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Mike Morisi

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Why Starting A New Airline Isn't Crazy

Posted: 02/14/2012 7:00 am

Why start an airline in this economy? I get asked that question at least three times a day.

I thought I'd take a few minutes and answer it.

Based on market research, the staff here at the new airline PEOPLExpress are certain that markets across the country have pent up demand due to the unrestricted and irresponsible growth of the airline industry over recent decades. As it corrects and restructures, thousands of travelers are left without effective and efficient service to their destinations. They are sitting in cramped commuter planes, connecting in congested hubs and barely tolerating mediocre service at high prices. It doesn't have to be this way.

We've done this before -- we've started an airline in a stressed economy when fuel prices were high and done it successfully. We've stimulated demand by keeping costs at a minimum, and experienced the phenomenon of the public getting up off the couch, out of their cars and into the air. While the original PEOPLExpress lost its focus, we will be better disciplined this go around.

The opportunity to grow the travel industry exists. By offering consumers highly affordable travel options that compete with other modes of transportation and other discretionary consumer entertainment expenditures, it is possible to generate new demand for travel experiences that call for air travel. Regarding the business travel, technology has made it more apparent than ever that there is nothing like a good old fashioned handshake.

By delivering a new standard of high-quality customer experience - efforts as simple as greeting every traveler with a smile, keeping the booking process simple, offering all travel fees up front, and understanding the reason consumers are flying, whether for business or personal reasons, we will create an experience conducive to their needs and gives them reasons to fly again.

The time is right to start an airline, especially an iconic airline brand that was synonymous with low cost fares and unsurpassed customer experience when it launched thirty years ago. The tourism industry is on the upswing and will soon surpass all other industries in the US as a top producer. We're bringing back PEOPLExpress now because, in airports across the country, travelers are paying good money for the poorest of service.

The time is right to help Americans make memories with their families and friends and actually look forward to travel by air again.

Those of us that remember decades past, when customers were treated like gold and air travel was sexy and expedient, wish for those days again. Those younger than me, may not know the difference, but that's why there is such an opportunity. Before 9/11 and deceptive pricing, people actually had fun flying. PEOPLExpress was a game changing low-cost carrier owned by the employees of the airline. Today, twenty-five years later there is a PEOPLExpress fan page boasting hundreds of ex-employees that will never forget the airline and its ethos. Before it went the route of the today's major carriers -- trying to grow too big, too fast -- PEOPLExpress was a household name in many markets in the US. It will be again.