Randy's Journal: Archives
Start me up
Startup airlines. There seem to be new ones popping up every day. Around the world, the numbers are staggering.
Of course, all airlines were once startups. And some relatively recent startups have enjoyed enormous success and have evolved into industry giants.
But there have been hundreds more worldwide that have valiantly tried but ultimately failed to "make it" in the extremely competitive airline industry. This is a tough, tough business to get a toe-hold in. Only about one percent of carriers that get off the ground actually succeed in the long run.
Maybe you've heard the saying from Virgin Atlantic Airways Chairman Sir Richard Branson: "What's the best way to become a millionaire? Start off as a billionaire and launch an airline."
But seriously, if against the odds you decide you want to start an airline, where do you begin? Boeing receives hundreds of requests each year from startup airlines, entrepreneurs, investor groups, and many others seeking our help. So we've decided to create a single place to provide experienced answers for a startup's questions.
We've launched a Website called StartupBoeing. On the site are some tools and resources to help future aviation entrepreneurs get started. You could almost call it a "one-stop shop" for folks who have a serious interest in starting an airline.
StartupBoeing consolidates all the ingredients to get started: business plan outlines, airplane selection data, airplane sourcing information, and links to a wide variety of internal and external resources. Everything is geared to the specific needs of startup airlines.
But let me repeat something. Starting an airline is not easy.
The absolute essential ingredient, as with any other venture, is a sound business plan. And we think StartupBoeing will help potential startups think about the right questions and considerations to prepare that plan.
Some of the things I would suggest considering are: understanding the market, developing a competitive advantage, and creating a mix of products and services customized to the opportunity. You also have to think about who will manage the airline. And of course, how to raise all-important capital.
Now here's the good part. There are Boeing experts behind the scenes to help along the way. They won't write a business plan for a startup, but they can evaluate it and provide feedback and insight.
So why are we doing this? Sure, we love to sell airplanes. But we also believe in using our expertise and resources to help all potential customers succeed for the good of the airline industry. In the past, these questions were handled by multiple organizations within Boeing. This Website will allow us to use our resources more efficiently so we can be more responsive and provide more thorough and complete information.
And above all, we want to do what we can to help create healthy airlines that promote safe, reliable and profitable operations.
So if you've ever dreamed of starting an airline, check out the new site. Maybe you can be the exception to Sir Richard's rule.