AmiSight 11/17: United Airlines Thinks Three Steps Ahead During The Pandemic
I always remind business owners to have cash on hand, not only for emergencies but also for opportunities. While United Airlines used their PPP funds instead of money on hand to seize an opportunity, Inc. recently published a great example that I want to highlight. Many airlines decided to cut offerings and hunker down at the beginning of the pandemic when hardly anyone was flying. In contrast, during the downtime, United focused on expanding its operations. They recently announced that they will have ten new flights and five new destinations by the summer of 2022, the most significant transatlantic expansion in their history.
These flights also bring United one step closer to introducing new supersonic jets that will completely change air travel. These lighter and smaller jets will translate into shorter flight times (and higher prices) for passengers. Since these jets will carry less than half the passengers (88 vs. 218 for transatlantic), the transition requires a long-term strategy. Smaller planes mean more planes, pilots, flight attendants, airspace, gates, ground staff, etc. United has already committed to creating more than 25,000 new, non-union jobs by 2026. All of these steps also bring United closer to their goal of being emission-free by 2050.
United saw the hardships and downtime created by the pandemic as an opportunity to expand and look towards the future. Being able to prepare, plan, and work years in advance of their goal is a feat that should not be taken lightly. While we may not be working towards incorporating supersonic jets into our business, we all need to think about our goals and how we plan to meet them.