Business Commentary for Rational Individuals

U. S. Airlines Lose More Business to Asia

Dr. Bill Belew

Issue III - June 25, 2006

Introduction by Mr. Stolyarov: Service quality on renovated Asian airlines like Cathay Pacific and Singapore Airlines beats American airline services, hands down, writes Dr. Belew. These dynamic, innovative airlines are actually making profits while the heavily pampered, regulated, subsidized American airlines are floundering. Perhaps it is time for the American airlines to learn some lessons from their Asian counterparts. 

While US airlines cut and slash service -- care and feeding -- of their travelers, the Asian airlines have been buying new planes, installing elaborate entertainment systems, and allowing passengers in-flight e-mail and web surfing options. Add to that plush seats and meals created by celebrity chefs, and the result is that America doesn't know service.

Cathay Pacific and Singapore Airlines services beat all American carriers, hands down. On the long-haul flights, choices of movies, frequent meals (America doesn't need this) -- Western or Asian style -- and friendly service are the standard.

Not only are the US airlines behind, they have a long way to go to catch up. The difference is old-fashioned service -- doing more for less rather than wanting more for less.

The International Air Transport Association says that if it were not for the US airlines, the world's aviation industry would be profitable.

Hear that!? America is bringing the whole world down. Last year, the worldwide industry loss was $3 billion. The US airlines lost $6.9 billion.

Get back to work, America! Asia is outcompeting us!


Dr. Bill Belew is a former Intelligence Officer for a Destroyer Squadron. He lived 20 years in Japan, where he started a language school for Japanese ECS. Dr. Belew teaches classes for a vocational school and online for a national university.

See Dr. Belew's blog, PanAsianBiz, for news and discussions about business and current events in Russia and Asia. See ZhongHuaRising for Dr. Belew's reports on business in China, RisingSunofNihon on business in Japan, and TheBizofKnowledge on business education.

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