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April 17, 2011 / oneworld82

Air Ways – A new, non-consequential voice on the airline industry

It was 1991. I was 9 years old. For the first time in my life, I had just visited an airport. Not only I had the chance to let my mind wander for the top of the Nice Cote-d’Azur’s Terminal 1 panoramic terrace, but I had just had the chance to visit the cockpit of a plane. Yes, a real plane, with all those buttons and strange indicators everywhere. I still remember it like it was yesterday. Thanks to a police officer working at the terminal (and thanks to my dad who was a police officer himself), I was able to overcome security and visit a magnificent B-757 belonging to MEA, the national airline of Lebanon.

Needless to say, that day – THAT visit – changed my life forever. That very same day I scooped up an incredible amount of printed timetables from every airline desk that had one at the airport. Saudi Arabian, Lufthansa, Swissair, Air France, Alitalia, SAS just to cite some of them. Once back home, I would spend hours every day reading about the endless possibilities that airlines allowed to even simple people – simple kids – like me. A Lufthansa flight, for instance, could have brought me from Nice to Guayaquil in Ecuador in less than a day! Woah! Of course, price wasn’t mentioned on the timetables, but that didn’t matter that much. What really mattered was that my mind was able to fly away from the Italian Riviera to far away locations all around the World…

I had to wait two more years for my maiden flight. Thanks to my uncle and aunt, I had the chance to fly Nice-Paris Orly-Nice on an Air Inter A-320. I still remember the day, November 11th, 1993. What an amazing experience it was! Those were still times when even a short, 1-hour domestic flight was an event. I still remember being served fresh croissants and cafe-au-lait on board! I still remember the flight attendants in their uniforms: they looked so elegant and majestic! It was an incredible experience that strengthened even more my interest for airlines.

By that point, I knew I wanted to found my own airline when I grew up. Not being a pilot – that’s too easy. I wanted my own airlines to bring people all around the World. I had even designed a livery for it. The name? Stellair (Italian for Star Air). The livery? Night blue colors with stars painted on the tail. Oh well, it was a juvenile dream, but one that made me even more passionate about airlines!

As I grew up, I started traveling more. First Europe, than America, then Asia. That made me a (valuable!) customer of many airlines, from China Airlines and Cathay Pacific, to Air Asia and EasyJet. Business class and economy, low-cost and 5 stars, I tried them all! As I graduated from university, I kept on traveling, and as my professional adventures took me places I almost forgot about a career in what is most of the time a cash-strapped industry.

That changed once I arrived in Ithaca, at Cornell, for my MBA. Here, I found that a career in the airline industry is not only possible, but achievable. Here I found the right push and motivations to start digging more into the industry to understand it better. And here I have decided to start this blog to contribute to the debate of what’s going on in today’s airline industry.

I feel that this new blog is full of potential. Among the many directions it could take, one thing is for sure. A new voice speaking about airlines has arisen; and now, let’s all fly!

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