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Old 10-21-2010, 04:09 PM   #1  
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Default Alaska Air's Bill Ayer Live Blog

From Seattle PI:

Alaska Air's Bill Ayer live blog

Seattle-based Alaska Air Group Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Bill Ayer is speaking at the Pacific Northwest Enterprise Risk Forum, in Seattle.

Here's a live blog.

"One of the things I'm proudest of with our company is that we didn't do a bankruptcy. We could have." It would have been "Faster and more thorough in terms of our cost structure to do a bankruptcy."

Avoiding bankruptcy helps employees still like the company.

"Alaska spirit, as we call it, one of our values, is everything."

"Not to name names, but I will anyway, United airlines did a bankruptcy.

People tell me when they fly united airlines the employee engagement isn't nearly what it is when they fly Alaska."

Problems started before Sept. 11, 2001, with the crash of Flight 261 in January 2000.

"That's where we stood up and took note in a really serious way about safety."

"When something as tragic as that happens (that) you didn't possibly think could happen to you, you do a lot of soul searching."

Alaska reported a record quarterly profit on Thursday.

"It's all about people. The reason we're doing so well, it's everything to do with people"

In the good days for all airlines of 1998-99: "We interpreted it to be (because of) a pretty smart management team."

"Laying people off is not compromising values" because you're looking after the viability of the company.

"Us and American are the only two legacy airlines that have done this transformation outside of bankruptcy."

"We've now had six consecutive years of profitability and this year is working out really well."

Lessons include: "Don't worry about getting it exactly right. Get it 80 or 90 percent there." Then fix it along the way.

"Measure everything you can measure. what gets measured gets managed." Alaska has scorecards for just about everything.

"Focus on what you can control over the long term. ... Don't spend time at the water cooler talking about all the bad stuff that you can't control."

"Hope is not a good strategy."

"Be totally and completely customer focused. ... The customer votes with their wallet at the end of the day."

"As a leader don't confuse being popular with doing the right thing, at least in the short term."

"You need help. You need partners. This is not the Lone Ranger time."

"You don't need 100 percent consensus to go forward on things."

"I'd say you need 30, 35 percent and what you need is the right buy-in."

You need opinion leaders. "You need people who are sort of independent thinkers."

Don't buy things you can't afford. Don't borrow money you can't repay.

Don't do deals you can't understand. If it doesn't feel right, don't do it.

Asked about maintenance outsourcing: "The reality is safety is No. 1.

You're not going to do poor maintenance on an airplane."

We didn't have economies of scale to do it in house. "I was a big believer.

I wanted our own people doing that."

But we focused on getting a high-quality contractor and keeping good oversight.

"When the airplanes first went to the outside facility and came back, the mechanics would go with a fine-tooth comb and find little things and keep airplanes from flying for a couple of days. ... There are always little things on airplanes."

So we included our mechanics in process of checking the planes out before they came back.

With Alaska and Horizon. "We've combined things that make sense to combine. It wasn't necessarily all that smooth."

Have to explain the what and the why. "Over time people have by and large agreed this is a better way to operate."

We're just now getting to the transformation of Horizon.

"The transformation of Horizon has taken place over the past nine months and will go on for another 12 months probably."

We're getting it better this time.
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Old 10-21-2010, 09:06 PM   #2  
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Originally Posted by vagabond View Post
From Seattle PI:

Alaska Air's Bill Ayer live blog

Seattle-based Alaska Air Group Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Bill Ayer is speaking at the Pacific Northwest Enterprise Risk Forum, in Seattle.

Here's a live blog.

"One of the things I'm proudest of with our company is that we didn't do a bankruptcy. We could have." It would have been "Faster and more thorough in terms of our cost structure to do a bankruptcy."

Avoiding bankruptcy helps employees still like the company.

"Alaska spirit, as we call it, one of our values, is everything."

"Not to name names, but I will anyway, United airlines did a bankruptcy.

People tell me when they fly united airlines the employee engagement isn't nearly what it is when they fly Alaska."

Problems started before Sept. 11, 2001, with the crash of Flight 261 in January 2000.

"That's where we stood up and took note in a really serious way about safety."

"When something as tragic as that happens (that) you didn't possibly think could happen to you, you do a lot of soul searching."

Alaska reported a record quarterly profit on Thursday.

"It's all about people. The reason we're doing so well, it's everything to do with people"

In the good days for all airlines of 1998-99: "We interpreted it to be (because of) a pretty smart management team."

"Laying people off is not compromising values" because you're looking after the viability of the company.

"Us and American are the only two legacy airlines that have done this transformation outside of bankruptcy."

"We've now had six consecutive years of profitability and this year is working out really well."

Lessons include: "Don't worry about getting it exactly right. Get it 80 or 90 percent there." Then fix it along the way.

"Measure everything you can measure. what gets measured gets managed." Alaska has scorecards for just about everything.

"Focus on what you can control over the long term. ... Don't spend time at the water cooler talking about all the bad stuff that you can't control."

"Hope is not a good strategy."

"Be totally and completely customer focused. ... The customer votes with their wallet at the end of the day."

"As a leader don't confuse being popular with doing the right thing, at least in the short term."

"You need help. You need partners. This is not the Lone Ranger time."

"You don't need 100 percent consensus to go forward on things."

"I'd say you need 30, 35 percent and what you need is the right buy-in."

You need opinion leaders. "You need people who are sort of independent thinkers."

Don't buy things you can't afford. Don't borrow money you can't repay.

Don't do deals you can't understand. If it doesn't feel right, don't do it.

Asked about maintenance outsourcing: "The reality is safety is No. 1.

You're not going to do poor maintenance on an airplane."

We didn't have economies of scale to do it in house. "I was a big believer.

I wanted our own people doing that."

But we focused on getting a high-quality contractor and keeping good oversight.

"When the airplanes first went to the outside facility and came back, the mechanics would go with a fine-tooth comb and find little things and keep airplanes from flying for a couple of days. ... There are always little things on airplanes."

So we included our mechanics in process of checking the planes out before they came back.

With Alaska and Horizon. "We've combined things that make sense to combine. It wasn't necessarily all that smooth."

Have to explain the what and the why. "Over time people have by and large agreed this is a better way to operate."

We're just now getting to the transformation of Horizon.

"The transformation of Horizon has taken place over the past nine months and will go on for another 12 months probably."

We're getting it better this time.


Did anybody ask Bill about their outstanding Maint on MD-80 series stabs and Jacksctrews? Maybe he needs an enema! does anybody have a firehose handy?
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Old 10-22-2010, 06:36 AM   #3  
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Did anybody ask Bill about their outstanding Maint on MD-80 series stabs and Jacksctrews? Maybe he needs an enema! does anybody have a firehose handy?
Yeah, let's keep rehashing stuff that happened a DECADE ago. There hasn't been an MD on the property for two years. Nice post, troll.
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Old 10-22-2010, 08:25 AM   #4  
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Originally Posted by Molon Labe View Post
Did anybody ask Bill about their outstanding Maint on MD-80 series stabs and Jacksctrews? Maybe he needs an enema! does anybody have a firehose handy?
If you click the link and read the entire "live blog" you will see that he did mention it. He also addressed safety culture changes that were a result of this accident.
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Old 10-22-2010, 09:08 AM   #5  
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Did anybody ask Bill about their outstanding Maint on MD-80 series stabs and Jacksctrews? Maybe he needs an enema! does anybody have a firehose handy?

Alaska does not have any MD-80s. The old worn out airplanes were retired long ago. However, someone pulled them out of the junkyard, put a new coat of paint on them and assumed the public wouldn't mind if they didn't know.....

That someone would be Allegiant Air. So Molon, if you think you need the firehose handy to put out a fire on a MD-80 that was pulled from the junkyard just look for a light blue paint job that says "Allegiant".
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Old 10-23-2010, 02:38 PM   #6  
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Originally Posted by seaav8tor View Post
Alaska does not have any MD-80s. The old worn out airplanes were retired long ago.
I think you missed the 261 reference....
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