02 June 2008

Lawrence Hunt lashes out at Analysts over Silverjet failure

Lawrence Hunt has decided that it is all the fault of the Analysts and not anything that he had done which resulted in the fall of his pet airline Silverjet. Since we have the benefit of Monday Morning Quarterbacking, here goes.

In Saturday's Daily Telegraph he is quoted as saying "..."It's not the oil price, it's confidence," said Mr Hunt. "When you have analysts who know nothing about our business writing what they write, it becomes self-fulfilling. It's the analysts that have killed us. " Further he goes on and insisted "Our business model is resilient to oil. We have been able to lift our prices by 20pc in the past few weeks."

Well I have to differ with the apparently still affable Mr Hunt. Oil AND your business model - not to mention a number of what I would call "missteps" by your Silverjet management are the root causes. As one famous person once expressed it "It's the economy stupid!!!" The analysts are not stupid and he would be surprised at how much they actually do know. Apparently more than him - with this benefit of hindsight.

If we follow his logic that the model is "resilient" to oil then surely he would have been able to increase his fares by at a minimum of 50% over the last year to cover the cost of oil. That did not happen by any measurement.

I am sorry to see the model fail. I actually flew Maxjet once (for less than the regular advance purchase coach fare on a US Network carrier). There are lessons for everyone here. I just hope for Larry's sake that when anyone looks up the word "hubris" in the dictionary his picture isn't near it.

Sadly biz class standalone model RIP

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