08 July 2009

The Professor Welcomes The Beat

I am pleased to say that The Beat - David, Jay and Mary Ann amongst a cast of thousands - has started to syndicate The Professor's Wisdom.

If you are a reader for the first time, then welcome and I hope you find my blog postings of value to you.

If you are a previous (lapsed?) reader then welcome back.

The Professor promises to provide informed opinion on the topics of Aviation, Travel and Tourism.


Watch Out Seattle (Redmond) Here Comes Google OS

The rumours are now possibly future fact. Google has confirmed one of the worst kept secrets that there will be a Google PC OS arriving second half 2010. That means that we can expect "beta" versions sooner than that most likely on netbooks.

This will put pressure on Microsoft to step up to the game. So far however Google has not put a dent into MS's business with Google desktop and webtop based apps. Frankly neither Open Office nor Google docs are really any good other than for perhaps occasional use.

But over time Google will get better.

So here is an interesting thought. If Microsoft was sued by the EC and the US DoJ for tying the web browser to the OS. Should Google be sued for tying the PC OS to the Web browser (Google's OS will be Chrome based)?

Enquiring minds want to know...


Reed Finally Offloads Travel Weekly

The grande old dame of Travel Business Publications has found a new home with Reed selling the Travel Weekly portfolio still in its possession to the founder of Holiday Autos.

Perhaps now he can reunite the various members of the group and build a true Travel Industry Media source spanning print and web distribution.

Star Current and Future Members Unhappy

So the DoJ has taken the gloves off on the ATI for CO to join the Star Alliance.

Justice is clearly sending a message that the concentration of the Alliance model cannot impede competition. And more power to them for finally waking up to that fact. The Europeans up till this point have perhaps been more aggressive - however the fait accompli of several alliances and mergers in the face of airline shut downs has muted their voice in decrying the behavior.

I believe that the DoJ is right in recommending dis-approval of the ATI. At the same time they should also not allow the BA AA transatlantic ATI to proceed. Approving one means by definition approving the other. But what of the existing DL/AF alliance? well there is already and existing Star set of immunity so the balance is really still there. So overall - it probably should be allowed to remain albeit with certain caveats based on performance in the next few years.

Let's hope that rationality trumps expediency.


07 July 2009

Don't Panic Seattle (Yet!) Boeing and the Second Line

There has been much speculation on the reasons for the Boeing purchase of the 787 Aft fuselage fabrication facility in South Carolina. Before anyone rushes to conclusion - chill out a moment.

It should be remembered that Boeing's grand plan for this Automotive style Just-in Time production process for the 787 was deeply flawed. The 787 is not a Smart Car. (Although at this rate it could end up being a bit of an expensive proposition tying down Boeing as Smart has Mercedes). It is a very complex and highly sophisticated integrated system. The plan to outsource technology and essentially risk to partners all over the world and to essentially out Airbus Airbus has not worked. Boeing will not make the same mistake again.

So Boeing has been quietly bringing back all the services in-house and taking direct control of the major subsystems assembly and indeed the design. With so many problems with the project related to a lack of control - ultimately the fault lies with Boeing. It was too ambitious and too complex. Couple this with a corporate culture that was based on a certain degree of elitism and voila - with the benefit of hindsight it didn't work.

However one must applaud Boeing for recognizing the error of its ways. What one cannot be in admiration of has been how the spin has oozed out of Boeing on the 787 transformation.

Using the threat of the so called second line move to another location outside of Washington State has the politicians all up in a tizzy. Chill people!

For Boeing to move and manage 2 separate production lines given the less than stellar performance in getting just the first plane built does not bode well for the company and its long term stock performance. It also is a bit of a smoke screen to move attention away from Boeing's performance on the project so far.

However the Unions must share a certain level of responsibility in making the project work. So far they have acted responsibly and Boeing should at the very least acknowledge this. Should the Unions start to agitate in the next 24 months - then all they are doing is playing to Boeing's game.

And that's the Professor's opinion. What's yours?