically reduce its Caribbean traffic and others across the board at the same time parking 75 plus aircraft. The headcount numbers are not yet out.
Las Vegas is WAY off
Hawaii is WAY off
We could go on but lets stop here for now.

So chaps, accept it for what it is and live with it. We are in for a long one. The first real recession the world has seen in more than 2 decades. The world will emerge (I hope) and there will be a different world at the end of it. The slope of the recovery curve will be a lot less resilient and SLOWER. During this time those people who have been the prime drivers for revenue on the legacy carriers (business travelers) will find alternatives. That includes the new virtual there from Nortel. And probably Skype will be the preferred form of communication if eBay ever lets it.

For all of us this is going to reshape the business we are in. So now we need to start rethinking that fundamental new set of thoughts. Collaboration will work better than individual contributions. Are you in?

Good luck to all of us.



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