“Optimizing” bad news

You have to hand it to the public relations staff for some real chutzpah.

Air Berlin has been struggling for years, over-ordering aircraft and canceling some of them (Boeing 787s among them). Today the airline deferred Airbus and Boeing airplanes and issues a press release entitled, “AirBerlin optimizes Airbus and Boeing order book.”


7 Comments on ““Optimizing” bad news

  1. Air Berlin today is led by Mr. Mehdorn.
    After having successfully maimed Deutsche Bahn.
    Before DB he overloaded Heidelberger Druckmaschinen with new aquisitions.
    Even earlier he was afair involved in the musical chairs episode at Airbus.

  2. I’m pretty critical of what Mehdorn did at Deutsche Bahn – then again, he was put in place to do exactly what he did by Deutsche Bahn’s owner, the German state. His role in Airbus was a bit more than an involvement in the musical chairs back in the days. He started working for the Airbus project at VFW in 1972, before Airbus even became a proper company. He stayed with VFW/MBB/Airbus until 1992 and played some part in initially getting an A319/A321 (at the time) final assembly line to Hamburg.
    So given that experience I’d say he’s probably not the worst choice to lead Air Berlin.

    But I digress.
    I read the press release and was astounded that it was worth a mention here. Air Asia (and this is just the first hit I found) used effectively the same wording when they announced the deferal of 7 A320s in August 2010:

    The carrier said the purpose of scaling down the 2011 delivery was to enable AirAsia ”to optimize its fleet and avoid the costs associated with leaving idle or under-utilized aircraft due to infrastructural limitations.

    Source: http://www3.mb.com.ph/articles/271251/airasia-defers-delivery-7-airbus-a320s

    I thought that was what management and PR is all about: Trying to sell off bad news as good news, and hope that the angle you give it sticks.

  3. Gee, if AirBerlin was an American airline, it could simply ask for a US Government bailout.

  4. If it moves, regulate it.
    If it keeps moving, tax it.
    If it stops moving, subsidize it.

  5. A shame really. Air Berlin had promise. They seemed to me to be something between Ryanair and Lufthansa. Reasonably priced with basic, but good service. That seems to have changed over the years.

    Too much expansion? Badly planned expansion, routing and scheduling? Takeover of LTU?
    Who knows?

    I do hope they survive and revert back to their strengths.

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